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Wednesday
Oct062010

Guest Post: Inside the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference

When I saw my friend Maya (@MarfMom) tweeting about some of the things she saw at the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference, I asked her if she would be willing to share some of her observations with me in a guest post. While I am disgusted by many of the things she has to say, I am nonetheless happy to welcome her here on my blog. Please read her eye opening account.


This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the exhibition hall of the American Academy of Pediatrics conference as an exhibitor. It was my first chance to participate in something like this, and as a mother of (soon to be two) young children, I was curious about the other companies in attendance. I took some time to tour the hall, and it wasn’t what I had expected.

I had anticipated seeing booths for hospitals, rare diseases, and medical instrument companies, and there they were. But, there were also authors/publishers, companies touting herbal remedies for various childhood ailments, and lotion retailers. La Leche League and a couple of breast pump manufacturers had displays as well.

I even saw a booth about the benefits of High Fructose Corn Syrup. This made little sense to me. What health benefits are there to HFCS? I understood marketing it to food manufacturers, but not to doctors, who should know enough to recommend foods like fruits and vegetables to their patients.

The real surprise for me, however, came in the middle of the exhibit hall. There, Nestle, Enfamil, and Similac had taken over. Whereas every other company had very specific rules governing the size and set up of their displays such that each organization was more or less equal, those belonging to the formula companies were massive. They had pillars, roofs, and multiple display counters. Nestle appeared to be the main sponsor (which we now know to be true), as each physician’s name tag was on a Gerber Good Start lanyard, which was printed in a colorful formula can design.

I came across a rep for one of the companies giving a presentation to a handful of doctors. She had a nice TV set up with several rows of seats. “The good news is,” she was telling her audience, “that studies are showing breastfeeding rates are going up, which is great because we all know ‘breast is best.’ But, there’s bad news as well: kids are unhealthier than ever before; their parents are feeding them unhealthy diets. That’s why...” at this point she was opening the hard sell for her product and I left. It sure sounded to me as though she was trying to make a correlation between higher breastfeeding rates and lower nutrition rates. (This is amusing, considering the sugar content in a serving of the new chocolate toddler formula is close to that of a serving of sweetened condensed milk -- a product physicians passed up as a milk substitute because of the amount of sugar it contained.) The scariest part of this presentation was that she had an audience. Doctors were listening to a formula marketing representative talk about breastfeeding.

I understand that there is a time and place for formula (I myself gave it to my son for several months) and that pediatricians should be educated about on the facts, such as that all formulas are more or less equal, so they can inform the families in their practices. However, the kind of marketing I saw at the AAP conference, with the fancy displays, giveaways, and many sales representatives, is clearly against the WHO Code.

You may ask, “Why should we care?”. I care because I expect that my son’s pediatrician is going to have his best interest at heart. I may have an advanced health degree but I am not a doctor or a nurse, and I rely on our pediatrician’s expertise in various aspects of his care, including nutrition. Our pediatrician gets her information from these very same conferences and the AAP overall, which are now partnering with a company infamous for its questionable health record. When we allow insidious marketing by formula companies to blur the lines between science and sales tactics, we’re harming our children.

Healthy food doesn’t have sexy marketing campaigns. Breastfeeding initiatives aren’t going to have deep pockets to fund medical conferences. It shouldn’t be about the money though. It can’t be. We need to demand that our medical professionals are following the science, not the sponsorships.

The question now is, how do we go about it?

Maya is currently a stay at home mom. She has a Masters in Public Health and is particularly interested in patient advocacy issues for those with chronic illness, as well as advocacy for maternal and child health. When she is not chasing her toddler, she is raising awareness of Marfan syndrome, watching a soapy medical drama, or blogging over at Musings of a Marfan Mom.
« The high-fructose corn syrup bloggers: A symptom of a larger problem? | Main | Good Nutrition: Nestlé is part of the problem, not part of the solution »

Reader Comments (35)

The Exhibition Hall is different from the meeting. You don't have ever step foot in the exhibits. I agree with the description of the contents. The partnership with Nestle and other formula companies is long-standing and many members, including me, have increasingly spoken up to change that. This isn't new news. Importantly, the AAP is actively looking at its relationships with Industry, its conflict of interest policies and truly has seemingly heard the concerns of membership about displays like those at the NCE. And even more importantly, the breastfeeding sessions at the actual meeting were packed!

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Thomas

Jenny:

If the AAP is actively looking at its relationships with industry and its conflict of interest policies, is their a working group or a person that letters could be directed to if people want to provide input?

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I think the implication is that we aren't , as members, concerned about this. We are. Every state has a Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator (I'm the Chief) and those coordinators are vocal on the state and national level about the association with formula companies. The Section on Breastfeeding leadership is working on this as well. And other committees, sections and councils within the AAP have protested, maybe not formula associations, but other associations. There is already a movement to change and it's gaining momentum. Yes, long way to go, and big mountains to move, but we are heading in a better direction.

We are doing amazing things with breastfeeding at the AAP but I always seem to see articles that focus on the bad. The good: Dr. Palfrey, the AAP President, mentioned that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the AAP recommendation in her opening speech. We have implemented a breastfeeding residency curriculum in many, many residencies across the country. Many pediatricians got a breastfeeding as a key prevention for obesity poster for free. The executive leadership has endorsed the Ten Steps. The AAP was a contributing organization to the CDC recommendation to endorse the WHO growth curves. There's other stuff I'm sure I'm not remembering...

The effort in changing industry relations for non-AAP members, I would suggest, should be to your pediatrician. Express your concern there. Express concerns and change the world. Use the power of the consumer. And say something nice if they are supporting breastfeeding well.

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Thomas

I'm sure I'm not alone in being frustrated to learn this information. I appreciate what Jenny has to say, but it also points to a larger cultural issue that is harder to address. Industry has so saturated our society with its message that few even know there is a different viewpoint on issues like breastfeeding (and one supported by scientific research), and different options for feeding. The Industry message goes back at least two generations, and that familial misinformation influences family decisions about what and how to feed an infant. And don't get me started on how poorly we communicate this information to fathers, and the detrimental affect that poor communication has on parenting. That's a soapbox for a different day. Thanks for listening.

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

I find the conflict of interest unsettling. I understand that this is only the exhibition hall, but still, wouldn't it be better if formula companies weren't there at all?

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I certainly didn't mean to imply that physicians across the board don't care about breastfeeding. I did want to record my personal observations from the exhibition hall, and I do think that parents need to be aware of this conflict of interest. We rely on our pediatricians for information, and time and time again I hear from parents who are encouraged to switch to formula, told breastfeeding doesn't have benefits past a young age, that a specific brand of formula is better than another, that it's ok to introduce solids at 4 months, that they should consult a formula company's hotline for breastfeeding advice. While there are a lot of doctors who, like yourself, are informed about breastfeeding and encourage it, there are many who aren't and who are influenced by formula marketing whether they realize it or not. I'd have loved to see as many doctors at the La Leche League booth as there were at the formula booths.

I'm glad to hear that there are physicians like yourself working on the inside to bring about change! I'd love to hear more about the projects you've mentioned. My concern though, is about actions speaking louder than words. For instance, the AAP has now partnered with Nestle on a childhood nutrition initiative. Nestle aggressively markets food for children under the age of 6 months. While the AAP president saying exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months is the best is great, it sends a mixed message to partner with Nestle, both to physicians and to parents. I don't hear doctors disputing that breastfeeding is best or that it can prevent health issues like obesity; what companies like Nestle are doing is planting doubt about other aspects of breastfeeding, like a woman's ability to produce enough milk.

As parents, isn't there more we can do besides talk to our own pediatricians? It might change one pediatrician's mind, if multiple patients bring forth information, but I'm not sure that's going to bring about any major change. (From a health marketing perspective, grassroots campaigns with patients trying to educate their doctors aren't very successful.) Surely there is somewhere/someone that we can also write letters to addressing our concerns on a larger scale? This way we're not taking the education approach ("what you're telling me is wrong") but a concerned consumer approach ("we don't agree with your partnerships").

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarfMom

I was at the AAP Conference, too - and I was equally as appalled - not only at the formula and HFCS booths, but also the vaccine and general pharmaceutical booths. There's definitely a lack of a culture of prevention which is fundamentally opposed to the Hippocratic Oath of "First do no harm." Disappointing to say the least.

Still, the fact that they had Richard Louv as a keynote speaker (author of "The Last Child in the Woods" and advocate for getting kids outside) and also an impressionable handful of vendors in the exhibit hall promoting non-toxic products, environmental health, and the environment in general was a big leap forward for the AAP.

And, from my tiny tabling experience, I was unexpectedly overwhelmed with how many doctors were interested in safer products and protecting children from unnecessary toxic exposures. Over and over again they expressed interest because that's what parents were asking about and they didn't know how to answer. This was fantastically energizing for me in my work on this issue, but it begs the question "why aren't mothers also demanding information about how to breastfeed?"

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanelle Sorensen

I'm uncomfortable recommending any specific way to respond and don't want to curb the passion. You can certainly contact the AAP through their website. I'm just saying the leadership knows from their own membership that these relationships are increasingly problematic and that in response, steps are being taken to address this, more actively than ever. I also wanted to point out, that in the midst of all this formula association, we have been able to do great things for breastfeeding. I like celebrating baby steps.

I think most pediatricians want to do what's best for kids. We need pediatricians to understand that they (we- this includes me) have a responsibility to not only say the right words but to actively support breastfeeding. That pressure, I think, best comes from parents.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Thomas

You're a better person than I, Maya, since I would have been heckling the Nestle presenter about 3 minutes into her presentation.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarina

Thanks for the informative review, Maya - one of the things that has made me switch practices for some of my medical concerns is when I see a room full of patients waiting while a drug rep is doing a 'presentation' for a doctor during office hours... I am equally appalled by the obvious displays of conspicuous consumption that seemed to be displayed in the exhibit hall at your conference...
H.

"Healthy food doesn’t have sexy marketing campaigns."

I've often thought that making a sexy marketing campaign for breastmilk would do a LOT. Obviously we know marketing works, otherwise we wouldn't be in this predicament with rampant, unnecessary formula feeding. And we wouldn't even need marketing geniuses to do it - just carbon copy the formula campaigns for breastmilk. With the obvious exception that we can't really give out samples.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I haven't been to a conference organized by our local pediatrics society (Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc.) but I have to say that formula milk manufacturers have their work pretty much cut out here. In almost all pediatricians clinics I've been to in the Philippines, all of the baby books are prepared by formula milk companies and given out for free!! I can only count with my 1 hand - the pediatricians offices which provided unbranded baby books. But at these offices, you can't get them for free as someone has to pay for the printing. The formula baby books are chock-ful of info about the milk products and the vaccines of the related pharma companies.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

While I wish there was a "sexy marketing campaign for breastmilk", I know this will never happen. Too many people already sexualize breastfeeding (i.e. why women shouldn't NIP) and any attempts to make breastfeeding sexy in marketing would certainly backfire.

I'm not disagreeing with you... I just find that people are so immune to the pushiness of the formula companies but yet feel breastfeeding supporters are too pushy.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRae

This is in response to Janelle's question of “why aren’t mothers also demanding information about how to breastfeed?”

I believe nursing mother's are finding different paths when it comes to finding information about breastfeeding because of the lack of knowledge their Pediatricians have about it. My Pediatrician is a father to 7 children who's wife breast fed everyone of them. At my son's one week check-up, I asked my doctor about how to increase my milk supply and he referred me to the La Leche League. I'm thankful he was smart enough to refer me to a wonderful resource instead of questioning my "low supply" and suggesting to supplement with Formula but I was confused as to why my Pediatrician couldn't answer such a simple "supply and demand" question about breastfeeding.

I know so many women who told me they where unable to breastfeed. One friend was told that her babies where allergic to her milk. Another was told to supplement because she didn't make enough milk hours after her baby was born and another friend who was told that formula was healthier for her 33 week preemie... they where all told this by their Pediatricians. We have enough "Booby Traps" when it comes to breast feeding. You would think the one person we turn to for answers would be educated in infant Nutrition! Thankfully we have resources like The La Le Leche League, KellyMom.com and Best for Babes Foundation!

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Holland

Rae, to clarify I didn't mean sexy as in sexually charged, I meant sexy as in savvy marketing. Glossy print materials; catchy trade show booths; TV, magazine and internet ads; ubiquitous trinkets all bearing the international breastfeeding symbol. The kind of stuff that grabs people and makes them say "Hey, what was that breastmilk stuff I've been hearing about?" The kind of stuff that exists for formula, but for breastmilk.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I think articles focus on the bad because we're looking most at the things that annoy us and we want changed. Things are changing for the better for breastfeeding, and it's important to know that, but problems catch more interest.

I definitely agree with you! I just think bf'ing gets painted with a damned if you do, damned if you don't... If you put out info on why breast is best, you are told you are making people feel bad. If you correct misinformation spread by formula companies, you are making people feel bad. If you say formula is inferior, you are making people feel bad.

I just can't see how a marketing campaign could ever work, esp when the AAP seems to be buying all the hype from the formula companies!

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRae

That's true, on both aspects. I really like the Best for Babes blog buttons and it would be neat to try some of those on a larger scale.

When I referenced healthy foods, I was more thinking of fruits and veggies. The dairy and meat industries have a lot of money to throw towards designing big, flashy campaigns (think "Got Milk?" or "Beef, it's what's for dinner."); some of the healthier foods don't have that kind of cash. Likewise with breastfeeding; smaller organizations can do their own campaigns and they can certainly be catchy, but at least now, there just isn't the money to do massive, glitzy advertising like the formula companies can do.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarfMom

I am with Maya on the majority of this post, except here:

"I rely on our pediatrician’s expertise in various aspects of his care, including nutrition".

I have several friends/family members who are doctors, and NONE, received ANY training in nutrition. Putting your "pediatrician's expertise" in charge of your family nutritional planning is a fallacy at best. After all, they advise kids to be on "whole milk" at age one, often times not testing for allergies/intolerance to dairy before hand.

A nutritionist is FAR more trained and qualified to help with meal planning, special diets, and vitamin/mineral concerns.

The issue being, most insurances do not cover sessions with a dietician or nutritionist, unless you are diabetic. (such is the case with my lovely BCBS-PPO here in Chicago). We pay out of pocket for our nutritionist.

In fact, the whole reason I started my blog was to face this very issue. We are loaded with food issues here, and my University of Chicago-trained pediatrician couldn't tell me boo about the GFCF diet.

In fact, I'd take this a step further, the only concern the majority of pediatric practices I've been to here in Chicago, are concerned about one thing and one thing only, the damn vaccines. Their bread and butter. Half of our appointments were spent (we are now delaying vax) with shots!

So, tread carefully, when talking to pediatricians about nutrition. Or, maybe your pediatrician also had a clinical focus in nutrition, but I highly doubt it. Then you are in luck. Not every ped is Dr. Sears.

Just ask them. In the meantime, hit the books on your own.

Know what a serving size for your child is. How the body processes calcium WITH mag/vitamin D. That the D2 in milk products is not a good form for our bodies. The common signs of vit/min malabsorption and how to rectify it. The importance of probiotics.

After all, you are the ones feeding your children, not the pediatrician who spends mere minutes with your child each year.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomnivore's Dilemma

Thank you Maya for sharing your thoughts and observations. I agree with Jessica -- as I was reading your post, the only thing I could think of was imagining a handful of these Pediatricians returning to their practices with erroneous information. We all know about the "booby traps" and that many Pediatricians are not trained in human lactation. But they should be, especially if the child in their supervision is bfed. It's not good enough to make a slight adjustment to the growth charts. Any number of comments, misinformation and especially medical advice can throw a woman off.

When my daughter refused to latch the hospital encouraged us to give her Enfamil (via lactation aid). They scared us into thinking we'd need a week's supply worth until my milk came in. When we asked what brand was the best, the doctor looked at the formula bottle and said, "oh it doesn't matter. The manufacturers just give these to us for free. Any brand will do."

So yes, I believe that marketing to the medical community can have a lasting impact. I should have been referred immediately to a lactation consultant, instead of figuring it out for myself 3 weeks later.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWoodturtle

I only just heard about this for the first time recently (that doctors don't get training in nutrition) and I was SHOCKED. Doctors are supposed to be our general health experts, the people to turn to when you have questions about anything regarding your health. Obviously, that should include nutrition (doesn't that seem like a HUGE part of our health & well-being??). Also, many doctor's offices will have posters of food pyramids, give parents advice on feeding their babies, etc...

It's just so shocking to me to then find out that they really have no clue what they're talking about (or no more than anyone w/o a MD behind their name).

And so, honestly, I'm kind of furious because I feel like we're all duped into trusting a resource that's in no way, shape, or form an expert on the subject.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

This is why I do not take my kid to a pediatrician. I dont know how many pediatricians have sabotaged mothers' and babies breastfeeding relationship by suggesting that there is nothing wrong with a little supplementation, or that night weaning a young child is ok and wont affect milk supply....or a million other things that are simply bad advice.

As for the author, most pediatricians know very little about nutrition. I would caution anyone to reply on a pediatrician for nutrition advice.

These associations approve the exhibitors at their functions. The fact that they accepted an organization promoting the use of high fructose corn syrup speaks volumns to me, as it should for every concerned parent.

As for us, we rely on our family doctor and our chiropractor for good health. The AAP is way too wrapped up in corporations like Nestle for me to trust anything that comes out of their mouths.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

@marcy and rachel-

glad to see that I am not the only one questioning this. after I learned that my pediatrician knew next to nothing about nutrition... (she didn't even know the function of magnesium in our bodies!), I started peppering all of the doctors I know about how many classes in nutrition they take in med school.

None. I was stunned as well.

This includes a cardiologist (my cousin's wife), who treats patients that are on low sodium diets.

I remember when my dad was dying how little he knew from his doctors about his "special" diet to help his failing kidneys.

Docs take the Hippocratic oath, but apparently look away from Hippocrates' other quote, "Let food be thy medicine"...b/c it's not like carrots and celery have lobbyists or sex kitten reps giving out free trips and fancy dinners...

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomnivore's Dilemma

As a maternal-child nurse...I love to see the exhibits at the meetings and discern for myself exactly what is hype and what is accurate. I would hope that the pediatricians would be doing the same. There is a saying that one "should keep your friends close and your enemies closer" and in this case if I do not agree with the sales rep. product hype that is not all important what is important is giving healthful and intelligent support to parents about the care and health of their infants.
Please try to encourage a conversation between parents and their pediatrician as it is these men and women who will help them if their child ever gets sick and needs the medical expertise of a professional whose job it is to diagnose and treat children. Children are unique in their needs and sometimes family physicians and other specialists rely on pediatric specialists to consult on cases involving children due to the specific needs that a child presents...thank you for the thoughtful discussions.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLorette Lavine

our family dr. years many colleen and since she also trays the entire family she knows much more about my childrens environment, diet, parenting, etc etc....and spends as much time with us as we ned...not just the 5 minutes that most pediatricians spend because they are so overbooked. Pediatric specialists are different than pediatricians though. Considering there are very few pediatricians in our area that aren't pimping vaccinations, I encourage everyone to visit a family dr.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

You bring up a very good point. The more I've done my own research, the less I've been relying on my pediatrician for some of these things. However, I also made it a point to screen potential pediatricians ahead of time, so that I found one who knew about breastfeeding, lactation consultants, vaccines, and at least basic nutritional information. Most of our well-visits are spent talking about my son's development.

But, most parents don't question their pediatrician, or their doctors period. For a long time the culture in the US has been to not question the authority of medical professionals. That's slowly starting to change, but it's going to take awhile. That's why I think conversations like the one we're all having here are so important, because I see them as a call to patients to start taking accountability for their own health and the health of their kids.

I'd love to hear any recommendations you have on books about childhood nutrition!

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarfMom

Jenny, I was just coming on to post something similar to what you said, but I'm really glad to see that someone with the right credentials beat me to it. :)

As I mentioned in Annie's HCFS post, I've had the privilege of speaking with some of the past presidents of the AAP lately and the support for breastfeeding is overwhelmingly apparent. I'd also argue that it's entirely possible the doctors listening to the presentation of the formula company were doing so because they thought it was amusing or fascinating on an ironic level. I'd be interested in hearing what the formula reps had to say about breastfeeding, just so I could make fun of it - in a doctor's case, maybe they wanted to understand where the formula companies were coming from in order to protect their patients from unethical marketing practices...?? (I know, I know. I'm being a Pollyanna, but I do think we can't know the truth unless we interview all of those in attendance). Also, in all fairness, if we don't know how that rep completed her sentence about kids being unhealthy, we don't know if she was implying that BF rates are linked to poor health outcomes. The first half of her sentence IS true, however - as BF rates have gone up, so have the rates of obesity, autism, ADHD and food allergies. Now, no one in their right mind would imply that the two are causally linked - and especially not at an AAP event, where many pediatricians (incl the board of the AAP) are 100% convinced that studies prove that BF reduces these negative outcomes. But that doesn't negate the fact that her words were true, and I think it's more likely she continued on about some follow up formula product, and how it will help kids with poor weaning diets. I'm anti-"follow up" formula in general, but in the end, these products are designed for people who are either already formula feeders or have already done the requisite one-year-of-EBF-as-mandated-by-the-AAP, so I don't see them as contrary to the AAP's breastfeeding stance or initiatives.

I am in no way endorsing corporate alliances with health organizations, but I can't jump on board with "being disgusted" by the AAP for allowing this type of funding to happen. The organization needs money and unfortunately, LLL doesn't make the big bucks. And honestly, if they were partnering with LLL in a financial manner, I'd find that equally alarming. Bias goes both ways.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFearless Formula Feeder

I suggest reading Ben Goldacre's book, "Bad Science", for the reasons why doctors aren't given training in nutrition. It's rather eye opening.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFearless Formula Feeder

Great post. Sunday Surfing it.
The connection between pediatrics and formula companies is all too evident in all countries I have lived in so far (Cameroun, Belgium and Ivory Coast). But this connection between the medical and the market exist in all medical departments. In fact, every day, the medical world is becoming more and more market driven, bringing in managers instead of doctors to rule the hospitals... It is a very frustrating topic, because these conversions and its results go very far and penetrate all aspects of the medical and pharmaceutical world. There is simply hardly any regulation, but the illusion that there is is created and the public puts their trust and their lives in the hands of corruption

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermamapoekie

seriously, i am not trying to engage in a personal debate with you, but there have been way too many instances (from personal experiences and experiences of good, close friends of mine) of pediatricians sabatoging breastfeeding relationships in more ways thn i can count. From my own personal experience with my first 2 children, one pediatricians told me at my sons 6 month appointment (he was around 20 lbs. i think...almost 9 at birth and eating every hour...as a new, and young mom, i was exhausted, in college and struggling with sleep deprivation) the pediatrician told me that he wasnt getting enough from my breastmilk, so i should stop and put him on formula. Being pretty ignorant, i took his advice. :( Fast foward almost 9 years later and another pediatrician told me i couldnt breastfeed at all b/c of some medication i was on (that i was on while pregnant). I later learned that was not true, at all. That pediatrician deprived my 2nd son of any breastfeeding. He was truly misinformed and viewed formula as "just as good". Seriously, doctors dont sit around listening to formul companies in order to "protect their patients". Thats a far fetched version of what is happening here. The fact that the formula copmanies are providing all these pens and pads to the doctors offices, as well as growth charts, "seminars" (yeh right), etc. etc. shows anyone with their eyes wide open what is going on. The increase in breastfeeding has not happened b/c of the AAP....its b/c of many efforts of other organizations that have a very limited resources....other than moms and others who want to see the truth disseminated, not the misinformation that the formula companies distribute. Seriously, who thinks it is a good idea for a formula company to provide breastfeeding advice? I would love to test that service out, just to prove that they are NOT providing accurate information.
As far as the "requisite one year EBF", that is not the case. The AAP suggests EBF for 6 months....and many pediatricians don't even follow that and recommend giving babies cereal (which lacks any nutritional value and should be taken off the market) at 4 months. The AAP does recommend to breastfeed for one year, but not exclusive breastfeeding. It would be nice if the AAP would get in step with WHO recommendations to breastfeed at least 2 years, but they aren't going to do that, /c it bites the hand that feeds them apparently.
When the formula companies stop violating the WHO Code ((World Health Organization, for those who may not know) against advertising milk substitutes, then I may be able to listen to anything they say without thinking how its going to line their pockets. Nestle hires "health care workers" in third world countries and gets them to convince mothers to stop breastfeeding. This results in the deaths of an unknown number of children every year. Anyone who wants to learn the truth about Nestle's marketing campaign in third world countries should visit http://www.babymilkaction.org/pages/boycott.html.

From Unicef: "As UNICEF has said:"Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute."

Do you really think the AAP needs money? Pediatricans make a lot of money. Why do they need money frmo formula companies? I think the truth is that the AAP sees formula as my first and second pediatrician did ....its just fine for babies. Evidence shows this is not the case, and that formula has been linked to obesity and many other health risks for children, as well as an increase in risk of breast cancer for moms.

The fact that you would find an endorsement by LLL disturbing, to a health organization, is baffling to me. Breastfeeding is one of the major contributions we as moms can do for our children's health....a health organization should be looked upon as supporting health, not in getting free pads and pencils.

I am thankful to have a doctor for our family that refuses to use the freebies. She has actually stated that she will not allow drug reps into her office. She is in the minority though. Before she opened her own practice, her prior practice allowed drug reps during the day, during patient hours....she put an end to that. I suspect they will begin allowing drug reps during the day again soon.

I am so thankful for organizations like LLL and similar entities that have assisted me in being able to nurse, and tandem nurse, my two youngest. Its not always the easiest road to take, but its definitely the healthiest, by a long shot.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

@ Rachel- AMEN!, AMEN!, AMEN!

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Holland

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