Breastfeeding Medicine

Physicians blogging about breastfeeding

Do I laugh or cry?

with 12 comments

I just sent the following email to a company called Remedy Health Media:

I was shocked today to find a magazine full of advertising sitting in the doctors’ lounge at (our community hospital) with my own name on the front (“Compliments of”).

The magazine contains, among other things, an article subtly undermining the health benefits of breastfeeding.

I don’t know where this came from, and especially how it acquired my name, but I respectfully request that it be stopped immediately.

I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry —  it is such an egregious thing to see my own name on a formula-advertising rag.

The article in question — “Choose Breast and Bottle Happily”starts out with “both choices have pros and cons”, points out that “breastfed babies may be healthier”, outlines the AAP guidelines … & then goes on to say how stressful it is to breastfeed.

Of course it’s stressful to breastfeed — it’s stressful to have a new baby — and of course “nursing a baby requires a lot of energy, time, support and other resources that aren’t always available to new mothers.”

But does that mean that I’m going to personally advertise formula as a solution?

I don’t think so… but we’ll see if I get a say in the matter.

Kimberly Lee is a neonatologist and member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.

Written by neobfmd

April 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

Posted in Breastfeeding, ethics

12 Responses

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  1. I always wonder if it’s breastfeeding that’s so hard in the first few weeks or if it’s having a newborn. Doesn’t every newborn take a lot of work? With my jaundiced (hospitalized), tongue-tied, poor latch baby, most of my attention in those first two weeks was on breastfeeding, but even so I don’t know how much easier he would have been if he were formula feeding. And by 2 months, and 4 months, and now still nursing a bit at 15 months, I know that was all much easier than formula feeding. I just worry that breastfeeding gets a bad reputation as “the thing” that makes those newborn days and weeks so hard.


    April 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    • Exactly, Theresa! Stuff like this (“breastfeeding is so hard/tiring/stressful”) in a magazine of “medical information” aimed at parents but full of ads from one company (which, surprise, sells formula) – is deliberately meant to undermine new moms’ confidence in breastfeeding. They are actually paying to put those messages out there.


      April 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

  2. Just wanted to let you know that my book, Inspired Birth: A Fresh Perspective on Childbirth for Christian Maternity Careproviders has recently been published, and you can now enter your name in a drawing for a free copy of Inspired Birth. To see the details, read this post: Thank you!


    April 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  3. I have had 5 babies. 2 induced, one premature.Breastfeeding is the LEAST stressful part of it all! I look forward to birth because I know that a newborn is SO much easier than being pregnant. Once I am breastfeeding, I can get some sleep!


    April 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

  4. ugg AWFUl


    April 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm

  5. What isn’t stressful when you are constantly sleep deprived?


    April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

  6. I am so sick of the belief that everything is all better of you just bottle feed. My son was a terrible nurser and I was stressed, my daughter latched on before her cord was cut and it was stressful. Not because of breastfeeding but because they were newborns.

    I can’t believe you were in a magazine without your knowledge- gross.


    April 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm

  7. interesting that women think breastfeeding is the stressful part of new motherhood. that is the easy part! trying to figure out why your baby is screaming with pain reacting to the formula that you have now changed three times, or why your baby has rashes everywhere, or why your baby is in the doctor’s office for the fifth time in a month with an ear infection, etc. etc. babies are work. so what. women are smart, capable, strong and we carry, birth, and nurture the life of the planet! stop whining about it and embrace it. honor that it is hard with giving us credit for what we do, but do not diminish it with a solution that makes it appear we are not capable of caring for our offspring and need to be saved by the ‘industry’ that ‘feeds’ on our insecurities…and then ‘feeds’ forever on the ‘unhealth’ created. it is one thing to say, “new motherhood is a lot of work, no one can prepare you for it really, but you are strong capable and will do great! trust your baby, trust yourself, and ask for help when you need it” and another to say “you are too weak, foolish, ignorant and incapable to be an adequate mother. it is just too hard, so here, feed this and it will all be so much better!” and sorry, but that is not just advertising and marketing, that is the medical community at large that ‘cares’ for mothers and babies…and respects neither.


    April 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

  8. […] Check over original post here: D&#959 I laugh &#959r w&#1077&#1077&#1088? « Breastfeeding Medicine […]

  9. The only reason breastfeeding is seen as so much harder is because our culture and often our medical professionals totally undermine it.


    April 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

  10. […] response to my rant about the formula company putting my name on their advertising rag last week,  a friend I […]

  11. […] to overcome  decades of cultural “belittling” of breastfeeding –  summed up by Jayne’s comment that  “(t)he only reason breastfeeding is seen as so much harder is because our culture and […]

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