As a new mom, you become the target of a whole new group of marketers. From day 1 (or even before) the large corporations that make baby formula will seek you out and attempt to convert you to their brand. This marketing outreach is done in various ways. They send samples to your door. Such plentiful samples that you feel guilty throwing them away. They send pages of coupons. They walk the hospital halls, trying to talk to new moms about supplementing with formula. They push hospitals and doctors to suggest supplementing and give KICKBACKS to pediatricians for suggesting their brand (so do the pharmaceutical companies). They fund studies that make it seem like newborns should grow along a formula-fed curve, and make exclusively breast-fed babies seem statistically too far underweight to be healthy (not true), so that the doctors are more likely to push formula.
Capitalism has gone too far. This is not ok. Breastmilk is nature's way. It is better for the baby and the mother for a multiplicity of reasons which are easily proved. Formula is there when a mother cannot physically breastfeed after a good attempt and with a lot of support from lactation consultants. Sometimes it is just impossible, and that is what formula is for (yay!). But for a corporation to manipulate and sway mothers into formula feeding with sketchy underhanded tactics, it has gone too far. This is doing a disservice to humanity and it needs to be stopped.
Yesterday, I got a survey in the mail from the National Opinion Network--Infant Division. The document was printed with my name and personal my information, QVC and bar codes to identify me, and was masquerading as an "Opinion Survey". The whole thing was all about formula. Question's like "what hospital was your baby born at?" "How many ounces of formula a day do you feed your newborn baby?" and "What brand of formula do you prefer?" This was clearly a marketing survey from a formula company, but it is pretending not to be. They are lying. Why not just be upfront? Why be manipulative? Why call this an objective opinion survey, when it clearly made by formula companies trying to get info out of mom's in a sneaky and manipulative way. I went online to the National Opinion Network website, and it was an obvious front, all smoke screens and "we are not at liberty to say"s. Instead of filling out their survey, I ripped off any identifying information and wrote a little note to them instead. See below.