The howls of lactivist outrage start in 3 … 2 … 1

Similac for supplementation


Did you see what Similac did??!!

They’ve created the a product specifically designed to destroy the motherbabybreast relationship! And if that’s not bad enough, they created an irresistible marketing campaign that converts breastfeeding mothers into supplementing mothers AGAINST THEIR WILL!!

But don’t worry …

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird; it’s a plane; …. no it’s Lacti-Shrew come to rescue other mothers who are so stupid that they will buy anything they see in an advertisement.

Because we all know that there is nothing that women of America want more than to emulate the self-proclaimed awesome sanctimommies whose biggest claim to fame is that they EXCLUSIVELY breastfeed their vaginally born (WITHOUT PAIN MEDICATION, and don’t you forget it) babies.

Lacti-Shrew knows that the only thing keeping all those other inferior mothers from emulating their privileged, Western, white, well off selves is lack of education. Those poor women have no idea of the benefits of breastfeeding!! That’s why Lacti-Shrews everywhere must create lots and lots of rules to force educate women to breastfeed.

All the good Lacti-Shrews are OUTRAGED.

Lactating Girl:

I was livid. I couldn’t even explain why after sitting and pondering it to myself for a while. Now though, I think that I’ve nailed down what’s so wrong with this new formula.

First off, it’s implying that not all formulas are good enough for supplementing breast milk. Well, I’ll definitely agree that formulas are not the best way to supplement (can you say donated milk?), but sometimes it just has to happen. Just because I’m a breastfeeding advocate doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the benefits of formula being readily available… So I’m not doing the best for my baby when supplementing if I don’t do it with this formula? Like we don’t already have enough mama guilt in this world.

Lactating Girl clearly has a problem understanding irony.

Lacti-Shrew knows that there is no such thing as low breastmilk supply. Those women who insists they aren’t making enough milk for their babies are lazy liars looking for the easy way out. And their screaming babies are liars, too!!

Don’t you know that breastfeeding women have a target on their breasts.

Perhaps the most disturbing trend in formula marketing occurred this month with the release of a new product directly targeting and undermining breastfeeding moms. The May 11, 2013, release of a Similac for Supplementation confirms the company is desperately trying to increase its customer base. This blatant attempt to sabotage the breastfeeding relationship is outrageous… This is a pathetic bid for the breastfeeding audience. Unfortunately, it could just work, especially since this message is being perpetuated by a new study released two days later in Pediatrics. The article’s release date (occurring the same week this formula hit the shelves) is highly suspect. It may seem like a conspiracy theory, but as well-equipped as the strategists are, the timing is not a coincidence and neither is the correlation between Abbott and the co-author of the study, who was previously employed by the maker of Similac.

See how big the conspiracy to undermine breastfeeding is? Even the pediatricians are in on it!

You might be wondering why women who would never use formula of any kind would care about whether other breastfeeding women might use formula. If so, you are missing the point!! Lacti-Shrew has low self-esteem and is desperate for adulation. She needs other women to mirror her own choices in order to feel good about herself. Moreover, if supplementing with formula is okay, then Lacti-Shrew isn’t the super-special mama that you are supposed to believe she is.

Therefore, Lacti-Shrew must cleanse the world of anything and everything that does not boost her self-esteem. Hospital offers formula gifts to new mothers? Take them away! Hospitals allow women to choose formula feeding without shaming them? Lock that formula up and make her beg for it!! Create a special formula designed specifically to make up for whatever breastfeeding babies may lack? Vilify women who choose it, and make it clear that they are too stupid to resist marketing.

Point out that it is grossly inappropriate for privileged Western, white, well off women to act like they are superior to other women, smarter and more able to resist the claims of advertisers and get an ear full of irony: You think women aren’t vulnerable to marketing? Check your privilege.

Now that’s funny! Privileged Western, white, well off women accusing those who don’t subscribe to their theory that everyone else is stupid and more vulnerable to marketing than themselves are accusing women who don’t agree with them for being privileged.

Lacti-Shrew is nothing if not blind to her own withering contempt for anyone who doesn’t emulate her.

To those who think that the outrage about Similac for Supplementation is about formula, think again. Lacti-Shrews everywhere are “livid” because the mere existence of a formula for supplementation is a threat to their self-esteem. Their “achievement” of using their breasts exclusively to feed their babies isn’t much of an achievement if it’s equally acceptable to to do anything else.

291 Responses to “The howls of lactivist outrage start in 3 … 2 … 1”

  1. disqus_BmnBcBh56Q
    July 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    I would like to see a formula for breastfeeding moms who want to have a few cocktails on a Friday night. “Going out with the girls? Just pump and dump knowing your baby is getting the very best available when you just want to take ONE. SINGLE. NIGHT. OFF. Guilt-free. You earned it ;)” Then watch all heads explode over that. Seriously though how many moms don’t BF long term because of the social-drinking issue?

  2. July 8, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    3 … 2 … 1

  3. Lisa Miller
    July 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    TFB can’t read. She Based this entire rant on the other woman saying that “formula is as healthy as breast milk”….but that is NOT what the other woman said AT ALL. She said that formula was just as valid and healthy a choice” it’s just as valid and it IS a healthy choice.

  4. RPhMom
    July 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    My poor supplemented baby…she only wishes she got brand name formula of any variety. It’s store brand for her!

  5. Mamatotwo
    July 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    What I will never understand, is why lactivists think that donated milk is so much better than formula. Donor milk does NOT undergo the level of scrutiny that donor blood does. I have no idea what said donor ate or drank, what their HIV status is or whether they used drugs prior to pumping their precious teats. I’ll take my chances with formula (where I know EXACTLY what’s in it) instead of “trusting boobs” thankyouverymuch.

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      July 3, 2013 at 7:44 am #

      If the donor milk is pasteurized, the risk of HIV etc is eliminated. You dont really know what the cow ate or its health status either. I’m definitely against unscreened unpasteurized donor milk, but I just wanted to point out that many of the criticisms that are made of donor milk can also be applied to the cow’s milk formula is made of.

      Also, milk is exposed to stomach acid and digestive enzymes, whereas donor blood goes directly into the bloodstream. (Diseases can still be transmitted through breastmilk, I’m just saying why the same level of scrutiny is not needed).

      • Amy M
        July 3, 2013 at 11:42 am #

        I don’t think anyone has any issues with pasteurized, screened donor milk. The problem is getting it, since most of the safe stuff goes to preemies/sick babies in hospital NICUs (as it should). There seems to be an abundance of UNpasteurized, UNscreened milk available via friends, friends of friends, craigslist, facebook and various other sources which is what many people here would not give their babies, but which the extreme lactivists still feel is better than formula.

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          July 3, 2013 at 11:50 am #

          It may be better, equal, or not as good; no way to know without a RCT, which is unlikely. I’d recommend formula though, since it’s regulated and standardized, and demonstrated to almost always be safe. Informal donor breastmilk is a gamble.

          • ratiomom
            July 4, 2013 at 8:44 am #

            It doesn`t take an advanced degree in microbiology to figure out that feeding a stranger`s bodily fluids to a baby carries a risk of transmitting fluid-borne illness. HIV is actually not the worst concern. Hepatitis viruses are much tougher than HIV and survive in many circumstances. Did you know that a sperm bank will not even freeze samples from Hep C positive men in the same nitrogen tank as the `healthy` samples? Too much risk of contaminating a healthy man`s partner. are we really supposed to believe that home pasturising is fine for baby?!
            I`m all for breastfeeding advocacy but they have really lost the plot on this one.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            July 4, 2013 at 9:09 am #

            Yeah, there needs to be more science and less wishful thinking.

          • ratiomom
            July 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

            What do you mean by that? Do we need to do a randomised controlled trial of kitchen-table pasteurised donor milk vs formula before the breastfeeding community will believe that it might actually transmit hepatitis C?
            That`a about the most unethical study proposal I`ve ever heard. Good luck with the ethics committee approval on that one. After how many hep C positive babies would you stop the data collection? 1, 10, 100? Are you going to pay for their interferon treatment and liver transplants afterwards?
            This does remove the last shred of doubt that the lactivist movement is about ideology rather than children`s wellbeing.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            July 5, 2013 at 9:28 am #

            I’m sorry if it seems like I implied that an RTC should happen. I meant, that’s the only way we could know for sure. And by “more science less wishful thinking” I meant to use the science that is already there, or new research that is not too risky for babies.

          • An Actual Attorney
            July 5, 2013 at 9:58 am #

            You don’t need a RTC to know some obvious things:

            In this case, we know that unscreened bodily fluids are a bad idea.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            July 5, 2013 at 10:37 am #

            The idea of feeding a baby unscreened donor milk is baffleing to me. When my twins were born at 36 weeks, they had cracked dry skin, and I didn’t want to put lotion on it, so I put a little colostrum on the trouble spots. It worked surprisingly well, and the nurses in the special-care unit thought it was a clever idea, but they still put up biohazard signs all over the cribs!

      • Lisa Miller
        July 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

        Actually, the FDA has some pretty strict rules about disclosing what the cow ate.

  6. theadequatemother
    July 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    The more I learn about BF, the less I know. Breast was best was the message that I was taught during medical training, it was the message I got when preggo with my first from the OB, the LDR staff, the public health nurse/ lactation consultant that was sent to my home every day for the first week post-partum. I was aware that the benefits weren’t “large” but I was certainly SURE there were benefits.

    Then when I was on mat leave I suddenly had all this time I never had before to read stuff on the internet. And it was there I learned that formula was “shameful.” Before that, it seemed like a pretty inconsequential choice to me.

    Now that I’ve done more reading, looked at the primary studies myself rather than some slides and handouts given during med school, I just don’t know anymore.

    We hear a lot about dismal EBF rates, but EBF is a pretty strict definition. Formula in the first week because of a delay establishing milk supply or to clear jaundice? Not EBF. Solids before the 6 mo birthday, even if it’s a week earlier…not EBF. One bottle of formula given because pumped milk ran out while mom was….oh I dunno, getting her gall bladder out? away on a business trip or at work? not EBF. And those definitions carry into the literature too. Large retrospective studies looking at outcomes in infants that are EBF vs not EBF with some mostly BF infants lumped in with the 100% FF infants. Or I look at the PROBIT study where the intervention was BF support and I’m not sure what to make of those conclusions either.

    So I just don’t know. I find the data so muddled that I just can’t feel strongly about how anyone chooses to feed their infant. I wish that BF research would mature so we could actually draw some conclusions worth getting excited over. In the meantime, I wish there was support for both decisions. I wish that my hospital would have given us some information on safe bottle handling and use, for example. This would have been beneficial to FF and BF that planned to pump some milk for use by an alternate caregiver. But we have come to a place where the hospital can’t teach new moms how to safely use bottles because it “undermines” the breast is best message.

    I wish the FF in my infant music and mommy and baby exercise classes had felt comfortable enough to feed their infants there. Where I live, BF is a badge of honour and FF is something shameful that you only seem to do in the comfort of your own home with the curtains drawn.

    I’m sorry that I don’t really seem to have a point…and I’m just rambling and not really adding useful content to the debate or the post. I just like that this is a place where I can get these things off my chest (pun intended).

    • Mac Sherbert
      July 2, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      but EBF is a pretty strict definition. — The definition is so strict that I don’t know anyone that EBF! The women I know that don’t supplement with formula ALWAYS give solids early!

      It’s frustrating that the effort I’ve put into breastfeeding are completely dismissed because I give a bottle of formula sometimes. It would be nice to see some studies that show that some breast-milk is better than no breast-milk. If some is not better than none, then why did I torture myself?

      • amanduh
        July 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

        “If some is not better than none, then why did I torture myself?” exactly. I believe that what I was able to pump for those first couple of weeks was beneficial to my son, but I don’t know if that’s true at all. He was 2 weeks early and low birth weight, but is incredibly healthy right now and has only ever had a slight cold once, but I don’t know if that would have been the case anyway. I don’t know if I could have spent some of that time, oh, bathing or sleeping instead of trying to get a sufficient milk flow or if I could have just avoided the constant nausea and lack of appetite that eventually caused me to quit altogether. And then the guilt. pfffffft

  7. Clarissa Darling
    July 2, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I think the lactivist movement started out with a noble cause—to support women’s feeding choices. But, like any good revolution gone bad, the dictator (lack of support for and marginalization of breastfeeding moms) has been overthrown, only to be replaced by another just as malevolent dictator (lack of support for and marginalization of formula feeding moms). It’s time to
    stop the madness! ALL women will win when mode of infant feeding stops being viewed as a cause to be fought for, when women stop being “encouraged” to feed one way or another and when bottle vs.breast starts being viewed as just another one of the many mundane decisions she will make as a parent.

  8. Michellejo
    July 2, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    On the subject of ‘lactation consultants’, they start to hoodwink you just by what they call themselves. If they would stick to their job of helping BF mothers over the bumps of getting BF going or keeping it maintained, it would be one thing, but they don’t. They have to educate everyone around them that breast is best yadayadayada.

    Several years ago, my husband’s sister gave birth to her first child, and I went to visit her in the hospital. When I arrived, she had a lactation consultant with her. My S-I-L introduced us, after which the ‘consultant’ asked me if I had kids. (Nosy question if you ask me, but besides the point.) I told her yes, I had two children. So she cheerfully told my S-I-L that she has a nice experienced BFeeder to assist her with the nursing. When I told her that,, no, I had bottle fed my kids, her voice turned cold and she narrowed her eyes as she said to me, “Did you WANT to breastfeed?” I was a bit stumped, because no, I didn’t, that’s why I formula fed, but that’s not what she meant. In her world, everyone wants to breast feed and starts out doing it; if they end up giving up, it’s because they lack the will and motivation to do what’s BEST for their child.

    She later told my brother in law to “keep his wife away from insupportive people.” Like because I bottle fed, my sister in law’s milk was going to dry up if I came within a mile of her. Split the family, cause bad feeling, do what you want, but don’t you DARE give that baby a damn bottle.

    Thirteen years on, my s-i-l has breastfed several children, while I have gone on to formula feed a couple more, and guess what? We’re good friends, we talk to each other, and sometimes even relax together whilst we are feeding our babies.

    These lactation consultants aka nursing shrews are PARANOID.

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      July 3, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      What a nutjob. I’d say that if anything can affect milk production or the let down reflex, it’s having the stress of someone like that around.

  9. ratiomom
    July 2, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    As a ‘breast-abuse’ survivor, I can confirm that breastfeeding is, in fact, quite expensive.
    -the first week of my daughter’s life, I spent in a’baby-friendly’ hospital half-naked hooked up to a double pump. I was afraid, ashamed and deeply humiliated. The staff consisted entirely of lactishrews without the slightest empathy. Those precious moments should have been spent with my baby. Instead they were sacrificed on the altar of exclusive bf-ing and I’ll never get them back.
    – I came out of the hospital utterly demotivated. It was clear that there was no way that my supply would get anywhere near my daughter’s requirements. The lactishrews made it abundantly clear that anything less than exclusive bf-Ing amounted to child abuse and that the problem was me not trying hard enough. No matter that I am a PCOS patient. They had destroyed my self-confidence to such extent that I just gave up and switched to formula. In hindsight I could have breastfed partially if only I had received just a little human kindness from any of them. The ‘big forma destroys women’s confidence’ line is so utterly hypocrite coming from these people!
    – It has been said before and I will say it again: breastfeeding is free only if your time is worth nothing.

  10. Bomb
    July 1, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    I actually almost bought some when I was collecting my last few baby items before birth. After reading the label closely and comparing it to other labels I put it back though. It is virtually identical to any other formula (iirc it has slightly lower fat but identical ingredients lists). So I figure the free samples the companies will send me (similac, enfamil, and gerber) will suffice for supplementation if I don’t have any stored breastmilk.

  11. Leica
    July 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I’d guess that the entire purpose of this formula is not to convince women to supplement, but to pull the supplementer market share from Enfamil. The only difference it mentions is more prebiotics than the normal Similac – to keep stools more similar to an EBF baby – and costs a few bucks more per canister. Yeah, I think I’ll stick with my usual formula for supplementation.

    • Bomb
      July 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      At my store it was the same price as all the other similac. I agree that it isn’t designed to ruin breastfeeding, but rather to pull in the supplementer market. It totally almost worked on me “I’m going to breastfeed, but I may supplement some. Hey, this is for supplementation, this one is for me and my needs.” But then I couldn’t identify anything on the label that indicated why it would be better for supplementing than anything else. So I put it back. Label fail.

    • Laural
      July 23, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      My hope would be that this particular formula is designed to taste like breastmilk. My snobby babies tend to turn up their little noses to anything other than pumped milk (if they will take a bottle at all, my Lucy was such a snit she never would) and keeping a decent supply of breastmilk when you are always nursing your baby is pretty labor intensive. I have often longed for a formula that just fooled the little stinkers so I could get out for a bit without having to extract fluid from my already used body.

  12. fearlessformulafeeder
    July 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    You know, I have to admit that I am a bit annoyed by the Similac for Supplementation. Not outraged, obviously… but as someone who does represent a fair number of formula feeding and mixed feeding moms, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this new formula from parents who are concerned b/c they can’t afford it (b/c WIC doesn’t offer it, or b/c they were using a cheaper generic, or whatever) and now they worry that there’s something in this formula that isn’t in normal formula which makes it more appropriate for mixed-fed babies. Additionally, I think Similac is playing into the breastfeeding rhetoric, implying that supplementing babies DESERVE a better formula b/c breastmilk is so superior. I’ve used Similac w/both my kids and overall, their marketing is far less vile than some of the other big companies (Remember Enfamil Restful? That set us back like 10 years in trying to convince breastfeeding fanatics that formula feeders weren’t just lazy a-holes who thought their babies would STFU and sleep). But I think this was a seriously stupid move on their part.

    However, I think formula feeders and combo feeders – the ones actually USING this product – are the ones who deserve to be irked by it, b/c of the points I brought up above. I don’t see how this product is any more jeopardizing to breastfeeding efforts than any other (and considering I don’t buy that formula marketing greatly affects breastfeeding rates, that’s not saying much).

    • quadrophenic
      July 2, 2013 at 2:23 am #

      Yeah, one of my initial reactions was “why is this different and if its better for breastfed babies, why isn’t the ‘better’ stuff in regular formula?” If I weren’t as well versed in formula (thanks to you) I may think I should buy this for an exclusive FF baby because its somehow better, since breastfed babies are the standard.

      I think it’s just dumb marketing and doesn’t help the debate at all. But I don’t have a problem with a specific discussion in their marketing about supplementation, if that makes any sense. I’m less concerned about derailing breastfeeding relationships (the lactivist fear) than that they’re selling a new product at what some report are higher prices when it’s not that different or needed.

  13. prolifefeminist
    July 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Here’s a question – does anyone know if this formula actually differs from other formulas out there? Like does it contain a different proportion of vitamins, carbs, fats, etc in an attempt to address a possible deficiency in a baby who’s underweight or something as a result of mom’s low milk supply? Just curious. Because if it’s the same thing repackaged, it just seems like a marketing ploy to me, but if the ingredients are actually different, I can see how this could be useful “new” product for a baby who’s being supplemented.

    I don’t really care either way. I don’t see how this would convince a mom to supplement who otherwise wouldn’t…and if it does, well…who cares. Big whoop.

    • Bomb
      July 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      It has a tiny bit less fat. All the vitamins etc are exactly the same.

    • Leica
      July 2, 2013 at 12:46 am #

      From the website: Similac For Supplementation is the first Similac formula designed for breastfeeding moms who choose to supplement. It has more prebiotics than any other Similac formula, along with the same benefits as Similac Advance. Some moms may notice changes in stool patterns when introducing formula to a breastfeeding routine, and studies have shown that prebiotics produce softer stools more like those of breastfed infants.

      So the way I read that – formula to make your combo fed baby poop like an EBF baby…

  14. Allie P
    July 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Speaking as a mom who breastfed and supplemented, I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of this product is. Regular old formula worked just fine for my supplementation purposes. Isn’t it more important that the babies get bottles that don’t cause nipple confusion or whatever (which, for the record, my kid never had anyway? The only nipple that “confused” her was the kind on a pacifier because nothing came out when she sucked — she liked any and all nipples, artificial and otherwise, that had milk in them). What is so special about this formula? Seems like a marketing scheme to me.

    If you want to supplement, supplement, but you don’t need to buy special formula to do it.

    • Mac Sherbert
      July 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      “The only nipple that “confused” her was the kind on a pacifier because nothing came out when she sucked — she liked any and all nipples, artificial and otherwise, that had milk in them). ”

      lol – That describes my baby. …Breast, bottle nipple of any kind any time, but don’t even think about a pacifier!

      • KarenJJ
        July 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

        Mine was the same! She was combo fed and not the least bit confused. Milk comes out = good, milk doesn’t come out = bad. She made her point well known in this household.

    • Lizzie Dee
      July 2, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Seems like a marketing scheme to me.

      What else would it be? Quite a smart one maybe, as marketing people do need to know exactly which buttons to press.

      Just in passing, how scientific IS all the nutritional information we get? It is complex and contradictory, none of us are immortal, we are living longer and getting a lot more neurotic.

    • ratiomom
      July 2, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      What the bleep?! The Alpha parent is well known for her anti-formula hate speech, but this one`s particularly vile. I`m getting the impression that her unhealthy obsession with lactation is veering into insanity. She`s actually likening formula feeding to divorce. Because not being willing or able to breastfeed will destroy a family and fracture the lives of everyone involved, just like a broken marriage.
      Given the state of her abs, the girl in the picture is probably not supposed to be a postpartum mom, but the `other woman`. From bottlefeeding to home-wrecking, it`s a slippery slope!

    • Wren
      July 2, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      I’m gonna take that as evidence that formula feeding gives you that flat belly post partum, unlike the way breastfeeding made me constantly hungry. The other interpretations are just too stupid.

    • Michellejo
      July 3, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Hah. I remember meeting an old friend when I had a three month old baby. She’s NCB all the way, so of course the subject of nursing came up, to which I guiltlessly told her that I bottle fed. “Bbb..but, you’re so skinny!” she sputtered. I had to break it to her gently that not everything she’s heard about breast feeding is true. But she was so deeply into the woo, that it just stumped her. Kind of shattered her world.

  15. Mac Sherbert
    July 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    I saw this “new” product as I was reaching for an orange can of Similac Sensitive to supplement my 8 month old. I immediately thought some breast-feeding activist out there was upset. I read this blog too much!

    • Bomb
      July 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

      My exact words out loud to my husband were “well THAT will piss them off.”

  16. Renee
    July 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Uh oh, it says CHOOSE right on there, thats the problem . Moms shouldn’t get to choose FF. No choice is OK other than what a lactishrew would do. Of course.

  17. Lisa from NY
    July 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Where are the women in the workplace with their newborns strapped on so they can breastfeed all day long?

    • Renee
      July 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Maybe in place where they do sustenance farming, and mom has no choice. Lets all emulate that! /snark

    • suchende
      July 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      Only a matter of time before they’re claiming that inability to pump is also a myth.

  18. Charlotte
    July 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I am totally buying this for my next stroller-using, crib-sleeping, disposable diaper-wearing c-section baby. Because I am a horrible mother, or so I’m told.

    • yentavegan
      July 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      You know that you are not a horrible mother and most mothers I know who baby wear, cloth diaper, breastfeed are just as self -doubting and anxiety riddled as mothers who choose more conventional baby rearing methods. we are all in this together. the older generation, which i have now morphed into is responsible for being your cheer-leaders rather your naysayers.

  19. amazonmom
    July 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I am putting NO LACTISHREWS in my room on my birth plan!

  20. R T
    July 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I did choose to supplement out of laziness I suppose and I’m not ashamed of it! I got tired of pumping and also having to slightly pasteurize my milk before freezing to avoid the lipase nastiness! It was a lot of work and I got tired of doing it! My little guy gets two bottles of formula a day and I feel good about it.

    • S
      July 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I’m glad you figured out the lipase thing before i did, it sounds like! Anytime i left my kid (which wasn’t often; i was working from home then), i could never relax, knowing he was hungry. My husband didn’t think the milk was stinky, so i thought i had leftover smell aversions from pregnancy; i thought my kid just hated bottles. Next kid, i’ll likely do the same thing you’re doing.

      • R T
        July 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

        Oh man it smelled like vomit and tasted like soapy vomit! It was gag inducing! I didn’t figure it out until I started using milk I had already pumped and frozen.

        • Rachel Mills
          July 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

          Oh geez… Is that what was wrong with my freezer stash? I ended up throwing most of it out. Painful.

        • S
          July 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

          I have no idea how my husband missed the stink. I made cereal with it, and the house reeked. He noticed it then! I also threw out a whole bunch. All those wasted calories. =(

    • Mac Sherbert
      July 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Exactly! Just pumping does not answer all problems. I admit I supplement with formula because I’m lazy! If I have to take time to pump and then wash the pump and the bottles it totally defeats the purpose for giving the bottle. Fortunately, for some reason I thought to taste my breast-milk the first week!! First time I thought maybe I didn’t rinse well…second time I looked it up.

  21. yentavegan
    July 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Dear Dr. Amy and you “amen” shouters from the pews.
    You have finally mocked my sacred cow one too many times and with too much vitriol. I think it is disgusting that a formula company unabashedly promotes the idea that breastmilk is not sufficient and therefore mothers need to supplement. The United States does not have enough support for mothers who want to breastfeed.We are a market based society and because breastmilk and breastfeeding is free,( I never spent one thin dime on nursing my babies) the only ones willing to stick their necks out and promote protect and support breastfeeding are labeled sactomommmies.
    And although I know I have not the education to touch the hem of your gown, Dr. Amy, please tell us why you breastfed your children. If you can do it why are you not helping or supporting others to do so?
    I meant to say that without irony or disrespect because I believe you are an awesome example for other women.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      July 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      I think it is disgusting that a formula company unabashedly promotes the idea that breastmilk is not sufficient and therefore mothers need to supplement.

      It says on the container,
      “For breastfeeding moms who choose to supplement”

      Those bastards!!!!!! So promoting the idea that breastmilk is not sufficient…


      Where is the message that they think breastmilk is not sufficient? Much less “unabashedly”…

      Jesus, have you seen the commercial on tv? They fall all over themselves with the message breast is best.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

        All due respect BOFA, you are not the target audience for their marketing so you are missing the subtle influence of making a mother doubt her body’s ability to produce enough milk.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          July 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

          Then maybe instead of getting condescending, you can actually explain how that message is making a mother doubt her body’s ability to produce enough milk?

          I really am missing it. “We all know breastfeeding is best, but if you choose to supplement, we have the formula for you.”

          Seriously, that is the message that tells women that they aren’t able to produce enough milk?

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

            You’re right – this formula is far better than the gift bag I received after my first child was born: ‘Similac: Supplementation for Most Breastfeeding Mothers’

            Now that was blatantly sending the message that most women won’t be able to make enough milk. That was 6 years ago…. don’t know if their gift bags still say that tho. The irony – it contained one of the BEST bfing reference books I’ve ever read (written by an IBCLC and everything).

          • kari
            July 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

            I got that one too, but I didn’t get the message that I wouldn’t be able to produce enough. My impression was that the formula was there as an option in case I was away from my baby and didn’t want to pump in the middle of my time away. Not everyone wants to pump. Why are you so quick to assume there’s a hidden message that you’re not going to produce enough. That’s not what it says at all.

          • me
            July 2, 2013 at 9:37 am #

            It was the “for MOST bfing mothers” that made me chuckle. The implication, the way I saw it anyway, was that “most” bfing mothers would *need* to supplement. It could also be read as, ‘most women end up supplementing for one reason or another (not necessarily because they don’t make enough milk)’, so I guess I saw it as double-talk. Some women would read it the latter way (and it is true enough – most women do supplement, even if they make plenty of milk), other women might read it the former way, and wonder if *they* will be one of the “most women” who don’t make enough milk….

            They do this deliberately. If called out on it, they can say they intended the latter. Marketing people aren’t dumb 😉

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

            OMG. you thought i was being condescending?! forgive me. I certainly was not. Here in the USA the default setting for infant feeding is formula. Why the formula companies are not happy with their market share by promoting the yumminess and science behind their product escapes me. Must they chase after the more vulnerable hormonal dependent breastfeeding mothers?

          • LibrarianSarah
            July 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

            It depends where you live. Up here in the urban Northeast/New England pulling out a bottle to feed a kid is scandalizing. I’ve heard women say things like “if you can’t or won’t breast feed your children then you shouldn’t have them” on a fairly regular basis. I hardly would consider that the case if bottle feeding were the standard.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

            percentage wise, most mothers choose to use formula then breastfeed,

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

            I just found a link that showed that breastfeeding initiation rates are around 75%. So most mothers are trying to breastfeed. At 6 months, it’s about 45%, but those are women who have chosen to stop.

            Stats from the CDC


          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

            75% of mothers who wanted to breastfeed prenantaly… the statistic does not include mothers who chose formula prenatally.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

            That doesn’t even make sense. It is the % of BREASTFEEDING INITIATION. That means they tried it.

            And no, the percentage of those who initiated breastfeeding does not include those who didn’t try it.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

            right so therefore out of the group of mothers who wanted to breastfeed, 75% were breastfeeding initially and from there the numbers dwindle.

          • Sarah, PharmD
            July 3, 2013 at 12:26 am #

            No, that’s not what it means. It means that of all women, 75% initiated breastfeeding and 25% did not. It doesn’t mean that 25% of women who wanted to breastfeed were unable to initiate it, for some reason. We don’t know anything about the make up of the 25% group, though we can hypothesize that it includes women with no interest in breast feeding and women who are unable to for whatever reason. What kind of vast conspiracy are you imagining, that would keep 25% of women who wanted to breastfeed from doing so?

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

            SO WHAT?

          • wookie130
            July 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

            This, yentavegan, is ca-ca, plain and simple. What percentage of women are choosing formula over breastmilk? I live in Iowa, and the vast majority of moms I know have breastfed. I would say that even in the Heartland, most women are breastfeeding…I have encountered animosity from other women from pulling a bottle out of my diaper bag to feed my daughter. Why should something like infant food-choice be something that divides mothers in this manner?

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

            why would a stranger come up to you and say something so hateful, hostile and borderline dangerous? If I ever heard a person say that to a mother feeding her child I would call them out on it and if need be call the police. Nobody who verbalises that a mother should be deprived of her baby due to her feeding choices is within their freedom of speech rights.

          • Charlotte
            July 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

            It’s because of the attitude you are displaying, that breastfeeding is “sacred” and that there are few or no good reasons to ever supplement. Formula has been demonized, and so have the mother who use it.

            I hope you realize how condescending you’re being.

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

            It happens ALL THE TIME. Bf promoters can be nasty.

          • Bombshellrisa
            July 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

            It’s like that here in Seattle too.

          • me
            July 2, 2013 at 9:32 am #

            I bet most of these women change their tunes when their babies get a little older 😉

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

            OMG. you thought i was being condescending?! forgive me. I certainly was not.

            Yes, “It’s a woman thing, you wouldn’t understand” is pretty condescending.

            Here in the USA the default setting for infant feeding is formula.

            Not really, no. Of course, even to the extent it is, it’s not so much because of the availability of formula, but more the challenges of breastfeeding. For example, when you have to go back to work after 6 weeks.

            Must they chase after the more vulnerable hormonal dependent breastfeeding mothers?

            Only those that choose to supplement, of course.

            You still haven’t explained how saying, “Breast is best, but if you choose to supplement, use this formula” is a) telling women they aren’t able to produce enough milk, or even b) chasing after “vulnerable hormonal dependent” mothers.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

            I never said.” its a women’s thing you would not understand it,”
            most mothers who want to breastfeed do not have the shared communal support of their own mothers, aunts and sisters to guide them through the glitches. we have ALL been raised on television. And even if we think we are too clever to fall for advertisements….we are not.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

            I never said.” its a women’s thing you would not understand it,”

            So what did you mean by “you are not the target audience (meaning: women) so you are missing the subtle influence (aka, “I don’t get get it”)”?

          • S
            July 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

            I am the target audience, probably (or maybe not since i’m not currently pregnant/hormonal? But i am considering supplementing the next child. Even though i basically did not supplement the last). I’m not offended by your comments, yentavegan, but i’m not seeing it either. How does the labeling for this product give women the message that they can’t produce enough milk?

          • Charlotte
            July 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

            70% of women in the US breastfeed at least for a while. Breastfeeding is now the default.

          • me
            July 2, 2013 at 9:31 am #

            Then ff is the default too, since only about 40% of babies are EBF at 2 months of age (and since they are way too young for solids at that point, it is safe to assume the other 60% are either combo fed or EFF). Hell, only about half of babies are EBF in the first week of life. By four months it’s less than 30% (now some of those aren’t EBF because of the intro of solids, so you can’t say that the difference has to do with ffing).

            Really, the vast majority of women will use formula at some point. Personally I don’t care, but let’s not pretend ffers are some poor put upon minority…. they still represent the majority of mothers.

          • Charlotte
            July 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

            So does breastfeeding not count unless you breastfeed for the full first year without any supplementation? That’s what keeps being implied with comments like that. I for one am getting tired of being told I wasn’t really a breastfeeding mother because I stopped short of the “EBF for 6 months” ideal. I hate this idea that some breastmilk isn’t good enough, it has to be all breastmilk all the time for x period of time or it doesn’t really count.

          • me
            July 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

            Of course it still “counts”. But the fact remains, yes, most women start out bfing. And most women end up using at least some formula.

            Neither group is some marginalized minority.

            I’ll totally admit that the ffers get the short end of the stick in the first few months. After about 4-6 mos? The tables turn and if you are “still” bfing, you get flack for that (esp after a year). Seems both groups have their fair share of BS to deal with.

          • Charlotte
            July 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

            I don’t think it’s true that you start to get criticized if you breastfeed past four months – moms typically get criticized if they stop before they’re closer to a year. It is socially unacceptable to formula feed until at least 9-12 months, and by that time baby is starting to outgrow it anyway.
            Your criticism of formulas such as the one Dr. Amy is highlighting in this post is a big reason for that. If formula was truly accepted as an equal and valid feeding choice, you would have never felt the need to come here and criticize similac for marketing this formula. As much as you try to claim that you’re respectful of formula feeders and their choices, your comments strongly suggest otherwise. Your bias against them shows through very clearly.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            July 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

            So, now you have to be a martyr too? You are doing nothing good to promote women in any way in my opinion. We are not weak and emotional. We are strong and intelligent. I think therapy might be in order if a formula company can make anyone feel any way. That is not being a women that is being emotionally disturbed.

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

            Where I live default is BF and if you don’t you are looked down on as “less than’, and seen as lazy or stupid, and not able to bond w your kid. NOT kidding.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

            At the risk of sounding retrograde, women are different than men.

        • Renee
          July 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

          I AM the target audience, as a EBF mom.
          I thought the marketing was pro BF actually. I did not feel inadequate.

          I think people bring their own insecurities into play, and see what is not actually there.

        • Clarissa Darling
          July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

          I’m the target market as an expectant mom. I don’t plan to exclusively breastfeed and may decide not breastfeed at all. For me, that decision has nothing to do with formula marketing undermining my confidence. On the contrary, I might argue that slapping the “breast is best” qualifier on every formula ad as companies are forced to do could undermine my confidence in my ability to carefully weigh the costs and benefits and make an informed decision that formula is the best option for me and my child. I understand that women who want to breastfeed have not always felt supported and I think they should have support if they want it. But, If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of some of the comments that women who chose formula these days hear (my own father asked me why I wanted to have kids if I wasn’t willing to breastfeed them–I chewed him out and he later sincerely apologized) you might consider that we could use a little support as well.

    • BeatlesFan
      July 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      I have never seen Dr. Amy nor any of the commenters on this site ever say that a woman shouldn’t be supported in regards to breastfeeding. It has been said many times that breastfeeding support could be improved in many places. What Dr. Amy and the majority here disagree with is the shaming of mothers who formula feed.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

        I call em’ like i see em. This blog is uncomfortable for a pro-breastfeeding community advocate.

        • Elizabeth A
          July 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

          It may well be, but IMO, it would be less so if breastfeeding community advocates didn’t tend to go overboard, making it a valuable service to call them on their shit now and again.

          Look – I’m in favor of breastfeeding. I breastfed both of my kids for more then a year each, one of them exclusively for the first 7 months. I’ve donated milk. I’ve pumped breastmilk in my car in February.

          For my second kid, I did choose to introduce formula. (Please note that that’s what it says on the label. “For breastfeeding moms who choose to introduce formula.”) This is daft marketing, but responding to it by decrying the presumed attack on women’s ability to breastfeed is ridiculous.

        • Rachel Mills
          July 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

          I think you wouldn’t be so uncomfortable if you really understood and accepted the very real challenges some women face with breastfeeding. And also if you would accept that the anti-formula hysteria is irrational hyperbole.

        • kari
          July 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

          I breastfed my kids and felt like there was way too much “support”. It was less supportive of my choices and more being looked down on if you don’t do it the “right” way. Some people think they’re being helpful when really they’re just being insulting. This blog post highlights that attitude. I don’t see anything wrong with a formula company offering a product that people want. If a mom doesn’t want to supplement, she won’t do it just because there’s a new product. If she does want to supplement, she has another option, and doesn’t need others looking down on her choice. There’s nothing wrong with formula feeding no matter how much you inflate the benefits of breastfeeding. I did both and it was a great choice for me, whether the lactivists like it or not.

        • Charlotte
          July 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

          Breastfeeding is welcome here. What isn’t welcome is treating formula like a substandard source of nutrition that should only be used when absolutely necessary, or never used at all. Formula is not harmful, and moms who choose to use it should be supported every bit as much as moms who choose to breastfeed.

        • Kerlyssa
          July 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

          Maybe you’d feel less uncomfortable if you advocated for healthy, happy women and babies rather than for ‘breastfeeding’. Bit like someone showing up in the comments for a new formulation of Tylenol saying they are uncomfortable as an Aspirin representative.

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

            I am sure its a little uncomfortable being challenged on something you deeply feel. I respect that you are willing to discuss it, and I like your regular posts.

            I am pro BF for those that want to BF!

    • T.
      July 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      While it is true that breastmilk is free, things like milking pad, breast pumps, special breastfeeding pillows, lactation consulants and their education, and all the paraphernalia is not.

      You think that is not a market? Think again. Just like Big Placebo IS a for-profit, exactly as Big Pharma (but less regulated) so is the pro-breastfeeding movement.

      • Rachel Mills
        July 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

        Big Placebo. I love that.

    • Awesome mom
      July 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Just because you never spent money on nursing does not mean it is free. If you had wanted to go back to work and still nurse there would have been costs associated with pumping ect. If your supply had not been adequet the costs of a pump and drugs to increase supply could really add up. What about nursing bras, breast pads, nipple cream, or nursing pillows? Bottles marketed as being just like mom’s breast to prevent nipple confusion are always way more expensive than other bottles. People have found tons of ways to make money off of breastfeeding.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

        Sactomommies make no money off breastfeeding. no special pillows are needed to nurse a baby, If a mom wants to buy an expensive pump because she needs to spend money in order to earn money, the profits are not going to pro-breastfeeding organisations. A market driven corporation nets the gains. I support the idea that pediatricians should get involved when lactation problems arise, and pediatricians should have the same training in human milk production as an IBCLC.

        • Elizabeth A
          July 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

          Whether a market driven corporation nets the gains or not, the breastfeeding woman herself loses them.

          It bugs me when anyone describes the expenses of breastfeeding as “expensive pumps” and so on. My pump was paid for by my insurance company. The cost I paid myself was in billable hours spent pumping, and networking (and therefore, employment) opportunities lost because I was locked in a closet with my machinery.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            July 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

            You and your employer, who pay your insurance premiums, paid for that pump. The insurance company just cut a check.

          • Elizabeth A
            July 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

            Fair enough. It didn’t make my premiums higher (they pretty much absorbed that with the “you’re now three people” increase) so it was easy to miss.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

            So then why did you do it? If you were unhappy spending valuable billable hours with a breastpump why did you do it? Do you think you were sold a fairy -tale that breastmilk is worth the effort and hard work?

          • Charlotte
            July 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

            For me, I pumped and breastfed my kids as long as I did largely because of the intense pressure of the sanctimommies in my social circle. As much as I know it doesn’t matter what they think, being the only mom you know who doesn’t breastfeed and knowing all your friends and aquantances look down on formula-feeding moms was enough to tip the scales towards keeping going longer than I wanted to. Knowing it’s not rational to feel like a failure and an outcast doesn’t fully resolve those feelings. Treating breastfeeding as a “sacred cow” and formula like poison, or even just a necessary evil, does more harm than good. Breast milk is better, but that doesn’t mean formula is bad. That point is completely and utterly lost on sanctimommies.

          • Elizabeth A
            July 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

            I didn’t say I was unhappy with it, just that there were costs there beyond the gadgetry you seem to be deriding. With an additional child’s worth of experience under my belt, I realized that I could have saved myself some of those costs.

            Was I sold a fairy tale? *shrug* Maybe. You appear to be on the sales team for that particular fairy tale (if it is, indeed, a fairy tale). What do you think?

            Mostly what I think is that, over the years, I have seen lactivist after lactation consultant after welfare office behave as though, just by breast feeding, women can make themselves and their children healthy, wealthy, happy and secure. They have causality backwards. Healthy, wealthy, happy, secure women have an easier time breastfeeding and are more likely to succeed. They can take time off from work, and acquire more help. The fairy tale is that, somehow, breastmilk can substitute for money.

            (Sorry for going anon, this is Elizabeth A, losing the fight with diqus on a smartphone)

          • MaineJen
            July 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

            Why did I do it? Because I loved BFing. It made me feel closer to my baby. I loved that time with them. It happened to be easy for me, and I was able to make more than enough milk, at least in the beginning. But I also had to work (did you miss that part???). And if I didn’t pump at work, my supply would be gone in short order. (See? I was listening in class.)
            I not only had to work…I *wanted* to continue working. I spent a lot of time in school and worked hard for my career. I love what I do, and I didn’t want to interrupt a career I enjoy. And you know what? When we had kids, NO ONE asked my husband if he would be coming back to work. NO ONE asked him how much time he’d be taking off. Only *mothers* who choose to (or have to!) work are questioned. Only *mothers* who choose to work have to explain themselves.
            If I chose to stay home and BF full time my family would be on welfare and WIC. But my kids would be EBF. Would that be preferable?

        • MaineJen
          July 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

          Them’s fightin’ words, yentavegan.
          It’s great that you had the *privilege* to stay home with your babies. I did not go back to work because I needed to “spend money to earn money.” I went back to work because I am my family’s primary earner. I also breastfed both of my babies, using (Yes!) an ‘expensive pump,’ which thankfully was covered by my insurance. I spent a lot of hours pumping and saving that precious milk, and when that proved not enough after 4-5 months (those older babies are hungry little devils…), I supplemented with (Yes! Horror!) formula.
          If your intention was NOT to make me angry…well…you did. Do NOT write off or dismiss the expenses of breastfeeding: for working moms, they are immense. The pump. The time lost to pumping in a little airless room 2-3 times a day. The cleaning, the storing. It’s not nothing. We are doing what LCs want, for god’s sake: we are breastfeeding. And still it’s not good enough; we are “suckers” for spending our money on a pump when we could be home breastfeeding for free, right?
          Excuse me for providing for my family, in more ways than one. And I assure you, working moms in this coutry are the rule. Not the exception.

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

            Do you believe that there is a positive benefit to breastmilk that out weighs the cost and inconvenience?

          • Charlotte
            July 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

            No. For healthy term infants, formula is ultimately no better or worse than breastmilk.

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

            NO, I don’t, if baby is healthy and not a preemie I prefer FF to pumping. If I had to pump, I would never BF.

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          July 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

          >pediatricians should have the same training in human milk production as an IBCLC.

          Disagree. Pediatricians have enough to focus on in terms of preventing and treating disease. I think it would be nice for them to know about simple position and latching and milk supply issues, but that would just be a bonus. They should refer most bf problems to IBCLCs for extra help and to free up their time for medical issues. They would probably refer bottle feeding problem to speech pathologists or formula problems to pediatric GIs.

        • Renee
          July 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

          You are wrong though- unless you stay home and are with baby 24/7, you WILL need a pump. And bottles, and all the stuff that goes with it.

          I know it can be free, if you do not account for the costs of the externals, like lost wages, or you are a person that is not missing work. BF was very cheap for me with DD, as long as you don’t factor in the time off my career.

          While I am anti corporate, and get this, I think saying the the BFers have nothing to gain, because its not monetary, is just false. They may not have as much to gain financially (Medela is a corporation, so is Avent, NUK, and professionals COST $$$), but they are more worried about their ideology. This is just as bad, IMO. They DO want something, and its for moms to do what they think is right, kinda like a religion.

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I don’t always agree with what Amy says either, but I’m lost on this one as to why you’re upset. She supports breastfeeding. AFAICT, she is mocking women who would be outraged that a formula company is marketing a specific formula towards combo feeders. This formula will not convince any breastfeeders to supplement – it’s for people who already want to. I was a combo feeder. Doubt I would’ve bought this one – I’m all about the cheap Costco stuff – but I just don’t see the harm.

      • S
        July 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        Costco sells cheap ass formula? I NEEDED TO KNOW THIS. (Not a member. Sorry for shouting.)

        • Guesteleh
          July 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

          50% cheaper than name brands! And the diapers are really cheap too. Totally worth the membership fee.

          • Bombshellrisa
            July 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

            They also have good prices on wipes!

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            July 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

            Cosco wipes are really nice too.

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

            They are the BEST

        • Lisa from NY
          July 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

          Target also has cheap formula, so does walmart. And you can order online. Shhhhhhhhhhhh….

        • Awesomemom
          July 2, 2013 at 12:39 am #

          Costco formula helped three of my kids grow into crazy smart kids, it is awesome stuff.

    • Guesteleh
      July 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Breastmilk and breastfeeding are not free! Even if you don’t purchase a pump, nipple shields, time with an LC, etc., when a woman is the sole source of nutrition for the baby, the hours spent feeding are hours not spent working a paying job, hours lost that could be used to develop new job skills,

      There is a negative effect of breastfeeding on women’s employment status, says Phyllis Rippeyoung, assistant professor of sociology at Acadia University and co-author of a working paper about the economic consequences of breastfeeding.

      “In terms of long-term earnings, women who breastfeed less than six months have similar income trajectories to those who never breastfeed, but those who breastfeed for six months or longer have far steeper declines in income, mainly due to their increased likelihood of reducing their work hours or quitting,” Ms. Rippeyoung says. (We’ve also written before that many women who intend to continue to nurse, give it up after a few weeks back at work.)

      There are also mothers who will endure real economic hardship if they miss work hours to pump or breastfeed. “We can’t just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well,” says Mary Noonan, an associate professor at University of Iowa’s sociology department and co-author of the working paper. “Money also matters for a child’s health.”

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

        I am clearly in over my head out of my element. I can not site college professors and studies to back up any of my opinions. thankfully this blog does not require me to submit a CV or bone-fides. I have assisted women for 25 years without reimbursement to reach their breastfeeding goals.
        We women have been hood winked and socialised to believe that are bodies are not capable of lactating. That is not to say that yes, certain environmental influences prevent adequate lactation and many mothers are happy and confident when choosing to supplement. But so many other mothers are tricked out of the breastfeeding experience they had hoped for.

        • Elizabeth A
          July 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

          Yentavegan, it doesn’t take a lot to run some google searches and find this stuff. I know nothing about Guesteleh’s credentials, since, as you say, this blog does not require one to submit a CV. But surely a look around the net and a little thinking are not beyond you?

          I have no idea who you’ve been assisting for 25 years, but may I suggest that, if the economic costs of breastfeeding have never been made apparent to you before now, perhaps the fact that you don’t charge for your services is a little beside the point? If you happen, coincidentally, to be helping only comparatively high-income women, you’re not doing much to improve the overall breastfeeding rate in the society.

          In most income groups, when women choose not to breastfeed it’s not out of some misguided belief that it will be too hard for them, it’s out of the very real need to keep paying rent.

          • yentavegan
            July 2, 2013 at 6:08 am #

            Women who don’t want to breastfeed are not judged by me as being in an “other” category. And even though I had believed myself to be a lactavist, the working definition on this website puts me in the enemy camp. t Perhaps because I had not thought the term lactavist immediately made me an anti-formula zealot ,I did not understand why this blog entry was so harsh towards my community.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            July 2, 2013 at 8:42 am #

            My informal definition of “lactivist” is anyone who thinks it is her business how another woman feeds her baby.

        • wookie130
          July 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

          Well, it just so happens that Mother Nature tricked me out of a pair of working boobs, hence the need to supplement. Not that that tidbit of info was any of your business, nor should I feel compelled to have to justify my feeding choices to anyone, but there you have it. I chose to feed my daughter. End of story.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          July 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

          See, the problem is that when you are really educated and confident no one can hoodwink you at all. I was able to breastfeed twice and even though everyone I knew breastfed their children, I didn’t want to and I didn’t. There was no hoodwinking, they were trying to hoodwink me in the other direction and the socialization was in the other direction. With my third I wanted to but never produced any milk and no changes happened to my breast during pregnancy. There was no milk no colostrum no anything. So, I am sorry but your assumptions are very off and the women who think they were tricked need to grow up.

        • Renee
          July 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

          I do think it sucks that some people feel “hoodwinked’ into thinking they cannot make milk, when they want to. This can be remedied by some basic anatomy lessons, and some BF basics.

        • S
          July 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

          A couple years ago i was talking with an acquaintance who is an OB nurse in an urban area, and based on what she told me, i do agree with you that many women do not have good support or information. She said she’s had many patients change their minds and try breastfeeding once she’s corrected their misconceptions (I don’t know for a fact but based on her personal health history and just her general attitude, it’s hard for me to imagine her pushing opinions onto her patients). Those women are certainly not going to be represented on this site.

        • Bomb
          July 1, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

          I was positive I could lactate. That damn baby starving to death was the one that was hoodwinked.

      • LibrarianSarah
        July 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

        As my mother always said “Sarah if you are not making money you are spending money.” and “Sarah there is no such thing as a free lunch” and “No matter how you cut it children are f**king expensive!”

        Mom was banker. She has a lot of money wisdom.

      • Jessica
        July 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

        Breastfeeding is often not just about the genetic luck of the draw (ample milk supply, responds well to a pump) but also one of privilege, at least in this country. I work a salaried job, have a private office, and though I could have purchased a pump through my health insurance, I borrowed a hospital grade one from my cousin for free. Breastfeeding and pumping didn’t cost me in terms of salary, and there weren’t that many accessories to buy, and the total outlay on those was less than formula would have been.
        I think the people who most support breastfeeding happily support provisions of the ACA that mandate pump and LC coverage with no OOP cost, and would also support longer paid maternity leaves for most women, as is done in many other countries.

      • Mac Sherbert
        July 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

        I’m a stay at home mom, so it didn’t cost me time at work. However, I feel it cost me time with my older child. Things I didn’t do with him because of breastfeeding. Is the benefit worth that? I’m not sure. It’s why I’m not sure if I would breastfeed a third child for more than 3 months or so.

        • Wren
          July 2, 2013 at 11:18 am #

          The first time around I bought the clothes, the bras, the pump, the bottles, the freezer bags, the steriliser and rented the hospital grade pump when he quit nursing at 9 months, along with the various “more like breast” bottles and nipples to try to get him back to the breast. The second time around I spent nothing but my own time and she was an easy baby to feed, so I could nurse her while chasing my toddler son most days. It fit into our lives. That doesn’t mean I would push anyone else to do it.

    • Rachel Mills
      July 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Breastfeeding is free if you are lucky. I was not lucky. Lactation Consultants are NOT free. Breastpumps and supplies are NOT free. APNO is NOT free. Tests and consultations to figure out what the hell is wrong with you are not FREE. And the time spent with the breastpump (crying and miserable and humiliated) instead of just holding my baby was invaluable and gone forever.

    • Charlotte
      July 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      My babies needed supplementation due to having very poor latches. My second was clinically dehydrated and refusing to supplement would have meant IV fluids and losing even more weight than the nearly two pounds she had lost since birth. This new product would be perfect for that situation. A couple of weeks of supplementing while learning to breastfeed was what she needed to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship, just like the babies in the study.
      The all or nothing approach taken by lactivists who insist not a single drop of formula should ever touch a baby’s lip no matter how desperate the circumstances is why they are labeled sanctimommies.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

        feeding problems should be attended to by pediatricians or at the very least hospital-RN’s with IBCLC certification. When infants are having feeding problems unlicensed uninsured unregulated lactativsts on the internet are the last place to seek assistance.

        • Rachel Mills
          July 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

          How do you know hers weren’t? These things take time to fix if they can be fixed at all. The baby has to eat in the mean time.

        • Charlotte
          July 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

          They were! This was when I was in the hospital with her. She saw three different lactation consultants while she was there over multiple session and multiple days, as well as her pediatrician and his on-staff lactation consultant in the weeks after we came home. It was a nurse at rhe hospital who diagnosed her as dehydrated and suggested formula supplmentation, but because it was a baby-friendly hospital they refused to give me any and we had to sneak some in from home. We got caught twice, and both times were lectured harshly that what we were doing was going to ruin the breastfeeding relations permanently, because they said even just one bottle of formula is bad and enough to prevent the baby from ever breastfeeding again.

          Never once did I ever consult anyone on the internet about my baby’s feeding problems. I am not sure why you assumed that’s what I did.

          • Mac Sherbert
            July 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

            The whole no formula thing drives me crazy. I’m so thankful my hospital wasn’t like that. My DD was a sleepy baby. She nursed for all of 2 seconds and then passed out. (She will still promptly fall asleep if tired when nursing.) She had a great latch, but couldn’t be roused to nurse and when she did it wasn’t for long. The LC at the hospital recommended supplementing at the breast and then pumping to help my milk come in. The supplementing kept her from getting dehydrated and ultimately saved our breastfeeding relationship. I can’t imagine what I would have done if the hospital had refused to give me those little bottles of formula.

          • Bomb
            July 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

            “even just one bottle of formula is bad and enough to prevent the baby from ever breastfeeding again.”

            Several NICU nurses and I were laughing at what a crock of shit that is. My NICU baby, the one I didn’t hold for days, didn’t feed, didn’t bathe, got formula everyday for a week until my milk came in, didn’t get to do ANYTHING with is by far the best nurser of the 3 kids.

            And breastfeeding being free? I spent thousands on my first baby on the professionals yenta vegan says need to be consulted if there is a problem, along with a pump, bottles, etc. I didnt even buy nursing clothes and it was still >2000$ and they didn’t solve our problems.

            Those professionals aren’t free, and if I’d never hired them and happily gone to formula instead I would have had enough money to ff all 3 kids and still have money left over.

        • wookie130
          July 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

          As if this would entirely remedy the situation for those of us who REALLY had difficulty with breastfeeding. I was seen by 4 different hospital RN’s with IBCLC certification (or whatever…lol), and by the end of my 4-day stay in the hospital, even the lactation consultants were advising that I supplement. My daughter fought EVERYONE tooth and nail, would not latch, scratched herself, scratched me, and I was literally DREADING every time I knew she was due to be fed. I “stuck with it” for nearly 3 weeks, and it never got better, my supply never really took off, and pumping got me nowhere. I was diagnosed with IGT (insufficient glandular tissue), which is rare, but is absolutely the reason I couldn’t breastfeed my daughter. If I had not been supplementing, my daughter would have dropped weight, become dehydrated, and I would have felt even less like a woman than I already did for “failing” at breastfeeding. So, I sought help from the correct channels, and even they couldn’t make my boobs function properly. I suppose since that was the case, I should have let my daughter starve, as that was nature’s way of telling me that it “wasn’t meant to be.” What a crock!!! Thank goodness for formula, as my daughter is incredibly healthy, intelligent, and growing well. When it’s all said and done, you have to FEED THE BABY. And it’s no one’s damned business what or how I’m feeding her!

          • yentavegan
            July 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

            Professionals have the skills and education to diagnose feeding issues that can not be fixed by simple breastfeeding management help. Not every breastfeeding issue can be fixed, and no mother should be lied to or misled because of some one else’s agenda. And even though I am a lay leader with a breastfeeding support group it is not my business how you feed your baby. Mothers and mothers to be come to meetings I facilitate for free. I only give out my input when asked. and I am asked a lot, multiple times a week, I get phone calls at every hour of the day and because I am a volunteer I am not paid. I sell nothing and I have never advised a mother to ignore her doctor or starve her baby or anything lactavists have been accused of. And I am sad to find my community the object of so much derision,

          • wookie130
            July 2, 2013 at 8:54 am #

            I’m not accusing lactivists of advising women to starve their babies if they’re having trouble breastfeeding. But I’ll tell you right now, that due to the pressure your “community” lays on new moms who are trying to breastfeed, there are women out there having trouble with nursing that don’t know when to throw in the towel, and a lot of babies are adversely affected by this. A lot of ladies are now more afraid of “failing” at breastfeeding than they are of having a hungry baby that NEEDS hydration and calories. There are many lactivists who claim that ALL women CAN and SHOULD breastfeed, and if it’s not happening, it’s by some failure on the mother’s part. I tried and tried to breastfeed my daughter, and fell into a very dark depression from not being able to do what was “best” for her. And how feeling THAT way doesn’t hurt the bond between mother and child, I just don’t know.

          • KarenJJ
            July 2, 2013 at 9:06 am #

            THIS!! Absolutely this!!

            Sorry for the exclamation marks but this was me with my baby. I’ve heard enough times that only 2% of women can’t breastfeed. Stated as a fact. Where speaking to other mums there amongst my aquaintance there are many more of us with issues. Heck PCOS causes problems and there’s more than 2% of women with this, then add in depression and anxiety, underlying immune system conditions (lupus, RA, Sjorgensens, auto-inflmmatory conditions), chronic pain issues,severe sleep deprivation, post-pregnancy complications, anemia, sexual abuse and triggering issues, work related issues…

            I don’t see lactivists and breastfeeding advocates acknowledging ANY of that in any of the discussions I’ve had with the breastfeeding support group nor the breastfeeding course that I went on. It seems to be mainly about putting more roadblocks in the way of preventing women accidentally destroying some fantasy breastfeeding relationship by using a dummy or giving one bottle of formula to give mum a rest or to top up a hungry baby going through a growth spurt.

          • Clarissa Darling
            July 2, 2013 at 9:10 am #

            Amen to that. My sister had severe anxiety about the lack of supply she experienced with her second child. She described the thought of giving him formula as “her worst nightmare”. I really don’t think she would have made such a statement if there weren’t A LOT of societal pressure to breastfeed.

          • Wren
            July 2, 2013 at 9:49 am #

            I have no problem accusing at least a portion of lactivists of advising women to starve their babies if there are problems breastfeeding. I know on MDC a little under 7 years ago the prevailing “advice” I got was to let my 9 month old who barely touched solids just go without until he would nurse again after he stopped. I couldn’t do it for nearly as long as I was advised to and the second he started showing signs of dehydration (despite the water they advised I not offer) and lost a teeny bit of weight I went to formula. He still got some pumped milk, but I couldn’t suddenly start pumping enough for a 9 month old. Only one poster on MDC advised against the starve him into submission plan and she was warned about her posting at the time because it’s wrong to “undermine” breastfeeding in any way.

        • Sullivan ThePoop
          July 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

          What can anyone do when none of the changes that are supposed to happen during pregnancy to allow you to produce milk happened? I know what, nothing.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      “please tell us why you breastfed your children. If you can do it why are you not helping or supporting others to do so?”

      Because I am not the standard by which other women should judge themselves, and frankly, you are not the standard, either.

      Why is it so hard to understand that what was right for me and my children might not be right for another woman and her children? Why do lactivists act like every woman who doesn’t model their own choices back to them needs to be “educated” or doesn’t care as much about their own children.

      Why does it concern you whether one other woman breastfeeds or one million other women breastfeed? Why do you think it is your business?

      Perhaps you might consider waiting to offer “support” until someone actually asks you for it.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

        I am 53 years old. I just wanted to believe that my “folksy” approach to birth, breastfeeding and parenting still had value to new mothers navigating their way through all the hype and conflicting info. I have learned so much from this community and I hope to be able to be of value to my own children as they become parents.
        I don’t think it is my business if a mother chooses to formula or breastfeed, although I do believe that it takes a village to raise a child, We are social beings, not lone wolves. If some mothers and fathers found me offensive due to my opinions on this blog, I apologize,

        • Mac Sherbert
          July 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

          You have not offended me. I think you just say what you believe. It seems to me you not trying to offend anyone. Maybe you just don’t understand where some mother’s who have struggled with Breastfeeding are coming from? It’s kind of like infertility. Until you have experienced it, please don’t tell me to just relax!

        • Elizabeth A
          July 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

          If folksy means we ignore reality, I hate it. There are other kinds that work okay.

    • Gene
      July 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      YV, I respectfully disagree with you on this topic. Breastfeeding is NOT free. I have two kids and breastfed each for over a year without supplementation. And I worked full time. So that involved me buying a pump and all supplies associated with pumping (bottles, bags for storage, tubing, etc) plus the time I spent pumping and cleaning. I had an incredibly supportive employer and was able to take time to pump. Others are not so lucky. My sister is a SAHM to twins who breastfed for over a year and she also did not supplement. Pumping was not free for her either. She needed to rent a hospital grade pump in order to keep up her supply. And even though she didn’t work outside the home, she still had expenses similar to mine (the pump, the bottles, the storage bags). Now, you could say that a mother doesn’t NEED a pump. However, that means that she her child’s only food source and must be available to it 24/7/365. Going to the store? Take the baby. Going to the dentist? Take the baby. Want a date night with your spouse? Tough luck! Or take the baby! Or spend money on a pump and bottles.

      I support breastfeeding wholeheartedly and it was right for me (and my sis). But it was NOT free.

      FWIW, I think this “special” formula is a total crock. Just a money making strategy like “nursery water”.

    • quadrophenic
      July 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      I spent around $1200 to try and breastfeed and that was before I even went back to work. But money’s nothing compared to the lost time I had with my daughter as I pumped 8 times a day during the first 12 weeks or so of her life, and the emotional toll the failure to breastfeeding had on me. I wished a sane person had told me that supplementing or FF was ok when I was pregnant. I may have actually been able to get a latch from my weak baby who lost too much weight. Or I could have switched to formula much earlier and regained sanity, and started my arthritis medication sooner (which 1 year postpartum my arthritis still isn’t well controlled).

      So maybe formula companies are evil. But there needs to be some check on the morals of lactivists and even the well meaning LCs and baby friendly hospitals who exaggerate the benefits of breastfeeding and minimize the difficulties. I look back at all the research I did on breastfeeding while pregnant (I had no lack of education or support) and I’m truly angered at all the lies told to me. Weak correlations pawned off as absolute facts of causation, bad stats about how many women truly can’t breastfeed and worst of all the “don’t worry, baby only needs a few drops of colostrum and don’t worry about weight loss” in those first few days as my daughter screamed in hunger.

      Formula companies have a bad history, but they also allowed me to feed my daughter. I just don’t find it that bad for a company to say “here, you can formula feed and still breastfeed.” It’s a marketing gimmick for sure, but I’ve also never heard of babies who are diagnosed with FTT or hospitalized for dehydration because they followed a formula company’s advice. I’ve read plenty of great comments from you before so I know you’re a smart, considerate person. Please reach out to your community and encourage sane, professional breastfeeding support that isn’t based on guilt, lies, or exaggerations. Lactivists getting worked up over a can of formula doesn’t help new moms. Realistic goals and concrete, science based advice does. And sometimes that means adding in a little formula.

      • KarenJJ
        July 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

        Same. LC, breastpump, maternity bras. Easily $1200.

    • Sullivan ThePoop
      July 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      Breastfeeding is never free. Why do you want to spread that myth?

      • Box of Salt
        July 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

        We’ve had this discussion here before.

        Breastfeeding is free only if a woman’s time is worth nothing.

        I value my time.

        I breastfed two infants without supplementation for a full year each, and I’m glad I did. But it wasn’t “free.”

        • Renee
          July 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

          People forget BF costs TIME and EFFORT.

          Plus, moms that stay out of the workforce to BF lose so much money and prestige. I forget the study, but a recent one showed the penalties for moms who stay home to BF, and they are serious financially, and careerwise. I know I am going to lose HALF my salary for this little stint at home, BFing.

          BF as an option really depends on your lifestyle, needs, priorities.
          With DS, I was working, and just I couldn’t BF. I couldn’t fit pumping in to my day, and it just wasn’t worth it to have leaking during meetings, or having painful engorgement issues while driving clients around town. DH stayed home and FF worked wonderfully.

          With DD, I am home 24/7, so BF has been easy and great, I love it TBH. But it only works because I am HOME with baby at all times- wanted to say it again for emphasis.

          I cannot go away a few days without either giving FF (fine by me) or storing up a freezerful of b milk, and then pumping to maintain supply while gone. I must be near baby at all times, with only short breaks, DH cannot help feed at all.
          This is why I think the freedom factor needs to be factored in too. This is why BF moms sometimes supplement even with a good supply.

          • realityycheque
            July 2, 2013 at 7:08 am #

            It cost me $60 per week to hire a hospital-grade pump after regular manual ones didn’t work. Add to that the money I spent on breast pads, nipple cream, lactation consultant, nursing bras and the hours I spent pumping on a daily basis and try to tell me that breastfeeding was “free”.

            Also, screw this nonsense of “donor milk!!” as if getting safe, screened donor milk is an easy thing to do? The only milk bank in my area reserved their supply for preemies. Forgive me for being a bad mother because I wasn’t going to get some random woman from the internet to give me her breastmilk when I had no idea of her personal hygiene standards, how safely she stored the milk, how well she maintained sterilisation of pumping/storage devices and whether she carried any diseases. Not happening.

    • Renee
      July 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Offering a FF that is for BF moms that CHOOSE TO supplement is NOT undermining BF at all. NO WHERE does it say B milk is not sufficient. YOU are reading waaaaaay too much into it!

      We all know lots of BF moms *choose* to supplement- even ones that have perfectly fine supply do! Not all BF moms want to pump in order to have an extra bottle, for whatever reason (night out, sickness, let partner feed, etc). So they use a little FF too. If this product is actually made for this, and not just marketing ploy, I think its great.

      I EBF my 16 mo old, and this has zero impact on my choices. If I needed or wanted to supplement with FF instead of cow milk (since she’s older than 1), I might check it out. But I wouldn’t supplement just because I saw a new FF. Do you really think moms are that dumb, they drop what they are doing because they saw an AD?

    • Renee
      July 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      I am gonna call BS on “no support for BF” though.

      BF has TONS of *cheerleaders*. Doctors, hospitals, nurses, MWs, pediatricians, WIC, LLL, and on and on and on. Even the FF cans say “BF is best” right on them.
      There are no shortage of promoters of BF. Any info you might want is easily available as well.

      Our country (USA) does support BF in ways that are appropriate- 1) ALL relevant agencies say BF is best as a public position, and often promote BF in the public sphere.
      2) You CAN pump at work, they must give you space and breaks.
      3) You can BF in public.
      4) You can get pumps, LCs, classes, supplies from WIC.
      5) BF supplies can be bought with your HSA or with a tax deduction. 6) Medicaid moms can get LC assistance.
      What more do you really expect them to do?
      (I don’t see why the government needs to “support” your feeding choices anyway, but thats another discussion.)

      Personally, I don’t think the USA supports moms or families AT ALL. But this is not a BF issue, its an anti-family issue. We need to do things that would benefit ALL working families- more family leave and health care to start. This would help moms that chose BF, as well as all others.

      • Captain Obvious
        July 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

        And all those pumps, pads, and breastfeeding services and lost wages cost money.

    • Monica
      July 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      First of all as others have said I highly doubt breasfeeding cost you absolutely nothing. Did you not have to get special clothing to make breastfeeding easier to do? Did you not ever need a pump? Never needed to take time to learn how to latch? Buy nipple cream for your dry cracked nipples? Because quite frankly breastfeeding is not entirely free for anyone. While most likely it’s cheaper than formula feeding if you are capable of being with your baby 24/7 for the first year or so of life that’s not everyone’s norm. And it’s nice to have something when and if it’s needed. I don’t think Dr. Amy needs to say breastfeeding is far superior to formula feeding because that’s how I fed my children. She has made it clear that she was a brestfeeding mom, but the fact of the matter is these children grow up and it’s not going to make a lick of difference beyond infancy if they were breastfed. You know what will make a difference? If they got proper nourishment throughout their life, if they got love, and if they had a roof over their head. Those things have a much greater impact on our child’s growth and development than weather or not he was breastfed or formula fed. Breast is best, no one can deny that, but formula is just as viable of an option and will not harm our children. But to say that Dr. Amy is not helping or supporting women who breastfeed just because she doesn’t see anything wrong with women using formula is ludicrous. A child is not going to die if he is fed formula so why can’t Dr. Amy’s support be for a woman’s educated choice to use the perfectly safe option of formula or breastmilk if that’s what works for her?

    • Lisa Miller
      July 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Listen, I was the poorest of the poor when I started nursing so many years ago. There was no internet back in those olden days (OK that is a lie we were just too poor to afford it) And yet….every place I went to, every book I read and every social service I received talked about, pushed, taught, and supported breastfeeding. I had support coming out my ears, information enough to fill a bookshelf and could not so much as enter a building that had to do with children’s services without seeing the benefits of breastfeeding. Shoot, even the bathrooms hosted posters. Where in the heck is this massive lack of support/education all you people are always going on about. It just gets your goat too much to have to admit that breatfeeding numbers are the way they are because many women just don’t want to do it, there are real problems that many women can’t “work though” or are impossible to correct and that breastfeeding is actually hard as HELL (As I have stated before I have 30 months of nursing under my belt–I’ve earned the right to say this). You just can’t give it up that the only breastfeeding you should be worried about is your own.

  22. hannah
    July 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    well, i can see it in one way. they think women are vunerable to this marketing and we think women are vunerable to the lies and exaggerations of the natural CB life.

    • Lizzie Dee
      July 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      That’s interesting, but it it the same kind of vulnerability? Women convinced of the supremacy of bf are not going to be seduced by this ad, they are going to be outraged. Only the anxious wobblers are going to worry that perhaps they are not doing it right, their breasts are not perhaps fountains of the elixir of life, and the cure for all ills. It seems to me that the NCB message on birth is popular be.cause of its promise of empowerment and control – it is selling invulnerability. Falsely, of course. It can endanger women, but I don’t think it is playing on vulnerability exactly. A natural birth proves your worth, doesn’t it? Superiority in mothering is a little bit more complicated

      • quadrophenic
        July 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

        Breastfeeding is also masively promoted by the AAP, baby friendly hospitals, WHO, etc. “Breast is best” is plastered on nearly every wall of an OBs office. News articles trumpet the latest correlations. Michelle Obama discusses it as a way to decrease obesity. Never mind that many of these correlations are slight and there’s no significant long term benefits to breastfeeding. We’re told every day that science says its the best thing you can do for your baby.

        NCB isn’t marketed like that. Your pediatrician doesn’t ask if you put a hat on the baby’s head or if you had an epidural. It’s marketed as a rebellion against mainstream medicine. It’s completely different.

  23. Chelsea Frost
    July 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Oh, Dr Amy, you read my mind. These were my thoughts exactly upon seeing this in a store.

  24. Kelly
    July 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    How is this product specifically for supplementing breastfed babies? As a doctor, do you support this over regular formula this this purpose? I supplemented and found it useful, but since formula can be so expensive, I bought what I could get a coupon for. How is this better?

    • expat in germany
      July 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      I don’t think that is the point of the post. She is complaining that any attempt to improve the image of formula is attackedby people who don’t even try to understand the need that some womwn have for formula.

      • Kelly
        July 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

        It seems like it should be a point of the post unless she wants to be exclusively polemic. Lactivisits irrationally reject this, but this would only be relevant if this is actually a good thing somehow. It does looks like dirty marketing, and I find that so heartless!

        • expat in germany
          July 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

          Polemics have their place (I see a lot of comments here). You are obsessing over run of the mill marketing designed to make a woman feel good about herself for buying something. If this makes some woman feel less guilty about something she shouldn’t feel guilty about, then maybe it is worth the extra price. There is no more dirty tick here than for any other product out there. Most people are clever enough to recognize marketing when they see it and decide if they want the ego boost or not. Generic or brand name, you decide.

          • expat in germany
            July 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

            Sorry, kelly, earlier your name showed up as “me”. Disqus.

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

            I love how you tell me I’m “obsessing” lol. I think everyone here is “obsessing” then, too 😉

            FTR – I didn’t write the post… is Dr Amy obsessing?

  25. auntbea
    July 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Is anyone else a little thrown off by the use of the word “shrew”? I have always understand that word to be a misogynistic term, in that it is often applied to women for having opinions or wants that differ from men’s.

    • expat in germany
      July 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      I associate it with shakespeare and shrillness.

      • Elizabeth A
        July 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        Me too – that’s why I find it offputting.

        • Anon
          July 2, 2013 at 12:11 am #

          I think it is supposed to be off putting…

      • Charlotte
        July 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

        My mind went to Shakespeare as well.

  26. Jessica
    July 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I do understand the lactivist alarm at supplementation – for women who want to breastfeed supply and demand is important, and supplementation can interfere with that. But they do women a disservice by pretending that pretty much everyone will have an adequate milk supply, or that there is never a need for supplementation. In doing so they can make breastfeeding more difficult, more stressful, and less enjoyable for mom and baby. It’s one thing to teach women about newborn nursing behavior and how supply/demand work with breastmilk – it’s quite another to pretend that it all works perfectly for every mother and every baby 100% of the time.

    • Eddie Sparks
      July 2, 2013 at 2:17 am #

      I was told at the start – in a message that was reinforced many, many times in the subsequent years – that breast feeding was amazing. Breast milk production tailored itself to match the needs of your child. Tiny infants got different milk from older toddlers. Supply increased to meet the needs of twins, or decreased as older children transitioned to other foods. All because the magical mother-baby bond would ensure that my body knew what to produce for my baby.

      I took this message pretty literally. I figured that if I supplemented 1, or 2, or 3 bottles of formula per day, my breast milk supply would decrease to match the needs of an infant who was receiving 1, or 2, or 3 bottles of formula per day. And if I stopped supplementing with formula, my breast milk supply would increase again to meet the changed needs of my infant.

      Worked perfectly for me. Although, I’m not sure if it was the “take home message” I was supposed to receive….

  27. Michellejo
    July 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I think the link to low breastmilk supply is deserving of its own post. It’s so full of BS ( mother’s body goes into mourning?! etc.). I couldn’t even get to the end of the post. Are these women mad? Do they truly think they are talking sense?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      July 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      It’s just another case of the NCB crowd blaming women, and calling them defective.

  28. Elizabeth A
    July 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Is this any different from Science Diet insisting that my cats need different food because they’re different ages?

    I see the complaint that it’s a bullshitty marketing tactic, because it is, oh lordy it is.

    I differ rather violently with the Lactating Girl quoted on the best way to supplement, so forgive me while I digress.

    Donor milk is NOT the best way to supplement, and it’s totally unrealistic for the vast majority of women.

    It’s expensive. Last time I checked, it cost $3 per ounce. If your baby eats the approximately 23 oz,. per day average, you’re spending $483/week on infant food, which is totally out of reach for a huge number of people. I suppose you might derive some comfort from the notion that none of that is going into the pockets of formula companies, but that’s comfort that’s coming out of your retirement funds.

    It’s usually not available. Milk-banked donor milk is usually available by prescription only to children with special medical needs. You can sometimes get donated milk from women who don’t qualify for bank donation, but… listen, do you really want it? I had a major case of oversupply, and thanks to a long sojourn in the UK and the use of anti-depressants, I don’t qualify for banked donation. But it was really bad oversupply, and I was able to find someone who would drive a hundred miles round trip to come to my house to take the bagged up milk that I couldn’t keep in my freezer for her baby. This is not a simple errand, and is also genuinely out of reach for many.

    When I decided it was time for me to stop pumping, we opted to supplement with formula, even though we could have drawn on that network for milk donors. It wasn’t worth it to me to go through that much for someone else’s leftover frozen milk, when an adequate substitute could be had at the grocery store. If asked, this is the course of action I recommend.

    • Bombshellrisa
      July 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      There are doulas and CPMs locally that ask CLIENTS to donate milk, one midwife had donations from 30+ women for her adopted baby. Can you imagine your OB asking patients to do that?

      • Elizabeth A
        July 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

        IMO, that’s just inappropriate. I can understand an overwhelming preference for breast milk, but 30+ unscreened sources for one baby? That’s crazy.

        • Ceridwen
          July 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

          Feeding my baby milk from 30 unscreened women would make me incredibly uncomfortable. I can’t believe these women don’t see the problem with it.

          • Lisa from NY
            July 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

            Exactly. If one hubby cheats on his wife while she is breastfeeding and gets HIV and passes it to his wife who passes it thru milk to baby…

        • Bombshellrisa
          July 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

          Ok, I was wrong, she got milk from 70 donors. There was a doula asking for milk donations for a client, that was the 30 I was thinking of. Here is the full story

        • Lisa from NY
          July 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

          All it takes is one mother with HIV to pass it on to that baby…

    • me
      July 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Is this any different from Science Diet insisting that my cats need different food because they’re different ages?

      Actually, I think it is. A short perusal of Science Diet’s website allowed me to see what the differences between their different formulations are and compare them. They make claims as to why you should use “kitten” vs “adult” vs “mature adult” vs “senior” at different ages. It may be mostly BS, but at least they attempt to offer reasons why your kitten needs a different food than your 5 year old cat 😉

      On Similac’s website you click on this product, it takes you to a generic product info page that doesn’t tell you how this differs from it’s original formula, you click on “more info” it takes you to an article about supplementing (in general), you click on “learn more about Similac for supplementing” it takes you back to that first page! Maybe I’m offended because they’re not even *trying* to offer up some advantage to using this product. If you’re going to try to BS me into buying something no one needs, at least put forth the effort to come up with some plausible lies 😉

      • expat in germany
        July 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

        “it may be BS” 90% of marketing is BS. it is all about image, not about substance. In this case, the product responds to a mother’s bad self image when she buys formula. Who caused the image problem? not the formula companies.

        • me
          July 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

          Fair enough. I guess I’m just not okay with them so blatantly exploiting that image problem. I mean, if you’re going to exploit a group, at least come up with some sort of plausible (or semi-plausible) lie so that it’s not so damn *obvious* that you’re exploiting that group. “If you’re going to lie to me, at least make it believable, and better still, make sure I never find out the truth” (not sure who said that, but it applies here, lol) This whole thing is insulting to everyone’s intelligence…

          • expat in germany
            July 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

            Consumer culture is insulting to -everyone’s- intelligence

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

            Fair enough 🙂

  29. Jenna
    July 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I’m due in two weeks and signed up with Similac to get coupons and such. They sent me a sample of this new “Supplementing” formula and I’m afraid to use it. Since they don’t tell how it differs from regular formula, how do I know if it’s good for those who AREN’T supplementing?

    • you can't win
      July 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      seems like if you’re not planning on supplementing it’s definitely not for you….and if you ARE supplementing…it may or may not be for you…of course impossible to tell since they don’t make the properties of this product clearer.

    • Elizabeth A
      July 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Since they don’t tell how it differs from regular formula, how do I know if it’s good for those who AREN’T supplementing?

      Compare the nutritional information labels. You may have to look online to find them. You used to be able to pick them up in the grocery store and compare, but my grocery store now keeps formula locked up at the customer service desk. (No clue why. If I was still buying formula, this inconvenience would make me very grouch.)

      My experience is that the vast majority of formulas on the market are the same, or incredibly similar. The ingredients are the same. The nutrition provided is the same. While each formula company would like you to believe that their particular product is either best overall or best for your particular baby, there is seldom any reason to make this decision on any basis except price.

      There is nothing magic about breastfeeding that changes the way babies absorb nutrition from formula.

      • Ceridwen
        July 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

        The formula is likely locked up for the same reason condoms and pregnancy tests often are: it’s a frequently shoplifted item.

        • Caravelle
          July 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

          That’s… weirdly sad for some reason. I can get people shoplifting food, or candy, or cigarettes, but formula and pregnancy tests aren’t something you use all the time. It’s things that when you do need them, you NEED them. If those are shoplifted more than other items it suggests there are a lot of people out there who can’t afford (or can’t easily afford) formula for their babies or birth control.

          • Hannah
            July 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

            Actually, I suspect it’s because it’s relatively high value for it’s size, and so more profitable on resale. I was once watching bail applications in a magistrate’s court (don’t ask) and two separate cases of theft of cheese came in, both were drug addicts. It’s the same reason.

          • Kerlyssa
            July 1, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

            It is used to cut drugs with.

          • Clarissa Darling
            July 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

            The reason formula (and certain other products) are locked up is likely not because a few unfortunate moms are stealing what they need. It’s organized

            I didn’t know crime rings would concern themselves with mundane products like baby formula and shaving razors until I went to work for a major reatiler.
            Organized shop lifting is a real problem as I witnessed on a number of security tapes. A few people will come into a store together, wipe the shelves clean of a small, relatively high value, and easily re sold items before you can say “security!” and sell those items on ebay or similar sites. These are professional criminals who work in conjunction with one and other to steal to steal large amounts of product from multiple stores. It’s not glamerous operation like most movies would have you believe of organized crime but, it’s one that works (for them) and represents a huge amount of the losses faced by retailers.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            July 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

            It was locked up to prevent stealing. Now in NYC, it’s locked with the narcotics and must be signed out as if it were a drug.

    • Ceridwen
      July 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      This is what annoyed me about it. What in the world makes it different from any other formula? I sort of wonder if they aren’t saying because it’s not different and they aren’t allowed to flat out claim that it is, but they can get away with giving it a different name that is geared towards breastfeeders.

    • Bomb
      July 2, 2013 at 12:16 am #

      Just read the labels. All formula has to have specific amounts of vitamins, carbs, fats, etc. and meet specific reqs to be sold in the US. It is nearly identical to their other formulas in every way, including ingredients.

  30. guest
    July 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    where do comments go??? I comment and then it disappears. is this a disquis thing? can someone explain?

    • Anj Fabian
      July 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      At the top, switch to “newest” or “oldest”.

      The default is often “best” which means new comments are at the bottom.

  31. Jenna
    July 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Similac is making it much more difficult for me to defend the company (marketing! undermining! profit! oh no!) when they come out with something like this and don’t explain how it differs. Dang you, Similac. Maybe the lactivists have a point about you.

    • AmyM
      July 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      meh. The hospital my babies were born in used enfamil. We started with that, but the boys seemed extra gassy, so we switched to Similac sensitive. That seemed to work, so we stuck with it. Eventually, we mixed similac regular (since we had some samples) with the sensitive, and that went fine, but we were reluctant to change brands in case they either got upset stomachs or rejected the taste or something. They thrived and grew. I didn’t particularly care about brand, just about finding whichever one worked…unfortunately it wasn’t the least expensive, but at least it wasn’t the most expensive either.

  32. expat in germany
    July 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    So formula is poison, but the bacteria and soap build up on a badly washed pump are healthy? Formula is a waste of money, but a hundred plus dollar pump isn’t? This is where la leche league and I part ways.

    • me
      July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

      Ack. I’m no “lactavist”, but how do pump parts get more bacteria and soap build up than bottles? Both should be safe if you are cleaning them properly. As for hundreds plus pumps, that’s really not necessary in every case (I managed to pump just fine with a $30 model), but at least you can re-use a pump if you have more children…

      • expat in germany
        July 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

        Plastic tubes cleaned in the dirty bathroom at work. I went office space on my pump after my first.

        • me
          July 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

          That’s why I said “if they are cleaned properly”. You can’t give them a rinse at work then clean them properly at home? (sorry, not trying to be snarky here, I just don’t understand that)

          • Elizabeth A
            July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

            Do you have any idea how hard it is to get those tubes clean? Over time, they seem to acquire black mildew that just won’t die.

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

            I guess not… the pump I used didn’t allow milk to get into the tubes in the first place (straight from the flanges to the collection bottle), so, no there was never any mildew. Sippy cups, OTOH, yeah, those are hard to clean and needed outright replacement pretty often.

          • Kerlyssa
            July 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

            This discussion reminds me of cleaning the tubing for the soft serve machine at a former job. Those just plain needed replacing after a couple months, I can’t imagine how bad smaller tubes at room temp with non sterile contents would get…

          • Renee
            July 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

            You must keep buying new tubes and pump supplies.

          • prolifefeminist
            July 3, 2013 at 2:15 am #

            i pumped for a loooong time with a medela pump. i always left the pump running for about five minutes with just the tubing attached to dry them out afterwards. never had any issue with mold, or condensation buildup.

  33. you can't win
    July 1, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Amy, you do have to admit that this IS a marketing gimmick, no? There’s nothing different about this than regular formula, from what I can tell…

    • Antigonos CNM
      July 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      It IS a marketing gimmick, just as their “Stage 1”, etc. is. I compared labels, when my granddaughter began Stage 2, and the only difference was an infinitesimal change in the sodium level. Heaven only knows how many unused or partly-used cans get thrown out for no good reason. By the time a baby is old enough for Stage 3, he’s really ready for ordinary milk and he’s getting substantial amounts of his nutrients from solid food. But mothers get suckered into believing Jr. needs all the “extras” formula supplies.

      Many years ago, I remember listening to a Similac rep giving evidence before some Congressional [?] committee. She confidently declared that there were studies which showed that carcinogens were present in breast milk, while Similac was free from them. Well, yes, since breast milk contains traces of whatever the mother is ingesting, it stands to reason that traces of traces of environmental carcinogens we all live with could wind up in breast milk.

      Those of you who have read my posts about feeding in the past will know I’m an advocate of the “whatever works” school. If a baby needs supplement, give it, and the brand name on the can — Similac, Enfamil, Materna and so on — really doesn’t matter. An actively sucking baby empties the breast in about 4 minutes anyway, and the rest is pretty much “play time” [although there is some evidence that the “after-milk” has properties not in the first milk. This is still not 100% proved]. If the baby is still hungry after a good 20 minutes to half an hour, on both breasts, he needs to be topped up.

      • MaineJen
        July 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

        Talk about marketing gimmicks…my kid is 17 months and I’m still getting mailers advertising “toddler formula.” LOL! It’s like, GIVE UP already, our family is done with your product! It was ‘fun’ while it lasted…

        • brigidkeely
          July 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

          Oh man, I had a toddler when they first rolled that out. We got a bunch of samples. I’m not a nutritionist but it looked like the main ingredients in it were corn syrup and corn syrup solids. My toddler was happily sucking down cow’s milk and solid food, there was NO NEED to “supplement” with something like that. I remember feeling a lot of anxiety about making sure he got adequate nutrition since it was no longer being measured in oz of formula, and the toddler “formula” really plays into it.

      • Tim
        July 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

        Eh, sometimes the “toddler” formula can be useful – ours is dairy allergic, and we’ve had better luck coaxing her into drinking the new nutramigen toddler out of a cup than the regular one. They made it sweeter, so she’s a bit more accepting of it since you can actually taste what you drink from a cup moreso than the nipple.

      • yentavegan
        July 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

        If a mother wants to exclusively breastfeed and her infant needs supplementation, rather than “topping off” with formula she might want to formula feed the ounce first and then put the baby to the breast. This allows the mothers body to respond to the extra nursing time as a cue to produce more milk. milk transfer might take only a handful of minutes, but milk production requires more breast/nipple stimulation than that.

    • expat in germany
      July 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Definitely a marketing gimmick: the upsell. If I buy the more expensive one with aupplementation on the label, I don’t have to feel as guilty. The whole product is designed to assuage breastfeeding guilt and I think it is wrong that this type of marketing should be effective or necessary, but it ain’t the formula company’s fault that it is. it is la leche league and pump & co.

      • me
        July 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

        Effective I’ll give you, but “necessary”? Read the amazon review of this given by a new dad – their doctor recommended supplementation, gave them samples of Similac Advanced and they switched because the mother thought the “for supplementation” one would be better, and apparently it “made her feel better” (his words). Even tho they cannot see how it differs from Advanced, the baby tolerated it equally well, and they are now using it for half the feedings (which, I wonder, is that even “supplementing” anymore?). Is making new labels for old products to make people “feel better” really “necessary”? Or are they making an extra buck or two per can, basically exploiting women’s guilt? Okay, you may have a point that the lactavists create a lot of the guilt, but I do hold the formula companies responsible for exploiting that, and making money off of it.

        • expat in germany
          July 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

          If it makes somebody who is unecessarily wracked with guilt feel better, then yes, I think it is necessary

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree….

            Personally, I don’t think Similac is doing this out of the kindness of their corporate hearts 😉 I think they hope moms will try their product over the competitors because (for now) they have a formula “for supplementation”. They are (imo) deliberately duplicitous about what that even means (healthier for the baby? better tolerated by bf babies? less likely to interfere with supply than regular formulas? Your guess is as good as mine!). They do know that parents are most likely to stick with the first formula they try (given the baby tolerates it), so this seems like their little way of making sure they are the brand tried *first*. Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if a mother sees this and thinks it is somehow less likely to interfere with supply than other formulas, well, obviously that’s unsubstantiated and Similac isn’t claiming that overtly, but it is kind of implied…. Just seems shady to me…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            July 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

            Personally, I don’t think Similac is doing this out of the kindness of their corporate hearts

            Of course not. So?

            Yes, they market it “for supplementation.” That doesn’t mean that other formulas are not also “for supplementation” or anything.

            And I don’t understand you claims that when other manufacturers make changes, they tell you what they are. You rarely hear about any changes that make something “new and improved,” despite hearing that marketing ploy all the time.

            I do hear claims about things being better for X, or dogfoods that “taste meatier” (seriously, I want to know who did that test?), but they don’t tell you what they did to make it that way.

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

            “I do hear claims about things being better for X, or dogfoods that “taste meatier” (seriously, I want to know who did that test?”

            Hee hee!

            I guess I don’t understand why they are marketing it as being “better” for supplementation than their regular formula. When huggies or pampers markets their premium diapers as “better” than their standard diapers, or say they have “improved” them, they very often offer an explainantion as to *why* it is “improved” (better fit, superior absorbtion, etc). Now, mostly this is puffery and you’d be hard pressed to see any real difference, but they do actually make a claim as to what is better. Obviously most of the time it’s BS anyway, but with this… IDK. If Similac was being specific as to why this formula is supposedly better for supplementing than their regular formula I would still see it as a marketing gimmick (there is no doubt that that is what it is), but at least it wouldn’t seem like they are so deliberately trying to pull a fast one…

          • expat in germany
            July 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

            My neighbor markets pet food and he has done those tests. Marketing is all hot air and self image. When you buy the cuisinart toaster, you are responding not to toast quality but to the upscale image of such a toaster owner. this formula is no different. If I buy the more expensive supplement-formula, I am special and I signal to the cashier that I still love my baby because I breastfeed. This marketing of formula is the symptom not the problem.

          • BeatlesFan
            July 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

            Also, to paraphrase the late great George Carlin- how can something be new and improved at the same time? If it’s been around long enough to be improved, it isn’t new.

      • Annie
        July 2, 2013 at 12:21 am #

        At my store it is the same price as regular similac.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      No more or less than toothpaste manufacturers that make a variety of different toothpastes under one label, or cloth diaper companies who make a variety of different styles of breast pump companies who make a variety of different models. You say “marketing” like its a bad word. There is nothing in the marketplace that is not the subject of marketing, so why anyone be horrified that baby formula is marketed?

      • me
        July 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        But there are actual differences in the products and the manufacturers spell them out and explain *why* X formulation is “better” than Y formulation for whatever reason (you can decide whether you want to try it based on that info). Similac’s website literally takes you around in circles when you try to find out more about this product. Seems pretty shady to me.

        • Ceridwen
          July 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

          Not always. Regular Excedrin and Excedrin Migraine are the same. They are marketed differently because the makers realized that people with migraines weren’t as likely to buy their product (regular Excedrin) as they wanted. By marketing it to a specific group they can increase sales to that group. Both sell for the same amount, so it’s not like they are trying to make extra money off the people buying the migraine product.

          It worked for me. When they started marketing the migraine product I realized I should give Excedrin a try. Turns out it’s the only OTC medication that does a thing for my migraines, and it’s very nice to have that option when I can’t take my prescription meds for some reason. If they didn’t change the marketing I might not have realized it would work for me. One could make the same argument for this formula.

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

            Try taking an aspirin, a tylenol, and a cup of coffee 😉

            At any rate, I think this is somewhat different in that they aren’t marketing the formula as being for a special medical condition. If you are going to supplement, you are going to use formula. (well, barring the nutters, I’m talking normal people here)

            I will abashedly admit that some other comments got me thinking that this is more of a status thing – if you buy “regular” formula, how will the cashier know that you are “only” supplementing, right?

            So it’s pretty clever on that front. I wonder how many full time ffers will buy this so they can appear to still be bfing? As tho the cashier gives a damn, lol. I guess it’s really no different than name brand vs generic or regular vs organic when it comes down to it. But similac is definitely feeding into the image issue by making this product. They may not have created the formula=guilt thing, but they are most assuredly exploiting it.

          • Ainsley Nicholson
            July 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

            Even if the cashier doesn’t care, the neighbors and co-workers who the mother runs into at the grocery store might have an opinion on what is in her cart.

          • Susan
            July 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

            Did you buy the one that’s more expensive and says migraine more than once? Why not buy the generic version?

          • Ceridwen
            July 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

            The point is that it’s NOT more expensive. It’s just an alternate form of marketing for the same exact thing. And I do buy the generic, but those are marketed the same way!

            Someone has pointed out that at Target the supplementation one costs more, but I don’t think that’s universal since on Amazon the supplementation formula costs less (at least in the powder form I looked up to compare). I don’t think the point here is to get more money from supplementing moms. Just to get more supplementing moms to buy Similac over Enfamil/Gerber/etc. Which is just standard marketing, not anything particularly slimy as some here seem to think. Almost all marketing is slimy to some degree. I don’t disagree with that. Just that this is special in some way compared to other marketing.

      • Susan
        July 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

        I don’t know. I tend to think that it’s an annoying marketing gimmick that gives people the idea that there is something special about the product. The first example, and I find this annoying too, are the different ways ibuprofen, acetaminophen and diphenhydramine are marketed….headache, migraine, sleep, allergy… as if the meds are different when the dose and ingredients are the same. Lots of things are marketed, of course, and formula is too. Formula and drug companies do have histories of some shady marketing practices so looking to see if indeed this formula is in any way different seems absolutely fair.

  34. you can't win
    July 1, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Honestly, around infant feeding, I feel that you can’t win no matter what way you go. people judge you NO MATTER WHAT. I am a physician married to a physician, and it was important to us to provide breastmilk for the first year, per AAP guidelines. And then my baby was born and had severe tongue tie and absent sucking reflexes and so has been fed pumped milk from the start. Three months later (by that time my daughter had had four frenulectomies, and seen three lactation consultants and a speech language pathologist while I’d endured six bouts of mastitis), it became clear that I needed to wean off of one breast to stop the recurrent infections and wouldn’t be able to make enough milk with just one breast. I used some donor bank milk for a short time (OMG that is expensive!) and had another woman go through extensive blood screening so that we knew her milk was safe. My daughter drinks a mix of our milk together.

    So yeah, obviously providing our kiddo with human breast milk was important to us…really important to us. But to be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed about it. I don’t tell anyone the lengths we have gone to, because unless you walked in our shoes as this whole breastfeeding debacle unfolded, you’d think we are crazy. Heck, maybe we are crazy. But my point is that people are just really judgy all around about how you feed your infant. I think we would be judged just as harshly as those who choose to, or who need to, formula feed. I think my kid will be better off to have been exclusively breast milk fed for a year. But was it worth it? Hard to say. If I’d known from the beginning that we would face the nightmares in breast feeding/pumping that we have, I probably would have supplemented with formula.

    • expat in germany
      July 1, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      If I saw you confess this on facebook, I would probably think you were a bit crazy for putting so much value on breastmilk, but I wouldn’t write it and I would totally understand how easy it is to get duped into believing that the kid will end stupid and fat without breastmilk. That “info” is all over the place and as a result, I spent tons of time and money on pumping that I regret. As physicians, I would’ve expected that you had read the research showing that there is nothing particularly magical about breastmilk unless you’ve got a preemie. I find breastfeeding convenient, but I don’t think formula is worse. I haven’t seen convincing research showing that.

      • you can't win
        July 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        eh, our take on the literature is that there isn’t great research on this. nothing randomized, of course, and potentially confounding variables not adequately controlled for. HOWEVER, what data does exist suggest that on a population basis, at least, breast milk is associated with some benefits – lower rates of asthma and allergy (which run in our families), lower rates of celiac (also runs in our families), less chance of type 1 diabetes, fewer infections, possibly 7-8ish IQ points (which is not insignificant). fewer infections may lead to less likelihood of cancer later (e.g., lymphomas show some linkage to early childhood viral infection). so nothing overwhelming, but enough that it seemed prudent to give it our all to provide it to our child. I’m a lymphoma survivor myself. If by providing breast milk I could tip the balance enough to skip that experience for my daughter (I survived but the experience was treacherous), it will have been worth it. And if she develops any of these conditions any way, I’ll be save second guessing that there was something else I could have done to possibly prevent it. Mommy guilt (even future focused) is such a real thing.

        • expat in germany
          July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

          I think you just listed a bunch of confounded things. 5 years ago, everything told me that not breastfeeding causes worse allergies and eczema, but since then, better research has shown that they aren’t linked at all. Same with IQ, diabetes, and obesity. Lymphoma is probably hard to study since it is more rare.

        • BTDT
          July 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

          Here, I’ll help with the second guessing, My breastfed son has ADHD and Celiac’s and is repeating the 1st grade. My formula fed daughter has no allergies, rarely gets sick, is a straight A student and reads 3 grade levels about her current grade. Formula vs breastfeeding is a wash in the long run, no matter how much people would like to convince themselves otherwise.

          • you can't win
            July 2, 2013 at 11:24 am #

            Right – the study results are based on a population, not an individual. so the findings may or may not apply in any specific case. but we tended to think, let’s go with what is to the best of the knowledge base at this point. even many of the findings are modest effects. That said, if we are lucky enough to have another child, I will not go to such lengths. the recurrent mastitis alone was severely debilitating, and with each infection (and its accompanying 104 degree fever), I was unable to care for my child for approximately 48 hours. i wish i hadn’t felt so guilty. i wish i could have lined up some safe donor milk from the get go so it wasn’t so frequent that I was anxiety ridden that I wouldn’t have enough milk to feed her. lots of the misinformation we were given led us down a road that made everything so much harder than it had to be.

  35. me
    July 1, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    What exactly is the difference between this formula and regular formula? Is it just a marketing gimmick, or are there actual differences in the products? I can see being upset about marketing the same product as tho it is somehow different (esp if there is a markup in price). What gives? Any insight? I just fail to see how supplementing with “special breastmilk supplementation formula” would be ANY different than supplementing with regular damn formula… other than ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’ and this is Similac’s way of getting a certain segment of the population to pay more for the same damn thing…. thoughts?

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      July 1, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      I’m kind of uncomfortable with anything other than the standard cow’s milk based formulas that have been used with millions of babies with no adverse effects. Marketing things like lactose-free formula scares me (intolerance to cow’s milk protein is not lactose intolerant; babies can’t be lactose intolerant unless they have the rare condition galactosemia). I wouldn’t use this if it’s not exactly the same as standard formula.

      • guest
        July 1, 2013 at 11:37 am #

        so you wouldn’t used the hydrolyzed formulas?

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          July 1, 2013 at 11:52 am #

          I would, if there was a confirmed medical need.

      • AmyM
        July 1, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        Babies can be lactose intolerant. It is rare, for sure, but it happens. By lactose intolerance, I mean when the body stops (or possibly never started) making lactase, the enzyme to digest lactose. When/whether this happens is genetically determined. Obviously, “in the wild”, a lactose intolerant baby wouldn’t live very long and wouldn’t pass on that trait, but now, with alternatives available, it is not a death sentence. But it is true that most people don’t become lactose intolerant until later in life…usually past the age of five anyway, and it could happen at any point even into old age.

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          July 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

          Can you point me to some evidence for babies having lactose intolerance aside from galactosemia?

          • AmyM
            July 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm #



            Congenital lactose intolerance, though incredibly rare, affects babies from birth.

          • AmyM
            July 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

            Also, the 2ndary lactase deficiency, which could be transient, (it is mentioned in those papers), resulting from something like a GI infection, or other issue, can cause infants to be lactose intolerant.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            July 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

            I think we’re saying the same thing. Primary lactase deficiency/galactosemia is extremely rare and needs to be treated by a formula recommended by a medical expert. Transient lactase deficiency is not uncommon and can be seen in infants with a GI infection or even with a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. In any case, I dont think it’s a good idea for lactose-free formula to be on store shelves and marketed for fussy babies. Babies are supposed to have lactose, which is why it’s in human milk and all babies can digest it until they wean.

          • AmyM
            July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

            Oh, different terminology then…sorry! :0 Yes, I would agree, the vast majority of the time, babies should be able to digest lactose and basic cow’s milk formulas work well.

    • me
      July 1, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      I found that it is a dollar more per 24 oz can at Target. Haven’t looked anywhere else. Seems this is a “sucker born every minute” deal…

  36. Yammy
    July 1, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Yeah ladies. And while we’re at it, why aren’t you all out there driving BMWs? You KNOW they are superior to your Toyotas and your Hyundais. Do you hate your family so much that you would embarrass them by driving them around in something inferior? What? You can’t afford it? Excuses! If you loved your family you would do anything!

    • expat in germany
      July 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      If you want to show the cashier how much you love your baby and how you aren’t one of those heartless formula moms, buy the supplementation only formula! I don’t fault the formula company for exploiting this, I fault lactivism for giving formula an image problem.

      • me
        July 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

        IDK. I do fault them for exploiting it. Just as I fault other companies for exploiting things like body image issues and aging issues. They may not have “created” the problem, but they should still be held responsible for their own actions. The nice thing about conversations like this is that hopefully someone who maybe would have fallen for the hype will see this and think twice before parting with their money. And I will admit, while it is not rational, there is a visceral reaction to seeing a company so blatantly exploit the fears of new mothers, a group that can already be under enormous pressure and can be quite vulnerable to this crap.

        • expat in germany
          July 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

          They are also vulnerable to advice about pumping. I wasted a lot of time and money on pumping.

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

            Okay… And? Since when is ‘all the other kids are doing it too, ma’ an excuse?

            From their dubious ‘feeding expert helplines’ (would you call a McDonald’s sponsored helpline for advice on how to eat a nutritious diet?) to their Rodney King-esque, ‘can’t we all just get along’ no judgement campaign (to let us all know they won’t judge us for buying their products, apparently. Halo effect anyone?) to this special ‘for supplementation’ formula (to make us feel superior to those who aren’t supplementing, but rather are fully ffing??). Sorry, they are blatantly exploiting this “mommy war”, taking full advantage to line their pockets.

            Okay, it’s the American way, I suppose. But that doesn’t make it right.

          • expat in germany
            July 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

            “feeding expert helplines” for supplementation? With the toll free phone number on the package? Hmmm, that doesn’t sound bad. Maybe that is worth the higher price. Sold!

          • me
            July 2, 2013 at 9:45 am #

            No, “feeding expert helplines” *for breastfeeding*. This is marketed to ALL new and expecting mothers, regardless of chosen feeding method. Surprised you hadn’t heard of it.

          • expat in germany
            July 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

            And I would call such a help line if I wanted to hear – whatever you do, don’t supplement! Even if the baby has been crying nonstop for days!

          • ratiomom
            July 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

            The formula-McDonald’s analogy is a particularly vile bit of hate speech. Formula is a heavily regulated preparation that meets the nutritional needs of infants according to the strictest guidelines of every major pediatric nutritional society. McDonald’s is junk food. The only similarity between the two is that they are manufactured by for-profit companies. Shaming and alienating formula feeding families will not get the lactivist movement anywhere.

    • Renee
      July 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      No, you should be driving Volvos, because they are the safest. Their ad told me so.

  37. July 1, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I might give it a go – so far my attempts to occasionally bottle feed my elective cesarean baby have failed, rather miserably (he took two tablespoonfuls from the sitter the other date night with DH). He’s now 9.5 months — eats all kinds of food but refuses formula/bottles….. Maybe I’ll try a sippy cup with formula in it and just skip bottles….

    • FormerPhysicist
      July 1, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      I went back to work after EBF when my middle was about that age. Maybe 7.5 months. Sippy cups were the way to go, bottles weren’t worth it.

    • Amy H
      July 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Been there, done that (not a CS baby, but not sure what difference that makes?) I read online and realized they don’t recommend introducing a bottle at that age anyway, bc they want them off by a year. And I couldn’t get him to drink formula at all – different flavor I supposed.

      So I offered it in a real cup – a RED one! And he immediately started guzzling 2 oz. at a time. Then switched to sippy cup shortly after. I got sick a couple of times (food poisoning once) and my milk dried up, so he was weaned at 10-11 months and actually switched to cow’s milk a couple weeks before he turned one this week. To the great “scandalization” of my hyper-breastfeeding friends. (Well, only my sil even knows.)

      • July 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        He’ll drink water from a sippy, I might try that…I’m so ready to be done with breastfeeding. Mode of birth doesn’t matter – except to point out to critics of elective cesareans that such babies do not always have difficulties with breastfeeding….

        • theadequatemother
          July 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

          my kiddo went through a phase at that age where milk was “supposed” to only come in bottles (in your case boobs) and water was “supposed” to only come in sippy cups. So when I wanted to get rid of the bottles and put milk in a sippy it would be thrown against the wall. I had to put milk in straw cups and water in sippys until bottles (in your case boobs) were a distant memory. Of course, your dude may be less particular than mine. I dunno where he gets his strong opinions from…:)

  38. Monica
    July 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Egads, a formula company advertising that their formula is the best there is for supplementation. The horror of it all. I mean it’s not like McDonalds is saying they have the best burgers or anything. Oh wait a minute, yes they are. Go figure, all companies advertise they have the superior product, including lactivists with their donated milk. Unless and until donated milk goes through a battery of tests which prove that it’s safe I would much rather use any formula whether it’s Similac or a store brand to feed my baby if that’s what he needed. Damn me and my privilege of wanting my children to live.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 1, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      Right. It’s not like Ameda is saying that it has the best breast pumps or anything.

    • me
      July 1, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      But they’re advertising it *as tho it is different* than Similac Advance. But I can’t find anywhere exactly *how* it is supposed to be different. Now I don’t care if they want to change the label of their original product to promote how wonderful it is for supplementing. But to slap a different label on the SAME product and jack up the price in an effort to target a different segment… well, while I’m sure it’s not illegal, it certainly seems unethical. I want to know what is in it that makes it different then regular similac (if it even is different). A piece of info that I can’t seem to find….

      • me
        July 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #

        Side thought – McD’s just introduced 3 “new” QP w cheese sandwiches. But there are actual different ingredients (bacon or whatnot) than the original. With this product, well, I guess I’d need to examine a can and see if there are any real differences, but I suspect it’s just plain old formula. At least I haven’t been able to find anything stating what the differences are. If it is an “improvement” on their regular formulation, why not just change the regular formulation and market it as new and improved for everyone? I just can’t imagine breastfed babies needing something in a formula that formula fed babies don’t need? Maybe it has a higher concentration of vitamin d so you don’t need to use the drop? If so, I would think they would tell you that?

        Color me stumped.

        • you can't win
          July 1, 2013 at 11:42 am #

          the vitamin D is an interesting idea…

          • me
            July 1, 2013 at 11:59 am #

            What I really want to know – IF (big “if” here) there are legitimate and significant differences between this formula and their regular formula, shouldn’t they take the time on their website to point out the differences (they don’t) and define what is meant by “supplementation” (they don’t do that either). I mean, if this *is* better for supplementing than the regular formula, could it be potentially harmful if you give it to a baby that is predominantly or exclusively formula fed (not enough of some things, too much of others)? And at what point would you switch to regular formula – supplementing more than one bottle a day? Two bottles a day? More than half their feedings? What, exactly?

            Again, this leads me to strongly suspect that they basically took a regular QP w/cheese, slapped a different wrapper on it, and called it something new….

          • Antigonos CNM
            July 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

            I thought of Vitamin D almost at once. We see a fair number of mothers who are so convinced that breast milk has EVERYTHING that they don’t bother with Vitamin D supplement. And many of these mothers are severely Vitamin D deficient themselves, as they are ultra-Orthodox and wear long-sleeved maxi dresses with high necklines, so that even in sunny Israel, they get no exposure.

          • Esther
            July 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

            My standard response to “God wouldn’t have made breastmilk imperfect” is to remind them to read their Bibles…don’t they remember that God originally designed us humans to walk around naked in the Garden of Eden? Blame our imperfect breastmilk on the snake….

  39. esteeha
    July 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    That’s crazy… I am expecting my first baby and although I want to and plan to breastfeed I expect it to be hard and maybe even impossible, so when I started seeing the emails and the ads for this product I thought, great, I was already planning to supplment!

    • nan
      July 1, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Poor esteeha, the formula companies have already gotten to you, brainwashed you! Don’t you know that each and every mother on earth is capable of providing all the breast milk their child could ever need? Trust your breasts!

      • esteeha
        July 1, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        your sarcasm is not funny

        • KumquatWriter
          July 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

          Good luck with your pregnancy! I hope it is healthy and that you are happy 🙂

        • Antigonos CNM
          July 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

          esteeha, give breastfeeding your best shot, but don’t become berserk about it. Then see if you need supplement. You may produce lots of milk; you may have a baby who isn’t ravenous all the time, and the two of you may do just fine together. Common sense and a sense of proportion are the key words. A baby who gains weight, and sleeps for 2-3 hours between meals in the beginning is A-OK.

          If you do need supplement, you really don’t need any “special” formula; Similac’s #1 is fine, or the “newborn” formula of any of the other recognized companies.

        • nan
          July 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

          My apologies.

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