(July 23) — The parties are strictly BYOB. But the place will be littered with babes, without any alcohol in sight.
That’s because these are BYOBoobz parties — yes, as in mammary glands. And the home parties are designed to give support, guidance and a few free goodies to new breast-feeding moms, as part of a mission to help them overcome the “booby traps” associated with nursing.
Sponsored by the nonprofit group “Best for Babes,” the parties launching this fall were developed in response to a party promotion earlier this year by the formula giant Nestle. Those parties, promoted in the spring on the website houseparty.com, included giveaways for new parents that breastfeeding advocates feared violated international formula marketing standards.
The discussion moved from blogs to Facebook pages, including the fan page of Best for Babes, where, not surprisingly, followers quickly criticized the Nestle party.
“A lot of people were dismayed about these house parties out there promoting unhealthy feeding choices. People talked about boycotts and nurse-ins,” Best for Babes co-founder Bettina Forbes told AOL News in an interview.
“But then someone mentioned having breast-feeding parties and someone else chimed in with the BYOB idea. We wanted to do something really fun, so this fit perfectly.”
Best for Babes added the z, trademarked the name and approached sponsors for giveaways and support. The parties will launch in New York on Sept. 29 at Deva Spa in SoHo, Forbes said. Then the home party kits will be available for new moms, lactation consultants and others to host throughout the country.
“We’re interested in doing something nonjudgmental, something fun, something party-style. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re giving breast-feeding a makeover,” Forbes said in a telephone interview from the International Lactation Consultant Association’s 25th anniversary conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“The young moms out there, they’re attracted to humor and the inside joke. This is something they can relate to — something fun that celebrates the whole joy of breast-feeding and changes the stereotype.”
Forbes is quick to add that breast-feeding isn’t always about joy and bonding and all that beautiful stuff, and that one “booby trap” her organization wants to change is the notion that because breast-feeding is natural it is also easy.
“The truth is, it can be difficult and it’s messy, and you’re dealing with things like leaky boobs. But that’s part of life, the way anything is. We want to make it real, not a Hallmark card. But not impossible either.”
The home party kit is being developed with input from Facebook fans, and Forbes hopes it will also include local resources that are “babe-worthy,” or in keeping with the Best for Babes mission of supporting breast-feeding without guilt. The kit also will include information for moms who are unable to breast-feed — but rather than formula, the information will focus on obtaining “donor milk” from breast-feeding moms, she said.
The party kit was modeled after the Healthy Home party kit developed by the Healthy Child, Healthy World project to help parents keep their homes free of toxins, Forbes said. The BYOBoobz kit will include “goodie bags, swag stuff and lots of fun,” she noted.
“But really important: It will include evidence-based factual information about how to deal with the booby traps. No myths will be perpetuated at these parties — it will all be factual, evidence-based information.”
A Nestle spokesman told AOL News by e-mail that he had no immediate comment.
Image by Craig Mitchelldyer, Getty Images: A woman feeds her daughter at a Delta Airlines counter during a Nurse In protest at Portland International Airport, Nov. 21, 2006.