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I have strung words together for The New York Times, Vice, and more. I write and shoot people (with a camera, you guys) from my home in upst...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    students test

    When a note written by male students popped up on the walls of a high school, warning girls to stop dressing like "THOTs" and place value on the "male education," administrators had a real chance to educate their students on personal responsibility and respecting one another. So ... any guesses on what school staff did?

    If you guessed ... had a long talk wherein they forced male students to recognize that if they can't concentrate on quadratic equations because they're too busy staring at a girl's boobs, they're the problem, not the girls, well ... we wish you were right.

    More from CafeMom: 'Slutty' Girls vs. Sexist Boys: Why Schools Have Dress Codes All Wrong (PHOTO)

    But in 2017, the Breton High School administration's response to girls being slut shamed by their male peers was more of the same old, same old that we've been seeing for centuries. They blamed the girls for bringing it on themselves, yes, even the offensive slur (THOT stands for "that ho over there).

    sexist note

    After the note began an outcry in the school, Principal Lara Jollymore doubled down on sexism. She reportedly told parents

    "There are some female students who have posted their opinions about how they feel that they should be able to wear whatever clothes they wish at school, because they have the right to, and that ladies should not be objectified by gentlemen because it is wrong.

    "The gentlemen have responded by posting their opinions about how the school is a professional learning environment, and that ladies should respect that by wearing clothes that meet the dress code, and do not distract them, because even though it is not appropriate for gentlemen to objectify ladies, when ladies wear extremely provocative clothing, they can be distracted."

    The posting from the girls that Jollymore is referring to is this one, a popular Internet meme that female students at a number of schools have posted in recent years -- both in schools and on social media. A Snapchat photo shows it was posted in the Breton bathroom, and it reads, "When you interrupt a girl’s school day to force her to change her clothes, or send her home because her shorts are too short or her bra straps are too visible, you are telling her that making sure boys have a ‘distraction free’ environment is more important than her education. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies teach boys that girls are not sexual objects." 


    The girls' note asks for respect. 

    The boys responded by calling them hos. 

    And while Jollymore did say the boys will be reprimanded for usage of the term, her message is clearly one that illustrates why it is boys find it so easy to refer to girls as THOTs, and why rape culture isn't going anywhere any time fast. 

    More from CafeMom: 

    Because each time we tell boys that they're not to blame for the way they treat girls, while simultaneously blaming girls for "allowing" themselves to be treated that way by boys, we set our kids up for a future where boys will assault girls and girls will feel ashamed for being assaulted. 

    The fact is, if a boy can't stop looking at a girl's thigh long enough to take a math test, he's the problem. Those are his eyes. That's his brain. He's the only one who can control them. But so long as we tell him he doesn't have to, how can we expect him to? 

     


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    alexa wilding

    There's a period after pregnancy when many women stop feeling like themselves. Your body changes when you're carrying a baby, and for some women it's never quite the same. So what's a mom to do? In our society, the answer is usually something like lose weight, have surgery, or do whatever you can to hide the fact that you were ever pregnant. But there's another option. Singer/songwriter Alexa Wilding hasn't just embraced her post-pregnancy body. She's spoken out to Allure in a viral video to tell women to stand up for our bodies and to refuse to have our pregnancies erased.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    mom at target

    The saying "see something, say something" is usually associated with reporting a crime to the police. But a video posted to Facebook by mom Mary Katherine Backstrom this week makes a good case for applying it to parenting. Backstrom, who runs the blog Mom Babble, was on a Target run when she noticed some tweens poking fun at a man who'd gone through some cranio-facial surgery. So what'd she do? You know where this is going ... she said something. And her response to the teens is going viral.

    In a Facebook video she shot from the front seat of her car, Backstrom says she was in the Target checkout line when she noticed some kids in front of her taking pictures of and teasing the cashier, whom she describes as having staples in his head, a drooping eye, and cranial deformities.

    More from CafeMom: When Your Kid Is the Bully: 9 Parents Confess What It's Like

    Backstrom was appalled by what she was seeing, but, like many of us, she felt a twinge of anxiety at stepping in and "parenting" someone else's kids. As she said herself in the video she shot, which has already been viewed some 56,000 times in less than 24 hours, "I'm just not very confident sometimes in my adulthood."

    Luckily, she stepped up anyway.

    [code][/code]

    First Backstrom pulled the kids aside for a little chat about why it's not okay to take photos of a stranger and laugh at him. Then she went the extra mile: She told the kids she would be staying with them until their mom arrived to pick them up, and she proceeded to tell the mom what went down.

    More from CafeMom: New Mom Calls Out the Breastfeeding Shame We Don't Talk About

    The other mom actually thanked Backstrom for saying something, and now thousands of other people are doing the same. In the comments on her video, one person wrote, "Good for you! We need more mothers like you." Another added, "I like to believe that my 'mothering' other children -- my children's friends, as well as my friends' children -- has sometimes not only made them better people, but has made me a better person as well. It does indeed take a village."

    It can be hard to decide when something is worth being said. But as adults, we know when something is wrong. More to the point, we know when we would want someone to say something to our kids, or to us about our kids' behavior. Ask any mom if she'd want to know when her child was being a bully, and what do you think she's going to say? "No, just let them be a little punk, I'm alright with that"?

    Parents, by and large, want to know when their kids are doing something wrong, because if we don't know, we can't correct the behavior. It's only once someone tells us -- be it a teacher or some stranger in Target -- that we have the ability to sit our kids down for a talk and/or punishment.

    More from CafeMom: This Mom Had the Best Response When Her Daughter Called Her Fat

    The Target cashier was just a guy doing his job. He deserves the same respect as any other human being ... and that means not having a bunch of kids post photos of him to Snapchat so their friends can gang up on a stranger.

    Backstrom's video is certainly food for thought for the next time you see someone's kid out acting out in public -- without Mom or Dad in sight -- and are wavering on whether or not you should step in. Would you want to know if it was your child? Would you want someone to say something?

    Perhaps the best part of all this? Backstrom seems to have stumbled on the mystical unicorn of Internet videos: a post where parents all agree. As of this moment, literally all of the comments back Backstrom up for doing what she did as part of a global village of moms who all step in to make sure our kids are raised correctly.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.


    Parents who use store-bought baby food just got some alarming news via a report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The nonprofit confirmed that there are detectable levels of lead in some 20 percent of baby foods on the market. If you're thinking -- wait, lead, don't they test for that because it's bad for kids? Well, you're right.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns parents that there's no such thing as a "safe level of lead" in kids' blood, and one of its child health programs is focused specifically on reducing childhood lead exposure. Although symptoms can often remain undetected, the government agency warns "lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body."

    More from CafeMom: Stunning Photos Show How Much Babies' Heads Change During Birth

    In fact, too much lead has been linked to everything from hearing loss to behavioral and emotional disorders in kids, which is exactly why the report from the EDF is raising major concerns. According to its findings, 20 percent of 2,164 random baby food samples had detectable levels of lead. Eight types of baby food had lead in more than 40 percent of samples.

    And, per the results, the worst offenders were also some of kids' favorites: 

    Fruit juices: 89 percent of grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, while the same was true for 67 percent of mixed fruit juices, 55 percent of apple juices, and 45 percent of pear juices. Root vegetables: 86 percent of packaged baby food sweet potatoes and 43 percent of baby food carrots contained lead. Cookies: 64 percent of Arrowroot cookies and 47 percent of teething biscuits contain lead.

    In all, the EDF review surmised some 1 million children consume amounts of lead that are above the FDA's "safe" limit. But because the report is not brand-specific -- and the EDF, while well respected, is not a medical group -- there's no clear path forward for parents. Nothing has been recalled or pulled off the shelves.

    That said, the FDA has released a response to the report, noting the agency is "reevaluating the analytical methods it uses for determining when it should take action with respect to measured levels of lead in particular foods, including those consumed by infants and toddlers."

    More from CafeMom: Mermaid Maternity Photos Are a Thing & They’re Stunning

    Hopefully we'll know more soon so we can stop panicking every time we reach for a teething biscuit. For now, the best thing worried parents can do is what we've done all along: Have open lines of communication with our child's pediatrician, and stay on top of blood testing for lead levels, which is considered by the CDC to be the best means of catching issues early.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    baby onesie

    Thanks to modern technology, you can get just about any saying on a baby bodysuit these days. Most of the time, onesies say something cute or silly, maybe even a little sappy. But some moms go the extra mile and use baby's onesie to tell the world she's co-parenting with a hapless moron.

    Yes, we know they're just meant to be jokes, but what are we supposed to think when baby's wearing a onesie that blames Dad for her messy outfit or calls him out for over-drinking? Do we really expect no better from dads? And what's a dad to think when he sees that's what baby's wearing?

    No matter how far we've come in society in putting parents on an equal playing field, onesies like these send a message to all the good dads out there that they'll basically never win. Take a look at some of the onesies that are just a little too offensive for comfort.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    Katy Perry and Russell Brand 2011

    It's hard to say why we care so much about celebrity divorces. Is it because we get to watch their fairy-tale love stories unfold and live vicariously through them? Or is it because divorce is something so many of us recognize, and we're just empathetic? Either way, when
    celebrities open up about the end of a marriage, it's hard not to pay attention. They're bravely putting into words what so many people grapple with every day, yet can't always speak out about.

    From Katy Perry to Kim Kardashian, celebs have gotten candid about their emotional experiences -- here are 15 celebs who didn't hold back. 


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    toddler boy meeting baby sibling

    The moment a new baby arrives isn't just special for the new parents. It's a life-changer for big siblings, who now have someone to whom they'll be bonded for the rest of their lives. And there's nothing quite like seeing how excited big sisters and brothers get when they're finally invited into the room to welcome the new member of the family. 

    So we asked birth photographers to share some of those amazing moments! Trust us, they didn't disappoint ... 


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.



    An increasing number of parents depend on apps to get through everything from pregnancy to breastfeeding to recording their baby's milestone moments. But as Iowa mom Emily Eekhoff learned recently, some apps aren't just helpful --
    they can save a baby's life. Literally.

    Eekhoff was 33 weeks pregnant with her second child when she noticed something different about the baby. Eekhoff -- a frequent user of Count the Kicks, a free app devised by a nonprofit to help reduce the incidence of stillbirth -- noticed her baby's movements were not happening as frequently and they weren't as strong as usual. 

    More from CafeMom: When Baby Stops Moving in the Womb: Is It Normal?


    The app confirmed what Eekhoff was sensing -- her baby's movements had changed. It was all the confirmation she needed to head to the hospital ... where Eekhoff ended up undergoing an emergency C-section.

    When doctors delivered her baby girl, Ruby, they found her umbilical cord had wrapped tightly around her neck three times over. Doctors said her mom's sixth sense -- and the confirmation from the app that things were not right -- is what ultimately saved the baby girl's life.

    As Eekhoff told Good Morning America:

    "The app helped me to know her patterns of movement so when the pattern changed, I knew something was wrong, which did save her life. Because I might have waited longer had I not known her patterns or been using the app, and that could've been too late."


    Kick counting is something doctors often recommend for moms, especially those with high-risk pregnancies. But as any mom who's dealt with pregnancy brain knows, counting isn't enough. You also have to track what's going on, that way you can truly gauge whether things have changed.

    That's where the app comes in, allowing you to not only enter your kick count each day but also set up reminders so you count around the same time each day and can make comparisons in your baby's level of activity.

    More from CafeMom: 

    The app, which was developed by five moms who all lost babies to stillbirth or infant death, even works with multiple pregnancies and on a variety of devices. It's an easy, potentially life-saving way to stay in tune with your baby each and every day. And you can't exactly beat the price for a little peace of mind ... 


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    Hilary Duff insta

    There is no question celebrity moms lead glamorous lives. They walk red carpets. Designers get excited to put clothes on them. But at the end of the day, celeb moms with toddlers really are like the rest of us. They find Legos in the toilet and spend bedtime trying to convince siblings not to shriek at each other. But don't take our word for it ...  

    From Anna Faris to Reese Witherspoon, here's what celeb moms have had to say about raising toddlers.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    mom cancer dad ALS

    Minnesota mom Tessie Miller was on the phone with a funeral director, planning the burial of her husband, John, when she got another call. It was her doctor with bad news: the 
    mom of two, who had just lost the love of her life, had cancer.

    Her little boys had just lost their dad after a fight with ALS (better known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Now their mom was learning that a biopsy of her liver had come back positive for adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that forms in mucus-secreting glands and affects other major organs.

    More from CafeMom: Mom Shares Son's Surgery Bill to Show the Real Cost of TrumpCare

    "My biggest fear is not being there for my kids," Miller told People. "If I didn't have them -- if it was just me -- I don't think I would be nearly as scared."

    [code][/code]

    That was June 16. In the days since, Miller's story has been grabbing hearts around the country as people have poured more than $200,000 into a GoFundMe fund-raising page to help support the now single mom as she faces the fight of her life. The money isn't just for her medical bills but for Gus and Freddy, who are just 5 and 6 years old.

    As Miller's sister explains on the GoFundMe page, because of the location of her cancer, surgery is not an option. "[Tessie] is only 36 years old and she is going to do everything she can to fight this cancer," her sister writes. "She will have chemotherapy to try to keep it at bay and buy her time with her sons. Tessie is self-insured and now a single parent. She will not be able to work during treatment. She needs our help, and she needs it now!"

    More from CafeMom: 19 Heart-Melting Photos of Kids Meeting Their Baby Siblings For the First Time

    Fund-raising on the Internet can be touch and go. Pages for good causes can languish, while pages for strange causes blow up. But the Millers' story is one that all parents can relate to -- that fear of their kids' being left alone. No mom wants that to be her kids. No mom wants to be that mom. People don't want Tessie to have to do this alone. And strangers are coming out of the woodwork to offer this family support.

    As Miller's sister writes, "Help Tessie continue to light up the world with her smile, her kindness and her warmth. Gus and Freddy, John and Tessie's joy and sunshine, need their mama."


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    baby looking up at mama

    Eating the placenta. It's not for everyone, which is why an increasing number of moms have opted to take "placenta pills," wherein the afterbirth is encapsulated and popped daily by postpartum moms for a little pick-me-up. But new research is warning this growing trend may not be the best thing for new moms -- or their babies.

    Scientists working for the CDC warn the popular pills, which are said to help ward off postpartum depression, have actually caused an illness in the child of one mom in Portland, Oregon.

    More from CafeMom: We Need to Talk About These Horrifying Baby Shower Cakes

    Born healthy, the baby was brought into an ER at 5 days old, with irritability, and tests were done. Docs eventually determined that the baby had late-onset group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS), which they traced back to the maker of Mom's placenta pills. 

    The problem? Researchers say the process of encapsulating the placenta does not "eradicate infectious pathogen," which means that those pills a mom is swallowing may contain diseases. That's bad enough for moms, but if a mom is breastfeeding while popping placenta pills, it stands to reason that said disease could then pass to the baby.

    More from CafeMom: 

    So far the CDC studies focus their solutions on doctors, rather than moms, and encourage them to ask mothers about what they may have ingested if an infant presents with a case of late-onset GBS infection. They also encourage educating mothers interested in placenta encapsulation about the potential risks of the process.

    Countless parents have reported that they found benefits from eating their placenta. Among them are women like Real Housewives star Kim Zolciak, who sucked down a placenta smoothie, and Girls star Gabby Hoffmann.

    But for moms who are debating whether or not to get their placenta encapsulated, this piece from the CDC findings may stand out: "No standards exist for processing placenta for consumption."


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    Maxwell Drew Johnson and Jessica Simpson

    Jessica Simpson is one of those fierce female celebrities who can't be replicated. Except, well ... she kind of was. When Simpson and husband Eric Johnson welcome
    daughter Maxwell Drew, the world realized there was another little diva on the horizon. She's sweet, yet sassy. But don't take our word for it. Get a load of little Maxwell Johnson challenging her mom for the kick-ass woman crown. 


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    pregnant belly art
    pam_art_official/instagram

    Pamela Tapia had always dabbled in painting, but it wasn't until she got pregnant that she found her calling. She was working in a restaurant and got the brilliant idea to paint her own growing belly. Then people started asking: Can you paint mine too?

    Read on to see some of her beautiful work.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    Kids lego store

    It's the moment many a kid dreams of: being trusted to shop solo. But for one New York State family, the decision to allegedly
    let a 10-year-old browse the aisles of a Lego store alone ended with a call to the cops, and the mom being arrested and charged.

    Yes, that's right. Police in Rochester, New York, accused 44-year-old Jia Fan of child endangerment for leaving her 10-year-old son at the Lego store while she was shopping in another area of the mall. She was issued an appearance ticket for the charge, rather than being hauled into jail.

    More from CafeMom: Mom Says 12-Year-Old Daughter Targeted by Predators on Popular Social Media App

    This isn't the first time a Lego store called the cops on a mom. A similar situation occured in 2014 with a 7-year-old on Long Island

    But if you're thinking, wait, a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old is comparing apples and oranges, we hear you. By the time they're 10, many kids are doing a fair amount on their own, and parents are A-OK with that.

    Laws in some states dictate exactly what age a child is old enough to be left alone, but most leave it up to the parents ... and New York is one of them. Here's the official take from the state's Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS):

    "OCFS is often asked questions regarding the appropriate age to leave a child alone, or what age is appropriate to allow a child to begin babysitting. There are no straightforward answers to these questions. All children develop at their own rate, and with their own special needs and abilities. Some children are responsible, intelligent, and independent enough to be left alone at 12 or 13 years of age. Likewise, there are some teenagers who are too irresponsible or who have special needs that limit their ability to be safe if they are left alone. Parents and guardians need to make intelligent, reasoned decisions regarding these matters."

    Makes sense, right? If a mom can't decide that her child is old enough and trustworthy enough to shop alone in a store, who can? We know our kids. We know if they're responsible or flaky, if they're prone to making bad decisions or good ones.

    We should be the ultimate arbiters of when they can be trusted to check out the latest Ninjago toys while we make a quick run to Sephora.

    More from CafeMom: Dad's Savage Punishment Note Inspires Major #ParentingGoals

    Police aren't saying how long the child was left alone, and it's understandable if store employees felt like they were being treated more like babysitters than what they are ... retail employees. We don't get to just drop our kids off in the toy store and hightail it out for drinks. 

    But if leaving your preteen kid alone in a store while you're in the same mall is going to land moms in jail, a whole lot of parents might be changing their plans this weekend ... 


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    pink singer

    In case you needed another reason to fall in love with Pink, the mama of two served one up on social media. The "Just Like Fire" singer posted a photo of 6-year-old 
    daughter Willow perched on her bicycle, inside the family's home and half-nekkid. Because y'all, it's summer, and this is just how the Pink/Carey Hart abode rolls. 

    Hashtagging the image "#failingbeautifully," Pink said "Yeah my kid rides her bike inside. Without clothes. And helmets. While I ignore her and look at my phone."


    Does that look like a typical summer day in your house?

    Yup -- you and pretty much everyone else ... even if they won't admit it on social media.  

    More from CafeMom: 8 Reasons Moms Totally 'Can't' Be Sexy

    Pink is known for being an outspoken advocate of letting kids have a perfectly average childhood in which they do perfectly average kid things ... like stripping down to their undies because THEY ARE KIDS. Yes, even the girl children. Because allow us to repeat ourselves ... they are KIDS. 

    Naked summers are fun summers when you're Willow's age. They go hand-in-hand with push pops and squishing your toes in the creek bed. 

    So it's hardly a surprise that the fans Pink has cultivated with that attitude are coming out to thank her for being all about that life. 


    If you Google the words "80s childhood," chances are you'd see dozens of photos like this one, and they're all being shared by adults who withstood their parents' letting them ride the bike around the house in their underoos. Translation: Adults who don't feel like their parents harmed them in the making of said photos. 

    More from CafeMom: 

    Pink is just one of the brave parents out there screaming, "Hey, y'all, it's nice that we have lead paint–free cribs and car seats with actual safety mechanisms, but it's totally okay to let some of those '80s parenting tactics fly in 2017." Because little girls can get nekkid. And run around in their undies. And 20 years down the line, chances are they'll remember a really awesome childhood.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.


    It's that time of year when headlines about young children and hot cars begin popping up in the news -- tragedies that leave parents thinking about the unthinkable. That's almost what happened to Britta Eberle. Almost. The blogger behind the popular site This Is Motherhood shared a photo this week on Facebook of her toddler, who'd been forgotten in the car amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy summer day. The accompanying message is one that's quickly gone viral.

    The Eberle family arrived at a friend's home, and the child was left behind in the car because each member of the family thought someone else had grabbed her.

    "...No one remembered her," Eberie writes in her post. "And she sat for about twenty minutes crying alone before one of us grabbed her. It was such a small mistake but it could have had devastating consequences."

    child left in hot car

    The little girl is luckily doing just fine. But Eberle decided to share her story anyway as a wake-up call to other parents about how easily mistakes can happen.

    "I usually think I'm a good mom," Eberle writes. "But I made a huge mistake today and I feel terrible. There are no excuses for what I did. And part of me doesn't want to share this. I don't want the world to know how badly I've failed. But then I think that I have to share this. I have to own up to my mistakes. I have to tell the world how far I am from perfect. And how if I did this, anyone could do this. And that scares me but also makes me judge a little less and makes me pay attention a whole lot more."

    More from CafeMom: 'I Left My Baby in a Hot Car': One Mom Shares Her Tragic Story

    Got that? Judge less. 

    Not surprisingly, the comment feed has already filled with people who are horrified, shocked, and appalled that a parent could accidentally forget a child in a car.


    In other words, plenty of folks refuse to believe the unthinkable could ever happen to them.

    Hopefully it won't. But moms (and dads) make mistakes. We do things imperfectly. And at the end of the day, Eberle has some wise words for them: Forgive each other -- and forgive yourself!

    "We are always so much closer to the edge than any of us realize," she writes. "Hug your babies tight and practice forgiveness. Forgive those that make mistakes, even if the person who you need to forgive is yourself."

    More from CafeMom: 

    This applies not only to leaving a child in a hot car, but to anything we do accidentally or because of circumstances that we can't control (think not breastfeeding "long enough," or losing it and yelling at our kids).

    We all have those stories and regrets. Most of the responses on the This Is Motherhood Facebook page are actually not judgmental at all. In fact, they're flooding in from other moms brave enough to fess up to being perfectly imperfect parents: 




    We can't change things that have already happened. But we can change how we treat moms afterward -- especially how we treat ourselves.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.


    Advertisers just got a lesson in how not to target moms, thanks to the beauty brand Dove's baby product line, Baby Dove. The company featured a breastfeeding mom in an ad timed to the UK's breastfeeding week. But while honoring nursing moms sounds like a good thing, it's the way the brand approached breastfeeding in public that has moms around the globe threatening a Dove boycott.

    The ad attempts to give a nod to the different ways moms feed their babies by serving up statistics that claim 75 percent (of who they don't specify -- moms? dads? aliens?) say "breastfeeding in public is fine" while 25 percent say "put them away."

    unilever breastfeeding ad

    The statistics aren't presented as a way to do things; rather, they show how people feel about public nursing. But the ad had some concerned that giving a voice to naysayers will prevent moms from feeding their babies when they're hungry, because they're being told once again that they should "put them away." And the reaction has been fast and furious.

    Twitter has been flooded with calls to #BoycottDove, and moms on both sides of the pond are weighing in on popular Facebook pages like Breastfeeding Mama Talk, expressing their concerns that the brand has given rise to anti-breastfeeding sentiments. 

    More from CafeMom: The Internet Is Losing It Over This Guy's Hilarious Reactions to Watching Childbirth

    More than a few have pointed out the hypocrisy inherent in using breastfeeding week to make lives harder for moms who nurse in public, something that already puts a target on mothers' backs. 

    angry tweet

    angry tweet

    More from CafeMom: 11 Must-Do Tips for Reducing the Risk of SIDS  

    Others are calling BS on marketing that pits moms against one another in a bid to make money.

    boycott dove tweet

    tweet

    Moms have to breastfeed in public, because kids don't only get hungry when the family is at home, lounging on the couch. But surveys show a full third of moms are still afraid to breastfeed in public, and one out of every 10 moms actually decides not to breastfeed precisely because of the fear of public nursing and the shame that's heaped on moms who feed their babies when they're out and about. Ads like this one certainly don't help to erase those fears.

    And, as if it isn't bad enough to make life harder for breastfeeding moms, anytime moms are put in a position of judging who does it better, all parents -- and their kids -- wind up losing. Moms parent differently because they have different kids, different family situations, and they are different themselves. Comparing us and pushing us apart only makes it harder for us to lean on that global village upon which we so depend to raise our kids to adulthood.

    Since the backlash started, Dove has responded with a statement that it supports both moms who breastfeed and those who do not.

    Dove response

    The brand is right -- there is no one "right" way to parent. But the right way to advertise to moms is via support, not by forcing them to take sides.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    baby photography
    Precious Baby Photography

    When Angela Forker started taking photos of babies, she tried to fit a "newborn photographer mold": neutral colors; minimal props; traditional poses. It was fun, but the New Haven, Indiana, photographer said it just wasn't her. Then came the scenes that have made her both a viral phenomenon and a highly sought-after photographer in the Midwest: bright, colorful, whimsical fabric "paintings," with babies right smack-dab in the middle of them.

    Read on to see how this photographer sent these babies on epic adventures in seriously creative photos.


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    Post by Jeanne Sager.

    human chain at beach

    In case you needed a reason to smile today -- and really, who doesn't -- amazing photos are coming from a beach in Panama City, Florida, where a family of vacationers were pulled out to sea by a riptide. What's so amazing about that? Well, how about the human chain built by rescuers who linked hand in hand to stretch out into the ocean and rescue two kids and seven adults?

    Talk about the global village coming out to help keep our kids safe!


    The kids pulled out to sea were 8 and 11, according to CNN, and when mom Roberta Ursrey spotted her sons in the water, she and other family members tried to save them. Unfortunately, they too were caught in the current.

    More from CafeMom: Mom's Powerful Confession About Leaving Kid in a Hot Car Proves It Could Happen to Anyone

    That's when total strangers showed up to help. 

    "All race & ages joining together to save lives," wrote vacationer Rosalind Beckton of Texas, whose photos are quickly going viral, along with video of the chain of people that's some 80-people long working to get each person back to safety. 


    "I always feared the beach waters," Beckton, a mom herself, shared on Facebook. "I tell my son over & over don't go out far because of rip currents/undertow and all the added danger of the waters."

    More from CafeMom: 

    It's because of that danger that the human chain worked so well -- going in alone would have cost the rescuers just as it did the Ursrey family, but gathering together and providing an anchor to the shore enabled rescuers to stay safe while helping the family.

    "To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers is absolutely amazing to see!" one rescuer, Jessica Simmons, wrote on Facebook of the experience. "People who didn't even know each other went HAND IN HAND IN A LINE, into the water to try and reach them. Pause and just IMAGINE that."

    It can be tough raising our kids in this day and age. The immediacy of Internet news means we know all about every bad thing that happens in our country and around the world. We see every day how powerless we are to keep our kids safe. And yet stories like this are an uplifting reminder that we don't have to do it all alone. There are people who are out there to help us and help our kids. 

    As mom Roberta Ursrey told CNN, "As a mama, I'm supposed to be able to protect them and do everything, and I couldn't do it that day. I had to have help, which I was eternally grateful for that."


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