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To be really annoyed you can't get points on formula?

(374 Posts)
Jengnr Wed 30-Jan-13 09:53:47

Due to 'Government legislation'

How about the Government fuck off? I've made the decision (actually, it was made for me but that's neither here nor there), I'm spending the bloody money, why should I not be able to collect advantage points on that?


Chattymummyhere Wed 30-Jan-13 10:29:10

There needs to be more help for those who want to breast feed and less pressure on those who just don't want too..

I'm very glad for formula I did not get any type of milk for a month after my last child was born poor thing would of starved to death.. did anyone help me nope not a soul, did anyone care... Errr nope just oh well that's strange give them a bottle

sleepyhead Wed 30-Jan-13 10:29:15

Why don't you complain to Cow & Gate etc who are marking up powdered milk with some vitamins in it to £10 a tin??? It's completely scandalous - they've got the ff population over a barrel and they know it.

There's no reason for formula to be so expensive. It's hardly changed in years and they're all basically the same "formula".

Government legislation has nothing to do with the baseline price of formula.

ICBINEG Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:19

And they could ban formula advertising for free...the tools.

MigGril Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:19

OP maybe you are directing your anger in the wrong direction. Did you know something like 50-80% of the cost of formula is taken as profit and used as advertising budget. Which means each mum will contribute between £300-£800 (depending on the type of formula they use) to the companies advertising budget. (info from baby milk action)

Imagine if all advertising was banned the price could drop significantly.

And in countries, where they have done this they have seen massive increases in breastfeeding rates. Advertising does have a huge impact and often in many underhand ways.

You say you started breastfeeding but didn't get any support when you had problems. Please complain about this unless people complain things aren't going to change.

Ponderingonaquandry Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:20

I feel a campaign brewing about formula prices if anyone is with me?

SamSmalaidh Wed 30-Jan-13 10:31:43

Pondering - I imagine that there are very few cases where there is no other option (even in this country) than use a medication that is incompatible with breastfeeding, but in countries where bf is the norm doctors and pharmacists are much better informed about breastfeeding. Here I think they tend to err on the side of "just give formula" without knowing if there is a risk or an alternative.

ICBINEG Wed 30-Jan-13 10:32:43

Ponder I don't know but there a LOT of alternatives here but I have had to push and push on occasions to force GP's to acknowledge that.

If the default in Norway is to find the alternative and the default here is to just say "oh you can't BF and take that" then you can see why a lot more people here will think they couldn't have done it when really they could.

You will find no argument from me against the need for better info and more support.....but that costs money. Banning adverts is free.

Jengnr Wed 30-Jan-13 10:33:49

Dear facebook, I'm so glad you were at my medical consultation with me.

I was diagnosed with GD, the obstetrician told me I had to start expressing at 37 weeks and save the milk in my freezer in syringes in case the baby's blood sugar was low. I said I hadn't made a decision re breastfeeding yet and was it necessary. He told me it was as if my milk wasn't readily available the baby might die if their sugars didn't come up. So fuck right off with your personal, incorrect and pathetic comments.

ICBINEG Wed 30-Jan-13 10:34:07

migrill that is an excellent point. Banning advertising would massively benefit those mum's that have no choice as well as boosting BF and saving money for the NHS.

Jengnr Wed 30-Jan-13 10:34:57

Btw, I haven't said a word about the advertising. I don't care if they advertise or not.

drownangels Wed 30-Jan-13 10:35:17

It's not only formula that is excluded from points you know.
You can't get them on pharmacy products, lottery tickets, stamps and gift vouchers as well as tobacco.

ICBINEG Wed 30-Jan-13 10:35:57

can you get them on alcohol??

BertieBotts Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:12

It's a blanket law. It's nothing to do with promoting BF or demonising FF or anything - it's basically for two or three reasons, firstly so that formula is a consistent price, which is intended to reduce the possibility that families budget for formula at the discounted price and are then tempted (or forced?) to stretch it out when it is full price.

The second is that formula companies have proved themselves to be unscrupulous with marketing - you've probably heard tales of third world exploitation by formula companies, offering free samples and then withdrawing them and forcing the families to pay extortionate prices which they literally can't afford. You might think "Oh but that would never happen here" - but in the 60s there were marketing reps from formula companies who dressed similarly to nurses and advertised their formula in the hospital and directly to HCPs. It was believed by many HCPs for a while that formula was healthier than breastfeeding. Even now we have bounty reps in hospitals and although they're widely demonised on MN, many people say that they thought they were someone official! It's not on to target vulnerable new mothers.

Related to this is the last point which is that in the US formula companies send out free samples - entire tubs, often, of formula to expectant mothers and this does undermine breastfeeding. So banning promotion means that this can't happen here.

FWIW I agree that it should be sold at cost price, banning advertising completely would presumably bring the cost down too. And there should be easily available factual information about FF for everyone.

Chunderella Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:35

It's possible to be annoyed at the lack of points AND the inflated prices. They aren't mutually exclusive. Of course YANBU OP, and frankly this is a different issue to advertising anyway. I've no great problem with formula advertising being banned, personally, but allowing those of us who buy it to get enough points to get some free wipes every month or so is a different matter altogether.

sleepyhead Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:37

You could start by boycotting Aptimil which is deliberately priced higher than other formula because the manufacturers know that there's a market for a so-called "premium" product (even though - by law - it's pretty much exactly the same as all the rest).

They deliberately target mixed feeders and bf'ders who are giving up with the whole "closer to breastmilk" malarky (bollocks - again, they're all basically the same.) They play on the (needless) guilt of people who are choosing to switch to formula with their "there there, but you're buying the most expensive and closest to breastmilk formula".

And I knew all this, and still stood in front of the formula aisle for ages and finally plumped for the Aptimil. I am an idiot.

ICBINEG Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:57

jengnr I know you didn't mention adverts - others did however...

I think it would be spectacularly hard to implement that you can't advertise, or put offers on stuff but you are still allowed to do points. I mean what is the difference between extra points and a special offer?

LadyWidmerpool Wed 30-Jan-13 10:38:36

I have to say my midwives in hospital were pretty formula-happy. Once I was out the BF clinic were very supportive of topping up and mixed feeding. Isn't it funny how varied people's experiences are?

In my view if the formula companies marketed their products responsibly there would be no need for international initiatives to protect BFing.

MigGril Wed 30-Jan-13 10:40:45

Yes but points is a type of advertising, they are buying your loyalty. Why do you think shops who don't use them are generally cheeper. You are in effect paying for you're points.

Formula is a slightly different product only because due to legislation the prices have to be fixed across the board. But if they didn't advertises then the overall price could drop.

Chunderella Wed 30-Jan-13 10:40:51

ICBINEG it wouldn't be hard at all. Just write it in the legislation. There's nothing at all to prevent a law saying no advertising, no special 2 for 1 type offers, but points can be given at the same rate as they are for any other products in the shop. piece of piss.

drownangels Wed 30-Jan-13 10:41:56

can you get them on alcohol?
I don't know I don't buy my alcohol from there

ReallyTired Wed 30-Jan-13 10:43:11


I don't mind how you feed your baby. Lobby groups for one issue or another is part of the democratic process. Its much like some groups lobby against more roads being build, other people want less tax on diseal.

I feel that you have been a victim of the formula companies operating a cartel to keep prices unnecessarily high. I suspect there is an element of price fixing between the three main formula companies. The cost of first formula has risen way beyond the costs of inflation. It is taking up a higher proportion of families income than it did in the past.

Formula companies know that many parents have no choice but to use formula. It easily to switch from breastfeeding to formula, but not the other way round. Parents know that if their babies do not have proper formula then they will die. If a carton of formula was £20 people would still buy it.

Its a huge issue in the third world where women are given enough free formula to make breastfeeding impossible, but the formula costs more than the family income. This is why WHO wants all free formula samples outlawed.

The limited number of formula companies mean that there is no incentive to keep costs down. Tescos do not dare make their own brand of formula and sell it at half the price of SMA.

If clubcard points were available on formula then Tescos would just put up the price of formula to cover the extra cost. It would not financially help the OP.

drownangels Wed 30-Jan-13 10:44:46

The thread about points and formula comes up all the time, just goes round and round and then dies.
Nothing changes because people can't be arsed fighting and lobbying for something they want.
Another few months a new thread will be up here saying the same things and nothing will have changed.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 10:46:34

Breast milk should be taxed. That would show em

Chattymummyhere Wed 30-Jan-13 10:46:47

I could just imagine seeing tesco value formula in a white tub with blue stripes...

Puts hand up I was an Aptamil buyer you know only the best blah blah.... In fact off the book my mw said

A is the best
S is the one we see with the most problems...

SamSmalaidh Wed 30-Jan-13 10:50:22

Chatty - Aptamil are clever - they aim loads of advertising at MWs and HVs so they will promote it to new mothers. In fact it's made by the same company as Cow & Gate and they are basically the same product. I think they had to stop making the "closest to breastmilk" claim because it is crap.

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