previous entry :: next entry

Anyone need some brain dev powder for a smoothie?

Another free sample came from enfamil in the mail. This time it's some special pre-toddler formula to help with growing brains. There's even a graph on the package indicating how 85% of Harvey's brain function will be formed by age 3, with the implication that regular food and, um, breast-milk aren't enough to fertilize his little mind like miracle grow.

Enfamil and their competitors have been working pretty hard to ensnare Harvey as one of their potential customers. Here's a sample of the free enticements they sent me before the baby was even born:

formula free samples

sampling is a high-cost high-return marketing tactic

5 large tins of powdered formula
3 single-serving formula sizes
two boxes of baby vitamin drops
one bottle
three nipples
one pacifier
one cold compress bag
a sports-themed bib
a to-go travel back-pack
a thousand pamphlets about the importance of starting your baby off right with good nutrition.
Goodnight Moon. As if we didn't already have two friggin copies of Goodnight Moon.

Breast-feeding in America can be hard. Sometimes it's hard because you don't have support from your healthcare provider to begin with. Sometimes it's hard because you don't stop getting Mastitis or because your breasts are riddled with festering sores. Sometimes it's hard because other people are assholes and don't want to see your boob in any fashion other than titillating.

And sometimes it's not that hard, but quitting seems so so so much easier.

This debate is already raging on the internet, and some people have better things to say than I do. I don't have anything more super deep to say; I just look at that image and it chills me to the core. You can unsubscribe from tv and magazines but you can't escape culture when it's mailed direct to your house every afternoon. Whatever it is that the culture values, good or bad. Brain development. Doing things the easy way. Buying shit.


Not to make light of your issue — I'm just saying, if companies are going to bombard people with freebies, why can't it be free samples of beautiful floral arrangements or lattes or fancy bed sheets... something I can make good use of that doesn't feel all judgy ;)

Seriously, right? I'd take some free lattes, except then other people would judge me for DRINKING COFFEE WHILE NURSING!!!!!

I'll have to drink the coffee in secret. Maybe at work in my windowless pumping closet.

I second the free lattes!
Leah- you must be a strongly sought after consumer-we only got a couple free samples from them for noah! Maybe turn the negative to a positive and donate it to a food or homeless shelter where there may be women who can't or aren't breast feeding :)

I'm right there with you, Lauren. The last 5 boxes went to Lexington's food pantry, so I think this one is destined to go there as well.

OMG! You got a lot of stuff. And it is disgusting how they try to promote their products - it goes against the WHO international code on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

How did you even get on their mailing list? The biggest culprit to giving your name out to those companies is usually the hospital, but you had a homebirth.

And what exactly does it say about breastmilk not being good enough for his brain development?

To answer your question T, if you want to get all this crap be sure to shop at Motherhood Maternity. I gave them my address to get a discount coupon and after that the promos never stopped. I had a issue with the cord-blood people who kept mailing my house too. I even called them to get removed from the mailing list.

When I get home I'll have to post a picture of the new pack I got... i don't think it said breast-milk was bad, only that Enfamil was AWESOME!

Oh, yeah, I really don't like Motherhood Maternity. I wouldn't give them my info and I ended up boycotting them after several bad experiences there.

that package scares me! Motherhood maternity annoys me now, after I started getting formula in the mail I stopped giving them my new addresses. I was totally offended by the whole thing. I always wonder how you compete in the marketing for formula, like you can't send them many free samples of things, I suppose breast pads and phone numbers to lactation consultants. but anyway that package is totally ridiculous. boo hiss.

We didn't get much stuff either, and I did shop at MM, but only after the baby was born. I think the secret is to bring your baby, only buy nursing bras and nursing tanks, and unabashedly breastfeed your child in the store. But I did get a plethora of cord blood information. Seriously, I saw the brochure the first, second, third times, do you really need to send it ten times?

I think my husband is glad that the formula company solicitation days are over... I did a lot of ranting any time I got a sample.

This time around I didn't sign up for anything, yet magically my doorbell rings and I have formula waiting for me and my 29 week belly. I called the companies filed a formal complaint and donated what I had to moms in need.

Turns out a parenting magazine sub I was gifted ( and never read because all it is is a catalog of how I do not parent ...) was responsible for my "gifts".

Add me to the free Latte list.

Oh my goodness! They send SO MUCH STUFF. It's insane. I would have rather they spent the money to send me a massage gift certificate. :)

comments closed for this entry

previous entry :: next entry