Quick edit: this post is intended to focus on a nutritional product and formula companies, not individual mom’s choices. You can read here for my stance on breast-vs-bottle. I will stand by any mom’s choice, but I will NOT stand behind the formula industry in any way.
Okay, the rage is on. I have a lot of work to get done tonight, but I really, really need to rant about this: _uacct = “UA-4888259-1″;urchinTracker();
Meet Similac Mom
. A new way to “bump up your nutrition” when you are either pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ya, cuz the brand loyalty you’re creating is really going to lead to improved breastfeeding efforts. Excuse me while I snort. I’m going to try really hard not to swear in this post, but it’s going to be hard since that’s about all I can think of to say about this.
MY PROBLEM WITH THIS:
On a happy, sparkly day at Similac’s marketing research department: Hey, let’s take a bunch of anxious new moms-to-be and swoop down on their already abundant insecurities about what to eat, what not to eat, what’s safe, what’s not, how much, how little and so on!! Let’s make a f&*#ing chemical concoction to “soothe” their worries by providing them nutrition in a bottle!! It’s like SlimFast for moms!! And then, when they are anxious new moms, our FABULOUS company name will already be perched on their lips, ready to spill forth into the open mouths of their vulnerable babes when they have doubts about breastfeeding. After all, breastfeeding is even more complicated than eating, so we know they’ll want help there, too.
Beg your pardon, but what the frackety-frikken-frack-frack is this $#*t?
WHAT HAPPENED TO EATING FOOD?? What happened to, if you’re worried about not getting “everything” you need from your food, taking a multivitamin once a day.
W.T.F. (ya, I wrote it. At least I didn’t say it)
I am so freaking raged up right now, it’s not even funny.
Before I start my full-on rant, let me provide you with the ingredients in this “nutritional” supplement:
*(U-D) Water, sugar (sucrose), sodium and calcium caseinate, corn maltodextrin, high oleic safflower oil, canola oil, soy protein isolate, corn oil, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, natural and artificial flavour, magnesium chloride, salt (sodium chloride), soy lecithin, potassium phosphate, carrageenan, ascorbic acid, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, niacinamide, dl-α-tocopheryl acetate, manganese sulphate, cupric sulphate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine chloride hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, potassium iodide, sodium molybdate, biotin, sodium selenate, chromium chloride, vitamin D3, cyanocobalamin.
*Similac Mom vanilla Additional ingredients for chocolate: Cocoa powder, colour
Can anyone (anyone??) point out where there’s food in this?
SO! First target: moms with morning sickness. I’m going to tell you something straight up: for three months, I ate nothing but bananas and plain oatmeal with a side of prenatal vitamin. That supported me and my twins just fine. And guess what? It was real food. I didn’t worry about whether or not something in my “food” was going to make me sick(er), or hurt my babies because there wasn’t enough research on it. I didn’t worry about how much of it would actually be absorbed into my body because I knew that my body was made to digest real food and that it would take as much or as little as possible.
After the three months, I endured another 22 weeks of Diclectin-based tolerance for food. Again, food. I needed double the calories of a regular pregnant mom (so about 600 more that a normal person), plus the extra for the dance classes I taught (maybe another 500). All in all, I ate an extra meal and snack every day and drank whole milk instead of skim. Sure, I ate my share of McDonald’s fries but we all know that the best cure for morning sickness is the same as your best cure for a hangover
In sum, I ate food and birthed 2 healthy (albeit premature) babies. Their weights were flippin’ awesome for 34 weeks, too.
Second target: busy moms. Running around after your other kids, trying to work and manage the home, and all that other stuff that we do whether we’re pregnant or not, only we’ve added the extra responsibility for being responsible for the nutrition of our unborn polly pocket. I’m barely going to address this one, because it’s the same whether you are pregnant or not: SlimFast is not a meal replacement. It’s a lazy-ass cop-out. So is Similac Mom. So is Boost, Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast and every other convenience drink out there. I hate to break it to you, but I get better nutrition from a latte at Starbucks and a multivitamin.
Food to “grab” when you are too busy for a full meal: bagels, bananas, apples, cheese sticks. Make up for the missing food groups at your next meal. Please, for the love of all that is REAL in this world, do not trick yourself into thinking that a meal replacement beverage is a good option. You might as well eat at McDonald’s. Grab a plain hamburger: 250cal, 8g fat, 12g protein. Similac Mom? 225cal, 6g fat, 12g protein. The hamburger has (slightly) real food in it. Processed, yes. Fake, no. The Similac Mom doesn’t even have FOOD in it.
Now for the mom’s who are worried about getting enough of the “right” nutrients. How about this: if you eat what Canada’s Food Guide recommends, and make sure to get those 2 extra servings of milk, you will have everything you need and then some. If you are worried that your diet is lacking, please take a prenatal vitamin. Ta-freakin-da. That is IT. All that this “mommy supplement” is doing is filling your belly with a chemical cocktail and draining your bank account when you could be buying cute outfits and stuffed bunnies for your offspring.
But it has TWELVE GRAMS of protein! Protein is good for me!!
Um, no. As much as Similac’s packaging would like you to believe, protein isn’t that hard to come by. The average adult needs about 0.8g protein per 2.2 lbs body weight, plus an extra 30g while pregnant and 20g while lactating. I would need about 54g protein a day. If you’re following your 2-3 servings of lean meat and 4 servings of dairy while pregnant, you’re definitely getting your protein in. Sorry.
Oh, and if you’re nursing, protein isn’t going to help you lose weight any more than eating more meat will. Just throwing that out there.
Finally, the breastfeeding moms: we worry about proper nutrition even more when nursing, and it seems like a supplement that has it all would be a great idea! No stress, no worry! But let me throw this out on top of all my other reasons not to drink this: if formula isn’t good enough for your baby, why on earth is it good enough for you?
You are struggling to breastfeed, so you pop open a can of adult formula for yourself?
Again, WTF. That makes even less sense to me.
I’ve said time and time again that I support a mother’s right to feed her child as she deems necessary. Happy mom is the #1 goal. HOWEVER, I do not believe we are existing on a level playing field when the marketing giants behind these formula companies are BLASTING women with their “support” when there isn’t enough manpower on the lactivist side to make a dent. Where are my multi-million dollar marketing blitzes for breastfeeding??
OH right. I don’t have them. I have to depend on my own intelligence to seek out non-profit support that is hard to find and sometimes excessively pushy (although I find it’s more from a “been there, done that” point, in that it’s hard to remember how hard it was when you’re past the tears of the time). I have to fight past hospitals that feed my BREAST ONLY babies formula when my back is turned because “they know better”, i.e., they are provided ample financial consideration by said formula companies. I have to have my inbox and mailbox with free samples and spam, “just in case” I have difficulty breastfeeding. I have to search out the lactation consultants in my area, and the private ones charge an average of $60/hour. My friends didn’t breastfeed for the recommended year. People offer me formula when my kids aren’t sleeping through the night. There are more bottles than boppy pillows to choose from in the Babies R Us. They making these effing Pacifeeder things:
Forgive me, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Although, I guess if you’re too busy to feed your baby yourself, you don’t care what you’re throwing down his throat or your own.
Sorry. This is getting angrier than I intended it to be. Take from it what you will, but for goodness’ sake, don’t allow yourself to be blindly tricked by clever marketing!! And if you aren’t getting the support, nutritionally or for breastfeeding, ASK ME! I have resources for all, and will do my best to help out. Don’t be a consumer sheep.