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A Standing Ovation for Kathleen Huggins: This is FUNNY!

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Kathleen Huggins, author of "The Nursing Mother's Companion", is a friend and neighbor of mine. This story is way too funny.

Kathleen was at a local hospital waiting for an appointment with her doctor. She was kept waiting a very very very long time. The whole time, she had to stare at a giant poster for a formula company. She was really upset about it. Here she was in a professional health care establishment, in a Women's Health and Breast Care (or some such named) section, and they are pushing formula, even though the risk of breast cancer is reduced by nursing.

She saw the doctor, then on her way out got an urge and snuck the poster off the wall and took it with her.

Somebody saw her do it. And since they happened to overhear where she was headed next, the Head Honcho of the hospital tracked her down and called her at her next appointment! He told her she was in possession of stolen property and needed to return it. She said, basically, "That thing's an insult to your hospital and your patients and you should be ashamed." So he told her he was going to call the police! So here she was, driving around, running her errands with one eye on the rear view mirror, worried that she was going to get arrested for having a poster in her trunk! She said the man was totally ticked off and very serious in tone and manner.

Since this all started in her doctor's office, the next time she called about an appointment the secretary mentioned the poster to her, saying Mr. Big was still very upset and wanted her to bring it back when she came in. She replied, "Well, if he mentions it again, tell him I agree that I should be arrested, and that he SHOULD call the police. I would love to explain this to the press, who, by the way, I would contact without hesitation."

WooHoo, way to get feisty!
So I think this episode is over, but if it's not, I am gonna be the first one to give info to the press about the WHO code and the ethics of advertising formula in a health care environment. And of course, I promised to visit her in jail, tee-hee.
post #2 of 71
I will bake her a cake with a file inside for when she goes to jail!

She is one gutsy, strong, WONDERFUL mama!

I *love* this! Did they give her an appointment? I can't wait to hear what happens next!

Jean
post #3 of 71
post #4 of 71
I can't inagine why the guy would care SO much!

Maybe this is too conspiracy theory, but do you think the formula company maybe paid him to advertise in his office?

That is funny, though! Tell her way to go!!
post #5 of 71
Quote:
Maybe this is too conspiracy theory, but do you think the formula company maybe paid him to advertise in his office?
That was my first thought, too.
post #6 of 71
I would pay for a pro-BF poster to replace it...tell him that! Mr. WHO-code violater.
post #7 of 71
This is a GREAT story. Thanks for posting it.

As far as being "paid" to put that poster up... yeah well, you should read MILK, MONEY & MADNESS (is that the title?). Basically formula companies have DESIGNED (donated their architectural services) hospital maternity wards (where babies are kept separate from mother... which happens to sabotage the BFing relationship from the beginning).

They also give "free" supplies (note pads, etc...) to doctor offices (most pharmaceutical companies do that.)

I remember reading (memory is vague, it's been 3 yrs since I read that book) something about formula companies actually paying thousands of dollars (say, $5,000.) for the priviledge of getting the actual mailing lists of current OB patients, so they could directly mail formula to patients homes.

I got some formula in the mail. Couldn't imagine from whom... until I read that book.

it's horrible... all those sneaky WHO violators.

Tanya
Giancarlo - 3 in March - still BFing (and working on weaning)
post #8 of 71
Cool story.

I would have thought those things were free? Supplied by the formula company...

"hey, just go get another one out of the closet"

Maybe they were worried she'd write something "nasty" on it and post it somewhere, but it had their name stamped on it? "Property of Moronic Hospital Clinic".

Too silly.

Way to go Kathleen!!
post #9 of 71
our local hospitals give out cute little diaper bags filled with formula samples when you deliver there. and my OB office does give out the names of expectant mothers to the formula companies to mail samples to your house - i know this because the office spelled my name wrong on their files and thats how it was spelled on the box of formula.

its so sad that sometimes moms who don't really know about the benefits of nursing get swayed by the big bad wolf - formula mfrs.

i would LOVE to see a pro-breastfeeding poster in my OB/GYN office with the photo from the may/june 2000 issue of mothering - i LOOOOVe that photo.

well, if kathleen gets any heat from this guy, we can always have a sit-in, or better yet a nurse-in!
post #10 of 71
good for her!
post #11 of 71
I think she had good intentions, but stealing is not the way to get your point across. I think this woman should be ashamed of herself, but that's just me.

Edited to add: What if the poster was about breastfeeding and someone ripped it down because they think breastfeeding is gross? Is it okay to steal what we don't like?

Edited again to add: I realize this isn't a popular opinion around here. I am very pro-breastfeeding, but I don't believe stealing is the answer.
post #12 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What if the poster was about breastfeeding and someone ripped it down because they think
breastfeeding is gross? Is it okay to steal what we don't like?
Breastfeeding doesn't violate the World Health Organization's code of ethics. Health care facilities shouldn't be advertising formula. In fact, our county breastfeeding coalition has been asking this hospital to comply for years. As a health care professional herself, she was appalled. The poster has no monetary value and is not irreplaceable. The reps have a trunkful of them.

So, perhaps it was impolite, but I'm quite certain there is a greater good to consider here, and she has my full support.
post #13 of 71
WTG, Kathleen! I would totally have cheered her on. Maybe you two can get together and design a poster to put in it's place or order a probreastfeeding one from somewhere to replace the offensive one.

BTW, does anyone have the WHO's statement/policy handy? I'd like to read it as I am pretty sick of my Dr.'s office. The first thing they ALWAYS ask is if I am formula feeding and there's always a bunch of formula just sitting on the counters for the taking. I'd like to know if they too are in violation.

They also gave me the free formula gift pack AFTER I'd already said we are exclusively BFing.

Thanks!
post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally posted by SoHappy


Breastfeeding doesn't violate the World Health Organization's code of ethics. Health care facilities shouldn't be advertising formula. In fact, our county breastfeeding coalition has been asking this hospital to comply for years. As a health care professional herself, she was appalled. The poster has no monetary value and is not irreplaceable. The reps have a trunkful of them.

So, perhaps it was impolite, but I'm quite certain there is a greater good to consider here, and she has my full support.
But it is unethical to steal!

I'm appalled by fried food, but I don't go around ripping down posters for McDonalds or Wendy's. I don't steal from them because I don't like them. I don't see how stealing a poster can do ANY good at all.
post #15 of 71
The end justifies the means.

Advertising formula is more unethical than stealing that same advertising, IMHO.
post #16 of 71
I think the KNOWN health consequences of formula feeding, which happen in greater numbers when moms are exposed to formula ads and samples (studies show this exposure increases artificial feeding rates) are a much greater evil than stealing the poster. Whatever happened to FIRST DO NO HARM!?!?!

I think increasing a child's risks of SIDS, cancer, diabetes, RSV, reflux, gastrointestinal infections, ear infections, respiratory infections including pneumonia; diarrhea, colitis, etc. is a much greater evil than stealing the poster. (Not to mention increasing the mother's risk of post-birth hemorrage, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and urinary tract infections.)

(For sources see http://www.promom.org and click on 101 reasons to breastfeed, or see http://www.askdrsears.com
)


It is well known that the formula companies are about as ethical as the tobacco companies. And they have VERY deep pockets. They can afford another poster.

Go Kathleen!
post #17 of 71
I still don't see how stealing one poster out of a doctor's office will stop even one person from giving their baby formula. If someone doesn't want to breastfeed, they're not going to breastfeed whether they see a poster or not.

Why couldn't she have given the doctor a breastfeeding poster to put up? I don't see why she felt she could go into someone's office and steal something. Can I go in her home and steal something?
post #18 of 71
But studies show that ads DO influence mothers in their infant feeding decisions. (Formula companies KNOW this otherwise they wouldn't spend the money printing the posters! ) Especially if they are in a doctor's office, a doctor that they TRUST to give good medical advice.

The studies I have read about say that the ads and samples ESPECIALLY influence those moms who have not yet DECIDED how to feed. These posters are NOT innocent.
post #19 of 71
WHO Code info for the mom above who asked:

The full name is "the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes". It is a joint statement and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
http://www.ibfan.org/english/resource/who/fullcode.html
These two groups recommend these practices for ALL countries. The Code is law in many countries, but not the USA.

The American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding recommendations may also help:
http://www.aap.org/policy/re9729.html

For more info about formula companies and the pediatricians they bribe (as pediatrician Dr. Jack Newman describes the trips and the gifts) see the article "Formula for Disaster" by Katie Allison Granju. Last I checked it was at breastfeeding.com and
salon.com
post #20 of 71
first of all yes the posters do make a difference. if advertising didn't work no one would do it...
second having the poster up says that this doctor endorses and supports the use of formula.
third as it has been started above this poster in a drs office does violate the WHO code
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