Last week, along with our car seat brochures, the mail person brought us a little brown box that looked like this:
The box contained a product that we are supposed to hand out to parents in classes. Now, I’m not going to show you what’s in the box, and here’s why:
Ethically, we at BabyLove have made the decision not to promote specific products to the families we work with. We have to be very careful with “education” that’s wrapped in blatant marketing. Last night, when printing out breastfeeding handouts, there were some good ones we had to pass over because they contained advertising for a company. A company, I should add, that has a set of business ethics that goes against our own professional codes of conduct.
A few years ago, when I (Veronica) was a new teacher, another baby-care-related company put together a very good display that it gave to childbirth educators for no charge. However, it displayed very prominent advertising all over every page. When our manager told us we had to stop using it because of the advertising, I was up in arms. It was a REALLY good tool and nothing on the market was even close to being as good! But I now see her point–it’s not our job as educators to be spokespeople for specific products. And that early advertising? It really does influence your choices.
BabyLove is truly independent. We spend every day making sure we give families accurate, unbiased info about birth, breastfeeding, pumping, cloth diapers, babywearing, and infant care. We will not tell parents to go out and spend their money on x, or to buy y because we think it’s the best. While we do have information from local professionals that we have vetted and would use or have used, you won’t ever hear us announce that a class is being brought to you by Uncle Max’s Better Baby Rocker, or whatever. We can teach you how to decide, but we’re not going to decide for you.
And does anybody have an idea of what we can do with a case of [REDACTED]?
Veronica and Brittany