FormulaGate 2012

Aug 1, 2012 by

I had a nice post ready to go, all about the drought, and then this popped up on my Facebook newsfeed.  Have you all seen the article the author is referencing?  If not, here it is, in all its idiocy.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I have what psychologists call a “low frustration tolerance” and what everyone else calls “too many pet peeves.”  Potato, po-tah-to.  Either way, the biggest frustration/pet peeve of all (yes, even more than poor grammar) is plain old stupidity.  I have a zero tolerance policy for idiots.

Let’s face it.  I am so hot and bothered over this information that we’ll all be lucky if this post ends up even the least bit coherent.  I am, quite literally, so mad I can barely think. (Edited to add: I actually took a day off from even thinking about this post because I was too angry.)


As I’ve mentioned in 10k previous posts, I am 100% in favor of women having the freedom to raise and care for their children however they please (so long as said children end up being well-loved and well-cared for).  One of those “freedoms” is the CHOICE whether to breast feed or formula feed (BF or FF, henceforth).  Naturally, when I see articles like the ones above–ones talking about the mayor of one of the nation’s largest cities trying to take away women’s rights– I get a little pissy.  Ok, a LOT pissy.

There are so many flaws in this ridiculous plan that I’m not even sure where to start.  But don’t worry, I’ll try.  😉

First of all, I’m no feminist but I don’t think any man has the right to tell any woman what she can and can’t do with her own body.  When it comes to breast-feeding, my husband’s opinion did matter, he did have a vote…but it was a 49% vote to my 51%. 🙂  My body, my call.  Ultimately, we agreed anyway.  But why is it that Mayor Bloomberg, a supposedly liberal supporter of women’s rights, seems to think that he knows what’s best for the women of NYC when it comes to their breasts?  He doesn’t even HAVE breasts!


Now, I understand that women won’t be DENIED formula, but these new stringent rules are insane!  One part of the article mentioned that formula bottles will be kept “in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in  locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.”  Ok, but formula is not MEDICATION.  It’s FOOD.  Why are we locking it away and therefore placing it in the same category as Oxycodone and Percoset?

Third, am I the only one who sees this as a NIGHTMARE for the nurses and nurses aides?  They are already working in a field which, by its very nature, tends to be full of hormonal lunatics (and those are just the repeat moms…then you have the first-time moms who are SCARED hormonal lunatics!).  Now the mayor wants to make nurses and aides give lectures to already hormonal women just to get food for their child?  They want to lock up the formula bottles so that between the lectures and the extra work to go unlock and retrieve the bottles, the mothers and nurses have to deal with hungry screaming babies even longer?  They want to require nurses to chart a medical reason the child needs formula and how much the child is receiving?  I feel very VERY sorry for those nurses.  Someone’s gonna get stabbed!

Fourth, although I am aware that BF is best for babies, BF is not the solution for every woman and her child.  Most women I know who FF did so because they COULDN’T BF.  It wasn’t some personal agenda (though, if it was, that should be ok and respected as their choice), it was a matter of BF just not working out.  Maybe their baby was tongue-tied, maybe the baby wouldn’t latch on, who knows?  And yes, many of those problems can sometimes be solved and worked around with the help of lactation consultants and etc., but some people just can’t work around them.  Some people don’t WANT to work around them.  And that’s ok.  Unless, of course, you are Mayor Bloomberg, King of the Boobies.

Speaking of women who FF because they have no other option…does it really seem fair, let alone like a good idea, to be forced to lecture women who CANNOT BF for whatever reason on why it’s best to BF?  So many of my friends felt like failures, like they were letting their babies down, like there was something WRONG WITH THEM, when BF didn’t work out as planned.  And now you want to lecture them on why what they’re doing isn’t as healthy for their babies?  As if they aren’t already feeling bad enough!

Also, this paragraph in the New York Post article really bothered me: “‘It’s the patient’s choice,’ said Allison Walsh, of Beth Israel Medical Center. ‘But it’s our job to educate them on the best option.’”  Ok, two problems pop into my mind immediately.

1) Do you REALLY think women aren’t BF because they are unaware that BF is the healthiest option?  Do you really think after NINE MONTHS of pregnancy and reading every pregnancy/baby/parenting/child care book known to man that these mothers don’t already know BF is the healthiest?  Do you think your lectures are going to turn some lightbulb on in a mother’s mind?  That seems a little presumptuous to me.

This sentence from the NY Post article is so stupid it’s almost funny:  “Lisa Paladino, of Staten Island University Hospital, said: ‘The key to getting  more moms to breast-feed is making the formula less accessible.'”  Riiiight, because making it a 5 minute extra wait is going to change my mind on whats best for my baby…oh wait, no, it’s probably just going to piss me off even more.

2) If it’s my CHOICE, then I already know what the best option is for me, so save your breath.  How does some random nurse know what the “best option” is for me and my baby?  Sorry dude, I’m not buying it.

One more time, although I am one of those awful FF moms, (a product of a FF mom, even…*gasp!*) I am 100% fully aware and will not argue that BF is the healthiest (and cheapest) option.  I can even understand one aspect of this otherwise idiotic plan.  I don’t see a problem with not accepting the free swag bags from formula companies.  We are all capable of buying our own formula.  We don’t really need the free tote bags and bottle coolers, although they are pretty cool!

Am I crazy to be this upset about it?  What do you guys think about Mayor Bloomberg’s plan?  Feeling glad you don’t live in NYC?  Think BF should be the law?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments!

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