Milkface Nursingwear Inc

What's new and on my mind at milkface

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to School - Ottawa Parents Beware

In Ottawa, Your Child is a Speedbump

Renovations are ongoing at the property next to the milkface Westboro store at 385 Danforth Ave. The owners are converting a century home into a daycare facility. To maximize their use of the land they applied to the city of Ottawa to provide less parking than is standard for such a use in this area. The owners hope to have 25-40 kids in this building based on conversations with the owner.

Any such application allows the public to object before a decision is made. Well, Mr. Milkface wrote to the city suggesting the morning and late afternoon traffic during drop-off and pick-up would be an excessive strain on a street that is barely adequate for the existing businesses. The lack of adequate parking would only exacerbate the problem as inconsiderate parents park illegally "just for a second". After a few weeks a response was received.

Seems we were the only objection to the application. Our points were are rebuked and the application was granted. The city gets a cash in lieu of parking fee of about $8000 and likely increased tax revenues given the extra square footage of the new property.

In the justification for the decision, one sentence stood out as particularly outrageous. "Having additional parents with children (walking) in the area could have the beneficial effect of further calming driver behaviour as they navigate across an area that already has significant pedestrian flows."

A speed bump is a traffic calming feature. A speed trap fulfills the same function. A child walking on a street without sidewalks is not and should never been seen as such.

As a parent of three who make the walk to and from school more days than not, I think this view of pedestrians as traffic calming features is unacceptable and extremely dangerous. Too often we say "How many have to die or be hurt before a (specific) change is made?" In this case, we never wanted a change. We only asked that the situation for us, our customers and the users of Danforth Ave. not get worse. I guess the City of Ottawa sees the risk as acceptable and worth $8,547.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Bizarro World of Breastfeeding

There are numerous debates about breastfeeding that exist throughout the world - and those are among those of us who are supporters, practitioners and fans. One thing I think we can all agree on is that formula companies need to just shut up.

The WHO Code violations are numerous and well reported outside of the traditional mainstream media but the continuing trend of formula companies offering Breastfeeding Information and Support Kits is just ridiculous. Seriously, why would they do anything that would harm their bottom line? Isn't that against their corporate mandate to make a profit?

Having a formula company offering breastfeeding education is like having a butcher giving tips on a vegan lifestyle. Or, (well you come up with your own.)

Are people falling for this? Can they not see the problem here? I hope, for all our sake, new moms are smarter than the well-funded marketing divisions of these major companies.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

August Is Breastfeeding Awareness Month - We Hope You Don't Notice

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Around the world lactivists, health care practioners and those who care will be raising awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, the nutritional insufficiency of formula and even the World Health Organization (WHO) Code on the marketing of formula and how big-pharma and food producers violate their own agreements to abide by the code. At Milkface we're not going to go that route - at least, not beyond the messages that exist everyday in our stores and on our website. Those who know milkface know all about these important messages. To them, breastfeeding is normal and you don't go waving your flag and shouting from the rooftops about normal things, now do you?

It's true that breastfeeding rates should be higher. It's true that the major advertising budgets of those who sell the alternatives to breastfeeding are having a negative impact on the health of millions of children worldwide and it's true that many doctors and primary care givers are believers and espousers of the "formula is adequate" lie. At milkface we want to correct these injustices but as long as we have a commercial interest in the normal practice of breastfeeding the cynics will see the bias in our words. We will, however, as mothers who have breastfed our children to up to three years of age, share our experiences with those who visit our stores and want to hear about our experiences. As well, we see you, the breastfeeding mother, as the single best voice of breastfeeding and its myriad benefits. One-on-one with other moms and friends on a personal level.

One day there may not be the need for a Breastfeeding Awareness Month. We believe that day will come soon. When that day comes we believe that your involvement will have had a bigger role than any campaign or marketing budget could ever contribute. When breastfeeding is accepted, it won't be noticed. When breastfeeding is accepted, there will be no need for an awareness month. Maybe it's time to stop noticing.