I have formula ads on my blog.
Yes, I am absolutely outraged. It was pointed out by a reader who was reading my blog on a mobile device. After contacting WordPress, I found out that they use Google Adsense to generate revenue for the “free features” you get with your WordPress blog.
Obviously, I apologize for these ads. I could pay $30 dollars a year to not have them on my blog, but right now that’s not financially plausible for my family. I’m assuming that all of my talk about how breastfeeding is so much better than formula feeding tells Google Adsense to put formula ads up. I understand the mechanism behind it and think Google is very cleaver for using such a system, but it still infuriates me.
Honestly though, this all goes back to the formula companies. Formula companies should not be advertising. Whether a mom chooses to formula feed or breastfeed doesn’t even equate into this. It is simply that formula companies are being unethical by putting these ads up to begin with.
The World Health Organization expressly prohibits formula companies from advertising. Of course, this holds no ground in the form of law, but it is certainly unethical. Other countries (such as Saudi Arabia) have followed with the WHO code and actually put into law bans of breast milk substitutes advertising, but the United States is obviously not one of them.
The claims made of these formula companies are absolutely outrageous within themselves. The ad that I just saw on the mobile page of this blog is Enfamil telling me to “Solve my baby’s feeding problems” with their product. Or how many formula companies are now boasting that they have DHA and ARA and are “closer than ever to breast milk”. Of course they realize what they’re implying here. They are trying to say that their formula is just as good as breast milk when formula will never be as good as breast milk.
The fact is that we don’t even know everything that is in breast milk. The fact is that another 5 years down the road the formula companies will come up with another thing that breast milk has and formula doesn’t (remember the big deal about iron a few years ago?), they’ll synthetically produce it, slap a “New and Improved” label on their cans and try to pretend they made some huge advance in the realm of infant feeding. This will go on and on and they will still never be able to reproduce breast milk. Simple fact, even if they’ve synthetically produced Every. Single. Ingredient. in breast milk, they still can not ever compete. Breast milk is living. Breast milk has antibodies. Breast milk has all of the nutrients your baby needs and they’re in the form that is best for your baby to absorb them.
These companies continue to advertise their formula, even when it’s not ethical to begin with and even in severely unethical ways because they want to make money. No one makes money when you breastfeed (beyond if you possibly need to pump or things like that). So they try to trick moms into thinking that their formula is just as good as breast milk. That mom thinks that maybe it is just as good as breast milk (or good enough) and switches under the pretense that it will be so much easier than dealing with the sore nipples and engorgement.
Little does she know that it’s not easier. Rather than putting baby to breast in the middle of the night, she’s up in the kitchen making a bottle while baby screams. Rather than carrying around just diapers in her bag, she has to carry huge cans of formula. Rather than spending nothing beyond what she needs to nourish herself on baby’s food, she spends thousands even on the cheapest formula over the baby’s first year of life. Rather than having a happy, healthy baby, she has one with constant illness, ear aches, and other health problems that go well into that child’s adult years.
And what’s the purpose to all of this? So some companies can make money.
Formula advertisements are unethical and should be stopped.