Thursday, January 16, 2003

Is Your Infant’s Nutrition Being Compromised by Cost? --

GORDONSVILLE, VA -- (INTERNET WIRE) -- 01/15/2003 -- "Baby formula that is more like breast milk is now available on store shelves. Last year the FDA approved the addition of DHA and ARA, two fatty acids, to infant formula, which had already been available in much of Europe and Asia over the past four years. Eventually the enriched formula is expected to replace non-DHA formula. But, even though sales are on the rise?these formulas are expensive increasing the cost of formula an average of 33% more per ounce. This is taking the annual cost of formula from $1,200 to $1,400."

[Note this WalMart news release comes complete with a video news release and b-roll footage including interviews with a mother expressing concern about the high cost of formula, and with a doctor representing the infant formula industry who talks about breastfeeding. It's a good study in marketing technique. When was the last time a pro-breastfeeding message went out via VNR? - JC]
Nestlé 'breaking code on baby milk for Third World'

By Jeremy Laurance Health Editor,

17 January 2003,

"Western companies including Nestlé and Danone are accused today of breaching an internationally agreed code on the promotion of baby milk in the developing world, which is contributing to the deaths of thousands of children.

Every 30 seconds, campaigners claim, a baby dies from unsafe bottle feeding. Yet despite the marketing code and an international boycott of the companies involved over more than 20 years, the trade continues....
The survey was conducted by Victor Aguayo and colleagues, and published in the British Medical Journal. The authors say urgent action is needed to ensure families get objective information on child feeding "at a time when it can mean the difference between life and death".

They add: "Infant mortality in Togo and Burkina Faso is among the highest in the world. Every year sub-optimal breast feeding is the underlying cause of an estimated 3,300 infant deaths in Togo (25 per cent of all-cause infant mortality) and over 6,200 infant deaths in Burkina Faso (11 per cent of all-cause infant mortality).""
Benefits of cod liver oil not an old wives tale
Clinnix, Wednesday, 15th January 2003

"Maybe your grandma was right about cod liver oil - research has shown that mothers who supplement their diet with cod liver oil while pregnant and breastfeeding are likely to have more intelligent children than mothers who don't take the supplement. The study, which is published in the online version of the journal Pediatrics, found that children whose mothers took cod liver oil while they were pregnant scored higher on mental tests at the age of four than children whose mothers had not taken the supplement. "
Mothers in Britain receive third lowest maternity pay in EU

By Matthew Beard

16 January 2003, The Independent

"Maternity pay in Britain is the third lowest in the European Union, a global study into state provision for new mothers reveals today....
The issue of state support for mothers is part of a drive to achieve a work-family balance being promoted by ministers. But sceptics claim the Government's family-friendly agenda is to highlight the working tax credit, child tax credit and better leave for parents planned for the Budget in April, eclipsing tax rises for the childless.

Karen Gadsden, 30 - 'I pleaded for an extra two weeks off'

In theory, Karen Gadsden, 30, had up to a year after the birth of her daughter, Cerys, to go back to her job as arts teacher at a west London school.

But she was forced by the family finances and cost of child care to drastically reduce the breastfeeding and go back to work. Her paid leave ran out after 18 weeks and, just as she was due to start at a school in Acton, her five-month-old daughter stopped eating. "I pleaded with the headmistress to give me another two weeks off [unpaid] and she agreed, probably because she has children of her own," said Ms Gadsden. "I eventually returned two days before the end of the summer term and was entitled to payment for the school holidays, which was lucky."

She returned part-time in September, dashing to the staff toilets between lessons to siphon off breast milk for use later. "I think it is hypocritical of the Government to promote the virtues of breast milk when the system doesn't make it realistic."