For many new mothers and pregnant women, guilt and shame are constant companions. New mothers and pregnant women are constantly judged on their parenting choices from what to eat and drink during pregnancy to whether (and where!) to breastfeed to how to manage their newborns' sleep patterns.
This constant guilt and shame is bad for mothers and bad for gender equality!
We would like to revise the way we think and talk about maternal behaviour, reducing the pressure on new mothers and pregnant women.
For news of our response to recent proposed changes to Dutch law increasing state powers to intervene when pregnant women smoke or abuse other substances see here. (The article was originally published in a Dutch newspaper. An English translation is available here.)
We held a workshop on The Breastfeeding Dilemma on the 23rd March 2016. This workshop brings together academics, policy makers, medical professionals, parental support organisations, members of the media, mothers and members of the public to address the Breastfeeding Dilemma: how do we encourage breastfeeding and support women in doing so, without subjecting those who choose not to breastfeed, or are unable to do so, to shame and guilt with potentially devastating consequences?