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Monday
Sep062010

Breastfeeding guides that make sense, not cent$

I've told you about how bad Nestle's breastfeeding advice is. I've looked into the conflict of interest in Babble offering a breastfeeding guide that is sponsored by Similac's feeding hotline and WebMD offering a breastfeeding guide that is sponsored by Nestle's Gerber Good Start.  If this is bad, what is good? Is it possible for a company or publisher to offer breastfeeding support and resources without having unethical sponsorship from an infant formula company? Why yes, it is.


Evenflo, the only bottle company that I am aware of that complies with the WHO Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, has a Breastfeeding Support and Information page on its website. It also sends a hard copy of these resources out with some of its products (I received one in the packaging for a breast pump that I reviewed). Rather than linking to formula companies or talking about how you will need to introduce a bottle at some point (some parents do, but not all need to), they refer their customers to trusted third parties.

In addition to that, long before these "bad" breastfeeding guides came out, I agreed to help Heather and Whitney from Rookie Moms to compile a list of breastfeeding resources for rookie moms. Today they published their breastfeeding resources for rookies, along with my recommendations. I would encourage you to check it out.

Companies and publishers that truly want to help mothers breastfeed should seek out the best sources on breastfeeding and refer their readers to them. They should not simply seek out the ones that are willing to pay the most to have their flashy ads splattered all over the page. Don't you think?

Image credit: Daquella manera on flickr
« Social Media School Snack! | Main | More strange bedfellows: WebMD Breastfeeding Guide Sponsored by Gerber (Nestle) »

Reader Comments (11)

I *totally* agree! I feel like I bang my head against the wall some days when there is selfishness rather than integrity behind the actions of companies who have money to throw around and look flashy but have no substance to back it up.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I may be overly emotional due to hormones from pregnancy, but honestly... this whole thing has made me cry. Multiple times. I find it so terrible and so hard to believe that the bottom line $$$ matters more to people than the health of babies, the ability of mothers, doing the RIGHT thing.

I imagine a new mom struggling with nursing her child, and looking for help and support that she desperately needs, only to be sabotaged. Only to feel like a failure. Only to never know really why things didn't work out. And it makes me cry.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandy @ Tempestbeauty.com

I linked to the fitpregnancy breastfeeding guide on my Facebook page as a good example of a breastfeeding guide, complete with ads from Medela. Pretty refreshing after the news of the last few days.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristy @ pureMotherhood

Christy:

There is some controversy around the fitpregnancy guide, because of the Medela ads, since Medela also violates the WHO Code (by promoting its bottles separately from its pumps). While I don't like that, it certainly isn't on the same scale as what Babble/Similac and WebMD/Nestle are doing.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I recently added a page to my blog with a list of breastfeeding resources, and links I've found to be very interesting/useful regarding breastfeeding (not surprisingly, I have a number of your posts on there, lol). I added the Rookie Moms guide today. I'm hoping it's useful to someone, at some point...

http://www.mightymarce.com/p/breastfeeding-links.html

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

Did you see the LiveStrong page promoting the Gerber diet? I am still so appalled that I'm plumb out of words.

And let me tell you: that doesn't happen very often.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ BecomingSarah.com

I don't know. I'm not pregnant and I still get quite upset about this sort of thing as well. If I had a penny for every time I've looked at my husband and asked WHY, why does this happen, don't these people have children too?, don't they have nieces and nephews?, don't they have cousins?, how can they do this fully aware that somebody's baby will die as a result of it?, etc - well, I'd be a billionaire.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah @ BecomingSarah.com

Amen, Annie. Amen.

The truth is that the best breastfeeding resources frequently can't pay anything at all. They are not-for-profit organizations dedicated to helping mothers, not companies trying to sell an expensive product. Because when mothers are breastfeeding well, there is almost no need for expensive products. Which is fabulous, but it means that it's hard for breastfeeding organizations to cough up ad revenue.

But when we're talking about actually helping mothers and babies? We need to put people before profits, and evaluate our sources and advertisers carefully.

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

This is one of the recent posts on a blog that I write regularly on.
http://bloomingtonbirth.org/blog/2010/08/06/finding-good-breastfeeding-information-on-the-web/
There's so much information out there, we need to be discerning about what we read. I was fortunate enough to have a community of support when I was breastfeeding and love to see posts that help get real breastfeeding advice out there.

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

Thank you Annie for sharing your time, ideas, and energy on this very important topic. I relied rather heavily on my local support groups, friends, books, and websites when I struggled with nursing. I feel lucky, in hindsight, that my guides were trustworthy.

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRookieMom Heather

Excellent Annie!
I will be sending this info on to moms and my coworkers. I still have challenges trying to get other healthcare peers and doctors to understand how flawed the info is in those "bad" refences you mentioned. Good to know about evenflo even though their primary goal is for sales of their product...

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStorkStories

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