Friday, May 13, 2011

Walmart formula, and other ways I jipped my children

No. Not really. 

Warning: this is NOT one of those "Breast Isn't Really Best" posts.
Because breastfeeding definitely is, most of the time, for most people. There's nothing wrong with those posts; for one thing, they're reassuring to women like my former self. You see, some of us beat the emotional crap out of ourselves when, for whatever reasons, we ended up bottle-feeding our children. It is nice to hear that we're not, you know, deadbeat moms. I'm just not going there right now. Oops, too late...

This post basically boils down to two things:
  1. Companies that, in the name of sales, throw guilt and fear at new mothers.  Because new moms have NONE of their own... AND
  2. Me being cheap.
See, I don't like spending money I don't need to spend. Unless it's on coffee. Or shoe sales. Or MP3s of Dar Williams songs I haven't heard since high school. After Miss M's birth I was pretty torn up about the loss of the bonding that we'd supposedly never achieve over a bottle. She's definitely a Daddy's girl, but I can't get her off my lap with a crowbar some days. I think we're good. Even moreso, I was freaked about the cost of the liquid gold that is Name Brand Formula.  At the time of Mad's birth, I didn't know there was any other kind.

Think for one minute about all the formula advertising mommies are subjected to: packets of coupons in the mail, free diaper bags, free bottles, keepsake books with the formula brand slapped all over it. My friend even got a giant Similac teddy bear! Not that I'm at ALL jealous.
Way cooler than the freebie bag I got.  I would have actually opted to use this, even over my trusty college bookbag.

I distinctly remember reading that only (fill in the Brand Name Formula) has the something-something in the right combinations my baby needed to blah blah blah...
Obviously, you want everything to be just right, as good as it can be, for your new baby. With all the propaganda that expectant and new moms digest, no wonder we go home with the free can of the expensive stuff, find that our baby takes it beautifully, and never look back. If we did glance back, we'd notice that at the bottom of the grocery store shelf there are formula cans that retail for less than half of The Good Brand.  With the exact same contents as the $20+ can we just tossed in our cart.

As in all grocery departments, if it's the same stuff with a plainer label and costs less, I will try it at least once. And guess what? Walmart, Target, Walgreens, everybody  makes their own formula. Turns out they're pretty much all made by the same company.  So guess what I (eventually) tried, pretty much when the Similac coupons ran out?
Pssst!  Don't tell my kids' perspective colleges - I fed them Walmart's home brand!

Surprise! Miss M is fine. Better than fine. We'll go with "generally healthy" and "too darn smart for anyone's good".  Both my girls were on weird formulas after a while anyway, but if not for the messed-up-heart and messed-up-stomach things, E would never have tasted a drop of the pricey stuff.  And her pricey stuff was prescription.

I therefore  found it so cool to read on a blog I follow that PBM Products, the makers of infant formula for major chain stores like Walmart, Target, Walgreens (the big three generics of my children's lives), won a false-advertising lawsuit against the makers of Enfamil.


Mead Johnson, Maker of Enfamil, Loses Multi-Million Dollar False Advertising Case Against Store-Brand Infant Formulas.
Store-brand formulas found in federal court to be nutritionally equivalent to and confer the same developmental benefits as the more expensive national brands.

Why, with all the other "shoulds" I got about feeding Miss M, did I never hear from her pedicatricans, "Hey, guess what? You can feed your baby that non-fancy, no-name stuff and she'll be great anyway!"  Why was this never discussed?

Because they pediatricians didn't want the free Enfamil pens to stop?

Because they wanted to pretend I was really a good mom, and was of course breastfeeding even though I said "bottle" when they asked? 
Because, truthfully, I never asked?

Oh well.
That  U. S. Circuit Court judge just schooled Enfamil.

Always the teacher, I'm pertetually looking for a good future lesson; what could this turn of events teach us?

That you never know if you'll like something new until you try it?

That "expensive" does not equal "better"?

That a pretty package doesn't mean a better product (or person)?

That the savings on a couple $10 cans of Parent's Choice equals a bunch of Dunkin Donuts trips and a new pair of flip-flops?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was always pissed off that the girls' special formula was only made by the name brand companies. I would have happily bought the store-brand if only they had it.


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