Mexico City’s push to promote breastfeeding by featuring topless models is being slammed by health advocates across the globe.
Health advocates claim that the models portray an unrealistic image to new moms. By using sexualised images of toned and topless models on billboards, it gives new mothers an unrealistic view of what motherhood will be like.
The images are more suited towards men, especially with slogans in Spanish that read “Don’t turn your back on them … Give them your breast.” Men will probably be far more interested in the billboards than women, although it is women who really need to take in the message.
Mexico has among the lowest breastfeeding rates in Latin America. Only 14 percent of women follow the recommended breastfeeding standard set by the World Health Organization. That standard recommends that women exclusively nurse their child for at least 6 months before weening the child off of breast milk and subsidizing it with other forms of nutrition.
There are many reasons that women in Mexico are not breastfeeding, with poverty and poor nutrition the top two reasons. Women in Mexico are also entering the workforce, and the long work days cut down on breastfeeding times during the day. Not only that, but the use of breast pumps is prohibited in many cases, and highly discouraged in others.
Health advocates have also recently pointed out that Mexico is unwilling to regulate companies that make and sell baby formula. The country still has not signed World Health Organization documents that restrict hospitals form handing out free baby formula and trying to market it to new mothers.
While Mexico does have rules that seek to have doctors and nurses promote breastfeeding, there is little enforcement of those rules.
Although Mexico is definitely trying to make a push to promote breastfeeding, it should do so in a different manner. But, on the up side, at least the country is trying.