Unsupportive Support- For a profit

In recent years offering breastfeeding support has gained popularity.  Which is a good thing, strange though it is to say.  In fact, it’s uncouth to not be supportive of breastfeeding in light of the magnitude of research showing breastfeeding to be so beneficial to babies and mothers.  So magazines, websites, even businesses now offer frequent support with articles on breastfeeding, pages devoted to trouble shooting potential breastfeeding problems, staff experts responding to breastfeeding questions, and even live support available online or to call in to speak to someone.  In theory it sounds great and in some ways it is.  But even in offering support there are opportunities for unsupportive support.  And this time it’s a little more unsettling because it comes with resounding financial gains to those offering the support raising the question, is it even support at all?  This time in the series on unsupportive support we’re taking a look at the murky waters of advertising support, marketing, and profits.  (We’ve already looked at how breastfeeding advocates can offer unsupportive support here.)

 

How not to support and how to avoid being unintentionally unsupportive- part 7.

Unsupportive support is…

Breastfeeding help hotlines or websites breastfeeding pages sponsored by formula companies.

This one is controversial and I kind of understand why.  But the way I see it this is one of societies most insidious forms of unsupportive support.  It looks like support.  It sounds like support.  It is even advertised as support.  Except it’s run by a company that profits when breastfeeding moms quit breastfeeding.  Maybe I’m cynical but when a company’s profits can be directly tied to how well moms that intended to breastfeed fare in reaching their goal, it just seems a little hard to believe that there are altruistic motives in supporting those moms.  When a website that is supposed to be addressing questions about breastfeeding is plastered with a formula company’s brand with images of smiling, peaceful babies presumably fed with their product all the while supporting content that uses carefully selected language about how hard and difficult it can be to breastfeed and give your baby the best, it’s underhanded marketing to someone looking for help.  This isn’t support, this is marketing, make no mistake.  Formula companies are smart, they would not waste their money sponsoring and creating these sites and helplines if they didn’t feel it increased their branding opportunities and bottom line.  I believe women are smart, they can make their own decisions but I also know that there are times when a decision can be influenced one way or another and when someone is in need of help that super happy looking formula fed baby sure is enticing and the wrong information given to address her particular need could be all that is required for the mother to become a regularly paying customer.  Which is exactly what this form of unsupportive support is counting on.

Free formula samples in breastfeeding support bag in hospitals and doctor offices.

Another controversial one.  Some see removing formula samples from hospital bags and doctor offices as removing a woman’s choice in how she feeds her baby.  I don’t understand that argument, the choice is still there, you just have to pay for it upfront.  Concern is that not giving out free formula samples is being unsupportive to those that choose to formula feed.  That just isn’t the case, not handing formula out to each woman that comes through their doors and gives birth would be more supportive of formula feeding moms in that it would lower the overall expense of formula by the formula companies no longer spending millions on the free samples hospital program.  Those free samples aren’t free anyway.  They are absorbed in the price of the product, it’s all a part of their business plan.  Again, a company would not waste their money handing out free product if it did not yield a return on their brand and profits.  Make no mistake, they aren’t handing out free samples to help moms, they are handing out free samples to hook buyers and to give the impression that the hospital endorses their product.  These companies are smart, and they should be, they have shareholders and employees to take care of.  Formula has it’s place, that’s not the issue here.  Nor is there any judgment on formula feeding.  Rather the problem is that marketing tactics masquerading as support undermine breastfeeding and do so for a profit.  This study reveals how this is unsupportive with numbers such as “Women who didn’t receive the free samples were 3.5 times more likely to be breastfeeding exclusively after 2 weeks…”  (Read more about how the numbers really break down from PhD in Parenting.)  Tacticts to get formula into the hands of moms when they are most vulnerable, exhausted, and in that crucial time when milk supply is being established in those early weeks isn’t supporting them in their attempts to breastfeed.  Nor is it supporting formula feeding families either, instead, these samples going to everyone leaving the hospital with a new baby drives up the price they have to pay at the register for the next 2 years of formula buying.  For those that truly need assistance buying formula to feed their baby, there are options through aid programs that can and should be utilized if necessary and while in the hospital formula should be covered by insurance.  Hopefully more and more states will make the decision Rhode Island made recently to refuse to allow formula samples to continue sabotaging breastfeeding and both breastfeeding moms and formula feeding moms can find some real support from formula companies just by having them back off, stop undermining breastfeeding, and maybe even lower the register cost for their product by not sending the free stuff home with those that really want to breastfeed.  Better idea for support?  Sending the name and number of a lactation consultant home with the mother, free access to a lactation consultant during her hospital stay,  independent breastfeeding resources, and the information on a breastfeeding support group would be real support.

 

If you don’t want to breastfeed then don’t.  I’d encourage you to try it before you completely make up your mind but if you don’t want to do that, nobody’s going to force you.  Your body, your baby, your choice.  And I hope nobody undermines your attempts to formula feed.  Free samples and formula company support advice isn’t about choice, it’s about marketing.  There is a distinct difference there.

If you want to breastfeed beware of the unsupportive support that aims to line someone else’s pockets.  Formula isn’t evil and it can be a needed tool in feeding our babies but it can also sabotage any breastfeeding relationship.  The companies that make it aren’t inherently evil either but they are watching out for their shareholders and bottom line profits before they are concerned about women experiencing breastfeeding success.  The more women that breastfeed, the more it cuts into their profits.  Their marketing tactics are getting more aggressive as breastfeeding gains more mainstream attention and accolades.

Still, some truly supportive support receives financial gain for those offering the support.  Lactation consultants do and should get paid for the work they do.  Even this site earns some income through the sponsorship of the companies whose ad buttons you can see on the side.  So is earning a profit from supporting breastfeeding really only self-serving?  I don’t think so and I don’t think I’m saying that to defend myself.  I don’t think it’s self-serving and thus unsupportive support, for one important reason: there is nothing to gain from a woman not reaching her breastfeeding goal.

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Did you receive samples of formula and did you use them?  Do think formula samples can undermine a breastfeeding mother’s efforts?

Do you feel formula companies can be trusted to dispense advice and support on breastfeeding?

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Comments

  1. If the formula samples never came home with me, the formula would have never been in the house, tempting me when my mom said, “Top her off with some formula and she’ll sleep better.” Fail.

    No formula with babies 2 and 3, and we survived just fine.

    • Yup…same exact story here. I wish I’d never brought those formula samples home when I had my firstborn…

  2. Supportive support:
    The Lactation Consultants that are at the hospital. They are uasually a 4 digit extention away. 2134 was mine. I would just pick up the pone dial 2134 and my supportive support was there. Helping me with latch, positions and MORAL support. SUPPORTIVE support. She is a ROCKSTAR. DO NOT call “formula based” hotlines for SUPPORT call the hospital your child was born at or the hospital nearest to you talk to the LC on staff. THEY ARE THERE TO HELP YOU AND YOUR NURSLING.

    I aggree formula funded “HELP” is like a slap in the face. They are mocking breastfeeding. TO OUR FACE.
    I’m happy RI is doing away with the “welcome bags” full of formual. Pretty sure they don’t hand out a twinkie to someone that has just had open heart surgury, as an alternative to “healthier” options.

    Good entry!

  3. How true “Tacticts to get formula into the hands of moms when they are most vulnerable, exhausted, and in that crucial time when milk supply is being established in those early weeks isn’t supporting them in their attempts to breastfeed.”
    We have samples that were sent to us in the mail. In those first weeks when I felt like I didn’t have enough milk, it was so painful to nurse, and baby was crying and crying in the night, we very nearly did break out the formula. This despite feeling very strongly about breast feeding out dear one. When we read the labels though and looked up ingredients online, we felt we really should just keep to breast milk. It’s scary what is in those cans! So thankful now at 7 weeks that we didn’t cave. Also thankful my husband helped me stick to our convictions. I was so tired and sore at that point that if I had been alone I would have mixed some up. We’re still not totally effortless yet, but I’m hopeful we will get there!

  4. right on!

  5. Chrissy Durham says:

    I was given ready-to-feed formula bottles w nipples in my “breastfeeding” bag from the hospital. I was also offered many times to let the nurses take my babies ( I’ve had 4 and it happened every time) and give them a bottle so I could rest. That was a slap in the face to my breast only feeding choice. I dont understand how that is supporting my choice!

  6. I received free formula in my hospital bag even though it was for breastfeeding moms (there was also some nipple cream, breastfeeding info, and bottles in a cooler for expressed breastmilk–from Similac, a formula company, ironically). I just put the formula aside (and subsequently donated it to an area food bank) and kept breastfeeding (and am still doing so, almost 6 months later). However, I’m very determined and really didn’t have many problems (besides initial pain and exhaustion from cluster feeding). I can definitely see how that free formula can make some women give up earlier, especially if they are experiencing problems. Maybe it just starts out as an “extra” bottle for help, but then they can too often go down the slippery slope to losing supply, more formula, etc. I realize formula has its place, but I don’t think it belongs in the hospital bags.
    I wrote a letter to my hospital about removing the free formula from their bags (as of yet, I haven’t heard anything from them in response) and would recommend others do the same.

  7. I don’t think this is anything that hasn’t already been said actually. And I don’t necessarily agree that it’s not support simply because of where it comes from. These companies aren’t making up their tips and tricks- they are the same things you can read on Kellymom, The Leaky Boob and any other site. As a mom who struggled with low supply (real, not imagined!) and put off formula supplementation for months and months and months (basically starving my baby around the clock) because everything I read told me that I was just being booby trapped- by formula companies, by my pediatrician. I would much rather a formula company reach out to mothers with breastfeeding advice than tell me it was a waste of my time. It’s 2011- there is plenty of information out there. I think most women are educated enough to make these decisions without being shamed. And every time I read an article like this it’s just another wave of shame.

    • It’s not so much what these “helpful” sites are saying, it’s how they are saying it. By taking the same advice but twisting it, wording it so that breastfeeding sounds really yucky, hard, and downright creepy – they undermine women’s desire to breastfeed. And can we leave the “shame” argument out of this? The real shame is in insidious marketing that preys on women’s natural desire to do what’s best for our babies, to deprive our babies and empty our wallets. If you feel ashamed because of your feeding choices, it’s in your own head.

      • But it is hard for some women- and not hard in the “Let’s just get over this hump” kind of way or the “I don’t have support” kind of way. Sometimes it’s hard in the “no matter what I do my child is not getting enough milk kind of way” and when you are trying to do the right thing and make it work and nothing is working and no one is telling you the one thing that can help it really makes it more difficult. Low supply is no joke. In my nursing journey I have found many lactivists to be about as unsupportive to me as someone with low supply as they come because many have tunnel vision: breastfeeding at all costs- no matter what, and if you fail you didn’t try hard enough and if you feel badly about that, well, “it’s in your own head”. I co-host a weekly breastfeeding blog hop where we hash out a different topic every week- I worked hard to eek out a breastfeeding relationship with my kids. http://www.theslackermom.com/2011/11/03/i-would-supplement-with-formula-earlier/

    • I’m sorry you felt shame but I specifically say that’s not what this is about. I talk about genuinely supporting formula feeding moms and it doesn’t matter why they formula feed. In no way am I talking about formula feeding mothers, this post is about marketing masquerading as support and that all women deserve to have a real choice and the opportunity to recognize the difference. There is a difference, formula companies would not be providing this “support” if it did not benefit their bottom line. The information those companies share about breastfeeding uses carefully selected language and often it is terrible advice that can (and has) sabotage breastfeeding. The formula company isn’t even where parents should turn if there is a real problem and supplementation is required. Doctors, lactation consultants, and LLL leaders are more qualified to assist families in determining if they really need to supplement and if so, how.

      I won’t be shamed into thinking I shamed you with this. I know why I wrote this and that what I shared is in no way a personal indictment on anyone, simply pointing out the conflict of interest that calls into question how reliable the breastfeeding support coming from formula companies really is. I’d love for you to read this on the difference between tone, filters, and information: http://theleakyboob.com/2011/09/tone-filters-and-information/ ~Jessica

    • When I got home and looked in the breastfeeding care package I received, I was upset that formula was included. It was a subconscious message to me that my milk wouldn’t be enough to sustain my child. Im an educated, savvy kind of gal, who had great fears about that. Fortunately, I surrounded myself with supportive people. I railed on the formula companies that sent me samples, accusing them I violating WHO guidelines. They apologized and took me off their lists. At the end of the day, we’re all parents trying to do what is best for our children. The formula companies should not make it more difficult.

  8. I didn’t receive any kind of formula samples from the hospital here in Canada, but I did get a can of powder and ready-to-feed from BOTH of the big companies sent in the mail. I did use the ready-to-feed samples, they didn’t wreck my attempts to breastfeed, but thats because I never wanted to exclusively FF, I just wanted to see if the grass really was greener. Once I realized it didn’t make my baby sleep any longer and it actually made him puke more I was finished with it. :)

  9. Lauren Brown says:

    I got formula samples from the hospital but I used them. Autumn nursed but there were times when she wouldn’t try & just scream. Instead of her screaming & me crying Michael would give her a bottle & next feeding we would both be calm & nurse with success. To my family formula is helpful. If she had kept screaming I would of given up without ever trying again. I already hate to nurse so any struggle without getting a breather & seeing her calm down I would of thrown in the towel.
    Same thing with Noel who did not latch without a shield. Thanks to the shield & formula we nursed happily for 5 weeks (before work ruined everything)

  10. I was told by the LC at the hospital where I gave birth to both of my children to top off each feeding with formula as they both had really bad jaundice. The first time, not knowing any better, I listened but luckily was still able to successfully breastfeed until she was close to 2. What helped was the baby weigh-in class I attended who had much more advice and tips than the hospital provided LC. This led me to wonder why some LCs are more willing to promote formula than others (if at all.) Are some better trained than others?

    • Yes, some are better trained than others. Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants go through a rigorous training and certification process. Other LCs (CLC, CLE, etc.) have less training for their certification but still are usually very educated. Often the “LC” at a hospital is a postpartum nurse that agrees to take the position with little or no additional education beyond her RN. Or worse, her training was provided by a formula company. Some of them are still very good because they are self motivated to learn the accurate information to better help moms. Others don’t. Because of this I feel there should be a standard and the term “LC” should not be permitted without outside certification. At this point it’s not regulated nor licensed with the state so there is little to standardize the title. It’s very frustrating and I’m so sorry you received that kind of “support.” ~Jessica

      • That makes it clearer for me. It was frustrating b/c with my second child I tried to tell them that I knew BM was good enough and I just needed to nurse as much as possible, get baby out in sun, etc. but still they tried to guilt me….not in a necessarily mean way but in a “Oh don’t worry..baby won’t get confused, you’ll be fine, once jaundice is gone you can EBF…”like I was overreacting when I said I didn’t want to FF feed. You’re right in saying that there should be more standards behind who can be called an LC.

  11. Very well written and I completely agree. Formula companies definitely have ulterior motives and anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. I got a “breastfeeding support bag” after my son was born and I was shocked at all the formula stuff inside-not only a can of formula but premeasured pour pouches, coupons and even 2 bottles of the premixed stuff. It made me wonder what sort of bag they give to moms who choose formula….
    Having that bag almost sabotaged our BFing relationship too. My son had latch issues and didn’t learn to latch on his own until around 2-3 weeks of age. Before that I had to pump and do finger feedings with him everytime. I would often consider using some formula instead. honestly, the ONLY thing that kept me from breaking down and going with the formula was the knowledge we could afford to buy formula on our own (thank goodness I knew nothing about WIC back then!)
    I refused the bag with my 2 daughters. I knew there was nothing in there that I needed.

  12. Amber Lopeman says:

    I was very fortunate with my first daughter in the hospital. They wouldn’t let me have any formula since I said I was going to breastfeed. *kudos* to them! But when we were sent to a “Children’s Hospital” they said my colostrum I was pumping wasn’t enough, didn’t even offer donor milk. Here I am a first time mom with absolutely no idea what I am doing with breastfeeding.. So they give her formula.. I of course thought nothing of it. I am almost 7 weeks into EBFing my DD, and I am so thankful that I have found this page for all of the support that I need. I am definitely more educated this time around!!

  13. With my first a nurse told me during our stay “she’s almost lost 10% of her birthweight, you should probably give her some formula.” It was about 2am on the second night (my 4th night of 7), I was alone, my husband wasn’t allowed to spend the nights, and I was still crying and in pain from my trauma (unplanned csection). I caved and said yes. And that was the beginning of the end. With my second I refused the sample and threw out anything I had at home. At 3 weeks we got thrush and it was the most excrutiating pain, worse than csection recovery. Every latch I would clench my fists so hard they’d bruise and I got headaches and a sore jaw from clenching my teeth. I know if there had been any formula samples in the house, I probably would have caved then, too. 16 months later we’re still nursing :)

    • Your husband wasn’t allowed to spend the night?? Sounds like you had a terrible experience at that hospital! =(
      I also had thrush and it was terrible, though mine wasn’t as bad as yours! It’s nice to hear that you worked through it and are still nursing!

  14. The week before my son was born, I had, in my possession, no less than 5 cans of formula sent to me from companies. I gave them to my dear friend who was adopting a baby. I didnt’ want them in my house because I didn’t want to be tempted when it was 3 AM and the baby was crying. Turns out that was a good call for me because my baby wouldn’t latch and I had to pump and feed for 3 weeks and it was a nightmare (although he’s a year old and I’m still nursing!) While I agree that these hotlines aren’t giving advice you couldnt’ find online or from an LC, I also know that they are doing it because ultimately its’ a marketing ploy. Let’s say you called the Infamil Breastfeeding Hotline and got some good advice but then had to stop for whatever reason….you’re at the store and think, “what type of formula should I buy?” Subconsciously you are more likely to buy Infamil. It’s brand recognition. You think the formula companies are setting up a call center and employing people to give advice out of the kindness of their hearts? Get real. If something is company sponsored in any way, it’s because they have done market research and found that they can get ROI from it. Good or bad, that’s business for you. For the record, I got my most supportive support from the Center for Breastfeeding & Newborns at University of Florida — granted funded thru the Children’s Miracle Network…not a company.

  15. How do they get my information to send me that samples anyway? That always bothered me. I was shocked recently when a friend posted on her blog that one of her favorite apps for the iPhone is the similac app to record nursing. Also puzzling is when I search google for a lactation consultant, you see the similac hotline as a sponsored link. I wonder how many women call those numbers and what kind of help the receive? I might call just to see what kind of advice they give. And they are free consultations which sounds so much better than paying for an IBCLC to some people. I think giving babies formula in the hospital is more harmful than the ‘free’ samples.

  16. Taking nursing advice from a formula company is about as worthwhile as taking quitting smoking advice from a tobacco company. It just makes no sense.

  17. I’ve succeded at breast feeding and I am grateful for it, however it was only because I am very stubborn. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and that’s was it. Were it not for that stubborness this “unsupportive support” would have been the only thing paving my failure. I was sent home from the hospital not just with formula samples but a formula drinking baby. I hold the peaditrician resposible for this as the nurses and the LC were trying their best to help my nursling and me. He almost didn’t release my babe with me because “he wasn’t sure I would be able to properly nourish him”. Of course my husband (as supportive as he wanted to be) felt more trust in the “professional’s advice” over his too-medicated-just-had-surgery wife’s instincts. His logic? “if the pediatrician is giving the baby formula AND they send you home with samples then it most be just as good as breastmilk, otherwise the wouldn’t do that”.
    That, to me, if part of the trap. The source of the samples validated them. Would we be so quick to use them if they were just distributed by a no-name in the street? Hospitals giving out samples are quietly endorsing them, and again, they ARE the professionals, therefore the most know best. (???)
    I left the hospital afraid that I would starve my son if I didn’t supplement, and was made to feel as if I would be putting his health at risk for my own selfish reasons (because that’s why we nurse, because we are selfish… really???!!).
    I still kept at it, I nursed him every feeding time and then my husband would give him a bottle. In the mean time LO spits up big time everytime after the bottle, my supply wasn’t great and we had latch problems. It was my stubborness that led me to research tongue tie and find a pediatrician with an LC on staff.
    I am a lucky one. LO was tongue tied. There was nothing wrong with my ability to nurse or produce enough milk. Once a frenulotomy was done we were on the road to success and I never looked back. I also do wonder if formula wasn’t so mainstream and those samples so readily available if that pediatrician would have been more diligent in trying to figure out why we were having difficulties as opposed to taking the easy way and sticking a bottle in his mouth?
    I don’t think formula is evil, I’m sure there is a time and place for it. A going home bag for a Bfing mom is not it.

  18. Great article! I had formula forced upon us at the hospital, looking back I truly realize what a horrendous experience we had with the uneducated nurses. We never got to see a lactation consultant our entire (extended due to eating issues) stay…. Not sure why but they just did not offer that to us! They came in while we were sleeping and fed my son formula while I slept…Talk about nightmare! This was the toughest thing to wean him off of! Having formula in our house was detrimental to our Bfing! It was all delivered the day we got home from the hospital….15 cans in total along with bottles. I just wish that there was more support in the hospitals for breastfeeding moms! Loved the article and I could not agree more thank you so much your blog and fb page have given me the support that my community has lacked! xoxo Amanda and baby Jax!

  19. When I had my first baby they handed out a bounty bag with a free formula sample. I didn’t want to be wasteful so I mixed it up and put it in the dog’s bowl. Waste not want not :)

  20. Bernadette says:

    I did receive formula samples from my OB, just before I was due to deliver. They came in a cute little backpack so yes, I took the samples and the bag home. I’m very glad I did. That little backpack is what I put my lo’s breastmilk filled bottles in every day when I take her to daycare. I think the formula samples are in a drawer somewhere.

    I should note that I had it in my head that I was going to breast feed before I delivered my baby. When I struggled, I contacted an lactation consultant, other moms, websites etc. I haven’t had to resort to formula yet, and that is what I consider it – a last resort. But that is my situation. Every mom’s situation is different.

    Here’s what I consider really unsupportive support: a hospital charging mother’s a fee for a breastfeeding class. The hospital I delivered at wanted $35 for the class, and it came down to putting gas in my car or taking the class. I got gas, read books and winged it. One would think a teaching hospital would offer these kinds of classes for free!

  21. I had my first baby at a very intervention-happy hospital, but one thing they did very well was breastfeeding. No formula samples, no suggestions of formula, rooming-in unless specifically requested to have baby go to the nursery (even then, encouraged baby to stay with mom), no diaper bag sent home with samples of anything actually. The nurses kept checking to make sure she’d eaten and actually got kind of pushy with making sure she ate every 2-3 hours (3 hours was too long for them based on how they hounded me about it). I didn’t have any problems, so I didn’t get any special lactation help. I did get formula samples in the mail (two small cans) and I did use them, but only when breastmilk wasn’t available (i.e., I was at work and hadn’t pumped enough for her).

    With my second we got no samples (home birth), but had bought some, preparing for the eventuality of me going back to work and needing it. When he was about 2 weeks old, he wouldn’t go to sleep and I couldn’t understand how he needed to nurse again and at 2am, I was so wrung out that I made a tiny bottle of formula because I couldn’t handle the thought of him nursing one more time right then. He wouldn’t take it, and in hindsight, I was really glad he didn’t at that moment. He later did have to have some formula, again when I went to work and couldn’t pump enough, but we breastfed until he was 15 1/2 months old and I was 6 weeks pregnant with his little sister.

    Now on my third, again no samples from anywhere (another home birth), but this time, I’m working a lot less and much better at pumping. She is now 5 1/2 months old and has only ever had breastmilk. I even have a bunch saved up in my freezer!

  22. I received free samples out the wazoo – both while pregnant and after delivering… actually I think my last sample received was by mail 2 weeks ago. I am happy to say that at 13 months, my daughter has NEVER had ONE drop of formula. I am fortunate enough that I did not have an issue with breastfeeding (aside from my own personal discomfort). Even when I was tired and sore, and had all of these canisters in my house, I never once was tempted to open any. While I get your point that it is a marketing strategy and I can get how some mama’s can “give up”…. I WANTED to have that formula in my house; it put me at ease to know that it was there, just in case I ever did need it. I would have bought it just the same – but with the samples, I didn’t have to.

  23. I’m pregnant with my first. My whole family is 100% all about breastfeeding…formula isn’t an option for me because my mother is a pediatrican and I was breastfed as well as my siblings.
    I registered to tour all the hospitals in my area to decide which one fit my needs better…the one I hated gave me formula info and on top of that, they sent me formula coupons and garbage in the mail! It’s propaganda and I threw it away! Formula will be a last resort for me and I will bawl the day my baby has to have formula because even if she can’t breastfeed…she’s getting breast milk god damn it!

  24. I got loads of formula coupons and samples at the doctor’s office and in the hospital and even mailed to our house. I gave them to friends who were formula feeding. I was gung-ho abt breastfeeding and was glad for advice from a friend who warned that it could be a steep learning curve at first. It took 6 weeks to get comfortable, but at 8 months, my son is still breastfed–no formula here!

  25. Victoria Goldstein says:

    I’ve received some formula samples. I’ll admit in the beginning when it got hard, I’d seriously cotemplate using them. Thankfully, I never did. However, I got keep some in the pantry and take them along on vacations because if something happened to me or us, I’d like to know we have something to give our daughter till we can figure something else out. It’s just an emergency plan, but it makes me feel better. Let’s hope I can just toss it one day when she’s no longer so dependable on my breast. 7.5 months and going :)

  26. Kathleen says:

    I did receive formula samples from the hospital as well as from my pediatrician during a difficult period due to slow weight gain and finally from a lactation consultant that I went to for help with my slow to gain, and starting to lose more weight daughter. I did not use the samples since the ingredients involved way too much corn syrup. I did end up supplementing with organic formula until her weight picked up, I must say, it did get us through that tough time. We havent had a drop of formlula since she was eight weeks, she is now four months! Sometimes I think about that lc and get upset that even she pushed formula, but its in the past and helped her to have more energy to nurse we are both better for it in the end and still going strong nursing!

  27. I received formula samples in the mail at home before my baby was even born. Then I received more at the hospital. I was extremely determined to breastfeed my baby and was adamant that he not receive bottles or pacifiers that could cause nipple confusion. Early after he was born, before my milk came in, the hospital staff suggested giving him a little formula. NO WAY! I pumped what I could and used a small syringe to squirt it into his mouth and we kept trying. He was tongue tied and it was very difficult. We chose to stay in the hospital until a specialist came and clipped his tongue to be sure that we were getting the hang of breastfeeding. Like I said, I was VERY determined. We faced many more challenges at home. I got to know my WIC lactation consultant on a first name basis :) She was so available and so supportive. If I had been a little less sure of my decision, probably would have given in to that first suggestion of formula.