A baby formula ban in New York City? With the media in a frenzy over the issue, it's tough to keep the facts straight. Amy West, our Social Media Diva, lays out the real deal.
If you think Mayor Bloomberg is "banning formula" in NYC, you are mistaken.
Right now, formula companies give hospitals all manner of free crap (nipples, bottles, formula, very expensive preemie formula) in exchange for exclusive marketing agreements (along the lines of "all moms who pass through labor & delivery WILL leave with a formula swag bag"). Research shows that moms are extremely likely to (A) stick with the brand presented to them in the hospital and (B) not meettheir own personal breastfeeding goals based on the interference of this marketing.
Mayor Bloomberg is seeking to end this predatory marketing. In doing so, formula makers will no longer be able to strike these agreements with hospitals and hospitals will have to pay for the things they currently get for free (from formula companies).
So formula isn't being banned or even restricted. Just like Tylenol or any other pharmaceutical in the hospital, formula will be purchased, tracked, and given out upon request. The difference is that instead of moms who are trying in earnest to breastfeed going home with formula that's been proven to sabotage breastfeeding relationships, only moms who are actively choosing formula will receive it.
Why would we begrudge hospitals for tracking the use of something they now have to pay for? Why would we begrudge Mayor Bloomberg for ending what has been a long-standing unethical marketing practice that has such lasting and sweeping effects?
Please leave your comments below and ask your friends what they think.
Mark Friday, June 25, 2010 on your calendars. Why? Because years from now we will be looking back at this date as THE turning point for breastfeeding in our culture.
Last Friday, the USA Today Pregnancy & Wellness Report, produced by Media Planet, will reach 2.2 million readers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. It will be distributed to ob/gyn offices and physicians through the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will be carried in all Destination Maternity stores, will be distributed at March of Dimes events, will be circulated to 25,000 members of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and all member organizations, and to all physician members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Why is this ad different from others? Why did I support this unique, groundbreaking ad?
Bettina Forbes, co-founder of Best for Babes explains:
No scare tactics: There are no pregnant moms riding mechanical bulls or participating in log-rolling contests, unlike the government's ad campaign, which was criticized for a whole lot of things, including succumbing to formula lobbyists and making moms feel guilty if they couldn't breastfeed. Breastfeeding rates actually went down after that campaign. (Too bad we don't have the $3 million to spend on our campaign!)
Highlights donor milk: Most moms don't know that donor milk is the 2nd best choice to breastfeeding, and don't have access to it. Formula is 3rd.
Raises awareness of the WHO Code:The WHO Code was designed to protect moms who WANT to nurse from being derailed by aggressive formula marketing (like doctors giving mom free samples, which have been shown to decrease breastfeeding duration) but which NOBODY in the mainstream knows about. There is NOT ONE formula ad in the issue, unlike practically every high-circulation, mainstream pregnancy & parenting magazine and website, which we worked very hard to persuade Media Planet to uphold. All of the sponsors in our ad are WHO Code compliant, including Evenflo, the only WHO Code compliant bottle maker (and parent company of stellar breast pump Ameda) - we think they deserve kudos for that!
It's positive! Just like with parenting, we have to be careful not to only react to bad behavior but to recognize and reinforce good behavior. We need to create as much media attention and buzz for ads or marketing campaigns that get it right as we do for those that get it wrong.
While Best for Babes has already experienced tremendous support and kudos including feedback from actress Alysia Reiner...
"The ad is so fantastic, so hip but informative, warm but also sassy & smart, LOVE IT! So proud to be involved with you guys." ~ Alysia
I'd like to appeal to you to help them raise further funding to roll-out this campaign on billboards, bus stations and doctors' offices around the country. Please help to spread the word about it via Facebook, Twitter, email and by simply talking to others. (To make it easy for you, there are quick links to share on Facebook and Twitter at the top of this post... click away!)
So did you get your copy of USA Today on Friday? If not, you can download the Pregnancy & Wellness Report here. Tell us what you think of the ad, the report and let us know if we can count on your for support of this very important initiative.
Tags: 'best for babes', 'breastfeeding versus formula', USA Today
If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
The United States Breastfeeding Committee issued the below updated press release today. Please donate milk via an HMBANA milk bank (and that includes our milk bank here in Vancouver, BC) and/or continue to donate funds to HELP HAITI! Here at Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear we are proud to donate $2.00 from every PumpEase sold to Doctors Without Borders until February 14th (which will then be matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian Government).
January 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Breastfeeding is the First Line of Defense in a Disaster
Washington, DC--The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.
This week, the International Milk Bank Project and Quick International Courier coordinated a shipment of milk from the HMBANA member banks to supplement a mother's own milk for the premature, medically fragile, and orphaned infants aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed off the coast of Haiti. This milk will help this small group of infants. In this highly unusual circumstance the infrastructure associated with the Comfort's resources allows U.S. sourced donor milk to help fragile Haitian babies.
Donor milk, however, is not a solution for the large number of infants and young children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the public who wish to promote the survival of mothers and babies in Haiti can donate money to the following organizations: UNICEF, Save the Children Alliance, World Vision, and Action Against Hunger. These organizations are using best practice to aid both breastfed and non-breastfed infants. Members of the public can be confident that donations to these organizations will support breastfeeding and help save the lives of babies.
Interventions to protect infants include supporting mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding, relactation for mothers who have ceased breastfeeding, and finding wet nurses for motherless or separated babies. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of infants and young children who do not have access to breastfeeding. Artificially fed infants require intensive support from aid organizations including infant formula, clean water, soap, a stove, fuel, education, and medical support. This is not an easy endeavor. Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.
As stated by UNICEF and WHO, no donations of infant formula or powdered milk should be sent to the Haiti emergency. Such donations are difficult to manage logistically, actively detract from the aid effort, and put infant's lives at risk. Distribution of infant formula should only occur in a strictly controlled manner. Stress does not prevent women from making milk for their babies, and breastfeeding women should not be given any infant formula or powdered milk.
There are ongoing needs in the U.S. for human milk for premature and other extremely ill infants because of the protection it provides from diseases and infections. If a mother is unable to provide her own milk to her premature or sick infant, donor human milk is often requested from a human milk bank. American mothers can help their compatriots who find themselves in need of breast milk for their sick baby by donating to a milk bank that is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
USBC is an organization of organizations. Opinions expressed by USBC are not necessarily the position of all member organizations and opinions expressed by USBC member organization representatives are not necessarily the position of USBC.
United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of 41 nationally influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations. Representing over half a million concerned professionals and the families they serve, USBC and its member organizations share a common mission to improve the Nation's health by working collaboratively to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. For more information about USBC, visit www.usbreastfeeding.org.
Have you donated to the relief effort in Haiti? If so, tell us to which organization you donated and why you chose that particular one. If you have any other thoughts about what is happening in Haiti, please share.
On November 17, 2008, 'A' TV did a 4 hour live morning show from one of our retailers, Mothering Touch, in Victoria, BC. Well, apparently the (male) host liked our product! I think we should give him a job! Check out the 50 second clip and tell us what you think.
On January 27th of this year we participated in our very first consumer trade show - Westcoast Moms’ Vancouver’s Largest Baby Shower. It was a ton of fun, we made a lot of great new contacts and PumpEase™ hands-free pumping supports were very well-received.
We interrupt this blog post for a very important message: A big thank you to my hubby for staying up until 3 am with me the night before! Those “little” give-aways take a long time to make! And also to my bff Lorelei for riding shotgun the day of. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog post.
The morning of the show, I woke-up to 2 feet of snow here in Coquitlam (the show was in East Vancouver - about a 30 minute drive west). Now some of you might be thinking, “Two feet of snow….big deal!” However, if you are saying that, I would guess that YOU don’t live here in the lower mainland where a mere dusting of snow causes sheer panic and chaos. We never get snow = people don’t know how to drive in snow = sheer panic and chaos.
I had to work really hard not to let all the negative thoughts into my head… a much harder task when you’ve only had 3-1/2 hours of sleep!
no one is going to show-up
we’re going to get into an accident on the way there and there will be pumping supports strewn all over the freeway
Lorelei, my bff, won’t make it to ride shotgun (Lorelei doesn’t like to drive in the best of weather, let alone snow!)
Well positive thinking prevailed once again: it was sunny with absolutely no trace of snow in East Vancouver, the people were lined-up around Heritage Hall to get in and Lorelei beat me there!
The Westcoast Moms Baby Shower format is primarily targeted to first-time parents, most of which are still expecting. I have a display on my table at trade shows: a woman’s torso with a nursing bra, a PumpEase™ hands-free pumping support and breast pump horns - pretty much the works. It always cracks me up watching the expressions of people, especially the “Dads to Be” as they walk past my display. It ranges from giggles and nervous laughter, to disbelief and shock, to pure and utter horror. If I get the chance, I always make light of the display and make a point to assure the Mom or Dad-to-be that after experiencing the miracle of childbirth, a breast pumping display is “old hat”. “You’ll get over it!”, I say to them with a big smile on my face (it is so true)!
So Lorelei and I notice Shaw Cable making their rounds at the show. Bianca and her cameraman approach me because of the display. She said it was a “good visual”. Well the rest is history. Watch the clip below.