to think MN shouldn't support boots co-advertising newborn bottle sets and "follow on" milk

(902 Posts)
ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:30:00

when there's a national campaign on to promote BF?

Presumably this advert passes the letter of the law regarding the non-advertising/non-special offers on formula for new born's but it defies the spirit in every way possible.

AIBU to expect a little more social responsibility from MN?

flatpackhamster Thu 10-Jan-13 12:31:38

What's "socially irresponsible" about bottle feeding?

Fancydrawers Thu 10-Jan-13 12:31:52

Oh get a grip. Some women formula feed. Deal with it and perhaps worry a bit more about what's going on in your own life.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:33:28

social responsibility what so what you mean is formula is not a choice and MN shouldn't be supporting choice.

it is not advertising formula it is advertising bottles and follow on milk which isn't in the advertising ban yabu and ignorant,

Longdistance Thu 10-Jan-13 12:33:34

I'll hand you my very first biscuit

LaCiccolina Thu 10-Jan-13 12:34:14

MN does. It promotes both extensively. Maybe pay more attention?


MummytoMog Thu 10-Jan-13 12:35:07


Follow on milk is awesome stuff - when I had to go back to work and couldnt' BF any more both my kids found it incredibly soothing and I found it very reassuring that they were still getting lots of calcium. Neither of the little buggers will drink cows milk.

LegoAcupuncture Thu 10-Jan-13 12:35:23

So you want MN to decline membership to those who bottle feed as well?

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:37:06

YABU. Many women can't breastfeed for whatever reason and should have easy access to other options available.

Not everyone can physically do it, you know.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:37:48

it doesnt say formula has to go int he bottles some women express milk

AnyaKnowIt Thu 10-Jan-13 12:38:48

Bloody hell, don't go near the bottle and breastfeed topic then hmm

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:06

fair enough...AIBU to expect social responsibility from MN. Won't do it again....

fairylightsandtinsel Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:07

Oh this is going to go well hmm. Have a biscuit and a grip.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:11


If your going to be passionate about something let it be for something not against something. In this case be for choice not for censorship.

Why do you care how other women choose to feed their babies and why does mumsnet need to show preference to a side?

CheCazzo Thu 10-Jan-13 12:39:48

Horribly presumptuous of you to infer that those who cannot or CHOOSE not to bf are 'socially irresponsible'. Actually - how fucking dare you?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:40:21

mrsjay there are lots of choices....not all of them are social responsible.

BigShinyBaubles Thu 10-Jan-13 12:40:32

YABU. I bottle fed all my 3 ds.. was I being socially unresponsible?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:40:41

che I didn't...but you apparently did.....

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:10

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sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:11

Honest question OP, why do you care so much how others choose to feed their babies? What does it matter to you confused

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:32

big likewise. I haven't said choosing to FF is irresponsible. In many cases it saves your babies life.

ADVERTISING FF is socially irresponsible.

Fancydrawers Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:36

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ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:41:57

I dont care how you feed your baby, I care that companies advertise about how you should feed your baby

AnyaKnowIt Thu 10-Jan-13 12:42:02

ADVERTISING FF is socially irresponsible.


WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 12:42:11

What CheCazzo said


ledkr Thu 10-Jan-13 12:42:28

Oh ffs I have no tits should I be locked on prison?
My baby had a cleft palate so couldn't have bf anyway so do I not have the right to peruse the options for ff?
Get off your high horse op.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:42:56

but it isn't showing formula it is showing bottles is their a law against bottles then should baby bottles be banned and put under the counter maybe beside the poison cabinet in the chemist under lock and key so nobody is offended by a baby bottle ,

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:43:06

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Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:43:31 are people supposed to be made aware of FF if you don't think they should advertise, Icbineg?

CheCazzo Thu 10-Jan-13 12:44:20

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weeper Thu 10-Jan-13 12:44:31

I expressed milk for the first nine weeks of my daughter's life while trying to establish bf. Don't know what I'd have expressed into or fed her from if bottles weren't available!

Not everyone can BF. I gave up in the end because it just wasn't working and it was so upsetting and spoiling my enjoyment of the first stage of my daughter's life. I still feel massively sad and guilty about it, almost every day, and she's nearly five months old now.

So give yourself a massive pat on the back for being able to do it and thank your lucky stars that you don't always feel like you're giving your child the second best option. I was massively pro-BF, I just couldn't get it to work, so I think your argument is a bit over-simplified.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 12:44:53

Why is advertising FF socially irresponsible?

Do you honestly think that people come on MN, see an advert for follow on milk and then decide that they are not going to breast feed/quite breastfeeding.

MN caters for different parents with different views and choices. I keep getting the MN homeswap advert. Should I get my knickers in a twist because I dont want to homeswap or because no-one would come here

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:00

Yes mrsjay, baby bottles should be locked in metal cabinets...away from public view just like cigarettes are wink

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:01

How is advertising FF irresponsible? Because you are trying to persuade someone to make a choice that is less healthy. If it isn't a choice you do it why advertise?

People who need to use FF will and do and of course should.

People who are making a free choice may be influenced by advertising to make a choice that is less healthy for their child.

Hence the advertising is irresponsible.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:04

So are you saying that women are so stupid they are swayed into FF due to advertising OP?

You don't hold other women in particularly high regard in that case.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:08

but it is follow on milk it isn't formula it is a drink for children who are or have been weaned it isn't promoting anything it shouldn't.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:32

If people don't see adverts and make decisions based on them then WTAF would companies spend money on them?

MrsMcEnroe Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:41

How the Jeff is choosing to formula feed socially acceptable, but advertising it socially unacceptable??

ledkr Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:51

Maybe it should just go underground alongside illicit drugs. Sold on street corners by dealers who are lacking morals as they were ff.

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 12:45:58

Mums net advertises McDonalds big time something actually worth getting your knickers in a twist about given they shite they sell,their selling strategies and the masseeeeeve impact they have on children's health globally.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:46:22

Why would the BF rate in countries that ban all FF advertising by 99% as opposed to our what 50%?


Get over it.

Fancydrawers Thu 10-Jan-13 12:46:33

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ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:47:33

fancy do you have anything at all to contribute other than personal attacks?

Anything at all?

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:47:57

I don't think they're trying to persuade anyone to FF, I think they're promoting it to help those who choose not to or are unable to BF. Why is that wrong? They don't say 'This is the better way to feed your child!!', they just make women aware that the other option is there and shouldn't be something to be ashamed of.

It is not irresponsible.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:47:59

so a new mum or mum to be sees bottles on offer in boots and thinks Oh bargain I will now make my whole feeding choice of my baby o n a special offer in a high street chemist formula all the way for me hmm, itv show me adverts for fast places doesn't mean I think yep big mac every night for dinner it is then

ledkr Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:01

Op I see you managed to ignore my post. Can I ask you what women in my position should do?

MrsMcEnroe Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:04

I didn't base my decision to formula feed on an advert, FGS!!!! And I think you are deluded if you honestly think that adverts for formula sway new mothers away from breast feeding. I had never noticed a formula advert in my life; I just knew that I didn't want to breastfed. So shoot me.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:21

fast food places*

Fancydrawers Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:36

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MrsMcEnroe Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:53

Yes basically I mean what Hemlet said, only s/he said it much more eloquently and charmingly than I did!

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:49:26


Sometimes advertiser spend money on advert for an already decided market to sell their product rather than a competitor don't you know.

I couldn't breast feed I don't unfortunately have the parts any more, I like to have choice even if it's through advertising.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:50:00

hemlet Then why ban newborn milk offers/advertising? If people think it's cheap they are more like to FF. Any amount of data shows that.

It makes no sense to have a national campaign to promote BF rates while simultaneously allowing formula companies to promote FF.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:50:14

The adverts are to encourage people to pick their brand of formula if they so wish,not to stop them breastfeeding.

I havent met anyone who has said "I decided not to breastfeed because of the cute toddlers on the cow and gate advert"

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:50:42

fancy yes I do.

Do you?

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:51:13


I really hope you don't put your kids in a car. Do you? Because that vehicle is probably a million more time detrimental to your children that FF.

And don't say a car is a necessity because it's not. However, for some women FF is a necessity. Are you opposed to ads on Kids car seats?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:51:38

sirzy well they do exist even if you don't know them personally. The NHS know that because they collect data. Hence the restrictions on advertising.

Fancydrawers Thu 10-Jan-13 12:52:01

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Trousers99 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:52:18

OP - I agree entirely with you

Won't enter into the debate though other than to offer my support/agreement

These boards make me shudder at times

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 12:52:25

And many of us want formula,want formula advertising and have children who have benefited massively from it.It's a food which is massively healthier than many,many foods advertised.

Actually I worry waaaay more about the additives,fat,salt,sugar in most foods advertised,screen time,the sedentary lifestyle kids lead,the lack of books many kids have access to etc,etc.

Lets berate the advertising of screen toys,games,most convenience food and anything that keeps kids sedentary and not reading in their spare time.Surely MN should have more social responsibility?

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 12:52:30

OP, that's daft, a special offer is more expensive than breastfeeding, which is, y'know, free...

I couldn't breastfeed. And I will choose to FF any future children, because it was sooo much easier.

And FF children grow up just as strong as BF children. I'm living proof of that.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:04

sock lots of things are irresponsible in the advertising world...are you saying that until the big ones are cleared up we can't discuss the smaller ones?

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:25

hese boards make me shudder at times

why shudder ?

ohdoone Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:31

Militant attitudes such as the OP's only serve to put women off breast feeding IMO. I breast fed my first for a year, and on currently combination feeding the second. I love both ways. Socially irresponsible!!! Mind you don't fall off that horse of yours!

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:50

Of course they do! The country is full of people who ff because of an advert - your comments are getting dafter and dafter!!

I know, let's lock formula behind doors like they do with cigarettes. Make sure everyone knows that it's not acceptable to feed your child formula even if that is the only/best thing for them.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:54:29


So you put your kids in a car then? You didn't answer?

nokidshere Thu 10-Jan-13 12:54:30

Of course you are being unreasonable.

You are assuming that women are too stupid to make up their own minds.

None of my 5 sisters BF and I can assure you not one of their reasons was because of advertising bottles or formula.

katzen Thu 10-Jan-13 12:54:36

<hollow laugh> at OP

FF is the unhealthy choice? eh?

No, actually you are right I've just realised I'm pureeing a big mac and putting it in a bottle.


weeper Thu 10-Jan-13 12:54:38

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Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:14

Exactly polka

Woolfey Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:18

Oh the old debate again...sigh
What's wrong with giving women choice?
And what about those of us who could not BF because their bodies wouldn't allow it?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:25

grumpy it may be daft but it really happens. People are more likely to FF if they are exposed to adverts and special offers than if they are not.

Lots of people see the adverts and BF anyway. Lots of people have no choice in the matter or FF for reasons that are unaffected by advertising. But some fraction of pregnant women are swayed by the adverts (and even admit it when asked by HCPs).

Weird but true.

Not every mother wants to breastfeed. Not every mother wants to have a natural birth. Not every mother wants to co-sleep with their child. Get over it OP.

wannabedreams Thu 10-Jan-13 12:56:05

Can you not advertise pizza, chocolate, biscuits, alcohol, CARS????

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 12:56:29


Can you at least admit that militant opinions on FF like your OP could cause mothers who physically can't to feel bad?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 12:56:44

YABU because you seem to think that, just because something is advertised on MN, women are so easily led that they can't make a decision for themselves.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:14

I am sure you can provide a link to the evidence to back up this claim.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:25

I didn't base my decision to switch to formula on adverts. I based it on hating breastfeeding ( no pb with others doing it, just loathed doing it myself). I can't believe that anyone would choose to ff based on adverts, and that ff companies should be allowed to advertise responsibly.

fairylightsandtinsel Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:36

Op you seem to be suggesting that there is something wrong with FF. It is food for babies, it isn't bad for them, just maybe not as perfect as the naturally available alternative (which isn't always available). Why would it be irresponsible to inform consumers that a product exists in various brands which will allow them to give nutrients to their newborn when for whatever reason they cannot or do not wish to BF or exclusively BF.

Whatnameforme Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:56

I agree with ICB, I was going to bf my children but then tescos had a special offer on SMA. £1.00 off, I thought it would be cheaper than free breast milk so I went with that!
With my second child the baby in the cow and gate advert was so cute I had to ff!
ICB you sound a bit weak if you are unable to see an advert and yet still make an educated decision.

ledkr Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:08

sock op doesn't address any questions which don't support her theory sorry.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:21

Advertising newborn formula is illegal. Advertising newborn bottles alongside follow-on formula is cutting that line very fine IMO.

There is a reason it is illegal to advertise newborn formula, because as a general rule longterm health outcomes are better for BF babies than babies who have only been FF.

It is obviously up to individuals what to do, but IMO MN shouldn't be sailing so close to the law.

littleladyindoors Thu 10-Jan-13 12:59:45

I am pregnant with my first baby, I am obviously weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of feeding, and of course I want to try to BF and give that a go, because I feel that is the best for my baby.
I am however, a bit scared and unsure because I havent done this before and I dont know what it will be like. The fact that Boots have an offer on doesnt make me think-dya know what? Ill just FF.
Its people like you who make us new mums feel like if we cannot BF or choose not to then we are the scum of the earth and we should just ring SS now and get it over with.
BTW I have bought bottles, because they came with my breast pump. And actually, I appreciate the adverts because this baby thing can be pretty expensive and its good to know what is out there.
As I can figure, most women who have babies are ADULTS and therefore really should be able to make a decision based on knowledge not on Boots latest offer

katzen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:00:18

Yawn, so everyone at university has been exclusively breast fed then.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:00:27

I am sorry that some people are insecure/unhappy about the feeding method they chose/were forced into by circumstance. That is indeed a massive issue with the BF campaign.

But it is also important that pregnant women are given every opportunity to opt for BF (if they are able).

Actually removing FF adverts would be a kinder way of moving people (who have the choice) towards BF than the current guilt tripping done in antenatal classes.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:01:32

There is also a staggering degree of naivety on this thread about the effects of advertising on our decisions. It is not so simple as 'see Cow&Gate advert, decide to switch to formula'.

And actually, in Britain or any other Western country with a clean water supply it isn't a huge issue.
What is a huge issue is the massive revenues from Western markets being ploughed into the advertising and distribution of formula in the developing world where it kills babies because bottles are made up with filthy, disease-carrying water.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 13:01:36

How do you know that people who want to express milk wont be buying the bottle sets?

katzen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:01:41

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DolomitesDonkey Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:08

YAB quite crackers to expect MN not to support feeding children.

AnyaKnowIt Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:32

So you really think that women are that stupid, they would rather spend £££ on formula then bf because they have seen an ad?

Do you buy EVERYTHING you see an ad for then?

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:41

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sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:45


Who on here has said they were unhappy with their choice of feeding?

I think the ONLY person upset with feeding ways is you about other people.

I'll ask again,

1) Do you put your kids a car?
2) Why do you care so much how others feed their children?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:48

katzen the data is very convincing that BF results in healthier babies on average than FF.

I am sure that you are also smart enough to realise the difference isn't large enough to be detectable to individuals.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:02

I am sorry that some people are insecure/unhappy about the feeding method they chose/were forced into by circumstance. That is indeed a massive issue with the BF campaign.

Oh that old chestnut you now feel sorry for FF babies and mothers you think they have been coerced into formula feeding and they should be sympathised as the system has failed them some what, hmm

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:14

Worra grin well spotted

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:18

I have yet to meet a woman who FF because of an advert. They are advertising a choice. Which they are well within their rights to do.

We are not so weak-minded that we are swayed by advertising. Knowing what is best for your baby is a personal thing. All babies are different, as are all mothers.

Follow-on milk is for weaning, so not relevant.

Links to evidence? Prove to me women were swayed by advertising.

OP I haven't seen it as I've got an adblocker, but it sounds like it comes very close to breaking the Code on formula advertising and so YANBU.

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:47

It's not banned, I've had quite a few leaflets advertising new born formula etc. I can understand that you feel strongly about it, but I have to disagree that the formula companies are advertising formula as a better alternative to breastmilk. It simply isn't the case. And as grumpy said, breastfeeding is free so no matter how cheap they advertise that's unlikely to be a factor.

I agree breast is best, I'm pregnant with my first, I have no idea if I'll be able to feed my baby naturally or not. But if there were a problem I would appreciate knowing how to progress the best way for my child, which is why it's useful for these companies to advertise their wares.

You seem stuck on the assumption that because they're advertising formula they're denouncing breastfeeding in the process. It's not a typical product where they say 'this is better than anything else', apart from competing against other formulas.

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 13:04:20

Op I started bf, after 6 weeks I switched to ff because bf was shit and made me and all 3 of my dc miserable.

I was so worn out and rarely left the house(thanks to my bf purgatory) so wouldn't have noticed a ff advert if it slapped me round the face.As it was my first f purchase was a midnight mercy dash made by Dp upon which no influence was made by any f adverts ie if it was clean, a decent food for my babies,went in a bottle I didn't give a stuff who made it.

addictedismoving Thu 10-Jan-13 13:04:26

I didn't/couldn't bf either of my dc. When it came to buying bottles, i had no idea where to start, where to go for advice or where to find information.

I would have been greatful for an advert or 2 explaining the diffrences and what to use (I'm intelligent enough to pick my way through propaganda!)

And criticising formula companies for their tactics isn't the same thing as criticising women who use formula.

Of course people are swayed by advertising. That's why it exists and why so much money goes into it!

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:05:42

please dont give the op failed breastfeeding stories

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:05:45

I don't actually agree that advertising newborn formula should be illegal. As a mother who wanted to ff I want to be able to make a choice about which brand is best etc. you can only make an informed choice like that if you know what is out there.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:05:49

Sock I will answer again then.

I don't care how people feed their babies. I care about irresponsible advertising.

I do care about car safety and do find adverts that promote unnecessary travel socially irresponsible.

I don't find these things mutually exclusive.

Lots and lots of people on this thread have implied that one should not criticize FF feeding (not that I have - I have criticized FF advertising) because one may upset people who are insecure. I haven't really found people in RL that are massively insecure but I accept other posters premise that they exist.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 13:06:30


Its advertising bottles (allowed) and Follow on milk (allowed).

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 10-Jan-13 13:07:05


katzen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:07:08

Right I'm off, theres a tv bingo advert on and the a KFC advert. So thats my afternoon planned out for me.

Looking forward to watching tea time adverts later to tell me what to do then.

Well said FairyJen

OlivetheotherReindeer Thu 10-Jan-13 13:07:34

OP, it's people like you that give breat feeding, a reputation for being self righteous......I'm bloody grateful to the formula company for feeding my baby when I couldn't. The alternative is unthinkable. If they wish to advertise, crack on. Here you go biscuit

Hemlet it IS banned. If you are in the UK then you have not had leaflets advertising newborn formula.

The fact that you think you have, just goes to show how close to the wind these companies are sailing with their advertising tactics.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:07:53


But you do care how people feed their babies because otherwise you wouldn't care if they were swayed by the advertising would you confused

WillSucceed Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:17

Actually I can see the Op's pov.
If adverts about FF for newborns aren't legal, there is a reason about it. The reason is that some women (but of course, none of the MNtters!) have been influenced in their decision to BF/FF depending on the ads. Quite often unconsciously so.
One of the reason is simply that FF ends up looking like something 'natural' to do, even more natural than BFing that isn't promoted/no adverts etc... (I for one didn't even question whether I should or not FF for my first baby. It's reading MN after I had dc1 that made me rethink about the whole BFing, feeding after 4 months old etc... issue).

So here we are in a position where we say 'Breast is best' and take steps to ensure women know about it and to try and increase bfing rates.

From that point on, yes you can wonder if it is then appropriate to accept any advert on formula milk at all. After all, whether it is a follow on formula or a newborn formula, it is still formula milk.

So I can the issue the OP raises. I can also see that FF isn't the work of the devil. It doesn't kill children (or rather it doesn't in our country. It does in other countries) and be a real help in all the situations other posters have raised.

Perhaps the question should be reframed to:
Is there ever a need to advertise formula milk?

hoodoo12345 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:42

YABU, their are so many reasons why a mother chose not to BB, and being made to feel like a irresponsible parent is not exactly helpful.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:58

Why is it irresponsible advertising though? I am still waiting for your evidence of all these women who decided to formula feed because of an advert.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:04

*grumpy" The data is compelling in showing that some people are swayed by advertising. Again just because the people on this thread aren't swayed doesn't mean that everyone isn't. The legislation is there for a reason.

This add doesn't break it...quite but I didn't think it was unreasonable to ask MN to go further than the government set minimum requirements...

Now I see that it is.

DolomitesDonkey Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:06

Right - I'm going to get deleted for this but fuck it - I'm going to tell you something I've just seen OP write on another thread:

*On the fatties in Lanzarote thread she states :
"Is anyone going to read this thread and think "oh shit - I was in Lanzarotte maybe I'm obese! Oh god I am!!!! I will give up my life of cake and eat lettuce forever! Thank you sooo much....etc. etc."

Or is it more likely that someone who is already down on themselves and their weight will see YET ANOTHER thread expressing shock and horror at how terrible fat people are and will sink just a little bit further into the darkness?"

and yet she sees nothing ironic AT ALL in slating formula feeders - oh, I forgot - those with legitimate reasons for FF. hmm

Do people really think that seeing an ad for botles, will make someone suddenly decide to bottle feed instead of breastfeed ??


sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:57


But you do care how people feed their babies because otherwise you wouldn't care if they were swayed by the advertising would you confused

Where is the advert anyway? Is it on a microsite or is it a banner? I'd like to see it before engaging in specifics about it - I was talking more generally and did say I hadn't seen it.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:10:52

sirzy there is very good correlation between countries banning advertising and BF levels increasing. The NHS have data on why women (who had the choice) chose to FF and some fraction cite advertising.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:10:58

I'd rather there be advertising so mothers know the options, instead of muddling through blindly.

We're intelligent people, who can ignore ads that we want to ignore. If you don't like that they promote FF, then don't pay attention.

Who are you to decide what is socially irresponsible? Others may (and obv do) feel differently.

I have yet to see the figures and evidence about the effectiveness of advertising.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:30

Provide a link to proper peer reviews evidence then. Until then I will continue to think your talking bollocks

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:35

nutcracker well I is ridiculous. And I would never make a decision of this nature based on advertising (Nb. don't have a TV so don't get exposed much). But some people do.

Otherwise advertising wouldn't be worth the money you spend on it....

PessaryPam Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:44

I don't know why you are getting so worked up OP. I mean it's only for 6 weeks anyway and then it's onto baby rice and jars.

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:47

I was thinking the same thing Dolomites

I wonder if everyone including MNHQ should run everything past the OP before it appears on screen...

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:53

What on earth is wrong with giving people information? It is up to them what they do with it. People who formula feed or express have every right to know what options are out there for bottles and follow on milk.

You'll want the internet banned next in case people go getting daft ideas...

There are other countries out there which might suit you more than the UK if you believe in dictatorship.

MrsKeithRichards Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:36

I think the law goes far enough.

WillSucceed Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:46

@ all the posters who think they need adverts to help them decide which brand of formula to use.

My premise is that the last way you should use to decide if a product is the right one for you is to rely on advertising. I wouldn't use adverts to decide if x washing machine id better than y. I look at technical characteristics to see which one will for my use of a washing machine.
The day where I buy a product because of the advert, I know I have bough a 'myth', an 'image' that the manufacturer wanted to sell me and that is unlikely to exists at all. Because that's the whole point of advertising. Just have a look at all the adverts for facial cream that 'visibly reduce wrinkles' that have been done on 15 people etc....

Viviennemary Thu 10-Jan-13 13:14:42

I don't like Boots anyway and avoid them whenever they can't. I hate their silly points cards which never work and there three for two offers which are a total con.

If you don't care about how people feed their babies, then why do you care about the advertising and it's affect? Your arguement is not logical.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:14:54

Exactly chipping.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:15:13


Can you admit that you do actually care about how other women feed their children? You must care or you wouldn't be so upset about a small advert for follow on milk would you now!

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:15:43

willsuceed it's important (IMO) to advertise formula so that I, as a ff mother can make an informed choice about which product to buy based on what I think would be best for my baby.

If you remove all the advertising I lose any informed choice.

Also bottles are not just for ff babies they are also for expressing breast milk and so again it's helpful to have them advertised

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:47

And then tell us why you care about something that more than often has no detrimental effect for the child whatsoever and in some cases is a life saver?

Why does it bother you?

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:17:50

Can you admit that you do actually care about how other women feed their children? You must care or you wouldn't be so upset about a small advert for follow on milk would you now!

Exactly of course they care how babies are fed or she wouldn't have started the debate in the first place, by saying Mn is socially irresponsible about bottles then she thinks formula feeding is irresponsible ( and i am not going to buy into the tosh of I didnt say that because you didn't have to

willsuceed has it. OP, I think you worded it badly smile
FWIW, I agree with what I think you a trying to say.

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:18:25

Queen - fair enough to be honest I have only saved the leaflets and not looked at them extensively so it's likely that they're just advertising the bottles rather than the formula.

In that case, I can understand where the OP is coming from with regard to 'why isn't newborn formula advertised if it's ok to advertise later on formula'. I don't know. I think that mothers should be able to be made aware of all the options in case there is a problem with feeding. It is, of course, essential that babies are fed so they should have all the information available. I still disagree that special offers or adverts will persuade mothers to FF rather than BF for the sake of it though.

Trousers99 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:18:56

I guess Lambert & Butler can start marketing their own range of children's toys, after all, children need something to play with and nobody in their right mind is going to link the two and be influenced by it!

WillSucceed Thu 10-Jan-13 13:19:04

Can all the posters who think it's OK to have an advert on follow on milk because it won't increase the chances of FFing/people are intelligent etc... explain me why there is now a legislation banning advert for newborn formula?

And why if this is not OK to advertise formula for a newborn, it's OK for a toddler?

Where/what is the difference?
Is there not a risk that by advertising formula for a toddler you end up with the same issue than when advertising for a newborn/baby?

Genuine questions....

They are allowed to advertise follow on milk!!! What is it with you constantly trying to put down formula feeders and their choices. First the tommy tippee bottles now this. You worry about your own children and we will look after ours. It's formula ffs not heroin !!!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:19:57

Sirzy - advertising is about creating a background climate where a product is seen as acceptable, safe, possibly an aspirational choice.

It is impossible to 'prove' in the way that you are demanding, I'm sure you know this - if you don't...

I don't care if an individual person chooses to FF. I do care that women in the developing world are being persuaded into FFing their babies with the result that they die, and I care that the revenue that allows that to happen is in part generated in Britain.

MulledWineAndScully Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:07

Sorry what's wrong with follow-on milk?? I bf to 9 months and then switched to formula when I returned to work (my work couldn't supply a fridge hmm).

I didn't know I was being socially irresponsible confused

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:07

Comparing smoking to formula. I have seen it all now!

Tee2072 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:13

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:38

dolomites worra yes it would be ironic indeed if I had in fact slated any decision made by anyone. But I haven't have I?

I have suggested that an advert is socially irresponsible. No-ones choices have been impugned AT ALL.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:20:43

ICBINEG Show us proof. Figures, studies. Show us some real evidence to back up your opinion.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 13:21:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:21:15

It is also impossible for the op to say that is why people feed like she insists is the case. She has said their is evidence yet she (obviously!) won't link to it!

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:21:19

because formula is seen as a replacement for breastmilk and follow on milk is a supplement drink for older babies and toddlers "hemlet" It was a government and BF campaign to encourage women to breastfeed

DolomitesDonkey Thu 10-Jan-13 13:22:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OP, if you think it's socially irresponsible to advertise a product, then you must inherently think that product is bad, or that people shouldn't use it.

If you can't admit to this, then there is no point taking anything else you say seriously.

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 10-Jan-13 13:22:55

Personally I am glad that some women choose to formula feed, it meant that when I had no choice to FF due to next to no milk production, the formula I chose was as close to breast milk as possible. Due to the Formula companies having the money to spend on research and improving formula.

If I had a third baby I would try to breast feed again. So obviously all that marketing of bottles and follow on milk has had no effect on my principles and choices.

But I have formula to thank for my happy and and healthy DS's. Without they'd be dead.

Do you think advertising offers enough accurate and unbiased information to make an informed choice on the back of, though?

I don't.

I'd rather formula wasn't advertised at all, and instead the companies passed the savings onto parents in the form of permanently reduced prices. Formula is disgustingly overpriced for what it is, which is dried milk with some vitamins and oils added - that's because those who need to use it are paying for all that advertising and cuddly cows through the inflated prices they pay for the product.

And they should make a contribution to a independently run information resource for those who need it, that gives accurate information on ingredients of each brand and how they are tested etc, correct ways to mix/store formula, details on mixed feeding and so on.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:22:55

Sirzy - read a book called The Politics of Breastfeeding. Pretty much covers it.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:23:05

I guess Lambert & Butler can start marketing their own range of children's toys, after all, children need something to play with and nobody in their right mind is going to link the two and be influenced by it!

oh fgs shock please stop it you look like an idiot

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:24:11

OP you are maybe coming over a tad self-righteous here.

Yes formula advertising is banned, so they cant publish adverts and make false claims regarding the merits of FF over BF as they used to which quite possibly in the past did sway people.

I havent seen this advert I have to say but if its along the lines of the aptimil one which clearly states We Know BreastMilk is best for your Baby but if you DO decide to move on heres a Fluffy Polar Bear, then I cant see what there is to get worked up about.

From what I have been reading lately and hearing are people not moving away from the "Breast is best" stick beating and more towards education and help, which is a much better approach in my opinion.

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:24:13

WillSucceed - Honestly, I don't know. I think it should be advertised so that mothers have the options available for their own reasons. It seems a bit hysterical to ban those adverts, it does nothing but put a bigger stigma on formula feeding, forcing mothers who are unable to breastfeed to keep trying through guilt manipulation and end up with very unhealthy and underfed babies. That's taking it to extremes but it could happen.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:24:18

The government has determined that formula adds for newborns are socially irresponsible.

Formula companies side step that by advertising follow on etc. which side steps the letter of the law but is obviously equally irresponsible.

I thought MN might like to take a spirit of the law stand rather than the letter of the law.

That is all.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:26:17

hemlet if you could swap advertising on TV for having to sit through guilt trips in antenatal appointments wouldn't that be better though?

You don't miss adverts that you don't see. You can't help noticing the agenda during antenatal classes.

If we could preserve or improve our BF rate and at the same time reduce the guilt tripping of new mums, wouldn't that be a good thing?

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:27:06


You have still not admitted that you do care how others feed their babies. You say you don't but how could you be so anti the advertising if you truly don't care how others feed their children.

Do you not think that worrying how others feed their babies when in most cases it makes not one jot of difference and in some cases saves lives is a tad ridiculous when you probably think nothing of putting your kid/s in the back of a car?

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 13:27:24

Why is it equally irresponsible to advertise follow on milk.

Not everyone wants to BF forever. In fact many people who are struggling with breast feeding, or who have to go back to work see 6 months as an achievement and want to use follow on milk.

Why should they be stopped from making those choices because on your say so?

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:27:58

Not all formula is "the same". My ds had terrible reflux and colic on SMS gold. On the advice of the hv we switched to aptimil an he was fine!

According to my hv aptimil is supposed to be the closest substitute to breast milk. It's information like that which is helpful to myself as a ff mother

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 13:28:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I think the formula ad ban is pretty ridiculous tbh. It's pretty drastic for a product that actually does not do any harm (I stress: in the UK).

I can't be the only one who's received store coupons that say 'can't be used for tobacco, alcohol or formula', and thought, WTF?

You can advertise beer, McDonalds and all the other crap that actually does massively affect people's health. The fact that out of all that, they choose to ban formula ads, strikes me as massively patronising toward women, guided by this idea that we're too stupid to know what's best for us.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:29:35

queen absolutely! Information is fine...advertising is not. It is very hard to unpick the concious info from an advert (the words) from the unconsious (the whole vibe of the thing).

A FF advert will say "breast is best" and then pump a megawatt of "but look who easy loving and fantastic FF is" into the images/music etc.

It would be better for the NHS to give out info on the formula brands and ban the advertising, MASSIVELY.

theodorakisses Thu 10-Jan-13 13:29:50

But why shouldn't the criminal fraternity amongst us, me included, be advertised to? If you are a BFer, good for you. Lots of us didn't choose to or couldn't. If you can promote the positive image of one side of it, isn't it a bit arrogant to say we should censor the other side?

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 13:30:24

Why is it equally irresponsible to advertise follow on milk.

because anything other than breastmilk is poison according to some and babies and toddlers should only have breastmilk it is probably an advertisers dream not to promote extended breastfeeding too

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 13:31:02

Or it helps to make people who cannot BF less of a failure, knowing that there is an alternative.

JumpHerWho Thu 10-Jan-13 13:31:16

What do you think the spirit of the law is OP? To not advertise formula at all? Do you think MN is being socially irresponsible for running adverts for baby products which many of us buy and use?

Laws are laws, there was no doubt plenty of pontificating done at the time.

And fwiw posts like yours on MN do far more to influence my feelings about how I feed my baby than any advertising. Peer-to-peer you see. So I feed my baby formula and feel constantly guilty about it, even though I tried and failed to bf. I plan to ff my second as its such a black and white decision for people like you, you probably think I'm a bad mother. Or a victim of socially irresponsible advertising.

Anyway - I'm pretty sure different health outcomes for bf and ff babies have been shown to be down to income, education, parenting and nutrition through solids anyway.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:31:48

dreaming You can read any number of articles/headlines/ anything really and see that FF costs the NHS millions every year. The idea that it does no harm (on average) is not correct. It is a tiny difference in risk for each individual baby and you could NEVER know if you own personal feeding method made any difference (positive or negative) but added up over the millions of babies in the country is DOES make a difference.

vladthedisorganised Thu 10-Jan-13 13:32:11

Oh dear. I think YABU.
There's 'a national campaign to promote BF', ergo all advertising of formula and bottles should be banned?

Meh. Personally I'd love to live in a world without adverts, but I don't.

Advertising is basically lies. This or that brand of formula will not make my baby healthier, any more than a bowl of Special K in the morning will magically make me taller, thinner and wearing a red dress everywhere.

By the same token, I would really love to live in a world where the 'campaign to promote BF' stopped at medically proven facts, rather than bleating on about "It makes you feel wonderful and gives you a closer bond with your baby", which in my case was complete crap on both counts. One particular DVD issued with the Bounty pack a couple of years ago was especially bad on that count.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:32:24

You have to click this to even ENTER Aptimil site.

Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant milk should be considered. Improper use of an infant milk or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant milk, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 13:32:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hemlet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:32:28

Icbineg, yes I do think it would be a great thing. Unfortunately things aren't as black and white as that. So many women can't BF, or won't for their own reasons. I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty for their decisions.

I understand (from mrsjay) that the ban is to promote BF rather than FF, but I think it's going too far, there should be strict guidelines along the lines of not being allowed to promote it above BF rather than banning it altogether.

But as I say, I'm only pregnant with my first and perhaps am not 'qualified' enough to have any real standing in this debate. It's just what I think really. That's not being snipey by the way smile

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:32:36

I wasn't convinced by a formula advert not to bf. with dd bein honest I just didn't want to, I find whole idea quite creepy for me personally. With ds I wanted to try given the abuse I suffered from bf mothers with dd but I wasn't able. I was apart from him for over 24hrs after his birth and he was in scbu. When I was able to attemp to bf him he didn't want to and was well established as a ff. I chose to continue that as it was critical that he gain weight.

FairyJen your HV is wrong.

Your son may well have done better on Aptamil - different formulas suit different babies - but it is not the closest to breastmilk. Aptamil invest heavily in advertising to HVs/midwives/doctors to try and give that impression, and they market as a premium product - hence the scientific claims, medical looking packaging, and higher price point. Its an effective strategy but doesn't make their claims true.

Some way of finding out exactly what is in each formula, what it does, what side effects it might have, how different formulas compare, and so on, would be far more useful to anyone looking to make a choice than the wooly and unscientific claims in adverts.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:33:23

I see you are unable to retract your statement that you don't care how others feed their babies.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 13:33:32

strikes me as massively patronising toward women, guided by this idea that we're too stupid to know what's best for us.

yy to this. As choosing how to feed is 99% of the time down to the woman, I sometimes ponder if we would have the ban on advertising infant milk if it was something that men tended to decide on.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:33:45

jump you don't seem like the sort of person who would make their personal feeding choice in order to spite someone on the internet to be honest. I think you aren't being entirely honest there.

Proudnscary Thu 10-Jan-13 13:34:44

Oh my actual God OP.

Formula isn't:

a) Illegal
b) Poison


c) adults can do what the fuck they want - they can listen or ignore advertising and they can use their breasts to feed their children or use formula milk from bottles without having to feel guilty or judged or looked down upon.

JumpHerWho Thu 10-Jan-13 13:34:55

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 13:35:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

What's next? Attacking the nhs for prescribing formula?

BelaLugosisShed Thu 10-Jan-13 13:36:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:37:03

sock I don't care on an individual level at all. I don't think of you any differently if you tell me your feeding choice. I am not interested in whether you made a choice or if it was forced on you.

Actually that is a lie. Something I care about far more than this little thread is how many women are not given the right support in hospital to follow their feeding choice. Makes me bonkers mad that people who want to BF and could BF if given the right support are forced out of their choice.

So fine I do care, in that specific case.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:37:27

bela indeed - thank god noone here is doing that!

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 13:37:28

Fgs there is nothing wrong with ff, not all of us can or want to bf.
Feeding is a choice, everyone has their own mind-Advertising either ff or bf is never going to change a womans mind!

I've tried with 3 out of 4 of my dc to give them the best start, but my nipples just weren't up to it, they were cracked and sore & bf tbh wasn't for me. I bonded with all my babies & i don't think ff them was a crime & yes ff should be advertised so us that choose it can make a more informed choice in which milk is better.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:38:59

Pickled - do you not see this part?

'It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet.'

This is bullshit, and a subtle, subliminal message to make women think 'oh FFS I still can't have a glass of wine and a tub of brie'. And also to think that if they do have wine and brie, that their milk will be of reduced quality - and therefore why not just FF because then your baby will get lovely formula, you can have wine and shovel crisps and it won't affect your baby at all.

It is all advertising, and I cannot believe that people are so blind that they can't see it.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 10-Jan-13 13:39:10

I found the lack of formula information incredibly frustrating at making an informed decision. The information should be available, not suppressed.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:40:48

Jump it does. In increased ear infections, gastro problems that BFing is shown to help prevent.

Again, I have no issue with people choosing to FF, but be clear on your reasons.

According to Unicef (who reference their figures as coming from the DoH), a 'moderate increase' in BF rates would save the NHS £40 million every year.

SolomanDaisy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:40:52

I agree OP. Advertising newborn formula is illegal for a very good reason and MN should be careful not to take part in formula companies' attempts to make formula the default option for newborns. I think MN posters generally lean towards agreeing with that, so I am surprised at this thread.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:41:01

Cognac and given how easy it was to pick up on, I doubt it's a massive influence.

"FF costs the NHS millions every year". How exactly? DS was started on formula by a nurse in an NHS hospital. Because he wouldn't take to BF and I was exhausted and upset.

And I didn;t want to get into posting a lot of figures as I know it annoys people, but if posters are going to be reported for stating a fact then its only fair to give a reference for it.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:42:31

So what if it is subliminal messaging tho. I'm sick of hearing "breast is best" I don't believe that true and no matter how many times I hear it I will not change my mind on the matter.

It should be down to the choice of the mother/parents how they feed their babies and that's that as far as I'm concerned!

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:42:34

jump feel free to report but it is a fact widely reported in the media and the basis of the whole campaign to increase BF rates.

The NHS don't fund campaigns for the fun of it, they do it because it will save them money in the long run.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:43:00

grumpy - the formula companies advertise heavily to HCPs, especially neonatal ones. Who better to be the introducer of formula that someone that the parents will trust?

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 13:43:45

Why does it cost the NHS anything?
They don't even give out formula in hospitals anymore, you have to bring in your own!

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:43:47

cant couldnt agree more.

More information about FF should be supplied by the NHS. But advertising should be banned.

Yes I agree can'tbelieve but in what way does advertising disseminate correct unbiased factual information?

The information parents need to be able to make informed decisions about formula is actually pretty hard to come by and that's not right. It should be widely available from a trusted source.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:44:21

Queen nobody gets annoyed when figures are posted to back up a claim. In this case, if we saw the figures and the OP was correct, we would admit that. As we have not seen these figures, after repeated requests by several posters, we must assume they don't exist.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:44:36

pumpkin it costs them in the treatment of illness that are more common in FF babies.

It is a tiny difference in risk for each baby but added up over millions of babies it is significant.

The cost to the NHS is in the increased incidence of gastro-enteritis and other conditions in formula fed babies.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:45:14

Its important to eat a healthy balanced diet, whatever. No that wouldnt guilt trip me.

Id be more likely to be wallowing in a pit of guilt and thinking of the social implications of FF my baby TBH as I was when I had to last time, though I realise this to be my issue.

We need to stop picking holes in each other over this issue, I am regularly aghast by some of the comments I see on here about formula feeding and it makes everyone touchy I suppose.

As far as advertising goes, yes that would be no loss, as long as health care professionals are equipped and able to provide information instead, however when I was in hospital the mere mention of formula had them shitting their pants and running off. Im not even exaggerating.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:45:31

pumpkin are you serious?

It costs, because in general people who have been FF are more unhealthy than those who have been BF. This is a general trend and observed over whole lifetimes.

I don't know what figures you mean grumpy but I was talking about the poster who was reporting the OP for saying formula feeding costs the NHS millions every year.

It does. That's fact and can be backed up with figures and research.

SolomanDaisy Thu 10-Jan-13 13:46:25

Pumpkin, it costs the NHS money because at a population level breasted babies are healthier than formula fed babies.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:46:31

Alibaba I couldn't breastfeed. I wasn't pressured to use formula. My child physically refused to be BF. Given the choice between FF and letting my son starve, I'll take FF.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:46:37

I think if you looked at how much the nhs spends treating alcohol related illness and injury or obesity you would find it adds up to far more and yet advertising cheap alcohol and unhealthy foods is still legal....

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:47:48

I can't actually believe I am being asked to provide evidence that advertising has an affect on people's decisions.

I mean really? Its a fecking multi-billion pound industry.

There are lots of proper primary research papers on this but I can't access them from home.

From non-proprietary sources you could look at the countries that banned advertising and see how their BF rates jump up to like 99% afterwards...

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 13:48:02

Well i didn't know that as all my dc were healthy as am i and my sister.
Whereas my dbro died of cancer aged 16-he was bf, we were not.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:48:33

The cost to the NHS is in the increased incidence of gastro-enteritis and other conditions in formula fed babies.

Queen - the incidence of gastro-enteritis could be reduced with better education in hospital for those that need it in terms of making up bottles. Its still quite apparent from the feeding boards that some people are not aware of the new guidelines of making bottles.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:48:38

Queen so post the links. Proof, evidence. We have yet to see anything but opinion.

Flobbadobs Thu 10-Jan-13 13:49:20

There is an awful lot of talk about how formula is pushed onto new mothers but very little about how breast feeding is pushed despite it not always being the best option for that child or mother.
I have personally experienced a 'breast feeding counsellor' employed in a hospital which banned the use of formula in the hospital unless the baby was in SCBU. This woman barged into my room, grabbed hold of my breast without my permission and forced it into my DD's mouth while I was trying to latch her on. She gave me an unwanted lecture about the evils of formula, despite me making it known to her that DD was my second child and I was fully capable of making my own decision. In the end I had to have her removed from my room. My daughter came very close to ending up in SCBU because her blood sugar wouldn't stabilise due to her not getting anything from me. I had to get a family member to smuggle in formula and bottles in order to get DD fed and us discharged from hospital.
Let formula be advertised. Let mothers make their own informed choices without being subjected to self righteous shite like this.

I don't think 'breast is best'

I think breastmilk is the normal food for a human baby and that advertising (and thus idealising) anything different should not be allowed.

I also think that formula is a life saver and we are extremely lucky to live in a country where it is available and we have the resources to prepare it correctly.

I think parents deserve accurate unbiased information about feeding their baby.

I don't think formula companies are best placed to provide this.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:49:27

fairy yes indeed. But legislation on that has and will continue to come out. Junk food can't be advertised while children are watching etc.

Minimum alcohol price per unit etc. and of course the ban on fag adverts.

Generally when the NHS can save money by early intervention it happens....eventually.

tiktok Thu 10-Jan-13 13:49:28

It's a question of ethics. Women who use formula milk, for whatever reason, should be able to select the brand and formulation based on good information - their babies' health depends on getting this right.

Instead they get marketing, 'free' fluffy toys and other bits of tat, sky-high prices, with each brand trying to tell you they are the 'best' or 'better' or 'better than ever' or 'new and improved' or 'now with [insert technical sounding ingredient]'. With infant formula, the brands are pretty identical nutritionally in terms of quality, though the exact ingredients may vary - they have to be like that, otherwise they don't meet international and national regulations. Speciality formulas, follow ons and toddler milks are not subject to same regs, and may well differ....though you would find it hard to know, because full information is not easily accessible to the public - they'd rather you went with fluff and marketing, because that is, apparently, what sells product.

That's what's insulting to parents - that unless they hunt very hard, that's all they can get. Do you think Brand X causes more wind or colic or constipation or reflux than Brand Y? Is there published research on this to help you work out if changing the formula you use is worth doing? No - you have to experiment.

I know that MNetters are a special breed and they, uniquely among the human race, are impervious to marketing, but the rest of the world is not. I'd ask this though: those of you who use formula, how did you choose which brand to pick? Marketing will have played some small role in that - even if it was the marketing that worked on your mother smile (like soap powders, consumers are strongly drawn to the brand they remember from childhood).

Ethical marketing would be making all formula widely available at a consistently low price, with minimal branding and no advertising. Information about preparation and storage, and different ingredients, would be easily and clearly available.

The same goes for bottles and teats.

None of this stuff needs to be advertised to tell people bottle/formula feeding is an option for them - I think everyone knows that babies can use bottles, without seeing advertisements. A lack of advertising does not imply judgement on the people who use the product - I have never seen an ad for a coat hanger, or a pencil, or a washing up bowl but I use all these products daily without feeling people are judging me smile

ThedementedPenguin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:50:07


I decided to FF my child. I never considered BF as I didn't want to do this. I made the decision myself. Even though the whole way through my pregnancy all midwives talked about was breast feeding.

Formula companies do not advertise first stage milk as it is illegal. They are allowed to advertise follow on milk.

From what I've read on this Op you've basically said that people who bottle feed are socially irresponsible, makes their children unhealthy.

To me you are basically telling me that my son is worse off as I've formula fed him.

Maybe it's time you wise up a bit Op. Woman are as stupid as you make us out to be.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 13:50:10

Advertising never swayed me either way with any of my dc.
It was through personal choice that i ff fed them and due to not being able to carry on with it.

I don't think a woman watches an advertisment and bases her decision on it.

Link to UNICEF report - you have to follow a further link for the full text.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:51:59

pumpkin I used the phrase "on average" for a reason. You can't tell the difference between a BF child and FF child, but you can tell the difference between 1000 BF children and 1000 FF children.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 13:52:32

pumpkin I have no issue with how you fed your child, I have no issue with how any individual in this country feeds their child. You are looking for censure where there is none.

And in relation to your dbro, I am very sorry for your loss. Obviously though anecdote does not equal data. There will be many healthy people who have been FF, and many unhealthy who have been BF. The trend is on a population level, not individual.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:53:08

pumpkin I am glad you don't base important decisions on advertising. Neither do I. But advertising would not be the major player in our society that it is if everyone was like you and me....

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 13:53:40

I think bf is more forced onto women.
It shouldn't be as it is a personal choice.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 13:54:16


BF v FF stats IMO are so unreliable because they never factor in mitigating factors that skew results. For example. The fact far more FF feed babies come from different socio economic backgrounds.

No-one can know for sure what he actual difference are for FF to BF.

I am interested to know OP do you have any stats that show FF v BF for children from similar backgrounds, locations and genetic disposition?

Where I live I do not see ANY obese children, some have been FF some BF but the influence is socio economic factors not feeding methods.

Maybe instead of getting so worked up about FF you could channel your energy into helping under privileged children mothers and campaigning for them.

grumpyinthemorning Thu 10-Jan-13 13:54:39

Thank you, Queen.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 13:55:05

I think both options should be promoted equally all this rubbish about "normal" way to feed children etc. so am I / my dc abnormal?

I think what is important is that both mother and child are happy and healthy. Causing stress, guilt pressure etc etc etc over how to feed does not help the situation. It should be an informed choice

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:55:45

Anyway we have strayed massively off course now. The fact that FF costs the NHS millions is true. The fact that countries see increases in BF when they ban advertising of FF is also true. Debating these things is pointless.

In this country we have a partial ban on advertising but that doesn't mean that MN couldn't hold itself to a higher standard than that mandated in law.

tiktok Thu 10-Jan-13 13:56:00

Pickled you say, "when I was in hospital the mere mention of formula had them shitting their pants and running off. Im not even exaggerating. "

Er, yes. Yes you are.

Until the debate can move on from 'funny' exaggerations like this, we can't get anywhere.

Flobbadobs what you experienced is excrutiatingly bad care from someone who should not be in a position to 'help' mothers. What happened when you made a complaint about this person?

ThedementedPenguin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:56:21

pumpkin I completely agree. I felt more forced to breastfed my ds than to FF. even when I came to the decision to FF all HCP kept going on at me to breastfed even after I told them I wasn't going to bf

JenaiMorris Thu 10-Jan-13 13:56:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 13:57:37

sock most large scale trials control for confounding factors. i can pm you some if you like?

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:02

tiktok with all due respect you were not there. We have had this conversation before as well.

One of the staff told me in the middle of the night when I had to ask for FF to top up DS who refused to latch & feed that they were "not supposed to talk about it" and she was bloody nervous.

The approach Breast is best, BF not working out for you? Erm shit here is some formula (but its not very good) was what I got.

I have no earthly reason to fib about it, its not even that relevant to what we are talking about.

ThedementedPenguin Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:39

In this country we have a partial ban on advertising but that doesn't mean that MN couldn't hold itself to a higher standard than that mandated in law.

Therefore saying that anyone who FF their child are the worst.

iseenodust Thu 10-Jan-13 14:00:11

OP YABU It's an ad among a sea of ads. It's clearly an ad and we can ignore it.

The unhealthy FF babies theory tends to correlate more to other co-existent (sp?) factors eg poverty.

JenaiMorris Thu 10-Jan-13 14:00:28

a step that you need to take for your baby's development I should have said - clearly formula is a step you need to take if you're going out to work full time and don't fancy pissing about with expressing, for example.

FairyJen about 10 times more is spent annually on formula advertising than on promoting/supporting breastfeeding.

I'd say there is inequality there but possibly not in the way you think.

iseenodust Thu 10-Jan-13 14:00:54

x post with sock.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 14:01:43

"It costs, because in general people who have been FF are more unhealthy than those who have been BF. This is a general trend and observed over whole lifetimes."

But this may or may not be because they are BF or FF. So it's misleading to state it in this way. The healthy BF children are most coming form a different background than the unhealthy FF child. It is influenced by socio group ad no research has been done that separates this out as far as I know.

tiktok Thu 10-Jan-13 14:01:56

Fairy, why be so annoyed that breastfeeding is described as the normal way to feed?

This is physiologically true. Just as breathing is the normal way to take in oxygen, chewing and swallowing is the normal way to send food down the digestive tract, sweating is the normal way to regulate your body temperature.

Proudnscary Thu 10-Jan-13 14:03:16

It so horribly unsisterly, unhelpful, judgemental and full of faux concern and snobbishness all this anti formula feeding bullshit.

Flobbadobs Thu 10-Jan-13 14:05:44

tiktok she didn't come back to me and I received an apology from the doctor who discharged me. The hospital changed it's policy shortly afterwards. It was a huge factor in my decision to home birth for my third though.
A friend of mine had her son there not long after I was discharged and as far as I know the counsellor was only available on request rather than just showing up so maybe my complaint was taken into account.

TheCraicDealer Thu 10-Jan-13 14:06:02

Maybe increased rates of FF'ing do cost the NHS more in terms of treating issues that BF'ing may have prevented/helped. However, you can't measure that cost in any meaningful way.

What you could measure, if the NHS had a blanket ban on prescribing FF in hospital, is the cost of treating mothers for exhaustion, mental health issues, or physical problems with mastitis etc as a direct result of not receiving appropriate help and support when finding they were unable to BF. And that's before you even consider what harm you could cause to a newborn by not feeding them!

Which bits are 'bullshit'?

Genuine question.

Even if FF costs the NHS money on a population level, it is a DROP in the bucket compared to the money spent on illnesses and accidents related to alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food.

I would take the formula ad ban more seriously if it were part of a broader ban to encourage health. I think it's pretty ridiculous in a country that, until last year, featured the Carling Cup.

wannaBe Thu 10-Jan-13 14:08:12

"How is advertising FF irresponsible? Because you are trying to persuade someone to make a choice that is less healthy. If it isn't a choice you do it why advertise?" So where do we draw the line at these choice-making adverts then? Let's see....

Any advert for any kind of Alcohol, because, alcohol is bad for you...

Any advert for any kind of fast food restaurant, ready meal, sauce in a jar/packet,

Adverts for sweets, crisps, biscuits, chocolate, desserts, icecream.... shall I go on?

And that's before we get to the adverts for the gambling sites and bingo sites where people will be making unhealthy choices to lose all their money.

No no, only adverts for the best salads plus free range meat/organic vegetables will suffice. Only the healthiest products will suffice, choices need not apply.

Personally I have no idea why anyone actually cares about how other people feed their babies.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 14:09:08

Spot on WannaBe-where will it end.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 14:09:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:10:30

queen I'm not disputing that at all. I'm saying it should be equal. Increase advertising bf by all means but then increase information and support for ff mothers. Fairs fair right?

ouryve Thu 10-Jan-13 14:11:09

Quit the guilt tripping, OP. I breastfed DS2 for 2.5 years. I was very ill after having DS1, though - in hospital until he was almost 2 weeks old because i had fluid on my lungs and i wasn't even allowed to hold him for a short period because I was radioactive while it was being investigated. I'm lucky to have established breastfeeding with him at all - in the end, we settled for combination feeding because that was all I could manage while I was recovering. I managed to keep on nursing him until he was 18 months old.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Ok FairyJen it sounds like we agree then grin

I think there should be far more information available about formula. I just don't think advertising fulfills that need.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 14:15:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 14:15:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:16:36

Sockmuppet- plenty of studies have been controlled for socio-economic background, actually.

Op - YANBU. I was shocked to see 2 pages of people disagreeing with you - I thought I'd stepped into a parallel universe (or maybe net mums?!)
Sadly some people can't help but see these types of posts as a personal attack. I can understand - its a sensitive topic. But it's really not personal.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 14:18:26


Op - YANBU. I was shocked to see 2 pages of people disagreeing with you - I thought I'd stepped into a parallel universe (or maybe net mums?!)

There you are for an example of snobbish bullshit.

You could be the healthiest breast fed toddler in the world. Doesn't for one second mean that you won't get hit by a car thirty years from now break your leg and require thousands upon thousands of pounds worth of surgery and physio. Won't stop someone from getting depressed after smart image break up requiring medication for years and it won't stop people getting drink or taking drugs. All of which cost the nhs millions a year. And you won't ever know that being breasted or formula fed woulda made any difference by that point. Stop attacking people's choices we do not need your approval!!!

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:18:57

Joke, sorry. Misplaced.

theodorakisses Thu 10-Jan-13 14:19:18

Obviously advertising is not information but why only expose people to one side of it? The BF adverts are able to advertise, if you CENSOR the rest then surely you are at risk of belittling or judging people. I had a statutory 11 days leave and then I had to go back to work. Not ideal but the bills must be paid. My choice for working abroad but i felt that the quality of life and opportunity outweighed the guilt. Healthy reasonably well adjusted brood and I absolutely stand by my right to choose without being sighed at and assumed to be a bit thick.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:20:23

I didn't mean because of people Ffing, by the way. That would have been snobbish bullshit! I just meant because mn has a reputation for being a bit lentil-weavery, it was just a silly joke. Sorry.
The rest of my post still stands though...

My ideas for information that should be available from one trusted and independent source would include.... exactly what all the ingredients in formula are for, what they are derived from, how they are tested, what side effects they might have, comparisons of different formulas so you can choose between brands, step by step printable photo instructions on safe handling/preparation, information about why that is important, just for starters.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:20:41

Op I don't have an issue as such with your view on advertising its more the fact that you are using formula as the platform to prove your point.

We all k ow there are pitfalls to advertising but you never hear men go "carlsberg probably the best beer" er no "becks is best" " you don't get a hangover thus saving the nhs millions On paracetamol every year....

Instead it seems to be always about how ff are awful mothers. Surely the fact that we feed our children regardless of how is the important issue.

There are other advertising areas you can attack if you feel that strongly. Why pick this one?

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 14:22:30

OK thanks for clarifying there Cat.

There is a really good website which compares the brands Queen and as far as I was aware they are all pretty homogeneous.

I went to Tesco and manually compared all the boxes, my HV told me they couldn't comment on which brand any more - which I suppose makes sense but it would have been good if she said they are all the blardy same. Saved me a lot of work.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 14:23:15


"Sockmuppet- plenty of studies have been controlled for socio-economic background, actually."

Please could you link one as I am genuinely interested.

marriage break up fat thumbs sorry blush

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Thu 10-Jan-13 14:24:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:24:19

Caffeine drip - but you could say that about anything! I might as well stuff my face with burgers and chips, not worry about veg, who cares - I might get hit by a bus tomorrow!
(not comparing ff to burger and chips before anyone shouts - just saying that trying to make a healthy/ier choice isn't pointless because something randomly unlucky may happen in the future, surely?

But... who said women who choose to formula feed are awful mothers? Nobody on this thread has said that (from what I can see, anyway) and if they did they would be called out on it pretty damn fast.

And I think the main reason formula advertising gets focussed on is that the people whose sole source of nutrition is being decided are not able to make that decision for themselves (being babies and all that grin) and so there needs to be very stringent control on the factors that influence the decision making process.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:27:34

Even without any adverts babies are not going to be making the choice tho so surely it's better that parents are informed WELL about ALL the feeding choices

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 14:27:54

FairyJEn - because formula marketing does huge damage worldwide. Women in developing countries who are perfectly able to BF, are handed 'free' formula, which they make up with water that carries disease.
The free samples run out, the woman's own milk supply has dried up and her family are left trying to find the money to pay for expensive formula - which they will make up with disease-ridden water.

These are the same companies that hand out cows, and bears and all the other gubbins to new mothers here - and everyone says 'what's the harm?'.

It's ok cat I was just replying to the point that it costs nhs millions apparently. That there r far more things that cost far more and that advertising or no advertising it's it the sole drain on the nhs smile

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:28:32

I agree with OP

Because she has objected to the advertising, not to women using formula (classic MN straw man scenario)

The TV adverts for formula milk are appalling. Particularly the Aptimil ones. They may be sneaking under the wire by only advertising "follow-on milk" but they are disingenuous.

"Breastmilk is the best protection for your baby" No, it's FOOD. It IS "normal", it is not some medical precaution.

"If you decide to move on" - well, I agree with a previous poster who pointed out that this implies a progression of steps which is unnecessary.

Several of the adverts for follow-on milk show babies far too young to be drinking it.

I would ban advertising of all formula products personally.

It's not

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:30:34

I've been Googling and can't find a link about FF babies costing the NHS more money due to illness than BF babies?

Does anyone have a link please?

Absolutely FairyJen

Information is crucial.

Advertising isn't information though, its idealising guff with the sole intention of getting you to buy a product.

I mean for example Aptamil go on about 'immunofortis' on their packaging and in their adverts. What is it? Where does it come from? What does it do? What side effects might it have? What other formulas include it under a different name? Is it vegetarian?

You don't get that, fairly important, information from an advert.

I posted it worra but here it is again - link

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:32:07

ali if that's the case then with all respect that's the area that should be targeted. More education for those women and free birth control etc etc

Instead my choice to see ifs formula is on offer which milk next etc etc is being taken away.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 14:32:31

Sockmuppet - I can't link as I'm on phone, but for example on the UNICEF site there is a list of Differences in health outcome associated with infant feeding method, and it says above 'the studies have all been controlled for social and economic variables'.
It's google-able - I can post direct link later from computer.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 14:33:11

but by objecting to the legal advertising you are objecting to formula feeding AND CHOICE this is baby bottles that somebody might buy to feed their baby formula because if they are in boots buying bottles they may wander over and buy a tin of sma or whatever, this is what the OP is objecting to this is what she thinks is the spirit of the law, or whatever she said, but tbh she thinks that anything to do with formula shouldn't be advertised

JenaiMorris Thu 10-Jan-13 14:33:25

Breastfeeders have to worry about supply, intake, quality at every feed

I know that a lot of women struggle with BF and do need support, but ime "supply, intake and quality" barely featured. It's one of the joys - lots of wet nappies, baby growing - you're fine.

Maybe people over-complicate BF sometimes. If it's going well (and I appreciate that it doesn't for everyone) then you don't need any paraphenalia (beyond pads I suppose) and you don't need to monitor anything beyond nappies.

FairyJen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:34:45

I agree advertising is not information but you can pair the two, get information about what ingredient is what and what purpose it has then you can understand the advert and make a better informed choice about the product.

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:35:10

Formula advertising is not about infant feeding or babies' health and welfare, they are about getting women to become consumers - if you begin using it, you are then "hooked" until you wean your baby. Very lucrative.

In an ideal world we could have a non-profit-making NHS-run system of producing cheap, good-quality formula for women who want or need to use it, and hospital staff properly trained to help, inform and support women whatever their choices are. Rather than greedy amoral companies (like Nestle for example) cashing in on poor breastfeeding support and lack of information and confidence in new parents.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 14:35:58

FairyJen - these companies are huge though, and have enormous revenues. The whole promotion of infant formula should be banned IMO, in favour of the kind of centralised distribution and information that Queen is talking about.

And infant formula shouldn't be on offer, that is also illegal. Follow on milk for over 1's can be promoted, but by then cow's milk is perfectly adequate so no need to spend ££s on formula.

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:36:14

bottles are irrelevant, lots of mothers need those whether they bf or not

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Thu 10-Jan-13 14:37:12

Have you never looked at the mn logo? Or the strap line?

I still want to see the advert thats started this though! Where is it?

With regards to the link- no one knows what causes SIDS they can only offer advice in what MAY help prevent it. They can't possibly ever know! I mean it mentioned about most stopping at six weeks and it could contribute but isn't that just another unproven coincidence. They can't ever know. Babies are only exclusively breasted for a Maxof six months before food is introduced and it's their only source of nutrition. After then it could be any number of things that then go on to contribute to the progression of other complaints. What about environmental causes , life style choices the. Mum made etc. u can't say for sure your baby will be healthier if u feed a certain way cos u won't ever know what that child woulda been like if u had made a different decision

HopAndSkip Thu 10-Jan-13 14:38:21

I agree with OP here. There's a reason advertising formula isn't allowed. It makes breastfeeding seem less of the norm. It could discourage some women who are already feeling unsure about being able to feed in public so on, by making them feel that "everyone" or a large proportion are FF and it is what they should do too.

Everyone should promote breast feeding as the priority, as it is best for the baby. Anyone advertising formula is doing it for profit, not the best for the baby.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:39:16

sock I have PMed you a trial that states in a nice way how the data is controlled for confounding variables. I would rather discuss it via PM than here for reasons stated in the PM.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 14:40:03

JenaiMorris - the over complication of BF is part of the whole thing IMO. Yes it is tough to gets things started, sometimes, but once it is going then it is so easy.
I have never worried about supply, intake and quality beyond DS1 being about 2 weeks old.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:41:01

Good god you certainly DO NOT need to worry about supply and quality at every breast feed! That just works. No worry required.

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:42:17

Thanks Queen, that's a long report so I admit to having speed read it

But I can't see that they're taking other important factors into the baby's home environment, whether the mother smoked/drank during pregnancy or whether she was overweight or obese.

These are all important factors regarding childhood illness.

So for example, if 100 FF or BF babies were admitted to hospital with certain conditions/illnesses, they may have something in common ie they were born to smokers or overweight obese mums.

I've saved it though so will read it properly later.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Jan-13 14:44:02

Hello. What advert? Where? Can you please let us know?

That's just what I said worra smile

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 14:45:47

If bf promotion is so strong right now (and it is believe me) then that doesn't explain why people still choose to ff.... all it proves is advertising doesn't work!!

So by proxy advertising a few bottles and or milk isn't going to make much of a difference to people choosing not to bf.

I chose to ff both mine. My reasons were nothing related to health or advertising. It was simply because I didn't like the idea of a baby on my breast ( again that is my choice) and also I wanted to share feeding with my dh. I wanted to be able tosshare night feeds completely without expressing or breastfeeding.

I also chose to have an elective section. (Which ironically it turned out I needed anyway).

I'm a truly awful mother.

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:45:52

Great minds caffeine smile

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 10-Jan-13 14:45:54

Didn't have time to read the whole thread (300 posts), but I would add this. When I had DC1, I had not considered that I would have to have an EMCS. So I had not researched it. I had not considered that I would have to FF, either. DH had to go and buy bottles, etc while I was still in hospital. Neither he nor I had any idea about what he was buying. The staff in Boots were very helpful, but if I'm completely honest I would not have bought the brand that he did (they didn't push him towards the most expensive, either) for various reasons.

I think you, OP, AB completely U. You seem to be a person who looks down on those of us who were physically incapable of breastfeeding. Fwiw I did try very hard to breastfeed DC2, but made both the rest of the family and me very miserable whilst trying. That is the kind of pressure that your attitude puts on new mothers. Despicable.

I think MN are doing nothing wrong at all. Only wish I'd discovered the site much earlier.

sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 14:46:32

Cat98 I have searched but not found it. Please link later if you do find it. I did find this on unicef though

It is always important to bear in mind the following when considering the strength of any evidence:

Carrying out randomised controlled trials which are clearly recognised as the “gold standard” is not always possible as it is not ethical to randomly allocate mothers in a way which arbitrarily may decide that half of the group will bottle feed.
Many studies are flawed by staff or mothers deviating from the protocol as this may seem counter-intuitive or too hard to follow in the situation in which they are being cared for or living.
Sample sizes, particularly for older infants, become very small, particularly in countries such as the UK with low breastfeeding continuation rates/exclusivity. It is therefore difficult to accurately infer statistics.
In specialist areas such as caring for preterm infants, it is difficult to recruit mothers at such difficult times and again, small numbers are reflected in a lack of solid evidence about many aspects of care.
Breastfeeding may be documented as having a “small protective effect” against certain illnesses. Whilst it is clearly accurate to say that that the risk of not breastfeeding is greater with some conditions than others, what is a small protective effect in one child is likely to have a much more dramatic effect across a whole population.

And this omits the socio demographic question.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 14:46:56

tbh I agree with what worra said ( she is always right hmm ) BF is only beneficial when it is included in a healthy lifestyle same as formula, you can breast feed your child till they are 7 but if their lifestyle is unhealthy their enviroment is chaotic then what chance has a child got same for FF

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 14:48:16

Icbineg try telling that to all 3 of my 3 who get desperately underweight whilst bf in particular my dd who was rushed into scbu malnourished and underweight thanks to bfing.

Try telling that to the consultant who treated my dd who said they'd treated countless babies in a similar situation who had suffered from over zealous and incorrect midwives saying what you just posted.

Supply and quality doesn't "just work" for every mother.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:49:52

sock were does that quote come from? Also did you have a look at the PM?

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 10-Jan-13 14:50:01

When I had my ds I spent a long time researching the hell out of feeding, and different formulas but the information just isn't there. Yes advertising isn't information, but where is the information??!

FloatyBeatie Thu 10-Jan-13 14:50:09

I agree with the OP. So many adverts for follow-on milk are doing their damnedest to use the legality of advertising follow-on as a Trojan horse for images designed to promote formula feeding at all stages including new-born, and it seems that the Boots offer is not innocent of this.

Not sure what the point of MN boycotting Nestle is unless they take a principled stand across the board in relation to such adverts (except of course that boycotting Nestle is a shortcut to looking committed without actually being committed).

Mind you, MN are flogging those "breakfast biscuits" on a talk thread right now, so they clearly don't go to great lengths anymore to restrict themselves to promoting good products.

So more breastfeeding could potentially maybe save £40 million/year.

Alcohol costs the NHS around £3 billion a year. And unlike with BF, the links between alcohol and bad outcomes are extremely obvious, even at the individual level.

So why not push for bans on alcohol adverts?

If you drive, I suspect there is a greater chance of your baby being injured by a drunk driver than by formula. <rampant speculation emoticon>

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:02

polka Apologies, I meant once BF is established you can stop worrying. Obviously with either BF or FF you have to monitor that weight is being gained initially and check for allergic reactions etc.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:12

So if MN dont know about the advert, where is it?

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:14

So MN advertising McDonalds is ok?

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:39

Polkadot it didn't work for my mum, sister or grandmother.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 14:51:55

mumsnet promote everything from nappies to houseswaps maybe they should stop all advertising but tbh that is how the site is run and keeps going

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:52:01

mrsjay! grin

FellatioNels0n Thu 10-Jan-13 14:52:17

Socailly irresponsible? Are you serious?

I cannot even be bothered to engage further on this thread.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:52:45

dreaming unfortunately you are wrong about the driving and formula thing. An inspection of the numbers shows that car accidents are way down the list of causes of death for babies under a year old.

I absolutely would join anyone pushing for a ban on alcohol advertising.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 14:52:48


you are though there is posts all over with me saying what worra said what worra said envy grin

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:53:19

McDonalds isn't crack cocaine

There's not reason why it can't be given now and then as a treat to someone who otherwise has a perfectly healthy diet and takes the right amount of exercise.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Jan-13 14:53:36

Hi all,
Thanks for the heads up on this. We do disallow formula milk adverts - not because we are anti-formula feeding per se - we believe in supporting mothers' choices but because follow-on milk is just a cynical way of getting round the ban on advertising of formula milk for babies under six months. So we will look into it and block these ads now. Apologies for the oversight and thanks for the heads up.

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 14:54:13

I just assumed you were a lazy typer! grin

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:54:59

I kind of agree that there is no point in boycotting Nestle unless it is part of a wider philosophy

but on the other hand, isn't "not enough" better than "nothing at all"?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:55:01

MNHQ - it is appearing under the most active/ discussions of the day bit for me.

It's a rotation of different adverts but every so often it is an advert for boots that is promoting a baby bundle including a bottle set for newborns and follow milk (and other stuff too).

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:55:32

Justine, you kick ass grin

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 14:56:25

Oh! Thanks Justine.

Can I just put in a massive apology for putting this in AIBU

It was really really dumb. I had totally forgotten about site stuff etc.

<never EVER makes it out of chat / AIBU>

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 14:56:42

Justine - grin

I said injured, not killed.

But at any rate, I'm sure formula ranks even lower than car accidents as a cause of death for infants (in the UK).

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 14:58:01

<sigh of relief that MN is still MN>

InNeatCognac Thu 10-Jan-13 14:58:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Forgetfulmog Thu 10-Jan-13 14:59:28

Well I have a question for you lot. Why is there no BF advertising? All we see on tv are Formula adverts of happy babies, but nothing to promote bf & it makes me mad. Ff is big business in the UK, all baby medicine is geared towards ff (those bf mums who have tried to give their baby gaviscon will testify to that!)

PickledInAPearTree Thu 10-Jan-13 14:59:35

McDonalds is not crack coccaine grin

Forgetfulmog Thu 10-Jan-13 14:59:43


sockmuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 14:59:50

The quote came from UNICEF

ENSMUM Thu 10-Jan-13 15:00:41

Totally agree with you OP and please MN HQ appear to support your view too smile

OP was no way suggesting women shouldn't have a choice to formula feed - if no formula companies had adverts for their products people would still know the product exists and be able to look at which brands etc are available in the appropriate areas of the shops.

Follow on milk is not necessary at all, only produced so the companies can get around the advertising ban.

Apologies if this has all been said already above. I have to admit I haven't read through the whole thread, but was astonished by how much criticism and little support the OP was coming under!

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:00:47

But if you go by the op's logic advertising causes one to throw all logic out the window.If one sees an advert from Boots one will instantly reach for the bottle.

Given the fact that the horrendous numbers of children leaving primary school obese are rocketing and children are obviously not just stopping at an odd treat when consuming Mcdonalds( probably not helped by the pushing of the products with free toys) then clearly the above fear of Boots advertising should kind of extend to McDonald's advertising.

Obviously if we go by the logic that we all use our common sense when parenting then the op might seem a little unreasonable particularly when you consider the immense bigger longer lasting damage unhealthy food such as Mcdonalds does to children in this country.

Vagaceratops Thu 10-Jan-13 15:01:31

There may not be any on TV, but there are loads in other places - GP's, hospitals, surestart centres.

Why are there no FF support groups?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:01:40

Dreaming I am pretty confident that FF ranks higher than car crashes. The stats are horrible and I don't think we should go there. I could PM you if you like?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:02:23

sock thanks I will follow that up

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:02:44

Absolute rubbish op.

Forgetfulmog Thu 10-Jan-13 15:03:42

Yes but let's face it, a TV campaign is far more influential than a couple of posters. As for ff support groups, bf can be fucking hard. & you need the support if you're going to succeed

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 15:04:08

Perhaps the distinction between formula and alcohol advertising is that in one instance you are making a decision for yourself, while on the other you are making it on behalf of someone else? And possibly also because alcohol adverts tend not to claim that their products are super-healthy and offer medical protections?

So Mumsnet is not anti-formula feeding per se


If you really support choice, you should not be anti-FF at all

I actually think pulling the ads is not very MN at all. We're not a bunch of idiots needing protecting from the big bad cynical formula companies.

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:04:39

I for one would like to see the horrendous stats directly linking formula as a cause of death in infants.

I can't believe people peddle this shit.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:04:46

forget oh we had buses with BF "adverts" on them around here a while back!

But to be honest I am not sure an arms race is the way forward.

As many have said on here it would be better for the people who are already locked into their feeding mode to be left in peace to get on with being parents.

I would prefer no adverts at all....just info at antenatal classes.

JenaiMorris Thu 10-Jan-13 15:04:46

Oh I couldn't agree more, Cognac. They shouldn't have to.

My MWs drummed that into me. The MW running our NHS antenatal classes did too - out of about a dozen of us I think maybe one or two FF (one of whom had twins - I know it's doable but moving to FF after the colustrum stage is pretty understandable if you have more than one). The rest BF for at least a couple of months.

This was 12 years ago.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:05:29

Here is the link, which also contains to quote sock mentions, but if you read further it clearly says these studies have been controlled:

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:06:45

Also this quote (c&p's from unicef) clearly summarises what meny of us have been saying on this thread:

Breastfeeding may be documented as having a “small protective effect” against certain illnesses. Whilst it is clearly accurate to say that that the risk of not breastfeeding is greater with some conditions than others, what is a small protective effect in one child is likely to have a much more dramatic effect across a whole population.

OP -- thanks but you're right, we don't need to go there with stats. We are probably not going to agree anyway.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:06:57

Sorry for typos

JenaiMorris Thu 10-Jan-13 15:07:53

BF mothers shouldn't have to worry about intake etc I meant. I'm tired, sorry.

I'm quite certain that knowing this contributed to such a good uptake of BF among my little group.

Fakebook Thu 10-Jan-13 15:08:06

It's FOLLOW ON milk. Normally a child will start cows milk at age 1 as part of their diet.

378 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:08:58

Hey OP didn't want to join the bunfight but Justine just summed up exactly the point of what you were trying to say in your OP I think so you can be relieved that not everyone misinterpreted your OP in the way a lot of pages following did I think.

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 15:09:28

see Justine's post Fakebook

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 10-Jan-13 15:11:35

Haven't bothered to read the replies.

Has formula been compared to crack yet? hmm
Don't forget that a bottle of coke is cheaper and babies love it. grin

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:12:08

If you follow guidelines there is no risk what so ever. I want to see respected concrete scientific evidence that directly links formula (and formula only )prepared correctly following guidelines to illnesses.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:12:32

polka and dreaming The rate of deaths from RTA for under 1s is around less than 1/25,000
The rate of deaths from sids for under 1s is around 1/2500.

So child under 1 is 10 times more likely to die from SIDS than an RTA.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:13:57

See the fsid website for evidence that FF increases the risk of SIDS.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:14:45

areyou yes FF has been compared to the pro-FFers obvs.

Chunkymumma Thu 10-Jan-13 15:15:04

I chose not to BF, it was nothing to do with formula advertising though. It was my NCT groups bf class, totally put me off with all the talk of mastitis, engorgement, leaking nips etc... Yuk! However, I truly do think other people bf is quite lovely.
The support for ff mothers is shit in this country, I think that's awful. The problems caused by ff are sometimes to do with preparing it incorrectly - so why not educate women on how to do this. It's the parents choice how to feed their baby, nobody else's so they should be given as much support as bf mothers, not made to feel like lepers because of their choice.

OlivetheotherReindeer Thu 10-Jan-13 15:16:16

Seriously, MN isn't anti formula feeding , per about no adds for any breast pumps, breast pads, nipple shields etc.....just to give a balanced view?

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:16:42

Where does the research say SIDS deaths are attributed directly to correctly prepared formula following guidelines and only correctly prepared formula?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:19:18

Sids is uncorrelated with gastroenteritis so I can't imagine that the way you prepare the formula makes any odds...

What fraction of people do you think are NOT following the guidelines?

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 10-Jan-13 15:19:43

Oh so we are past that point,OK. Of course it was by those who formula feed,they should have their children taken away from them,because by feeding their babies in public they ate socially irresponsible.

Now if I give my 6month old 8oz of coke will that keep her awake til 9pm cause I hate leaving the pub early?

You can't attribute all SIDS deaths to formula FFS.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:22:37

No-one else has suggested any of least certainly not the people complaining about the advertising.

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:22:44

So what exactly is the immense risk from correctly prepared formula in relation to SIDS ie what part of formula causes SIDS?

Also where is the research that directly links formula as a cause of SIDS?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:22:55

indeed not and I haven't dreaming

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:23:19

polka I pmed it to you

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 10-Jan-13 15:24:04

Do you give your children soothers ICB?

PolkadotCircus Thu 10-Jan-13 15:25:06

So what are you saying in relation to correctly prepared formula and SIDS?

TheBrideofMucky Thu 10-Jan-13 15:25:53

I'm sure all new mothers know that formula and bottles exist. Lets not hide them away like they are something to be ashamed of.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:27:20

polka BM and FM are different. They contain different chemicals. The gut of a baby responds differently to them and they are digested at different rates.

Sids is highly correlated with sleeping more deeply and hence anything that causes that. Including being in a smoke filled room or sleeping on your front. FF is also correlated with sleeping more deeply possibly because of the differences listed above.

Most babies are not at all susceptible to SIDS. But for the ones that are susceptible it is important to minimise the things that lead to deeper sleep.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 10-Jan-13 15:28:44

Yes one could give formula and a soother to counteract that.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:28:55

areyou erm nope. Why do you ask? Should we be banning them being advertised also?

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Thu 10-Jan-13 15:30:07

No soothers are now considered to help in the prevention of SIDS.

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:30:42

ahh soothers are preventative for SIDS? Not so much if they are used as projectiles I imagine....

Thanks for the comment about FF being 'less healthy' OP that made me feel great as I feed a bottle of formula to my 16 week old. hmm

And hmm at anyone choosing to FF because of special offers, spend money on formula & bottles or feed breast milk which I'm pretty sure is free?

If MN was heavily advertising gambling I would say it was possibly socially irresponsible but baby milk? Really?

ICBINEG Thu 10-Jan-13 15:32:13

I am not suggesting by any stretch that people should make feeding decisions based solely on SIDS stats. There are going to be far more critical personally relevant factors in most cases.

But people were asking for proof that FF can cause illness and hence I provided it.

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 15:33:21

It is on balance less healthy than bf though. Why should that be a secret? confused

threesocksmorgan Thu 10-Jan-13 15:33:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LookBehindYou Thu 10-Jan-13 15:33:55

Yes you are being unreasonable. Formula feeding is an alternative and one that lots of parents need.

lizzieangelbug Thu 10-Jan-13 15:34:16

As a first time mum I wanted nothing more than to breastfeed my dd. But unfortunately it didn't work out due to several reasons. I tried for six weeks and ended up very reluctantly stopping. The guilt I felt and still do is sometimes unbearable. I desperately tried to make it work but didn't get the help I needed in hospital right from the start. I felt totally let down by the NHS. On first night dd wouldn't latch no mater what I did so mw said " well do you just want to give her formula?" I was so exhusted after not sleeping for nearly 3 days I felt I had no choice. After coming home a mw came to check me and dd and I still couldn't get her to latch on mw said "I'd try her with a bottle." after trying to help dd latch on for half an hour. Dd is now 6 months healthy, happy and bright little girl. I'm glad I had formula to feed her because I didn't get help I needed to bf. The mw's are so over streched in my area that they don't have the time to help. And yes I know now theres bf cafes and I even got a nct bf coucillor out but she had to travel so far I felt i couldn't ask her to keep coming out. while its great theres a breastfeeding campaign some of us slip through the net as there isn't the help to back it up.
So please don't let people like me feel like shit with your statistics on how dangerous formula is. It really doesn't help.
Sorry rant over.

Greensleeves Thu 10-Jan-13 15:34:22

which bits has OP made up three socks?

ENSMUM Thu 10-Jan-13 15:34:51

olovetheothetreindeer - advertising breast shields etc is likely to sway people more towards Ff than Bf by suggesting they are likely to encounter probems

I suggested that children are more at risk from drunk drivers than from formula.

You said no, because children are more likely to die from SIDS than car accidents.

So presumably, you are attributing SIDS deaths to formula.

According to government figures, nearly 10,000 people a year are killed or injured in road accidents involving alcohol.

Now, I'm sure you have some study showing that maybe possibly potentially there could be 10,000 people a year who suffer some medical harm because they were fed formula during their first six months. But this is much more speculative than the evidence of harm caused by drink driving.

I only raise this comparison because people like the OP tend to always cite 'public health' as their reason for caring so much about this, and yet compared to many other things the public health effects of FF are minimal and/or indirect and don't really justify the hysteria.