Give me a moment on my soapbox?
Recently I’ve heard several times that finding good info on formula is so hard to get. And that that is caused by the breastfeeding’people’ because they prevent parents being educated on formula. And prevent healthcare professionals to be educated on the subject. Recently I saw an article claiming that the higher rate of obesity in formula fed babies is caused by the emphasis on breastfeeding.
Allow me to clarify a few things.A Dutch professional organisation of Kraamverzorgenden is directly and openly sposored by a formulacompany. And the same goes for the professional organisations of public healthcare nurses who work at consultatiebureaus. At the recent Kraamcafe (a conference for kraamverzorgenden) all formulacompanies were present with big stands and lots of presents and information material. This year a formulacompany installed a special Professor in Infant Feeding at a Dutch university. And a pediatrician once told me he (his institution) yearly receives tonnes of money to educate ‘his’ doctors on infant feeding. As far as parents are concerned every formulacompany has a lovely website, and most now have 24/7 phonelines to assist parents.
Formulacompanies have massive budgets for marketing. Way more than is available for the promotion of breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals receive free or low-budget education and conferences paid for by formulacompanies.
It is true that marketing of formula is restricted. But the budget is so high, and the marketeers are so clever that every loophole is used.
Why point the finger at breastfeeding?
Every healthcareprofessionals can and must be able to offer good advice on formulafeeding and can en must be trained to do so. Voedingscentrum and Stichting Opvoeden have free online information on formulafeeding online.
Let formulacompanies strive for consumer preference with each other and stop competing with breastfeeding. That would be fair for all concerned.
Okay. I’m off my box now. Calm and collected again.
And tomorrow I’ll give a class for kraamverzorgenden on among other things – oh yes – formula/bottlefeeding. Because it is needed and allowed.