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Mum and Dad

Target's "natural" breastfeeding signs have some moms seeing red

Target's "natural" breastfeeding signs have some moms seeing red


Michelle Stein

posted in Parenting

A sign at Target that reads “natural feeding” has received some serious flak in recent weeks. And it’s left moms seriously divided.

The sign in question is hanging above a section dedicated to breastfeeding and pumping supplies. As the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page recently pointed out, it’s the word “natural” that’s the issue.

“How do you guys feel about how Target is labeling their aisle for breastfeeding supplies?” Kristy Kemp, who runs the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page, wrote May 19. She went on to say…

“The interesting part is there are people right now arguing that we need to stop referring to breastfeeding as natural because it implies that formula is unnatural, which I mean is true. Formula is a man made alternative why can we not call it as it is? … Do you like that Target used natural feeding to label their aisle or do you think they should have just said breastfeeding or breastfeeding supplies?”

Many people, like Kemp, see nothing wrong with using the term “natural” when describing breastfeeding; it is literally nature’s way of nourishing an infant, after all

But, to me — and to a fair amount of other moms — “natural” is such a loaded word. (And this is coming from a mom who exclusively breastfed three kids for more than a year each.) By labeling breastfeeding as natural, it seems to automatically insinuate that formula-feeding is artificial/less than/second-rate. Which I’m guessing doesn’t exactly help with the guilt and/or pressure felt by many moms who choose not to breastfeed in the first place, wind up supplementing, or decide to stop breastfeeding altogether.

And why not just call it like it is — “breastfeeding?” There’s nothing remotely offensive about the word “breast” after all.

Although the debate has recently been reignited, Target shoppers have actually been sharing their thoughts about the signs for quite some time.

For the record, a Target spokesperson has clarified the sign in question is an old one.

“To help guests navigate our stores, we put a lot of thought into how things are organized and the signs that we use,” the Target spokesperson told BabyCenter in an email. “This particular sign is outdated and will be removed immediately from the one store where it remains. We apologize, and appreciate all the feedback that we have received on this topic.”

So kudos for Target for taking action. The company listened to its customers, recognized there was a problem and made the appropriate changes in labeling its baby-feeding aisles. (Now can I finally get a Target in my little city, please?)

What do you think of the “natural feeding” sign? Do you have a problem with it?

Images by iStock; courtesy of Breastfeeding Mama Talk

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