Monday, September 29, 2008

My snarky baby formula contest entry.

By popular demand, I'm pasting here my entry in a baby killer's essay contest.

I didn't win.

May 21, 2005

Nestlé Share Your GOOD START Story Contest
6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1900
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Dear Contest Judges:

I’m happy to share our family’s great-start story so I can offer comfort and support to other moms. Thanks for the opportunity. Oh, and the web site says, “Don’t be shy if you have a Nestlé story to share!” so I have included some specific information about Nestlé products.

Here’s my story:

Before her birth, I decided my baby was worth more than a “good” start. She deserved a great start. That’s why I skipped inferior, artificial milk, instead nourishing and comforting baby at my breast.

Feeding my daughter artificial milk from an artificial nipple was not an option, especially since it would leave her at increased risk for ear infections, allergies, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, SIDS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, breast and ovarian cancer, and a host of other diseases.

I ignored the marketing tactics of manufacturers who said “breastfeeding is the gold standard” with their fingers crossed behind their backs as they used misleading advertising to convince mothers formula is about as good if they “cannot” breastfeed (rare) or if they “choose to supplement” — as if the worst option is a good choice for baby. The World Health Organization, in fact, ranks formula as the fourth choice for infant feeding, following a mother breastfeeding, another woman breastfeeding, or banked human milk.

I ignored messages claiming formulas “provide infants with all the nutrients they need for growth and development,” since researchers have so far identified at least 100 components of human milk missing from artificial formula. Most notably, my milk provides immunoglobulins custom-made for my baby. I passed by statements telling me formula proteins were “broken down to be easy-to-digest, and only Nestle has them,” because I know every foreign substance is harsher on an infant’s immature stomach than her mother’s own milk.

And only Mommy has it.

Thank you for the opportunity to enter the contest. If I am chosen as the grand prize winner, I’d love to accept house-cleaning or personal chef services so I can focus more on my precious child. I will pass on the day of beauty and relaxation at a local spa. My baby needs me.




Anonymous said...

I don't know how to break it to you ... but I don't think you're going to win. :)


Sue said...

Yeah, but I did manage to at least waste a little of their agency's time — billable hours, I'm sure. The contest was two years ago. At the time I e-mailed my entry to everyone in account service I could find at their agency, corporate execs, etc. I got an e-mail from an AE at their PR agency saying, "This is the one I was talking about." I feigned confusion and replied that I was sorry, but I didn't understand her meaning. I knew she was talking about it at the water cooler and meant to forward it to a colleague. So there was 15 minutes of wasted billable time, and more when she had to send an embarrassed response to me that it was meant for someone else. :)

Kristina said...

Hi Sue -- thanks for checking out my blog. We seem to have resolved the thrush issue; it was a mild case, but I treated us both. I loved this post, but it's also saddening what Nestle and other companies will do to try and worm their ways into the minds of mothers just wanting to provide the best for their children. And not just there in the states, but here in Mexico as well. Nestle is likely behind the at least five doctors that have told me that I MUST stop breastfeeding my son at six months because after that time breast milk ceases to have nutritional value. I want to ask, "how does breast milk magically turn non-nutritive at six months?" It's depressing really, but at least they don't try to sell formula from the start; I'm glad I know better. I'm sure you know, but I can tell you from first-hand viewing, that many Mexican families spend 75% or more of their income on formula and disposable diapers (as these things are just as expensive here and the earning wage obviously much lower) and I'll bet advertising and the passing of false "knowledge" is behind it all. I will be joining you as a blogger from the mid-west soon, as my son and I leave for the states next week (I'm from Ohio). Keep up the great posts and glad I linked into your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!