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Why advertising formula milk is illegal and why what Milupa is doing is wrong

118 replies

mears · 24/08/2005 09:44

I thought it might be a good idea to explain why the promotion of 'breast milk substitutes' is such a problem as many mumsnetters believe it is an attack on bottle feeding mums. It is not.

this site has loads of info which explains it better than me

Also have a read at Tiktok's posts of explanation.

One of the best things to have happened since advertising was banned is that all information about bottle feeding comes from the dietitians in our hospital. It is factual advice that is given. Not claims of milk being the closest thing to breast milk ever.

We no longer have breastfeeding information leaflets that are produced by formula companies being given to women. The language was negative and the pictures were of poorly positioned babies with miserable looking mums.

We als stopped giving breast feeding women home free tins of baby milk powder "just in case" they did not have enough milk.

All this undermined the woman who chose to breastfeed before she got out the door.

There is absolutely no problem with women choosing to bottle feed when they make informed decisions.

I will post my other link on this thread too about 'guilt' and the role of advertising.
Please research this topic thoroughly before just deciding that this is just business and mumsnet needs the money.

I urge mumsnet to seek other means of revenue.

OP posts:
mears · 24/08/2005 09:47

scroll down to read more about adverising

OP posts:
bonkerz · 24/08/2005 09:52

BUT (and dont shout me down)

Does the fact that i am going to bottle feed my baby and will use formula milk make me a bad person? Alot of the time on Mumsnet comments about certain things make very harsh judgements on people. Mumsnet is supposed to be about evryone and their own choices well (and everyone can hate me if they want) I feed my child macdonalds a few times a month, I used disposables with ds and i bottlefed DS after 6 weeks cos my boobs were sore! I also smack Ds on occassion and do alot of other things that would label me a terrible mother in the eyes of some mumsnetters!!! The advert is PROMOTING breast feeding. I understand breast is best BUT like me some mothers find bottle feeding easier and its good to know what alternatives are out there. I intend to breast feed my baby for a few weeks BUT due to my job etc i will HAVE to bottle feed from about 4 weeks onwards.
What does it matter really? BREAST or BOTTLE, find out the facts and make the decision that suits YOU.

BigBumpBonnie · 24/08/2005 10:00

well done bonkerz, with you all the way!

monkeytrousers · 24/08/2005 10:01

I think the point is about the ethics of advertsing not about a mothers personal parenting choices.

It is a worrying development which seems to be from the same minds who brought us pester power.

bonkerz · 24/08/2005 10:01

dont normally add things like that but just fed up with it all to be honest!!!

bonkerz · 24/08/2005 10:03

BUT will MILUPA advertising BREST FEEDING really change peoples minds??

If someone wants to breaqst feed they will, if someone wants to bottle feed they will.

(in saskia from big brother accent) END OF.

Avalon · 24/08/2005 10:03

Have you read the links Bonkerz?

QueenOfQuotes · 24/08/2005 10:03

YAWN - do we have to have yet another thread about it - do you not think that Milupa has got more than it's fair share of advertising here on the forums without anymore????

Lets face it - if you look at this thread - many of the regular MN'ers that post on the forums - rarely (if ever) visit the homepage - so the fuss kicked up about it (would there be a fuss if there was no 'banner' - and just the blurbl?) - has only gone to promote them (and their ad) even more.

I bet they're rubbing there hands in glee from the number of click thru's they've got from MN, and are probably eyeing up other baby websites hoping to get the same sort of response!

JoolsToo · 24/08/2005 10:04

Good on yer Bonkerz

Toothache · 24/08/2005 10:04

What Bonkerz said. My fingers hurt from typing.

bonkerz · 24/08/2005 10:05

also, cigarettes are banned from being advertised BUT STILL PEOPLE SMOKE!!!! I KNOW its different but why is baby milk being banned from advertising??/???? Does it actually Kill babies???

QueenOfQuotes · 24/08/2005 10:06

I really do hope that BMA is targetting the TV producers who produce the prorammes wich many children and teenagers watch - where Bottlefeeding is the norm, not to mention the toy companies who produce baby dolls (with bottles) and the Government to campaign for better trianed BF councellors (sp) on the NHS.....

expatinscotland · 24/08/2005 10:08

Just hoping not another incredibly helpful member leaves. I'm going to try breastfeeding again in large part BECAUSE of the support I've gotten on this board. When I first joined, I believed I'd put this baby right onto formula after my last, horrendous experience, not to mention pushing for a c-section b/c of a horrible birth experience. Thanks to members like mears, this is one mum who has renewed confidence in the birth process and breastfeeding.

mears · 24/08/2005 10:09

bonkerz - you are absolutely right that mums must make decisions to suit them. Using formula milk will not make you a bad person.

A mumsnetter phoned the helpline for breastfeeding advice and was encouraged to give formula because she was experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding. Milupa is not offering true breast feeding help. They tell you about the benefits of breastmilk and then in the next paragraph tell you how their scientists have been working for years to make their milk as close to breasmilk as possible.

As a new vulnerable mother with breastfeeding problems you will be swayed to give milk that is 'just as good'. Then the problem is not sorted, milk production goes down and before you know it you are formula feeding when what you had planned to do was breast feed.

Formula milk will never mimic breastmilk. It is a safe alternative when women choose to use it.

I have no problem at all with women choosing to bottle feed by making an informed choice.

OP posts:
beansprout · 24/08/2005 10:09

Thanks for the link mears. I totally agree with what you are saying.

If someone needs to bottle feed, then of course, that's fine and I would always, always support someone in that decision. If someone wants to bottle feed, that decision is slightly different and made that bit easier by companies suggestion their formula is "close to breast milk". And why do they claim that? Because the facts are that breast milk is best but there is no profit to be made from b/f mothers.

bonkerz · 24/08/2005 10:11

nothing against mears, believe she does a great job and offers invaluable support BUT am fed up feeling like i cant make a decision and that people think you will actually stop breast feeding and use MILUPA just because of an ad!! Good on mumsnet for getting the advert and im sure MILUPA are pleased with all the extra hype its caused too!!! Mumsnet should recieve commission!! Again i add that smoking kills and just cos i see a racing car with a cigarette advery on it does not mean i will smoke!!

LIZS · 24/08/2005 10:11

Have to say, thinking about it more, I'm slightly surprised at the ad - is the inclusion of the product name "Aptamil" actually legal since it identifies the infant milk not just the Follow on or the generic manufacturer.

swiperfox · 24/08/2005 10:11

Well said Bonkerz. THis is getting silly

QueenOfQuotes · 24/08/2005 10:12

hmmm - no comment on the BMA's targetting of TV producers and toy manufacturer's then???

bonkerz · 24/08/2005 10:12

thank you, am still in fear of the mumsnet army coming to cull me!!!!

JoolsToo · 24/08/2005 10:12

I really can't believe that anyone would take SOLE advice from a helpline on breast/bottle feeding. Most mothers usually have a partner, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend, HV, midwife, GP from whom she will probably seek advice also - I think people are getting their knickers in a twist over something that at the end of the day is hardly life threatening.

beansprout · 24/08/2005 10:13

No Bonkerz, but smoking is not something you have to do. Feeding a baby is. And when you are exhausted and someone is offering you "help", only with a profit making agenda, it is a different issue to cigarette advertising.

swiperfox · 24/08/2005 10:13

bit scary isn't it!?

beansprout · 24/08/2005 10:14

Btw, I had no help with b/f ds after the first hv visit, and I had to turn to a helpline to speak to someone as I don't have any female relatives who b/f. So some people will end up using this helpline.

Tinker · 24/08/2005 10:16

So why are Milupa paying for such a huge advertising campaign if they don't believe advertising works? (See the Indie each Saturday)

I agree with mears on this. And I used formula from 3 months with first baby. It is because of mears and tiktok that I feel far more confident to continue for as long as possible this time.

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