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WDYT -warning labels on formula


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#1 trishalishous

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:31 AM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-...ys-charity.html

QUOTE
Baby formula milk should have cigarette-style health warnings telling mothers breast is best, says top charity

Save the Children wants the messages to be big enough to cover at least a third of the packaging.
Its proposal would apply to the UK and other European nations as well as the developing world.
Campaigners claim, however, that the advice will only pile guilt on mothers who want to breastfeed but are unable to do so.
The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months with optional further breastfeeding when the baby moves on to solids.
But a report, Superfood for Babies, released today by Save the Children, says the lives of 95 babies could be saved every hour worldwide – 830,000 a year – if new mothers breastfed immediately after giving birth.
It points out the benefits of babies receiving colostrum – the mother’s first milk – within an hour of birth.
This kickstarts children’s immune systems, making them three times more likely to survive.
However, the report says marketing practices by some breast milk substitute companies can result in mothers believing formula is the best way to feed their baby even if they are unable to afford it.
The aid agency is launching a petition to get breast milk substitute companies ‘to increase health warnings that formula is inferior to breast milk to cover a third of its packaging’.
At present, all formula milks in the UK have to carry mandatory advice – under the heading ‘Important Notice’ – that says breast feeding is best for babies.
The message ‘breastfeeding is best’ is carried on an advice panel the size of two postage stamps and hidden among information about ingredients and how to make it.

Mothers are advised that the ‘product be used only on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, or other professional responsible for maternal and child care’.
Brendan Cox, director of policy at Save the Children, said changes to warnings would have to apply in the UK and other developed countries because the packs might be exported to the Third World.
He said: ‘It’s about having a standard measure of packaging information saying that breastfeeding is the most effective way of protecting the health of the child.
'We have lots of examples of formula products where the information is illegible or very small.’

But Clare Byam-Cook, former nurse, midwife and breast feeding counsellor, said the report was ‘emotive’ and ignored the fact that feeding babies in the UK was different to the Third World.
‘The saving of 95 babies applies to developing countries, not Britain,’ she added.
‘I’m concerned that cigarette-style warnings will increase the guilt felt by mums who need or want to use formula feed – when all women are aware that breastfeeding is good for the baby and the mother.
'These mothers already feel a failure because they have to use formula feed and then they are treated like bad people when buying it.’
The author of Top Tips For Breast Feeding and Top Tips For Bottle Feeding added: ‘Ask any sheep farmer if animals can always produce enough milk and the answer is no. The same principle applies in humans.’

Research shows breast milk protects babies against stomach bugs, chest infections, asthma, eczema, and allergies, and confers health advantages in later life.
Survey findings show around two thirds of women and parents of under-fives think large warning labels would be a ‘step too far’.
Only one in four people thought it would be a ‘reasonable move to discourage parents from using infant formula milks’, says the Populus survey of 2,000 Britons.
Helen Messenger, of Danone Baby Nutrition, which makes Cow & Gate and Aptamil, said: ‘Infant formula is the only safe, legal alternative to breast feeding and we believe an increase in the size of the warning label is counterproductive in that it would send mixed messages to parents and potentially confuse them about which milks can be used safely for babies.
‘Our products are safe and popular with parents because they meet a real need for mums who choose to bottle feed. All of our infant formulas carry warning labels and meet strict legislative rules.’


#2 trishalishous

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:35 AM

Personally, I dont support this. I have Sheehans Syndrome and have had to mixed feed my kids (though Im now able to exclusively boob my son) and a warning like this would have made me even more reluctant to mixed feed my (then very ill) newborn, which would have had disastrous effects on her health and weight.

#3 zande

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:37 AM

I am very very pro breastfeeding, both my girls were breastfed until 2.5yo and neither had a drop of formula, but I think this is ridiculous!

#4 SeaPrincess

Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:39 AM

This is the main point that should be highlighted:
QUOTE
Infant formula is the only safe, legal alternative to breast feeding

Putting warning labels on formula is just another way of making those who can't BF for whatever reason feel guilty.

#5 katpaws

Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:59 AM

It would be interesting to see where they based the 830,000 babies dying from and how that related to formula and the circumstances of the mother and child were.  What is the correlation etc? Facts would be good too.

Considering that formula is number 3 on the WHO recommendatons for infant feeding I don't see the point of the labelling. Using formula is nothing like using cigarettes, for example,  which according to one website i visited causes 5 million deaths per year, with predictions of 8 million deaths annually by 2030. When DD was born the medical staff gave her formula as I was unable to feed her (long story) for a couple of weeks. It's not like the staff were giving DD cigarettes - they were giving her something to keep her alive. And no-one can die or become ill from passive formula use.

With the fallout of my traumatic birth, using formula with such labelling would have been like a slap in the face, particulary because it was not my fault i was not able to feed DD in her first couple of weeks of life. I also wonder what the impact would be with the partners and family members of women who were very adversely affected by the birth of their babies (ie comas, organ failure, etc) or die in child birth would feel when there are circumstances beyond their control and they have to use formula (it's not as if milk banks are widely available all over the world) and have to look at pictures of sick and dying children (if they go that far) or read stories of the dangers of using formula.

ETA - also the impact on mothers with PND and bonding issues

Edited by katpaws, 20 February 2013 - 06:43 AM.


#6 agnodice

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:05 AM

Who posts something controversial without offering their own views on it?

As an aside - the lives of well more than 95 babies an hour would be saved by substantial global economic restructure, and by people in wealthy countries actually engaging in fair and equitable trade policies... But it's way easier to 'blame' poor mothers for killing their own babies rather than consider the health consequences of our own insatiable desire for cheap clothes/food/coffee/chocolate/petroleum/minerals/electronics etc.



#7 kpingitquiet

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:08 AM

The only warning I'd consider applicable is one to be sure you have safe, clean water for preparation, as THAT is the only genuinely harmful thing I've ever heard about formula feeding.

#8 SnazzySass

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:49 AM

I would support the current warnings appearing in languages other than english.

#9 *Spikey*

Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:54 AM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 20/02/2013, 05:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The only warning I'd consider applicable is one to be sure you have safe, clean water for preparation, as THAT is the only genuinely harmful thing I've ever heard about formula feeding.


THIS.

#10 Madnesscraves

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:07 AM

I am all for breast feeding. I was devasted when I couldn't BF.

But this proposed change is going a step too far. No need to make mums feel any worse and alienated.

There needs to be a good balance between BF and FF. I do believe at this current stage the scales are tipped too far towards pro BF.





#11 elmo_mum

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:18 AM

save the children need a slap in the face and the can up their pooop chute!!!


yea

warnings on formula... makes nicu mums who cant express even bigger failures!!!!

yes i am pro bf...but i found i physically and emotionally couldnt.

my baby is healthy and puts on weight - wasnt eith just bf

people make me mad!

#12 lozoodle

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:28 AM

What an abolute joke.

Agree with kping.

#13 ~ky~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

Another way to make a new mother feel like a failure ... there are enough things that we second guess ourselves on, at least we have a safe alternative to breasfeeding if it is not possible for us - why demonize it?

Personally, when I could no longer provide EBM for my eldest, it felt like a kick in the guts. When I went to buy that first can of formula, I spent ages with the pharmacist comparing the different ones on offer and even then, I was weeping at my inadequacy when I handed the money over. Seeing a warning like the one proposed would have made it so much more heartbreaking.

#14 danielle1985

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:37 AM

I think it is the dumbest idea I have heard in a long time.

I prefix this by saying that i struggled but managed to breastfeed my son. I believe that anyone who can breastfeed should and that in general breast is best.

However I personally think that the whole debate over breastfeeding is tainted by stretched truths and misused statistics. As in the article, statistics from developing nations are used to make the situation look more dire than it is. I also think that there is a bias in the information that is reported that only articles that back up breastfeeding are used and ones that don't or are inconclusive aren't.

As long as formula is prepared to instruction using clean bottles and water I could not care less whether a mother chooses (or has to for that matter) formula feed their baby. I don't know why people are so militant about something that has NO impact on them. Most mothers who formula feed have good personal or medical reasons why they cannot breastfeed and should not be made to feel guilty.

I really struggled to breast-feed my son. It was so painful and I hated it so much in the early days that my husband would be reluctant to bring him to me as he knew I would be so upset that I would be put through the torture again. I wanted to give up so many times but I persevered and managed to feed him for a year. However the guilt that was piled on me led to what I can see now was undiagnosed PND. Breastfeeding was so difficult that I started not wanting to see my son and him crying over anything was enough to make me cry (and I mean really cry) because I couldn't bare the thought of feeding again. When I mentioned moving to formula, I was made to feel so guilty by the care staff that I couldn't bring myself to do it. I didn't get to enjoy my sons first few months because of breastfeeding.

These two articles are interesting. They highlight the guilt and prejudice that people who bottle feed are exposed to.

http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/baby/carin...0216-2ekaq.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archiv...feeding/307311/

Also:

QUOTE
As an aside - the lives of well more than 95 babies an hour would be saved by substantial global economic restructure, and by people in wealthy countries actually engaging in fair and equitable trade policies... But it's way easier to 'blame' poor mothers for killing their own babies rather than consider the health consequences of our own insatiable desire for cheap clothes/food/coffee/chocolate/petroleum/minerals/electronics etc.


Could not agree more.

#15 Tall Poppy

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:08 AM

I'm very pro BF however, I think the idea is terrible. The main issue with formula in Australia is people incorrectly measuring it up. There is man instances where too much water is used watering it down with babies with low or no growth as a result. Or, it is made up too strongly and damages the kidneys and can ultimately kill.

Water that is unsafe tends nt to be a problem here as such. Although, there has been some reports of unclean drinking water throughout parts of the NT.

Whether someone can't or doesn't wish to BF is largely irrelevant, what is needed is support or families to learn how & why gey need to make formula up correctly. I don't think formula warning labels will address the issue and it won't improve the low BF rates.

#16 epl0822

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:32 AM

This makes me so angry. A way to guilt trip mums even more when they choose to/have to formula feed. Breast is NOT best for all mums. I wish there was a lot more support offered to mums who formula fed, because there are millions of healthy and happy adults walking around today who were formula fed.

#17 Musk Sticks

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

The only thing warnings like this will achieve is making the mother feel more guilty.

I am very pro-breastfeeding and initially struggled very much with comp feeding DS.

I felt terrible about having to do it, but my supply was extremely low, he wasn't gaining weight and my poor little boy was crying with hunger.



#18 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

I think it's absolutely ridiculous.

Quite frankly I think formula is a good thing because it means that babies who can't be breastfed have an alternative food source. What would the alternative be if there was no formula? Babies starving?

If course there is donor milk but its not readily available like formula.

Edited by Sunnycat, 20 February 2013 - 09:21 AM.


#19 JAPN2

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

Formula is food for babies. Pure and simple. Without it, I doubt my sister and I would be alive.

Cigarettes have NO health benefits. Formula DOES.

Save the Children is being idiotic.

#20 Bluenomi

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

I've always said breast is best most of the time. There are times when formula feeding is the right thing and I don't think those mothers who use formula should be made to feel worse by slathering the cans with scary warnings.

The babies who do suffer from formula use are usually those in the 3rd world who are drinking formula made up incorrectly or with unsafe water. Those mothers aren't going to be able to read the warning in most cases so it is pointless. They are better off educating them than needlessly putting warnings on cans

#21 axiomae

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:36 AM

People choose to formula feed for a variety of reasons - health issues, low supply, returning to work, personal choice etc. When prepared correctly, it's a safe food for infants. An inferior food, yes, but a baby will thrive on formula. I don't see the problem in making this choice if you have made an educated decision. Formula beats a starving baby, hands down. I mix feed and it's the best scenario for my DD.

I do see the point, however, when people choose formula believing it is best for children. You will be surprised how many women believe this (my mother is a MCHN) and think they are genuinely doing the best thing for their baby, despite being able to breastfeed successfully. I imagine this may be the case in developing countries where levels of education are not as high as they are here. In which case, warning labels on tins will probably not do much to help anyway.

#22 flowermama

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 20/02/2013, 05:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who posts something controversial without offering their own views on it?


The OP wrote the second post as well offering her views. I think it's over the top, everybody know breast milk is the best option but formula is a safe alternative. Labelling formula tins with scare tactics does nothing but make mothers already feeling guilty feel even worse and those who choose not to breastfeed feel judged. I am still breastfeeding DD2 but DD1 was formula fed as she had a shocking feeding aversion and wouldn't breastfeed at all after she was a couple of months old. I bottle fed her expressed milk until she was 6 months then switched to formula. I had such huge issues with how badly breastfeeding had gone for us and felt awful; those sorts of labels would have added to how bad I was already feeling.                                  


#23 Justaduck

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

I guess I must have gone to different CHNs to most the ones I saw pushed the opposite message to Breast is Best...they pushed formula as DD wasn't following the curve on the growth chart for her weight. I never bothered with them after that and saw my GP and paed only who said DD was fine.
Anyway, if I did have to introduce a comp feed I was feeling bad enough about it, nothing against those who formula feed, I know you are doing what is best for you and your family, but I didn't feel it was right for DD when she was successfully able to feed & the GP was happy with her. The last thing I would have wanted on top of my guilt was a warning like this.

Most people don't go to formula without seeing a Dr right? Or maybe I am wrong? But surely when you speak to your medical professional before making the switch they would go through how to clean bottles, importance of measuring correctly & using boiled water?

#24 ~Jodama~

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (broncosbabe @ 20/02/2013, 10:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most people don't go to formula without seeing a Dr right? Or maybe I am wrong? But surely when you speak to your medical professional before making the switch they would go through how to clean bottles, importance of measuring correctly & using boiled water?


I think the people that see a dr before using formula would be very low.

A warning like that is just another way to divide mothers in to to feeling inadequate.

#25 Bunsen

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:54 AM

Better to put the effort into investigating and restricting the dubious practices of formula companies in developing countries IMO.

And if the problem in Australia is people not preparing bottles correctly perhaps a more realistic approach to educating new mothers wouldn't go amiss - there is very little information out there, in fact you pretty much depend on the instructions on the tin, in terms of how to formula feed. No wonder parents end up listening to the old wives tales (add an extra scoop to help baby sleep, water it down if it's hot, baby constipated etc). Sometimes when you're struggling to breast feed you need more than a lecture on breast is best and a health warning added to your guilt trip.





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