Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I was just browsing the boards at a well-known attachment parenting site...I'm not generally a BB gal, preferring the unfettered egotism of my own blog (heh), but I like to poke around and see what other people are thinking. I do get good ideas sometimes, and generally I take what I agree with (the gentle stuff that jives with my instincts) and dismiss what I don't (the crazy extremism).

Anyway, there is a thread up right now that is making my blood boil. Someone posted that after she signed up for the coupon mailing list at a big chain baby store, she received a huge box of formula samples in the mail, and she was wondering what to do with them. Most people who replied recommended that she donate them to a food bank or women's shelter. But a sizable and vocal minority advocated THROWING THEM OUT. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, someone would get the formula at the food bank and it would tip her over from breastfeeding to formula feeding.

Okay. So don't even get me started on the horrifying wastefulness of throwing out FOOD (damn expensive food at that). If donated, the formula will more than likely go to someone who really needs it (and as one poster pointed out, there are many reasons beyond ignorance or coercion by evil formula companies that someone might not breastfeed...illness, inability to pump at low-wage job, etc.) and will therefore be FEEDING a BABY who doesn't deserve to starve to prove some overwrought lactivist point. Isn't that worth the small risk that it will go to someone who could have breastfed but is too selfish/evil/stupid (that's a heavy layer of sarcasm dripping off this sentence) to do so?

This website is a heavy advocate of the WHO Code, to the point of once banning an exclusively pumping mother from selling her old bottles in their classifieds section. This is just another example of even the best-meant thinking can turn completely cruel and moronic if taken to extremes.



Blogger Eva said...

I can read boards anymore for that kind of thing. Other people are SO ANNOYING. This instance included. My goodness.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I never could tolerate the heavy-duty crunchy or AP parenting boards, and they were (Are?) my people. The sanctimonious short-sightedness just ruined my days. Hopefully the formula will reach someone who needs it.

9:46 PM  
Blogger May said...

Some people are just begging to be smacked upside the head with a two-by-four. Sheesh.

I had to stop visiting boards entirely.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I work in OB and, when I started, I was shocked to see this type of thinking from nurses I work with. We (until recently) gave out gift bags from formula companies - little diaper bags with samples, thermometers, etc. - and we were able to load them up with formula (that we got for free, of course) to send them home with new moms. I myself breastfed my son. I delivered at a different hospital in a different city and received said gift bag, formula and all. Many nurses that I work with REFUSED to put ANY formula in these bags for the nursing moms. The reasoning? If it's there and convienent to the mom, she will give up on breastfeeding at the first sign of difficulty nursing. Uhhhh, bull shit? I never used the formula in the first six months of my son's life--I was freakin' Bessie the cow, my milk sprayed him in the face I had so much so I was able to pump and use that for occasional bottle feeds. Occasional bottle feeds that were NECESSARY for my mental health and, truly, my physical well being. While I am all for breastfeeding, no one has the right to make that choice for another mother. It is the responsibility of the healthcare provider/lactation consultant/nurse to educate the mother and list do's and don'ts---with the nonest rationale behind the do's and don'ts--and allow the mother to make and educated decision; whatever the decision is the mother needs to be supported.

I nursed exclusively for 22 (yes, really.) months because my son was allergic to milk and milk products. Had I tried to give him formula prior to six months of age, I would have still had a chance to supplement with soy formula occasionally. As he was old enough to know that soy tasted like horrible nasty crap, I lost that option. I actually encourage nursing mothers to at least try a formula feed once in the first 1 1/2 months to ensure that they will be able to in the future. (if you give stinky soy in the early weeks they will take it later on vs. spitting it out at you!)

The kind of single minded thinking that you posted about seriously makes my blood boil (like you couldn't tell from my comment, right?)

This is my first visit to your blog - and I look forward to checking out your archives! You--from what I've read tonight--are a talented & honest writer. Keep it up!

1:10 AM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

Ridiculous. As if I needed any more reasons to despise the rabid "Breastfeeding or death!" brigade.

I'm all pissed off now. Hmph.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Meg said...

Yeah, that shits me. It's the same people who insist that breastfeeding always works out - unless of course you are lacking either information or a true desire to breastfeed.


5:17 AM  
Anonymous Meg said...

Yeah, that shits me. It's the same people who insist that breastfeeding always works out - unless of course you are lacking either information or a true desire to breastfeed.


5:17 AM  
Blogger shanna said...

OMG OMG OMG I think my head is going to explode. My kids were EBF for their first six months, have not received any formula since then either (just solids)...we took home the (optional) formula samples from the hospital (to the nurse's surprise, since BFing was going well)) only because our (pro-BFing) pediatrician was concerned that all my milk wouldn't come in quickly enough after we got home and didn't want us to run into issues with needing to buy formula on Shabbat. (We were leaving the hospital on a Thursday.) The sample bottles and nipples sat in a dresser for a few months before I donated them to a maternity store that was running a collection for a local women's shelter.

You know another reason why women at a shelter may need formula for their babies? Because their abusive assh*le boyfriends and husbands may have beaten/coerced them out of breastfeeding because they wanted their women (and their women's breasts) to be sexually available again. Oh yeah, we should totally punish them for that.

7:53 AM  
Blogger MoMo said...

This is just ridiculous! As you pointed out, not everyone have the ability to breastfeed and the last time I checked it is still a personal choice!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Thalia said...

THey are a bit terrifying, those AP/lactivist boards, aren't they? And good for making you feel utterly inadequate if you've had problems. I agree with you, this decision sounds ludicrous.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Miss W said...

You know that I'm one of those people -- the baby-wearers, the breastfeeders*, the organic fruits and veggies pureeing moms.

I knew all the health benefits for the child and I fought with everything in me to nurse my child.

But all the information in the world couldn't make me lactate enough.

I had GOOD circumstances -- I was home full time, I have a supportive husband and a lactation consultant willing to work with me. I went so far as to take Reglan for nearly a year to maintain what little supply I had.

But those people frost my cookies! Moms of preemies don't always produce milk because the body doesn't always produce the right hormones when your kid comes out early! And there have been studies that show that a much larger percentage of women today UNDERPRODUCE MILK than in generations past! So um -- I don't care how you have to do it but the babies need to eat dammit! Kind of making me want to go donate some formula right now!

1:16 PM  
Blogger nutmeg96 said...

Ha. My brother's newborn baby just almost DIED last week because they were so adamantly against formula (based in large part on the information they received from the hospital lactation consultant, who is a nurse). Five days in the hospital and a panoply of tests later, the baby is home, rehydrated, and my SIL's milk has finally come in.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Laycock said...

Silly me. As a hard-core lactivist (I even have a blog by that name) I signed up for every formula sample I could find.

I was never going to use the stuff and abhore their marketing practices. But my sister-in-law works at a crisis pregnancy hotline and our church's food bank always has need for it. I figured getting the free formula while knowing I wouldn't personally use it was a great way to work the system to the advantage of those who need the help.

I probably ended up with a two month supply of free formula, all of which I donated.

Guess I'm a bad lactivist. ;)

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the best solution: donate the formula to an organization that works with women with AIDS (in the United States or other developed countries). Women with HIV, at in least industrialized countries, are advised against breastfeeding their babies because the milk could pass on the virus. So that might be the best use for this extra formula.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:47 AM  

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