Thursday, April 26, 2007

Were you sold out for a sandwich?

Through the Black Breastfeeding blog, I found Motherwear's blog (Dude, how long has Motherwear had a blog? I had no idea.).

There, I found this which leaves me absolutely aghast and absolutely furious.

Were you sold out for a sandwich?

I know this marketing aimed at hospital staff happens. I'm just floored by the details. I'm also furious about the ethical issues that are being ignored.

After my girls were born, there was a recall on preemie formula. It was found to have potentially life-threatening contaminants. Luckily, my girls never got formula, so we never had to worry. Breastfeeding was EXTREMELY difficult for a good chunk of time, though. What if I had been swayed by the L&D and NICU nurses with their "Good Start" pins and free formula? My children could have been killed. I would have had to BURY MY BABIES, but hey, it's all good. The nurses would have gotten a slice of pizza thanks to their friendly Nestle rep. My kids' lives traded for lunch? That certainly sounds like a fair exchange, don't ya think?


tanya@motherwearblog said...

Hi, it's Tanya from the Motherwear Blog - and we've been around for about 6-7 months! :)

Thanks for a *clear* illustration of how marketing in hospitals can be really dangerous. I'm so glad you stuck it out in spite of the pressures and lack of support!

On one hand, we have health and the prevention of potentially life threatening and disabling lifetime conditions, and on the other hand we have...a sandwich.

Thanks for linking to this post!

- Tanya

Giselle said...

It's worse than that, you know. They not only get really nice catered lunches, pens, other gadgets, but some hospitals get even more. The hospital where I worked had a contract with Ross where they gave every single nurse on the floor (NICU, L&D, antepartum, and mother/baby units) $250 per year in conference money. That's in addition to the stupid formula bags, and formula coupons that new moms get.

Pixie LaRouge said...

I read this twice, called my mother and read it to her, then read it again myself. It still makes me want to barf. I wish I knew a solution. I wish anyone knew a solution. Why does the right thing so often have to be the free thing, so we can't afford to do all those fancy marketing stuff to make the world a better place? Ugh. I wish we all had a solution...

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Horrible, but not surprising. At the hospital where I had Aidan, some of the receptionists were carrying in food from Ted's Escondido. I asked them if they were having a party today, and they said that the drug reps bought it for them "as a reward for the number of surgical procedures done last months." Read: # of c/s which require the use of said drugs. I'm so thankful for this encounter b/c it was one of the first things that made me start researching a better way. We need to get marketing out of the health care field! Leah

TheFeministBreeder said...

Wow. that is horrifying!!! Breastfeeding literally saved your kids' lives.

Ugh... fucking hospitals.