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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?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Jan-13 22:42:31

Hello all

Just a quick note to say:

1) thanks for the reports about posts on this thread - we will get to them as soon as we can; and

2) while we appreciate that this is a hugely emotional topic for many posters, we do need everyone to remain within our Talk Guidelines, and steer clear of both personal attacks and goading (as well as all the other things our Guidelines say you're supposed to steer clear of).


TheFallenNinja Thu 10-Jan-13 22:42:43

Give me strength

catgirl1976 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:43:53

Getting back (and I may regret this) to the issue

I think BF is best in general

But it isn't always best or possible for every individual mother

Where a woman decides to ff or combi feed, or where she cannot bf, she should not come under fire for that or be made to feel shit. It's an emotive subject

I would like to see much higher bf rates as a whole but do not wish individual mothers to be judged on how they feed their child

I do not think formula companies act ethically as they are profit driven and behave accordingly. But I equally do not think them marketing follow on milk is the major factor that needs addressing in order to raise bf rates in the uk.

<hops back on sledge>

catgirl1976 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:44:43

Good luck with the baby Moonmin!

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 10-Jan-13 22:45:40

Shagmund makes a good point some pages back

'I suspect it actually goes like this: people want to breastfeed but find it emotionally and sometimes physically challenging. But hey, ho - everywhere they look they see advertising for formula and babies being bottlefed. They can sign up for clubs run by baby milk companies, phone helplines run by these companies, watch programmes on tv sponsored by these companies, and it makes the decision to stop breastfeeding seem absolutely emotionally safe and logical and normal. Babies and bottles go together like a horse and cart. Like bread and butter. And it's not enough that you rarely see babies being breastfed (even on programs like OBEM). The companies have to make sure that they SATURATE parenting magazines with advertising for their products.

Bottlefeeding is completely normalised in the UK in terms of being highly visible in cultural terms (outside of NHS health promotion campaigns). Breastfeeding is largely invisible and is marginalised in a social sense. Formula companies would like to keep things this way.'

Agreed - I find it disappointing that people choose not to bf (not talking about those who cannot, have had very big problems with bf). This is how I feel about it and I shall say it.

Moominsarescary Thu 10-Jan-13 22:52:51

Thanks cat, night pickled.

I trained as a mh nurse, advising women not to bf when on ad is not something any mh team I've worked for would do unless it was thought the mothers health would improve (some women clearly feel bf affects their mh negatively) or in the case of some meds that really arnt suitable when bf.

However some women do not feel comfortable bf when taking meds, regardless of how safe it is. The same with the MMR jab, most people feel it is safe but some will still worry about it and decide against it.

Personal choice

chandellina Thu 10-Jan-13 23:02:04

I used to feel that way, disappointed, but then I looked closely at what we know about each feeding method and whether it really matters and decided it really didn't and that families should do what they want.

I think there are even social arguments against bf because it takes women out of the workforce longer and contributes to an overall inequality in the workplace. It also puts the greater parenting on women from day one and while it's easy enough to say that's the natural state of affairs, it narrows women's freedom and choices.

SirBoobAlot Thu 10-Jan-13 23:09:32

Moomins - my mental health team (I have BPD) were always supportive with my medication / treatment options whilst breastfeeding, but the majority of women that suffer from PND tend to only be seen by GPs, who are much less informed than specialist teams. I can't fault the MH team at all for their attitude to breastfeeding, sorry if it came across that way.

Moominsarescary Thu 10-Jan-13 23:16:26

Your right regarding gps, but then I think lots of women receive poor care whilst pregnant from their gps. Women suffering hg in early pg is a good example. I had a great gp with ds1 who checked my urine and sent me straight to the hospital but with ds3 my gp refused to check and told me they don't give out meds for morning sickness.

SirBoobAlot Thu 10-Jan-13 23:52:55

Completely agree with you.

Arthurfowlersallotment Fri 11-Jan-13 07:26:24

Is this still going?

Why should any of you feel the need to so vehemently defend your feeding choice?

The uncomfortable truth is that breast feeding is better- it says so on Mumsnet before you round on me.

However I don't care how you feed your babies. I'm only concerned with my own. Why should any of you consider it your business whether someone FF or BF? It's damn all to do with you.

This thread is ridiculous.

MorrisZapp Fri 11-Jan-13 07:34:38

Those who advocate using ADs when breast feeding, can I just ask. Are you saying that eg prozac, citalopram etc have been proven safe to take during bf?

My GP looked at the latest research and said that sertraline was the least worst option. I understand that most ADs have not been proven safe for bf, can you tell me if this is true or not?

catgirl1976 Fri 11-Jan-13 07:41:06

Well it wasn't still going, no.

No one is denying that breastfeeding is generally best. There is nothing uncomfortable in that.

What they are doing is recognising that it isn't always best or possible on an Individual level

Low bf rates need be addressed on a wide, society level basis by changing the perception of breasts, bfeeding and calm, factual information and support

Not by attacking individuals, refusing to acknowledge individual circumstances, judging women who cannot or chose not to bf, not by wild unfounded claims, personal attacks or comments designed to hurt, not by dogma, and not by a need to present oneself as a superior parent

Such behaviour helps no one, harms some and does noting to promote breast feeding where it is possible and practical

GirlOutNumbered Fri 11-Jan-13 07:44:46

AFter leaving a reasonable debate yesterday, I have come back to see some of the most childish and pathetic comments. I'm starting to believe that MN is full of teenagers having a laugh, not grown women debating and sharing opinions.

Its easy to say why do you care how others feed, but that isn't what people care about.... I get annoyed when FF say that they are vilified etc etc, they are not as, in this country, sadly, it seems to be the norm. It also annoys me when they say feeding a baby dried up milk from a different type of animal is the same as milk designed for your own baby and then say they haven't been swayed by advertising!!

Moominsarescary Fri 11-Jan-13 07:45:40

The problem is it's unethical to test drugs on pg and bf women, some have been tested and have shown that only small amounts are found in bm, for example sertraline.

Shagmundfreud Fri 11-Jan-13 08:06:23

"What they are doing is recognising that it isn't always best or possible on an Individual level"

This is true.

But the question for me is what is going on at an individual level with such a huge proportion of UK mums that's resulting in such massive breastfeeding fall out?

Because it doesn't happen for anywhere this many mums in most other developed countries.

It's not universal or intrinsic to breastfeeding.

It's something to do with UK culture.

And IMO part of the problem in the UK is the absolute cultural normalisation of bottlefeeding. This is is achieved partly through the big formula brands and saturating the media with references to their products, through widespread advertising in parenting magazines and on television.

And now Mumsnet is joining in. sad

You have to remember that formula use and breastfeeding often DON'T co-exist happily side by side. It's like rock/scissors/stone. Bottlefeeding damages breastfeeding - the more formula is used, the less breastmilk is made, unless a mother expresses a feed for every formula feed she gives her baby.

The more bottlefeeding there is in a culture, the shorter the average duration of breastfeeding at a national level. It's an absolute anomaly in cultural terms - the sacred idea of 'consumer choice', which we WORSHIP in the UK (along with our reverence and ridiculous level of trust in branded products) is blown out of the water because in a physiological sense, it's hard for these two 'products' (mothers milk and formula milk) to co-exist happily side by side. Choose to give your baby formula and the overwhelming likelihood is that your breastfeeding will be curtailed. Because that's how the physiology of breastfeeding works.

Arthurfowlersallotment Fri 11-Jan-13 08:14:19

Seriously, I personally don't care how you feed your child. It's that simple for me. And I think the level of personal attack and nastiness here on this subject is absurd.

Oh and catgirl don't you think your snarky 'it wasn't still going* comment is rather redundant given you then added to it? Blah.

Himalaya Fri 11-Jan-13 09:03:20

Blimey. I am surprised at this thread.

I haven't seen the advert, but I think if the OP is right in saying it is co-advertising follow on milk and products for newborns then that is breaking the spirit of the infant feeding marketing code and that is not on.

I am really surprised at the number of people saying there should be no restrictions on advertising formula milk at all (and presumably would be ok with advertising in hospitals, free samples in maternity wards etc...?) to say as the WHO does that this would be restricted because it undermines breastfeeding is not a personal criticism of any individuals choice.

Southsearocks Fri 11-Jan-13 09:07:21

Shagmund - I think MN didn't know about the Boots ad and have sorted it.

Just to add my own 2p I was a formula feeder and I did look at adverts for bottles because not all are the same. It took a few tries to find one my baby liked and that helped with reflux. So for me advertising was helpful.

I also had PND and it was exacerbated by my attempts to bf (sorry, but it was!). I had to ff (not because of the PND) and I felt tremendous guilt about moving on to ff but do you know, we were both a lot happier when the decision was made and it really helped with our attachment.

So yes, happy mum, happy baby, healthy little Pebble. We have never looked back.

Poffleski Fri 11-Jan-13 09:15:26

There was a comment upthread about some women spend more time thinking about which pram to buy rather than researching how to feed their child. In my case this is totally true. My antenatal class and information from my midwives was that it was natural and would happen easily, I wasn't told about how hard it was and I trusted them. I didn't buy a single bottle, I didn't look at formula - it honestly never crossed my mind. Shame really because had I been told how hard it can be in the early days I would have you tubed the hell out of bfeeding videos before DD's arrival to get the latch better, as it was I was lead to believe that this natural (and wonderful) thing would just happen. I stopped feeding after 8 weeks. I was still bleeding and blistered on both nipples, I saw a breastfeeding councillor (who was overstretched) once a week from 4 weeks, who was a great help but until then literally 5 midwives all told me that my latch was perfect and it shouldn't hurt.
When I decided that feeling every hour with 30 min breaks on two eaten up breasts was not the best for us, I was devestated and wandered the formula aisle not understanding any of it - the bottles were a mystery. I know it sounds unbelievable but no advertising for these products had worked I was clueless. That's not to say they should be advertised but where was the information telling me that I might have to try different ones and that they are all highly regulated so they are near enough the same etc. (to me, at the time-obv not now- they were junk- non natural junk milk)
It's really hurtful to see a lot of these comments and brings back a lot of guilt I had in those early days.
The mantra is there- breast is normal/best but there isn't enough support (or signposting to support) for those that want to and try and after reading some of the spiteful tones on here I can see how people would be scared to even ask for help for fear of being branded a failure or someone who just didn't try hard enough.
Anyway I know this conversation is over now, it's been interesting reading, thank you all <packs sledge....weeeeeeee>

Poffleski Fri 11-Jan-13 09:17:12

Oops apologies for lack of paragraphs! blush hate posts like that

Shagmundfreud Fri 11-Jan-13 09:19:16

Southsea - you said you had to TRY different bottles.

So it was a process of trial and error that helped you identify what worked, not advertising.

As for your personal experience, PND can be so damaging to babies that it's totally understandable that if breastfeeding difficulties are contributing to unhappiness that it's better sometimes to stop.

But actually as a society if we valued breastfeeding more, we'd take PND more seriously when it's interfering in breastfeeding. As it is, breastfeeding is so little valued that we assume pretty much the first (and sometimes only) response to women in situations like yours is 'switch to formula'. And on balance it may well be the best decision. But the optimal' situation for a mum and a baby is a happy mum and a baby who's getting her milk. It's just sad that both women and babies are having to compromise so often in this area.

MyGoldenNotebook Fri 11-Jan-13 09:49:28

This thread has made me so so sad. I feel so guilty. I know that I shouldn't read it. I need to stop coming to MN ... there's something like this every few weeks. The last one I remember is the awful SIDS one. It's all very well to say that no one is attacking individuals and their feeding choices. Get real. I don't think that a thread like this helps to support breastfeeding. I'm not sure what the point of it is to be honest. Almost all advertising is questionable in my opinion.

I'm in the throws of PND - my failure to breastfeed is a big part of it. I know it's my fault that I failed and I'd give anything to take it back, but I can't. Once your milk is gone, most of the time, it's gone.

I'm overwhelmed by the fact that so many women out there would deem me to be selfish, ignorant and socially irresponsible.

Poffleski Fri 11-Jan-13 10:05:17

golden I read this before going to bed and literally couldn't sleep for hours. It's really hurtful- it is a minority of people that think this. It's interesting reading posts from those Mnetters who are activity pro breastfeeding and support women in this and those that just want to bash the choices of others. Most people don't think you're selfish, ignorant and socially irresponsible. Just a few people- and they can shove off!

I had such a terrible time breastfeeding but once I stopped I still wanted it back.
I never look at these threads but I got sucked in with all the talk of SIDS it just kept making me feel worse I couldn't stop... I'm going to avoid these in the future they only ever serve to polarise mothers.

FairyJen Fri 11-Jan-13 10:05:46

golden I just have to say it most definatly is NOT your fault. X

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