I Support Formula, Not Companies

There are a lot of ways that formula could be improved, there’s things that formula companies do that I disagree with, but I always get nervous talking about these things in public spaces. I don’t want to be faced with a bunch of unhelpful “Just breastfeed then”, “See, formula should be banned” and various other platitudes from the “Breast is Best” campaign.

I don’t want to hear it. Breastfeeding is not always an option, and neither is donor milk. Until we get some major cultural upheavals, the fact is that there are babies who are going to be fed formula- and rather than trying to stop this from happening, we should make it so that it’s the best quality product our current technology can muster. This doesn’t mean we should stop promoting breastfeeding or working to make those cultural upheavals (although it’s likely that even after those upheavals, some families will still choose formula), but you can do both. You can support breastfeeding and also support formula feeding. You can publicize the legitimate benefits of breastfeeding (not the overhyped, unproven benefits) while also pushing to make formula a better product.

You can work to support people who are in the situation that exists while working to change that situation.

So much pressure is put on formula companies and healthcare providers about advertising formula- at least as much pressure should be put on them about what they put in the formula.

I support formula, I support formula feeding, I support the idea of formula, but I still recognize gaps in it and ways that it can be made better. Supporting formula also does not mean supporting the formula companies any more than you have to to get your baby fed. I do not trust them farther than I can throw them. I do not trust formula companies to voluntarily make changes to make their formula safer without public pressure to do so.

Which is why I wish that at least as much effort was put into bettering formula as was put into condemning it for not being good enough.

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