Move to Ban Formula Samples

Mrs. - posted on 04/11/2012 ( 324 moms have responded )

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http://jezebel.com/5900729/breastfeeding...


Breastfeeding Gestapo Moves to Ban Free Formula Samples from Hospitals

When you deliver a baby in a hospital you get a nice big swag bag of supplies to take home with you. Mine contained swaddle blankets, diapers, Vaseline, a baby brush, a nasal aspirator, giant maxi pads, mesh panties, nipples, and baby formula. But the consumer advocate group Public Citizen takes exception to the formula freebies. In a letter sent out to 2600 hospitals across the country they demand that healthcare facilities "immediately discontinue the distribution of commercial infant formula manufacturer discharge bags," claiming it undermines women's success at breastfeeding. What they failed to explain is why a woman's decision regarding her own tits is anyone's fucking business but her own.
While Public Citizen says that hospitals that include the formula samples in discharge bags are complicit in unethical corporate marketing of these products and cites studies that suggest a link between the free samples and mothers who are "less likely to breastfeed exclusively and more likely to breastfeed for shorter durations," the real issue is the organization's preference for exclusive breastfeeding. They say it's "best for babies, mothers and communities," and its bias against formula is borderline illogical, referring to it as a "potentially harmful product to new moms."

The hand-wringing in the letter is a little over-the-top:

Hospital promotion of infant formula through dissemination of these discharge bags contravenes this consensus, needlessly and inexcusably harming babies and families. Moreover, formula feeding imposes a significant burden on the nation's economy. Breastfeeding saves families and the economy countless dollars.

The same argument could be made about the free Pampers hospitals send home with new parents, which could be viewed as a medical endorsement for the brand. Cloth diapers are certainly cheaper and better for the environment, creating less of a carbon footprint. But no one is laying on the pressure for a ban on disposable diapers. Is it merely a coincidence that diapering is a matter of interest to both parents, regardless of gender, while the burdens of breastfeeding fall solely on the shoulders (or chests) of women? It's interesting to know that people aren't as concerned about regulating the kinds of parenting choices that could inconvenience men.

Public Citizen's letter goes on to say:

New mothers who at first experience difficulty breastfeeding are apt to choose to use free formula samples given to them in discharge bags instead of seeking out assistance with breastfeeding.

As far as I see it, these free samples don't undermine a women's abilities, but questioning the choices she makes regarding her body certainly does. How does this this differ from pro-life sentiments?

Look, we all know the health benefits of breast milk. Yes, breastfeeding should be promoted, but not at the expense of a woman's agency. And think about it: The worst-case scenario here is feeding your baby formula, which is chock full of vitamins and nutrients? While many doctors agree that it's not ideal, it's also not Pepsi. You know?

If a woman is going to breastfeed, she needs to be really invested in the idea, because it can be extremely difficult, painful, time-consuming, and exhausting in the beginning. And when I say "in the beginning" I mean like, five weeks, which was how long it took for my nipples to stop bleeding and for me to stop seeing stars every time my daughter latched on.

Even though I breastfed exclusively for the first six months, the miserable time I had with it makes me completely understand why someone wouldn't want to do it. For one thing, all the mother-child bonding studies aside, the pain associated with it could easily make one resent her newborn, and thus hinder the bonding experience. While exclusive breastfeeding (and "exclusive" makes the whole practice sound so much more chic than it actually is) might not be as problematic for other women, it still requires a lot of a mom, both physically and mentally. If anything were to dissuade a new mother from breastfeeding, it'd probably be the pain and fatigue, not a hospital sample of Similac. But, you know, either way: Her body, her choice. And well-meaning consumer advocate groups should maybe focus their efforts on causes that don't interfere with that.



Thoughts?

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Mary - posted on 04/12/2012

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From the perspective of someone who has worked in a hospital, I can tell you that most of us nurses could care less about whether you choose to breast or bottle feed. We are happy to help, support, and encourage you with breastfeeding, and are just as happy to feed your baby a bottle so you can grab some sleep. Almost every nurse I have ever worked with in OB has exclusively breastfed their babies for at least 6 months (most of us go past the one year mark). However, that is our personal choice, and it really would be unprofessional of us to appear judgmental of a patient's stated preference.



As much as breastfeeding "advocates" would like for health professionals to jump on their bandwagon exclusively, that really isn't our job. Our job is to educate women about their options. Yes, I think there is no opposition to the "breast is best" message, but we have to walk a fine line between encouraging women to try breastfeeding and not coming across as disapproving of those who don't. This is not as straightforward as something such as an anti-smoking campaign; breastfeeding is the optimal way to nourish a baby, but that does not mean that formula is harmful.



I worked at a hospital that did provide those "goodie bags" for all new moms to take home with them. It should be noted that the hospital itself does not provide them - the formula company does. The hospitals do this not because they are trying to promote formula use. They do this because they are required to by the terms of the contract they have with whatever formula company. The hospitals have to have a supply of formula on hand for not just those newborns whose moms either choose or are unable to nurse, but also for their patients in the pediatric and ER departments. OB is not the only place in the hospital where there are babies needing to be fed. Like any other business, they are trying to cut costs, and these contracts with suppliers are a way to do so. Eliminating the hospital's ability to do so is merely going to increase their costs - and that increase will be indirectly be passed on to all of it's consumers.



I don't, however, think it will have any significant impact on breastfeeding rates.

Mary - posted on 04/12/2012

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Actually, I doubt that at most hospitals, those maxi-pads and such are "free". Where I worked, you were given two bags of stuff to take home. That first bag was actually given to you after delivery, and contained "mommy" supplies, such as pads, a peri bottle, mesh panties, Tuck's pad, etc. It was meant for use while in the hospital, and whatever was left was yours to take home. Make no mistake - that wasn't really "free" - you were charged for it.



The second bag was a rather nice little diaper bag, full of all kinds of baby supplies, as well as a few nursing pads, some Lanisoh, coupons, and those formula samples. That was free, but that was not from the hospital; that one is courtesy of whichever company holds the current formula contract with the hospital.



Trust me, the hospital is not like a cruise ship - there are no freebies being provided by them (unless you count the millions of dollars they lose on patients whom they grant charity status to, and then write it off as a tax deduction). TO be fair, they really can't afford to. Believe it or not, the majority of OB departments lose money for the institution every year. Reimbursement for OB care is notoriously shitty. THe only financial incentive for a hospital to even have an OB department is that it feeds into a profit-maker, such as the NICU, and the hope that those people who have a good experience having their baby will then hopefully choose to come back when they have other illnesses or surgeries.

Krista - posted on 05/24/2012

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I absolutely LOATHE the assumption that breastfeeding moms have a superior bonding experience with their children. How insulting!

Plus, it is inaccurate. Bonding is what you make of it. If I breastfed, but never looked at my kid and just watched TV while he nursed, then how is that bonding?

I breastfed AND I formula fed. And I honestly had a better bonding experience while bottle-feeding, because I wasn't anxious about supply, or latch, or anything like that. I was able to relax, hold my baby close to me, and just enjoy nourishing him while looking into his beautiful eyes and feeling his fuzzy little head.

[deleted account]

"But Sherri, they wouldn't spend millions of dollars doing this if they didn't think it would have an effect of changing people's minds."



Agreed, but I think Jodi's focus is wrong. There goal isn't to "change people's minds" about feeding formula vs. breastfeeding. The formula companies already know that a certain percentage of women are going to breastfeed. What the formula companies are trying to effect is what BRAND of formula the new mom will buy. Formula makers know that many moms are reluctant to switch formula brands once a brand is established. And doctors re-enforce this impression by telling moms NOT to switch brands (even though they are all basically the same). The reason why formula companies promote formula in the hospitals and send samples to the home is because they are hoping that a mom that is switching to formula will use their brand first and then stick with it. They don't have to do anything to convince women not to breastfeed. The realities of breastfeeding and our lack of family-focused leave and pumping policies in the US take care of that issue all on their own.

[deleted account]

Jodi: I didn't say that you were opposed to marketing -- that was why I was asking if you were.



With respect to your country's breastfeeding rates, there is zero doubt in my mind that the difference btwn Australia's BF rates and America's BF rates is the fact that Australia has rational maternity leave policies. In the US, you are lucky if you get 12 unpaid weeks. Many moms get only 5 to 6 weeks. If you look at BF rates in the US, most moms start out BF but the rates drop off dramatically by 12 weeks. It's tough to BF and work, particularly since it was only within the last year that women were provided protection to pump at work. Before then, you were pretty much at the mercy of your employer. If they said no breaks to pump, you really didn't have a choice. I have no doubt there is a correlation.

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MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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I have simply said it happens, the way it has happened for me. I never said it is the only way it happens. I am quite sure I was clear with that. I make a strong effort to always state things such as "For me", "IMO", "This is how it worked for me" and so forth. If you want to read more into it and make it as a blanket statement, go ahead. Until I say THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENS, then it is not a blanket statement. Thanks for sharing, though.



Again, I feel the way I do for my reasons. You can discount them, till your heart is content. I completely know how marketing works. However, I do not agree it is all negative. I think if an individual goes to the site themselves, it is no longer intended as negative. this is where I was getting at, two pages back (as you picked out).



I found comfort in knowing what brand of formula the hospital uses. One, they are a children's hospital, so I know they have done their research and two, my son had to have formula while I was there for 5 days. There was no need for me to change the brand on him. I may have had to change the type, if he had an intolerance to lactose but I could have used the same brand. I don't think this was a disservice. Since your baby has to eat immediately, upon leaving the hospital. There isn't time to go running around researching brands until you find the one you want or like. So, if you are not going to educate them, then give them a brand that is trusted by the hospital. If they chose to change later, so what, at least they had their immediate needs met without having to be overwhelmed by 15 plus different brands. Also, they didn't have to run around purchasing it immediately, either.



But I digress. I am not feeling great today and shall forbid myself to attend any COM gatherings.

Aleks - posted on 06/25/2012

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MeMe

You don't need a free sample. Its called an information pamphlet. It should suffice. Taking away a sample IS NOT CRUEL. Making a woman think/believe that the hospital supports one brand of formula over another becaue it is better is probably more cruel - because its not true.
And besides, if that being said and done, and going by what some in the USA have said happens, it doesn't really matter as they will be bombarded with free cans of formula as soon as they get home anyway. At least when this happens this way, a woman is able to choose based on things other than false advertising (well one can argue that all advertising has some falacy in it... but that is another post) - thinking that the hospital actually chooses the formula they use - or better yet, deseminate in promotional material (such as a goodie bag), which I will guarantee you majority of women (and people in general) have very small comprehension of the marketing that is employed to sucker them in (to buy or use xyz). I have said this before in another thread and I will stand by it (even though I believe some here have tried to dispute it) - as evidenced a page or two ago your argument with Jodi.

As for your going off of your own experiences. Of course, we all do that, however, I haven't seen too many argue in such a manner that takes their own experience to be seen as the one and only that can occur, or at least it being the majority view/experience.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Aleksandra, I can only go by what I know and have experienced. I am not going to all of a sudden fault others because they experienced differently. I can say that if things were taken away and nothing was put in its place, in my mind, that is wrong. So, just to outright remove free samples but not replace with education or support toward breastfeeding or how to make a decision on formula, then the free samples should stay.

When you leave the hospital you should have some kind of information to develop on. If all they can do for you is give you an idea of the brand of formula (which btw, is a brand, of which would have all the types your baby may need - whether it be lactose free, sensitive, or whatever).

I also do not know what you are talking about, where I made a blanket statement, saying it is how it is. Show me.

Aleks - posted on 06/25/2012

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Also MeMe,
Just because YOU had a certain experience with regards to xyz (in this instance, formula feeding and choice) does not make it true for every one else. Sure there are plenty of women who went through similar, but don't assume that this is exactly how other women function or experience similar circumstances.

You seem to make these assumptions very frequetnly in your arguments. And not only that, you make them blanket statements that sound as if this is the only way things are. Which, of course, they are not.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Actually Aleksandra corn syrup is NOT good when it is high in content.

I have researched it and Enfamil for example has way too much sugar. Also, the organic Similac uses sucrose, nope NOT good for an infant (or anyone for that matter).

Aleks - posted on 06/25/2012

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Actually MeMe, sugars are GOOD, at least for an infant. That is why breastmilk is so darned sweet. Has lots and lots of sugar in it... which makes me think that there is some kind of evolutionary purpose for that :-)

Though, what content of sugar is in breastmilk as opposed to what is in your average formula I do not know.... so I suppouse I cannot really argue either way.... but just thought I should point this out.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Janice---Also the sample given in the hospital tells woman nothing about where to start concerning formula.



Really? Well sorry to tell you but it IS why I chose Similac. I may not have if the Hospital had used something else. If I chose it for this reason, I guarantee MANY mothers do the same.



Which btw was a great choice. It has the least amount of sugars.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Pointless. I have my opinion and I am sticking to it. Thanks for your insight but I disagree with most. ;)

Janice - posted on 06/25/2012

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Also the sample given in the hospital tells woman nothing about where to start concerning formula. The hospital's choice has zero to do with what is the ideal formula. I do believe Mary explained earlier that the hospitals choice is really a financial one.
Really any formula is a good place to start (if you are formula feeding) because every baby is different. Every formula feeding mom I know had to try multiple kinds before they found one that their baby was happy with.

Janice - posted on 06/25/2012

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I just want to jump in as someone in America you are sent formula sample through the mail when you go to any baby related site and check a box to receive baby products or some companies have it the fine print that by being a registered user on their site you are agreeing to promotional products. I have never been on any formula company's website yet with both children I received free tins of formula and coupons from similac. So when I created my online baby registry at BabiesRus or signed up for updates from Parents.com they sold my info to similac.

I think if you go to the actual formula site and sign up for promotions that is perfectly okay.

With both my pregnancies my OBGYN gave me a calendar/appt. book provided to them by similac. It had lots of info pages about formula and pregnancy in general.The first time I used it because I was undecided on what I was going to do. The second time around I had become a breastfeeding advocate and I was quite annoyed with it. What better way to promote formula than right at the beginning of the pregnancy - plant that seed early right? I was going to give it back but I kept forgetting to bring it with me to my appts so I eventually just threw it away.

Aleks - posted on 06/25/2012

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MeMe:"Don't just leave them to fend for themselves, including on selecting a brand of formula. You know that is just cruel. How can anyone be OK with them doing absolutely NOTHING? Since this IS what it would be in the USA, if they took the samples away. Unless they made other changes too. Which BTW, doesn't seem to be occurrring. They have made absolutely no changes toward promotion of breastfeeding. "



1. Well in this instance, the women are really given the ulitmate FREE CHOICE then. No influences.

2. Please do not treat a great majority of women like total useless and utterly stupid morons. I am quite sure a lot of the women have:

(a) mouths that they can ask for help and info, be it at hospital, or other such place

(b) are able to read and so can look things up on internet, read the can and other advertising material

(c) working brains that are capable of making some kind of a decision and having an ability to make a choice all on their own. Come on, give these women some credit. Even if their choice is not what your choice would be, it is still their choice to make.

(d) For many women the hospital formula may not even be a choice anyway for a number of reasons (i) I already mentioned the physical reasons for this in previous post (ii) COST (iii) their baby may just not really like THAT particular brand but seems to be much happier on another one (many a time I have heard women comment how their babies were so much happier on the cheaper or even cheapest formula than they were on the more expensive ones) - and this brings me to the point of the fact that many women DO switch around, for one reason or another. Many may not... but there is plenty that do... OR may be, this is country specific because formula marketing is so restricted in this country (ie Aust) that women are much more FREE in their choices and how they choose. Meaning that they may actually be more likely to switch and choose differently and widely, depending on their giving circumstances......Which to me is so much more of a positive thing for all concerned.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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"When I was doing my research I did not google formula samples. I went directly to each formula site, Similac first (since that is what the hospital used). I did a hard core research this way. I did sign up for free samples, with Enfamil and Similac. However, they were not what I wanted and I gave them away to the food bank (because here a sample is a full can of either liquid or powder - no sachets). So, you know what? Someone, with a hungry baby benefited from my research and whatever marketing gimic the sites, themselves, had. "

But that is you. You are an intelligent woman. You do your research. Quite honestly, you don't represent those they are targeting. There is a vast market out there that they are targeting who would go with whatever was marketed at them the heaviest. And yes, a percentage of those same people would probably give up on breastfeeding because it was too hard, use their samples, and then stick with that formula company, never questioning their choice.

I don't have time to research it, I am only writing this post because I gave up on my academic reading for tonight because my brain is fried, but given what I know about how companies market to the general public, that is the strategy. If you take free samples out of the equation, the consensus is that (1) people will be more likely to seek advice from a health professional and (2) when they do seek advice, it won't be biased advice.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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I disagree. Companies pay for Google placement. Companies *pay* for placement in goodie bags (by providing the hospital at a lower cost). Companies pay for advertising so that you know the brand (TV, magazines, internet ads on popular websites, Google, etc)

Companies don't pay our health professionals for promoting a particular brand.

I don't have a problem with choice. I have a problem with the fact that often, what appears to be choice actually isn't.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Jodi----I'm not trying to create any more controversy here, but what you described right there is marketing at its best. But if this is a matter of an "educated guess" at a brand, then marketing has worked.



It is no different than the mother going to the health center in Australia and being given a sample there. They may have several brands but whatever brand you are given, is more than likely the brand you will continue with. You are trusting the health professional, whether it is within a hospital or external health unit. I am unclear of how it is not, the same thing. It simply is.



Now, if the government was going to ban any form of label other than a generic one, this IS keeping any marketing out. There are a couple Countries that have done just this. You cannot get formula, except from a health professional and all the cans look the same. No brand names on the label.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Well, I suppose i can only speak for myself. However, if I did it this way, I will assume, others do too.

When I was doing my research I did not google formula samples. I went directly to each formula site, Similac first (since that is what the hospital used). I did a hard core research this way. I did sign up for free samples, with Enfamil and Similac. However, they were not what I wanted and I gave them away to the food bank (because here a sample is a full can of either liquid or powder - no sachets). So, you know what? Someone, with a hungry baby benefited from my research and whatever marketing gimic the sites, themselves, had.

Since then, I have given at least 20-30 cans away to the food bank. This has helped a baby out there and I am glad of that, if anything. Since they too need to eat, it is not my place to decide that a mother should be breastfeeding and if they don't they deserve to suffer.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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"The only difference is, YOU elected to go to their website. "

But did you? Or did you go for the first website that came up on google when you googled "formula samples" ?

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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" I just have an issue if they are not going to do anything but take away the only advice they currently provide to USA mothers. You and others may not think a sample is advice but it is. If that is all they get, at least now they have an educated guess at what brand to look at buying."

I'm not trying to create any more controversy here, but what you described right there is marketing at its best. But if this is a matter of an "educated guess" at a brand, then marketing has worked.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Jodi, thank you. Perhaps, I should have went back, my bad for not doing so.



I do agree that if they are going to instill a number of other positive things, such as education and support, then there is no need for samples. I just have an issue if they are not going to do anything but take away the only advice they currently provide to USA mothers. You and others may not think a sample is advice but it is. If that is all they get, at least now they have an educated guess at what brand to look at buying. Even if every hospital uses a different brand, that is besides the point. It only matters what the hospital YOU were at, supports. That is enough information to help a mother make a decision.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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OK, Jodi, yes, you are right. It is marketing. However, it is not the type of marketing that is pushed down your throat. You have the choice to do it or not. They are not directly marketing to anyone. They are not sending anything to you, unless you ask. Yes, any website that is in regards to a prduct is marketing. Just as the Nan Pro 1 and 2 site. They may not offer free samples BUT they are still saying they have the best. So, if you are researching and come across their site, on your own accord, they are still providing info to get you to support their product.

The only difference is, YOU elected to go to their website. This is all I am saying. It is not directly trying to sway you. So what if they will give free samples. They don't have to in order to get you to believe their the best. It's no different than going to the store and looking at each brand. They have specific reasons for the colours they use for the packaging and why they want their product in the middle of the rack, as opposed to the top or bottom.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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Meme, just for your benefit, here are a couple of my posts (below) where I simply stated I have no problem with it and saw it as a positive thing.



I also ask you to please show me where I ever said I claimed it to be the be all and end all. I NEVER said that it was the perfect solution. I called it a positive thing, I've never said it should be the only solution and would solve everything.



Can we please stop this now? It's getting very old. It shouldn't be necessary for me to go back and show you my older posts in this discussion, that's just silly.





MY POST:

It is banned here in Australia. They aren't even allowed to advertise it here either. I have no problem with it.



"God forbid something happens in the middle of the night and you are struggling for whatever reason and your baby is screaming"



Um, if it gets that desperate, the hospitals here will help you. They keep formula handy for such situations.





MY POST:

Where did I say *I* was opposed to marketing of anything? Please re-read my posts. I never said that. I basically just stated what it was here. Just because I have no problem with it doesn't mean I am opposed to the alternative!



I agree that hospitals should be encouraging breastfeeding to all healthy mothers and babies (the major reasoning for this particular law in this country) and that giving out formula samples is counter to this. If someone comes in choosing to formula feed, fine, no-one is going to try to change your mind. You just have to supply it yourself. No formula company is allowed to actively promote formula to any new mother. The only formula allowed to be advertised here are the toddler ones. No-one is stopping anyone from making a choice.



And I think, if you look at statistics, our breastfeeding rates are far superior to your own, so it probably speaks for itself. A culture far more accepting and actively promoting breastfeeding, and far less active in promoting formula feeding. So yes, I believe that is a positive thing.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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But it is still marketing MeMe. You can deny it all you like. Do you think they set up a website with a registration form for free samples because they are being nice and generous? Free samples, including websites where a mother can voluntarily sign up is a pure marketing tactic.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/25/2012

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Aleksandra---Honestly???? One hospital uses one brand, and another will use another brand. And besides, that is a silly thing anyway. Why? Becasue my baby has reflux. OR my baby has dairy intollerance... OR my baby has. xyz.. and THAT particular formula that the hospital uses will be the WRONG one to use on MY baby.



I am very satisified that I knew what type of formula the hospital used. It worked great for me. If my son had an intolerance, then guess what? You're not going to find that out right away AND you can still use the same brand name, just the one without lactose or the one that is "sensitive".



It has nothing to do with whether one hospital uses one brand and the other uses another. It has to do with giving the mother a fighting chance. If you are not going to educate them, then god damn it at least let them in on what brand of formula is approved by THAT hospital.



Don't just leave them to fend for themselves, including on selecting a brand of formula. You know that is just cruel. How can anyone be OK with them doing absolutely NOTHING? Since this IS what it would be in the USA, if they took the samples away. Unless they made other changes too. Which BTW, doesn't seem to be occurrring. They have made absolutely no changes toward promotion of breastfeeding.



Jodi---Are you really that naive? How do you know to Google "Nestle free samples"? How do you KNOW what brand to google? Ok, and even if you don't and you google "free formula samples", still marketing.



Ummm, I think you are being naive. If they sell it, there is usually free samples. Regardless of what it is. Not only that Jodi. When a mother is trying to figure out what type of formula to use, you know what many of them do? They go to the website to read about it. Oh, look, I can get free samples! Awesome, I will fill out this form. Still not marketing to grab people, Jodi. I went to the site and looked for it, they did not come to me.



Jodi---MY opinion is that it is a STEP in the right direction. But perfect solution? No, I actually believe it is a combination of things. I just simply don't have a problem with formula samples being banned. I think it will be beneficial, and in combination with other factors, it will help decrease those who are undecided and too easily give up on breastfeeding.



Well, why the hell didn't you say this in the beginning? I don't know, Jodi. I think I was pretty clear on what they need to do, if they are going to remove free samples and I didn't see you agreeing, at all. Meh.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2012

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"NO, Jodi. It is NOT marketing if YOU the individual go to their site on your own accord. It is marketing if they send the registration form to you, without you asking. If you seek it, no, that is not marketing. But whatever, yet again, Jodi knows it all! lol



A registration form is so they know where to send it. Not so they can bother you. Only if they force the registration on you, is it marketing. If I enter into my search engine "Nestle - free samples", it is no longer marketing. I asked for it. But, whatever, Jodi."



Are you really that naive? How do you know to Google "Nestle free samples"? How do you KNOW what brand to google? Ok, and even if you don't and you google "free formula samples", still marketing. You have no idea of the broad reach of the marketing machine. It is totally marketing. You don't think their aim is to drive as much traffic as they can to attract people to their formula? Of course it is marketing. I am no expert, but I have studied marketing in my Masters Degree, and this is EXACTLY how they teach you to think.



With regard to the toddler formula, if you look at the various formula websites worldwide, they all market toddler formula. That is irrelevant to this discussion. But that is marketing too.



"The problem I have is that some people are being very ignorant. They seem to think that banning formula samples would be a perfect answer to getting mothers to breastfeed. Which, is not the case. "



Please show me where anyone said it was the perfect solution and I shall concede, because I don't agree with that at all (YOU KNOW AND I KNOW THAT NOBODY SAID THAT).



MY opinion is that it is a STEP in the right direction. But perfect solution? No, I actually believe it is a combination of things. I just simply don't have a problem with formula samples being banned. I think it will be beneficial, and in combination with other factors, it will help decrease those who are undecided and too easily give up on breastfeeding.

Aleks - posted on 06/24/2012

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What brand it uses?

Honestly???? One hospital uses one brand, and another will use another brand. And besides, that is a silly thing anyway. Why? Becasue my baby has reflux. OR my baby has dairy intollerance... OR my baby has. xyz.. and THAT particular formula that the hospital uses will be the WRONG one to use on MY baby. Which kind of really makes me think (which is very unpopular notion here, and in any circle, but heck I will state it) that formulas should be prescribed by a physician (who is not associated with any formula company), at least initially and watched over by him/her through out. I have seen too many babies suffer needlessly because they have been given the wrong formula, while the mother helplessly shrugs her shoulders without ANY understanding of why. This should also aleviate the notion of "education of how to use formula properly". Honestly, an elderly person will at least seek a pharmacists assistance when they buy their formula for supplementation, so why in the world are we leaving young/new mothers of infants, who rely on this SOLELY in being nourished and fed?????

MeMe: "Also, if given a free sample, that gives the mother more of a chance to ask the proper questions of how to prepare it and properly."

Isn't this what Jodi said regarding leaving out those samples, so that a breastfeeding mother is then forced to go out and seek the information and help needed?
And why is it soooooooo much more important in knowing how to prepare it properly (its instructions ARE on the back of the can/pack) while a breastfeeding woman is left to fend for herself WITH NO instructions at the back of the pack to seek help on.. or even give some ideas and clues to. There are whole lot more women having issues getting breastfeeding "right" - for whatever that means (though, that is the wrong way of thinking about it, however, that is what most new mums do think of when learning and "trying" to breastfeed ) - than there are mothers struggling to get the bottlefeeding right.

So this brings us back to the OP stance of removing the samples, and how those samples HELP TO UNDERMINE a new mother's attempt at initiating and/or continuing her breastfeeding relationship with her infant.

To be honest, if I had to switch to formula, I would not just go and pick whatever anybody used, even if it was a hospital. I would go and speak with a physician, or at least my maternal health nurse. Plus, on top of this, I would go and do my own research.
However, I get a choice. Many women, finanically speaking may not, so will go for cheapest or cheaper, regardless if it is suitable for their infant or not, leading to a situation of where child sufferes needlessly physical ailments or reprecussions (as mentioned above).

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/24/2012

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Aleksandra--- How is giving a free sample of formula going to help to teach a mother how to prepare formula? It isn't.



No, you're right it isn't but what it does is, in the least, provide the mother with a reasonable idea of what brand of formula the hospital uses. One would think, that if a hospital uses it, it is a good brand. So, if we are going to leave a mother high and dry of education, than at least give them an idea of what choice of formula is best. Also, if given a free sample, that gives the mother more of a chance to ask the proper questions of how to prepare it and properly. If they have no education and nothing to give them reason to ask any questions, than they are being left to figuring it all out on their own. That to me is wrong. Give them something knowledgable, even if it is what brand to buy.



When I found myself having no choice but to switch from breast to formula, I picked the brand the hospital used. Why? Because there are over 15 brands and it was overwhelming. I knew that the brand the hospital used was at least recommended by health professionals. Come to find, later, that the brand I used has the lowest sugar (corn syrup) content. So, I am glad I followed the hospital, rather than just picking the cheapest brand.

Aleks - posted on 06/24/2012

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Hmmm.. both have given good points here, however, while I agree whole heartedly regarding educating women how to feed their infants.. giving free samples of formula isn't doing this either. MeMe, you mention how some mothers dilute formula or add other ingredients (strange, I have never heard of this before - well, dilution yes, but only in 3rd world countries). How is giving a free sample of formula going to help to teach a mother how to prepare formula? It isn't.

TBH, unless one is illiterate it is very thoroughly explained on each can how to prepare formula. In exact steps and pictures. It even goes into explaining of the need to thoroughly sterlize bottles and teats, etc.Together with the warning to prepare it EXACTLY to specification otherwise one may be harming ones baby. And to be honest, from memory, a sample packet of formula (at least the ones I have seen here in Aust, which are basically a single serve in a sachet) does not contain such explicit details in formula preparation.. so, honestly, samples do nothing but a disservice to "teaching" woman how to feed her infant.

Also, may be such a ban may force the health industry to come and "step up" into getting much better educated health professionals to then offer the needed information and support to the women who then will need it. Rather than having a whatever approach, knowing full well that they have the fall back of "she'll get those formula samples so she'll be ok." kind of mind set. Sometimes one needs to have some things removed (forceably at times, I guess) for things to change for the better. As complacency breeds complacency.

Aleks - posted on 06/24/2012

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Hmmm.. both have given good points here, however, while I agree whole heartedly regarding educating women how to feed their infants.. giving free samples of formula isn't doing this either. MeMe, you mention how some mothers dilute formula or add other ingredients (strange, I have never heard of this before - well, dilution yes, but only in 3rd world countries). How is giving a free sample of formula going to help to teach a mother how to prepare formula? It isn't.

TBH, unless one is illiterate it is very thoroughly explained on each can how to prepare formula. In exact steps and pictures. It even goes into explaining of the need to thoroughly sterlize bottles and teats, etc.Together with the warning to prepare it EXACTLY to specification otherwise one may be harming ones baby. And to be honest, from memory, a sample packet of formula (at least the ones I have seen here in Aust, which are basically a single serve in a sachet) does not contain such explicit details in formula preparation.. so, honestly, samples do nothing but a disservice to "teaching" woman how to feed her infant.

Also, may be such a ban may force the health industry to come and "step up" into getting much better educated health professionals to then offer the needed information and support to the women who then will need it. Rather than having a whatever approach, knowing full well that they have the fall back of "she'll get those formula samples so she'll be ok." kind of mind set. Sometimes one needs to have some things removed (forceably at times, I guess) for things to change for the better. As complacency breeds complacency.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/24/2012

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Leigh---Ok, that is a lot of fighting over something very simple. If you don't want the sample, give it back or find someone who does. What does everyone have their panties in a wad for?



The problem I have is that some people are being very ignorant. They seem to think that banning formula samples would be a perfect answer to getting mothers to breastfeed. Which, is not the case.



If you want mothers to breastfeed and continue to, there needs to be education from the get go (in hospital) and support thereafter, for the entire duration of the infant to toddlerhood.



Nurses need to be educated, so as to provide consistent and accurate information to each and every mother, in hospital. They need to educate on breastfeeding and the hardships that may be endured and that it is OK if they occur. If they cannot breastfeed, they need to be educated on how to prepare formula. Currently, mothers often dilute or add other ingredients (like coffee creamer) to formula, which seriously harms a baby.



So, taking free samples away is not the answer. It is a very minuscule part of the entire picture. However, it is not an appropriate action unless there is going to be education and support in place for the mother. A baby needs to eat and if no one is going to educate the mother, then at least give them a free sample that the hospital supports, so they have an idea of what kind to purchase.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/24/2012

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Jodi---Way to go MeMe, just drag other threads into it. That's actually against the rules of this community, so I would thank you to leave other conversations outside this discussion. If you wish to take that up with me, feel free to do so via private message, but I am not addressing a conversation from another debate here, and I'd thank you to have the courtesy to do the same.



Jodi, I am not draggin anything into anywhere. I am letting you know that you do the exact same fucking thing. So, get over it.



Jodi---" What I doubt is how any government (in a 1st world Country) can regulate an individual contacting a formula company or filling out a registration form online and receiving free formula samples. Since, that is not marketing, either."



Um, yes, that IS marketing. If there is a registration form to fill out, that registration form has to be made available to the public right? How do you think they make that registration form available to the public? Marketing.....whether you see it or not, it is marketed.




NO, Jodi. It is NOT marketing if YOU the individual go to their site on your own accord. It is marketing if they send the registration form to you, without you asking. If you seek it, no, that is not marketing. But whatever, yet again, Jodi knows it all! lol



A registration form is so they know where to send it. Not so they can bother you. Only if they force the registration on you, is it marketing. If I enter into my search engine "Nestle - free samples", it is no longer marketing. I asked for it. But, whatever, Jodi.



Jodi---Leigh, to be honest, my issue is that I have stated I don't have a problem with such a ban, because it obviously works okay here in Australia, and someone else has decided I'm full of shit, because she knows better.



It works in Australia Jodi because of MANY MANY other reasons and factors that are in place. These other factors/reseources are NOT in place in the USA. So, ripping them off of free samples and not educating them on either form of feeding is WRONG!



Sure Jodi, you're right. I do see you cannot request samples for under 12 months. I was doubting it, I wasn't saying you could. It just seems odd. It is even odder that they market toddler formula, since a toddler does not need formula.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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Leigh, to be honest, my issue is that I have stated I don't have a problem with such a ban, because it obviously works okay here in Australia, and someone else has decided I'm full of shit, because she knows better. But I am bowing out now, because there really isn't a debate when what I have stated about obtaining formula samples here is fact and yet someone from another country is telling me I must be wrong. That's just looking for an argument. I'm right and you're wrong MeMe, about the availability of samples in Australia. End of debate on that topic, okay?

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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"I seem to recall, not too long ago, someone trying to undermine my experience in my Country for when the government actually started doing something about regulating tobacco sales to the underage community. "

Way to go MeMe, just drag other threads into it. That's actually against the rules of this community, so I would thank you to leave other conversations outside this discussion. If you wish to take that up with me, feel free to do so via private message, but I am not addressing a conversation from another debate here, and I'd thank you to have the courtesy to do the same.

" What I doubt is how any government (in a 1st world Country) can regulate an individual contacting a formula company or filling out a registration form online and receiving free formula samples. Since, that is not marketing, either."

Um, yes, that IS marketing. If there is a registration form to fill out, that registration form has to be made available to the public right? How do you think they make that registration form available to the public? Marketing.....whether you see it or not, it is marketed.

As I said, no Australian formula site allows you to register for free samples of infant formula. Obviously you still don't believe me. Even free samples of Toddler Milk is limited to a certain number per person. As I said, if you don't believe me, go ahead and check.

Leigh - posted on 06/23/2012

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Ok, that is a lot of fighting over something very simple. If you don't want the sample, give it back or find someone who does. What does everyone have their panties in a wad for?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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You can also see in this link that Canada has "few provisions law" in regards to the code. Australia is "voluntary", meaning it is NOT law in anyway shape or form, they just volunteer to inact the code. The USA, has nothing. So this is where it comes back to educating the health care nurses, then inturn educating the patients. It is something the USA needs, if they want to see their breastfeeding rates increase.



http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/files/St...

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Jodi--Whatever Meme. You can keep telling me I'm full of shit all you like. Just go with that if it suits you. If you want facts, then insulting someone's intelligence isn't the way to go.



I seem to recall, not too long ago, someone trying to undermine my experience in my Country for when the government actually started doing something about regulating tobacco sales to the underage community.



So, I suppose how you feel right now, in regards to my doubtfulness, is exactly how I felt when you disregarded mine and other Canadian's experiences.



You know I think you are intelligent, so don't come back saying I am insulting it. I simply doubt that any government could regulate the internet and a mother initiating contact for free samples.



Also, here in Canada, not even toddler milk is allowed to be marketed in the Health Sector or Canadian media.



**edited for clarification

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Jodi---Free samples are available from HEALTH professionals, but they have samples from various companies, they are not allowed to be biased in their advice. So yes, you can go to your maternal health centre and get a sample if you ASK for it or need help, but that isn't marketing.



OK, this IS what I was getting at. I know marketing of it is banned, it is here too. That I truly fathom and do not doubt. What I doubt is how any government (in a 1st world Country) can regulate an individual contacting a formula company or filling out a registration form online and receiving free formula samples. Since, that is not marketing, either. If the individual asks for it, it is not marketing. So, if you registered on Similac and asked for free samples, you initiated that contact. This is where I am coming from, of how I fail to see how the Australian government could regulate.



I never said they could find your info from something you filled out in a store or at the hospital. I am talking strictly to online registration, like Sherri was.



BTW - I did research the Australian information. Which is how I know it too follows the International code of marketing breast-milk supplements. Many Countries do, including Canada. Meaning the below:



Article 2. Scope of the Code



The Code applies to the marketing, and practices related thereto, of the

following products: breast-milk substitutes, including infant formula; other milk

products, foods and beverages, including bottlefed complementary foods, when

marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification, for

use as a partial or total replacement of breast milk; feeding bottles and teasts. It also

applies to their quality and availability, and to information concerning their use.



Article 5. The general public and mothers



5.1 There should be no advertising or other form of promotion to the general public

of products within the scope of this Code.

5.2 Manufacturers and distributors should not provide, directly or indirectly, to

pregnant women, mothers or members of their families, samples of products within

the scope of this Code.

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5.3 In conformity with paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, there should be no pointof-

sale advertising, giving of samples, or any other promotion device to induce sales

directly to the consumer at the retail level, such as special displays, discount coupons,

premiums, special sales, loss-leaders and tie-in sales, for products within the scope of

this Code. This provision should not restrict the establishment of pricing policies and

practices intended to provide products at lower prices on a long-term basis.

5.4 Manufacturers and distributors should not distribute to pregnant women or

mothers or infants and young children any gifts of articles or utensils which may

promote the use of breast-milk substitutes or bottle-feeding.

5.5 Marketing personnel, in their business capacity, should not seek direct or

indirect contact of any kind with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and

young children.



Article 6. Health care systems

6.1 The health authorities in Member States should take appropriate measures to

encourage and protect breast-feeding and promote the principles of this Code, and

should give appropriate information and advice to health workers in regard to their

responsibilities, including the information specified in Article 4.2.

6.2 No facility of a health care system should be used for the purpose of promoting

infant formula or other products within the scope of this Code. This Code does not,

however, preclude the dissemination of information to health professionals as

provided in Article 7.2.

6.3 Facilities of health care systems should not be used for the display of products

within the scope of this Code, for placards or posters concerning such products, or for

the distribution of material provided by a manufacturer or distributor other than that

specific it Article 4.3.

6.4 The use by the health care system of "professional service representatives",

"mothercraft nurses" or similar personnel, provided or paid for by manufacturers or

distributors, should not be permitted.

6.5 Feeding with infant formula, whether manufactured or home-prepared, should

be demonstrated only by health workers, or other community workers if necessary;

and only to the mothers or family members who need to use it; and the information

given should include a clear explanation of the hazards of improper use.

6.6 Donations or low-price sales to institutions or organizations of supplies of infant

formula or other products within the scope of this Code, whether for use in the

institutions or for distribution outside them, may be made. Such supplies should only

be used or distributed for infants who have to be fed on breast-milk substitutes. If

these supplies are distributed for use outside the institutions, this should be done only

by the institutions or organizations concerned. Such donations or low-price sales

should not be used by manufacturers or distributors as a sales inducement.

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6.7 Where donated supplies of infant formula or other products within the scope of

this Code are distributed outside an institution, the institution or organization should

take steps to ensure that supplies can be continued as long as the infants concerned

need them. Donors, as well as institutions or organizations concerned, should bear in

mind this responsibility.

6.8 Equipment and materials, in addition to those referred to in Article 4.3, donated

to a health care system may bear a company's name or logo, but should not refer to

any proprietary product within the scope of this Code.




http://www.who.int/nutrition/publication...

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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Whatever Meme. You can keep telling me I'm full of shit all you like. Just go with that if it suits you. If you want facts, then insulting someone's intelligence isn't the way to go. The only thing you can request samples for here FROM THE FORMULA COMPANY is Toddler milk. Go and check out the Australian versions of the formula companies if you don't believe me.



Free samples are available from HEALTH professionals, but they have samples from various companies, they are not allowed to be biased in their advice. So yes, you can go to your maternal health centre and get a sample if you ASK for it or need help, but that isn't marketing.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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However, if you want to say that it is banned for anyone in Australia to sign up to a site and request free samples, on their own accord. Fine. I just find it hard to believe and frankly, without some information stating this, I will continue to feel this way. It simply does not make sense.



ETA:

What you are talking about that Australia and many other Countries have in place is the "International Code of Marketing breast-milk supplements". It only pertains to no free or low cost supplies provided to the Health Care System and no giving of free samples of any kind. It does not mean an individual cannot do it on their own. As well as, Company representatives cannot initiate contact directly or indirectly to a mother. Again, a mother can initiate, there is no way to ban that. At which time, they would be able to receive the free samples in the mail.



If you made the first step to contact a formula company, they are in no way going against the marketing laws. Since it is not marketing if an individual comes to them.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Jodi--- This is not a question of import of food. This is a question of how would they regulate a person in Australia from signing up to, lets say, "Similac" online and receiving formula samples. Are you saying you cannot "buy" formula there?



And to be quite honest, you have said before that you CAN receive free samples this way, there. You just do not get them from the hospital and the hospital is forbidden to give out your information, so that companies can send stuff to it's patients/clients. This I absolutely comprehend and know it is feasible. It abides by the personal information act. We have this too.



I can order anything online, even things that are illegal here. Bath seats for infants are illegal here to be sold in store, so are walkers. Guess what? I ordered a bath seat from the States and used it until my son was 17 months old. Yes, if they had checked it, they could have denied it but do you realize how expensive that would be, for them to check everything? These things may be illegal to be sold in Canada but it is not illegal for me to inquire and purchase outside of Canada. The worst scenario would be refusal at the border. Again, costly for them to check every Joe Shmo's purchase, it just doesn't happen. Unless they suspect resale (a HUGE purchase of the same product) or drugs or something.



So, it is most definitely NOT a question of a Country regulating imports or exports because that has to do with sale within a store/company/organization. We are talking about acquiring free formula samples, that YOU elected for. They are not going to bother with something so minuscule. This is why I doubt it. If it is truly regulated to where they watch what comes to each individuals home, in the mail. Then I would appreciate seeing that specific laws wording. I would also be in the mind set that Australia is very intrusive to individual choices and purchases.



edited for clarification...

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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Question: How does the government control import of food not approved for import in YOUR country, or against certain regulations in some way (as in, not labelled appropriately, etc)? Think about that one.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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MeMe, I wasn't doubting what you say about your country and its regulations/laws. There is a big difference between telling me you *highly doubt* what I am saying (about the regulations in my country), and telling me you can't fathom it. They are two totally different things. If you had SAID you can't fathom it, fine, that is BECAUSE you don't live here and haven't seen how it works, I can understand that.



But telling me you doubt what I am saying, you are insinuating that I am full of shit, despite the fact that I was quite specifically talking about regulations in THIS country and not generalising it for everyone (and not just voicing my opinion based on my personal situation, just spelling out a fact). As I said, if you know so much about what happens here, then whatever.....I just said it like it is. You don't have to agree with it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Jodi--- I could say the same to you - you tend to know it all (on many subjects). I am not claiming I know it all. I simply cannot fathom how they could ban a mother accessing free samples via internet. It just doesn't jive, Jodi.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2012

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Whatever MeMe. You seem to know it all, including what happens in Australia.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Here's the thing. If a mother is unsure and the nurses are not educated enough to provide consistent and accurate info to the mother in regards to breastfeeding. The hospital is also not willing to provide free samples of formula. Well, that mother was just left high dry. Not only does she NOT have any or the proper info to attempt breastfeeding, she now has no idea of what kind of formula to buy.



If the hospital is going to do a disservice to the patient and not be trained enough to give consistent info and adequate support, then at least give them an idea of what brand of formula health professionals use.



They may say that all formulas are the same because they all must meet the minimum requirements of the FDA. Well, they may neeed to meet the requirements but they are NOT all the same. Some have way more corn syrup and some have DHA (which they are finding may be causing issues for the baby). So, for christ sake, let the mother leave with peace of mind in some area of feeding.



Too often a nurse tells the mother, "feed for 10mins on one side, then switch", then 20 mins later another nurse comes in and says "Oh, no, feed on the same side until the baby is full", then next shift another nurse comes in and says "Oh your latch is great", meanwhile the nurse before said "If you have blisters, you have a poor latch".



See, how hard and confusing that could be for a new mother? Educate the nurses! Then make the hospital "baby friendly" and educate every single mother that comes through. Don't push it, be gentle but advocate it. Endorse it. This IS what will increase breastfeeding rates. You simply should not be taking away the only source of comfort, while not implementing a new source of comfort. Such as, if you take free formula samples away but also do not change how the hospital guides/teaches about breastfeeding, then there are going to be some very confused mothers, in both areas of feeding.



I just fail to see how being rid of free formula samples is the answer. It simply is not. Less would accept or use the samples IF they understood the benefits and struggles of breastfeeding. If they knew it was hard but so worth it and had support in and out fo the hospital, you WILL see an increase in this form of feeding.



***Edited for clarification

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/23/2012

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Jodi---Sherri, that is illegal here too. It is possible to ban such tactics, you know.



I am surprised this is banned. Simply because it occurs from the mother signing up onto the sites for free samples. I did it and am STILL receiving samples. LOL



I cannot see how this can be banned anywhere. It is the mother that elects to get them. The internet is the internet, how do they ban free samples going to your home mailbox? I completely understand banning it publicly or from any endorsements but from the internet, of which the mother does herself? I highly doubt it.



ETA:

How do they stop companies or sites from selling your information online? How do they ban this, when it is not within Australian jurisdiction, since it is the internet (global). How do they stop a mother from going directly to the formula site and signing up for free samples? Being an IT professional, the only way they could do this is if they monitored YOUR internet usage. That would be a very high cost, since they would have to do it to every single individual, not just randomly (as it is currently done by government officials, to stop child pornography). I cannot see any government forking out that kind of money just to stop free formula samples.

Sherri - posted on 06/22/2012

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Well personally I won't be I was quite thankful for them even though I haven't used them. I know the US won't anyways since they allow companies to buy the rights to information for solicitation purposes.

Jodi - posted on 06/22/2012

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Sherri, that is illegal here too. It is possible to ban such tactics, you know.

Sherri - posted on 06/22/2012

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@Jodi - Actually, it is the women who are undecided that they are generally targetting. And there are women who haven't given it a lot of thought. By providing samples, you are making it easy for them to make their decision to formula feed - they don't have to do out of their way to do so. So yes, maybe they try breastfeeding, and make a half hearted effort at it, decide it is too hard and the formula is readily available for them.

The formula companies have found a huge way around it anyway. They simply get your address from places on line that you are filling out or registries for baby showers etc. and sending you the free samples to your house instead. I actually got more free samples when I just had my last 4mos ago then I got with any of the first 3 put together when I got 1 free sample in the hospital.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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Also, here in Canada, we have the babies in the room with the mother 24/7, unless there is a problem with either the baby or mother. That is not how it is in the States. This also makes a huge difference in advocating breastfeeding. I truly think, it would make a bigger difference than banning formula samples.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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Jodi--You indicated that samples are banned in Canada (please correct me if I am wrong)? I think that DOES say something.

No, I said I am not sure if it is banned, I just know nobody that has gotten a goodie bag upon leaving, including myself. I know they do not give free "anything" away at the hospitals I delivered in and a few other Canadians here, have said the same thing (from differing provinces).

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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Jodi--There are mothers out there who, if given the easy option out (i.e. formula samples), will take it rather than talking about it with someone. Eliminate the formula samples, and a mother is going to be more likely to seek assistance from a professional.

But, you aren't given the samples until you leave hospital and you typically have already tried feeding your baby. So, any questions should have already been presented before receiving samples. At least, this is how I view it. The nurses and other staff need to educate immediately and promote and support breastfeeding as much as possible. If they see a struggler, help them. Provide accurate and consistant info.

I know here and by the sounds of it in Australia, it is common to have trained nurses, in breastfeeding. I don't think we have too much to think about when it comes to Canada or Australia, since breastfeeding is highly advocated, even without asking questions. At least, it was after having both of my children (12 years apart). I knew nothing about breastfeeding when I had my daughter (I had actually never ever seen a baby breastfed and there was no available internet, like today). It was the nurses that enlightened me and kept me willing to try. They were pleasant (not demanding), very encouraging and kind with plentiful info.

I don't think it is the norm in the States, from the comments I have read from USA residence, here on COM. I have heard complaints that many, if not most, US nurses not providing accurate information on breastfeeding and being very quick to toss the bottle over. Or giving compeltely differing info than the previous nurse had. Which can be confusing and make it even more complicated. This is where I mean, education and support is important.

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