I swore I’d never write about the BF word again after all the little trolls I attracted when Ollie was a baby but something keeps popping up on social media and its driving me nuts! The amount of women that get offended because breastfeeding isn’t promoted, but formula feeding is…
Are we really that sensitive that we can’t see the very simple reason why formula feeding will always be promoted over breastfeeding? Anyone figured out the answer…
THERE IS NOTHING TO SELL!
Holy christ almighty why is everybody so offended by the fact that there are several formula adverts on TV but no breastfeeding adverts? There is nothing to cash in on! If we started cashing in on breastfeeding everyone would moan that we’re ‘de-naturalising it’ or something!
Ollie was formula fed and Ted is breastfed so don’t anybody start saying I don’t know what its like either side because I do. My midwife has been very supportive with Ted and helped me overcome a couple of minor problems but equally she was very supportive when I switched to formula with Ollie because I was too ill and in hospital. It is absolutely nothing to do with supporting breastfeeding or promoting breast is best. Everybody knows that breastfeeding is better for mother and baby and the reasons for choosing formula vary from simply not wanting to breastfeed or dramatic events leading to not being physically able to breastfeed. It’s never, “I didn’t breastfeed because I watched an Aptimal advert during Corrie.”
Formula feeding is big money so if you are Cow &Gate or SMA, you wouldn’t succeed in business if you didn’t promote your product, at the end of the day… its a business! It is all about making money so when they’ve paid Asda to place their product in an optimal position, its sod all to do with making you feel awkward about getting your boobs out and try and push you to formula, it is about trying to get mothers that formula feed to choose product A over product B! At approximately £10 per tub, there is a lot to be made. Not to mention bottles, sterilisers, bibs, perfect prep and whatever else can be sold to a formula feeding mother.
Yes ok, I hear what you’re moaning, “Nobody tries to sell milk storage bags or pumps to me!” Isn’t that business too? Yes it is but for one thing, the big money products such as pumps and nursing bras are one off purchases, we don’t need new bras every week, we don’t need a pump every week. It is just one off and if you’ve got more than one baby it is once in a lifetime purchase really! So there is a smaller market and less people to sell to.
And probably more importantly, in theory, we don’t need gadgets and accessories to breastfeed. The breastfeeding activists first argument will be “its natural” yes it is. Pumps and pads aren’t natural. If you were in a third world country you’d feed without the luxury of breast pads, milk storage, pumping and dumping. So actually we don’t need any of these things to successfully breastfeed. I admit they are very useful but we don’t need them. If you formula feed you need bottles and a steriliser.
Moaning that there are no breastfeeding bags on promotion in Asda is the equivalent to moaning that there is only one shelf of gluten free bread but two aisles of normal bread, it’s quite simply supply and demand. If more people were buying gluten free bread they would supply more. It is a smaller market it is nothing to do with offending people that are gluten intolerant. Nor is it promoting scoffing loads of bread, its a business decision! If you are storing milk then you can buy bags probably once a month but if you exclusively breastfeed then you don’t need them so why would a company waste money promoting something that moms might buy once a month for a fiver over something that moms will buy once a week for a tenner, its basic maths!
I just cannot understand how the business of selling formula is twisted into a conspiracy that we’re all against breastfeeding and need to #NORMALISE
Think about it, we don’t actually promote normal things. Nobody promotes going for a piss, there is no NHS advert saying make sure you pee on a regular basis because we all know that’s normal however, there are adverts for Tena Lady because pissing your pants isn’t normal so there is something to sell. Formula isn’t normal, I’m not dismissing it – as I said Ollie was formula fed but I admit, it isn’t normal or natural to boil a kettle at 3am and wait for it to cool down, it is much more natural to just lean over and latch him on then go back to sleep.
If advertising formula makes it more appealing and relives the guilt for mothers that rely on it then that is a good thing in my opinion. There is one advert that shows a breastfeeding mother and then says this milk is good follow on, so really that’s advertising both. It’s saying its completely normal to breastfeed but if you feel the need to switch or have no choice, don’t worry, our stuff is just as good! Seriously, how is that a bad thing?
By campaigning to #normalise breastfeeding I think we’re just creating a drama and the best way to normalise it is to, well… be normal. Just get on with it and stop getting offended by business decisions and choices of others. It is normal to feed your baby, nobody cares other than breastfeeding campaigners.
Advertising formula is in no way dismissing breastfeeding. It is formula businesses fighting for custom amongst competitors. There is no competition in breastfeeding, I’m the only supplier!