The Impact of Advertising on the Mother who Chooses to Bottle Feed her Child

The public debate over breast- vs bottle-feeding sometimes gets so extreme that both sides forget the “human” choice issue, making a woman’s choice to do either seem shameful. The impact of such breastfeeding and bottle-feeding sites such as:

Livestrong and 007b makes a woman ashamed if she chooses convenience over health, or any other cost that naturally occurs, where the bottle-feeding companies makes a woman feel ashamed if she doesn’t “take care” of herself by choosing the convenience of a manufactured product.

Advertising from the companies, such as:Similac and Nutrition/Bottlefeeding

also convince mothers who choose to bottle-feed that it’s “simple”, “easy” and that they’ll “save” time which is clearly not true. Another advertising trick is the lie that their formula is on par with breast milk. They give out free samples and coupons before the children are even born to influence the mother’s choice, making them think that they’re “saving” money.

A mother who chooses to bottle-feed (and sometimes her significant other) has a myriad of choices from the many different companies vying for their money. The choices available even through WIC and the birthing hospitals push hard for their side and outnumber the lactation helps by nearly 5-to-1. A much better site to visit would be: KellyMom because they are much more geared to an adult audience that is better educated and who choose to research this topic without bias.

Another strange phenomenon that happens when a mother chooses to bottle-feed is the unhealthy push to wean her child(-ren) early due to the cost of the formula. This also pushes her to buy (again- with coupons) baby foods and baby “safe” snacks which the baby is not ready for; again because it’s “convenient”. This leads to unhealthy habits that impact both mother and child later in life. The advertising from baby food companies pushes both early weaning and dependance on highly processed food products, promoting a cradle-to-grave sales pitch that starts well before birth.

The worst of the sales pitches is a subtle, gentle nudge to those who want to breast-feed but were not taught proper lactation management. This technique is the “just a supplement” pitch. A mother is told that she is “supplementing” her natural supply (just temporarily), but she ends up with supply problems stemming from the extra cans of formula given to her. Breast milk being a supply/demand issue; the more “supplementary” formula provided, the less breast milk is made for baby. So there IS NO “extra” to give to baby in the end.

The insidious advertising pointed at the mother considering bottle-feeding covers a multitude of sins that trap her into making these decisions based on false information. When a mother discovers these faulty assumptions to be what they really are, she is ashamed again by the companies who insist that her selfless “sacrifice” is entirely unnecessary because they can do it ALL for her. She is made to feel guilty as an ungrateful brat. Without any regard for her needs, they purposely withhold vital information hostage from her. She is “guided” to official websites and pamphlets at hospital to mold her opinions for future consumer-based spending. They are not interested in her health, or even the health of baby; they want control over what little money she may have or make at her minimum-wage job.

There is a rare, but highly effective medium between the two extremes that is hardly considered. Mother has the choice of pumping her breast milk.

The companies don’t want to touch this issue because it means losing money. Mother’s health improves, baby is happy and healthy, both avoid the silly early-weaning problems and there is a new-found respect for the wondrous design of a woman body and the spouse who supports her is able to participate in the healthy development of baby physically, psychologically and spiritually. Using properly designed nipples encourages baby to depend on mommy and spouse for nourishment instead of a commercially-based company that does not care about his/her health, well-being and happiness.

Being “bottle-fed” doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy; it’s just a big target for baby formula companies to shoot for.

A woman should not be shamed into choosing one over the other for various reasons, least of which is that Mother needs to be confident in her decision and stick to her guns. Letting money-making companies influence a mother’s decision, whatever it may be, is unhealthy! When a company uses Shame as part of their advertising campaign, that is a bad, bad sign and intelligent parent(s) need to flee as far away as possible from that kind of company!

The true impact of advertising on women who choose bottle-feeding can only be seen in the results of their child’s health, which should be their number one priority. Commercially manufactured baby formulas are a strange but not entirely unheard-of alternative to mommy milk. For thousands upon thousands of years babies have had to be raised by artificial means when there was no “mommy” to feed them. This is no different from those instances. The only prevalent issue at hand now is where do you get your alternate baby-food? And why would those companies be so aggressive with their advertising? These are the bottom-line issues to consider when deciding what is best for you and baby. There is no bigger or more important decision for mommy to make at this time in their lives. No-one else can make these decisions for them. Mommy and spouse (if there is one) need all the truthful information that is available; it’s worth digging into.