Social Question

casheroo's avatar

Have the formula companies gone too far?

Asked by casheroo (18081points) January 27th, 2011

Breastfeeding is under attack. Formula companies are allowed to forcefully advertise, you get a “breastfeeding” bag at the hospital which includes lots of formula, bottles and pacifiers…all devices that can ruin the breastfeeding relationship.

Just recently, a study was released now saying exclusively breastfeeding for six months is NOT healthy. Guess who funded it?
http://info.babymilkaction.org/news/policyblog140111

The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: six months.
http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003517.html
The WHO recommends breastfeeding for 2 years. But, minimum six months before entering solids into a baby’s diet.

another link: http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/115278/medical_community_slams_new_solids

Why are formula companies allowed to damage our children?
Why are women not supported in such an important aspect of a child’s life?

more information:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-ciagne/surgeon-general-calls-the_b_814316.html
and Breastfeeding debate closed? Brain Science weigh in
Obviously breastmilk is best. But formula is shoved down the throats of mothers, and some even think it’s the “norm”.

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19 Answers

wilma's avatar

I have been fighting this battle for over 30 years. Believe it or not it was much worse back then.
There is no money to be made by your breastfeeding, it’s as simple as that.

Keep doing what you are doing, and I’ll keep supporting you!

josie's avatar

If it so obvious that breast milk is best, what does it matter what formula makers say?

lillycoyote's avatar

Not just the formula companies apparently. If hospitals are indeed handing out something they describe, or allow to be described as, or are called “breastfeeding” bags, to new mothers which contain formula and other things that can be detrimental to breastfeeding then they are as guilty, if not guiltier, than the formula companies. Formula companies are in the business of selling formula. Hospitals are in the business of doing what what is best for the health of the baby and the mother.

casheroo's avatar

@josie hahaha. I wish it was that simple. The fast that it is so readily available, and the lack of support with helping to learn to breastfeed (it’s not as easy as it sounds) combined contribute to ruining it. It is no longer the norm, it is not even allowed in public in some states. It matters very much what they advertise.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes. And they don’t care about our children.

josie's avatar

But as long as YOU care about your children, they really can’t do them much harm.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie I have certain education which others aren’t always privileged to get. This isn’t just about individual choice, as usual.

Aethelwine's avatar

Luckily not all hospitals are guilty of handing out these items. The worst I received were coupons for formula. I received personal instruction on how to nurse, given a phone number to the local La Leche League, and was offered a hand pump.

Maybe it’s a regional thing? I do feel your pain though. I always received odd looks by strangers when I nursed in public. It made me feel very uncomfortable. Even my husband mentioned it was about time for me to quit nursing my daughter when she turned one. I didn’t give up until she was 15 months.

You’re a great mom @casheroo

kenmc's avatar

Big business says, “You can make your kids food with your body?!?! FUCK YOU BUY MOAR STUFF!”

faye's avatar

My oldest child is 30 in a month and formula use was very, very discouraged at my hospital. There was lots of help and lots of access to La Leche. We weren’t to feed our babies anything but us for the first 4–6 months.

gorillapaws's avatar

@casheroo just to be clear, the study you’re referencing in the link above is actually just analysis/re-interpretation of previous studies by a panel of 4 scientists, funded by the baby-food industry. There isn’t any new data there, just a new spin on old data.

You have to be careful not to completely dismiss something just because the people who funded it have something to gain, and really look at the details of what’s going on. It appears in this particular instance to look bad for the baby-food industry, but it might not always be true for other industries/experiments.

I’m not familiar enough with the science to have an opinion worth much, but I tend to agree with the consensus on this particular issue. I will add that not all mothers are capable of producing enough milk, or can’t breastfeed for various medical reasons (including passing on viruses to their children), and so it is important to have the best possible alternatives to natural breastfeeding available as we can.

I am also disappointed to hear that hospitals are giving away products that could potentially do more harm than good. Their first obligation should always be to patient care, period.

lillycoyote's avatar

@casheroo I know you are passionate about this and you should be, but I don’t believe there are any states, not a single one in the U.S., where it illegal to breastfeed in public.

Check this out.

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cazzie's avatar

My nieces are having babies now in the US and breastfeeding. One of them sent me a quote: ‘If breastfeeding in public bothers you, put a blanket over your head!’
Yeah, I totally agree with you. I breast fed for 2 years and the little guy had to be ‘tricked’ into giving up.

I got thrown out of a clothing store in Amsterdam. My husband wanted to do some shopping and Littleman was fussing and still quite small. I sat down and thought I was being discrete.. but one of the shop assistance came over and told me I’d have to leave. I was SHOCKED! In AMSTERDAM of all places.

Heathcare in the US isn’t caring for health. It’s caring for PROFITS and it is disgusting.

SuperMouse's avatar

In some backwards way maybe this is a sign that breastfeeding advocates are making some headway. I mean for the formula companies to have to step up the defense with such intensity they must feel like they are starting to lose the battle. I do think it is horrifying and @Simone de Beauvoir hits the nail on the head when pointing out that formula companies don’t care about kids. They have and will continue to go to far.

wilma's avatar

@cazzie I got asked to leave my public library. I was there with my 3 year old and my infant was nursing under a blanket. My breast was never exposed, but someone guessed what I was doing and complained. Fortunately it was after my state had passed laws protecting me from being charged with a crime. I checked out the law and went to the next library board meeting. I let them have it.
Unlike @faye when I was breastfeeding 30 years ago, where I live, I was the exception. Nearly everyone else that I knew bottle fed and I had no support at all. I found a book “Breastfeeding Your Baby” by Karen Pryor. It really saved me when I was discouraged and didn’t know what to do.

The formula companies have always gone too far. They don’t make any money when you feed your baby the way nature intended. I remember being asked “why would you do that? (breast feed) Can’t you afford to buy formula and feed you baby like everyone else?” I was astounded by the ignorance.

casheroo's avatar

@lillycoyote You may think it’s allowed, but the laws are extremely vague. When the cops are called on nursing mothers, the cops can side with the business and make the woman leave even when legally she is within her right.

lillycoyote's avatar

@casheroo Yes, I know, you’re right. Even if it breastfeeding is not illegal, there are certainly some states who need to clarify their laws in order to assure that not only are the authorities, business owners and the public aware that breastfeeding not illegal, but that people cannot use loopholes in the law, or vagueness in the law, such as possibly using existing decency laws, to deny a woman her right to breastfeed in public. In my link to the state statutes it shows that a number of states have enacted legislation that clearly outlines the rights of a breastfeeding mother or laws that clearly exempt breastfeeding from being covered under the state’s indecency laws. There are some, a handful of states that clearly need to do more. They need to not only make it clear that breastfeeding in public is not illegal but that is indeed very legal, that is, not prosecutable under other laws just because it might make someone uncomfortable.

If it’s any consolation, if it’s of any comfort, I have once again taken a solemn vow to stop spouting off about things I really know very little about. I’ve sworn to do that before, but I’m really hoping this time it will stick. :-) Keep fighting for this. I may not know what I’m talking about all the time but I’m on your side here and I’m not entirely unaware of the issues that breastfeeding mothers face.

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