Friday, January 29, 2010

Step Away from the Guilt, Dear Reader, Step Away from the Guilt

(This is a post in which I have been compensated. Having said that, all opinions are my own and I have not felt the slightest bit of pressure to write a favorable or unfavorable post because of that compensation.)

When the chickadees were born, I didn't worry about the baby formula "wars." I intended to nurse them. Until at four months old, The Affectionate One developed a double ear infection and I found out I was pregnant with Whirling Dervish. My doctors were especially concerned with my ability to bring Whirling Dervish to full term because of my age (the ripe old age of 32) and previous history of miscarriages. I nursed The Affectionate One until her ear infections cleared up - poor thing needed some kind of comfort while in all that pain - and then reluctantly turned to my choices in baby formula.

I scoured the shelves in trying to figure out which was the best. At the time we were receiving WIC as a result of my husband being laid off and our WIC coupons allowed us to "purchase" Enfamil only. So the decision was largely taken out of our hands. Free is free, after all.

I could see no discernible difference, but I'd always had the uncomfortable impression that all other brands of baby formula were far inferior to Enfamil. Even though, the main ingredients of each brand read pretty much the same. When we ran out of Enfamil and needed to purchase our own formula, I went right to the less expensive store brand out of financial necessity and felt guilty about not being able to provide "the best" formula for my chickadees.

My chickadees are well beyond the baby formula stage now, but I thought that the following information was interesting and worth sharing just the same.

PBM, the maker of store brand baby formulas for Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Sam's Club and Kroger brought a law-suit against Mead-Johnson, citing false claims made by Mead Johnson (i.e.“It may be tempting to try a less expensive store brand, but only Enfamil LIPIL is clinically proven to improve brain and eye development,” and “There are plenty of other ways to save on baby expenses without cutting back on nutrition.”) that Enfamil is superior to store bought brands and that Enfamil helps in the development of a baby's eyes and brain.

This is the third such lawsuit successfully won by PBM. And yet Mead Johnson and their advertising company, Saatchi & Saatchi, have ignored the rulings against them. For more information you can click here and here.

All this is to say, if you do or have used store brands, leave the guilt and/or confusion behind you. Step away from the guilt, dear reader, step away from the guilt. We mothers have so much to worry about, this doesn't have to be one of them.

The store brands mentioned above are not inferior to the larger more well-known brands, as Mead Johnson would have me us believe. The Long Version: Store-brand infant formulas are nutritionally equivalent to, and confer the same developmental benefits as, the more expensive national brands. The Short Version: You don't always have to pay more to get an equally valuable product.

Lesson learned. A little late for me in the baby formula arena, but lesson learned just the same. Goodbye guilt!

1 comment:

  1. Aaaaaah, yes, the lies advertisers tell. I'm a store brand girl and proud of it! It keeps us in QUANTITY of food. Which is immensely important to a household with two teen boys. Who. Eat. All The. Time. :)


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