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Bottle feeding starter kit as prize in MN competition

(40 Posts)
jugglingwiththreeshoes Mon 05-Sep-11 13:32:14

Hope this is a good place to post my reaction to this, though perhaps could be one for AIBU ?
Basically, having read about this weeks prizes on the MN home page, I was alarmed to see a "closer to nature" bottle feeding starter kit from Tommee Tippee as one of the prizes.
I just feel new mums need as much encouragement as possible to establish breast-feeding, and that Mumsnet should not be promoting bottle feeding over breast-feeding, however subtley, by accepting advertising, prizes, and products from bottle feeding manufacturers.
Of course, breast-feeding is not always possible for everyone and some mothers will choose bottle feeding for their babies. But there are many benefits to breast-feeding and I feel MN should be pro-active in the support it gives new mothers in establishing breast-feeding, and not allow the formula feeding or bottle feeding manufacturers to undermine this choice in any way.
So, do others agree, or AIBU ?!

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Sep-11 13:36:11

Hi - you're absolutely right. We've pulled the competition now as it's something we shouldn't have been promoting.

jugglingwiththreeshoes Mon 05-Sep-11 13:40:47

Excellent, that was the quickest anyone's ever told me I was right and done something about it !

coccyx Mon 05-Sep-11 13:43:13

Not sure I agree actually. I happily and easily breast fed my children, but know its not for everyone , whether that be by choice or not.

Pootles2010 Mon 05-Sep-11 13:47:46

Of course there's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing beneficial about it either, so therefore it shouldn't be encouraged.

coccyx Mon 05-Sep-11 13:51:13

Ridiculous is Mumsnet for breast feeders only

WipsGlitter Mon 05-Sep-11 13:56:41

I can't believe you pulled the comp MNHQ!! Yes there are well publicized benefits to breastfeeding, but we are adults capable of making a decision by weighing up the pros and cons for us as an individual. It's a fact of life that women ff one tiny competition prize isn't really going to sway someones decision - is it? Will anyone say "oh I decided to ff because I won some bottles on mumsnet"!?!!?

jugglingwiththreeshoes Mon 05-Sep-11 14:01:40

Ah, but if the folks at Tommee Tippee didn't think it might influence people's decisions in any way do you really think they'd be organising a competition and giving away merchandise as prizes ? Just out of the goodness of their hearts perhaps ?!

pozzled Mon 05-Sep-11 14:05:17

I'm not sure what I think about this.On the one hand, I think it's quite patronising to assume that a woman's choice to bf or not is so easily influenced by advertising. FF is a valid choice, made for all sorts of reasons, and it seems ridiculous not to acknowledge that.

On the other hand, I do sometimes feel that bfing (especially older babies and children) can be seen as an unusual choice. IME people assume that you will switch to formula at some point, the question is when rather than if you will do so. So I suppose seeing advertising for bottles, sterilisers etc can help to make this seem like the normal choice.

But... I would have entered that competition for my ebf baby. Bottles are not just for formula!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Sep-11 14:11:27

Hello. Thanks for your comments.

Just for your info, this is what we say on our About Us page about promoting formula feeding on Mumsnet.

"Mumsnet is a business funded mainly by advertising and we hope to be a profitable one but our overarching aim is not the pursuit of profits. We are independently owned and we endeavour to conduct business in an ethical manner.

"With this in mind, Mumsnet supports the WHO/UNICEF International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and we do not accept advertising from a number of companies including Nestle, and for a number of products, such as formula milk and cosmetic surgery, that we believe do not sit well with our philosophy - namely to make parents' lives easier."

Grumpla Mon 05-Sep-11 14:14:04

Humph. I'd already entered! I expressed milk and fed DS for three months, I needed some new bottles in case have to do the same with number 2!

If you've pulled the comp pretty please can I have the prize anyway <flutters eyelashes at HelenMumsnet>

WipsGlitter Mon 05-Sep-11 14:15:04

I dint think they are being given away out if the goodness of Tommy Tippees heart. But nor do I think that anyone is sitting at home thinking "breastfeed or bottle? Oh, look free bottles on mumsnet - decision made!" Give us some credit. Plus, as pointed out above they could be used for expressed milk. I think this decision reinforces the idea that ff is wrong or shameful on some way. Mumsnet is for everyone.

jugglingwiththreeshoes Mon 05-Sep-11 14:21:23

No, WipsGlitter I think it just shows that they are upholding the spirit and the letter of the WHO/UNICEF International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes as mentioned by Helen above.

usualsuspect Mon 05-Sep-11 14:24:52

wrong to pull the competition imo

MN is not just for bf

Pootles2010 Mon 05-Sep-11 14:33:48

No one's saying MN is just for bf, hence the existence of a breast/bottle feeding forum. However, they have said they do not promote ff, in line with the WHO guidelines.

Whatever is wrong with that?

LittleMissBabybrain Mon 05-Sep-11 14:55:28

IMO "bottle feeding" and formula feeding do not necessarily go hand in hand, I too express regularly and use TT Closer to Nature bottles very successfully.

Agree that it was pretty patronising to pull the comp. If the prize included cartons of formula then fair enough as that would actually be promoting ff and it doesn't fit with MN's policy.

Cleverything Mon 05-Sep-11 14:57:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocoroo Mon 05-Sep-11 15:12:56

I really don't think this competition should have been pulled.

I understand and applaud MNHQ's stance on the promotion of bottle feeding, however it's not an option for some and doesn't work out for others. It was a massive struggle for me and I abandoned it for the sake of my mental health. Having some bottles, a steriliser and a breast pump in the house allowed me the option of expressing which I did for three months.

It's not always a straight choice between BF and FF and I think facilitating the middle way is very important.

organiccarrotcake Mon 05-Sep-11 15:17:02

Good one MN. Nice to see a company standing by its principles and upholding the WHO code. smile

southmum Mon 05-Sep-11 16:07:21

Yea great decision MN - DC2 is due later this month and I intended to BF until I saw the competition hmm

Does this mean you are going to take the bottle off your MN logo ^?

GlaikitFizzog Mon 05-Sep-11 16:15:24

"With this in mind, Mumsnet supports the WHO/UNICEF International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and we do not accept advertising from a number of companies including Nestle, and for a number of products, such as formula milk and cosmetic surgery, that we believe do not sit well with our philosophy - namely to make parents' lives easier."

But bottles are not a breastmilk substiute, they are a means of delivery of formula, breastmilk, water. I have slogged my guts out exclusively expressing for DS for the last 18 weeks because I wanted to breastfeed but can't. Basically whay you are saying is if a baby is fed with a bottle it's not breastfed. Rubbish, no one knows what is in someone elses bottle.

GlaikitFizzog Mon 05-Sep-11 16:16:10

Yes the bottle on the logo!

MinimallyNarkyPuffin Mon 05-Sep-11 16:24:52

Giving away a starter kit is akin to advertising formula for 0-6 months.

MugglesandLuna Mon 05-Sep-11 16:24:56

Bottles are surely a way of delivering EBM too.

RitaMorgan Mon 05-Sep-11 16:29:38

I agree that giving away bottles does undermine the WHO code. No one is being prevented from bottle feeding, but MN shouldn't be in any way promoting the use of formula.

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