Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random Rant

Ever wonder why formula for babies is so dang expensive?

Let me tell you why...

1) Because they deliver crates of it to OB offices so nurses will hand them out to every expectant or new mother. Talk about a mixed message to new moms considering the Lactation Nazis who bothered her daily in the hospital!

2) Because they mail them to new moms (who they find via registration in hospitals) in obviously not cheap packaging containing two cans of completely different formula types (hello!)

3) Because of the expense of the materials used to market these formulas. Mailouts. Coupons. How To books on babies. Monthly baby info update booklets. Free diaper bags in the hospital (also containing free formula and all the items mentioned above)

I am all for educating women on how to better care for their babies. But wouldn't it be better to create a more affordable product? They can print all they want on the cans that "Breast Is Best" but you know as well as I do that they really prefer you buy their product. So why not make baby's nutrition easier to afford for moms who cannot or do not breastfeed?

Instead we have stupid government commercials promoting (weakly, I might add) breastfeeding over formula and then the formula companies going to great lengths to push their formula in mothers' faces while also admitting in fine print that breastfeeding is best.

I do not think the prices of formula vs. the marketing push for formula are in balance. I feel for any mother who has to fork over the $22 for one can of formula a week, if not more often.

I get really frustrated to see the free cans of formula wasted on mothers like me who breastfeed. I make it a point to donate the formula in hopes that a mother who cannot afford it will be able to use it; however, I imagine alot of free cans of formula are simply thrown away.

Yeah, may seem like an insignificant gripe, but I have a marketing background and an idea what these companies spend to promote their products only to have them be the most expensive necessity for so many babies.

K...I'm done ranting. Damn hormones. :)


Anonymous said...

I agree. It cost $400/month to FF the twins when they were infants. Fun.

Katrina said...

Yes to everything you just said! I b-fed for around seven months with each of the kids (one weaned herself, the other one developed a biting habit--and the teeth to go with it!) but after that it was five or six months of formula feeding. VERY expensive! With one, I was able to benefit from the WIC program that helped me with formula costs. The other one, thankfully, did great on the Wal-mart brand of formula, which cost only a little over half as much as the pricier brands.

But yeah, the thought of all that wasted formula is scandalous! I still occasionally get freebies of other things in the mail (diapers, rash creme, etc.) and I always pass them on to one of the newer moms I know. Waste not, right? :)

Maggie said...

I totally agree! I got lots of free formula that I will probably never use. I have no idea where to donate it. I guess they figure they can charge so much because a lot of babies DO need it, whether because of problems with mom or because mom has to go back to work. It hardly seems fair though.

RockerMom said...

Amen, sister! I only breastfed The Boy for a few weeks b/c I was suffering from post-partum depression (didn't know it at the time) and also was just not enjoying BF-ing at ALL. So I pumped and gradually switched to formula. The Boy is no worse for the wear, either (I think he's had two ear infections in 5 years). I can't remember what formula cost in 2001-2002 but I'm sure it was an expense we could have done without. I always knew someone who wanted formula samples that I didn't want to use, so I never threw any out. I'm sick of the guilt too, i.e. the fine print you talk about. Now they want to put warning labels on formula. They may as well use a skull-and-crossbones logo. The raging debate is bad enough without making FF-ing Moms feel even worse.

Girlie said...

My second son was allergic to my breastmilk, we have to give him Nutramigen. The only thing that won't kill him.

We stopped totalling the formula bill every month. I am just glad he has something to eat that didn't kill him. It could have been worse, he could have liked that other one, the 45 dollar-hard-to-find one.

Anonymous said...

The thing that kills me most about the formula companies is that they make the formula for the babies who cannot use anything else four times as expensive.

Annelise was on an NG feeding tube for several months and had to have Nutramagen. Thankfully, our medical insurrance covered most of it, because I would have gone broke buying that stuff.

Girlie said...

Oddmix, I forgot all about insurance. Man, Nutramigen was expensive!

I am just glad it wasn't the other kind my kids likes.

Have you noticed that Nutramigen truly taste foul?