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Baby Formula by Prescription

Australian Midwife Pushes For Formula by Prescription

How far would you go to feed your baby formula? Formula feeding, though pricey, is as easy as popping open a can or scooping out some powder, but some breastfeeding advocates want to make it more difficult by requiring moms to get a prescription for the liquid gold.

An Australian doctor of midwifery, who now has the support of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, is asking stores to remove formula from their shelves and place it behind the pharmacy counter so parents have to speak to their pediatricians before purchasing it for their tots. According to Dr. Jennifer James:

It's about looking at ways of ensuring that women get the support and the education they need when they need it. Having to get some sort of prescription ... then the woman is sitting with a health professional who can go through her breastfeeding problems and set up a plan of action to help her achieve her goal of successfully breastfeeding her baby.

What's your opinion?

Image Source: Getty
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MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
lol, I didn't read the other posts, guess I should have, Lil! Exactly my point on things like this. Restrictions are a slippery slope.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
This is food and food should not require a prescription. If you start putting things like this into effect, how much longer will it be for others? Prescriptions for refined sugar, so we understand how bad it is for us? Prescriptions are in place so that drugs, that can have terrible side effects are RESTRICTED from casual use or abuse. You must see a doctor, receive that doctors okay and instructions on why you need/how to use it, and then you can go to the pharmacy and get that drug. Why exactly should a mother feel that she is restricted from choosing a different food for her child tot he point that she has to get a doctors okay first? What happens when that mother doesn't produce milk, has an accident, has to go away - doctors aren't open on evenings or weekends, does the baby go without? Is an ER trip required to get a sample sized prescription to last until a doctor can be seen? This is the absolute worse idea i've heard in a while. Obviously, it wont pass, but the fact that people are brazen enough to suggest it drives me nuts. On a personal note, I wasn't able to breastfeed. Just like the pp, i produced drops at a time. I tried many many things just like her. When I faced doctor after doctor who didn't seem to care that much, it made it even harder. I beat myself up emotionally pretty severely each time, and I absolutely cannot imagine having to go through all of that (NICU, bili lights, being aawy from my baby for a week, worry) on top of having to EARN the right to feed my child an alternate food source. I would have spent each visit sobbing my brains out and creating even more guilt and emotional distress for myself. If I have another child, i am not even going to attempt to breastfeed. I have had two labors, both good and bad, and neither time produced any milk. I will proudly show up to the hospital with sterilized bottles and a big can of gentlease formula for my little bug and skip the emotional trauma and inevitable bili lights.
kmckay kmckay 6 years
right on LilSugar! Over the summer I watched parent pour orange soda into their baby's bottle! And this was a BABY! Disgusting. On a positive note- if getting a Rx for formula was an option, would that mean insurance would cover the cost? Just a thought... I'm extremely happy that breastfeeding is working for me and that my daughter latched on immediately after birth. I would've been very upset if it didn't go easy for me so I feel for women who tried and didn't succeed for various reasons.
amber512 amber512 6 years
good point LilSugar!
Moms Moms 6 years
If a prescription would be required to purchase baby formula, should a mom also need her pediatrician's approval to buy junk food?
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
I'm another one who had severe PPD...and the lack of sleep and hormonal wonkiness that comes with breastfeeding just made it worse! I breastfed for three months and refused to take antidepressants during that time (both because of fear that the meds would pass through to the baby; and because I didn't WANT to feel better, I was hoping and planning to die because of a narcotics overdose!). After three months, I was still severely depressed, to the point that my daughter wasn't smiling or laughing around me. She'd never seen those behaviors from me! So I got on antidepressants, switched to formula, got some sleep (5 hours at a stretch is heavenly compared to 2 or 3 hours between feedings), and finally felt like myself again around my daughter's first birthday. Long story short, I think breastfeeding should be the assumed first choice. Doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, and moms should be educated (with pros and cons, risks and rewards, problems and solutions--not just advertisements) about both breastfeeding and formula feeding. Those same people; doctors, nurses, LCs, and moms; should also learn to look at the whole picture of mom and baby's health. Breastmilk isn't the be-all end-all benchmark of a healthy baby.
Carri Carri 6 years
I think the cost comes with the so called convenience. Formula IS a convenience for some but a necessity for others. Besides, I'm sure the insurance companies would love to use this as an excuse to (further) raise the rates of women within child bearing age!
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 6 years
If it were by prescription, would it be less expensive? I think the cost is utterly ridiculous. Women will be surrounded by doctors after birth and I think it could be relatively easy to ask the doctor about ideas to help breastfeeding, or to go to formula.
Carri Carri 6 years
I tried to breastfeed but it literally came down to formula or jumping off a freeway overpass. I had sever PPD and nothing would have been more humiliating than to (like Read2me said) jump through hoops just to feed my baby. Some women just can't breastfeed through no fault of their own and feel bad enough when every doctor, nurse, midwife and fellow mom is trying to push it on her.
Read2me Read2me 6 years
I felt horrible enough about not being able to breast feed my child (to the point of sever PPD) and I think having to get a prescription or go through hoops to obtain food for my child would have completely devastated me. I so badly wanted to breastfeed but couldn't and the overly pushy pro-bf contingent made me feel even worse. Most women do what is best for their children- let's respect each other as women and allow us to make our own decisions.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 6 years
I don't think it should be by prescription, but I do think before you leave the hospital, you should be given some kind of consultation about formula (even if you are nursing), just so you have the facts. Not all formulas are the same, and if you keep changing them on your baby, it can lead to fussiness and upset bellies. I think a nurse should go over the proper way to make a formula bottle (I know some women who make it with a little more water to stretch it out), when a prepared bottle expires, how to properly heat a bottle (no microwaving a plastic bottle), etc. Formula can be a wonderful thing for women who can't nurse, or for babies with reflux, or other issues, but since many hospitals partner with a formula company, I think women just go with what they were given.
starbucks2 starbucks2 6 years
I'm a big big advocate of breastfeeding. I think every mom should (if she can, which most moms do!). But it's their right to decide what they want to give to their babies. It's not like pediatricians know it all! Some women don't breastfeed because they resent it. That's not medical, but in some cases it's better to take the stress from her. How is a pediatrician supposed to make the decisions here?
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