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“Ban The Bottle” – A Formula For Disaster

Ban The Bottle

In Venezuela, law-makers will be discussing legislation which would deny parents access to formula, with exceptions including mothers with limited milk supply or in the case of the death of the mother.

mother feeding from bottle her adorable baby boy

What if a mothers aren’t able to breastfeed, how long will baby’s have to wait before they receive formula to keep them alive? Who is going to be teaching mothers how to breastfeed if, according to CNN, only 27.1% of mothers in Vanezuela who are able to breastfeed do so, what support will be there for mothers who’ve not seen breastfeeding in their own families and communities? According to Fox News medical professionals themselves may face fines for disregarding the bill’s provisions – is there a risk that doctors may be unwilling to sign off on allowing babies access to formula even if it is needed for a baby to survive? If a mother passes away, in a time of utter despair and crisis, will there be avenues in place that will allow that family access to formula before the baby’s next feed?

Also, what if a mother does not want to breast feed? It should not be up to politicians to tell women what to do with their own breast; that, in itself, is disgusting.

According to Huffington Post “Legislator Odalis Monzon said the proposal would “prohibit all types of baby bottles” as a way to improve children’s health.” Wouldn’t that then also prevent mothers from feeding their baby’s expressed breast milk, if they need to return to work, which would also financially disadvantage women?

While I do believe the benefits of breastfeeding are multifaceted and long reaching, denying access to bottles and formula in my opinion is in no way appropriate or helpful. Governments and individuals can be PRO-breastfeeding without being ANTI-formula. You can celebrate breastfeeding, you can promote, encourage, and provide opportunities to breastfeed without shaming or denying access to formula and bottles and while think of myself as a breastfeeding advocate, what I truly advocate is babies being fed. Babies have a right to be fed. It must come from such an incredibly privileged place for anyone to take issue with parents feeding their babies.

There are no easy answers to improving breastfeeding rates; however I do think that education and choice are key factors to ensuring the quality of health and wellbeing for both mother and baby.

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.

She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.

She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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3 comments

  1. it is discusting that a government is even contemplating taking away the choice. Yes, breast feeding is ideal. not everyone can do it, and not everyone wants too. if the rates in Venezuela are so incredibly low for breast feeding, wouldn’t education about it be more benificial to everyone involved. Include breastfeeding classes/seminars, for free, with hospital appointments. instead of making formula unavailable for the average woman, lower the costs of things like breast pumps and increase the cost of formula somewhat as aninsentive to breast feed. unless it’s perscribed by a doctor and then have it rebated by whatever medicare type system they have in place. It just seems wrong to take away a choice entirely, rather than exploring options of education.

  2. Sounds like a backwards step for the rights of women. Would be better to provide education about the risks of using artificial baby milk and/or bottles, and give support for women who wish to breastfeed. I would also like to point out though, that there are numerous ways to feed a baby (especially a newborn) breastmilk or artificial baby milk that doesn’t involve a bottle : finger feeding, cup feeding, supplementary tube feeding, syringe feeding to name a few.