I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant and those boxes have started arriving in the mail with samples of formula and checks for money off formula. Wee. Today I also got an email from Similac and at the bottom of the email it had questions and answers about feeding babies. One of the questions was "What happens if I have trouble breastfeeding?" The answer had this at the bottom:
|Or, call Similac Feeding Expert at 800-986-8800, and get live one-on-one help from a lactation consultant.*|
|* Lactation consultants are provided by a third party.|
Really? I'm very interested to know how reliable the information they provide is and where these lactation consultants come from. It's not exactly news that formula companies prey on this kind of situation, but I was shocked that they would go this far. I just have zero faith that this would reliably help a woman continue breastfeeding!
Has anyone called one of these before?
If they really wanted to be helpful - which I doubt - they could disseminate this from the LLL:
The breastfeeding community throughout the United States has access to a 24 hour toll free helpline service by calling 1-877-4-LALECHE (1-877-452-5324). This helpline provides information, education, and support for women who want to breastfeed, and to healthcare providers and others. Callers have access to the most current breastfeeding information, receive support from a helpline volunteer who is an accredited La Leche League Leader, and receive contact information for local LLL Leaders and Groups. We have live operators or callers can choose to leave a voicemail.
Your skepticism is well-placed. Every mother should follow the excellent recommendation to find mother-to-mother support through Le Leche League or a similar group. Mothers need to be with their peers even when there are no breastfeeding issues. You can also find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) if you find you or your baby require more specialized care and support than a peer counselor is intended to give. Go to the professional assn website for IBCLCs, www.ilca.org, and explore "Find a Lactation Consultant" on the home page. You may also find the Best for Babes website/blog of interest (www.bestforbabes.org); they seek to expose such "booby traps" as formula-company "help" masquerading as breastfeeding support. -- Liz B IBCLC