(above) newborn onesie as displayed on Old Navy's online store site
Really Old Navy??
Human babies deserve human milk.
There is nothing 'powering' a newborn who is being artificially fed. Babies do not choose to be fed in this manner - one which brings with it negative consequences both immediately, and long term - physically, mentally, and socially.
Rather, babies are born to breastfeed. And when this is not possible, they deserve to be provided with human milk from another source. According to the World Health Organization (1) and countless developmental studies, formula is not 'second best' - rather it is far down the line of what human babies should be provided with for a baseline level of health:
1) breastfeeding (breastfeeding is not 'best' it is normal and expected by newborn mammals)
2) mother's milk in another form (pumped and given by a supplemental nursing system, bottle, or other form if she or baby cannot breastfeed)
3) human milk of another mother if mother's milk is not available
4) artificial feeding of formula
*Some lactation specialists and health advocates recommend the raw milk of another mammal (such as goat milk) before artificial formula concoctions.
In any case, what a sad newborn onesie to have on your shelves. One which advocates for destruction and a true formula for disaster.
Try again, Old Navy. This one belongs in the recycling bin. I just hope that they are not shipped off to an impoverished nation (as some left-over clothing items are) to be handed out to mothers and their babies who desperately need to be supported in breastfeeding.
(below) Old Navy's newborn onesie on store rack for sale
(1) UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO. "Facts for Life: A Communication Challenge." New York: UNICEF 1989; p. 20.
For breastfeeding resources, see this list of helpful websites, articles, and books.
A variety of "Mommy Powered" themed onesies and tees found here.
Where are these, Old Navy?
Old Navy :(ReplyDelete
Seriously? This is enough to make me want to boycott the company. What? Are they in a deal with Nestle now? Like, hey guys formula is COOL.ReplyDelete
yuck :( another reason not to shop thereReplyDelete
Does anyone have the link to the INFACT website where we can report this violation of the WHO code?ReplyDelete
I will NOT be shopping there, NEVER-EVER AGAIN!ReplyDelete
This is the email that Dr Jack Newman just sent Old Navy( he ask me to forward it to everyone I know)ReplyDelete
To whom it may concern,
I am not easily shocked, but I was shocked by your baby suit with the graphic of a bottle and the text "Formula Powered". One of the biggest obstacles to mothers' breastfeeding is the notion in our society that formula feeding and bottle feeding are the normal way to feed a baby. They are not. Breastfeeding is the normal way of feeding a baby.
Not breastfeeding has risks associated with it. Contrary to the formula companies' marketing, formula is not even remotely similar to breastmilk. Yes, they are both liquid, both are white, but that's about it. And it would be a huge boost to the health of mothers and babies if we helped them breastfeed more successfully. Unfortunately, the "bottle feeding mentality" results in mothers not wanting to breastfeeding, in health professionals not thinking they need to get educated about breastfeeding and how to help mothers succeed at breastfeeding.
Where, at least, is the baby suit with a graphic of a breastfeeding mother and the text "Breastfeeding Powered"?
To report: http://www.ibfan.org/code_watch-form.htmlReplyDelete
What a lame shirt. I thought Old Navy was better than that, being one if the few places I've found with inexpensive nursing tops. Looks like they'll do anything for a few bucks though.ReplyDelete
I just sent them an email letting them know they've lost our family as customers. We really shouldn't shop there in the first place considering the stuff is not fair trade anyway.ReplyDelete
This is crazy, breastfeeding is the best thing for your babies, and the most natural thing to do,, I will be boycotting old navy,, and so should everybody else who supports breastfeeding...ReplyDelete
Here are ways in which to contact them to complain:ReplyDelete
Call 1-800-OLD-NAVY (1-800-653-6289).
You may also reach us via TDD by calling 1-800-449-4253.
If you are calling from outside the U.S., please call:
If you have questions or comments about oldnavy.com, write to
Old Navy Online
200 Old Navy Lane
Grove City, OH 43123-8605
If you have questions or comments about an Old Navy store, write to
Old Navy Customer Relations
200 Old Navy Lane
Grove City, OH 43123-8605
Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't just post here - let ON know how you feel! Here is the address:ReplyDelete
I just sent my email. Have you sent yours?
Here is their FB fan pageReplyDelete
I'm sure enough Lactivists comments can make an impact. ....
I wonder if anyone who doesn't see a problem with things like this, has read The Politics Of Breastfeeding? People don't realize how dreadful things like this top are, and it is hard to get across in a couple of sentences.ReplyDelete
I find it notable that this is only found in the boys section online. There is no girl equivalent. Maybe this is due to the continued disgusting misconception that breastfeeding is somehow sexually inappropriate for little boys.ReplyDelete
Sent my email. And am now boycotting their stores.ReplyDelete
Check this out- as if formula wasn't bad enough, don't forget the problems of the dairy industry that produces it. http://www.milksucks.com/index2.aspReplyDelete
I just called Old Navy (1-800-653-6289) and complained about this product. I told them I find it offensive and will not support a store that does not support breastfeeding. I told them how I normally shop at their store but will not support them until they retract this item and that many people feel the same and plan to complain and boycott. They said I may get a call back tomorrow from a customer service rep. ;) I encourage everyone who supports breastfeeding to do the same and let Old Navy know that they need to pull this product. Old Navy (US) 1-800-653-6289.ReplyDelete
Sarah- I've reported it to INFACT Canada- but you can email them as well atReplyDelete
I got the standard form back from them so I guess I will just have to not shop there anymore.ReplyDelete
Dear Old Navy Customer,
Thank you for your email regarding the Old Navy 2-in-1 Tattoo-Graphic
Bodysuits for Baby, style #771696. Old Navy strives to offer stylish
clothes at low prices in an awesome shopping environment and we were so
sorry to hear of your disappointment with the graphics on the onesie.
We appreciate the time you have taken to share your feedback, and can
assure you that your comments have been forwarded to our merchandising
and design teams. It was not our intention to cause any offense and we
apologize for any concern related to our product.
If we may be of further assistance, please contact us at
email@example.com or by calling 1-800-OLD-NAVY. If you are calling
from outside of the U.S. you may also reach us at 1-614-744-3543.
Customer Service Consultant
Even if you get a standard answer, it might still be worth writing to them. If there are enough people letting them know that they don't find it ok to have such/ just such a shirt promoting formula and not breast feeding they might change their thinking.ReplyDelete
After all this is about money for them and losing customers is losing money.
I used to work for Patagonia and they told us that out of 10 customers only one complains and the rest won't shop there anymore and tell other people not to do so either.
I wrote to Old Navy yesterday the moment I had read this blog post.
I hope more people are going to do the same :)
I got the same response to my e-mail complaint. I just can't believe that anyone would actually buy the onesie. Why would you want to advertise that you are giving your child inferior nourishment?ReplyDelete
Why didn't they just make the shirt say, "Milk Powered?" Choosing the word "Formula" definitely seems to be making a deliberate point. Boo!ReplyDelete
This is what I sent last night:ReplyDelete
To Whom it May Concern;
As a breastfeeding mother I was shocked and appalled to find your "Formula Powered" onesie for sale. Formula is never "the next best thing" to mother's milk, contrary to what formula manufacturers would have you believe. The antibodies alone cannot be replicated by formula.
Scientists are discovering all the time that there are more and more attributes to breastmilk than we can imagine that help our babies grow and stay healthy and develop appropriately. Very rarely are there physiological impediments to breastfeeding in which case formula can be a lifesaving option, but it should be the last option. If the mother cannot breastfeed, breastmilk should first be offered in another way, such as pumped and given with a bottle or supplemental feeding device. If that is not an option, breastmilk from another human, from a milk bank, should be the next attempt. Formula should be a choice of last resort. Most blocks to successful, full term, breastfeeding in this country are societal, including messages like that printed on this onesie. I am so disgusted by your choice to sell this "booby trap" and advertisement for the formula companies, that I will no longer shop at your stores. You could have at least found a "Breastmilk Powered" graphic to pair this with.
Rev. Kirsten Williams
This is the obviously form response I received today. Note that only the name differs from the response given to a previous commenter.
Dear Rev. Kirsten Williams,
Thank you for your email regarding the Old Navy 2-in-1 Tattoo-Graphic Bodysuits for Baby, style #771696. Old Navy strives to offer stylish clothes at low prices in an awesome shopping environment and we were so sorry to hear of your disappointment with the graphics on the onesie.
We appreciate the time you have taken to share your feedback, and can assure you that your comments have been forwarded to our merchandising and design teams. It was not our intention to cause any offense and we apologize for any concern related to our product.
If we may be of further assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-OLD-NAVY. If you are calling from outside of the U.S. you may also reach us at 1-614-744-3543.
Customer Service Consultant
Here is the letter I sent Old Navy:ReplyDelete
I am a customer of yours, and also a Dietitian that works with new
moms. I want to talk to you about a baby onesie that you have for sale
that says "Formula Powered." I urge you to consider pulling it from
your shelves, and trashing them.
For one, it is a violation of the WHO (World Health Organization)
artificial milk marketing policy to glorify formula. Formula is an
artificial product designed to be as close to human milk as possible
in the rarest of circumstances that human milk is not available. The
WHO recommends infant feeding options in the following order. Note
that formula feeding is the 4th, and last, option to be considered:
1) breastfeeding (breastfeeding is not 'best' it is normal and
expected by newborn mammals)
2) mother's milk in another form (pumped and given by a supplemental
nursing system, bottle, or other form if she or baby cannot
3) human milk of another mother if mother's milk is not available
4) artificial feeding of formula
(UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO. "Facts for Life: A Communication Challenge." New York: UNICEF 1989; p. 20.)
Second, it is important to note that breastmilk vs. formula is not
necessarily something that women choose. Many women STRUGGLE to
breastfeed, but need to resort to formula feeding because they were
not given appropriate support by their health professionals, and their society. Our culture is full of booby traps as this article describes:
Formula is a dangerous thing to be glamorizing at a popular clothing
store. It simply does not imitate breastmilk. It lacks many things:
antibodies and growth hormones, for example. Also, human breastmilk
changes in composition in response to a baby's needs. Further, the
control an infant has over his intake while breastfeeding is the
beginning of a lifetime of food regulation, linked to healthier body
weights as adults. It is well established that breastmilk is the only normal food for infants. Anything less is linked with increased risk of illness in the short term, such as ear infections, and in the long term, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer.
I learned of this product from this article. I urge you to read it in
full & consider the social and health implications of your
Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
I sent a note to Old Navy saying, "Formula Powered" is just buying into the hype the government & FDAReplyDelete
wants from citizens. Let's begin life with junk food, highly processed, chemical laden, artificial ingredients.... to set a foundation of an unhealthy life(style) the child will endure for the rest of their life. Bc they have no say in what their care givers feed them the 1st years of their life, will reflect on the path they will take for the rest of their lives unless they are educated properly about natural-made ways, not man-made. If you're going to print & support this, you have to also print & support "Mommy's Milk Powered"! They followed with an email saying, Thank you for your email regarding the Old Navy 2-in-1 Tattoo-Graphic Bodysuits for Baby, style #771696. Old Navy strives to offer stylish clothes at low prices in an awesome shopping environment and we were so sorry to... hear of your disappointment with the graphics on the onesie. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your feedback, and can assure you that your comments have been forwarded to our merchandising and design teams. It was not our intention to cause any offense and we apologize for any concern related to our product. The more who respond, the more we'll be heard.
In response to the Old Navy "Formula Powered" onesie and the lack of a breastfeeding version, my husband and I created an alternative for all the parents of babies who feel excluded and upset that they are not represented. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to La Leche League to help them further breastfeeding support and education. Please repost and share! http://www.zazzle.ca/nicolebrossReplyDelete
My friend and her husband have created a onesie in response: http://www.zazzle.ca/nicolebrossReplyDelete
They are giving the proceeds to the La Leche League!
Although I commend you on your efforts, I really don't like the idea of a child wearing something for my own belief. I think this is the reason why I have issues with baby/child shirt sayings.
DD had only had a few shirts with sayings, one was "Mommies alarm clock" and the other "Why am I going for a nap, it's my mom's who's tired", the others are completely in Mommy brain mush right now.
They are too young to make a choice for politics never mind they don't get a choice in feeding either. I would wear a shirt though, just would not buy one for my daughter.
I am an advocate and I hope one day DD will be too. However, my belief is just my belief. She can make that choice up for herself. I breastfeed her wherever we are located, and she, just gets hungry.
outsentiments ~ everything we put on our children (the way we dress them, the items they sport around) all send a message. I'd rather the message being sent through our dress choices (for our family) be ones that foster others to think, and encourage baby-friendly care, and gentle living, rather than Disney, Hannah Montana, pro-sports, machismo, McDonalds, or sexy diva outfits...ReplyDelete
What would mothers do if there wasn't such thing as formula? Guess it would be survival of the fittest if the mother couldn't or wouldn't breastfeed.ReplyDelete
We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our fore mother's milk, that's how we've been able to survive since the beginning of time. It's what our bodies are intended for.
You don't see other mammals finding some other unnatural way to feed their babies.
Mother's who claim they 'didn't get any milk in', 'don't have enough supply to meet the demand', need to look carefully at their diet & environment.
There is no way if we are able to conceive & bring forth a child, that we aren't able to naturally nourish that child.
People rely too much on what's easy &/or convenient & make the worst decisions regarding food & health.
Because they do come hand in hand, you are what you eat. You put junk - artificial, refined, processed foods into your body, your body is going to have a negative effect rather than a positive one that will keep you healthy & happy for the all of your life.
Knowledge is Power, Research is Key.
Boo to Old Navy. Thanks to all those who posted contact information so I can take action.ReplyDelete
Here is a great alternative to combat the message that I found, made by a woman right down the street from me!
I've worked for Old Navy for the last 6.5 years, part time.....I just had my third baby in March and am having some major issues about my maternity leave. My child and I exclusively bf...no pumped bottle, just the boobie. ON, only allows you to take a 10 week leave w/o being terminated. I have had to work two small shifts since my son was born, leaving him at home obviously. The first shift I had to leave early b/c he was upset at home, starving.....the second shift I made it home just in time and am now suppose to work sometime next week, since it has been 10 weeks again. Totally dreading it! I hate leaving him hungry (I obviously nurse as much as he wants before I leave for my shift).ReplyDelete
My manager, who I have worked with for 3 years now and is a mom herself has zero compassion for me...Her response to the situation was "he can take it (the bottle) or starve". I was floored when that commment came out of her mouth! It really made me look at our relationship!
Anyway, this just adds to my harsh feelings and experiences with them!
NHansen ~ so sorry you are being put in a terrible position (your baby as well). We certainly don't live in a mother/baby friendly culture. :(ReplyDelete
If it is a position you have to stick with at ON, there may be some tips that are helpful in nursing your little one here:
"Balancing Breastfeeding: When Moms Must Work"
There are more formula fed babies than breast fed babies, so of course they are going to sell a shirt that's more likely to make a profit. My baby is EBF, but that shirt doesn't really bother me. It's not like anyone is forcing me to buy it.ReplyDelete
I am a marketing instructor at a community college and I've just been teaching my class about how marketers need to be sensitive to the cultural environment when designing products and promoting them. I'm quite floored that Old Navy was so STUPID as to put this into their product line. Did nobody comment that it might have negative consequences? Ergo I'm beginning to believe they did it as a publicity stunt... which is shocking and disappointing at best.ReplyDelete
I am very pro-BFing, but I also recognize that everyone is not going to choose what is best. With that said, why would someone be proud to formula feed? That's like me advertising on a shirt that my kids are powered by McDonalds food. It's still food and I'm feeding them, but it's nothing to be proud of. In a time when eco is so in, why wouldn't they advertise a healthy, green product or choice?ReplyDelete
For those that said it won't make moms not breastfeed. How do we know? The more normalized formula is, the more uncomfortable moms get about breastfeeding. You wouldn't find a shirt like this is many countries. In many countries, formula is something given by doctors because it's *only* used in extreme situations.
I don't think it has anything to do with breastmilk vs. formula. The truth of the matter is, very few - an extremely SMALL - number of people are *unable* to breastfeed. A larger number of people don't succeed in breastfeeding because of lack of support/help/proper advice (that is the real issue that needs to be addressed when concerning successful breastfeeding and getting more people to breastfeed)....ReplyDelete
BUT tops like this say 'Hey - I formula feed and its COOL!'... even though that struggled, really wanted to BF and ended up not doing that (either because they were not actually physically able to or from lack of advice/support) probably wouldn't have their child wear this item of clothing. They are not going to advertise something that wasn't much of a choice of theirs if their heart was somewhere else. This top is advertising formula s some 'good' and 'normal'.
Thank you for posting this comment! As someone who really wanted to breast feed but had to formula feed, it was hard to be okay with. Especially when people and strangers even give you a hard time about it. They may not realize that I already gave myself a hard enough time, the last thing I need is them to do it for me. I would love to have this shirt, bc like you said its not about FF vs BF, (and Im sure ON didnt mean for it to be that either) but about being okay w/ FF.Delete