Make Formula Hard to Get

Jodi - posted on 09/22/2010 ( 65 moms have responded )

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victori...

INFANT formula should be available only on prescription to boost breast feeding rates, an expert says.

But Victoria's peak doctors' group and Melbourne mothers say the proposal goes too far.

Jennifer James, of RMIT University, said formula manufacturers should also be banned from marketing their products to the public.

"When women are having problems, and it's very challenging learning to breast feed, the formula is readily available and the marketing suggests that babies will thrive on it, so women go for it," Dr James said.

"The majority of women and new dads that you speak to will give you some reasons why it's important to breast feed but there's still this pervasive belief that 'I'll try it and if I can't do it, formula's just as good'.

"I would like to see formula prescribed by a health professional rather than being available in supermarkets and chemists."

Avondale Heights mum Christine Rookas said it should be a mother's choice whether to breast feed or not.

"I would be very frightened and afraid to think that formula will be prescribed," Ms Rookas said.

"I think there's already a paranoia for mothers. They feel guilty enough about using formula milk."

Ms Rookas was still breast feeding six-month-old Neave, as she had her two older children, despite finding it tough.

"I just kept persisting ... because it's more convenient rather than a huge health benefit," she said.

AMA Victoria president Harry Hemley said requiring a prescription for infant formula would be very inconvenient for new mothers.

"There's no doubt that new mothers need more support to make sure their children are as fit and healthy as possible," Dr Hemley said.

"Breast feeding is the best option for most new mothers, but not for everyone."


Thoughts?

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Jodi - posted on 09/22/2010

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Nikki, what you said about lactation consultants is EXACTLY what my husband I discussed this morning when we were listening to this crap. If they are REALLY wanting to increase the breastfeeding rate in this country, they need to educate mothers, provide free lactation consultants, have a service available at most hospitals 24/7, there are SO MANY other ways we can encourage breastfeeding, and SUPPORT breastfeeding.

Interesting thing said on the Morning Show this morning....we should be dealing with this with a carrot, not a stick :) I like that, because that's how I feel. Stop condemning people who are choosing not to breastfeed or can't breastfeed for whatever reason by regulating the issue and punishing the choice and start providing more support, starting during pregnancy and continuing right through in a non-judgemental way.

And yes, there was the suggestion that it would contribute to post natal depression amongst those who were struggling, whereas more support services would possibly help avoid some of these PND cases. And if not avoid them, would be able to provide support for these women too.

Kate CP - posted on 09/22/2010

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Over the line. I think it should still be readily available. Wouldn't it suck if you ran out of formula and you had no refills left on your prescription AND it's a Sunday night? No food for baby, then. :/

Petra - posted on 09/24/2010

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If any of the proponents of this have ever, ever taken a nutritional supplement in their lives, they should just shut up because they just invalidated their whole argument. Everything in that meal replacement drink, in that multivitamin, in that little capsule, is available in nature. Ban any and all alternatives to what nature provides and make them available by costly prescription only? Hell, while we're at it, ban running water and dryers machines too. My choice to utilize a modern convenience is so detrimental to someone else's way of life? Give me a break. Find something better to do with your time, like promoting education or ending world hunger. This is just... dumb.

Erin - posted on 09/24/2010

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I am very pro-Bfing, and I wish there was more support in both the medical and social settings for BFing mothers. But forcing a woman who doesn't want to is a bad idea, and who decides what qualifies as a medical reason to stop? Surely each doctor will have their own opinion on what is sufficient grounds to give up?



I can understand the medical community wanting to boost BFing rates, I just think there are so many more productive ways of doing it WITHOUT infringing on a woman's rights.



Edited to add: If doctors and medical experts do want to increase BFing, which is admirable and necessary IMO, they really need to look at how they are doing things first! Too many doctors are not up-to-date, or particularly interested, in breastfeeding issues. When I had my daughter, I planned on BFing until at least 1 (hopefully 2). I was prepared for discomfort (engorgement, cracked/bleeding/sore nipples) and latch problems - of which I had neither - but not for the massive supply problems caused by my severe post-natal anaemia (with bonus blood transfusion).



When I talked to my daughter's doctor at 2 weeks, he told me there was nothing I could do and I should start supplementing. He gave me absolutely no advice on how to boost supply, and certainly didn't suggest any of the prescription meds I now know can help. I consulted with an LC and a Baby Nurse, neither of which were suggested by the doctor, and tried their methods for another month before eventually admitting defeat and introducing formula.



The point is, if BFing rates are going to improve, education and support needs to start at that grass-roots level - in the doctor's office! Why aren't these experts focusing on offering solutions to the struggling BFing mother? The idea to simply make formula harder to get just seems lazy to me.

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[deleted account]

I get 12.4 oz. cans of powder and they last 2-3 days. I thought with him starting cereal and stage1 foods he would eat less formula but I was wrong.

Amie - posted on 09/30/2010

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The powdered ones come in different sizes too. At 10 cans a month, I'm hoping they're the small ones. That's a lot in one month for an infant.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2010

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IDK, it's probably all changed since my kids were babies, LOL. Haven't had the need to check out that aisle in the supermarket for a long time ;P

Isobel - posted on 09/30/2010

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we have different types here...some come ready to use, then some you only add a little water...and then the giant cans are powder, to which you add water. My guess is that Liz had the ones in the middle?

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2010

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Wow Liz, what size are your cans? 10 cans a month sounds like a LOT - that's one every 3 days :/

[deleted account]

Making it prescription would be too difficult for everyone using especially when we have enough appointments as it is. Also how would that effect the WIC program, they supply me with 10 cans a month and without that we would be way worse off every month.

Jessica - posted on 09/29/2010

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making formula a presciption item would be plain silly.they should leave things how it is and keep encouraging mothers to breastfeed theyre babies till theyre 6 months old.you cant force people to do anything.

Stifler's - posted on 09/29/2010

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Plus. hardly anyone just chooses to not try to breastfeed. Most people try and the ones who can't have no option other than formula. Breastfeeding isn't easy for everyone.

Stifler's - posted on 09/29/2010

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I don't agree with this. I don't want to pay for a doctors app to get formula instead of just going to the chemist/supermarket and buying it. That would just send everyone broke.

Charlie - posted on 09/29/2010

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We have The Australian breastfeeding Assocation , they are fantastic!!

Minnie - posted on 09/29/2010

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How is La Leche League's presence in Australia? Someone mentioned having government-provided free in-home lactation consultations...LLLI does that already.

Isobel - posted on 09/29/2010

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I think fast food should be available only with a doctor's permission...and that you should have to have a full physical to prove that you are healthy enough to withstand it...sounds about the same to me

Heather - posted on 09/25/2010

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I had 3 different nurses trying to tell me how to breastfeed at the same time and all were telling me to do it a different way.(None of them were right btw) I wish I could have done it longer and had access to someone who knew what they were doing. I even went to a bf support group and they watched me do it wrong, saw my SEVERELY cracked nipples, knew I was dealing with a bad case of thrush, and just told me to "keep trying". My milk finally dried up and I had to go to formula at 6 weeks. I'm convinced if I had seen someone who knew what they were doing and how to teach someone to bf I could have been successful...I dealt with a lot of guilt from that and I can't even imagine what I would have done if an "expert" had to determine if I "needed" a prescription for formula. I say education, not restriction, is the answer to this one. IMO

[deleted account]

That's just ridiculous. Here in the UK I recieved excellent support with breastfeeding despite having to switch to formula when Logan was just 6 days old. He was latching on great but my milk didn't come in...which we didn't realise until he was admitted into neonatal with dangerously high bilirubin levels, looking like a simpson with the jaundice and having went from 6lb12oz to 5lb9oz. I was asked to use a pump to express milk to be tube fed and it just wasnt there! With me being a "teen" at the time (19) and breastfeeding it was policy that a breastfeeding counciller came out twice to observe give help etc. When she came all seemed well but I did express concerns about him trying to feed non-stop which she recommnded giving something with my smell on for comfort instead.

At the end of the day some women can't breastfeed and some just don't want to and that's their choice. As humans we have rights and surely this would go against the right of choosing what you want?

[deleted account]

I don't see a HUGE problem with this unless parents started feeding their kid cows milk because they were too embarrassed to get a prescript for formula...

That being said, my friend had a baby a month ago and her doctor told her that after 6-9mos she recommends that the baby goes on formula because formula has more nutrients then BM at that stage...my jaw dropped, I couldn't believe it?

I could not breast feed and I PUMPED for an ENTIRE year for both of my boys...that was HELLA inconvienent, but that's how strongly I believed BM was best for my boys!

Sorry I didn't read any other posts...I have to work in 5 mins and its 3 pgs long :( eek!

Erin - posted on 09/24/2010

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This is crazy! I am so sick of listening to all of it. Let's take away the rights of mothers to choose. Why even have kids if you can't choose the way you want to raise them and what you choose to feed them? My son is formula fed. I work a full time job and a part time job. Yes i got 6 weeks maternity leave from my full time job but only 3 weeks from my part time job. I couldn't see getting my son into a routine for 6 weeks and then having to switch to formula when i went back to work. I am glad that i did this because after i went back to work to both jobs I didn't have time to pump enough to have for my son for the next day. Two jobs and a new baby exhausts you. So I would like to keep the right to be able to choose formula.

Lesley - posted on 09/24/2010

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making formula harder to get is insane and would be really hard on the women who can not breastfeed....I could not breastfeed my daughter when she was a baby nor can I breastfeed my 2 month old....both are allergic to lactose.....and both were put on enfamil lactose free A+ formula by the hospital......

Jane - posted on 09/23/2010

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Can't believe that someone would even persue something like this. Most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. While I breastfed both of my kids, I still don't think that formula is bad for babies. It's a choice and I think it should be left that way.

Nikki - posted on 09/23/2010

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LMAO Dana! I must have got my boob enhancer chicken breasts mixed up! I had food poisoning Kate, but you know my doctor never mentioned that she could get it through breast milk, makes sense now.

Kate CP - posted on 09/23/2010

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Nikki: Did the doctors say she had food poisoning? I don't see how she can get food poisoning unless YOU did, too. :/

[deleted account]

WOW! That's crazy! Where was ur boob? lmao. In all seriousness though, that sucks and must have been pretty scary! Smooches Isobel ♥

Nikki - posted on 09/23/2010

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I get that reasoning, but I am paranoid about salmonella, I am strange; convinced there are stray chicken germ hiding on my bottle brush, sink and benches! Isobel somehow got food poisoning when she was 3 weeks old and exclusively breast fed! ? how I have no idea, but she was really sick so it made me really paranoid.

[deleted account]

Roxanne didn't have a bottle UNTIL 6 months so I did it until she was 10 months or so, once I got irritated for the same reason Anika mentioned. I did however, boil her water until she was 12 months.

[deleted account]

LOL Nikki, I did until she was 6 months. But then she started putting everything in her mouth and licking everything (we're talking floors, windows etc etc) and I thought, "What's the point?".

Nikki - posted on 09/23/2010

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tut tut Liz, Anika and Kati! lol, just kidding, everyone laughs at me because I still sterilise, I am a germ phob in the kitchen, I sterilise everything, bench tops, dish cloths, cutlery, all of Issy's stuff, I think I may have a slight case of undiagnosed OCD! But at least no one gets food poisoning from cross contamination in my kitchen!

So it seems everyone agree's it's a crap idea to make formula prescription only.

Paige - posted on 09/23/2010

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This is absolutely ridiculous! Not only are there moms who literally cannot breastfeed due to whatever reasons, but also keep in mind, that some women are not comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding. This is a very personal choice that the government is trying to take away.

Tara - posted on 09/23/2010

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Even if they did make it prescription only product. Doctors would simply hand each pregnant ready to pop mom their prescription so they could just fill it if they choose to bottle feed.
I think it's a dumb idea and I don't think it will do much for getting people to breastfeed. They will or they won't. For whatever reasons.

[deleted account]

Only time I ever sterilized bottles or nipples was right after purchasing them, before the first use. After that, hot water and mild dish soap and a bottle brush. I even used the Dr. Brown's bottles, which had multiple parts, but also came with their own tiny bottle brushes for the tiny holes in the tiny parts lol I never trusted my dish washer, even though it was a killer, brand new top of the line model. I was always worried some of the soap residue would get caught in the tiny parts or in the rim of the bottle or collect in the nipple. I mean, no matter how much you spend on a dish washer, it's never gonna get all the food off every dish or rinse every drop of soap off of everything either. I had a friend who used to use her dish washer but would put no soap and she would only run the bottles through, not a full load which is a good idea except maybe a little of a waste of water lol Either way, I think as long as your water is safe then hand washing or running through the dish washer is fine.

[deleted account]

For the most part I've always had a dishwasher which will sterilize your bottles. But right now I don't have one and I still don't sterilize. I do wash them promptly though, they never have a chance to sit and ferment, and I have good well water that does get tested regularly.
Also I think sterilizing bottles is a little out dated because everything is antibacterial anyways and bottle brushes can get the whole thing, so as long as you wash them right I don't see the point.

Tracey - posted on 09/23/2010

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I remember an article about one of the formula manufacturers sending truck loads of milk to a country that had just had a disaster / third world country, can't remember which but the medical "professionals" turned it away as it was better for the mums to breastfeed. So in the wonderful world of doctors knowing best it is apparantely better for a child to starve than to be given formula milk.
If formula is witheld them the parents are going to find alternative food for baby that it may not be ready for such as cows milk or early weaning.

Tammy - posted on 09/23/2010

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I got to admit this is starting to get on my nerves now, I am sooooo fed up with Doctors, Midwives and other breastfeeding mums all making us formula feeding mums feel bad for our choices as mothers. As far as Im concerned as long as your not starving your baby it has nothing to do with anyone! I breast fed my 1st child for the the first couple of weeks of her life and I found it a living nightmare! I didn't have alot of milk and could only express about 2 4oz bottles in a whole day! Eliie was screaming with hunger and had to be constantly topped up with formula, me and hubby got NO sleep and I could feel myself slipping into depression. imagine if I'd had to make a doc appointment and had to wait god knows how long to get formula prescribed for her? No way I'm sorry I do not agree with this at all!! sometimes mums just dont want to breastfeed because they have a hectic life and are always out and about or work etc and its a pain to have to keep expressing. maybe theres a mum who was sexually abused and has a complex about getting her boob out for all to see! theres some like my mum who just didnt have any milk. or like me didnt have enough what are these mums supossed to do then? its ridiculous, its like we are being forced! it makes me so angry. In that case if its all in the interest of childrens health why haven't they banned mums from smoking whilst pregnant? or drinking whilst pregnant? that causes more harm to the baby than feeding them formula

Jessica - posted on 09/23/2010

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"I would like to see formula prescribed by a health professional rather than being available in supermarkets and chemists."

And in the mean time, babies all over the world starve because of medical problems with mom and not being able to get a dr's appointment in time.

We should also take away a woman's right to raise her child as she finds the best way. Instead, we should force ALL parents into a parenting course that teaches you how EVERY child should be raised, regardless of individual needs and personality. If any parent is found to be using any other method, other than the government approved one, to raise their child then obviously they are bad parents and should have their children taken away.

It doesn't matter whether the mother sitting next to you on the bus breast or bottle feeds. At least the kid is being fed, cared for and loved.

Formula would NOT be on the market if it wasn't safe for consumption, PARTICULARLY concerning babies.

Nikki - posted on 09/22/2010

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That is absolutely RIDICULOUS!!!!!!! I never had the choice I had no milk and the hospital refused formula, I pumped for hours upon hours had no colostrum my son was screaming his face off and it had been 11 hours with no food, they still refused to give me formula, my husband had to go out and buy some and I threatened to leave the hospital, I stayed in the hospital for one week with a lactation specialist trying to get my milk in...... IT NEVER CAME IN.... so i had no choice, but my son did THRIVE on formula.
Everyone is entitled to make their own choice if they can and whatever that may be should be entirely up to them, Feeding a baby formula is not harming your child, its giving them nutrients and nourishement and I am so sick of people going on and on about how formula is so horrible, I was a formula baby and so were so many of my friends and family and we did just fine and I have one big healthy 15 month old. This has gone way too far, a mother can make the choice for her child, its her child.
People look at formula as if we are killing are children give me a F`n break!!

Sarah - posted on 09/22/2010

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I've seen this topic debated in the BF community before...and I've seen several moms in agreement with it. In my opinion, it's a pretty stupid idea. I think there are much more effective ways to get women to breastfeed...like encouraging moms who are struggling with it, rather than tearing them down if they even mention the word "formula." And like others have suggested...making lactation consultants free & more readily available to new mothers. But, making formula a prescription? Give me a break! I gave up breastfeeding when my son was 2 months old & I put myself through enough hell & guilt for going to formula. It was a rough few months, but I managed to put my guilt aside & concentrate on being the best mom I could be despite how I was feeding my son. My son is now 12 months old & is the happiest & healthiest kid I know lol. :)

Katherine - posted on 09/22/2010

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Just another way to control our choices IMO. That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in awhile, short of doctors in Oklahoma not having to tell pregnant woman if their baby has a birth defect.

Kate CP - posted on 09/22/2010

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I thought running a bottle through the dishwasher was sterile enough?

Becky - posted on 09/22/2010

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As pro-breastfeeding as I am, that is ridiculous! So what happens when a mom gets some power-tripping, "progressive" doctor who feels her reasons for not breastfeeding aren't good enough and refuses to give her a prescription for formula? Is she then going to risk her newborn's health by giving him cows milk? Or worse, abuse her baby in her frustration with breastfeeding and the lack of support? I agree with everyone else who has said that what is needed is more support for breastfeeding, not demonizing those who don't, whatever the reason.

Rosie - posted on 09/22/2010

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i'm even more evil anika!! i never did, unless it was right after i purchased them. never boiled water either. :)

Charlie - posted on 09/22/2010

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I think prescription is going to far and quiet frankly i see this only pushing some mothers to just give cows milk , i already know some that do because of cost , i actually know quiet a few that chose formula for "convenience " so i understand where she is coming from .



Jennifer James was interviewed this morning on Today program and says its more to promote Breastfeeding to the percentage of women who choose formula straight from the get go not to "guilt" mothers who have tried and stopped for whatever reason .



What Jennifer is trying to drive home is more SUPPORT is needed and here is where i agree wholeheartedly .

I think if many mothers were given the support they needed so many more babies would be breastfed , i personally know of a friend who had trouble and the only advice she received from a medical professional was to not worry about it just use formula .



Now i have nothing against formula it is a perfectly good substitute for breast milk for those that need it but i do believe lack of support is the number one reason for most formula fed children regardless of reasons cited by mother for example when i stopped producing milk for Cooper around 6 months after being diagnosed with PND and consequently becoming very physically ill i had NO support from any medical professional , had i known then what i know now that i could have replenished and rebuilt supply i would have continued to breastfeed but i had no one there to tell me this information and no one to help .

With Harry i had no milk for a week in hospital he was formula supplemented but i cannot thank the nurses enough for making me stay in hospital until i could pump a drop at least , for coming in every two hours to help me pump and talk me through it , to give me tips to encourage flow , i cannot thank the midwives who visited my home every week to watch me pump and make sure Harry was latching properly , and the woman i spoke to on the phone at the Australian breastfeeding association who talked me through the difficult time i was having with breast pain and last but not least my midwife who we see every fortnight who i confessed to the other week that i had felt like giving up breastfeeding after a week of screaming colic, continuously hungry baby , she then showed me some soothing tips and gave me her home phone number to call night or day next time i feel frustrated like i wanted to give up ( its been much better since i spoke to her ) .

If it wasnt for the massive amount of support i had with Harry i dont know if i would be breastfeeding i honestly think i would have given him formula if it weren't for these wonderful women and i think every woman who wants to breastfeed should have this amount of support from birth through to weaning .

[deleted account]

LOL Nikki, I must be an even worse child abusing mother because I no longer sterilise my daughter's bottles (she is 11 months). I must be plain EVIL! LOL

Nikki - posted on 09/22/2010

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Being the bad child abusing mother that I am, I better go and sterilise some bottles, ill be back later for this debate, keen to hear if there's anyone in favour and what their reason's could possibly be!

Jodi - posted on 09/22/2010

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And on a lighter note, would it be like the Prohibition? Formula on the blackmarket.......



Do you know, in the same breath, they were discussing cigarettes and suing the government for not banning them altogether........so we can discuss regulating formula to new mothers, but not cigarettes. Sad.

Nikki - posted on 09/22/2010

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That's really sad Kati, you shouldn't have had to go through that. Having a baby should be an exciting time, what right do these goody too shoes to make any mother feel inadequate. Most mother's do the absolute best for their children, we sacrifice so much for their health, happiness and well being; a little support rather than judgement would be really great. It's sad that they have not made the realisation that there is a direct link to post natal depression and pressures and stress on mother's, just maybe if this fact could be realised, action could be taken in pre natal classes, hospital visits and after baby care visits to eliminate some of the stress and help mother's to realise they don't have to be perfect, follow your own instincts and do what is best for your family.

Rosie - posted on 09/22/2010

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I am pretty sure if could be a contributing factor to post natal depression.- nikki

you are 100% correct. my immediate failure at breastfeeding made my depression worse. breastfeeding worsened my depression 10 fold.

[deleted account]

Ditto Jennifer.

I think there should be more knowledge and support available and less doctors that automatically suggest formula at the first sign of a problem, but I don't think there is anything wrong w/ a woman choosing to formula feed her baby from birth or one that goes that route due to issues they've experienced.

And I'm pretty sure everyone knows how I PERSONALLY feel about breastfeeding. ;)

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