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New WHO code adopted in 3rd world, but not here yet.

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
This was just passed to me on FB
http://iinformedparenting.blogspot.c...dopts-two.html

I love this bit and am on board 100%

"Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi of South Africa stated last week: "I think they (infant formulas) must be banned altogether, throughout the whole world," he said, adding that he might propose the idea during discussion of the millennium development goals (MDGs)at the World Health Assembly. He knew that he would shock people with his proposed ban, but formulas were "no different from skin lightening creams", which are banned in South Africa."
post #2 of 79
thats a very fine line though. There are cases where formula is the best option. Like someone who has had breast cancer and has no breasts, or for those who trully can't make enough milk, or someone who has something that can be transmitted via BM, like HIV/AIDs. Or mom dies and there is no alternate BM supply.

I love the idea of putting regulations and restrictions. I love the idea of not being allowed to advertise (although in Canada we don't see it unless we have amarical mags, or channals) I would love to see formula used less and less.

I just worry about an outright ban because there are cases, granted few, where formula is the only option. Unless they start doing doner milk for Free or a lot less its not an option for most families and costs MORE then formula. There is a reason that wetnurses were needed so much, and a reason that formula was made in the first place.

Its a great start, there is just more work needed to smooth out the details. A ban in of itself may not be the answer, unless we can find a way to meet the very real needs of some babies who have no sorce for mum's milk. If that could be established then a ban would be a good thing, but how would they do it and still have food for babies who need formula at this point?
post #3 of 79
Well, I can't see that banning formula makes sense, since there are times that it's an appropriate medical intervention. But since that's what it is, how about we make it available only by prescription?
post #4 of 79
Five children, no formula, no bottle EVER, all bf'ed for a minimum of 2 years, some up to 4 years. This idea is completely appalling. Women can and should be able to make these decisions for themselves. There are legitimate reasons that some women can't bf or choose to use formula. They should not be forced to get the approval of the government to make that choice for their families.
post #5 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
Well, I can't see that banning formula makes sense, since there are times that it's an appropriate medical intervention. But since that's what it is, how about we make it available only by prescription?
I know some people would balk at the very idea of this but it would go a long way to normalize BF'ing while still allowing those with genuine needs to get their formula... bonus, have insurance coverage for the prescription formula...
post #6 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
They should not be forced to get the approval of the government to make that choice for their families.
Exactly. Just as the government shouldn't be able to tell me that I have to vaccinate my children, or take them to well baby visits, or feed them certain foods as they get older, they shouldn't be able to tell me what I can or cannot feed my baby.
post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
Well, I can't see that banning formula makes sense, since there are times that it's an appropriate medical intervention. But since that's what it is, how about we make it available only by prescription?
people who need it could still get it, so to me it makes sense.
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckyand3littlemonsters View Post


people who need it could still get it, so to me it makes sense.
what about the low income women who don't have health insurance? I would hate to see anyone watering down formula to make it last longer. I think the way to improve breastfeeding rates is through education. The last thing this country needs is more legislation.

what about someone needing it in the middle of the night? Should they have to run to a 24 hour pharmacy (our closest one in not that close and I live in a subrurb of a large city)? All this would do is line more pockets, because probably every ped would give a scrip "just in case".

oh and none of my kdis have ever had a bottle of ANYthing. I am a LLL leader. I DO believe formula is overused in this country. I just don't see this as viable.
post #9 of 79
I'm pretty sure that Minister Aaron Motsoaledi wasn't meaning a total ban on infant formula.... after all, as many have previously stated there are (approx 3% ) women out there that physiologically can not breast feed exclusively. I whole hearted believe that it should be made available by prescription only though.
post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
Five children, no formula, no bottle EVER, all bf'ed for a minimum of 2 years, some up to 4 years. This idea is completely appalling. Women can and should be able to make these decisions for themselves. There are legitimate reasons that some women can't bf or choose to use formula. They should not be forced to get the approval of the government to make that choice for their families.
I agree, 100%. And I have been working as a breastfeeding advocate for over 10 years now, and none of my 4 children have ever had formula either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I know some people would balk at the very idea of this but it would go a long way to normalize BF'ing while still allowing those with genuine needs to get their formula... bonus, have insurance coverage for the prescription formula...
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckyand3littlemonsters View Post


people who need it could still get it, so to me it makes sense.
Who decides whose needs are good enough? What about a woman who's been sexually abused? Should she be forced to lay her past out in front of a committee of strangers to see if she's damaged enough to deserve to use formula? And if formula wasn't readily available, what would stop us from going back to the days of karo syrup and carnation milk? Or is that next on the list of banned substances?

I find the formula companies and their tactics absolutely abhorrent. But I don't understand why, instead of making a systemic change, people want to enact change that would only serve to hurt women and babies.
post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Who decides whose needs are good enough? What about a woman who's been sexually abused? Should she be forced to lay her past out in front of a committee of strangers to see if she's damaged enough to deserve to use formula? And if formula wasn't readily available, what would stop us from going back to the days of karo syrup and carnation milk? Or is that next on the list of banned substances?

I find the formula companies and their tactics absolutely abhorrent. But I don't understand why, instead of making a systemic change, people want to enact change that would only serve to hurt women and babies.
I do see your point, but I guess I'm still pretty torn on the issue. I was sexually abused. I would not want to lay out my past for a dr. but I don't think it's that hard to get a prescription for something. Most people I know just walk into the dr's and ask and the dr writes out a script for whatever they ask for (which makes no sense to me but that's a whole 'nother issue). I guess when I say make it by prescription only, I'm thinking of that -- just walk in and ask for it. I also think by making it prescription-only, there would be other benefits, such as insurance covering formula costs & more testing to show that the formula is indeed safe. I can see both sides to this though... I really am torn. I guess I just like the idea of BF'ing being so NORMAL that almost everyone gives it a try, and almost everyone is supported & therefore almost everyone is successful... it's such a beautiful vision in my mind...
post #12 of 79
I agree that it is a beautiful vision, but it's not going to be achieved by taking away individual women's choices. I think it's going to take societal and cultural change, starting with going after the formula industries. Take away their ability to target pregnant and breastfeeding women, take away their "free" samples and coupons and diaper bags, take away their influence in doctors' officers and hospitals, take away their commercials that show half-truths, and then see how many women give breastfeeding a chance.
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I also think by making it prescription-only, there would be other benefits, such as insurance covering formula costs & more testing to show that the formula is indeed safe.
Not all insurance policies cover pescriptions, other specify which brands are covered (generics only), the ones that might start at about $1,200+/month in CA for an HMO (I know many employees of LARGE companies and goverment workers only pay about 15-20% while the employer picks up the rest, so they never see what thier insurance truley costs). If the insurance companies did cover it, that means I would be paying for someone else to use formula when I don't even need it. The cost would be farmed out to all insureds and with rates already increasing 10-15% every year, NO THANKS!
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by smpayne View Post
Not all insurance policies cover pescriptions, other specify which brands are covered (generics only), the ones that might start at about $1,200+/month in CA for an HMO (I know many employees of LARGE companies and goverment workers only pay about 15-20% while the employer picks up the rest, so they never see what thier insurance truley costs). If the insurance companies did cover it, that means I would be paying for someone else to use formula when I don't even need it. The cost would be farmed out to all insureds and with rates already increasing 10-15% every year, NO THANKS!
But that's my point, if there is a true medical need for formula, it should be treated like other medical needs like prescription meds... we are already paying (through premiums) for medications etc. for people who chose to smoke or eat poor diets or just not take care of themselves -- compared to that, paying for a baby to have formula sounds like a very good use of my premiums to me. Not that I'd want coverage to rise (I am working ONLY to maintain health insurance, it's ridiculous, and my additional out-of-pocket medical costs are even more insane)... It doesn't matter anyway since I know this will never happen in the U.S. I guess I was just saying I didn't think formula should be banned, just that it should be reserved for those who truly need it (whether that's done by prescription or just better education etc.) and breastmilk should be considered the first resort.... if that makes sense...
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I think it's going to take societal and cultural change, starting with going after the formula industries. Take away their ability to target pregnant and breastfeeding women, take away their "free" samples and coupons and diaper bags, take away their influence in doctors' officers and hospitals, take away their commercials that show half-truths, and then see how many women give breastfeeding a chance.


Prohibit them from sponsoring pediatric medicine conferences and workshops!

Make hospitals pay regular price for formula instead of getting it for free.

and health care needs to change too - providers need to support breastfeeding women in actions, not just words. breastfeeding and formula need to be discussed in terms of risk, and women need to be able to make an informed decision.
post #16 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
But that's my point, if there is a true medical need for formula, it should be treated like other medical needs like prescription meds...
But if you can just walk into a doctor's office and ask for a prescription for formula (or anything else) then is there really a true medical need for it? Why would I want to rely on a doctor, who has little to no education on normal human lactation, much less on all of the troubles that can crop up, to be able to tell when a mom has tried "hard enough" and can start giving formula? Especially when a majority of the time the doctor sees the formula rep far more often than they'd ever see an IBCLC. Making formula prescription only will do far more harm than good IMO. I agree with AM, what needs to be focused on is the formula manufacturers marketing practices and policies.
post #17 of 79
Yup I get what you're saying but I also think it would make people think twice before turning to formula. Viewing it as a 'prescription drug' might make people stop & think of things like side effects etc. But you're right, no way would I have trusted our former pedi to determine if there was a 'true medical need' for formula. I haven't thought this through completely, just throwing out ideas, hopefully not offending anyone!!
post #18 of 79
To be honest, when I hear things like "make people think twice before turning to formula" it almost sounds like it's about punishing mothers. IMO, breastfeeding advocates must attack it from the point of view of giving babies and mothers the very best, not making things so impossibly difficult that moms grudgingly breastfeeding because all their choices are taken away from them. Especially in third world countries where women are already marginalized.
post #19 of 79
Nooo that's not what I mean... I don't want to punish anyone!! I feel that many mothers view formula as a perfectly healthy, safe option rather than a less-than-ideal alternative to breastmilk. Rather than being a last resort, formula is the first & foremost option for them... and medicalizing formula could help people to think in terms of 'treatment' & 'side effects' instead of 'different feeding options.' I'm probably not explaining myself clearly, so I better shut up before I just make things worse. I swear I'm not as militant as I guess I'm coming across. I truly hope I didn't offend anyone!
post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I feel that many mothers view formula as a perfectly healthy, safe option rather than a less-than-ideal alternative to breastmilk. Rather than being a last resort, formula is the first & foremost option for them...
Because their doctors tell them it is. Too many doctors are way to quick to tell a breastfeeding mother that her milk is faulty or not enough and she should supplement. I think medicalizing this will only make things worse. Personally I don't have a problem with all the free sample and formula companies advertising. What I do have a problem is ignorant doctors.

Where I live, it is the low income mothers that tend to use formula from birth and the more well to do mothers that work at breast feeding at least for a few months. The grocery stores have to lock it up to keep it from being stolen. If mothers had to produce proof that they could NOT breastfeed before recieving their WIC coupons, things might change.

I don't agree with taking away the mothers choice (I have seen many mothers successfully do both), but they should not be getting it for free without serious just cause.
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