Friday, September 23, 2011

formula wastelands

I realize that when some people think of baby formula, pretty pictures come to mind- Family. Mommy sitting with baby. Happy babies eating. Cleanliness and purity. An advanced, modern society.

Not me. When I think of baby formula, among the many thoughts that come to mind (nasty chemicals, hurtful propaganda, the denial of the beauty of our motherhood), one stands out- a picture of landfills overflowing with the waste of the formula industry. Bottles. Nipples. Formula containers. Packaging. Above it the haze of pollution created by the factories that produce the formula and the trucks that deliver it all over our country and world.

Our experience with baby formula was so full of waste, it sickened me. It started in the NICU with Toddler B. Because of her severe special needs, she was unable to breastfeed. Add to this my rocky start with pumping- the result was the need to use formula (by the way, this is one area where I am thankful for the creation of formula- the needs of babies who without it would die).

I soon found out that the hospital was neurotic in it's desire for sterility- each time we fed Toddler B, it was with one of the single serve formula bottles seen above. Each time we were given a new nipple. Everything was thrown in the trash immediately after use. I asked about reusing our nipples- they wouldn't allow it. I asked about recycling- it was not done in our hospital (I was floored at this. It's 2011, for cripes sake- get with it!).

The amount of trash was criminal- about 10 little bottles and 10 little nipples a day, plus the packaging they came in. I still can feel the spiritual wound that I felt from it- the guilt that I was saddling my new baby with that garbage karma in her first days of life made me sick.

Compare this to breastfeeding- zero waste. Zero. Zero! ZERO!

To the soon-to-be mamas out there- please, think of this image- do you want your children to play on landfills constructed of formula waste in air they cannot breathe? No, you don't. Give them the breast.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. I used some of those cute disposable bottles (the hospital and my OB gave me some.) I vowed not to purchase any more after I used the formula. I still have most of the bottles, and I'm trying to think of ways to reuse them.


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