Although "fed is best" is gaining popularity as a stance on the exhausting breastfeeding-versus-formula-feeding debate, the topic still gets a lot of people pretty riled up. So it's no wonder that a sign that reads "Natural Feeding" placed above breastfeeding products at Target would garner lots of angry comments.
Administrators on the popular Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page recently posted a picture of said sign with a caption asking for members' thoughts. Check out the original post below:
As you can guess, members of the group had opinions about the sign.
"Feeding your baby is natural/normal no matter how you decide to go. Quit with all the stupid discussions over what is best," said one mom. "A baby that is not going hungry is all that matters. EVERYTHING has chemistry and that means chemicals. Stop being so ignorant as to refer to what makes up everything in our universe as to being unnatural."
"I'm curious what label they put on the formula aisle," said another mom. "Does it say unnatural feeding, or just formula? They could have just put feeding supplies. It kinda covers everything."
Another mom said she didn't like the sign because it was likely a result of Target not wanting to put the word "breast" on a sign: "I bet you it's something like that," she said. "'Natural' vs 'unnatural' just stirs a pot that already has enough spoons in it... Not a fan." Another commenter felt the word choice might have been a marketing ploy: "I kind of feel like [Target] did this just for attention," she said. "They could have just as easily split aisles into 'feeding supplies' and 'baby formula'... wtg Target for the free publicity."
One mom brought up the parallels between the sign issue and birthing options: "I got judged for referring to a vaginal birth as a 'natural birth' the other day because I offended someone who had a C-section," she said. (She clearly never read our story about things you should never say to a mom who's had a C-section!)
From what we can gather from the rest of the comments, most of the anger comes from the idea that, in the eyes of the larger society, the word "natural" has suddenly come to mean "better," which makes moms who don't breastfeed feel like they are failing at motherhood (Oh, hello there, mom guilt). "Basically, it all just comes down to the feeling of pride for those who breastfeed and the feeling of shame for those who didn’t," one mom put it succinctly.
This debate will likely never find a conclusion that satisfies everyone, but just know that as long as your baby is fed, you're doing good, mama. And if you're not happy with the language a retailer uses in its marketing, let the company know through appropriate channels, and consider shopping elsewhere.