Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Those thoughtful formula companies

Dear Enfamil -

Thank you for the recent gift you sent me in the mail.  I suppose that since I never unsubscribed from your mailings (It was great to give the more than $100.00 in coupons and free samples for your infant formula to a friend for her adopted son) you figured that I was a loyal user of Enfamil products.  So naturally you would send me information on the Enfagrow Premium Toddler Formula for babies 10-36 months.  But after this I am going to have to call your 1-800 number and tell you to please stop sending me these mailers, they just incite my lactavist rage. 

A few notes on your mailer:

1) "Enfagrow (tm) PREMIUM (tm) Toddler or Milk?  You decide." 

mmm.... how about this?  Can you please stop referring to Cow's milk as 'milk'?  It really should be referred to as 'cow's milk'.  We call milk made from soybeans 'soy milk', milk made from rice 'rice milk', milk made by humans 'human milk'.  Why do cows get to be special and have their milk just be 'milk'?

So on this question - I choose 'milk'!  (of the human variety of course).  By the way, no place on your information packet do you say that 'breastfeeding is best'.  Yes, I understand that very few women are still breastfeeding at 10 months and U.S. medical professionals only recommend breastfeeding to 6 months (and after if desired).  But you should still be required by the FDA to disclose that formula is a 'substitute' for human milk, not just a food choice. 

2) Selected nutrients: DHA, Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin E

Ok - your DHA supplement has no daily value established.  Why?  Because the FDA has decided that your additive has no nutritional value and they can't even prove that it makes a difference.  The only DHA that has been proven to make a difference in brain development is natural DHA found in human milk. So please stop marketing your formula on this fact.

As for Iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E - don't most pediatricians recommend that formula fed babies are put on a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps in your product?  So why would you want to load kids up on vitamins that can actually do some harm when you have too much?  And really, nearly 50% of the daily vitamin C dose in one serving of your formula?  How many servings should a 10 month old be getting? High doses of vitamin C can lead to abdominal cramping and even kidney stones!

3) Instructions for preparation and use

" in refrigerator at 35-40 degrees F for no longer than 48 hours. Ah!! Finally some light is shed on the situation.  So this is why people think that human milk can only be stored in the fridge for 2 days.  I'm so thankful that when I prepare a bottle for my baby to eat while I am at work it can stay in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 6 months or more!!!  Yet another way that breastmilk saves you money - no throwing out old bottles because they are 'expired'  - simply dump into a milk bag and freeze for later use (or donation).

4) The fine print

You are using my name (acquired from a third-party list, ie: you bought my name and address) to send me FREE gifts, discounts and baby advice.  Yes, you are sending me FREE (if unwanted) gifts.  And you are sending me discounts - on products I don't buy.  But baby advice?  Telling me to 'decide for myself' if I want my baby to have cow's milk or infant formula isn't advice.  And teaching me how to properly prepare infant formula isn't advice. 

What you have given me?  A great blog post.  So, thanks again Enfamil!

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