Getting Baby Info - fairness in advertising

Janice - posted on 04/14/2012 ( 95 moms have responded )

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Okay, so another thread presented an article in which the author was pissed that an advocacy group was trying to eliminate free formula samples that some hospitals give to new mothers.



And we all started talking about advertising. In many countries formula advertising is banned but that is not true in the US. I had stated that as long as there is equal information presented on both formula and breastfeeding than formula commercials are okay.



But the more I think about it, the playing field is far from even. I decided to open up my new issue of Parents. There were only 2 formula ads. One ad claimed being an expert in nutrition and cant it be said that there are many women out there who trust "expert" nutrition over "natural" nutrition? Additionally this article did not say that breastfeeding is recommended which someone said is required now. The other ad was for a store brand and did in maybe size6 font or smaller at the very bottom of the page state "breastfeeding is best for babies."



There were zero breastfeeding PSAs and the one article that did have some breastfeeding info was not specifically about breastfeeding so you would need to be interested in returning to work after MAT leave in order to find the info.



THIS IS NOT A DEBATE OVER WHICH IS "BETTER" it is purely about how women get info that impacts their baby.

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Vicki - posted on 04/17/2012

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Which is why I think formula should be supplied in some way other than the market. Trying to work out which product is most suitable when they are profiting from your decision is near impossible.

[deleted account]

It's beena long time since I had the need to feed a baby but I do recall very strongly how everything I received at my shower had baby bottle decorations, etc. I even joked that just once I'd liek to see wrapping paper with boobs (to which a smart ass friend found some at an adult store and gave it to me). I have never once seen a tv commercial for anything related to breastfeeding but I have seen tons of formula commercials. I never heard of anything breastfeeding related until I got pregnant and started buying books.

There are reasons there are limits on formula manufacturers. When I was much younger (less than 10) there was a huge religious run boycott of Nestle due solely to their promotion and advertisement of infant formula in 3rd world nations where there was inadequate water and education. They went in under the guise of 'humanitarian' aid and gave the eduation that breastmilk was simply not adequate and their formula was the only healthy way to feed babies.

A lot of children died as a result. Look it up. I remember it specifically because my mother refused to buy Nestle Quik during that time.

So their advertising is limited for damn good reason. I highly doubt that if it weren't for these restrictions, they'd have changed anything.

Vicki - posted on 04/16/2012

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Mary... that is what I DO spend my time doing. I might write a post or two here but I'm a member of a local ABA group, which is all about mothers supporting other mothers with the difficulties to do with breastfeeding. The materials produced do not gloss over the difficulties at all. Examples of our weekly discussion topics are:

'Squeezing and Freezing: All about expressing'

'The realities of Parenthood'

'When and how do I wean'

'Breastfeeding nasties: Avoiding common problems'

'Breastfeeding and work'

'The ups and downs of supply'

There is also a free 24 helpline, staffed by volunteers who are qualified breastfeeding counsellors. Counsellors also visit new Mums in their homes who may are having trouble, assist with choosing a pump if need be and providing general advice.



This IS what breastfeeding advocates do. There's nothing in our discussion schedule for the year about 'formula mums are wrong', 'how to make others feel guilty' or 'breastfeeding is perfect, easy, anyone who doesn't get it has failed'. I only hear about that kind of thing second hand on forums like this, not in the real world.

Janice - posted on 04/16/2012

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Aleksandra - the ads you are seeing for toddler formula are similar too the ads for infant formula here.





Now I personally think these commercials are pretty convincing and could make many people believe that with today's technology fomula and breast milk are the same. What they fail to say is that while the formula may be pretty awesome, how its prepared is just as important. As Meme pointed out in the "free can ban" thread, the water you mix it with is just as important.



I know people think I'm accusing the general American as being a dumb ass. Well just look at how propoganda has feared people out of demanding UHC.



The most recent breastfeeding PSA in NY stated nothing about breastfeeding nutrition and instead just had a women talking about weight loss!



About 3 months ago a girl I graduated with who like me has a BS in education had her 3rd child. Someone asked her if she would be breastfeeding and she stated that she didnt have time to and that she just bought a treadmill instead! It sure seems to me that even a woman with a degree (also a SAHM) has been convinced there is not enough of a difference between breast milk and formula to be bother trying to breastfeed.



I know that most of the women here on COM wanted to, but couldn't breastfeed but in my "real" life majority of women dont want to try because they rarely hear anything good about breastfeeding and hear great things about formula all the time.

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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I posted this in the other thread (re banning of formula samples) but I think it belongs here more, so I will repost:



***As for advertising of breastfeeding.. Hmmmmm...... May be if they did exactly the same style of advertising of breastfeeding as they do for formula.... I reckon rates would be better. I don't recall EVER seeing a breastfeeding poster that pointed out all (or even some of ) the benefits (or is it norms... that's another post...lol) feeding one's child with breastmilk will have. Such as an arrow/line pointing to the brain and stating what some of the benefits there. Then the tummy, the eyes, etc.... Then onto the mum... and same there.... Or, like I am looking at a (toddler 12mths +) formula add right now: Smiling toddler with a caption "Young tummies agree with Heinz Nurture". Imagine what impact seeing these types of adds around would be with "Young tummies agree with mothers own (breast)milk." Especially if you saw as many adds for breastfeeding as you do for formula (even if it is only toddler formula here in Aust). *****



(now fresh posting)

Ok there is also the following statement on the add: "Heinz Nurture Gold Toddler Milk Drink with Digesti Plus is the first toddler milk in Australia* taht contains both prebiotics and probiotics. Working together, the encourage a healthy level of 'good bugs' in the tummy to support healthy digestion. So it's no woner so many young tummies agree iwth Heinz Nurture"

How hard is it to resist that kind of promotion. Shit, even I stopped and thought: "Oh gee.... prebiotics and probiotics.... that's good. My toddler needs and should have that!!!! Oh, but I am not giving her that..."



Except that I am (I had to really remember hard) to a larger extent. BECAUSE I AM BREASTFEEDING HER. And I know this because I have extensively researched and extensively read a huge amount of information regarding breastfeeding. MOST WOMEN HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT



To me, it is very much an fair advantage for formula companies. Full Stop.



To be honest I cannot remember the last time I saw a poster or add for breastfeeding....... Really.... Kid you not. I don't remember. It has been sooooooo unbelievbably long ago (and probably at some doctors office and the add would have been really old too).

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Janice - posted on 04/18/2012

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I NEVER said that formula companies are to blame for lack of breastfeeding advertisement. That is just silly.



I agree that breastfeeding promotion needs to be more prevalent.

Actually last night my husband gave me some encouraging info. He works in a less affluent area and some of the bus stop shelters have breastfeeding PSAs on the sides of them. I don't know what they say, but its a good start.

Vicki - posted on 04/18/2012

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The baby-friendly initiative is great, and I'm sure statistically it's making a difference, but it was in a baby-friendly accredited hospital that I was strongly suggested to use formula on day 2. It was only one midwife, the rest were supportive and helpful, but it only takes one sometimes.

Karla - posted on 04/18/2012

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From the World Health Organization,

10 FACTS ON BREASTFEEDING

#8



Support for mothers is essential

Breastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Nipple pain, and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common. Health facilities that support breastfeeding - by making trained breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers - encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are now more than 20 000 "baby-friendly" facilities in 152 countries thanks to a WHO-UNICEF initiative.




Formula companies can and will promote their product and the use of it; but who will promote breastfeeding? Since breastfeeding is not truly a money making endeavor, especially in 2nd and 3rd world countries, those who care about humankind must promote this the "ideal infant food." (So called by W.H.O.)

Vicki - posted on 04/18/2012

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But Audra no one profits from breastfeeding. Some pumps here and there but the breastmilk itself isn't paid for. So where are all the funds for the advertising space to even up the picture? Some countries have posters on doctors walls etc but how can that compete with the glitzy tv ads that companies can pay for. Organisations such as LLL and ABA are voluntary and governments don't seem to care that much.

Audra - posted on 04/17/2012

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Who's to blame that more information isn't broadcasted about breastfeeding? ... Formula companies? Without free samples and marketing from the 'pro-formula' advocates, women wouldn't know any more about breastfeeding without researching it. We're pointing the finger at those promoting formula when we could just as easily focus the argument on why more groups aren't promoting/publishing better information about breastfeeding, or why new mothers aren't researching both options. Ad space is up for grabs to either party.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/17/2012

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Yes, I completely agree Vicki. Marketing definitely makes for a very difficult decsion making process, when formula feeding. It hinders the questions parent should be asking, rather than just going for what the Companies say and how good the can looks.

Janice - posted on 04/17/2012

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Okay, Meme there is some education needed for any type of infant feeding. While I do still think their is much inequity, you make a valid point.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/17/2012

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Janice---My main argument was that you can learn all about how awesome formula is just by opening a magazine or tuning on the TV (in the US) but if you want to learn about breastfeeding, you have to do research.



This is sooo not true. It is not as easy as one thinks to learn about formula. Reading a magazine or watching a commercial tells you nothing about formula feeding. It tells you the name of the product and why "they" (the company) thinks it is great. Other than that, none of these marketing gimics teach you what formula is the best choice, why it is the best choice for your child, how to mix it properly, how long it is good for, how to feed your child with a bottle properly, what kind of bottle is best, what is in different formula's, etc... There is so much to learn about formula, just as there is about breastfeeding. I am serious. I spent hours upon hours, researching formula and all of it's aspects. It is not just as simple as buying a can and popping the bottle in your kids mouth. I mean, for some, yeah, perhaps they aren't concerned to understand what they are doing but this goes for breastfeeding too.



I never knew anything about breastfeeding when I breastfed my daughter. I knew I made milk, I knew I wanted to use that milk for my daugher but that was all I knew. I was damn lucky with her, that she knew how to latch immediately. By the time my son came I knew everything I needed to know about breastfeeding but it was damn hard. He preferred to eat my nipple, rather than suck on it. I had to get a lactation consultant come to my house. I was beside myself, I had breastfed my daughter for 18 months.



So, I honestly do not think it has anything to do with marketing. It has to do with education. Marketing is not an education.

Janice - posted on 04/17/2012

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I would have to disagree Audra. Yes, women know that their boobs will make milk.

However, many are unaware of certain benefits such as the milk they make having antibodies which are not in formula or that breast milk constantly changes to meet their child's needs. Many women are unaware that 4 days before milk comes in is normal or that feeding very frequently during the early days is normal and not a sign that they are not producing enough. They dont know that supplementing in the beginning can cause them to not make enough and that nursing more could fix that.



Yes, some women must supplement with formula. However, many women think they need to supplement because of their lack of knowledge. When they supplement they cause their supply to decrease and then yes they actually must use formula at that point.



Formula advertisements inform the general public including mothers about why formula is great but there is very little advertising telling the general public about why breastfeeding is great too.

Audra - posted on 04/17/2012

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Of course we have a choice. How many women don't know what their breasts are for once they have a child, or that they're anatomically able to feed their child from their breasts?? Even mothers who may not know the finer details as to how it works have an idea without much research.

Tee - posted on 04/17/2012

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As I said some women learn about formula, when they have every intention of breast feeding from the doctors/nurses because they have to supplement with formula. I know that I never new that there were special formulas for preemies until I had my first.

Janice - posted on 04/17/2012

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Tena, you're right there are many reasons why women must use formula. That is not what this debate was about at all. It was all about how women learn about breastfeeding and formula and therefore make the decision to use one or the other IF they actually have a choice.

My main argument was that you can learn all about how awesome formula is just by opening a magazine or tuning on the TV (in the US) but if you want to learn about breastfeeding, you have to do research.

Tee - posted on 04/17/2012

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One thing that has not been mentioned yet is that some moms just find it easier to switch to bottle feeding because they have to supplement breastmilk with formula. My last 2 kids were preemies. Their milk had to be mixed with preemie formula for the extra calories.



Also doctors do not tell women before had that in certain cases the medications they are being given during labor will actually slow down when there milk will come in. I was on a mag drip with my son because of severe eclampsia. That delayed my milk from coming in (and my son was very greedy - still is) when most moms would. With my daughter - she was a lazy eater, I had issues with getting her to wake enough to latch and she also has a tongue tie which didn't help with latching on. I was not new to breast feeding. I breast fed my oldest. In that experience breast feeding was expensive because I was also a college student at the time and not home for a lot of his feedings. I think I spent a fortune on pads because I leaked like crazy, not to mention bags, bras and pump.



One last thing to mention is that in this day and age of vain women is that they play into the mind trips that society places on women to look a certain way. There is a thread on here right now about brides to be on K-E diets (feeding tube through the nose, 800 calories a day) to lose weight before the wedding. Look at how many women want to have a c-section to prevent any changes to the girly bits, etc. Many are too scared / vain and don't want the changes that might happen to their breast.

Karla - posted on 04/17/2012

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From the World Health Organization,

10 FACTS ON BREASTFEEDING

#7

Regulating breast-milk substitutes



An international code to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes was adopted in 1981. It calls for:



all formula labels and information to state the benefits of breastfeeding and the health risks of substitutes;

no promotion of breast-milk substitutes;

no free samples of substitutes to be given to pregnant women, mothers or their families; and

no distribution of free or subsidized substitutes to health workers or facilities.




Studies show the problem with formula companies advertising and giving samples is that it undermines breastfeeding. That is a particular problem in second and third world countries where mother’s may get free samples and then they cannot afford formula, or they cannot read so they buy the wrong products, jeopardizing their baby’s health. That is why the W.H.O. devised these regulations.



I have no problem with formula companies having free samples available for mothers who ask for them, but no, they should not be given out to every mom.

Janice - posted on 04/16/2012

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Vicki Sorry about the derailment everyone else. Um.... boobs are awesome, formula marketing is mean. There we are, back on track.

LOL!!!

Vicki - posted on 04/16/2012

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I can see how that could be a pain. You don't need to go each week though, I do shiftwork, so don't make it every week. Also (well here in Perth anyway) groups ebb and flow. If you join a group and there a few of you living closer to your area you can always branch off to make one in your own area. The cert 4 requires some aspects of group involvement, can't remember exactly what. It's totally rewarding though. My Mum was a counsellor and group leader in the early 80s and is still friends with some of the women she met then.



Sorry about the derailment everyone else. Um.... boobs are awesome, formula marketing is mean. There we are, back on track.

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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Yeah, I know its one of the bonuses for becoming a counsellor, the cert IV. I am a SAHM and next yr my girl will be doing 4yo kinder so I will have 15hours up my sleeve. I figured that appart from doing and being part of something that I am passionate about, it will later on show on my CV that I did something in all this time I wasn't officially working... So kind of like starting to gear back in towards work mode.... And cert IV is cert IV.



However, the meetings are a bit of a problem for me.. as they are located across town, min 50minutes drive one way....... :-(

Vicki - posted on 04/16/2012

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Join! I considered studying to be a counsellor but I don't really have time. It's a cert 4, I'm already studying a degree, have a part time job and a full time toddler so I couldn't fit it in. I volunteer with the group in other ways though. Even just going to the weekly meetings is great, fantastic women, always welcoming, great to have a regular social gathering of like minds.

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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hey Vicky, I am in the mind to join ABA and train to be one of the councilors (spell?)



I have been talking about doing it for months now... and still haven't done it... things always seem to get in the way o_O



BTW, I have rang the ABA helpline and found the ladies to be UNBELIEVABLY supportive and understanding, not to mention super patient :-)

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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I know Janice....

It seems that a lot of women here on CoM are here because they have a strong interest in mothering and parenting in general. Not to say women who are not on here are not, but that is predominantly the type here. So typically they are usually quite well informed on matters regarding child health and welfare, including feeding etc.



But yeah, in real life I meet all sorts of women. Including ones who believe that breastfeeding isn't worth having a baby cosntantly stuck to their tit all the time, all the while living at her mothers house with her hubby (because they were building their new house) where grandma, cooked and cleaned and helped out with baby anyway......eyeroll.

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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"To me, many breastfeeding advocates fail new mothers by trying to gloss over the very normal, yet frequent challenges that exclusive breastfeeding entails. We do ourselves no favors by not including the less-than-positive truths about nursing. When a relatively uninformed new mom starts out nursing, but then is unprepared with the realities of cracked and bleeding nipples, cluster feedings and the subsequent sleep deprivation, clogged ducts or mastitis, and normal newborn weight loss in the beginning, she is so much more susceptible to the "evils" of formula. In fact, not being brutally honest and upfront about these issues probably causes one of two things, if not both: 1) Moms think that there is something "wrong" with either her or her baby or, 2) Mom becomes a bit skeptical and distrusting of any further help and advice by breastfeeding advocates, since nobody was entirely truthful with her in the beginning. "



You are right. I have writen something in this regards also (not exactly what you are stating though) in the other thread. I will repost here:

"I just had another thought, especially regarding on of the paragraphs from the OP:



"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."



I believe that the whole experience she is describing here is as a direct result of FORMULA FEEDING *CULTURE*.

We have seen for decades how lovely it is to hold a newborn and feed him/her - no inkling of pain when we picture this in our heads. If we saw, frequently, throughout our lives women wincing upon latching a baby (hey in movies, posters, friends, aunts and sisters, on SITCOMS on tv, adds etc etc) I am sure no one would bat an eyelid at it, and would consider this NORMAL and nothing to work oneself over. It would be something of an everyday occurance - may be even someone would have invented something that would help with the pain (no including the shield).

Constantly being tied to a baby - again... not something one was seeing for decades, because everyone got to feed the baby.... mummy got to go and have a shower, shopping, sleep longer while dad (or the mum/grandma that has come to stay to help out for a few days) gives the bottle, etc

With these *normal* occurances, women would probably feel less "down" and "depressed" about finding themselves in said circumstances...Eg, I get REALLY bad period pain and have since I first started menstruating. Now, it IS A BIG PAIN IN THE ARSE (sometimes even literally...lol.. sorry for the "too much information" lol) but I know it is normal, and I get on with my life.... sure I take a pill or two to help me cope, but I don't get down and out about it. Why? Because I have seen others having to cope, heard their stories, laughed with them about it and its *an everyday type of occurance*.



Not to say that some women may and DO experience above normal/average types of problems with breastfeeding. But may be if we did not have a formula feeding culture, wouldn't they then be much easily recognised for being more of a problem then they are now? Also, if women did realise that what they are going through is not normal, then even if they do then decide (or decision is made for them - ie, its out of their hands) to go the formula feeding way would feel much much less "guilty", bothered and sad or depressed about that decision or circumstances?



Just hypotheticising here.... but it does make me wonder....... "

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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In response to your comments on the "intimidation" aspect. Refer to my post in the "Move to Ban Formual Samples" thread.



The author DID NOT advocate the use of "intimidation" to increase the rates of breastfeeding.

Mary - posted on 04/16/2012

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"Case closed"??



This article is nothing more than an opinion piece. You also failed to include that zinger of a statement in the beginning of this:



"If women were actually intimidated into breastfeeding, we would have a breastfeeding culture. Instead, we have a bottle-feeding culture in which 67% bottle feed. Only 33% of mothers breastfeed. If there is, in fact, any social pressure to breastfeed, it certainly is not effective."



Sorry, but this author pretty much lost any impact her statements could have had when she started out by advocating for intimidation and pressure as a means to improve breastfeeding rates. That is most definitely not a bandwagon I can or will jump onto. I find this suggestion abhorrent. Rail against the clever marketing ploys of formula companies all you like, the bottom line is that two wrongs never make a right. I personally could never condone intimidation or pressure as a means of counteracting the influence of formula advertising.



I also think that opinions like this detract from the more important, underlying issue of why, when initiation of breastfeeding is relatively high in most areas of the world, are women choosing to stop after whatever amount of time? Is it really because the marketing or availability of formula? I don't think so.



To me, many breastfeeding advocates fail new mothers by trying to gloss over the very normal, yet frequent challenges that exclusive breastfeeding entails. We do ourselves no favors by not including the less-than-positive truths about nursing. When a relatively uninformed new mom starts out nursing, but then is unprepared with the realities of cracked and bleeding nipples, cluster feedings and the subsequent sleep deprivation, clogged ducts or mastitis, and normal newborn weight loss in the beginning, she is so much more susceptible to the "evils" of formula. In fact, not being brutally honest and upfront about these issues probably causes one of two things, if not both: 1) Moms think that there is something "wrong" with either her or her baby or, 2) Mom becomes a bit skeptical and distrusting of any further help and advice by breastfeeding advocates, since nobody was entirely truthful with her in the beginning.



Whining about the "unfair advantages" that formula companies have in the breast vs bottle choice is just an ineffective waste of time, energy and resources, IMO. Concentrate your effort where they are more likely to be successful, and for the love of dogs, have a little more respect for your fellow mothers than to suggest that intimidation, manipulation, or social pressure are acceptable tactics. Do you really want to operate on the same level as those "opponents" that you profess to have such disdain for?

Aleks - posted on 04/16/2012

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How timely I got this posted to my FB page:

http://mothering.com/peggyomara/breastfe...



"CHOICE IS A FORMULA TACTIC



The tragedy is that the breastfeeding choice issue is a formula industry tactic. Here’s how it came to be. When, in December 2005, the Massachusetts legislature became the first in the US to prohibit formula sample bags in hospitals, then Governor Mitt Romney pressured the Public Health Council to rescind the ban. The council successfully resisted his pressure until he fired and replaced three members just prior to a vote on the ban; in May 2006 it was rescinded. Less than two weeks later, Romney announced a $66 million deal with Bristol-Myers, the world’s largest formula manufacturer, to build a pharmaceutical plant in Devens, Massachusetts.



In June of that year, Massachusetts state representative Helen Stanley (D-Second Essex) introduced House Bill 2257 to protect a new mother’s right to receive formula sample bags in the hospital. The wesbite, momsfeedingfreedom.com—created to oppose the Massachusetts ban—hosted a petition in support of this bill."



and then this:

"INFANT FEEDING IS POLITICAL



The US accounts for half of the $8 billion a year global formula market. The formula industry spent $50 million dollars in one year to undermine the US Health and Human Services Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign (June 2004 to April 2006). In 2006, the formula industry spent $100 million on formula advertising in the Philippines (nearly half of the Philippine Health Department’s entire annual budget of $239 million) to overturn new health department regulations that would have prevented formula companies from targeting children under two with advertising.



LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH.



It is naïve to believe that the formula industry’s distribution of formula to you is an innocent gift. A “gift” of formula is like a “gift” of a pack of cigarettes when you’re trying to quit smoking; it will undermine your resolve. The formula company has bought your name and address from the hospital, without your knowledge, and will now solicit you for sales. Do you really want this commercial intrusion into your life?"



Case closed.



P.S.

I will be posting this link and some of the quotes (bah, may be the whole article) to the other thread re formula samples.

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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Exactly Vicky. Totally agree that has a huge impact. But may be those damned formula adds wouldn't mess so much with peoples heads. Also, may be mums would stick with breastfeeding longer rather than getting to that magical 6mths or 12mths and weaning or switching cos baby got teeth, etc. We know that a great majority start of breastfeeding but the numbers quickly dwindle.

Vicki - posted on 04/15/2012

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Again it comes down to $$$$. Formula companies have massive money behind them, breastfeeding is generally promoted by ABA or LLL, run by volunteers who have pressures of their own lives and finances. Governments should be doing more than they are. It's more than advertising and promotion though. It's fine to see a poster or ad about 'breast is best' or whatever slogan, but women need help and support in the early days particularly. So many are told that their bodies are faulty, their milk is useless, not working, formula is better, breastfeeding should be hidden (therefore lives are isolated) it's understandable why rates are so low. No one tells us what is normal unless you go looking for the info. I had a midwife tell me on day 2 that my baby probably needed formula because he'd lost 10% of his birthweight. Such a crock of shit, my milk had come in just within the last hour, he was feeding well and no problem. Someone else who hadn't read the info beforehand may have switched to formula then and there, thinking the midwife was right, her casually spoken words could have destroyed a breastfeeding relationship, no matter what a mother has seen on an ad.

Mary - posted on 04/15/2012

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Actually, Sylvia, my need to return to work when she was 14 weeks old had nothing to do with maternity leave, and everything to do with the shitty economy and my husband getting laid off 3 weeks before I delivered. Even if I lived in a country with more extended maternity leave, I would have been back at work at that point.

Vicki - posted on 04/15/2012

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Not putting you down for buying stuff Meme. I get more annoyed at the expectation that women must buy everything under the sun when pregnant. We are marketed at to death, how many of us have baby stuff lying around that we never used? Someone still profited from it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/15/2012

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For my first child, I never bought a darn thing for breastfeeding. Cost me absolutely nothing. I also had no other obligations in my life and I could sit there all day long for months on end, to feed her. I didn't even wear a bra because I couldn't afford one. ;)

However, this time, I knew I had many more things going on in my life and pumping would be very useful. I also knew, my husband and daughter would like to feed their son and daughter. I did go out and buy a pump but it was crap. That was after I researched it for days. I ended up going and renting one. Which still cost me $270 for 3 months.

The above a few darn good reasons why I ran out and bought what I bought, with my son.

Vicki - posted on 04/15/2012

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I've only ever heard of vitamin D drops on COM. I guess we get so much of it naturally here (too much!). I still often think the expectation of needing to buy all these things for breastfeeding is something at puts people off. I've seen many women buy bottles, pumps, covers, etc at great expense while they were pregnant. If you're going back to work at 6 weeks then fair enough, but otherwise why bother? If you have trouble with supply and pumping is the solution then buy or hire one then. Different pumps work better for different people so I'd be hiring from the ABA first rather than spending lots on buying whichever one I'd read was the best.

Sylvia - posted on 04/15/2012

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Mary, sorry, I should have specified -- it was an Avent Isis (manual pump). I had 13 months of mat leave, so I knew I wouldn't need an electric one; if I'd had to go back to work as early as people do in the US, I would for sure have spent way more on a more efficient pump, milk storage, bottles, etc.

LOL Heather, that commercial makes me want to throw up (and throw stuff at the screen). Blecch. I didn't spend that much on pads because (a) I had mostly reusable ones and (b) I stopped using them fairly early -- after the first couple of months, I mostly only leaked while DD was actually nursing, and I just used one of the endless diapers we had lying around the place to soak up the leakage. (We had a diaper service, because the laundry was 18 floors down and I just couldn't face washing my own diapers. The great thing about a diaper service, I discovered, is that they don't care what's on the diapers, they wash 'em anyway -- you can use them to wipe up puréed fruit off the high chair tray (or the baby), to wipe up spills, as makeshift breast pads, you name it, and the next week you get a big bag of clean ones. It's like magic.)

MeMe, good point, I forgot about the prenatal vitamins! I'd been taking them for so many years by that point :P, while trying to get pregnant, that I didn't think of them as a BF expense, but of course they are. We never got the baby vitamin D, though.

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In my limited experience with disposable diapers, I think they all leak. Cloth are much, much better IMHO.

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I also had contact with the formula companies with questions when I was nursing and supplementing -- I have to to say they completely encouraged me to stick with nursing. I thought the nurses at Similac were more supportive of breastfeeding that my own lactation consultant.

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I would also point out that MeMe's costs are based on buying Similac concentrated cans, which are more expensive than powder and more than twice as expensive as generic. A can of generic formula lasts about a week and costs around $12. Times 52 weeks, you would spend about $624 on it (it would actually be less than that once you figure in the free cans from the hospital).



I guarantee you I spent more on breastfeeding products than that, particularly those stinking breast milk storage bags.

Vicki - posted on 04/15/2012

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Wtf? Big tobacco is so insidious, agreed, they'll get through anyway they can, including influencing politicians and bureaucrats.

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2012

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"Formula advertising is official against the rules in Australia, but it happens ALL THE TIME"

so is the advertising of tobbacco products, but somehow a government add funnded by the tobbacco company, aired at dinner time, about how if you are over 18 you have the right to buy cigarettes and so have the right to be able to see what brand you are buying.

All I am saying is if the government can break its own rules so blatently (I did contact fair trading) then of course a company will work around the rules in any way they can.

Vicki - posted on 04/15/2012

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My breastfeeding spending, nearly 3 years, was

$5 (I think) one tube of lasinoh, only used for a week.

$300 (guessing again) maternity bras.

$15 one box of medela bags.

$20 cloth breastpads



I didn't pump until 18 months when I went back to work, and then only once a day for comfort (donating the milk as my boy wasn't interested). I inherited the pump from my SIL, mostly used the cups that came with it but bought one box of bags. I would have had to buy bras anyway for that 3 years as boobs often change during pregnancy and bras wear out, so really breastfeeding has cost me hardly anything.



Breastfeeding itself doesn't cost anything. Fitting breastfeeding into our modern lives sometimes does. I don't count ads for breastfeeding paraphernalia as advertising for breastfeeding, any more than ads for sanitary pads are advertising for menstruation (not comparing the two bodily functions lol, just the first that came to mind).



Formula advertising is official against the rules in Australia, but it happens ALL THE TIME. Formula corporations advertise 'toddler milk' with exactly the same packaging and brand names as the baby formula, just with 'toddler' written in small letters. At a baby fair I went to, there were two large stands for formula companies, they had balloons, paid staff, videos, laser lights, glitzy bags, the works. The only stand promoting breastfeeding (as opposed to the odd breastfeeding coverall or something) was the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Staffed by volunteers who had to juggle childcare, materials funded by donations and membership fees, in a small stand in the back corner. Who's winning on the promotion here?



I'm a socialist, I think formula should be available, but not for the profit of major corporations. Fucking criminal really.

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2012

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as neither me nor any of my kids are lactose intolerant, I realy have had no need to look into any of that, I was simply aware that as we lactate our milk contains lactose, so if you are lactose intollerant etc.... and as somone wo has developed a mild soy intolerance I tend to stay clear of anything to do with lactose intolerance. unny thing is now that you say that abouut how peopl bcome lactose intolerant I do remember reading that in a book about genetics of all things, but just never put the two concepts together.

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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Sarah, Lactose intollerant formuals are nothing more than a gimmick. Very very few children let alone babies suffer Lactose intollerance. Infact, so few that generally a company would not make any money off of it if it wasn't for peoples general lack of knowledge and undertanding of this fact: Human milk has far more lactose in it than cows milk (which these formuals are based on) and even with added sugar (in all sorts of different forms) in the formula, breastmilk still has more. Our human stomach has evolved specifically to be able to handle all this extra lactose.. but only in the early months and years. We lose this ability roughly at about the same time as we start loosing out "milk" teeth.



When it comes to super-hydrolized formuals.. yes they are appropriate for different types of allergies, though I am uncertain if it would be appropriate for a baby with true lactose intollerance.



Thanks for the info though, I have no idea how long a 900g can of formula would last. And so would not be able to calculate the cost of formula feeding.

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2012

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bare in mind one of those cans (900gms) will last about a week if you are ff exclusively for 1 child, and will last 28days once opened if you are supplementing, and the lactose free formulars are a neccesity if your childis lactose intollerant. $25-35 per week? I couldn't eat for that little, and bare in mind you are probably eating that much more per week while breast feeding to produce the milk.

I breast fed and formula fed at different points with all 3 kids

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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As for baby products...



We inherite huge amounts from my sisters-in-law who just happened to have been done with babies.

*I bought a pump (they, SILs, never used one, and I doubt that even if they did I am sure due to hygine I would not be inheriting it from either of them...lol) Semi-electric Medela. I cannot remember how much that costed, but would have been over $100. I bought it on discussions with the ladies at the baby shop. Only bought it after I gave birth and got hang of breastfeeding. Reason - we had a couple of weddings to go to that were out of town/over night stays and taking a baby was not practical. So I pumped for like 3 months almost every night to collect enough milk for that 24hour period I would be away.

*Breastpads - I used heaps cause I leaked a lot and very often and for a long time, so I probably spent a bit on those

*Bras - With the first baby I had them specially adjusted "sports bras" to make them function as feeding bras at a bra shop. Probably paid over $200 With 2nd child I bought another set of bras and again paid a bit over $200.

* Breastfeeding clothes - 2 sleep nursing bras, One nightie - $150 all up

* I was given 4 or 6 bottles with my first, and any subsequent bottles we had came with bottle paraphernalia - such as a bottle warmer ($60) on my mums recommendation to get one. We only saw the only one in the shop so we bought that one. Sterlizing kit($80 I think)

* BabyBjorn carrier - well we pain $100. Only bought it because everyone around the area used that one.. Knew absolutely nothing about baby wearing at the time....lol

* Baby monitor... bought one that seemed to be more reliable brand, that is brand that specialised in making baby monitors rather than baby products in general. probably spent $100-$120.

Sarah - posted on 04/15/2012

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Jodi,

you ask how are those companies trying to sway you away from formula feeding? (If you have already made the choice to do that)

reading a pregnancy magazine while pregnant with my first there was an article on maternity bras how even if you didn't intend to breastfeed, you still needed to wear a maternity bra while pregnant, and since you were going to sped that kind of money didn't it make sence to breast feed after all, which is better for your baby anyway

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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Wow Janice



Where ever you are formula IS SUPER CHEAP! $13 a can??? WOW.



Here where I live if you are lucky and there is a super special on formula, it costs about $16-$17. Typically it is more like $19-$21, and some of the more *special* ones are like $25. This is all the types you can get at a supermarket, which are 900grams. I am not even talking about the super hydrolyzed formulas many have to get due to allergies which cost about $35 for a much smaller can, which is either 400 grams or 500 grams than the typical one. Though I must say, that if there is a true problem, a doctor can write a prescription for the super hydrolyzed formula and one can buy it a bit cheaper, though I still believe it is more expensive than the usual ones one can easily buy at the supermarket.



Now coul you please calculate how much it would cost to ff here in Australia using those prices for me.....

Mary - posted on 04/15/2012

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"Okay what about baby products in general.

Where do you get most of your info from?"




For me, my very first source of info was always friends, family and co-workers when it came to baby/kid stuff. When I was pregnant, I would discuss baby paraphernalia with other moms whom I knew and respected. Types of car seats, swings, strollers, breast pumps....all of these were first identified by having discussions with other moms. That was how I even figured out what, out of all of the crap available out there, I really needed. I even took a friend with me who had a 9 month old to register at Babies R us.



I chose the one and only stroller I purchased based on the recommendation of a co-worker whom I knew used her in a similar fashion in which I would need mine. She had 3 boys, lived on a farm, and dragged those kids over all types of outdoor terrains. I knew she was someone who wanted the same things in a stroller that I would. She described her stroller as "practically indestructible", folding up easily and smaller than most, and maneuvering realy well in small tight spaces. She did say that it had minimal storage space for extraneous crap or purchases, but this wasn't a big concern for me. She's also the most frugal person I know, so if she thought it worthwhile to drop over $300.00 on a Bob, it must be worth the money. I didn't research other types of strollers after that - just the different models they offered, and who had the best deals on them.



Same thing with my baby carrier. When Molly was about 9 months old, and I had become the ultimate baby-wearer, I discussed this with a midwife whom I knew still carried her 3 y/o on her back for hikes, outdoor festivals, and even just trips to the stores when he was tired or irritable. I was looking for something sturdy, light, safe, and durable that would work for our daily 2-5 mile dog walks, that I could also use in grocery store. I also wanted something that would "grow" with us from the age she was until I could no longer physically do it, or she was no longer willing (which is where we are now, at 3.5). Her personal testimony and recommendation is what made me chose the ergo over other carriers.



I think for some things, like brands of eczema cream, diapers, bottles, or diaper rash ointments, you have to play around and find what works best for your baby. When I went back to work, we initially used the Dr. Brown's bottles with her because my sister had used them, and she hated them (hubby had some long nights without me!). We tried a few different types, until we found that the Playtex drop-ins were what she found to be the most acceptable substitute for me.



I've never been one to just see an ad and think - oh! that must be just what I need. When it comes to baby/kid related stuff, I seek out the opinions of those mommy-friends who I know share my needs or priorities of whatever type of product I'm considering.

Aleks - posted on 04/15/2012

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Ok, I haven't read all the posts yet, however, this is what I see being the difference.



Appart from Governmental Health departments, no one or not many will be directly making money from a woman breast feeding. Sure, the paraphernalia associated with breastfeeding such as breast pumps, breast pads, etc will but not necessarily... and also, when they advertise their products they tend to advertise why their brand is best or better. I have yet to seen one of these ads trying to sway any woman INTO breastfeeding. While we know that that is not the case with formula.

As for stating "breast is best", its like here in Australia every bottle of alcohol has to have "Please drink responsibly" or something very similar written on it. Its a typical health warning..... A little corporate "social conscience" that has been mandated by the governements and their health departments to not make themselves feel guilty and to appease WHO and others who advocate it.



Now, that I have said that, I can go back and read the rest of the posts...lol

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/15/2012

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Okay what about baby products in general.

Where do you get most of your info from?

Has there ever been a time where you felt like you had to search everywhere for a info on a product?

Or is it is to compare items based on the ads you see with out really trying?




Every single time I wanted to know something I had to research it fully. I have never compared based on the ads I see. However, I am not naive enough to think what they say is true. Take bottles for instance. I sat in the bottle aisle for a good 30mins, looking at every single one. I could see that I was definitely not sold on all these "new" looking ones. First of all they look very alienish to me. So, I grabbed a starter pack of good ol' Playtex with drop-ins. Then I came home and researched the heck out of bottles. I found that the ones I picked are closest to breast. So, no ad helped my choice there. It was knowing that if these bottles have been around since the turn of time, they have gotta be good. Then adding in a few hours of research to ensure my thinking was accurate. ;)



Heather, I so agree with you on the Huggies for boys during infancy. My boy would pee out of them all the time. Now with my girl, they were my preference. They were better than Pampers. Once my boy turned 10 months, I went back to Huggies because Pampers started leaking once he had a lot more pee. However, I love the smell of Pampers much more than the box smell of Huggies, I just find for my toddler Huggies is better but Pampers was when he was an infant.



No ad helped me decide that one. Trial and error did. ;) I actually figure out what I like via trial and error. Ads have very little to do with what I buy. I research if need be. Other than that, I look and read all of the items, price often has a play in it, since I believe you get what you pay for, then I give it a try. If it sucks ass, then I try the next one in price and see how it is. I usually go with the middle prices. Too high is usually a disappointment and too low is usually, shit..not always but most often.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/15/2012

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Janice---In my pediatrician's office the wall ads are all about child nutrition and disease prevention. No ads for breastfeeding or formula.



It is the complete opposite in Canada, where I live (Halifax, NS). My peditricians office is plastered with breastfeeding ads. So was the hospital. Like Heather's experience, all of the staff on the baby ward are very pro-breastfeeding but they are not pushy. They are the ones that talked me into letting my son have a bottle of formula because my milk was not coming in fast enough. He was super cranky. They knew he needed to eat or he was not going to become content. However, at the sametime they wheeled the Medella pump in and got me to do that the entire time. ;)



NS, is very breastfeed promoted. However, we also do not have formula commercials and actually, I have never seen a formula ad posted anywhere. ;)

Lady Heather - posted on 04/14/2012

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Yeah, I am from Canada. Where I live breastfeeding is very much promoted. The hospital staff are super pro-bf.



Unless somebody else has chimed in (have not refreshed), Nestlé kills orangutan habitats to harvest palm oil for their shitty ass excuse for chocolate. I just avoid palm oil in general.

Janice - posted on 04/14/2012

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Lol about the plumber's butt! It doesn't matter what my daughter has one her butt, if she bends over her crack is showing. Switched to cheap LUVS before she was potty trained (still use them for bed) and it was the same and still now that she is underwear too.

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