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Stop baby milk promotion

(95 Posts)
determination Fri 24-Aug-07 16:05:04

Take action here

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 16:07:35

" and leaves those parents who formula feed confused about which sort of formula is suitable for their child."

So where are FF'ing parents supposed to find out any sort of information about the formula???

mammaduck Fri 24-Aug-07 16:10:21

Done and bump

mammaduck Fri 24-Aug-07 16:10:59 reading the back of the packet in supermarkets, perchance?

Aitch Fri 24-Aug-07 16:11:22

where do you find it at the moment, QoQ?

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 16:17:08

mamma - you see that's what I don't get - if you FF you are simply expected to read the back of the packet in the supermarket (and lets be honest how many mothers have time for that when their DC is tiny?) end of story.....if you BF you can ask your HV, access hundreds of websites with information, ring the BF helplines, see a BF counsellor etc etc. Which I must add I think is fantastic that there's so much help - I certainly used most of those resources BF'ing DS1.

When I switched to FF with DS2 at 5 days old I'd never so much as looked a tin of baby milk before - so I asked the HV......"sorry I can't recommend one I'm not allowed" and that was it! it was left to DH to randomly pick one off the shelf at 2am one cold November morning!

And besides - how much information is there on the side of a "conformist" tin of formula - not a lot!

fedupwasherwoman Fri 24-Aug-07 16:17:34

If the government were to prevent formula manufacturers from doing any sort of promotion then they should do the same for alcohol manufacturers and a whole host of other less than wholesome stuff.

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 16:21:01

and where do I find my information - the only "help" I've had with FF'ing has been from MN!!

DS2 was switched onto hungry baby fomrula after a few weeks as he was a greedy pig (after reading threads on MN and Babyworld) - that was where I found out that there was a formula that was designed for hungrier babies. I'd told my HV how much he was drinking and how often but that he was still unsettled and she offered no advice whatsoever. Before then I had no idea such a thing existed!

Once switched he instantly became a different baby - happy and contented! (no not in the GF sense wink). Had I not had the resource of parenting forums there was no way I was going to find out about it!

mammaduck Fri 24-Aug-07 16:21:12

AFAIK they are all pretty much the same. You are free to make the decision the same way you make decisions on any other food you buy - price, quantity, is it organic etc. etc.

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 16:23:53

"pretty much the same" - that must surely be a statement from someone who has never given their DC Formula smile. If they're all the same

a) DS3 wouldn't have had the reaction he did to Aptimil when we tried to switch him to it (he would hardly drink it, and then was a miserable b*gger after having it)

b) DS2 wouldn't suddenly have become a more contented baby with the "hungry baby" formula.....

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 16:24:59

"are free to make the decision the same way you make decisions on any other food you buy - price, quantity, is it organic etc. etc."

yes but you can actually read things about other foods - articles, advertisements etc etc - so you can make a decision based on more than "the packaging looks nice"

fedupwasherwoman Fri 24-Aug-07 16:25:38

I really don't believe that restricting formula promotion even further is the answer to raising breastfeeding rates in the UK.

Women who would prefer to formula feed invariably will do. Women who want to give breastfeeding a try will do so and given the right advice and adequate support they will continue with it once they have started. The promotion of formula won't sway them, lack of adequate support and incorrect advice undermines them and may cause them to give up early and turn to formula because they couldn't make breastfeeding work for them, not because they believed a load of promotional guff about how jolly good formula is these days and therefore thought it wouldn't matter if they switched.

chocolatedot Fri 24-Aug-07 17:07:54

Surely you wouldn't expect your HV to give recommendations on different brands of baby food, nappies etc so why would formula be any different? Isn't it like any other commercial product and just a case of finding one that suits you.

MyMILisDoloresUmbridge Fri 24-Aug-07 18:12:13

But QoQ, promotion is not the same as information! In my job, I deal with a lot of reps for different contact lens manufacurers. They will all tell you why their contact lens is better than all the other lenses on the market but stay very quiet about the downsides of their own particular brand. Those we tend to find out for ourselves in practice!
Reading the ingredients of the formula is probably best because it's the only instance in which they can't lie or withhold the truth!

BrownSuga Fri 24-Aug-07 18:29:07

they should give more support in hospital for BF, like having a BF consultant on the ward EVERY DAY, ALL DAY.

incognitoHV Fri 24-Aug-07 18:57:24

With respect to all parents who FF (and I did as well) you don't get information from baby milk companies - only adverts and those adverts will only tell you what they want you to know. You certainly will not get any kind of balanced info - just lots of companies all competing to tell you their milk is best with a variety of pseudo-scientific theories.

How do parents choose which milk to use? All the evidence suggests that they choose the one their Mum did, their sister used or the one their best friend chose OR they use the one that they were offered in hospital. (usually SMA/C+G/Aptamil). People are also very influenced by the images around them - eg one baby milk company paid for a room in a London clinic to be decorated several years ago - they used their brand colours and a small plaque noted that it had been paid for by this company. The number of parents who chose their milk was correspondingly high having been exposed to the images throughout their antenatal care.

Too many parents are still saying to me "I chose this one because it's supposed to be closest to breastmilk" - did a HCP tell them that? No - a babymilk company did. Is that milk closest to breastmilk? No - they cannot compete in any way shape or form with breastmilk.

Personally speaking unless the ban is backed up with REAL investment in training of HCPs to support both breastfeeding and bottlefeeding parents it will all be a waste of time.

My Community Practitioner journal carried two full page ads for SMA this month with all the usual crap pseudo-science they usually blind parents with.
The C+G rep came to do a "presentation" of their milk at the local community hospital - her talk of "prebiotics and probiotics" has, I have noted, influenced the community nursery nurse I work with who is now recommending C+G to bottlefeeding parents wanting to change formula. Is C+G better than other milks out there? I doubt it.

Formual is formula is formula except in cases where a specialised milk needs prescribing and in that case the GP or paediatrician is best placed to advise.

These companies advertise because it works - we are all influenced - whether we think we are or not.

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 19:04:15

"Formual is formula is formula except in cases where a specialised milk needs prescribing and in that case the GP or paediatrician is best placed to advise"

That's a bit like saying chicken is chicken is chicken - whether you're talking about freerange, caged or organic hmm

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 19:07:59

and the fact that my HV couldn't even recommend using the hungry baby formula of the same brand I was using didn't exactly help me (or DS2 for that matter).

Until I read online that such a thing existed I would never have known!

stickyj Fri 24-Aug-07 19:12:31

I just think it's really patronising and upsetting for people who choose to ff their babies. "OMG no, I am a bad mother who FF feeds". Let's all praise the bf and do down the ff by starting a petition. Please..[hmmm]

incognitoHV Fri 24-Aug-07 19:50:33

Sorry but I really do think that formula is formula - my baby thrived on it and I suspect that he would have thrived no matter what formula I chose. IF one particular brand doesn't suit a baby then you change it (C+G didn't suit my baby and I changed to Farley's). The hungrier baby stuff is fine but harder to digest - your HV SHOULD have been able to advise you - did you ask her?I'd be amazed if she knew nothing about the different kinds of formula.
The more specialised milks are a different matter.

As I said - without real investment in training HCPs to support all parents (regardless of how they choose to feed) it will all be a waste of time. I thoroughly appreciate that there is crap all support out there for parents no matter how they choose to feed.

Anyway - off to change into my normal MN persona. Maybe we will have to agree to differ on this one - I just mistrust the motives of these companies who break the agreed code for marketing which they signed up to.(in very underhand ways).

incognitoHV Fri 24-Aug-07 19:51:44

..and yes - my grammer in the previous post is appalling - it's been a long day.

TheQueenOfQuotes Fri 24-Aug-07 20:12:50

"(C+G didn't suit my baby and I changed to Farley's)."

So formula isn't just "formula" then is it if even you had to change. Yes I told my HV how frequently he was feeding, how much and how unsettled he still was. She basically just told me to put up with it (she was the same HV I'd had when BF'ing DS1 and was extremely helpful on that front).

FioFio Fri 24-Aug-07 20:16:25

Message withdrawn

inkstigmata Sat 25-Aug-07 15:24:15

^"The law in the UK is supposed to protect parents' right to receive objective and accurate information about feeding their babies and young children. It is meant to do this by prohibiting the promotion of formula milks to parents."^

Totally contradictory. Since when did objective and accurate information shine through a policy of censorship? Rubbish. The law in the UK is getting in an ever-increasing tizzy about low BF stats and is responding by trying to push it more stridently.

juuule Sat 25-Aug-07 16:31:54

Ink -That's what I thought when I read it. Contradictory. In fact, some of it doesn't make much sense at all.
"I believe that protecting breastfeeding and making formula feeding less unsafe is essential to protecting the health of the nation as a whole."
How does protecting breastfeeding make formula feeding less unsafe? Why is it unsafe? I'm not sure what this sentence means.
"Parents need reliable information"
Not the whole sentence, I know, but I thought this was the most sensible bit. I think reliable information about all kinds of infant feeding should be available including whatever knowledge the health professionals have about ff.
I also think it's odd that formula milk is put on a par with tobacco.

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