Firstly let me just point you in the direction of this article that has outraged some of the american bloggers I read but made me laugh and feel all smiley and thank Giselle for her bluntness!
I have learned lots of things I didn't previously know about breastmilk and artificial forms of infant feeding during my training and I learned alot about WHO's international Code which dictates alot of guidelines for the marketing and use of 'infant formula'. It is against the Code to advertise artificial 'milk' for babies under six months, which is why we suddenly have 'follow-on' milk when for centuries cow's, goat's or sheep milk has been a good enough and suitable suppliment to our children's diets. The can advertise these 'follow-on' 'milks' and then when parents go along the aisle they will be confronted with rows and rows of other artificial 'milks', side ways advertising!
It seems that lots of companies either choose to ignore the Code or are unaware of it, I made a complaint in Asda earlier in the week as they have SMA cartons on offer at 3 for £1 and tins of powdered SMA at 2 for £7. This is against the Code and shouldn't be allowed, there were complaints made in our local Sainsbury's last year too when they offered 33% off the price of tinned powder as part of their baby week. And then it was brought to my attention that in the Argos catalogue there is a "feeding pillow", the picture in the catalogue shows a woman bottlefeeding a baby with the cushion on her lap. Against the Code! The online image just shows a woman and baby though?
It does concern me that we are bombarded by images of artificial feeding as the norm. I am doing alot of antenatal work and I love the enthusiasm I am greeted with and the comitment to babies not yet born to give them the very best nutrition. But I want to cry when I have spent time with a Mum before birth and after and only a week in she gives up and chooses a bottle, it makes me sad that she believes she is giving her baby the 'next best thing to breastmilk' because that's what the advertising tells her when really there is no such thing. A bit of an exageration but I do feel very strongly about the damage artificial 'milks' do to our children, it's like saying that CO2 is the next best thing to clean air?!