SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Bobbie, the first European-style organic infant formula meeting FDA requirements and only female-founded and mom-led infant formula company in the U.S., launched its first national awareness campaign to evolve the conversation around how parents feed their babies. The brand is speaking up for modern parents via surrogacy, same sex parents, adoptive parents, mastectomy moms, working moms and those who should prioritize their health, families or other children. The conversation should evolve to include these modern parents and amplify ‘Every feeding journey’. Bobbie’s “How is feeding going?” campaign seeks to normalize all feeding journeys from pumping to supplementing to exclusively formula feeding and take on the internet’s pervasive “feeding trolls.”
Evolving the conversation starts with evolving the questions and assumptions around infant feeding. That’s why Bobbie is asking parents, doctors, and health care providers to pledge to ask the inclusive question “How is feeding going?” rather than the outdated question “How is breastfeeding going?” Bobbie is creating a virtual safe space at howisfeedinggoing.com for parents to share their own stories and give a voice to the silent majority, the 83% of U.S. parents that turn to formula in the first year of their baby’s life.
Joining Bobbie’s mission to shake the stigma is Tan France, TV host and expecting father via surrogacy, Hannah Bronfman, entrepreneur, activist, and mom of one, Lesley Anne Murphy, a double mastectomy previvor and new mom, and Kelly Stafford, a stay-at-home mom of four, all who represent the voices of modern parenting.
Bobbie’s campaign begins on the first day of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month where breastfeeding mothers are celebrated, promoted, and supported, especially across social media. The month is rooted in the Breast is Best campaign, a public health PSA that began in the late 1990’s to increase breastfeeding rates. The campaign has without a doubt been successful as rates grew significantly for infants breastfed initially from 24.7% in 1971 to 84.1% in 2017. Yet the demands and paths to becoming a parent have evolved dramatically in the last quarter century, while the messaging around feeding has not. Since Breast is Best launched, the number of working women as household breadwinners has almost doubled, there are five times as many babies born via surrogacy in the U.S., and today more than 170,000 children are being raised by same sex parents.
“The question really should be how is your feeding going, not how is breastfeeding going because every journey is so different. ‘Breast is Best’, implies that whatever you’re doing that’s not the breast, is second best. I really don’t feel like I’m giving (my baby) the second best,” said Hannah Bronfman, Founder of HBFIT, entrepreneur and new mom. After falling short of her own 6-month breastfeeding goal while juggling her business during the pandemic, she had to overcome her own internal guilt of turning to formula. “There are a thousand and one reasons why it might not work out for you-- and that’s okay.”
“I need the conversation to evolve so that my own child doesn’t grow up thinking he is second best because he is formula fed,” said Tan France, TV host and expectant father. France added that the pressure to source breastmilk is prevalent amongst same sex parents. “Ever since we announced we are having a baby, people have asked where will you get your donor milk? Will the surrogate be donating her milk? It’s such a strange thing that at any point no one has talked about formula,” France said.
Lesley Anne Murphy had both breasts removed before having a baby after testing positive for the BRCA breast cancer gene. Her six month old has been exclusively formula fed and she said she has gotten backlash on her Instagram account for her inability to breastfeed. “One parent messaged me to say, ‘you are selfish for getting your breasts removed before you had your baby- you didn’t even have cancer.’ We need to learn how to be kind to new parents and less judgemental about each other's personal choices.”
Kelly Stafford, a stay-at-home mom to four children under four, philanthropist, and wife of LA Rams quarterback, Matt Stafford, made the decision to go straight to formula for her fourth baby and received negative backlash on Instagram. “People were telling me I was selfish for not even trying to breastfeed, but I needed to prioritize my mental health and being present for all four of my girls and my husband. That is what was best for all of us.”
“We don’t disagree that breast milk is nutritionally the gold standard for infants; it’s dynamic and personal in a way that formula will never be. But the real formula is a parent’s entire feeding journey where so many factors play into whether breast milk will even be an option at all,” said Laura Modi, co-founder and CEO of Bobbie. “The same government that is telling us to breastfeed for six months is the same government that has no guaranteed paid leave policy. It’s no wonder parents have to turn to formula and they should never feel guilty for however they choose to feed their babies. Period,” Modi added.
As a purpose-driven company, Bobbie started with community, not commerce. They first launched Milk-Drunk, a content site providing a place for parents at the crossroads of feeding to get straightforward answers, support, and information. Recently, they launched The MotherLode, an initiative enabling Bobbie customers to become their investors to start a new kind of relationship between brands and its consumers, democratize fundraising, and allow parents to invest in brands they believe in and use.
In honor of these four modern parents boldly sharing their feeding journeys, Bobbie is donating 96,000 bottles of Bobbie to milk insecure babies in the U.S. at four non-profits of their choice throughout August. To learn more about “How is feeding going?” or to make the commitment please visit www.howisfeedinggoing.com.
Bobbie is an Organic Infant Formula company that exists to build a parenting culture of confidence, not comparison, where every parent is supported in the feeding choice that is right for them and their baby. Bobbie will be initially selling direct-to-consumer and offering a subscription service to parents across the US. Bobbie is mom-founded and led and supported by a 20 person “Motherboard” of advisors and a Medical Advisors made up of doctors, lactation consultants, doulas, pediatricians, and professionals who contribute their expertise to building a next-generation formula company. Bobbie was founded in 2018, is based in San Francisco, and is venture backed. For more information on Bobbie, visit www.hibobbie.com, and follow Bobbie on Instagram @bobbie.