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What to do with formula samples? - Page 4

post #61 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electra375
If a moderator thought my TP post was breaking the rules, then they would have told me so. The rule states 'refrain', which isn't necessarily saying you can not. There are enough woman here who have used formula not out of a desire to do so, but b/c there were no other options available to them. For MDC to prohibit us from helping each other out in a time of need would go against just about everything I've come to respect MDC for.

I also have a rubbermaid tote full of bottles from my first child, I'd gladly give those away to, if I knew their use was not b/c the mother didn't want to bf. Additionally, working mothers who pump still need bottles, so again the word refrain is not taken in my vocabulary as prohibited.

I've been around here for a long time, don't go throwing the RULE book in my face.
The rule is fairly recent, but refrain really does mean don't. They pull threads now that offer to sell or trade or giveaway formula or coupons.
post #62 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Orchid
Ditto that. I have always given my coupons and samples to people who have already gone past the point of no return. And my LC (who is an LLL leader) takes them and gives them to low supply mamas who have no choice but to supplement for whatever reason. Since we all agree that there are cases that it is medically necessary I can't see how it is problem to give those mamas formula so they don't have to buy it.

But (and this really does bear repeating) when you give away your coupons, your info is on them. You are giving the formula companies the message that their hyperactive marketing to breastfeeding women is effective.
post #63 of 112
I give away my coupons, too. I don't fill out their surveys, so they don't know that I'm breastfeeding. The hospital where I had my youngest did not accept donations or the diaper bags from the formula companies so they didn't get my information from them. I'm assuming the last time that a well-meaning friend or family member signed me up for the coupons and stuff. This last time I gave my coupons to a family I knew that used formula, but sometimes children's shelters will take the coupons, too. Even if they don't use them they can pass them on to foster parents or parents who need them.

Formula is very, very expensive and sometimes parents will dilute the formula to save money. This is dangerous to the baby's help. I'll do anything I can to help prevent this from happening, and this includes donating my samples and coupons to people who are at risk of doing this.
post #64 of 112
I can't stand the formula company marketing tactics either and certainly don't want to support them. At the same time I do want to help out mamas who aren't able to produce sufficient milk on their own. I am realizing I want to learn more about milk banks and what's involved with donating. I was an overproducer with DS in the beginning, so this is something I could have done but didn't think to look into. I am wondering if there is a web site somewhere that lists all the milk banks. I did a google search and found this, but I certainly hope there are more!
www.mmbaustin.org/milkbanks.htm

Edit:
Just came across this site:
http://www.hmbana.org/locations.htm

I am really surpised there are not more! I just read this article off of the LLL web site. It looks like you can donate milk even if you don't have a local milk bank:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...rMay00p19.html
post #65 of 112
If the formula company sent you the coupon, somehow your info is on it.
post #66 of 112
Kristi, thanks for posting. You articulated how I feel so much better than I could have. It's such an emotional issue for me so it's hard for me to express how I feel. It was definitely the (!) that got me, you're right.

ZeldasMom - the best way to help out Moms w/ supply issues is mother-to-mother donation - banked milk is upwards of $3/oz and its pasteurized. You can read about direct donation here:

http://www.breastmilkdonations.com/home.html

I should say that when pregnant I threw out lots of formula samples from the OB's office. Today I would probably find a way to give them to a shelter or something (the brands I don't use), although I don't seem to ever get any in the mail myself.
post #67 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
If the formula company sent you the coupon, somehow your info is on it.
All the coupons I got, and there were plenty, had my name and address printed on them. I think these are definitely tracking coupons, but maybe some are getting them from other places, that truly have no information on them? Oh well, to each his own.
post #68 of 112
I am FF & BF due to low supply. I would love to have additional coupons to help ease the cost. Of course now baby is close to one year so the need isn't there.

As PP mentioned, the companies do track who uses the checks and then sends more out. For me, this isn't a bad thing. My sister also FF due to a serious health condition of hers.
post #69 of 112
I work for a marketing company, so I know what happens with manufacture's coupons. I'm just happy to help someone who really needs it. Not too worried if the FF companies don't know I am still breastfeeding, its just one more can that they will not sell for their inflated prices. And just so you know, the % of manufacturer costs that come from marketing is pretty low in consumer goods. They do not get a very high redemption on coupons at all (10% at best) so whether someone who really needs it uses a coupon isn't causing someone else to pay more.

The good will I am extending to these women who need help override any percieved benefit of not using the coupons. I prefer to express activism in other ways, like volunteering my time to help in a lactation clinic and donating time and money to organizations like LLL who promote breastfeeding.
post #70 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Orchid
I work for a marketing company, so I know what happens with manufacture's coupons. I'm just happy to help someone who really needs it. Not too worried if the FF companies don't know I am still breastfeeding, its just one more can that they will not sell for their inflated prices. And just so you know, the % of manufacturer costs that come from marketing is pretty low in consumer goods. They do not get a very high redemption on coupons at all (10% at best) so whether someone who really needs it uses a coupon isn't causing someone else to pay more.

The good will I am extending to these women who need help override any percieved benefit of not using the coupons. I prefer to express activism in other ways, like volunteering my time to help in a lactation clinic and donating time and money to organizations like LLL who promote breastfeeding.
I disagree. Formula companies market more aggressively to breastfeeding women. When a formula company realizes that a breastfeeding woman is using the coupons, it only encourages them to market even more aggressively to breastfeeding women. If someone wants/needs the coupons, they should sign themselves up. If they truly have a need, they probably qualify for WIC.

Additionally, no matter what the percentage of redemption of the coupons, the fact remains that they do not simply eat the cost. Formula is so much more expensive than it has to be. Why? Aggressive advertising, including giveaways, "free" samples, and coupons.

You certainly are entitled to express activism in any way you wish, if you wish to extend "good will" in this way. But I think for breastfeeding women to use these coupons at all, in any way, unless they themselves are using them due to a very real need to supplement, they are doing a disservice to themselves, and to breastfeeding.
post #71 of 112
I had a few cans of formula collecting dust in my basement. I gave them to dd's ped when she went for check up along with some coupons I still had.
He was very excited I brought them in.
Other coupons I mailed to a couple of mdc mama's and some i throw away.

ETA
Wow, what a thread!
I wanted to add that I am 99% sure when I saw the thread looking for coupons this rule for the tp was not yet posted.
post #72 of 112
AnnetteMarie is right!
Formula companies give those samples and coupons out banking on the failure of women to breastfeed their babies. The formula itself is what causes the vast majority of supply problems in the first place, which leads to more supplementation, which leads to less milk supply, thus putting an effective stop to that breastfeeding relationship. They are in violation of the WHO code on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes when they give those samples and coupons out, because of how that practice undermines the breastfeeding relationship for many, many women. Mothering believes in and upholds the WHO code, always has.

the best plan of action is to not give your name and address out to anyone when you are pregnant, and not get those samples in the mail in the first place.
post #73 of 112
Thread Starter 
Thanks for a great discussion & great ideas. I found a place in town that works with low-income families and that I know does a lot of breastfeeding education & support. They said they would give the can to someone who is already FFing.

Thanks!
post #74 of 112
Not sure if this was listed, but donating them to a non profit adoption agencies is also a good idea. I know at the agency we were affiliated with often gave little notice when a couple was getting a baby and would try to pack them a diaper bag with some supplies for right now. Also some adoption agencies have babies in foster care for a few days before they go to their new parents, and the formula is needed.
post #75 of 112
When it was clear that I wouldn't need them, I gave my formula samples away to a food co-op for people who needed to use them. It was really important to me to not waste this food (yes, it is food). I totally disagree with people throwing them out. Not having a sample isn't going to change anyone's mind in the direction of breastfeeding - if women are both desirous and able to breastfeed, then they will. For me the formula was never a temptation to use. It was there in case I had to use it (which I was fortunate enough not to).
post #76 of 112
I didn't read all the replies....

I wrote "RETURN TO SENDER" and popped it back in the mail. As for the coupons, I did the same thing, and then I finally called to find out how Enfamil got my name and to be taken off the list. I didn't get any more coupons and found out that "American Baby" magazine gave them my name. So, now how do I get off the list for American Baby? They can't seem to take my name off their subscription list!
post #77 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
Not having a sample isn't going to change anyone's mind in the direction of breastfeeding - if women are both desirous and able to breastfeed, then they will.

But studies have shown just the opposite- formula companies market more aggressively to women who indicate they are planning to breastfeed, and having formula samples available in the home can interfere with the breastfeeding relationship.
post #78 of 112
Ok, I have to preface with one of the most annoying things people can say here, BUT: I haven't read this entire thread. Sorry, I got stuck on the argument & decided to move on. I have restless toddlers that need to go for a walk.

The OP got a lot of good ideas, but I'm not sure this has been mentioned. If your area has a local Mothers of Multiples club, you could see if they have a website & offer them there. Many of us mamas of multiples have supply issues and can't quite keep up with our babies. And many are unable to breastfeed because we've had preemies & people don't realize how hard it is to breastfeed preemies.

Just another suggestion.

I'm mixed on the coupon issue. But I'd probably just offer the coupons to whomever I gave the formula to. Sometimes formula is a necessary evil.
post #79 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
Not having a sample isn't going to change anyone's mind in the direction of breastfeeding - if women are both desirous and able to breastfeed, then they will.
I can't disagree with you more! If a woman is having difficulties breastfeeding, if her baby isn't gaining enough weight on breastmilk alone, giving just one bottle of formula can make it near impossible for her to breastfeed that baby! I know, I was that woman. It took two months of pumping at least 8 times every day to get my milk supply back. That is not something just anyone would want to or is able to do to save the nursing relationship, and I can't blame them for that. Some women just don't know any better than to follow everyone's advice, "go ahead and give him a bottle of formula at night, he'll sleep better" or "it won't hurt anything to give that baby some formula every now and then" when the exact opposite is true! ONE bottle can totally undermine breastfeeding. ONE bottle can lead to nipple preference or a bad latch. Without adequate support or information, most women cannot make breastfeeding work in those situations.

And again, I'm agreeing with AnnetteMarie. Formula companies give those samples out for the sole purpose of undermining the breastfeeding relationship. If it didn't work, they wouldn't do it. Giving those samples to an unsuspecting new mom is the same as helping the formula companies make more money. I vote for throwing the stuff away, and I'm not ashamed or afraid to say so.
post #80 of 112
I told my cousin to put them in the compost pile when she discovered hers today (5 days after coming home from the hospital with her dd). If babies survive on the stuff, it's bound to be good for the plants.

I worked as a church secretary for awhile and we'd give out toothpaste, sposies, deodorant, soap, all those sorts of toiletry items to people who needed them. We had a policy of not giving out (or accepting donations of) any kind of baby food. I think it was because we couldn't open the packages up and make individual 'servings' like we could with laundry soap and babywipes and that sort of thing. I think you'll probably end up creating more waste finding a spot to donate them than if you just toss them.
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