I'd be remiss if I missed on this opportunity to rant about the latest and greatest breastfeeding vs. the evil formula companies debate.
Let me premise this by saying that I FED MY BABY FORMULA. GASP! SHUDDER!
I'm not going to tell my story again. It has been told. Again and again. I didn't have a choice but to switch because desperately trying to breastfeed was putting my baby's life at risk. If your baby's life was at risk because he needed to fricking eat, wouldn't you do the same?
I am completely neutral when it comes to breastfeeding. If you can do it, I applaud you. Actually, I ENVY you. So, yay for you. Yay that it worked. Yay Yay Yay. Now, will you please stop shoving it down everyone's throats and let people make this extremely personal decision on their own without all the guilt and bias getting in the way?
Here's the new big dumb controversy. Similac was paying Bloggers for their positive reviews of their Similac Baby Journal app. Okay. So that's nothing new. Bloggers often get paid to promote a product in return for money or goods. What became debatable was there were bloggers who happened to be breastfeeding advocates that are getting paid to write about something that they didn't necessarily agree with or believe in. THAT I can understandably argue with (pot calling the kettle black much? Stick to your guns on your opinions or you can kiss your blog credibility and your integrity goodbye). As much as I would like to rake in some dough with my blog (I make enough for a medium Caribou coffee about every four months) there is NO WAY I would write a review for a product that I didn't believe in (click on my About tab and I explain this further). You will never see me flip flopping just to get compensated unless I had a life altering experience with the product which genuinely changed my opinion.
When I first brought Jackson home, I was a disaster. New house, new mom, breasts that refused to work, uterine infection, baby that refused my breasts, baby losing weight quickly, jaundice getting worse, people constantly on my ass telling me I HAD to breastfeed... It was awful and not exactly the dream I had about bringing a baby home. My entire pregnancy, I literally poured over information about breastfeeding. I feel like I was incredibly self-educated and informed on the subject. I barely looked at anything in regards to formula; yet, I kept all of those samples from my OB/Gyn "just in case." When it got to the point where the choice was very obviously no longer mine, I suddenly had to play catch up and figure out what formula was all about. I wish I had educated myself on it IN THE FIRST PLACE.
I would like to think that I am a smart mom and a smart consumer who makes informed decisions. The pressure to breastfeed from the mom community was SO enormous that I didn't think I had any other options and let me tell you, that is simply not true. When making the switch to formula, I did not ask Similac, Gerber or Enfamil the best way to do it, which kind would be best for my baby or how often to feed him. I ASKED HIS PEDIATRICIAN. So please do not insult my intelligence- I didn't choose to formula feed or buy a specific formula product because Enfamil shoved some marketing campaign down my throat. You don't think Madela has to do some marketing for their breastfeeding products? Hmmmm? Does that make them evil for trying to sell their product? Are they preying on idiot moms who supposedly don't know any better or don't have a single clue on what the hell they are doing? Just curious.
Even though the end product for Similac's baby journal app fell a little short and completely pissed off the breastfeeding community at large, I have to give them a little bit of credit for at least trying. They are at least recognizing that breastfeeding is a big deal for many moms and made an attempt at creating that connection. I took a peek at the app and found the journaling to be easy and straightforward. While I didn't need an app to tell me when my kid was hungry (yes, even as a formula feeder, I read his hunger cues appropriately), his pediatrician did require us to journal when and how much he was eating as well as his dirty diapers and sleep time for about the first two weeks (they needed this information specifically because he was jaundiced). So in that respect, the app is pretty good. Take the "call our feeding expert" option out of it and I think they may have been on the right track. I would like to think that smart moms are going to go to their lactation specialists and pediatricians for advice on feeding before they rely on their iPhone app. Or maybe that's just me. I WISH I HAD THIS APP (hell, I wish I had an iPhone) when Jack was born. There are many baby journaling apps out there (type in "Baby Journal" in the search bar in the App Store... you'll see what I mean), the only difference with this one is that it was made by Similac. A formula company. Gee. I guess it's evil now.
Here are some snapshots of the app at least of the pieces that I would have found useful way back when Jack was an infant (I think the pee and poop visuals in the diaper change section are kind of hilarious):
Would I endorse this app? Yup. I would. Do I endorse breastfeeding? Yup. Of course. Do I endorse formula? YES. Do I endorse moms whose babies love them regardless of which way they are fed? Absolutely.
FYI: I was not paid a single penny for my opinion.