Thursday 21 June 2012

Week 42- Jeremy Vine, burning bras and formula milk

Nancy drinks from a bottle. I have never been more relieved or happier. And she decided to debut this new skill the night before I went back to work. When I was panicking my face off that she'd spend the whole day half starved while I was out.

And now she downs two massive bottles of formula milk a day.

My health visitor had told me to not give her follow on milk as it was just a filler upper. Mind you I find she changes her mind on a minute by minute basis depending on her mood. And we are talking about a woman who writes stuff all over her hand and arm cos she can't remember which house she left her pad at.

But I thought I'd take her advice on this one and get the normal formula milk. And at over nine quid a tin, we're talking some serious Boots points here.

Until I saw a sign that Boots don't award parenting points for under 6 months formula milk.

And I suddenly felt absolutely furious with a shop I've dedicated many hours lurking in over the last 9 months. Who's staff I've developed uncomfortably familiar relationships with, where they ask where my baby is when I go in solo.

I know pretty much what's on each aisle by memory. And now I feel massively let down by a bit of a British institution.

How dare they? What right do they have to make a moral judgement on whether or not you give your baby formula?

It's one thing boycotting Nestlé for their aggressive marketing of formula over breast milk to women in third world countries. But Boots?

Turns out it's government legislation to not promote formula through offers and incentives, so none of the big stores give loyalty points.

Now, I'm not intending to stand outside burning my bra carrying Nancy wearing a 'down with the state' baby gro. And I know Boots don't owe me anything, so that's not the point really either.

In fact I probably owe them some rent for the amount of time I hang out in there without actually buying anything.

But it strikes me that you get judged for the decisions you make as a mum all the time.

Jeremy Vine was going on about how long you should breast feed for and whether its appropriate to do it in public, on the radio the other day. He said one listener was disgusted by the idea of breast feeding in public, however old the baby. And compared it to checking his prostate in a shopping centre.

Jezzer V said, is it the same thing? Is it?

Well no. Of course it's not. Feeding your baby when it's hungry, and sticking your finger up your bum to check for lumps in public is DEFINITELY not the same thing.

At the end of the day I just want to do what's best for Nancy. I want her to grow up strong and healthy.

And if she's going to be judged by anyone, let it be her mum and dad.

Not Unilever or Walmart...


  1. Surely gotta be a good thing though, hon? Good in that government is promoting breastfeeding, gotta admit that makes me feel really excited after all my years championing it, though obviously won't be something I'll be able to do myself! And as for JV, I don't know where they get the crazy people on it from, find it so disturbing I can't listen to it anymore...x

  2. Great work with championing for breastfeeding and agree that it's good that it's being encouraged by the government. Would just be better if it was positive encourgagement and more widely done instead of 'punishing' those who choose to suppliment with formula or use it soley.

    Women's Hour is a much nicer listen! xx