"Natural feeding"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
"Natural feeding"
Sat, 09-08-2012 - 4:42pm

I was at Target yesterday and noticed that the aisle with breastfeeding supplies (pumps, nursing pads, etc.) was labelled "natural feeding."  What's the deal with that?  Is it just an attempt to avoid using the word "breast"?  It struck me as really odd. 

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 09-08-2012 - 5:12pm

I took the words "natural Feeding" and did a Google search - and found this:

Yes, at Target, the aisle that sells breastfeeding supplies is the "Natural Feeding" section. I've always sort of loved that, a lot. But when I was poking around the Natural Feeding section this weekend, I saw a new display that gave me some serious pause.

A new display advertising several different breast pumps and their various accessories was accompanied with the above sign that reads "Natural Feeding, get started in 3 (baby) steps." OK, so according to Target, how does one get ready to feed naturally?

Step 1 is to select the right pump. For feeding naturally you need a breast pump? Thanks for letting me know, Target! Who'd have thought you needed equipment to feed naturally? Not only does Target think you need a double electric pump (which is thankfully and inexplicably DISCREET) but you should probably buy a manual pump to supplement your primary pump as well.

Step 2 is to choose my accessories. And no, accessories doesn't mean anything like a nursing pillow or a glider or even a sling. No, Target wants you to buy a converter kit so you can use your pump with multiple types of bottles and different containers for your breast milk. And while you're at it, you should buy special wipes so that you can totally wipe up your breasts both before and after you nurse your baby because obviously having a mouth on your boob, even your own baby's mouth, is like, so gross.

And finally, take care of yourselves, ladies! Breastfeeding really HURTS so you'll need creams, gel pads and cooling packs for your sore, aching nipples. You'll also leak, which is SO embarrassing, so be sure to buy some breast pads to conceal that.

That's all Target had to offer. Nothing about how to actually enjoy your baby or breastfeeding. In fact, the baby seemed to be totally removed from the entire equation. So what's going on here? Why such emphasis on pumping, rather than the act of breastfeeding a baby? I understand that Target is a store and has a lot of product to move, but they do sell items to nurture the natural breastfeeding relationship. This is very similar to the marketing that has cropped up at Babies R Us, where Medela sponsors breastfeeding classes whose description begins "Ready, Set, Pump!"

Read more: http://www.blacktating.com/2010/04/targets-idea-of-breastfeeding-marketing.html

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Mon, 09-10-2012 - 1:06am
While I consider pumping and feeding EBM via a bottle to be superior to using formula, I would hardly call it "Natural feeding" and thus I'd hardly call Target's name for a it's breast-pump display the most appropriate name. To me "natural feeding" would mean feeding at the breast directly. Feeding via a bottle or any other method other then the breast is not "natural". Sure feeding BM via a bottle is superior heath-wise then formula but it's involves a man-made device (breast pump) and a man-made substitute for the breast (bottle and nipple). That doesn't mean though that there is anything wrong with using bottles or breast pumps just because they are not natural though. I think some people though get hung up on the terms like artificial and natural because they see it as implying formula and bottles are something no "good parent" would use. The reality that sometimes non-natural (aka artificial) things have a legitimate use and may even be best in some circumstances. For example, artificial prosthetic limbs for amputees, breast implants for mastectomy women, or dentures for missing teeth. That being said, I don't think we should ever pretend that anything artificial or non-natural is in general best even if for some it may be the best option under their circumstances. Pumping at works so you can give your baby BM during the day is better then using formula but not as good as say having a year of maternity leave so you can directly BF for year instead, as in Canada, for example.