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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went for my first OB appointment today and was more than a little disturbed. There were Similac ads EVERYWHERE. Posters in the waiting room, little pamphlets at the receptionist's desks, posters in every. single. room (even the bathroom! The TISSUE BOX had Similac ads on it), and they gave me a bag of freebies. The bag had a huge ad for Similac on each side (I hid it under my jacket when I walked out to my car! I'm not a billboard for them!) and inside the bag they had a "pregnancy diary" with, you guessed it, MORE ads for Similac inside (they fell all over me when I opened the diary)! The back had an offer for free supplies. I didn't look too hard because I was so mad but it looked like a messenger bag with supplies for cleaning bottles while travelling, or something. Ugh. One of the ads even said "Give your baby the BEST start". I haven't looked through all the stuff they gave me yet but I'd be shocked if there were any mention of breastfeeding. Do you think I should say something or write a letter? I couldn't believe it!
 

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Yep. I would say something. I would change care providers if I could too. There have now been several studies that show breastfeeding success is linked to how "baby friendly" the practices of hospitals (and the health care providers that staff them) are. And not complying with the WHO code is one of the ways you can tell your health practitioner is not "baby friendly". Advertising formula to pregnant women contravenes the WHO code.
 

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i would and i have. just remember that you catch more flies with honey
when i brought it up i basically asked if they reccommended bfing, of course they said yes so i said that i thought the excessive formula advertisements might send the wrong message and that it might be unethical to advertise for something they don't actually reccommend.
i was more conversational and less blunt but my keyboard is broken
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by G8P4 View Post
Yep. I would say something. I would change care providers if I could too. There have now been several studies that show breastfeeding success is linked to how "baby friendly" the practices of hospitals (and the health care providers that staff them) are. And not complying with the WHO code is one of the ways you can tell your health practitioner is not "baby friendly". Advertising formula to pregnant women contravenes the WHO code.
Yikes! You know, after thinking about it, I think I will switch. I found a midwife that our insurance will pay for but they won't pay for the facility fees for the birthing center. We don't want our baby to receive any vaccines, vitamin K shots, no eye goo, delayed cord cutting, no circumcision if it's a boy, and I don't want the baby taken from the room for any reason unless it's medically necessary. And I want to be left alone during labour. I don't want people putting random objects for monitoring in me, again, unless medically necessary. Ugh. If they don't even give me the choice of refusing an internal exam, I doubt they'll respect my more controversial choices! Jeez...

That said, everyone I talked to today was really nice and they explained everything to me, but they're just on totally different wavelengths, I think. Yes, I think I will gladly pay for the birthing center fees now!

Anywho, back to the original topic--any ideas on what I should say regarding the amount of formula ads? I don't want them to read one sentence and throw my letter away because it's too forceful. Hmm...
 

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I would definitely mention something, if not switch altogether. Every time I go to the OBGYN or pediatrician, I'm on the lookout for formula stuff. So far, all I've found is little measuring tapes at the pediatrician. Not great, but not all that noticeable either so I can overlook it. My OBGYN, on the other hand, has posters in every room that have the title "You CAN Make Enough Milk", along with tips provided by the MA Breastfeeding Coalition. Yay!
 

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You could send a letter telling them honestly how the copious formula advertisements influenced your decision to switch care providers. If they see they can lose business over that, then maybe they will give it serious consideration. You might also include some information about how formula advertising and samples harm breastfeeding success & thus contrary to the interests of infant health.

here's a copy of the WHO/UNICEF code which you might find useful:
http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org/im...ode%20form.pdf

Good luck & good for you for taking a stand!
 

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I understand the need to catch more flies with honey, etc. I do honestly believe (most days) that most doctors market formula unintentionally and unwittingly. I think they or their secretaries hand out the stuff and put up the posters on the wall thinking they are cute or a source of great information rather than having the agenda " let's undermine the health of women and babies by encouraging them to formula feed". The intentions of most are not evil. Yet I have a hard time not seeing the inherent unfairness of the big company that has the huge budget and the unwitting use of the health care system to promote formula. I can't understand why such promotion continues when we have so much evidence about what advertising does, what it is designed to do, that it works in subtle ways, why it is so difficult for doctors to wrench themselves away, to just say no to the Similac tape measures and the Good Start growth charts, the Mead Johnson pens and calendars.

Perhaps you could start with the office secretary because they are usually the ones responsible for decorating the office with all that stuff. They may not have a clue of how off putting these things are.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krystyn33 View Post
You could send a letter telling them honestly how the copious formula advertisements influenced your decision to switch care providers. If they see they can lose business over that, then maybe they will give it serious consideration. You might also include some information about how formula advertising and samples harm breastfeeding success & thus contrary to the interests of infant health.

here's a copy of the WHO/UNICEF code which you might find useful:
http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org/im...ode%20form.pdf

Good luck & good for you for taking a stand!

:

that would be my response. "Hey I was going to use you as a provider, but because of all of the formula ads I felt uncomfortable/like my decision to breastfeed would be undermined/unsupported/offended etc I think you should consider the impact of the excessive formula advertising on pregnant women/new moms/babies who deserve the best. I have included a copy of the WHO code for your perusal"
 

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Quote:
"Hey I was going to use you as a provider, but because of all of the formula ads I felt uncomfortable/like my decision to breastfeed would be undermined/unsupported/offended etc I think you should consider the impact of the excessive formula advertising on pregnant women/new moms/babies who deserve the best. I have included a copy of the WHO code for your perusal"
this is a good outline. i hope you write the letter!

and, good for you switching to the midwives - you will see the experience is night and day, starting with the 1st appt. this is coming from someone who did a first birth with OBs, 2nd with midwives, and always regretted that I didn't trust my gut and switch providers the first time around.
 

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Not to switch topics, but I'm glad that you're looking into a midwife. I went to an ob with my first DD, tried to ignore all of the frustration of us not being "on the same wavelength," like you, and have always regretted not switching to a midwife or at least to another ob. I ended up having some serious issues with how my Dr. handled things with my birth and sometimes it's hard to stand up for every thing that you want while you're in labor.

I used a midwife with my second, and it was wonderful knowing that I could let down my guard, just concentrate on being in labor and trust that my midwife and I were on the same page.

You need to do what's right for you, but please make more of an informed decision than I did when it comes to who's handling your birth...

Sorry for the frustration with the formula ads. That would really bother me too....
 

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I would write a letter in very polite tones as well.

My midwives practice out of a larger hospital practice with several OBs including some high risk folks. The hospital has very high level NICU. But they have no advertising anywhere and included like 16 flyers about the benefits of bf'ing including a bunch of lactation coaches etc. plus doulas etc. The hosptial doestn't give out the bags and they *don't stock forumula* for regular births. Baby doesn't leave your room except for once during the hearing test and that is with a parent. They have LCs on hand and a store with nursing essentials in the hospital.

Seriously, they can do better and so can you.
 

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I met with a hosp-birth midwife who practices with OBs. The nurse gave me a pregnancy calendar thingie from some formula company, mentioning that they recommend breastfeeding over formula feeding. I didn't go with that practice. The formula advertisements were a part of it along with the midwife's not so friendly attitude towards doulas and her statement about how she'd had a homebirth before she knew how much could go wrong in childbirth.
(There's a word for her but I believe it's a UAV.)

I know it stinks to have to pay out of pocket to have your birth the way you want it but I think it'd be worth it. I did go with hosp-birth midwives - a different practice - and was not happy with the way my birth went. I truly wish I would have paid out of pocket to have a homebirth. Next time.
 

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I have removed multiple posts from this thread and will PM those affected.

Let me make this clear, in no uncertain terms-- we WILL NOT host posts calling formula poison. Period. Anywhere on MDC. It is a violation of both the forum guidelines:

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Positive action occurs when we seek solutions and act for change. Rather than pointing our fingers at individuals and judging, Lactivists seek to create a systemic change that challenges the general acceptance of formula feeding and guides mothers towards breastfeeding as a cultural norm.
And the User Agreement:

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MDC serves an online community of parents, families, and parent, child and family advocates considering, learning, practicing, and advocating attachment parenting and natural family living. Our discussions concern the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support, information, and community. Mothering invites you to read and participate in the discussions. In doing so we ask that you agree to respect and uphold the integrity of this community. Through your direct or indirect participation here you agree to make a personal effort to maintain a comfortable and respectful atmosphere for our guests and members.
It is also against the UA to "take on" other posters you feel have violated the UA:

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Do not post to a thread to take direct issue with a member. If you feel a member has posted or behaved inappropriately in a discussion, communicate directly with the member, moderator or administrator privately and refrain from potentially defaming discussion in a thread.

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Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email or private message. We will make every effort to remove objectionable messages within a reasonable time frame, if we determine removal is necessary. If you feel another member is behaving in a manner that is in violation of these rules, do not take matters into your own hands. Let us try to resolve the situation. Simply alert the moderator of the forum or the Board Administrator.
Please do not continue this conversation on the thread. As always, feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns.
 

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"Hey I was going to use you as a provider, but because of all of the formula ads I felt uncomfortable/like my decision to breastfeed would be undermined/unsupported/offended etc I think you should consider the impact of the excessive formula advertising on pregnant women/new moms/babies who deserve the best. I have included a copy of the WHO code for your perusal"

I like this approach, but I would change the last line to "...on pregnant women who are planning to give their babies the source of nutrition recommended by every health organization in the world."

And I wouldn't include a copy of the WHO code. Like a pp said, they know what's best. But they may not know that they can lose business over not supporting it more overtly. That should be the thrust of your letter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry the thread got out of hand. I just edited the post.

Thanks to everyone who replied! I'm going to start my letter now.
 

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sometimes they really don't realize and are receptive when you talk to them. my doctor has a poster of the benefits of bfing and the risks of ff by choice. she also has a poster with 8 pictures of bf baby poop
for awhile her office looked like the flu vaccine campaign headquarters and i mentioned my concerns about the one sided information and soon after posters with information on the effectiveness of each flu vax and why it may not be necessary appeared next to the ones saying exactly who has to get it. some doctors really make an effort
 

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You might feel that you cannot make much of an impact - but many little people in many places taking little steps...
I also liked the idea of including the WHO guidelines / part of the Code.
In Germany, I drove some distance to my pediatrician because of the "wavelength". At one visit, I saw that she had put out trial samples of formula in the treatment rooms (freely accessible for mothers). I said sth. along the lines of "I am disappointed to see that your office ..." The answer was "Well, you know, their salesman was here and I didn't want to throw them out." I insisted that this was against the WHO code - and she said I was right and she would take them out. She even added sth. like "Good that there are people like you around to remind us."
Sounds like you have a job to do?
 

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I would definitely say something - respectfully. My Midwife's office had posters about how breastfeeding is best, and I thought that was awesome, but they also had posters about getting the flu shot.
Thankfully my particular Midwife never mentioned shots, and allowed me to refuse any testing as well.

On a similar note, when I was leaving the hospital they practically forced some sample formula on us. At first I refused it. They kept bugging me, so I went ahead and took it, but only for two reasons: 1) I have a friend who works for WIC and I knew that she could give it to someone who would actually need it (she is VERY pro-BF, btw, but she knows that not everyone is going to BF no matter how much she explains how important it is to them), 2) I got a free diaper bag out of the deal, and was able to cut off the Similac label on it, so I'm not advertising for them! *Mwuhaha*

Somehow I keep getting all these dang formula samples (like HUGE containers) in the mail, and I just keep giving them to my friend who works for WIC. I don't see the point in being wasteful and throwing it out if someone else genuinely needs it.
I really should call the formula companies & ask them to take me off their mailing lists, though.
 
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