New WHO code adopted in 3rd world, but not here yet. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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."

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#2 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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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?

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#3 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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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?
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#4 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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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...

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#6 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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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.

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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...
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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.

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#11 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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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...

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#12 of 79 Old 05-29-2010, 08:58 PM
 
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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.

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#13 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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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!
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#14 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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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...

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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.
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#16 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 01:18 PM
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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.
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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!!

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#18 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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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.

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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!

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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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#21 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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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.
While I agree with you in theory-- although I think we always need to be careful when we use language about "them" getting something "for free"; in truth, we're all paying into the system-- I think we need to ask ourselves what mothers would do if they didn't have access to formula. What would they feed their babies instead? Forcing mothers to breastfeed while at the same time insisting they meet welfare-to-work requirements at minimum wage jobs that don't have adequate pumping facilities and wouldn't give the mothers time to pump if they did isn't going to help anyone. A single mom working a 12-hour shift at McDonalds has to feed her baby something, and unless there's a systemic, lasting change, she just isn't going to be able to give her baby breastmilk.

Making formula prescription only or placing roadblocks in the way may seem satisfying, but I really do believe that, in the end, it's only going to hurt babies. We didn't get in this position in a year or two, and we're not going to get out of it with a quick fix either. Perhaps, down the road, when we've corralled the formula companies and lessened their influence, and we have universal healthcare, and every women is guaranteed the right to pump breastmilk for her baby, perhaps then we can look at making formula by prescription. But today? Or tomorrow? It's just not going to work without hurting babies.

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#22 of 79 Old 05-30-2010, 06:48 PM
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I agree with AM. While you don't have a problem with free samples or coupons keep in mind that those aren't really free. They're built into the price of each and every expensive can of formula. I feel that this is one of the reasons that generic formula is less expensive than the name brand stuff. We don't hear about cases of formula or free cans everywhere you turn of the generic formula but we hear about it all the time with the brand name stuff. And trust me, there is no way the makers of Enfamil, Similac and Good Start are giving that stuff away out of the goodness of their heart. They're doing it precisely because it works and they can recoup the cost multiple times. Then there's the proven fact that the free samples have a harmful effect on a successful start to a BFing relationship and those freebies aren't so innocuous after all. IMO, continuing to turn a blind eye to them or giving them a free pass will not help further the idea of making BFing normal and common for mainstream society.
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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...
There are plenty of other medicines that are used for "True medical needs" and are available otc.
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#24 of 79 Old 05-31-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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It can become dangerous fast if these restrictions are placed on formula us at this point in time.

First and formost who decides whats a "real reason" for using formula? who decides that this women is telling the truth, and this women is lieing, or this women isn't trying hard enough.

3% of women experience not enough milk. 3% of the worlds population is still a very large number, concidering there are nearly 70 billion people in the world. 3% of that is still 210 million people. Then you have the other people who can't because of other medical reasons, or those who have no mother to BF, and the numbers are acutally quiet large.

Its not a new issue. Its always been there, but it used to be delt with via wetnurses for those who could get one from a family member, or pay one who wasn't family, or they found other "formula's" to use. Be it cows milk, goats milk, or gruel and booze of some veriety, which has it really not healthy for babies. while formula is not the ideal food for babies, its a lot better then some of the other concoctions that people used to feed babies who had no BM.

While its deffinilty "over used" I think its importent to spread the news about the benifits, to mom and baby, of BF while keeping an open mind to the true problems that do exist for some mothers.

By restricting access to formula I fear it would actually hurt the babies in the end. The ones who really need it.

As a previous posted pointed out. We didn't get to where we are with FF over night and it can't be fixed over night. (Rome wasn't built in a day)

Putting it behind the counter, or making it perscription only means its something shamefull. More moms would then not get the formula the NEED because of shame. it happens with medications all the time so it would with formula too. Formula is also not medication and doesn't belong with the medications.

doctors are getting better, its going to take time. Newer doctors are learning so much more about the benifits of BM and BF so it is coming. Unforunitly its harder to teach older doctors who are set in their ways, but the pressures are there and the change, while slow, is starting. different area's are further then others. Where I am for example BF IS the norm. Most women who leave the hospital here leave BF, there are not sample bags of formula, if you FF and want free samples you have to ASK for them (which for me is fine if moms need it then they should be able to get it without BF moms getting them.) BF women in public is normal, you see it everyday, doctors here push for BF to the point where many times babies are in a bad spot before they finally tell mom, yes they need formula. (balence is needed here I think) FF moms are the ones who hide when they feed their babies, they're the ones who are ashamed (I was one of those the first time because I could not BF no matter what I tried) FF moms get the durty looks. BF moms get the smiles and feed where they are when they need to.

I dream of a day when its this normal everywhere.

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#25 of 79 Old 05-31-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Putting it behind the counter, or making it perscription only means its something shamefull. More moms would then not get the formula the NEED because of shame. it happens with medications all the time so it would with formula too. Formula is also not medication and doesn't belong with the medications.
I agree with almost everything you said except this. Here, formula is kept locked up in cases at the front of the store. It's one the most shoplifted items and causes the store major losses, so all the stores finally locked it up. No one's been shamed, just inconvenienced. We do not have good breastfeeding rates here.

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#26 of 79 Old 05-31-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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I agree with almost everything you said except this. Here, formula is kept locked up in cases at the front of the store. It's one the most shoplifted items and causes the store major losses, so all the stores finally locked it up. No one's been shamed, just inconvenienced. We do not have good breastfeeding rates here.
Locking it and putting it as a behind the counter item only or even a perscription only are not the same thing though.

At our Walmart here for example they have a BF row, where you can get everything you need and more for BF, then at the very back of the baby section is the formula area.

Its not hidden, but its also not in your face.

There is no shame involved with going to the back to get the formula because you don't have to explain why you need it. With it being the other way it then means moms would have to repeatedly be asked for their reasons, justify those reasons, and then prove that they in fact need it. Which then makes a women feel guilty or ashamed.

Kimberly : momma to Karrigan Kayla : and wife of Kevin
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#27 of 79 Old 06-03-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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I'm not in favor of a ban, or even of making it Rx-only. In my opinion, this is what needs to happen with formula:

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-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#28 of 79 Old 06-04-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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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.

I agree with this. Women have a right to choose. Breastfeeding is one of the most taxing commitments I've made with my body-- in someways more so than pregnancy.

I don't know what the stats are, but don't the majority of women choose to breast feed, but 'fail' within the first weeks for lack of support? I think we should focus on that segment of the population first, instead of going after the minority who choose not to bf.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#29 of 79 Old 06-13-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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I don't know what the stats are, but don't the majority of women choose to breast feed, but 'fail' within the first weeks for lack of support? I think we should focus on that segment of the population first, instead of going after the minority who choose not to bf.
Definitely, but restricting a small minority's feeding choices is less challenging. It is easier to go after mothers than take on the formula industry, the health professions, and employment practices.
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#30 of 79 Old 06-20-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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who said anything about government approval? It would be the doc writing the prescription. And who cares if they write a prescription for everyone "just in case"? It would still make the point.

But maybe it is a bad idea for other reasons.
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