Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sad (and frustrating) headline.

A couple of weeks ago I read an article concerning the Nestle corporation and the numerous groups and individuals that are boycotting the company. The reason? Nestle produces formula and markets it in violation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. In short: the World Health Organization (among other groups) recognizes the dangers of promoting formula in lieu of breast feeding in poverty-stricken countries, where mothers may mix formula with unclean water, or cut the formula with extra water to save money. These practices have a devastating effect on infants and young children.

 Then today, I came across this article on the Fox News website. The headline:

“Fourteen infants in China have been hospitalized with kidney stones after drinking a reduced-price powdered milk”

According to the article, the infants were all less than 11 months old, and are now undergoing hospital treatment. Their illness is being blamed on powered milk; the company that produces the milk is claiming that another company is producing it and marketing it under their name. Regardless of who produced the milk, the point is that if the women were breastfeeding, this would not have happened. My question: why did these women choose against breastfeeding? Following the devastating earthquakes in China back in May, the world rallied around the Chinese woman who breastfed the children of strangers when there was no clean water available.  Did marketing by formula companies sway these women? What do you think? 


Jenny said...

I wish I knew what the women in other countries were thinking. I do know what a lot of women here think: breastfeeding is a cute little thing to try out, and if it doesn't work, the formula is more filling anyway. Sometimes when I ask one of the relatives if the mom is bfing, they'll smile and flippantly say no, like it's not a big deal. I've had to tell myself to LET GO before, because when a customer comes in and is making what I feel is a bad decision, it's hard for me to accept that it's none of my business. I just think every baby deserves to be breastfed. Children need to grow up learning that breastfeeding is THE way to feed babies and that formula feeding is what you do when you've tried everything and can't breastfeed (this would be like 2% of the population). I've been throwing out toy bottles so Suzi grows up pretending to nurse her dolls instead! Whatever you grow up with is normal.

Have you heard of the Militant Breastfeeding Cult? If not, you'd probably enjoy reading their info on Nestle--and also how they got their name. There's a button in my sidebar.

Emily said...

I'll have to check out the Cult- thanks for mentioning it.

I am lucky in that I grew up in a huge family (I have 6 brothers and sisters, my mom has 9 brothers and sisters, and we have like 25 first cousins) and it was always assumed that everyone would breastfeed. As the oldest cousin, I can remember being at my grandmother's house and being surrounded by my mom and aunts- all breastfeeding. No one was ashamed or embarrassed- it was a fact of life. The memory of all those women sitting around, talking, laughing, and nursing is beautiful to me.