Freedom of choice is a concept frequently raised by makers and users of unhealthy products like manufactured high flavour, high fat, high sugar, high salt foods, tobacco and formula. Most women are smart enough to recognise unethical but clever marketing aimed at concealing the facts and undermining women’s confidence to breastfeed. Are politicians proponents of baby formula through allowing the marketing of products which deny health benefits to our vulnerable babies?
It is best to avoid describing breastfeeding as “optimal” or “breast is best”. Glib expressions such as “breastfeed if you can”, oft espoused by formula manufacturers and sadly even some health carers, may lead to a mindset clouded and weakened by doubts and, even worse, a sense of a belief that formula is OK to use even though it is associated with acute and chronic illness. Manufactured formula is a product mainly for emergency use. [Discuss the formula-related deficits outlined in this presentation – slide 30]. Mothers deserve to know the facts. Do not debate formula versus breast milk and never shame a women for not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a mammalian evolutionary norm and not a subject for debate; compare evolution of atmospheric air for breathing (slide 3).
STAND UP FOR MOTHERS AND CHILDREN – remind mothers that poor support and lack of role modeling are the commonest reasons for breastfeeding problems. True low milk production is uncommon in humans and is usually due to not feeding baby often enough. Government spend on lactation consultants and support of peer organisations such as Australian Breastfeeding Association and La Leche League will lead to much better health outcomes for our precious babies and save $Billions.
Hold fast exclusively to the known facts about formula in any discussion (see Slide 30)