Was formula created for the exception?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Was formula created for the exception?
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Wed, 04-30-2003 - 9:22pm
In the thread below, someone wrote in their post that formula was created for the exception, the ones who could not breastfeed. I personally think someone saw it as an opportunity to make money. Am I off target or on the mark? I honestly cannot say I know the detailed history of formula, but I really get a feeling that even though the invention of formula was for a good purpose, I think it was good intentions gone awry. If formula was created for the exception, why is it now the rule, at least in the US? link to stats I'm using { http://www.breastfeedingbasics.org/cgi-bin/deliver.cgi/content/Introduction/sta_us.html } My guess is that companies who produced the formula marketed it as an "improvement" to a mother's life-much like disposable diapers. But is it really an improvment for the average person-those who aren't an exception?

And are the formula companies using a ploy when they say "breast is best"? Alot of the literature I received from formula companies while pg w/ DD#2 talked about how much better BF is for babies, but if you are unable to BF, for ANY reason, their nutritionally complete product is "there for you". Even though they do advertise breast is best, the formula companies don't really seem to encourage a new mom to stick w/ BF through the "rough period". They are quick to flash their product, which is so close to the BM they have just told you is best. They say one thing but in reality they don't want you to BF because their profits go down.

I see alot of finger wagging at moms because they FF, but honestly, shouldn't the formula companies bear as much if not more of the responsability, or am I being too critical of the formula companies? Should formula have been made a prescription drug, given only to the exceptions for which it was originally intended?


Edited 5/1/2003 9:45:17 AM ET by jes2321

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 1:04am
I disagree that it was made for the "exceptions." I think it was made to give mothers another option - and yes, for the companies to profit as well. Pampers makes money too - but that doesn't mean they're out to get me - they saw a market demand for such a product, and filled that demand. If there was no demand for a safe alternative to breastmilk, there would not have been anyone looking to fill it. You sound like you honestly believe formula companies are out to hurt babies. Do you realize you come across that way? Do you honestly believe they are evil? Sure they want to make a buck, but come on - you have to at least be reasonable and believe that they feel their product is a safe, nutritionally complete one, don't you?

"I see alot of finger wagging at moms because they FF, but honestly, shouldn't the formula companies bear as much if not more of the responsability"

I totally disagree. I don't buy that whole thought process at all - they put the product out there, but it is the responsibility of each individual person whether or not to use it. One of the biggest problems in our society is the failure to take personal responsibility any more. To me, this argument is like that fat guy suing McDonalds for selling fast food. I'm NOT comparing formula to fast food - I'm saying that as a consumer he made a CHOICE - it was not made for him by advertising or big pretty arches on the side of the road. And FWIW, the finger wagging doesn't help and never will. BFing advocates need to learn that you catch more flies with honey.

"Should formula have been made a prescription drug, given only to the exceptions for which it was originally intended?"

No way. First, I don't think that was its original intent. People have been wanting an alernative for a long time - hence the wet nurses which were popular among the wealthy at one time. Second, and most importantly, not every person BFs for "medical reasons," and they should not be denied access to a safe alternative to BM. This would get us nothing but babies showing up in the ER anemic with blood in their stools from drinking cow's milk.

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:05am
Deb,

Formula was "invented" in 1867 (I think that's the year) by Henri Nestle in Vevey for babies who were premature. There are always exceptions to everything & yes there are babies who would need to have formula. I guess my real question should have been "Since formula was first manufactured for infants who were the exception, should formula have been made into a prescription instead of a free market product,?"

I don't truly feel that "formula companies are out to hurt babies" (& no I don;t think I do come across like that, I think that is what you are reading into it) rather they are the ones who "made the demand" for their own profit. But I guess that could really be said about most things. I guess if you get right down to it, how many of the things that we have are truly needs?

Janet & nursling Sierra

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:01am
I feel kind of bad about the "finger wagging" at ff moms. I think you may have been referring to me. Though I came off that way in the "convenience" thread, I do actually believe that culture, the medical community, and the tactics of the formula industry are mostly responsible for abysmal bf rates. I can see very easily with my first baby how I could have ended up ffing if I hadn't *lucked out* with some good pro-breastfeeding influence.

Danielle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:17am
You seem to think these "exceptions" as you call them are few and far between. They are really not. But that's another issue.

The fact of the matter is that if there was no market demand, there would be no product sales... no Enfamil, no Similac, no CGS on your supermarket shelves... But I see you chose to ignore my comment about wet nurses - people have been looking for a safe alternative to BFing for a long, long time. Regardless of why it was invented - as you say I am wrong about that and I accept that, it is here now to fill a market demand.

And you really do come across like you believe formula companies think they are pushing a harmful product - trying to lower BF rates, etc. I don't believe that at all. There is a market demand, and they are making a buck filling it. Same as every other company in our capitalistic society.

You also didn't address personal responsibility. We all have free will to make our own decisions, although our litigious, "not my fault" society seems to have forgotten that.

-Deb

 

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 10:28am
One of the functions of marketing is to stimulate demand.
Avatar for kfira71
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:13pm
ITA - I've never understood the whole argument that tries to blame the companies for producing and marketing the formula in the first place. Consumers have free will and the ability to choose what we will or will not buy, do we not? I don't care how much marketing a company wants to do, if I don't want it, I'm not going to buy it. It's like all the Christmas hoopla in December - no matter how many times I see a pretty tree, or a nativity scene, or Santa Claus, it's not going to change me from a Jew to a Christian, KWIM?

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

Avatar for all_girls4me
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:26pm
I disagree, eventhough I'm a FF mom, I could care less how much the Formula companies advertise, that didn't make the choice for me. I made my own choice on what worked best for my family. And I'm glad this alternative is out there. Why are we blaming the companies, or the ads? Shouldn't everybody be responsible for their own choices? What kind of a society are we that we refuse to take blame for our choices, but instead turn around and sue the big company to make some money?

I liked the McDonald's example, and no, Formula is NOT comparable to fast food. But nobody forces a person to eat Fast Food, smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. But a lot of these people turn around and sue the product maker because they were weak and made the wrong choice.

Anyway...that's another subject altogether.

But I don't see any harm in formula or making it easily available.

Ilka and "The Girls"



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 1:07pm
So you deny there was a preexisting demand? You refuse to admit that people have been wanting a safe alternative to BFing for ages?

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 1:09pm
Darn, you mean that mall Santa isn't working to convert people to Christianity? ;-) LOL

I just want to add one thing - the finger wagging isn't half as insulting as the implication that FFers are a bunch of weak-minded simpletons who don't have the power to resist advertising and make their own decisions.

-Deb

 

Avatar for kfira71
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 1:43pm
Yes, I think you're exactly right. It's the "well, you're obviously just not educated on the topic if you FF" stance that bugs me the most.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

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