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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I just saw something kind of shocking on Facebook, shared by the Unlatched page. Similac has came out with a new product specifically targeting breastfeeding mothers. Similac boasts this new kind of formula with an attractive phrase, "Helps provide a gentle introduction to formula." The website goes on to say that this is perfect for breastfeeding moms who want to supplement. The page has the formula companies advice on breastfeeding and supplementation, which is very inaccurate information, and undermines mothers by encouraging them to use/continue to use their product, which then in return causes the majority of mothers to begin to lose their breastmilk supply.
There's a few things I am wondering...
First, why is this new formula better of a supplement than any other formula by the same company, or any other company for that matter? Their site doesn't explain the differences at all. Why aren't all of their formulas said to be this gentle on babies? What is wrong with the other formulas out there?
Secondly, supply and demand is a HUGE component of breastfeeding and if you're being encouraged to supplement, most likely you will begin to experience a drop in supply due to baby not demanding as much nursing/breastmilk. This product, doesn't help half the mothers who feel they need to supplement. Instead, these women should be referred to an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). You can find local help by a lactation consultant by clicking HERE. For the mothers who need supplementation, that's fine, you shouldn't feel like you're a horrible parent or guilty. That is why formula is available as an option. It's a good thing when your choices are slim. Remember that formula isn't your only choice, there is donated milk available at milk banks (find a location near you here- https://www.hmbana.org/milk-bank-locations), as well as mothers within your community that donate extra milk free of charge like HM4HB or Eats on Feets.
I supplemented my baby at 6 months, knowing that if I continued, I would eventually wean him... If I would have had this product available at that time, I would have trusted their marketing campaign and used it. If I could go back and change one thing, I would have contacted a IBCLC and at least found out what other options I had and learned more about the benefits of breastfeeding a full year as well as continuing to breastfeed past a year. We'll have to have a post all about that some other time :)
What do you think of this product? Do you think it is supportive of breastfeeding mothers who supplement?