Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enfamil: Meeting Parent Demand or Enabling Abuse?

If you are a mom who likes to keep up on hot topics you have probably seen this new product by Enfamil, one of the world's leading formula companies:


New Enfamil® RestFull™


Specially designed to help babies feel full longer and sleep better.

Give your baby a RestFull Night.

Your baby needs a proper amount of sleep to keep her healthy and happy. That's why we created new Enfamil RestFull, the formula specially designed to naturally encourage a good night's sleep.

•A natural way to help keep your baby feeling satisfied.

•Thickens gently in baby's tummy and digests slowly.

Wait wait wait wait...NATURAL?  Nothing about any brand of formula is natural.  So let's see what they are really selling, shall we?  While it doesn't advertise it's ingredients after some research I found it is formula with rice starch added.  Babies' tummies aren't designed to digest non-human milk.  I can go on about how your baby will most likely have some distress from this constipating combination or about how it's not optimal nutrition, but this isn't really my main focus here.

Whether you formula or breastfeed you should be appalled at this.  Babies need night time parenting.  They wake frequently because it's one of their natural defenses against SIDS and they need help adjusting to the world.  Infant-mother/father bonding isn't important just during daytime hours, but at night as well.  Babies shouldn't be expected to sleep through the night just because they have gloppy formula sitting in their tummies.  It's not just ridiculous, it's dangerous.

But let's take it a step further...what really brought on this demand for a substance that promises us easier babies?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the average American mother. 

This mom watches tv and so she has an idea in her head about what her house should look like, even though she is watching a set and not an actual home she sees the shiny new appliances, the granite countertops and the hardwood floors all sparkling clean with a baby crawling across the floor in a diaper and she looks at her house and thinks "My house is a pigsty!  I need to have a nicer, cleaner home."  So she does more housework and thinks about upgrading her kitchen, which will cost more money.

The average American mother is expected to go back to work when her baby is no more than 8 weeks old.  At this point she still isn't getting good sleep and she has barely healed from her birth.  But she tearfully takes her baby to childcare and leaves him or her for 8-10 hours a day so she can bring home the bacon.

Most average American moms are born into a generation where their moms worked while they grew up and the new grandmas are still working so the average American mom has no support from her mom during this time.

The average American mom still does the majority of the shopping, cooking, cleaning.  That's not to say that the average American dad isn't involved, most are more involved than their fathers were.  But overall it seems that most moms run the house, contribute financially and do the majority of childcare.  With a brand new baby, hormonal shifts, and possibly other children to care for she is easily plagued with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and even depression.  She compares herself to other moms and wonders how they do it.  She resents people who have the support she needs or whose babies sleep through the night.

Night time comes and she is exhausted but her baby hasn't seen her all day and he or she has plans to nurse all night long to make up for the bonding time they missed during the day.  So with about four hours of sleep total under her belt the new mom finds that 6:30am is here way before she is ready. 

So instead of the average American woman demanding that less be demanded of her, she demands that her baby be less demanding.  Enfamil answers the call with the promise of more sleep and the baby is left with glue in his or her tummy so that mom can get some sleep before she goes on a maniacal rampage from sleep deprivation and her husband runs for the hills.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that new moms need mothered, too?  Products like this wouldn't hit the shelves if America just figured this out.  Other cultures pamper their new mommies and some government programs even offer a free baby nurse while their mommies recover.  In other countries working moms are given a year of paid leave from work.  It is awful to see how moms are treated in this country.  If you don't believe me try dealing with a boss who acts like you having a baby is a personal attack on them or who refuse to make finding a place to use a breastpump easy, even though they are required to by law.  Try asking for longer than 6-8 weeks off of work.  I can't tell you how many moms I know have been laid off while on maternity leave or FMLA.

Our babies deserve better than this formula, but our moms also deserve better treatment.  They are raising our future presidents, CEOs, doctors, politicians, clergy, and other important leaders who will control our world when we are no longer able to.  How we treat our moms will reflect how they treat their children.   How we treat our children will reflect on our future.  It's as simple as that.

That being said, I hope this product is pulled of the shelves immediately.

48 comments:

Erin said...

I agree with you, Wendy. While I ended up having to formula feed Caleb, I still was waking up every 3 hours or so during the night to feed him. While it was exhausting at first, I relished every moment I got to hold my little bundle close to me.

It's so sad how little mothers are cared for after they've had a baby. I was one of those moms who was laid off while on maternity leave. While I had the seniority in the department and more schooling and knowledge in my position, it was more convenient for my boss to let me go, knowing I'd now have more home commitments unlike my young, unmarried, childless co-worker. It ended up working for the best because I'm now home full-time with my son. Though having our income almost cut in half has been a real struggle, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Consultant Calamities said...

Wendy, 1st, CONGRATS to your upcoming #4 baby!!! so, who is going to be YOUR doula? :-)

This new forumula disgusts me!! ugh!! and you are so right about the pathetic amount of maternity leave women get here in the US. DH & I actually put off having C. for longer than we wanted, so we could both work, pay down college loans and survive on 1 income when we did have a baby.

I know not everyone can do that, but I just didn't make enough money. After day care and other misc. expenses I would have brought home *maybe* $300 a month. SO not worth it!

Hugs...Lars

Sacred Stitch said...

This is SO true. I've lived in China, Mexico, Cameroon (central Africa) and England, and of them America is the only country that expects women to return to work with days of their 6-week checkup. It's unreasonable, but so many women have to do it, and the ones that don't feel guilty for being able to stay home to take care of their children. It's unrealistic expectations all around, and we all suffer, not just individually but the entire society.
I'd like to see it pulled too, but I think this formula will most likely fly off of the shelves. :-(

Momfulltimeto5 said...

Thank you for saying what many moms believe but get bashed for saying. Children need their mothers! At HOME! It has been a huge sacrifice, but I am so blessed to have been able to stay home for 19 years so far. Our oldest is 19 and the youngest is 3. We home school and wouldn't change the time we have w/our kids for anything. Material things turn into ash in our hands... time does not. Quality time vs. quantity time is a lie from the devil.

I'm new to your blog and find it very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Tracie in Fl

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Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

I agree 100%. I live in Spain (moved here last year) and was Shocked to learn that here in Europe new mothers get at least 2 to 3 months off paid, sometimes even up to a year. Also, with each child the government pays anywhere from 2-4,000 euros depending if it is your first or third child. Fathers also get time off to spend with their newborns as well as money for each child. Daycare is also provided for, for those moms who decide to go back to work. It is paid for by the government. There are private daycare's that one would have to pay for, but at least moms have an option and dont have to work extra hours just to pay someone to watch their baby while they return to work. Health care is also free which is an added bonus. I am appalled at all the junk that is found in baby products (formula, food, shampoo, etc). It is because of this that I have decided to make my own baby food, own baby shampoo and lotion (coconut oil) and stick to breast milk. I found some recipes online for homemade formula and I believe they use a combination of coconut milk and a few other ingredients that is supposed to be very beneficial for newborns.

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Erin IOGoods said...

Amen to that! Though, taking it off of the shelves will only happen once women, mothers and families wake up and stop demanding it!