Motherhood Maternity Boycott Update

I don’t know about any of you, but I received an email back from the Destination Maternity Marketing Partnerships department. Here’s what it said:

Good morning,

On behalf of Destination Maternity Corporation we deeply apologize for your disappointment with our Perks Program and we appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback.

After signing up for the Perks Program at the time of check out, you are to receive special offers and coupons via email, as well as through the mail, from our preferred partners such as Huggies, Enfamil and many more. These items could be anything from special offers and coupons to informational brochures, relating to this exciting time in your life.

We have several safeguards in place to ensure that our team members properly explain the program to all clients, and that our clients fully understand the program before accepting.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused to you as a valued customer, and would be more than happy to have your email and physical address removed from all mailing lists. However, in order to do so, we will need your full name and address as provided at the point of sale. Please send us this information at your earliest convenience.

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any further assistance in this matter.

Best regards,
DMC Marketing Partnerships

And here is my response:

DMC Marketing Partnerships,

 

Thank you for offering to take me off of the list, but I have already called and asked to be taken off.
My problem is not with the Perks Program, but rather Destination Maternity’s choice in partners. Personally, I fully understood that I would be receiving coupons and magazines in the mail—which I was happy about. The problem is when something like formula goes from simply sending me coupons that I can choose whether or not to use to actually sending formula. I understand that you are not responsible for what they choose to send me after being put on their list, but you are responsible for choosing to partner with someone who will send formula samples out to fragile new moms in hopes that they will give up on breastfeeding and “get hooked” on their brand of formula.
I would love to continue shopping at Destination Maternity stores. I would actually love to be on your mailing list because I did get many things that were nice to have. The problem is that I can not support a company that chooses to partner with another company that has obvious malicious intent. Destination Maternity could even do something as simple as an option to opt in to receive information on formula for mothers who think they may want to use it. Even an option to opt out of receiving formula information would be better than nothing.
Thank you for your time
I don’t think they really understood the point we are trying to make at all. This is more than simply wanting to be taken off of their mailing list. This is looking out for the interests of all new and future moms with intent to breastfeed. Formula companies are taking away the decision that a mother makes of whether or not to breastfeed by forcing the formula into the homes of these moms. It is absolutely wrong. They are stealing the possibility of a healthier life for that baby because they want money.
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8 thoughts on “Motherhood Maternity Boycott Update

  1. I got the same email from them. They totally don’t get it or just don’t care.
    And, personally, their “safeguards” did not work, because I’ve shopped there with 3 pregnancies and have never had it explained to me what would be happening with my info. Never. To me, it was obvious, but to others it might not be. The only thing they explained was opt-in for a free magazine because they’re required to say that you get charged after your free issue.
    Failure, Destination Maternity. Will continue my boycott, dummies.

  2. How are formula companies malicious? What are mothers supposed to do when breastfeeding simply isn’t an option? Are they just not supposed to advertise? I’m sure if somebody could bottle breastmilk and sell it, they would. They’d send you samples, buy advertising space in magazines, and send coupons as frequently as they could. This is the nature of business. Please don’t victimize women who “fall prey” to the horrible formula companies. The fact is that most woman can’t handle the pain of the first few days of breastfeeding nor do they want to sacrifice the time or trouble.

    Are you going to boycott epidural companies as well, since, you know, women with epidurals are twice as likely to give up on breastfeeding. How about boycotting the companies behind all the formula to begin with? Are you going to tell me you do not own one thing that is Gerber? How about Ibuprofen? Abbot laboratories is the one who manufacturers the majority of it in the world and yet they also make Similac. Get real.

    • I have no problem with the formula companies sending advertisements and coupons and I have no problem with a mother who chooses to formula feed being sent formula. I draw the line with actual can of formula being sent to a mom who is trying to breastfeed.

      I will “victimize” the mothers who “fall prey” to formula companies’ tactics. That’s exactly what it is, falling prey. Mothers every day are made to feel like a failure because they couldn’t breastfeed as long as they wanted to when it is entirely not their fault. You saying “most women can’t handle the pain of the first few days” is a perfect example. Firstly, I must mention that it is not a “majority” that can not handle the pain. Of the mothers who breastfeed to begin with (75% according to the CDC’s 2010 breastfeeding report card), more than half (43% of mothers, which is 57% of 75%) are still breastfeeding at 6 months.

      Secondly, it is our culture’s fault that the mother in pain those first few days didn’t get help. It shouldn’t be so painful that a mother feels the need to stop breastfeeding! Pain that bad is a sign that something is wrong! Yeah, it feels raw and sore and very, very uncomfortable, but not curl-your-toes pain. Our culture sees breastfeeding as something private at best and gross at worst, so those mothers don’t get help. They just use the formula sitting in their cupboard that the formula company sent them rather than calling someone. That is the problem. The formula company is playing on that mother’s venerability so they can make money because they are a business and that is what a business does.

      I have no problem with formula companies existing. I will not boycott all thinks affiliated with formula companies because that is not the point. I don’t even care if they send formula samples to mothers who specifically ask for them. The point is that they are sending their samples to anyone who shops at a maternity store and that is wrong. Whether or not a mother breastfeeds is not their choice to make. They should be competing with each other to get business from moms who want to formula feed, not preying on the mothers who are trying to give their child the biologically normal, best food for them.

    • Formula companies are malicious in that they use advertising tactics that directly and ruthlessly target breastfeeding mothers in an effort to undermine their lactation success. You can find more information about that at http://www.bestforbabes.org/ and http://www.phdinparenting.com/tag/lactivism/ there are a great many good resources for this type of information, but those two are the best places to start.

      There ARE options for parents who choose not to breastfeed besides formula. The World Health Organization lists the best options for infant feeding in the following order:

      1) Breast milk from mother’s breast
      2) Expressed breast milk from mother
      3) Donated breast milk from a human milk bank (Yes milk banks, as in people who bottle and sell breast milk)
      4) Formula

      They also have an international code of conduct for the marketing of breast milk substitutes which includes limitations on advertising infant formula, and giving away samples of infant formula.

      The fact that formula companies routinely ignore these mandates is appalling. So no, I DON’T own anything Gerber (Nestle) or to the best of my knowledge Abbot Laboratories (though I have not researched that company as thoroughly as Nestle)

      So no, it’s not about victimising women who choose not to breastfeed, I fully support all women in making those decisions for themselves…. Which means WITHOUT the malicious actions of formula companies undermining those decisions.

  3. I fully agree that there should be an opt in/out option. I am still irate every time I get formula samples in the mail (now they are sending me the toddler kind.) I also hate that their literature always refers to “when you wean…” and gives you a handy chart of how to transition your baby from breastmilk to formula. As a new mom, it took me a while to figure out that it was simply a marketing tactic.

    To the comment above, the percentage of mothers for whom breastfeeding “simply isn’t an option” is actually very, very low. If you have breasts, chances are that they will work in all but extreme cases. The will to put up with some pain and inconvenience is another story. Breastfeeding does get difficult, and that is precisely why these companies want to get this overpriced garbage into your home, so you will use it in a moment of weakness. Women need more support in those moments, not substitutes for the perfect food for their baby. (Oh, and I make every effort possible to make sure I don’t spend a dime on Gerber products.)

    And, if some pain and inconvenience or the sacrifice of time and trouble is too much, I would recommend those mothers reconsider having children in the first place.

  4. Thank you so much for heading this boycott. When i become pregnent 3 years ago, i started reciving formula offers in the mail with my child’s due date and other personal information. I wrote them a nasty letter and never heard from them again. It was not until my second pregnancy when I started getting them again that I put two and two together. Along with buying maternity clothing from motherhood I have been buying my nursing bras from them for the last 3 years. I was so outraged when a called the company, and of course felt so powerless after hanging up. I feel so betrayed by them! I’ll do my best to spear the word and thanks again! Looking forward to hearing your updates on the matter, Jawea

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