Posted by: Admin | May 31, 2011

My thoughts on a new artificial baby milk dispensing machine

It is difficult to promote breastfeeding! You probably wonder why this is so, as breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby. Research shows over and over again how superior breastmilk is over baby formula. World-wide experts agree that breastfeeding benefits both mothers and babies. Health care economists have evaluated that a society can save many millions of dollars just by having their babies’ breastfed. So “Why?,” you ask me?  Why is it so difficult?

I have been in this field of work since 1991. I have witnessed many trends in my 20 years of experience. In the 90s, we had to constantly promote the superiority of breastmilk over formula to the general public as well as to the medical world. Now, well into the twenty-first century, most people are aware of the superiority of breastmilk over formula and know the importance of the act of breastfeeding for the baby’s bonding with his mother and for developing his emotional well-being. Today, more mothers choose breastfeeding… but still they encounter problems. The two most often named reasons for stopping breastfeeding amongst Cree mothers are a perception that the mother is not producing enough breastmilk and the need to be free to carry out their lives.

Artificial baby milk companies follow all breastfeeding research and use the information they get to better market their product. They know new mothers worry about their milk production, and they use the mother’s lack of confidence to their advantage. They also ride on the fact that our society encourages mothers to pursue the same lifestyle as when they did not have a baby. Mothers feel it will be easier on themselves and less tiring if they bottle-feed their babies. Having the father help by bottle-feeding the baby during the night, or by the couple taking turns, is seen as an expression of the woman’s equality, making her more independent and able to continue working, studying and partying (although, with the proper information about breastfeeding and support from health care professionals, friends and family, a mother can do all of this and never give artificial baby milk!). Today, everything revolves around commodity, convenience and how user-friendly something is. Even though nothing can never be as user-friendly as breastfeeding, adapting to a new baby does take some time and patience.  Breastfeeding entails doing something new, which can demand some practice. Taking a bottle and pouring in ready-to-serve formula from a can can appear easier than breastfeeding to an overtired and anxious mother who is encountering some difficulties. Artificial baby milk companies know this and try to use all the technology they can to make things even easier. This is why a company came up with a machine, similar to an expresso machine, that dispenses artificial baby milk perfectly mixed and at the right temperature in only one minute.

Here is the link to the newspaper article:

This machine is only available in Switzerland, but it has already upset consumers who believe that this new machine will undermine the efforts of breastfeeding promotion around the world. The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes states that artificial baby milk companies should not advertise their products directly to the customers. The safest and most secure source of food for a baby is breastmilk. Any company that publicizes its product in a way that undermines breastfeeding is in violation of the Code. Baby artificial milk is in no way equal to breastmilk, and companies should not show their product as making a baby happy, healthy or intelligent because of the ingredients in the baby formula. Also, bottle-feeding should never be portrayed as being easier than breastfeeding, because many parents might choose bottle-feeding for that reason only, without fully understanding the consequences of their decision. A machine such as the express formula dispenser might make some parents choose bottle-feeding simply because they are attracted to the technology provided by it. But there are consequences to not breastfeeding: babies are sick more often and they do not receive the long-term protection given by breastmilk. Nothing is better than the real thing! Nothing is safer than breastmilk!

In the information found on the web about that machine, it says the cups contain powdered milk. The machine injects water into the powdered milk and mixes the ingredients. Nowhere does it mention that powdered milk has an increased rate of contamination in its fabrication process. There have been so many reports of powdered milk contamination that it is now considered hazardous to give it to premature babies.

And how about errors of fabrication? What if this machine started over-diluting the formula? What if some dirt, mold or even bacteria entered the machine? Even with the new technology used in making this new dispensing machine, I would be worried about the contamination of the artificial milk given to the baby.

Breastmilk, on the other hand, comes from a container that never needs any cleaning or sterilizing. Breastmilk is pure and safe. It is human technology at its best!


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