Medela further violating WHO code - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
I'd be very surprised if the money Medela was saving or has saved with this "ad campaign" for lack of a better term was in any way passed on to the consumers.
Actually, they are awesome about replacing broken pump parts or SNS parts free, so I think that's kind of passing savings on to the consumer. A month ago I called them because my Symphony tubing broke and I only had one working side and I couldn't find a store that sold just the tubing without the rest of the pump kit. Not only did they send it to me free, they overnight shipped it! Granted, that's not "passing savings on" in the sense that, say, lowering pump prices would be. But still, they did not have to do that for free!

Given the concerns people have expressed about stealth marketing, I now feel I need to add that I am *not* being given any goodies by Medela for saying that, and I have no association with them. I promise. I am just a random pumping mom who has been impressed with them.
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#182 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MonkeysRUs View Post

Medela is not interested in promoting breastfeeding. They are interested in promoting breastMILK feeding. There is an important difference. Now before anyone gets all upset, let me say again that there are circumstances where pumps and bottles are essential, and there is nothing wrong with that. Thank goodness we have them. The marketing of it as the norm however is a big problem.

Take the USA for example. I am quite sure that most mothers would rather be at home with their babies than needing to return to work 6 weeks after their baby is born. Being able to stay home SHOULD be the norm. It is best for moms, babies, families and society as a whole. Unfortunately, moms are not the only ones affected by marketing. So are the politicians that make the decisions about whether or not moms should get a year of mat leave. They know by now that breastmilk is important, but if they are also getting the message that moms can simply pump and bottle feed, then why should they consider extending mat leave?
well...there is no money to be made in promoting breastfeeding. i love BFing as much as anyone, and i wish every single baby in this world were breastfed, but companies aren't making money off of it if you define it as "completely without implements to facilitate it."

to draw a crude analogy, to me, saying medela doesn't care about breastfeeding because it introduces implements into what "should" be a natural process is like saying KY doesn't care about sex...i mean, clearly, many many people NEED the facilitation of personal lubricant to have sex, just like many people NEED a breast pump and bottles to sustain their breastfeeding relationship.

and i disagree about staying home being the norm. i don't want it to be the norm, personally. i think women are far better off in this country now that it isn't (than when it was more of the norm). but that's a whole other conversation to me and has nothing to do with marketing bottles.

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#183 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
It is really important to realize that the WHO Code isn't necessarily about you or me but about that mom in the third world country without adequate clean water.

.
well, maybe it isn't worth having a code that broad. sorry, but the situation of the US is so different from those countries you're talking about, i don't see how holding them to the same standard is logical.

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#184 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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Actually, they are awesome about replacing broken pump parts or SNS parts free, so I think that's kind of passing savings on to the consumer. A month ago I called them because my Symphony tubing broke and I only had one working side and I couldn't find a store that sold just the tubing without the rest of the pump kit. Not only did they send it to me free, they overnight shipped it! Granted, that's not "passing savings on" in the sense that, say, lowering pump prices would be. But still, they did not have to do that for free!
One mom dropped her freestyle in a sink and fried it and they sent her a refurbished one free of charge. Their customer service is amazing! (No, I'm not a maven.)

And of the moms I know, only maybe half actually want to stay home - so I don't think the statement from another poster is true at all.

My baby is only breastfed because 2 fantastic Medela pumps got us through the first 8 weeks before she would latch.

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#185 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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My Dr Browns fit too. Everything I've tried except Avents fit.
Coming out of lurking on this thread to say that my glass Dr. Browns fit (didn't try the plastic ones, but I think they are the same), and there are adapters to make the Avent bottles fit. They came in a package of 2 for the regular wide bottles and 2 for the Via bottles.

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#186 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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well, maybe it isn't worth having a code that broad. sorry, but the situation of the US is so different from those countries you're talking about, i don't see how holding them to the same standard is logical.

Then should we stop the Ban the Bags initiative and discontinue boycotting Nestle?
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#187 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Then should we stop the Ban the Bags initiative and discontinue boycotting Nestle?
I think that would be taking it too far. Saying that the WHO Code is too broad doesn't necessarily mean we then want all form of promoting breastfeeding to stop. It's just that the one size fits all approach of the WHO Code is not appropriate. Why not have different Codes for different areas? The US is fully industrialized so it is not a matter of life and death for our babies in terms of sanitation, water supply, etc, and the vast majority of women work, even after having children. Our needs in promoting and protecting breastfeeding and breastmilk feeding are very different than some 3rd world country in Africa.
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#188 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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I think if Medela's financial situation is such that they feel the need to break the WHO Code to market their bottles, then American women and babies could be harmed if Medela no longer existed as a company.
Do you *really* believe Medela will go bankrupt without bottle marketing? They are a household name among women who give even just a passing thought about breastfeeding and their pumps are on baby registries of a good portion of women in the US.

I like their products and I'm not going to spend much time fighting this issue, but I sure wish I didn't get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I talk to moms about pumps. But Medela almost always comes up because they have a huge piece of the market and they are visible and available in many, many locations.

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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I would really love to hear more about WHY Medela felt the need to do this. In these economic times, I personally find it hard to believe they would risk alienating the breastfeeding community without dire financial need, but I'm just speculating.
This is the million (or multi-million?) dollar question, isn't it. The cynic in me thinks you are being very charitable about their motives! They spent years as the darling of the breastfeeding community and all of a sudden they need to violate a code? I think it's telling that some of their newer bottles don't have any pro-bf statements on them and that they sell 8oz bottles. And now hearing about the nipples that are very fast flowing????

I guess I'm just disappointed in them. I certainly don't want them to go out of business, but the code is important to me and I don't think they should get a free pass just because they make great pumps.

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#189 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 02:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
If bottle feeding pumped breastmilk isn't bad or something to be ashamed of, then why have all these rules banning the showing of a bottle as a feeding device?
Because the code is designed to protect breastfeeding all over the world, not just in first world countries. What we do here (and our advertising, movies, TV shows, etc.) make a difference in other places where people aspire to our standard of living. It's why many, many immigrants from breastfeeding cultures come here, don't see anyone breastfeeeding in public and end up bottlefeeding formula.

I understand that the ban on the marketing of bottles feels like an attack on women who need to pump and bottlefeed (and work their butts off to do so), but that's not the intent at all.

Changing the rules of the code depending on the location is a slippery slope indeed as the world is such a permeable place at this point.

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#190 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MaClaire View Post
Do you *really* believe Medela will go bankrupt without bottle marketing? They are a household name among women who give even just a passing thought about breastfeeding and their pumps are on baby registries of a good portion of women in the US.
Obviously, I do believe that might be a reason why they did this, or I wouldn't have posted it. And I guess I do tend to be charitable when speculating about people's motives. I'd really rather believe most people are striving to do the right thing, especially when they've made good choices in the past, then believe they're going out of their way to tick me off.

Seriously, I am just bouncing ideas out here. I'm disappointed in them as well.

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#191 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
Actually, they are awesome about replacing broken pump parts or SNS parts free, so I think that's kind of passing savings on to the consumer. A month ago I called them because my Symphony tubing broke and I only had one working side and I couldn't find a store that sold just the tubing without the rest of the pump kit. Not only did they send it to me free, they overnight shipped it! Granted, that's not "passing savings on" in the sense that, say, lowering pump prices would be. But still, they did not have to do that for free!

Given the concerns people have expressed about stealth marketing, I now feel I need to add that I am *not* being given any goodies by Medela for saying that, and I have no association with them. I promise. I am just a random pumping mom who has been impressed with them.
But how do we *know* you aren't a Maven, hmmmm?

I am just teasing, but I think that people are worried about exactly that...not being able to trust/having to question what other people are posting. I can certainly understand that...this type of marketing really creeps me out!

ETA I am sure this was already brought up, but I skimmed through the thread since it is so long!
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#192 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 02:32 AM
 
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to the poster who asked me how it is harmful for medela to NOT market their bottles: please see posts like that from haydn'smommy and ellienc. i even made note of the nicu mom who had a spillage. it would be awesome and very beneficial to be able to go from pump to baby without a whole rigamarole and EASIER to do so if someone says "HEY LOOK OUR PUMPS HAVE REAL BOTTLES THAT YOU CAN USE" instead of having to wade through all the bottles both recommended on SOCIAL NETWORK SITES and on the shelf at bru!
I don't have a PIS anymore, but IIRC ANY standard bottle fit on that thing! And Medela could include GOOD (read: glass) containers that could double as bottles with the pump. If they make a good bottle, people will buy it. Evenflo makes great bottles IMO and they are code-compliant. Sorry: I don't have much sympathy for women with "too many choices."

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this IS about making bottle feeding of breastmilk LESS taboo. and believe me, it IS taboo especially with increasing bf awareness. if a woman perceives that she will get flack over bottle feeding breastmilk, she might just skip it because it is less work to just ff.
Where do you live? This reminds me of that infamous Hannah Rosen article a few months ago where she describes a scene of very snotty anti-bottle women at a playground in NYC. I know other women on this thread have also experienced bottle-feeding snobbery (and that totally sucks), but that is certainly not the experience of most women in the US. NIP is still a big issue in many places! This forum has plenty of examples to choose from.

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and how are women in other countries going to be hurt if medela advertises breastmilk delivery systems in conjunction with their pumps to u.s. women?
Who knows? Countries don't exist behind iron curtains anymore and advertising, lifestyle, etc. are all HUGE exports from the US. I also think there's an argument to be made that US women have been hurt by the aggressive marketing of pumps. Helped immensely too, don't get me wrong. But it's a double-edged sword. I talk to new moms on a daily basis and so, so many of them are pumping and bottlefeeding because of sore nipples or a perception that breastfeeding and bottlefeeding breastmilk are totally equivalent and that milk supply is established or maintained equally by a pump or baby.

I'm sure some of you will take offense at the above, but I can't control that. I admire moms who (for so many very good reasons) pump and bottlefeed, but (and I've said this before) lactivism for me is about making breastfeeding (yes, baby suckling at the breast) NORMAL in our culture. The WHO code helps in this endeavor.

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#193 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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I'd really rather believe most people are striving to do the right thing, especially when they've made good choices in the past, then believe they're going out of their way to tick me off.

Seriously, I am just bouncing ideas out here. I'm disappointed in them as well.
I don't think Medela wants to tick off anyone; they want to improve their bottom line.

It's not unlike Ergo, to think of it! Ergo makes a great product and has been supported by babywearers for years (before it went mainstream). Then Ergo starts attacking some SAHMs and it gets ugly. I own an Ergo, but I wouldn't buy one now. I like companies that have great products AND have ethical standards that I can feel good about. Good products sell; marketing and exclusivity help a bunch to improve sales, but at what price?

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#194 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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why would having a localized code be a slippery slope? it seems to me that we are all being asked to abide by the code as it applies to those in 3rd world countries. my socioeconomic standing directly affects how i am able to feed my child just as it does a woman in a 3rd world country, but our situations are different. i am middle class american and i have access to more than just clean water and shelter. no the code is not about me but it should try to encompass all aspects of breastfeeding and protect that ability as well.

if people around the world emulate americans so, then why are there bf rates higher than ours? looks like the norm would be bottle-feeding with formula and a very low rate of extended bf. more women in this world bf than don't.

i really feel like we are underestimating women everywhere if we think that hiding things from them is the way to teach them how to better themselves. women in 3rd world countries are desperate, not dumb and i do not see a breast pump having bottles that 'go' with it as being even in the same ball park as formula being forced on mothers.

it's nice that other bottles fit the pumps, but it would be nice to have medela bottles be for storage and delivery because i am comfortable using their products (and no i'm not a maven!)

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#195 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Because there are still quite a few areas right here in the US with third world like living conditions, namely the inner cities. Is it fair to ignore them simply because most of the country enjoys a first world lifestyle?
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#196 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Because there are still quite a few areas right here in the US with third world like living conditions, namely the inner cities. Is it fair to ignore them simply because most of the country enjoys a first world lifestyle?
seriously?

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#197 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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I wouldn't think of inner cities as comparable to third world countries at all. I will acknowledge, however, that there are some areas in the US, such as some parts of Appalachia, that face similar issues where the Code might come into play.

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#198 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I think as far as access to adequate medical care when needed and having a reliable, affordable food source and the money with which to purchase it, yes. I think that there are also areas where sanitation and clean water isn't as readily available or reliable as we're used to.

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#199 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Because there are still quite a few areas right here in the US with third world like living conditions, namely the inner cities. Is it fair to ignore them simply because most of the country enjoys a first world lifestyle?
I can't think of a single place in the US that I would compare to a third world country. Can you elaborate??

I am in agreement with a more localized code.

ETA I didn't see your most recent post, so NM on the elaboration.
I think that saying 'quite a few' is an exaggeration. A few would be more accurate IMO. But it is still a really good point!
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#200 of 218 Old 01-22-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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why would having a localized code be a slippery slope?
Because marketing, imagery, etc. goes EVERYWHERE these days.

I still fail to see how Medela following the code, which would mean changing a few photos (basically) and stopping the Maven program (which may very well backfire) HURTS American women and babies. Medela can still make and sell bottles!

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if people around the world emulate americans so, then why are there bf rates higher than ours?
Lots of reasons: because they actually have some common sense about infant feeding, because they can't afford formula, because the WHO code is actually enforced where they live (many other reasons I'm leaving out I'm sure). Marketing WORKS (hello Nestle). The reason why the WHO code came about was because of formula companies basically committing murder: traveling to 3rd world countries and giving free samples of the stuff and then leaving the (now non-lactating) women to try and feed their babies with watered down formula or formula made with unsafe water.

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i really feel like we are underestimating women everywhere if we think that hiding things from them is the way to teach them how to better themselves.
I guess I think we are overestimating corporations (even Medela!) when we let standards slip.

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women in 3rd world countries are desperate, not dumb and i do not see a breast pump having bottles that 'go' with it as being even in the same ball park as formula being forced on mothers.
ITA, but I still think they should follow the WHO code.

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#201 of 218 Old 01-23-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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I think we can all come to our own personal definitions of lactivism.

Mine includes wanting to help nursing moms to feel comfortable nursing wherever, whenever, and not having to worry about anyone holding it against them; nursing moms never worrying that they are doing something that is disgusting or offensive; that breast milk and breasts are not dirty; that nursing is normal.

I do understand that many people feel that in order to accomplish this, bottles have to become seen as "less". For me, I prefer to stick with positives instead of negatives.

As a mom who did work and pump and send bottles to daycare, I really don't like that efforts in lactivism have led to a situation in which moms who pump and use bottles as a delivery system now feel defensive about doing so...that's negative and IMO not helpful.

I also have a good friend who tried everything she could to exclusively nurse - IBCLC, SNS, herbs, oatmeal, pumping, etc...and in the end still needed to supplement and ended up feeling terrible about it because of the stigma attached to bottles and formula in some pro-bf circles. This was also negative and not helpful...she needed support, to be told she was doing a great job to give her baby whatever breast milk she could and ultimately do what was needed to take care of her.

My own personal version of lactivism includes positive support for moms who pump and bottlefeed, either part time or exclusively, and moms who are supportive of breastfeeding but needed to supplement with formula.

I also don't think it is ever appropriate or helpful in promoting breastfeeding for anyone to be snotty or critical of a mom who is bottle feeding, even formula, even if she never even tried to nurse, over her choice. Doing so reinforces the negative sterotypes about "breastfeeding extremists". Support for breastfeeding IMO really needs to be positive. I feel that negative and critical attitudes that seep into it probably do more harm than good by turning people off.

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#202 of 218 Old 01-25-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I am returning this thread after removing several posts for off topic posting.

The topic is Medela and the WHO code.

Please remember to follow the Forum Guidelines.


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Thanks!


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#203 of 218 Old 02-02-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MaClaire View Post
You're confusing issues here. I'll say it again: the WHO code has *nothing* to do with banning bottles. It only provides guidelines for the *marketing* of bottles (and a few other things).

Really, if Medela became WHO-code compliant tomorrow do you think American women would cease buying their bottles? You could still find them in the "yellow section" of Target ferpetessake! Right next to the pumps...which can be marketed aggressively.
And also:


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Originally Posted by MaClaire View Post
I still fail to see how Medela following the code, which would mean changing a few photos (basically) and stopping the Maven program (which may very well backfire) HURTS American women and babies. Medela can still make and sell bottles!

Exactly. Look, I had to use a pump (which was a Pump In Style, in fact) to EP for my daughter for FIVE MONTHS while my LC and I worked to get Lily on the breast. And yes, I used bottles to feed her (among other techniques). Arguing against the marketing - not the production, but the marketing - of bottles really makes me think of how so often, when an article comes out about cesarean rates being too high, there's an inevitable chorus in the comments about how their cesarean was necessary of they would have died, or their friend would have, or their wife, etc.

Yet NO ONE is saying that cesareans are not sometimes absolutely life-saving and necessary and downright miraculous. The problem is with the promotion/normalization of cesareans as equal to or even better than vaginal birth (among other specific issues). And the turn that Medela has taken of late DOES insinuate that pumping is preferable to breastfeeding directly. I mean, this slogan says it all:

"When you choose to breastfeed, you’re doing what’s best for your baby. When you choose Medela breastfeeding products, you’re doing what’s best for you both.”

I think this feeds into exactly what MaClaire says here:


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Originally Posted by MaClaire View Post
I also think there's an argument to be made that US women have been hurt by the aggressive marketing of pumps. Helped immensely too, don't get me wrong. But it's a double-edged sword. I talk to new moms on a daily basis and so, so many of them are pumping and bottlefeeding because of sore nipples or a perception that breastfeeding and bottlefeeding breastmilk are totally equivalent and that milk supply is established or maintained equally by a pump or baby.

I'm sure some of you will take offense at the above, but I can't control that. I admire moms who (for so many very good reasons) pump and bottlefeed, but (and I've said this before) lactivism for me is about making breastfeeding (yes, baby suckling at the breast) NORMAL in our culture. The WHO code helps in this endeavor.
Yep. I'm sorry, but I DO have a problem with Medela's "pumping & products are best for mom" philosophy. Until recently, I had nothing but praise and even affection for Medela. I was emotionally invested in them being a good company. And when I first heard about this shift in WHO compliance, I even ignored it for a while & lived in denial. I just can't in good conscience endorse them anymore.
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#204 of 218 Old 02-02-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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One more point: I think PhD in Parenting sums up my frustrated feelings here:

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I don’t want to be overly critical of Medela. I think the company does a great job promoting and facilitating breastfeeding. Most of the information on its website is wonderful. Most of its products are of the highest quality. I have been nothing but happy with my Medela products.

To be clear, on a sliding scale this is not even close to Enfamil or Nestle or other formula companies. Not even close. But I would argue that any violation of the WHO Code weakens its potential impact. We cannot say “it’s okay because you are Medela,” but then slap Nestle on the hand for everything it does wrong.
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#205 of 218 Old 02-02-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Also worth considering - this post by Makes Mom Happy. She reiterates much of what has been argued here in critique of Medela's recent turnaround, and also explains why Medela pumps, despite their good points, have a distinct and quite important disadvantage:


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If more mothers knew the facts about their pumps, Medela would be selling a lot less of them. I have a PIS sitting in my closet, waiting to die a slow death in a landfill.

Why? Because it can't be given to anyone else. That's right, my $280 breastpump has to be tossed. It's not FDA approved for more than one user.

There are "closed system" and "open system" pumps. Medela is the latter. Having an "open system" means that milk can contaminate the tubing and the motor. While the tubing can be cleaned or replaced, the motor cannot.
Both Hygeia and Ameda make pumps that are on par with the effectiveness of the famous and popular Pump in Style, yet are not only WHO compliant but also closed system, which is better for moms even if they don't pass it to another mom, but especially if they do.
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#206 of 218 Old 02-04-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
I personally don't give a flip if Medela violates the WHO code because the code is outdated and needs to be more inclusive of women who have to use bottles. Acting like bottles for pumping mothers need to be hidden and not advertised (and there is no way I would buy a bottle with no picture on the box, I want to see what I am getting) damages breastfeeding because it makes women feel like pumping is something to be ashamed of. Lets face it, the majority of the women in the USA are going to go back to work in their baby's first year. If we want women to not use formula, then companies that make pumps and the corresponding parts (and that includes bottles) need to be advertising a lot more then the formula companies. I hope they advertise more so that more women will be aware that their are other options then just going to formula when returning to work.
and that's why I didn't buy the Hygia bottles. I bought the Avent bottles because I can tell by looking at the box that my babies will take that nipple.

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#207 of 218 Old 02-05-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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But it's so clearly not about whether a picture of a bottle is on the box or not. It's about ADVERTISING them. Of course you can have pictures on the box (as long as it doesn't have pictures of baby being fed, cute cartoons or whatnot - that is totally different). You can't put them on the box of ANOTHER PRODUCT, it because that's advertising them, but on the box that the product self comes in, of course. I had to buy bottles for my baby and needed to see what was in the myself.

This is a non-argument, totally irrelevant to Medela's decision toactively market the products and engage in promotions.
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#208 of 218 Old 02-06-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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Disturbed to see this blog post on the Breastfeeding 101 Class Medela is hosting at BRU: http://dou-la-la.blogspot.com/2010/0...delas-who.html

"A basics of breastfeeding class whose description begins with "Ready, set, pump!" If that doesn't make their priorities clear, I don't know what will. Believe me, I know firsthand that a pump is sometimes absolutely essential. And certainly it is for mothers who work outside the home. Hallelujah for them, seriously. But a breastfeeding class that focuses first and foremost on pumping?"

Pumps can be a lifesaver, but this crosses a line IMO. Not to mention how frightening it is that Babies R Us is teaching moms about breastfeeding. "Hey if breastfeeding doesn't work out, we've got formula one aisle over..." Gag.
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#209 of 218 Old 02-07-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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At the BRU by me they have the formula on the same aisle that is specifically called "nursing items" or something similar. I gave the manager an earful about that and haven't returned so I don't know if they made any changes.

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#210 of 218 Old 02-17-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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I work for WIC and the contract for our region is with Medela for pumps. In their hand pumps, they had coupons for their bottles and we had to remove them before issuing the pump to a client because of the WHO violation.

Mama to 3 amazing girls
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