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Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:31 PM

Hospitals pressured to end free baby formula

Source: Reuters

Hospitals pressured to end free baby formula

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON | Mon Apr 9, 2012 4:50pm EDT

(Reuters) - New parents leaving U.S. hospitals often take home a corporate gift along with their babies: a tote bag filled with infant formula. Consumer advocates want to end the giveaways, which they say undermine breastfeeding.

In a letter to more than 2,600 hospitals, dozens of consumer and health organizations called on the facilities to stop distributing free samples of formula that they say entangles healthcare providers in pharmaceutical and food manufacturers' marketing and could be seen as an endorsement.

Giving formula to new parents discourages some new mothers from breastfeeding, the groups said on Monday in the letter sent by the advocacy group Public Citizen. They are also petitioning the $4 billion infant formula industry's leaders - Abbott Laboratories, Mead Johnson Nutrition Co and Nestle SA - to halt the practice.

Hospitals aim "to promote the health of infants and mothers, but the ongoing promotion of infant formula conflicts with this mission," Public Citizen President Robert Weissman wrote in the letter to hospital chief executives.

-snip-


Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/09/us-usa-hospitals-breastfeeding-idUSBRE8380RR20120409

133 replies, 10139 views

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Reply Hospitals pressured to end free baby formula (Original post)
Eugene Apr 2012 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2012 #1
HockeyMom Apr 2012 #2
Kalidurga Apr 2012 #3
YellowRubberDuckie Apr 2012 #4
enlightenment Apr 2012 #5
gkhouston Apr 2012 #41
Crunchy Frog Apr 2012 #92
enlightenment Apr 2012 #96
TBF Apr 2012 #72
vanlassie Apr 2012 #77
TBF Apr 2012 #82
Justice wanted Apr 2012 #6
gateley Apr 2012 #7
likesmountains 52 Apr 2012 #8
vanlassie Apr 2012 #21
gkhouston Apr 2012 #53
ceile Apr 2012 #61
Bake Apr 2012 #63
FrodosPet Apr 2012 #73
blueamy66 Apr 2012 #81
vanlassie Apr 2012 #88
blueamy66 Apr 2012 #113
jeff47 Apr 2012 #93
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #71
jeff47 Apr 2012 #94
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #95
jeff47 Apr 2012 #101
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #103
jeff47 Apr 2012 #105
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #106
vanlassie Apr 2012 #120
jeff47 Apr 2012 #130
WolverineDG Apr 2012 #85
likesmountains 52 Apr 2012 #9
avebury Apr 2012 #10
Yo_Mama Apr 2012 #12
vanlassie Apr 2012 #22
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #33
vanlassie Apr 2012 #38
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #40
vanlassie Apr 2012 #58
gkhouston Apr 2012 #67
vanlassie Apr 2012 #69
gkhouston Apr 2012 #78
REP Apr 2012 #79
gkhouston Apr 2012 #83
blueamy66 Apr 2012 #86
gkhouston Apr 2012 #87
vanlassie Apr 2012 #89
rebecca_herman Apr 2012 #98
vanlassie Apr 2012 #121
laundry_queen Apr 2012 #25
jeff47 Apr 2012 #100
laundry_queen Apr 2012 #107
jeff47 Apr 2012 #111
vanlassie Apr 2012 #122
jeff47 Apr 2012 #129
Canuckistanian Apr 2012 #70
Yo_Mama Apr 2012 #11
Mariana Apr 2012 #17
vanlassie Apr 2012 #24
Yo_Mama Apr 2012 #50
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #34
ZombieHorde Apr 2012 #13
vanlassie Apr 2012 #26
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #35
REP Apr 2012 #80
vanlassie Apr 2012 #90
ecstatic Apr 2012 #14
Mariana Apr 2012 #45
Alenne Apr 2012 #15
laundry_queen Apr 2012 #27
vanlassie Apr 2012 #28
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #16
blue neen Apr 2012 #18
gkhouston Apr 2012 #84
jeff47 Apr 2012 #97
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #112
jeff47 Apr 2012 #115
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #116
jeff47 Apr 2012 #117
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #118
jeff47 Apr 2012 #119
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2012 #131
jeff47 Apr 2012 #132
vanlassie Apr 2012 #123
Cairycat Apr 2012 #19
dmallind Apr 2012 #30
vanlassie Apr 2012 #31
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #74
jeff47 Apr 2012 #99
vanlassie Apr 2012 #124
jeff47 Apr 2012 #127
GobBluth Apr 2012 #20
vanlassie Apr 2012 #29
GobBluth Apr 2012 #37
Mariana Apr 2012 #47
Yo_Mama Apr 2012 #51
Mariana Apr 2012 #57
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #23
vanlassie Apr 2012 #32
soleiri Apr 2012 #46
jeff47 Apr 2012 #104
vanlassie Apr 2012 #125
jeff47 Apr 2012 #128
davsand Apr 2012 #36
Yo_Mama Apr 2012 #52
davsand Apr 2012 #56
taught_me_patience Apr 2012 #39
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #42
gkhouston Apr 2012 #55
RandySF Apr 2012 #44
HappyMe Apr 2012 #62
laundry_queen Apr 2012 #66
jeff47 Apr 2012 #102
laundry_queen Apr 2012 #108
jeff47 Apr 2012 #110
RandySF Apr 2012 #43
Chemisse Apr 2012 #48
belcffub Apr 2012 #49
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 #54
Maine-ah Apr 2012 #59
cbdo2007 Apr 2012 #60
KitSileya Apr 2012 #64
vanlassie Apr 2012 #68
Zalatix Apr 2012 #65
BlueIris Apr 2012 #75
Taverner Apr 2012 #76
jillan Apr 2012 #91
Pisces Apr 2012 #109
vanlassie Apr 2012 #126
Cairycat Apr 2012 #114
Nikia Apr 2012 #133

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:33 PM

1. I could not agree more.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:35 PM

2. If a new mother doesn't want to use it, she won't

I say that not only having got that free forumla in a hospital, but also working for the corporation which made it. You want samples? EMPLOYEES got plenty of samples. I declined.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:38 PM

3. The free formula I was offered stayed at the hospital...

I doubt it the gift has ever swayed anyone into bottle feeding. And of course there are women who do both, so they can use the formula when they are out and about.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:40 PM

4. I had a friend who just didn't have the milk.

I nearly had to throw down with her husband making her feel inadequate because she had to supplement with formula. He told her she was a horrible mother. My husband had to literally hold me down. While I do think breastfeeding is best, formula is not a sin and some people don't have any other choice. I don't see anything wrong with samples...if you want them.

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Response to YellowRubberDuckie (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:46 PM

5. Thank you.

My son would have starved without supplemental formula. With it, I was able to continue breastfeeding him until he was a year old.

And no, I never 'got more'.

One size doesn't fit all.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:33 AM

41. +1. I have thyroid disease. I pumped after each feeding for a year.

I got up around 1 am and pumped even after my daughter gave up that feeding, because we needed the milk. Even with that, I was only able to provide about 80 percent of the milk she drank.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:59 PM

92. Mine would have starved too

and I was only able to partially breastfeed for 6 months.

That doesn't mean that marketing formula to new mothers in hospitals via free samples is an ethical practice.

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Response to Crunchy Frog (Reply #92)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:20 PM

96. I tend to believe that

women are not quite so gullible and easily led as to decide to bottlefeed formula simply because they are offered a bag of formula samples. Based on this thread, I'd say I'm not alone in that belief.

We face marketing every day, in practically every moment of our lives. New mums don't give up their brains when they give birth - if they can deal with marketing before they give birth, why can't they do it afterward? That's the message I'm getting from all this - that somehow they become very stupid once the doctor drops their newborn on their chest.

I don't think so.

(and frankly - on a side note - I find some of these 'breast is best' proponents far more alarming than a can of formula tucked in with the extra nappies and nipple pads. Those things don't get in your face and tell you what a horrible person you are if you don't choose to (or cannot successfully) breastfeed).

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Response to YellowRubberDuckie (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:50 PM

72. We had latching problems - by day 2 the nurses said I really needed to feed the baby

because we could not get her to latch at all. I would have bought the formula but it was nice that the first few bottles were free.

I find it surprising that women are so hard on other women on this topic - some of us are simply UNABLE to breast feed. Later when I talked to my mom she confided that she had the same problem and couldn't breast feed us either.

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Response to TBF (Reply #72)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:51 AM

77. Latching is not necessary by day two TBF

Its all part of the failure of the medical establishment to insure that doctors and nurses are properly trained. If babies HAD to be able to latch by day 2 the human race could not have survived. Being born is tiring and many babies need 72 hours or so to practice. That's why milk volume is low at first. But nurses want to check the box and move on. So they screw things up by insisting on bottles in lieu of giving appropriate support and assistance Sorry that happened to you. You're not alone. Yes we need to feed the baby. But not on day two. A few drops of colostrum every few hours is sufficient and does not set mom up for failure before she can even get started

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #77)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:36 AM

82. Thank you -

I didn't really know that much about nursing but I wanted to try it because the sources I did read said it was so good for babies. It's frustrating that the nurses aren't better trained.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:49 PM

6. When my cousin gave birth about 8 months back she was sent home with a bunch of premade formula

bottles which considering her complications she thought would make her life easier. First set of formulas the baby had a bad reaction too. Second set made him throw up more She was on the phone with the doctor basically a week and a half testing out various formulas. The ONLY nice thing about it was that each formula they tried they got a free supply of instead of having to pay out. That could have been a very added expense.


Generally I frown on Corporations "Giving away" things through hospital and schools/colleges because it is a way of free marketing and should be stopped.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 08:50 PM

7. If a woman is going to breast feed, she's not going to NOT breast feed because

someone handed her some formula, I don't think. And if they can easily be swayed by a goodie bag, maybe they weren't too committed to breast feeding in the first place and would have ended up using formula anyway.

Give women some credit and let the new mothers make up their own minds.

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:16 PM

8. Amen!

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:08 PM

21. Gately? Don't believe everything you think.


If you, like me, spent your days trying to reverse the insidious effects of this unethical, disgusting invasion of corporate reach into health care, you would understand that a (second generation formula feeding) mother who has only a very slight understanding of what the risks of formula are to her baby, who really does not understand that her baby IS getting enough- his tummy is the size of a shooter marble- then you would understand that free formula given away by healthcare institutions is EXACTLY the same as if R.J.Reynolds Tobacco was to enlist nurses and doctors to give away cigarettes. Please.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:28 AM

53. That's a ludicrous comparison. Making such over-the-top proclamations

is an excellent way to drive away anyone considering breastfeeding.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #53)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:58 AM

61. Apparently vanlassie doesn't think women are capable of making an informed decision.

Baby formula v tobacco? really?

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Response to ceile (Reply #61)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:07 AM

63. The Marlboro is for the after-feeding smoke ...



Bake

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:54 PM

73. My little sis went dry after 3 months

She wanted to continue breast-feeding, but she couldn't.

Was there some kind of treatment they could have given her that would have helped her continue to produce milk instead of using formula?

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 05:45 AM

81. and then there are those poor adopted babies

 

whose Mothers cannot breast feed....what to do....what to do.....

Let adult women make their own decisions in life.......Jeeeezzzzz..

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #81)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:46 PM

88. Blueamy? You didn't know adoptive mothers sometimes bring in a milk supply???

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #88)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:05 AM

113. mine didn't

 

nt

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:08 PM

93. So women are morons?

They're all just dumb broads who can't possibly make decisions on their own? Give 'em formula and they'll be forced, FORCED I TELL YOU, to use it?

We got the 'goodie bag' after our daughter was born. It had formula. We used the formula when she had trouble feeding the first 2 months. We also used it so that I could feed her when my wife was asleep. She now breastfeeds just fine, and is almost exclusively breast fed - I occasionally feed her when my wife is not available.

Women aren't morons.

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:46 PM

71. A lot of first time mothers give up because it becomes "too hard".

Those free samples to reach for an alternative.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #71)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:10 PM

94. Because they are unable to get to the grocery store and buy their own? (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #94)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:19 PM

95. Some things are difficult. Consistant support from hospital staff

(that isn't directed by the marketeers) and home visits would be fantastic. Mothers in the rest of the western world enjoy that luxury. And breast feeding is oodles cheaper.

But this is the U.S. of A. Free stuff from marketeers that can extract 100s of dollars down the road = GOOD. Free information and publicly supported services that can contribute to health, well-being, and save the 99% money = bad.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #95)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:35 PM

101. Again, they aren't able to get to the grocery store to buy their own?

"Well, I'd like to switch to bottle-feeding, but where oh where would I get formula? Oh well I guess I'll breastfeed."

This is what you are claiming.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #101)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:58 PM

103. You are confuzzled. But that's okay. I have better things to do.

But stick around. Yer cewte.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #103)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:32 AM

105. No, I'm not confused at all.

Your claim: Women only give up on breastfeeding because the free sample is there. Without the sample, they'd stick with it.

My claim: 24-hour grocery stores exist, and women know they exist.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #105)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:54 AM

106. Yes you are. NO I'M NOT. Yes you are. NO I'M NAWWWWWT.

BaumbabedadaumBaumbabedadaumBaumbabedadaum.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #105)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:15 PM

120. No. It gets hard, they see the freebie tempting them, they use it.... AND THEN....

the trouble starts! Every time a bottle of formula is given, the breasts "stand idle" so to speak. A full, tight breast (sorry- that's the necessary description_) means that at the *cellular level* the message is "No baby here- start shutting it down!" FORMULA USAGE DECREASES MILK PRODUCTION, one feeding at a time. Use a bunch of free formula in the first few weeks, take the chance that your baby will not want the breast because it flows differently (feels way different, requires patience for a letdown to start) and your milk supply can also take a hit. THAT'S WHY THE INDUSTRY WANTS TO GIVE IT TO YOU FOR FREE- JUST TO GET YOU STARTED, YOU UNDERSTAND. That's what makes them temporarily so magnanimous with their stockholder's money. Just like the pusher-man-- the first hits are FREE! After that, you pay. And your baby pays.

Women are no more educated about this than many here on DU-- I don't blame women. I NEVER say they are bad for not breastfeeding. I blame the medical establishment. And science educators who never seem to think the fact that we are MAMMALS would man we might benefit from learning how the mammary gland works!!!

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #120)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:16 PM

130. Milk production level isn't one-way.

Lack of breastfeeding indeed reduces production, but that isn't a one-way street. Milk production can also increase based on demand. This should make sense, because a newborn is going to be drinking a hell of a lot less than a 12-month-old.

Because of this, a single bottle feeding will not cause a woman to 'dry up', as you seem to be saying here. The kid will start feeding again and production will ramp back up.

If a new mother decides to use "a bunch of free formula", then it's pretty clear she's decided to bottle feed - for no other reason than the free samples aren't "a bunch" - We got 4 single-use bottles.

And your baby pays.

It should be noted that after about 3 months, milk is just for nutrition. The baby's digestive tract is developed enough to destroy the antibodies that were an immune system booster when the baby was younger. So it's a tad hyperbolic to say "your baby pays!!". Nutritionally, formula isn't bad (for babies in the developed world - need clean water). It's just more expensive and sometimes less convenient than breast milk.

I have to wonder if a lot of the people railing against formula is a generational or regional issue. The "medical establishment" around here is beating "You must breastfeed!!!!!!!!!" into new mothers. I understand that wasn't always the case.

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Response to gateley (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:55 AM

85. But you're forgetting that women are mindless victims

who need protecting from whatever the do-gooders think they need protecting from.

It's obvious that the folks calling for an end to this think women are so damn stupid that they'll be swayed to use formula instead of breastfeeding just because they got free samples.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:23 PM

9. I get so frustrated that the free formula samples are blamed for our low breast feeding rates.

How about paid maternity leave for new moms? How about not having to go back to work 6 weeks or sooner after the baby is born? How about new moms having to pump in the employee bathroom because there is no other private place at her worK? How about the price of a good, double pump being out of reach for a lot of working moms? We give moms a small electric pump to take home when they leave my hospital but it only pumps one side at a time and how many moms can spend 30-40 minutes pumping at work? I really detest the formula haters on this issue....it is NOT the gift bag that undermines breast feeding in this country...look deeper!

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:28 PM

10. Agreed. nt

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:35 PM

12. Amen.

You said it.

A lot of women aren't able to pump at work at all.

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:14 PM

22. Yes, that is being addressed currently.

But it is not the primary problem. How about three days into breastfeeding they freak out and use the free formula? That is what exactly happens. Or, if they make it two weeks, the growth spurt does them in. Formula companies depend on this to happen. It has far, far less to do with working. Free formula is unethical and should never, never be condoned. It is like a drug pusher giving it away until they get you hooked. Exactly. How on earth it is justified by healthcare institutions I will never understand. Except that they are unwilling to do their jobs.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #22)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:56 PM

33. Well I work at a hospital that gives free samples

and we also have Lactation Consultants on staff to help ensure the new mom's will have adequate teaching and support if they want to breastfeed.

We counsel the mother before birth to find out what she really desires and use that as a measure to help her after the birth...when she is tired and frustrated...or milk hasn't come in so she doesn't give up on something she really wanted to do.

Most of us nurses aren't a bunch of paid corporate shills and honestly...could care less about being "Breast Nazi's" but instead, being there to support the mother on whatever choice she decides to make.

And fwiw...there are MANY moms out there who don't want to quit smoking, who take medications that are not conducive with breastfeeding, or simply (gasp) don't WANT to breast feed and sending them home with a few little goodies to stick in their diaper bag is much appreciated.

And just so you know--we also send the breast feeding mothers home with ice packs, motrin, breast pads, pumps, and cream to help them as well.

It is nothing but public relations for hospitals--not some insidious plan to get babies hooked on formula.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #33)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:11 AM

38. You believe mothers who smoke can't breast feed?

This is extremely incorrect. How were you trained?

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:28 AM

40. Would love to know YOUR training

*smirk*...it is HIGHLY questionable and frankly, very militant.

Babies who are born to mothers who smoke are very irritable and spitty in the newborn period. This is a FACT.

So...you advocate a mom smoking over an infant--just as long as she breastfeeds? Rightttttttttt....:eyeroll:

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #40)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:40 AM

58. Horse, if you work in a hospital and would discourage mothers who smoke

to breastfeed, because you think nicotine in breastmilk contraindicates breastfeeding, please don't. Formula is far, far more potentially harmful. Mothers deserve evidence-based support. Being "spitty" is not the correct indicator for advising formula.

And of course, mothers who smoke should not smoke over their babies. They should smoke outside. However, if, in fact, they expose their children to cigarette smoke, this is still a REASON to breastfeed, given the many protective factors of breastmilk. Breastmilk protects against lifelong illnesses. It is alive.

As far as the reference to RJ Reynolds, some think it is inflammatory. True, cigarettes have killed more. UNICEF is stating a million babies a year die from not breastfeeding at this time- thanks to formula companies false advertising in the third world, mainly. But OBESITY in the developed world is now related to artificial feeding in the early months. When we finally get a count on those numbers- I'll bet it will end up that formula comes out the winner in harmful effects.

So what other PRODUCT has such a chummy relationship with the healthcare industry that they get docs and nurses to be proxy advertising reps? Medically necessary infant formula should be available, but this is not what we are currently having happen- hence the necessary campaign to get it out of the hospitals. Formula companies offer millions to defeat the competition- and breastmilk is the competition.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #58)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 01:43 PM

67. It's not "inflammatory". It's complete and utter bullshit.

And I'd strongly advise any woman looking for advice about breastfeeding to run away from such hyperbolic garbage. Breast milk is better nutrition than formula. Going beyond that to make extreme statements about how bad formula is accomplishes nothing other than torpedoing your credibility.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #67)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:34 PM

69. Um it'sUNICEF and W.H.O., not me who say that a million babies a year DIE- because of formula

instead of breastmilk. Sorry you don't like the message.

Take it up with them!

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #69)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:36 AM

78. Because of a lack of clean water and impoverished mothers who

use too much water to stretch the formula. Not because formula causes cancer, etc., as tobacco use does.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #67)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 04:29 AM

79. Remember that essay I posted a while back?

THIS is the attitude described as 'tyranny' (which was originally in French).

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Response to REP (Reply #79)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:20 AM

83. Yes. n/t

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #67)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:21 PM

86. AGAIN....what do you tell adoptive mothers

 

that they are not adequate????

really?

shush and find something else to bitch about

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #86)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:46 PM

87. ??? I'm not telling mothers who are unable or unwilling to nurse that they're inadequate.

"Breast milk is better nutrition" != "formula is poison and only bad parents use it". One of the formula manufacturers used to have an ad campaign that said, "Breast is best, but..."

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #86)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:49 PM

89. I tell them not to get advice from people who don't know enough to advise them...

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:27 PM

98. I definitely agree with the medication reason

I probably will have to go off my medications if I ever get pregnant, which I hope to in a few years. No matter what, I will go back on it immediately when that potential baby is born, otherwise I will have to deal with a lot of extra pain and discomfort while caring for a new baby. So if my medications are not compatible with breatfeeding, I will be formula feeding, end of story. So it would be nice to have the free samples so I can find out if one brand doesn't seem to agree with the baby's stomach without having to spend a ton of money on formula at the store then realizing that particular one doesn't agree with this particular baby. My niece was mostly breastfed, but when someone else had to feed her, there was only one specific type of formula that didn't make her fussy and gassy.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #98)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:16 PM

121. You can easily check on the meds.


Go to Lactmed on line.

Best wishes.

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:17 PM

25. I agree that the 6 wks is ridiculous

and likely is more of a factor on the breastfeeding relationship is than a free can of formula. However.

Those first few weeks of breastfeeding are NOT easy. I was DETERMINED and still often thought about giving up. I managed to breastfeed all of my kids, but I have plenty of friends - more than I can count - that did quit because of the free formula. It's statistically proven women who get free samples are less likely to breastfeed. Period. It's not because they say, "Oh, look, a free sample, well screw breastfeeding!" It's because they get frustrated one night at 3 am, make up a bottle and hand the baby to hubby so they can get some sleep. The next morning, the baby doesn't latch on properly (yes nipple confusion is a big part of the problem) and the mom spends all day trying to get a fussy screaming baby to eat. The next night is worse and the bottle comes out again. Before the mom knows it, she's exhausted to the point of insanity, the baby only sleeps when he/she gets the bottle and she gives up.

Too many people in this thread are really discounting this. I think if a mom wants to bottle feed she should be given free samples to make sure her baby tolerates the formula, but I think if a woman states that she wants to try breastfeeding, or is even on the fence, she should be required to request the formula instead of having it handed out. The formula companies KNOW that handing out free formula means a woman is more likely to formula feed - you think they give that stuff free out of the goodness of their own heart? LOL.

Here in Canada we get a year mat leave. When I had my first it was only 6 months leave and that was tough - as I was preparing to return to work my baby refused to take a bottle. Absolutely refused. I even tried all the tricks, and the only thing I refused to do (which everyone recommended) was starve her continuously until she took a bottle. I ended up refusing to go back to work. At a year, my baby had no issues taking a bottle and/or sippy cup. I'm glad it's a year mat leave now, IME with 4 kids, that's about the earliest you'd want to go back. I dont' know how women in the US do it. 6 wks after my first c-section my incision was still bleeding and I was in a lot of pain. My baby was colicky and had thrush and screamed a lot, and I was severely sleep deprived. If I'd have had to go back to work at that point, I think I'd have gone insane.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:33 PM

100. Uh....no.

It's because they get frustrated one night at 3 am, make up a bottle and hand the baby to hubby so they can get some sleep. The next morning, the baby doesn't latch on properly (yes nipple confusion is a big part of the problem) and the mom spends all day trying to get a fussy screaming baby to eat.

Yeah, I just went through this. Our baby got supplemental formula for a few reasons. She's now almost exclusively breastfed.

A single feeding doesn't doom a baby to bottle feeding.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #100)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:18 AM

107. In your experience.

In mine, a single feeding in the hospital meant a baby that simply couldn't suck from my breast. Luckily I had so much milk it just poured into her mouth. She finally began to latch properly when she was 6 months old. She was my first. With my fourth, same thing. With my middle 2, no bottles, no problems. At all.

Statistically, babies who are fed even one bottle feeding are more likely to get nipple confused and be weaned early. Scientific studies, not anecdotal. That's just facts. Go ahead and get defensive over facts. The fact is you don't know which baby WILL have a problem with that single bottle feeding. Some will, some won't. You were lucky and/or determined, that's all.

Not to mention nurses and doctors are woefully undereducated when it comes to breastfeeding. The hospitals I stayed at were pitiful. My best friend became a lactation consultant just because she, as a child birth educator, was so tired of the sabotage that went on in the hospital - for women who WANTED to breastfeed. I ended up helping her out with her classes as well. A HUGE lack of education, especially about newborns/dehydration/allowable meds/nipple confusion etc. The hospital ended up calling US for info, that's how bad it was (small town). Hospitals are a really terrible place to get breastfeeding/supplementation information.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #107)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:23 AM

111. In your experience.

Not to mention nurses and doctors are woefully undereducated when it comes to breastfeeding. The hospitals I stayed at were pitiful.

Right back at ya with "in your experience". Not only were there free lactation consultants in the hospital, there was an in-hospital TV channel dedicated to breastfeeding.

As for nipple confusion, that was massively reduced when they redesigned the nipples that are now on bottles.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #111)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:17 PM

122. Um. Not so.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #122)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:26 AM

129. Good to know my daughter doesn't exist, just on your say-so. (nt)

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:39 PM

70. I agree

Here in Canada, moms have a generous maternity leave - a lot longer than 6 WEEKS.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:34 PM

11. I don't think it does

Sometimes breastfeeding mothers need to supplement with formula, for example. My sister in law had to do it.

I don't think women are that pliable. I think women make the decision based on how well it works for them and their babies, whether they want to do it, and how quickly they have to return to work, etc.

If you want more women to breastfeed, giving women paid time off would do a lot more to allow it than worrying about a few free samples of formula, which even a breastfeeding woman may find she actually needs.

The idea that the average woman won't breastfeed her baby because she has a few days of free infant formula on hand strikes me as demeaning, incredible and idiotic. What's probably more common is that women who intend to breastfeed have problems and need the emergency formula, or they need to supplement with the formula. And that's not something you always plan for.

Also, if Mom gets sick it's always a good idea to have some formula on hand.

I don't know why this irks me quite as much as it does, but it really IRKS me. I guess I take it as an attempt to control women, and in my opinion this sort of campaign does no good.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:41 PM

17. It does get old, doesn't it?

Everyone knows perfectly well that being given some free formula doesn't change any woman's mind about how to feed her baby. It's about punishing women who make the "wrong" choice. They can't stand the thought that a woman might not breastfeed exclusively. No reason she may have for formula feeding is good enough. So they're going to make sure she doesn't get the slightest bit of help or support for this "wrong" decision. It's petty and stupid and mean.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:17 PM

24. But mothers breastfeed when sick. They always have.

Free formula? Why? Mothers throw in the towel and give up and use the free stuff. Why do you think the industry spends so many millions giving it away for free? Because if they can interfere with breastfeeding, they get a customer for a year! They are not doing it to be altruistic!

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:15 AM

50. I just don't agree with that

First of all, if a woman "throws in the towel" then she's having problems, isn't she? But in my experience, most women who don't breastfeed or do it only for a few days do it because they are going back to work quickly, or just don't want to breastfeed. If a woman doesn't want to breastfeed, I don't think she should be guilted about it.

Breastfeeding when sick can be okay or not - it depends on what the mother is sick with and if she has to take medication that would get to the baby that she's breastfeeding. If you just have a little virus, it's better to breastfeed because the baby gets the immunity directly from you. But if you have whooping fever or a bacterial infection, no.

The companies do it because they want the mother to buy their formula if she's not breastfeeding, not because they are dumb enough to think that a woman who wants to breastfeed and can will change her mind because she's got a few free days of formula.

I have known more women who tried to breastfeed and failed to have enough milk than women who tried to breastfeed and dumped it because they didn't have enough milk.

I think drive-through deliveries cause a problem for some women who had intended to breastfeed, especially on the first birth, which tends to be harder. When women are ejected from the hospital in a state of staggering exhaustion, their milk tends to fail. Also you have a lot of older women giving birth for the first time, which doesn't help.

I'm going to reiterate what I wrote before. The idea that most women are so easily influenced that a few days of free formula will cause them not to breastfeed is totally insulting to women, and also just not true in my experience. Our society is completely unrealistic about what it expects from women, and then it covers up the inevitable results by further insulting them.

If you don't have enough milk for the baby, giving it the "old college try" is not the solution. And anyone who's ever seen a baby screaming and wailing at the breast because the baby is hungry knows that. The calvinistic purity approach to breastfeeding doesn't work, because if a woman is trying and isn't producing enough milk at the third and fourth day, the baby will get agitated and be screaming to be fed all the time. So then the mother gets really tired and frantic, and the whole situation goes downhill very rapidly.

What does work for a lot of women who want to breastfeed is to supplement with a bottle, and get a little more rest. My sister-in-law was able to breastfeed for 11 months, but only because of that approach. And once a woman has failed with the calvinistic purity approach, she's going to feel like an abject failure and have an aversion to trying again.

Oddly enough, women who never had problems breastfeeding seem to be the worst offenders here - they don't understand what other women may encounter.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:01 AM

34. In my extensive experience

these are the women who weren't completely sold on breastfeeding to start with or have a partner who wants her to do it.

Had a patient one time that was multiparous and even before birth she said she would breastfeed.

IMMEDIATELY after birth--she said she wanted the baby to be bottlefed. Her husband was horrified and said "BUT YOU WANTED TO BREASTFEED"...and she just looked at him and said, "No Dear. YOU wanted me to breastfeed. I just wanted you to shut up about it"

And...she bottlefed.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 09:56 PM

13. I am very thankful for the formula my wife and I received when we had our first baby.

We were very poor, and my wife had to take some medication a couple of months after the birth of our daughter. This medication was not good for breastfeeding mothers, so my wife had to stop for a while. We used the formula, and my wife pumped and dumped to keep up her milk. After she was done with the meds, she went back to breastfeeding. Formula can be expensive, and our budget was extremely tight at the time.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:18 PM

26. We have WIC for that.

And 99% of medications mothers need to take are actually OK for breastfeeding. Really.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:01 AM

35. Not true. n/t

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 04:32 AM

80. Really.

Then how come all my Rx labels say they are not to be used by women who are breast feeding?

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Response to REP (Reply #80)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:50 PM

90. Yep. Really.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:04 PM

14. why would "consumer advocates" want to restrict choice?

Women should be free to make their own decisions.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #14)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:35 AM

45. Because some women make the "wrong" choice.

Women should only be free to make their own decisions when they make the "right" ones.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:05 PM

15. I don't believe this is true.

Most women know if they are going to breast feed long before they give birth. Do people realize that women are not stupid? Free give aways do not stop us from breast feeding.

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Response to Alenne (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:20 PM

27. Statistically they do.

Here in Canada they aren't allowed to give out free samples in the hospital. Or at least the hospitals I've been at (3 different ones for 4 kids).

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Response to Alenne (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:21 PM

28. If you are supported and believe you will succeed...sure

I work to try to get mothers who are second or third generation formula feeders to go back to breastfeeding. They are barely on board- they have had no models- only bottlefeeding aunts, sisters, mothers. Don't be so sure this is decided up front- it's not. Free formula can be just enough to help them give up before they even get help. After all- how do they KNOW it will work? Formula works, as far as they know- and they have no concept of the long term negative effects- lifetime effects.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:10 PM

16. This should be an OPTION, and only after

the nurses have determined how the new mom will be feeding. If they are going to be bottlefeeding anyway, I don't have a problem with samples. Newborns are expensive and it's one less thing to buy.

If they've expressed an intention of breastfeeding, then no. There's nothing wrong with offering an alternative tote full of leak pads.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:56 PM

18. Good suggestion.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #16)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:23 AM

84. IIRC, the tote I got all those years ago *did* contain leak pads.

It had a pamphlet describing the different types of formula some manufacturer made, but no formula samples, that I recall.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #16)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:21 PM

97. So exactly how stupid are women?

Your premise is that women who want to breast feed will just give up if they have a free sample of formula. They would keep trying, but those few free samples will make them give up breastfeeding forever.

For that to be true, women have to be quite dumb.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #97)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:37 AM

112. A new mom with a first baby?

It's terrifying. If you don't have someone there with experience to talk you through the first days, yes it's very easy to be that "dumb". I almost was; lucky me, who had my mom there with 5 kids' worth of experience to explain about breastfeeding and pry the bottle of formula out of my hands (she threw them all away).

First time parenthood is starting an important, stressful new job with minimal experience, half the necessary training, and often no supervisor or mentor. And a shit-ton of misinformation. And a huge workload, all marked "urgent!". And twenty pushy salesmen waiting for you in the lobby. You're guaranteed to make mistakes, but this particular mistake is a setup by formula manufacturers to encourage frightened new parents to buy their products when they don't need or even want to. It's a scam, and it does need to be stopped.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #112)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:01 PM

115. I'm having trouble believing that you think women are so stupid they need to be protected

We'd better get on to blocking other "wrong" choices women might make. Definitely have to ban abortion - getting pregnant unexpectedly is quite stressful, and she might decide to have an abortion "with minimal experience, half the necessary training and no supervisor or mentor". Perhaps you can suggest a list of people who can sign off on the abortion to ensure she has proper experience, training, supervision or mentoring.

Or does that argument only apply to the upper half of women's bodies? The "ladybits" she can make decisions about, but breasts she can't be trusted?

We're trusting the woman WITH A BABY. You are arguing we can't trust her with free formula.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #115)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:28 PM

116. where did all this weird come from?

It's a scam. People of both genders fall for scams all the time- not just women. I didn't suggest that it not be offered; I suggested that it be offered only to those planning to bottle feed. As in, respecting the choice she's already made. See? No vagina issue. I don't know where your freakout was directed, but it wasn't me.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #116)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 04:11 PM

117. Because your argument requires that women have no agency

Saying women can't be trusted to take home and then throw away/donate/responsibly use a free sample means women can not be trusted with an enormous number of decisions. Meaning women require supervision by people who "know better".

It's exactly the same argument misogynists make. And it is infuriating the number of women who fall for it when the 'wrong' choice goes against their beliefs.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #117)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:50 PM

118. so once she has made that decision

Your solution is to continue pushing an alternate choice on her, just in case she changes her mind... because women just aren't consistent creatures and have to be carefully guided. How is that different?

I said it should be offered as an option to women who are already planning to bottle feed (and should have added: or are undecided). An alternate tote with leak pads and nipple cream etc. could easily be added as an option for nursing mothers. So what exactly is your problem with this? Because I'm having trouble seeing how I'm denying women options by offering them more options.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #118)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:06 PM

119. No, my solution is to not have a 3rd party regulate the decision.

Which is what the original post proposes.

So what exactly is your problem with this?

That Public Citizen believes women can't be trusted to make the decision on their own in the face of a free sample.

An alternate tote with leak pads and nipple cream etc.

Why not have one pack with both? It's not like it's impossible to do both. New bottle designs have greatly reduced nipple confusion.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #119)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:53 PM

131. well, that's a bit harsh...

eliminating doctors and nurses from patient care because they're 3rd parties.

Somehow this feels very right-wing talking point to me. Women who want to breastfeed have made the wrong decision and must be pressured to change their minds; medical personnel who encourage their choice of breastfeeding are denying them choices. Doctors and nurses doing their job are interfering 3rd parties; corporations scamming for sales are altruistic and should be allowed. Something's not right here. It reads like an Arizona law.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #131)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:34 PM

132. Actually, it's the opposite of what you're claiming.

eliminating doctors and nurses from patient care because they're 3rd parties.

They already can't make decisions - the patent does based on their advice. (Barring a few very limited situations such as an unconscious John Doe shows up at a hospital)

Somehow this feels very right-wing talking point to me. Women who want to breastfeed have made the wrong decision and must be pressured to change their minds

Never claimed they made the wrong choice. It's her choice to make, so all of us outside can't say if it's wrong.

Which is the entire point of what I've been saying over and over and over again.

However, consider what Public Citizen is arguing: Women can't make the right decision if you wave a free sample in front of them. Sounds an awful lot like the infantilism people claim of women when they enact forced counseling before an abortion, or permission from a man, or any of the other restrictions the right-wingers are trying to pass.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #115)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:18 PM

123. No jeff47. You have missed several points.

Please review the discussion.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:00 PM

19. Why on earth would manufacturers make such an effort to have all mothers leave

with formula samples? Of course it sways mothers, there would be no other reason to do it. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, for Pete's sake.

I hope the day comes soon when mothers can get accurate information about breastfeeding, not being secretly signed up in the OB's office to get samples sent to their homes, and laden with "free" samples at the hospital. The corporate voices, who have no real interest in the health of the mother and the baby, drown out the information about breastfeeding. And the manufacturers dictate the tone of that breastfeeding information, every word must be phrased so that mothers who don't breastfeed won't feel guilty. It's a lot like how the Rethuglicans dictate the tone of political discourse in this country.

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:24 PM

30. Ermmm.. because the mothers who were going to use formula anyway

Will start using theirs rather than a competitor's, which greatly improves the chance they will buy their brand when it runs out?

Or it could be a massive conspiracy against breastfeeding.... like:

http://abbottnutrition.com/infant-and-new-mother/celebrate.aspx

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Response to dmallind (Reply #30)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:34 PM

31. Abbott?

Abbott conspired to SEPERATE MOTHERS AND BABIES SO BREASTFEEDING WOULD BE HARD.

“The purpose here is to impose a design that literally builds bottle-feeding into the facility by physically separating mother and infant to make bottle-feeding more convenient than breastfeeding for the hospital staff. . . . A single investment in such architectural services can create new sales opportunities for the entire life span of the building.” Abbott Labs

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #31)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:00 PM

74. They tried to separate my daughter and I after she was born...

she spent 3 days in the "well baby" ward and out of the dozen or so staff that I encountered, only two supported a breast feeding regimen.

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Response to Cairycat (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:29 PM

99. So we use pampers then?

See, the goodie bag had Pampers. We used them. Then we bought Huggies because they were on sale.

The premise here is that women are so stupid they'd change how they want to raise their children based on a free sample. Women are not that dumb.

As for your original question, the hope is that parents who for whatever reason use formula will buy the same brand as the sample. FYI it didn't work for us. Nor did supplemental formula use doom our poor child to a life of formula feeding as some other posters here claim.

On the other hand, it was quite useful while she and my wife worked out some breastfeeding problems. And it let me feed her while my wife was asleep or otherwise not available.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #99)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:19 PM

124. Using Pampers will not diminish your milk supply.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #124)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:24 AM

127. Way to miss the point.

My point: Women are smart enough that they are not ruled by a free sample
Your response: But using a lot of formula reduces women's milk supply!!

Relevance?

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:05 PM

20. I am conflicted

I have 3 children. With my first, I thought breast feeding would come "naturally". Boy was I rudely awakened! We were pretty broke at the time, so thankfully I had a crap load of formula from the hospital.

With my 2nd I was much more informed. Told the nurses I didn't need the formula. As we were leaving, I swear to you all, a nurse came running out with all the samples. Thankfully I didn't need them, donated them to a food shelter.

BUT I will never forget how thankful I was to have those samples with my first child. Sadly there is still a mystery about breastfeeding. I would much rather have classes on that then formula samples. But it is a stressful time and I refuse to begrudge a new mother and child some formula samples. Wish that lactation consultants were more affordable and readily available.

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Response to GobBluth (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:24 PM

29. There is a mystery EXACTLY because there is a billion dollar industry

pathologically working it's HARDEST every day to interfere with breastfeeding. The advertising HAS NO COMPETITION! Do you really think breastfeeding has always been a mystery? How did the human race survive?

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:07 AM

37. No I don't think breastfeeding has always been a mystery

and I agree that the reason it is NOW is because of $$$. That still doesn't lessen the pain of a mother in modern times who can't figure out how to get her baby to latch on her sore nipples. A child who she thinks is starving! There is much more to it than just $$ for formula companies. Many women are not as fortunate as or have a different goal in life than I do. I was able to stay home with all 3 of my kids. I did not have to worry about pumping enough to keep up with my child's demands. I tried pumping with my first. My pediatrician was LIVID! I swear. "pumping is not the same as breast feeding for most women". Until we get a better maternity/paternity leave situation here, I will not look down on hospitals for offering expensive formula to woman who, more than likely, will need it. For me, breastfeeding was the major focus for the first 4 month of each of my 3 children's life. My life revolved around it (my 2 youngest kids breastfed until they weaned themselves, about 18 months). I can not imagine fitting work in while pumping and trying to keep my lactation up to my child's demand, while trying to go back to work 3 months later. No doubt, some women can do it, but most have a very hard time. None of that has anything to do with formula company's profit.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:00 AM

47. The human race survived because enough children survived

to keep it going. A small minority of children could live to reproduce and still maintain or increase the population. It wasn't all that long ago that huge numbers of children didn't make it through the first year of life. I think it's extremely likely that many of them died from outright starvation, or from complication caused by malnutrition.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #47)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:20 AM

51. Yes, and also there used to be a lot more women giving birth

Babies like the breast, and if one woman has more than enough milk I think babies often got supplemented with breast milk from other mothers. Babies will drink from the breast and the bottle at one time, and from multiple mothers at the same time. They basically just want food.

In our current society, in which many women keep working very close to giving birth, in which we don't offer much or any paid maternity leave, and in which we toss women out of the hospital very shortly after giving birth, we'd kill a lot of babies if we banned bottle feeding.

This is just utter lack of common sense combined with some sort of weird controlling attitude toward women.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #51)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

57. About nursing mothers sharing their milk

with other women's babies - of course it was common, and not all that long ago, either. I've seen many references to it in literature. In Gone With the Wind, for example, Dilcey feeds Melanie's son when Melanie can't do so, and no one thinks it's strange or unusual. If Dilcey (or another wet nurse) hadn't been available, the boy would have starved to death. Would Mitchell have written that into the story if it wasn't something that went on in real life?

But, a woman did that in Oklahoma a few years ago, because there was a hungry child in front of her and she had the means to feed it. It was so weird that it made the news, and what happened? People freaked out over it. It was "gross" and "unsanitary" and "disgusting" and etc, etc. The woman was actually charged with a some "indecency" crime, IIRC, even though it wasn't done in public. I'll grant that she shouldn't have done it without permission, but the reaction was just over the top nutty.

Anyway, even with supplemental feeding from other women (if a mother was lucky and there were other nursing women around), an awful lot of babies died when breastfeeding was the only available means to feed a child - and they still do in some parts of the world. Certainly all of them didn't die from not getting enough food, but I bet a lot of them did.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:14 PM

23. If true, what took so long?

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:50 PM

32. Here is what I don't understand.

How it is that so many would defend the actions of corporate psychopaths like Nestle and Abbott, who have for years created ILL HEALTH through their unethical business practices. They dump their crappy milks on the third world, they dump their crappy milks here. They dominate advertising with false claims. They undermine the confidence of new mothers in the MOST cynical grab for bucks. How could anyone defend this? I KNOW you, or your sister, or someone you know had trouble breastfeeding. That's because no one helped- no one modeled, and god knows the doctors they depended on should have, but didn't help. It's also because they made sure you didn't know what was true- you CAN breastfeed when taking MOST medications- they sell drugs too- they make sure the warnings are dramatic! They go around "teaching" doctors and leave out the important info about how breastmilk is vastly better than their crap. I have seen this with my own eyes. I am in these trenches every day at WIC. Please- if you are not a breastfeeding expert- have an open mind to this- and if you ARE a breastfeeding expert- speak up against this horrible industry.

Mothers need your help. Taxpayers too. The obesity epidemic is upon us. Formula and obesity go hand in hand. I could go on, but...I will shut up now.

Vanlassie



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Response to vanlassie (Reply #32)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:41 AM

46. Thank you!

I had the hardest time breastfeeding my first child because the pediatrician on staff at the time had the rule that "his babies" all drank sugar water from a bottle (without parents' consent) & then they sent us home with formula. Hospitals are being far from altruistic when they push formula on mothers. I'd love to see how much money formula companies are paying hospitals to distribute the "free" formula.
You are right about confidence, mine was absolutely shot when I felt I wasn't providing for my baby. I don't know how many times I looked over at the can of formula wondering if I should use it. Luckily, I was determined & he ended up nursing for a little over 2 years.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #32)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:26 AM

104. The difference is we don't think women let a free sample rule them

Last edited Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:26 AM - Edit history (2)

I KNOW you, or your sister, or someone you know had trouble breastfeeding. That's because no one helped- no one modeled, and god knows the doctors they depended on should have, but didn't help.

No, it's because my wife had a C-section, and that greatly slowed her milk "coming in". She and my daughter breastfeed just fine now.

Oh, wait, I forgot you know everything and everyone on this subject. Sorry for daring to consider my experience to be reality.

you CAN breastfeed when taking MOST medications

It's been shown that aspirin, most antidepressants, caffeine and alcohol will show up in the mother's milk.

As for other drugs, go for it if you want to take the gamble.

The reason they have the warnings is they have not tested if the drug will cause any problems. Will it? Who knows. Thalidomide was a good idea at one point. And non-pregnant women can use it just fine.

Formula and obesity go hand in hand.

Actually, no. Some studies have shown slight links. No study shows a strong link. And no study shows any difference by age 7. What appears to be much more an indicator of future obesity is switching to solid food too early (<= 4 months) or bottle feeding for a very long time (>18 months). The studies I'm aware of that show a link did not correct for either of those.
This page has links to several studies.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #104)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:29 PM

125. I would not be so sure that the "Fearless Formula Feeder"

knows more about the subject than the US Surgeon General, the CDC and the AAP. But then, I LOVE Michelle Obama, and the
FFF doesn't, apparently. Sad.

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Response to vanlassie (Reply #125)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:25 AM

128. It's an aggregation of links to scientific journals. Their beliefs are irrelevant. (nt)

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:06 AM

36. Breast is best--no doubt, but if it isn't working do you let that poor little kid starve?

Look, I'm right there in the "boobs for babies" club. My daughter was on breast milk the entire first year, and I pumped sveral times EVERY day of that year to make it happen because there was nobody available at that hospital that was worth a crap as a lactation specialist. They gave her a bottle in the nursery her first night on earth and we NEVER did establish a working latch on. I left the hospital with a baby that I didn't know how to feed except by using a bottle. Literally, it was give her a bottle or watch her starve. My decision was to pump and give her my milk in a bottle, and we made it work. Had I been a parent of other kids already or had I had any less of a supportive partner that probably would not have been possible. We MADE it work and I have never regretted that decision, but I have had a lot of distrust for the medical establishment since that day.

I'm not thrilled at all with the women who just simply don't care to nurse a baby, but the bottom line seems to be that not only do you have to really WANT to do it, but you gotta learn how--just like putting on makeup or driving a car. If our medical establishment was totally serious about improving the numbers of nursed babies we'd be doing a hell of a lot better job educating mothers on how it works and we'd be keeping mom and baby in the hospital until that nursing relationship was well established. Hell, it took time to learn how to even use a breast pump, I can only imagine how easy it would be for any tired mom to just say hell with it and send hubby out for some formula!

If not allowing the formula companies in the door of the hospital is what it takes to bring everybody's attention around to the importance of supporting and actually teaching breastfeeding then I'm good with it.



Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #36)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:23 AM

52. Well said

But to be realistic about it, when large numbers of women have to go back to work six or eight weeks after giving birth, you are going to have relatively low rates of breastfeeding.

It's a lot healthier to breastfeed, but it's not a societal priority, so instead we compensate by blaming the mothers and the formula companies.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #52)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:27 AM

56. "It's not a social priority" sums it up quite well. The health of mom and baby SHOULD be the focus

There is a huge divide between the ho-hum medical establishment and the "breast feeding nazis." I dunno how you bridge that gap unless you take the focus of the discussion to what works for mom AND baby and the rest of that family.

There is a lot about having a baby that you just can't control, and from the get-go I was fighting every step of the way to have the kind of pregnancy and childbirth I wanted. I fired one OB-Gyn practice in the first trimester (which I'd do again in a heartbeat and it is almost 15 years later...) because they seemed determined to turn me into a sick person instead of a "pregnant lady." Everything I had read said an active pregnancy was best for the baby, and by gawd, I wanted that for my child. I still ended up with a problem pregnancy and on bed rest for the last half of the pregnancy, but I was really trying to do it "right."

I wanted to have natural childbirth--no drugs. I was convinced that it was best for the baby to do it if you could--and by golly--I wanted that for my child. Her heart rate dropped during labor and we ended up with an emergency C-Section. I ended up numb from the nipples down and stoned off my ass from the morphine, but I had a beautiful healthy baby and that really was all that mattered--even if I did feel like some kind of failure for not being able to have a child the "normal" way.

I've already explained how our nursing experience went--again--more failure...

It AMAZES me, to this day, that I allowed myself to be so victimized by the whole mindset that everything must be *THIS* way or else it is some kind of failure on the mom's part. Post partum might be, in part, created by all the crap we lay off on the moms in the form of well intentioned advice and expectations. Instead of turning it all into some kind of failure maybe the thing to do is to revamp our societal attitudes to support the experience and celebrate it rather than stand around pointing fingers at anybody. I agree with you 100% and more that we need longer maternity and paternity leaves. I agree completely with everyone on here saying we need to drop the militancy of the BFNazis and the natural childbirth proponents. We need to reduce the number of drive by deliveries and ill considered C-Sections. I also think that getting the formula companies out of the delivery room is a good idea.

We can do much better than we have been.


Laura

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:23 AM

39. I'm sick of these breast-feeding nazis

who try to make you feel like shit if you don't breast feed your child. My daughter is pure bottle fed... perfectly fine.

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:39 AM

42. Yes. Me too.

It is another area that people just need to get the fuck out of...and leave it up to the mother to make whatever choice works for her.

My grandchild was born at a hospital that is one of these hospitals that promotes breast feeding at all costs. My grandchild couldn't latch on. She couldn't eat. She ended up jaundiced and spent time under the bili lights, and lost over a pound of her birth weight. The nurses refused to give my daughter a bottle for her...and finally the doctor literally had to WRITE AN ORDER for the nurses to give her a bottle.

After we left the hospital, I hired a lactation consultant come to the house so my daughter could try again without all of the pressure that the hospital staff was demanding of her.

The lactation consultant assisted and finally figured out the problem. The baby had a VERY high arch palate and that is why she couldn't latch on. It was almost impossible for her to do so.

So, she was bottlefed. And did just fine.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #42)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:53 AM

55. My daughter also had a high palate, and a tendency to spit out *any* nipple.

It took a month's worth of patient teaching to turn her into a good nurser, and the lactation consultant at the hospital was clueless. If I hadn't read The Nursing Mother's Companion before delivering, I probably couldn't have managed it.

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:12 AM

44. +10

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:01 AM

62. Thank you. I had twins.

The boys were bottle fed. They are happy, healthy 25 year old men.

I did get some grief from a couple of people for not breast feeding. My kids, my choice.

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #39)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 11:02 AM

66. I'm tired of people who call

those who promote breastfeeding 'breastfeeding nazis'. I've never once met a lactation consultant or anyone else who was a professional make someone feel bad for bottle feeding if that is what they chose. Is it a problem amongst new parents? Um, totally - but it's like the old saying about opinions and assholes. If you've made your decision and are secure in it, there is no reason to be defensive. I've been in huge flame wars online on parenting boards because of this one subject. My only conclusion? People who attack those who bottlefeed do it because they are, overall, nasty people who do it to make themselves feel superior. And those who bottlefeed who are overly defensive are usually upset breastfeeding didn't go well for them or they feel like they are being looked down on as 'less than'. I think it's important that we pay attention to scientific studies about the benefits of breastfeeding while still supporting those who are unable or unwilling to breastfeed, and to push for better standards for formula. No need for name calling, parenting is a difficult enough experience.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #66)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:56 PM

102. The name calling will stop when the screaming stops

There's an awful lot of people who insist that any use of formula dooms the child. DOOM!!! For examples, just peruse this thread.

There's a difference between promoting breastfeeding and lying about bottle-feeding and trying to shame new mothers who chose or have to bottle feed. Unfortunately, there's lots of people who don't seem to understand that, and loved to tell us we were evil, terrible parents to even consider looking at a bottle. That's gonna lead to an emotional scar that colors all breastfeeding advocates, no matter how fair that is.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #102)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:29 AM

108. hyperbole much?

I must've missed the DOOM posts.

Apparently some breastfeeding advocate insulted you at some point with your decision to bottle feed and you'll be darned that any one be pro-breastfeeding in case they make a bottle feeding parent feel bad. I'll say something I said on a message board once a long time ago - only YOU can make yourself feel bad about your choices. If you are secure that your choices for your child were the right ones, there would be no defensiveness. Only you know your own situation. Why worry about what others say/think?

You know, I just don't run into that where I live. Here it's generally accepted that breastmilk is the best thing for baby, and even bottle feeders acknowledge that but no one makes anyone feel bad about it. I've seen it on message boards, but never IRL. Maybe us Canadians don't talk about it as much, I dunno. Do you all have the posters all over doctor's offices about 'breast is best'? There's breastfeeding posters (showing actual boobs) all over doctor's offices here. Would that offend you?

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #108)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 02:19 AM

110. Must've not looked very far.

Since there's a lot of them in this thread. Just look for the folks claiming formula causes obesity and death.

I'll say something I said on a message board once a long time ago - only YOU can make yourself feel bad about your choices.

We breastfeed. Now. Initially, that wasn't an option. We've had plenty of strangers decide to chastise us for this when buying formula, water or using a bottle. So no, it's not one insulting advocate.

And I don't feel bad at all about our choice to have our child survive her first month. What pisses me off is people attacking us for it.

You know, I just don't run into that where I live.

In my experience, Canadians are much less likely to tell someone else how they should live their lives. For example, we're also regularly accosted by strangers trying to convert us to their flavor of Christianity.

There's breastfeeding posters (showing actual boobs) all over doctor's offices here. Would that offend you?

No, because that's just providing information, which a doctor should do. Our particular situation was not the 'normal' one, so we could not use the 'normal' route. When it becomes offensive is when people who don't know our situation decide to attack us for dealing with our situation.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 03:11 AM

43. Sorry, but not all moms can be perfect.

When our son was born, the doctors made my wife feel like shit because she wasn't able to produce enough milk to feed a 10-pound newborn. Not only were we subject to lectures, but we also had to deal with a hungry child crying all night. Finally, a sane nurse snuck us enough formula to help him sleep. I know breast milk is best, but moms are not machines and sometimes need a little help.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 06:19 AM

48. Meh - I got free samples with every baby, yet I breastfed every baby.

I don't think new mothers are so whimsical as to be swayed by the possession of a bottle of formula.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 07:44 AM

49. we breastfeed both our girls

and by we I mean my wife

We took all the "freebies" from the hospital we could get... including the liquid gold as we called them (because of their expense). We used them several times while out and about and not able to breastfeed... we managed to keep both kids breastfeeding for 12-18 months ish... didn't seem to hurt nothing either way...

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:34 AM

54. The decision on whether or not to breastfeed has usually been made before baby is born

and taking a few cans of formula home from the hospital is not going to influence most mothers.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:54 AM

59. We had a very hard time

in the beginning with breast feeding. I couldn't hold my daughter correctly because of the c-section...and then her latching on wasn't right, and I ended up with badly cracked and bleeding nipples. I still stuck it out, but I had a hard time producing milk. I would pump for days to leave enough for one night of work. Each time I would pump I would get about a 1/4 oz of milk. We had to supplement with formula, and it had to be soy as my daughter was allergic to milk, just like I was.

Free samples of formula didn't change my mind about breast feeding.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:57 AM

60. They are just a bonus and it's nice to have them on hand just in case.

That way when you get home and are stressed out and not sure if your baby is getting enough milk and stuff, you have some there rather than making hubby go to store at 2:00am and pay $15 for formula you might not use.

Maybe they should stop giving away free diapers too.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:46 AM

64. I think everyone can agree that breast milk is best, but in some cases that it is not possible

The stories about mothers that could not breastfeed or children that could not nurse, do not disprove that breastfeeding is generally considered best for children. Fundies in each camp are out with their inflexible arguments, but it seems that the focus should not be on formula/not formula, but on the companies that are profiting from this practice.

These companies have no concern for the mothers and babies. None. They only care about the profit. Nestlè certainly proved that when they dumped a whole production run of formula in Africa in the 90s, because there was a typo in the English instructions ont he packet. Following them would lead to infant death - the mixing of formula has to be very precise. They have deliberatly pressured health carers in Africa and other places to promote formula as better than breastmilk, which seems reasonable given the bad nutrition of the mothers. It completely disregards the lack of clean water, the lack of hygiene, and in many cases illiteracy these mothers have to contend with. Why would we let these companies continue a practice you know they would only do because of profit? Why should we support them? The answer is, we shouldn't.

As for mothers in America, it is very idealistic of many in this thread to portray all mothers as so conscious of their choices, but reality is, more and more babies are born to second and third generation formula givers - there is a general lack, awareness, and acceptance of breastfeeding. There is a class gap where educated mothers breastfeed more often, while working and under class mothers often do not. The societal priority that someone mentioned upthread is one that is somewhat accepted among the middle classes, while poor babies, whose mothers cannot afford maternal leave, start their disadvantaged upbringing literally with their first meal. Letting companies provide fomula just perpetuates this - instead all adults should promote proper maternal leave, proper health care for mothers, a liveable wage... Not put more money in the coffers of baby killers like Nestlé.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #64)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 04:29 PM

68. Thanks Kitsileya

This was, indeed, a OP about formula industry tactics, but as is typical, quickly degenerated into an "us-them" cat fight.  I usually stay out of these- should have done so last night!  At any rate, it was like clockwork that the "breastfeeding Nazis" bomb got thrown.  Imagine, calling someone who wants to help mothers and babies fulfill their birthright to lifelong health and well being, called a Nazi.   Especially since breastfeeding assistance is generally only given when asked, despite the dramatic second and third-hand stories to the contrary.  Being on the front lines for 35 years, I have seen these things play out enough to know the standard, sad and repeating scenarios.   I think almost every mother wants to be able to nurse her babies.  Very few really can't.  Very, very few.  But when the help isn't there, emotions are strong. 
None of this excuses the baby killing formula industry.  Yes, Baby Killing.  Like tobacco.  Sorry this offends- dying babies offend me. 
For those who think breastmilk and formula are even remotely close to the same substances- check this link out:
http://www.bcbabyfriendly.ca/whatsinbreastmilkposter.pdf     One is alive, one is dead.  One kills pathogens and parasites, one doesn't.  One increases the risk of asthma and diabetes, one doesn't.  You didn't really believe one was "Closer than ever to breastmilk" did you?  That's like saying St. Louis is closer to Hawaii than Philadelphia.  Hawaii being human milk, of course. 

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:51 AM

65. My wife received it and donated it to someone else.

 

We could see the need for this in some cases, just not ours.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:07 AM

75. A callous, bonehead move like this does a disservice to babies and moms.

And there's no way I believe it's about breastfeeding, either. It's about those do-nothing corporate whores trying to shave a few bucks from their expense accounts.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 12:09 AM

76. Aw jeez...this was essential when my kids were born

 

Please realize some mothers cannot produce milk

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:55 PM

91. Yep - it's no longer a fetus anymore! So who cares about it?



I wish these people would stop making decisions for everyone else.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:30 AM

109. Some women can not produce enough milk, I guess the baby should starve.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #109)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 11:30 PM

126. Oh please.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:34 AM

114. For the profits

The formula manufacturers pressure hospitals to be their marketing agents because it increases their bottom line. Formula is adequate for human infants, but it is inferior. Why should hospitals be marketing agents for something that is not as good for their patients?

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:47 PM

133. I was determined to breast feed and gave mine away to someone who I knew was formula feeding

I do think that formula companies give free samples to encourage formula feeding. I also think that there is a lack of education about breast feeding which causes many women to give up.
For example, almost no one produces a lot of milk their first few days. You need to breast feed often to promote this. This will probably be every couple hours at first and maybe sometimes even every hour. This will be very tiring, but this period of time will eventually pass. It does not mean that your baby is starving if he or she loses weight in the first few days.
I agree with longer maternity leave and employers being better about allowing adequate time for pumping. A dual pump is necessary if you are going to pump at work. If you plan to pump at work, start this at least a week before going back right after breast feeding. This will allow you to have a head start on your supply and give you some time to get used to pumping. Bring pictures, or have them on your cell phone, of your baby while you pump. This really helps.
If you breast feed your baby exclusively, he or she will probably not sleep all night for a while, needing a feeding at night. This is normal, especially early on. I recommend having the baby's bed in your room next to your side so you are aware of the baby's waking and because it is convient. The night time waking will not last forever. I don't know what is average. For my baby, it was 11 months.
This is just some advice that I was never in any of the hospital literature that I received that I think is useful for breast feeding mothers to know.

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