||iparenting.com is promoting free samples of infant fomula
Some of you may receive the iparenting.com newsletters and were as alarmed as I was about their partnering with Enfamil to offer $60 worth of free samples. Using even a single tin unnecessarily (who can turn down a free gift?!) is likely to interfere with good establishment of breastfeeding in the early weeks, but $60 worth is pretty guaranteed to be disruptive. Is that news to the formula companies and their scientific advisors?
WABA is concerned about this kind of abuse of the "new" media. While, for political reasons, the USA remains open to harmful marketing efforts of all kinds, fortunately the worst forms like this are no longer common in most low-income countries. But the internet knows no borders. We who care about the health of all
babies around the world need to act to help keep intact this rare and fairly effective system protecting breastfeeding.
But even in the USA, a silent battle for the hearts and minds of fathers is taking place. Once breast-fed exclusively for six months, many (not all) infants are rather uninterested in solid foods. This suspicious attitude toward solid foods is common among many other babies as well. Many families find that finally Dad can begin taking a key role in infant feeding because baby knows by that time that when I'm with Dad there's nothing more interesting behind the spoon.
Dads like the rare occasion when they are best at something. And in the period 6-8 months or so, babies still breast fed on demand don't need solid foods very often so Dad can offer them before and after work. Later, baby gets used to them and is willing to accept them from Mom as well when Dad's away.
Let's see if we can inculcate THAT norm in society, NOT the milk company's preference, which is Dad as bottle feeder.
If you receive iparenting's breastfeeding or fathering newsletters--or even if you don't--send them a protest at email@example.com. Check out their website at www.iparenting.com and you'll see at the top of the page clear evidence of Enfamil's role in funding them now.
WABA Research Task Force
Ad by iparenting
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One Rotary Center
1560 Sherman Avenue
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Letter to iparenting from Dr Ted Greiner
Although your newsletters on breastfeeding and on fathering are among the few out there, I have now left both of these lists in protest to your choice of commercial partners in the advertisement below.
There are very few countries in the world besides the USA that accept this kind of demand creation activity on the part of companies competing with breastfeeding. No doubt these companies are becoming desperate, as breastfeeding rates finally start to increase in the USA in spite of all their efforts to subvert it. Perhaps some day the USA will even achieve the levels
in Scandinavia where nearly all women breastfeed, if the US ever chooses to adopt truly family friendly policies--including banning this kind reprehensible marketing.
Giving $60 of free formula to new mothers is like giving $60 of free heroin on the school grounds. Once you're dependent it's not free anymore--and it is an innocent child who pays the price. Or are you still into the 1950s argument that there's no difference in health between breast and bottle fed infants? If you'd be interested in some scientific evidence to share with your readers showing how artificial feeding harms--and in some cases even kills--American infants, let me know. You also well know that your newsletter gives infant formula companies a channel to reach well beyond the borders of the USA to places where such advertising is even illegal.
And, as experts in fatherhood issues, you well know the danger that infant formula companies succeed in "schooling" the growing fatherhood movement into the idea that the father's role is to help feed the young infant.
You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am copying this to the international breastfeeding movement in hopes that they send out a warning to others to get off your mailing lists as well.
I doubt you are genuinely concerned about the breastfeeding and fatherhood issues you earn money from, but in case you are, I humbly suggest withdrawing from this partnership, explaining to your readers why you do so, and presenting some articles on better roles for fathers (for example, father can be "chief solid food feeder" after six months of exclusive breastfeeding).
Ted Greiner, PhD
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
Research Task Force Back to Top
Support letter from Professor Michael Latham
To: Enfamil Family Beginnings Executives,
and Executives of Enfamil Manufacturers(Mead Johnson-Bristol Myers).
I fully support what Dr. Ted Greiner has written below.
Let me express my GRAVE CONCERN by going one step further and state that the program discussed here will contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality of infants. So I say without hesitation that the promotion of Enfamil as proposed in the circumstances described here-
ENFAMIL will KILL BABIES- and I dare you to sue me.
And I may decide to assemble people to use very widely the slogan "ENFAMIL KILLS BABIES",or even "Mead Johnson-Bristol Myers Squibb kills babies". Please withdraw this ill advised program.
Professor Michael C. Latham OBE,MD,MPH,FFCM.DTM&H. Back to Top