This article was recently posted on Birthing Beautiful Ideas:
[Recently] on Twitter, @heartsandhandss alerted me to a Similac product that has me wavering between disheartened disbelief and cynical outrage:
That’s right. Formula for moms.
Or as the Similac Canada site specifically states, it’s a “nutritional beverage” designed “for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms.”
Uh huh. A formula for moms who may be planning to or who are already breastfeeding.
Not surprisingly, after glancing through the site’s information on Similac Mom, I’ve counted more than a few glaring problems with this (patently ridiculous) product.
A badge declaring that Similac Mom is “available in the infant aisle” (or, it suggests, “ask your pharmacist.”)
Riddle me this: why would a product targeted to pregnant women and breastfeeding moms be available in the infant aisle?
It couldn’t possibly be that the proximity of Similac Mom to formula canisters would lead pregnant women to associate their own “nutritional beverage” with Similac’s baby formula!
It certainly couldn’t be that each and every time a pregnant or breastfeeding mother went to pick up her Similac Mom, the Similac brand would become further entrenched in her mind, potentially leading her to think “Similac! Formula!” every time she went for her daily “nutritional beverage.”
And goodness me, it couldn’t be that this “nutritional beverage” for “breastfeeding moms” would thereby insert a well-known infant formula brand into the breastfeeding section of a grocery or pharmacy aisle!
Canadian moms: if you’ve seen Similac Mom in your grocery or pharmacy, is it located near the formula containers or near the breastfeeding products? Or is it somewhere else entirely?
The product is described as “the first and only nutritional beverage for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms.”
Formula-feeding moms are, it seems, not an important demographic for this particular product. And why might that be?
It is true that pregnant and lactating women have different nutritional needs than women who aren’t pregnant or lactating.
But I think there’s another reason why Similac Mom isn’t targeted to formula-feeding moms: They’re already purchasing formula!
Similac Mom ensures that all women can be consumers of Similac-brand formulas–even the ones who aren’t buying it for their babies! (And hey–Similac Mom might just “help” breastfeeding moms to choose Similac infant formula too!)
When combined with prenatal vitamins, Similac Mom could lead to potentially dangerous levels of Vitamin A.
Both pregnant and breastfeeding moms are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins in order to supplement their daily nutritional intake. Typically, the daily dosage of these vitamins contains 5000 IU of Vitamin A.
But taking too much Vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to birth defects.
Similac Mom includes 1166 IU of Vitamin A. When combined with a prenatal vitamin and food sources of Vitamin A–especially if one were to drink more than one serving of Similac Mom–this could lead to a potentially dangerous level of this vitamin.
(And this is why the site advises women to consult their doctors if they plan to drink more than one serving. Yikes!)
The site describes Similac Mom as something women can drink “rather than skipping a meal” and as a “meal replacement.”
I can make this short and sweet: Don’t. View. Similac. Mom. As. A. Meal. Replacement.
A supplemental snack? Sure. But a meal? No.
225 calories per serving does not a meal make for a pregnant or breastfeeding mom. (And two Similac Moms is probably not an option for most women, especially if they are also taking a prenatal vitamin with the aforementioned dosage of Vitamin A.)
If you don’t have time to prepare quick meals or snacks as you need them, try and spend one or two mornings or evenings each week making turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread, or apple slices and peanut butter, or cheese and crackers, or bran muffins, or anything that you can store in the fridge during the week and then grab “on the go” when you need them.
If you forget to eat meals (and I never understood this until I had kids), try and store baskets of healthy snacks all around the house and/or on your desk at work.
If friends and/or family members have offered you help, ask them to bring you meals. They don’t even have to be hot meals! A basket filled with healthy snacks (that you can combine into a makeshift “meal”) for pregnant or breastfeeding moms is a wonderful treat!
Just make sure that none of those “meals” is Similac Mom.
As if this weren’t all bad enough, the second listed ingredient in Similac Mom is sugar. And there’s no fiber in it to boot.
On behalf of pregnant and new mom’s bodies (and butts) everywhere, I say no thank you, Similac.