The New Evenflo Ad Campaign

I usually don’t post on Mondays but I need to make an exception this time.  Not only did Evenflo ditch the WHO Code a while back, but now they’re running an ad campaign that can seriously undermine breastfeeding women.

Here is PhD in Parenting’s take on it:  When a Company Goes from Good to Very, Very Bad: The Evenflo Story

Do we really need companies like Evenflo to reinforce the myths about breastfeeding and make moms feel like it is uncomfortable or inconvenient? What if we lived in a world where we weren’t taught to expect society (and our in-laws) to criticize us for feeding our babies?

While the video is also posted on PhD in Parenting, I’ll post it here, too.

Update: Evenflo has since removed this video. This is a first step, but it can’t be the only first step if Evenflo truly does intend to, as they say, passionately support the choices of all women.   For those who didn’t see the ad before Evenflo took it down, PhD in Parenting posted a blow-by-blow of what happened in the video.

I’ve currently got a game going over on my Facebook page to see if we can spot everything that’s wrong with this video.  What breastfeeding myths can you spot?  In what ways are the people around this woman undermining her breastfeeding relationship?  Feel free to come over and play!

There’s a whole series of these ads.  I’m looking forward to taking them apart piece by piece.

(For the record, Evenflo’s pumps are often nicknamed “Evilflo” pumps because they hurt like heck to use, chew your nipples to pieces, and don’t remove milk efficiently.)

Update!  The Results of the Game

 Well, I got a lot of responses to my “Let’s tear apart this ad brick-by-brick” game over on Facebook.  Here are the answers I got.  I’m going to summarize instead of direct-quoting because a few people had the same ideas about where Evenflo went wrong.  I’ll credit these by posting first initials of the people who came up with them.

  • The husband didn’t stick up for the wife when his parents were berating her. – K, W
  • Having the Father-in-Law’s discomfort being a reason to not breastfeed your child in your own home. – T, K
  • The Mother-in-Law pushing and pushing to feed the baby herself in an obnoxious and malicious way.  – K, Me  There are plenty of ways to bond with a baby that don’t involve feeding.
  • The Mother-in-Law commenting that the wife’s small breasts wouldn’t produce enough milk – K  This is a MYTH that destroys a lot of breastfeeding relationships!  Breast size has nothing to do with production.
  • The Mother-in-Law thinking it is in any way appropriate to comment on the wife’s body size/shape at all. – K
  • The wife for not telling her husband to kick those overbearing people out of her house. – T
  • The Father-in-Law pouring milk from a baby bottle into his coffee.  Who does this? – S, J, E
  • They depict this mom pumping an entire huge bottle of milk in just a few minutes. – K, T   This is not realistic and may lead moms to think that they aren’t producing enough milk.  This is a MYTH that destroys a lot of breastfeeding relationships!  Normal pumping output for a nursing mom is 1-2 oz total!  Also, pump output should never, ever be used as an indicator of supply
  • The looks of disgust on everyone’s faces when the Father-in-Law drinks the coffee with the breastmilk in it. – K, E  It’s breastmilk people.  It’s not poison.  It’s not toilet bowl cleaner.
  • The comment the Father-in-Law makes about the breastmilk being 2%. – K, Me  This is a MYTH that destroys a lot of breastfeeding relationships!   So many women are told that their milk isn’t fatty enough or is “skim” or whatever. I actually threw some of my precious milk away in favor of formula for a few days because I thought my milk wasn’t good enough for Gabi yet. Saying that the milk is 2% completely reinforces that horrible myth and the insecurity that so many women feel that their milk isn’t good enough. It’s subtle, but really nasty
  • Instead of helping out around the house, all the In-Laws do is traipse around making obnoxious comments and demanding the husband and wife bend over backwards for them.  These are some of the worst house guests in the history of house guests. – Me

And the gold star of the day goes to both E and K jointly for bringing up what I think is the most important aspect of this:

Whether or not a mom breastfeeds, bottle feeds pumped milk, or feeds formula, the decision is hers to make and she should never, ever feel forced to make that decision to appease anyone else.

Thanks for playing everyone!  I’ll announce a new game here and on my Facebook page later this morning.  It involves Twitter and hashtags, so if you aren’t following me yet over there, now might be a fun time to start.  I am @knockedup_over.

See you later!

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3 thoughts on “The New Evenflo Ad Campaign”

  1. Actually, the behaviour of the in-laws rings true to me! A caricature, but yeah, both my and my sister’s in-laws acted all weird about nursing. Luckily, OUR mother was a great help, since WE were all exclusively breastfed and she knew what she was on about. If it hadn’t been for her example and support, I know that I, at least, would have weaned at two months instead of two years.

    It’s very true that many women have people in their lives undermining the breastfeeding relationship, whether they mean to or not… even the weakness of the husband in the face of his parents… been there, y’all.

    But the difference is this. I would never pump solely for the purpose of giving the in-laws some sort of satisfaction. I’d sooner tell them to PUSH OFF!!! So this particular ad won’t sell any bottles to me!

    1. This ad made me so sad for that reason. I am so lucky to have supportive relatives and a supportive husband, but for many breastfeeding women this video shows a reality. I am so sorry to hear that you had to deal with that. The pumping thing just made my blood boil because it was rewarding her in-laws for their completely inappropriate and malicious behavior!

      Congrats on those 2 years! And thanks so much for reading.

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