Stop Formula Company from Discouraging Breastfeeding

Target: Mead Johnson Nutrition

Goal: Stop discouraging breastfeeding by distributing free samples of formula in maternity wards

Formula companies advertise to parents in a variety of ways, but their latest method may actually be damaging to the health of infants. These companies now give free samples of formula to mothers in hospitals with newborn infants. In advertising their product, formula companies are discouraging these mothers from breastfeeding, which can have a harmful effect on their newborns.

Breastfeeding is extremely important for a newborn. Major medical organizations agree that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives in order to protect them from infections. However, studies show that if formula is provided for mothers, breastfeeding rates dramatically decrease. According to the executive director of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, “Although the formula companies all give lip service to ‘breast is best,’ their aggressive advertising and marketing do everything to undermine it.” By providing formula to new mothers, formula companies are influencing mothers to stop breastfeeding, which is damaging to their infants’ health.

New mothers are often distracted and rely on hospital staff to understand how to care for their newborns. When formula is distributed in hospitals, it is then easy for these mothers to think formula will be the best for infants, or easier than breastfeeding. This aggressive tactic may help sell formula, but it harms newborns by taking away the protection that breastfeeding brings. Tell Mead Johnson Nutrition, makers of the formula Similac, to stop distributing free samples of formula to new mothers.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mead Johnson Nutrition:

New mothers rely on hospitals to understand what is best for their newborns. Anything given to them in the hospitals, including free samples of formula, will be seen as helpful. However, giving new mothers formula directly decreases the amount of breastfeeding for the child. Breastfeeding is essential to a newborn’s health, and decreasing it means they are more susceptible to disease and infection.

I ask you to stop distributing free samples of formula to mothers of newborns in hospitals. This practice is directly decreasing breastfeeding rates among new mothers. In the first few months of an infant’s life, breastfeeding provides the most protection from infection. Your company claims to care for children and should prove this claim by helping new mothers protect their newborns. Formula should not be introduced to mothers until after their babies are no longer newborns.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

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  • Alper Arslan
  • Bethany I Brown
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  • Ms. Marianne A. van Ophuijsen
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