I wonder who earned their Christmas bonus for coining the term “Breastapo”?

There’s been a flurry of articles recently about the extreme or bullying lengths some health professionals are apparently going to in order to make parents breastfeed rather than formula feed.

I am absolutely sure that some people are dickheads about this – every “health” cause has its unwavering zealots who refuse to understand that not everyone can be crowbarred into their worldview.

But as someone noted on Twitter some days ago, whenever an issue like breast vs formula suddenly becomes THE HUGE ISSUE OF THE DAY you may find yourself wondering where these stories are suddenly coming from.  And what clever person at which PR firm coined the term “Breastapo“.

It’s definitely not okay for anyone to feel bullied – and especially triply not okay for infants to go hungry – over this issue.

But it’s definitely interesting how not a single story on the matter has even hinted at why we have placed emphasis and resource into encouraging breastfeeding.

Not a single story has covered the fairly shitty history of the formula industry.  None have mentioned the ongoing Nestle boycott, for example.  None have so much as said, “These policies have come out of the fact that a lot of people who could breastfeed their babies were pressured not to, even to the extent of formula companies giving them free samples which leave them dependent on formula once their milk dries up.”

We do have words for people who get you hooked with free samples of their product, after all.

But no.  Every story, every reporter, has just acted like out of nowhere, the Ministry of Health and nurses and midwives all got together one dark Sabbat night and said “let’s shit on new parents!  Let’s make their lives harder!  Fuck yeah, they’ll do what’s good for them and they’ll like it!”

Like I’ve said, I have absolutely no doubt that there are bullies and zealots and people who are fucked-up enough to harass new parents.

All I want to know is why this just now became the big issue.  And why none of our so-called “journalists” seem to have asked any actual questions about it, or put it in any kind of context, or given their readers and viewers any kind of background.

Besides the obvious “because they just copypasted a PR release from a formula company”.*

Meanwhile, the formula industry’s stellar ethics are on display (not that anyone held a gun to our PM’s head and made him sign a can of formula and pose with it for the cameras).

More reading at Hoyden About Town:  Nestle moves from obfuscation to outright lies; Gone too far? and all posts on infant formula.  I thank the Hoydens for my own knowledge of the Nestle boycott, etc.


*After all, that privilege only gets extended to Bendon.


  1. Trouble

    Perhaps this Australian story sparked local interest. Can’t say what started it over there.

    Being basically on the side of the angels has never stopped anyone from carrying on like an arse, IMHO. Sometimes a dose of righteous crusading fuels it (see Julian Assange, various other Great Leaders). And being an arse while claiming to be on the side of the angels is journalist-bait.

  2. Draco T Bastard (@DracoTBastard)

    And why none of our so-called “journalists” seem to have asked any actual questions about it, or put it in any kind of context, or given their readers and viewers any kind of background.

    Because they’re no longer journalists but paid mouthpieces that wouldn’t know whatinvestigative journalism was if it bit them?

  3. felix

    Putting the hideousness of it all aside, and forgetting about invoking Godwin, it is a fucking good word.

  4. Barbara

    It’s the Presstapo at work. Their zealotry, ignorance, intolerance, and bias is far far beyond anything those who routinely but incorrectly get casually labelled Breastapo have ever been guilty of.