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Tell Old Navy to Stop Empowering the Formula Industry

formula powered As if the formula industry didn’t have enough power…now your baby can empower it with this adorable onesie.

Yuck, right?

I am a former formula-feeder, as some of you might know. As a single mama to my older child, working full-time, I couldn’t always pump enough to satiate him. So I supplemented with organic formula, as well as breastfed until he was 10 months old. Of course, now 5 years later, I see that I simply didn’t have the proper support to breastfeed exclusively while working outside the home. I breastfed my second child until he was 21 months old.

That said, even as a former formula feeder (and understanding that breastfeeding is sometimes hard), I find this onesie offensive.

As if breastfeeders don’t have it hard enough. We have industry pressures from the time baby is born. We have haters coming out against public breastfeeding. We even have a feminist down on us!

We all know breastfeeding is best for baby…and mama. Formula simply isn’t the healthy option. So, why doesn’t Old Navy know it?

Baby’s too young to get a tattoo, but he can still rock the look with this adorably edgy bodysuit! Tattoo-inspired graphics and 2-in-1 styling make it totally bad (in a good way!).

Yeah! What a wild child; drinking this muck!

Let’s make sure we all voice our outrage at their support for the formula industry. Let Nestle make this ridiculous outfit, not a clothing company we rely on for school clothes! We’re smart enough to boycott Nestle. But Old Navy, too? Yep.

I’m boycotting the company (including Gap, Banana Republic, and PiperLime) until they remove this offensive product from their lineup. And I already let them know this, and why.

You can too.

Call them: 1-614-744-3908

Write them:

Old Navy Customer Relations

200 Old Navy Lane

Grove City, OH 43123-8605

Email them: custserv@oldnavy.com

And pass it on.

Next onesie to be featured on Old Navy? “I Heart HFCSHow cute!

Follow me on Twitter.


  1. You are an idiot. Judgemental idiot.

  2. Wow. For someone who doesn’t want to be judged, that’s some judging you’re doing. I breast-fed both my kids and find absolutely nothing offensive about this. People have the right not to buy the onesie, but I see no reason to boycott an entire chain of stores for selling a product you don’t like.

    The whole thing is kind of ironic, given you have ads for Nestle on your blog.

    And have you thought about the mothers who have to constantly defend themselves against La Leche types for not breast-feeding (whatever their reason might be – you yourself had a good one)? If I were THAT mother, I’d love to own this shirt as a giant FU to the world.

    Live and let live, my friend. You’ll be much happier.

  3. Good for you for boycotting and letting them know why! Why not breastmilk powered?

  4. So sorry if any of you were subjected to formula ads. We are trying to correct this problem. Our ad company is suppose to only run green ads, but it does backfill with google ads. Google ads will pick up keywords in posts and run related ads. So sorry, and yes, it is hypocritical. In a perfect world, we would have all of this under control, but we are busy parents like you….

  5. Agreed. I wrote them a while back (and got a response!) but obviously it has done no good. I think a good few more emails and calls should help them get rid of this garbage. Live and let live is a horrible way to go through life. Extremely selfish and indulgent. ‘Formula Powered’ onesies and the like advertise normalcy for formula feeding, when it should be the exact opposite. If someone doesn’t take a stand, no one will. It’s too bad that passion and advocacy for infants is met with such hatred and ignorance by your commentators above.

  6. I don’t find this onesie offensive at all. I have breastfed all three of my children and I am a strong supporter of breastfeeding. What exactly would you want this onesie to say anyway? It is true that breastfeeding is best, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to agree. The fact of the matter is, some moms feed their babies formula….so what??? There are way worse things in the world that should be boycotted. I doubt Old Navy’s agenda was to pressure anyone to feed formula rather than breastfeed.

  7. I couldn’t breastfed my children for more than 6 months, so I am a Formula user. And to be honest I have NO regrets or feel less of a mother just because of that.

    Every time I see my kids just being the happy, active kids that they are, I feel glad that in this world there are many options for the ones that cannot “dance” the way other people want us to dance just because they can.

    I agree, in this world, there are many other things that require more interest from people than getting against a bunch of companies just because of a print in fabric.

    Just don’t buy it if you don’t like it and let everybody else to decide by themselves if they want to see their kids wearing that or not.

    Thank youuuuuu!!!

  8. Thank you for your concern over a onesie. So if this is the biggest problem you have to fight… I am shocked. I bottle feed my baby on formula. Any formula. I adopted and when I see people post things like this…it hurts. I would rather fight cancer, hunger, abuse, or anything else. When I see things like this I know I’ve been judged.

  9. Ava, I doubt that Old Navy is consciously trying to push an agenda. It’s just a reflection that we live in a formula-feeding culture. Still, there’s no reason the shirt couldn’t just read “Milk powered” and encompass whatever type of milk the baby is fed. They’d sell MORE shirts that way! A few years back they sold an offensive shirt for older kids that depicted a trailer home with the word “Homeskooled” on it. Evidently this was meant to be humorous. Homeschoolers protested but it didn’t mean that those protesting the shirt were anti-public school.

  10. If they offered a breastfeeding one as well would that be acceptable?

    I am currently breastfeeding and I breastfeed my oldest (who is 5 now) and don’t find it offensive. I wish they did one that said “mom powered” too but… I agree with Ava.

  11. I don’t find this offensive. No different than the shirts that indicate that the baby is drinking his mother’s milk. Now if they were giving free formula away with the onsie that might be a different story.

  12. Sarah – Live and let live is a selfish way to live? Indulgent? You don’t think trying to have a hand in how every other mother raises their own child is selfish and indulgent? The truth is that a hell of a lot of children were raised on formula and are doing just fine. Some mothers cannot, or choose not to breastfeed. That’s their choice. Not yours.

    And Jennifer – you have the options not to run ads, or use that ad network. Fact remains you yourself are making money off of Nestle and Similac. According to your own logic, we should all be boycotting your blog.

    In a perfect world. In a perfect world, people would stop being so fucking judgmental and allow everyone to make their own decisions.

  13. I find the shirt very inappropriate. It is not being judgemental to want the best for all babies. The World Health Organization has a policy/code about the advertising/marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Anything making a substitute for human milk appear normal or better than human milk is not allowed. Even the cute snuggly babies in an ad or the big smiley baby on a label. No bottles or teats (that’s nipples for those who don’t know) are to be shown as the way to feed a baby. That’s how so many people (healthcare professionals included) came to believe that there is no difference, when there is actually a world of difference.

    There are few reasons not to breastfeed, if you choose to formula feed, usually, not always, it IS for selfish reasons. And the selfish people are always trying to make others feel bad for choosing the right way to feed their baby. They don’t even want good information about the risks of formula feeding to be given to mothers. Keeping their heads in the sand. Every time a study comes out about breastfeeding someone else cries, …’oooh, they’re trying to make me feel guilty.’ The information is being given to help those that don’t know.

    It has taken years for larger numbers of people to realize that formula really is 4th-5th best in the line of feeding your child. Glamorizing formula will take it all a huge step backwards. And you can bet some one in marketing came up with the idea for the onsie to plant a seed in some woman that will see it and say, ‘Wow, maybe formula’s not so bad…’. Some obviously don’t know about the power of suggestion and herd mentality. Advertisers know it very well, as does the media.

    Target knows and they’re not showing all of the negative comments on their page.

    So many of us will write letters and boycott. Maybe they’ ll change their mind. They should at least have had a mom’s milk shirt highly visible.

  14. The whole “don’t judge” thing is stupid.

    What would you say if a pregnant mom had a maternity shirt that said “CIGARETTE POWERED!” ?! You would probably freak out. Her doctor would tell her to stop smoking, because smoking is BAD for the baby. I guarentee that shirt would not remain on the market for very long.

    Why is formula any different? Artificial milk is PROVEN to be unhealthy, so why are we “supporting” this?

    We are not calling mom’s bad people for artificially feeding their children. We are saying that SUPPORTING artificial feeding is not only horrible, but DANGEROUS for the poor children.

  15. I breastfed both of my children for 12 months, and I am not offended by this. I think you are trying to male something out of nothing. Kind of ridiculous, really.

  16. good!!! thanks for your sharing

  17. I can’t say that agree with any of the previous posters. I also can’t say that I’m offended by this. I do agree that this is not a step in the right direction to help normalize breastfeeding. Nor do these comments that people should just let go of it if mothers chose to formula feed. There are many health risks for mothers and babies by formula feeding including many cancers, diabetes, allergies and more. Normalizing artificial infant milk is uncool. But, I probably will still shop at old navy. I’d rather help moms learn about the risks of formula than worry about boycotting this tee.

  18. Thank you mothers the ones that breastfeed and don’t find this print offensive. I honestly thought that ALL of you would condemn bottle feeding mothers or anything (as insignificant as this matter) that would be OUT of your circle of ideas…..but I’m happy to know now that among you, there are mothers with brains and wise enough to understand and accept that there’s other ways too, and that it’s up to each of us to decide what way to choose (for ANY reason that doesn’t concern anybody).

    I prefer to put my energy and time on fighting child abuse, cancer or hunger, teaching kids to read, or any other IMPORTANT matter like they say, than “an offensive print” (OMG!!!)

  19. Cate Nelson says:

    For those of you who have suggested that it’s stupid to boycott Old Navy because there are more important things to worry about, believe it or not, I *am* worrying about those things, too. Somehow, I manage to care about all the big things like abuse and poverty and the environment and women’s rights, and still have enough room in my boycotting rolodex to fit in a company that I see as empowering the formula industry. I did feed my older son formula (did any of you read the blog, or did you skip down to make an angry comment?). But my irriation isn’t at formula-feeders. Rather, it’s that by far, the formula industry doesn’t need Old Navy’s help with exposure and support.

    Thank you to those of you who understand that.

    (And for those who don’t, please feel free to search my name through Eco Child’s Play and see what other issues I’m passionate about. You might be surprised at who you’re attacking.)

    • Well said Cate! You are an amazing person and writer, and the attacks one subjects oneself to when you blog is so silly (thick skin required). This is just one reason to boycott Old Navy. Cheap clothes are not sustainable, and I am sure there is child labor involved, since Gap is the parent company. I’m not going to pretend we don’t own some Old Navy clothing in our family, but I haven’t been to the store in over a year. Now, I will definitely avoid Old Navy for their formula support.

  20. I definitely agree that “breast is best” but I also recognize that many women need to formula-feed for one reason or another. However, I agree that this onesie could have the effect of encouraging women who may not have the education about the benefits of breastfeeding to choose formula-feeding simply because it appears to be the “in” thing to do. Throughout history, the decision between breast and formula has been strongly influenced by corporations and social norms. The only encouragement the formula industry needs is to make their products safer and healthier for those babies that need it.

  21. No, Cindy, Breastfeeding is not “best”.

    It is the normal, healthy way to feed a child.

    Formula is simply inadequate, unhealthy, and risky.

  22. Loving this alternative to the “Formula Powered” Onsie. http://www.zazzle.ca/nicolebross :)

  23. 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/nicolebross

  24. My friend and her husband have created a onesie in response: http://www.zazzle.ca/nicolebross

    They are giving the proceeds to the La Leche League!

  25. Alexx, I agree that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a child . . . in most cases. Would you say that it is better in the case where the mother has to take a medication that can be extremely dangerous if ingested by an infant? Or what about when a mother is physically incapable of breastfeeding? Formula is a necessity for many women and to call it dangerous and risky in all cases is wrong. I don’t agree with making women who have to use formula feel like they are being judged. However, I am not saying that I agree with Old Navy. As I stated before, these onesies are a bad idea because they may influence some women to “choose” formula when they actually have a choice.

  26. @ Cindy:

    Artificial milk is unhealthy and risky whether it is “needed” or not.

  27. How dare any of you judge formula feeders. Yes breastfeeding may be best, but you said it yourself that bfers had to work hard for rights. You are setting yourself back by judging. Last time I checked women have a right to choose and no one should be judged. Maybe if you crazy lactivists would spend as much time protesting for childrens rights instead of something so un important the country would be filled with less dead or molested kids. If you are so worried if babies are formula fed then there should be no kids in the foster or adoption system. Until formula is sold with a skull and crossbones or sold beside the raid I suggest you judge less, because you know what it is liked to be judged.

  28. If donor milk were more widely available and affordable, then the excuse that I couldn’t bf so I had to use formula wouldn’t hold water. Getting breastmilk from a milk bank should be the 2nd option to bf’ing…not something chemically concocted in a laboratory and mass produced in a factory. Sorry, there are dangers to formula feeding and I WILL be boycotting Old Navy as well.

  29. Seriously? You’re seriously up in arms about a onesie?

    It’s not as though women are going to switch from breast milk to formula because of a onesie. There is already PLENTY of information out there promoting breastfeeding. Honestly, any woman who doesn’t know by now that breast is best has to have been living under a rock for the last few years.

    This is utterly harmless. There are plenty of cute onesies and shirts out there about breast-feeding. Why not let formula-feeding moms have this one, instead of making it seem as though formula-feeding is something that needs to be hidden away and never talked about?

    All that this does is further solidify the stereotype of BF’ing moms as humourless, overbearing bullies pushing an agenda.

    And before you jump to a conclusion — I breastfed.

  30. I have never seen so much hate on a website about children…both sides are right and both sides are wrong. What Mother, if they could have wouldn’t have breastfeed? You want empowerment saying you are the best because you breastfeed well congrats you are the best Mother ever. You did everything right. Thank you for showing the world that you are better than everyone else. I now realize how my perfect , strong, smart, funny wonderful son is lacking…I see now how he is almost never sick…. Thank you for showing your love and support telling other how to live there lifes and to take care of there children. You now have shown others a new side of prejudice. I thought this would be a nice place to come to and share with other Mothers. But just on this one subject I have felt a true power of hate… that makes me feel hate…why would anyone want to go to a place where you feel that kind of pain. Thank you again… My adopted son thanks you for all your concern and he would be the first to tell you he was sheltered, feed, sang to but most of all loved. I think thats the word I’m going to leave with you….LOVE.

  31. I am suprised that anyone thinks that people are being hateful or judgemental. This just seemed to be a sharing of feelings and, of course, lots of information. Kassandra, the truth is that many mothers who can breastfeed don’t. Plain and simple. I meet them all of the time. I’ve met moms who have tremendous milk supplies, baby latches beautifully, and they give it up after a couple of weeks because they just, ‘don’t want to’ or they want other people to watch the baby so they can ‘get their life back’ (umm, that already changed when they had the baby). Or the mom that calls because she is needing advice to dry up because her milk came in and she IS NOT going to breastfeed, some say, “it’s just gross”. Some don’t do it because of work or school, they just haven’t learned that it can be done, some are using that as an excuse, some truly didn’t have the information on how to do it or that it was able to be done and, by the way, are very upset when they find out how they could have succeeded. Unfortunately there are still many women who really do not know about the risks involved with formula feeding. They think that it is just a choice, an either/or, like coffee or tea. But formula feeding is not normal and should not be portrayed as normal, as just a choice. There can be consequences. It is not just a choice. Not for the baby. Breastmilk is what all babies come into this world needing. Formula is there for the real reasons of not enough breastmilk either directly from the mother, at her breast or pumped, another mother or a donor milk bank. And until that has become more widely known and available some will have to resort to formula. I have helped many who try so hard, but just do not produce enough, either because of mismanagement in the first couple of weeks or true lactation insufficiency, but many of them (not all) still decide to give whatever they can get and then supplement the rest with the formula. And, of course there are those who have had breast removal or some other real reason. No one is judging any of them.

    We are all happy that you have been a great mother to your adopted son, that’s what we want for all of our children. But, did you know that it possible to have breastfed him? Barring any physical limitation, you could have brought in a full or partial supply (or none) and fed him at breast with a nursing supplementer with donor milk or formula. More and more mothers are trying this. We all do what we can do. But sometimes we don’t do what we might have done, if we don’t have the information.

  32. Kassandra– I think you’ve said it best. I breastfed my children because I could and I chose to. Unfortunately, there are women out there that are just psycho about the subject and give us ALL a bad name. Shame on these women for being so hateful! I know that breastfeeding is best, but women who choose formula are NOT inferior to breastfeeders. Formula feeding moms love their children just as much as breastfeeding moms. Who are you all to pass judgement!?? The more comments you post on how horrible these formula feeding moms are, the more insane you all look. Just go on and live your lives. We’ve all heard how you feel on the subject. Thanks.

  33. @Ava: Kassandra *didn’t* say it best. She said it with a lot of anger and horrible grammar.

    Get this: this blog post is not about formula feeders. I didn’t write that formula feeders are anything less than breastfeeders. I didn’t villainize formula feeders. (I was a formula feeder!)

    This post is about a clothing giant supporting an industry that certainly doesn’t need help with the normalization of its product. If you didn’t catch that the first time, read it again. Or I can repost it with the words spelled phonetically; whatever works.

    Incidentally, to those who can’t breastfeed for whatever reason…I donated breastmilk. This is an option for some people. Check out Milkshare. Maybe you could put your considerable energy somewhere productive.

    And @Kourtny: That was one of the most incongruent points I’ve ever read. Please, please stop talking to me about abuse. I’m certainly not the cause of it, and I can assure you, I’ve fought against it.

    I agree with Jennifer. As a generally green consumer, it won’t be hard to avoid Old Navy.

  34. @Cate– First of all, my last comment was not directed at you. I was merely pointing out the general “feelings” of most of the women who have posted a comment. How big of you to respond to a fellow breastfeeder with such sarcasm. No one is stopping you from boycotting Old Navy. If it makes you feel like you’re making a difference, go right on ahead. Remember, when you start a blog on a subject such as this one, you have to expect that not everyone will agree with your view and yes, people may even express some anger. And making a comment about someone having bad grammar?? Really??? Let’s all be adults and agree to disagree on the matter. Good luck to you.

  35. @Ava: I wrote the post. If you or Kassandra had hurt feelings by someone else in this thread, feel free to address them, as you just did me with your last comment. Otherwise, it would seem that Kassandra’s anger and your agreement with her were directed at me.

    It seems that my sarcasm, though somehow missed in the post, was how I got you to understand my point in the comments.

    And it’s perfectly reasonable to expect proper grammar when we are all “being adults”. It gets the message conveyed more clearly.

  36. @Cate: After reading your other blogs and how you respond to people who disagree with your views, I regret even responding to any of your comments. As I said before, good luck to you.

  37. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Breastfeeding mom here… I’m going to go to Old Navy and purchase the onesie for all my friend’s formula fed kids. Because there are better ways to support breastfeeding moms than being an asshat.

  38. You think the only way to feed a child is by breast? There are mother’s out there who can’t or choose not to.

    Is it breastfeeding mother’s who are going to tell these formula feeding mother’s that THEY DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEED THEIR CHILD THE WAY THEY CHOOSE? Bit of an oxymoron there I should say.

    I’ve breast fed all 6 of my children and will the next one due in 3 weeks… but I don’t whip out my breasts for all to see, I use nursing covers and I’ve managed just fine without any fuss at all.

    The basis should be for support… and this only shows that they don’t support mothers and feeding their children.. they just support breastfeeding and the ability to freely expose their breasts to do so.

  39. Congratulations. You have just hammered the last nail into the coffin of lactivism. There are all sorts of good things about breastfeeding. But what’s better than breastfeeding is the fact that it is more possible for women to choose to breastfeed, to formula feed or to do something in between than ever before. The biggest challenge we face is probably there people at the extremes who feel it’s their business to tell us what to do. That’s the people who kick breastfeeding women out of restaurants AND the ones who feel it’s alright to lecture women formula feeding women on how they are “hurting” their babies.

    This boycott really shows the lactivism has completely lost touch with the vast majority of women who just want help to do what works for them without all the moralizing. Women you, you know, have a sense of humor…

  40. Well, I am bummed because i cannot find the formula powered onesie for my girls. I’d love to put dress them in those onesies (though they are too old for onesies now) so when you see them in all their beauty, brilliance, never any antibiotics, never a bout of diarrhea, never a bout of vomiting, no ffod allergies, full 8 word sentences by 22-months old selves (and one was a 2 pound preemie!) you can just eat your heart out. Both had breast milk and both had formula. If all these supposedly pro BFing moms who complain about what other women choose to do with their own bodies would spend that energy forcing our government to provide real tangible BFing support to new moms, they could really have an impact, This sort of “Formula is nasty, formula isn’t normal, some women are just lazy, some could but don’t”-does ZILCH to promote BFing.

    OF course you can boycott whatever you want, but many of us are answering the question “Should you boycott Old Navy b/c of the onesie?” and “should you be a judgemental jerk b/c you fed your baby as nature intended. Babies are made to drink human milk–we get it, but get over it, it doesn’t make you a better mom than a FFing mom. And your kids are not better than FFed kids. And a lot of the commenters here ARE being pretty nasty about this.

  41. Ok, I am really stumped here and seen this on facebook. People get offended over really silly things. I mean if the shirt said something like, “Death to Breastfeeders” then I could see the point but honestly who gives you the right to boycot something that other mothers decide for themselves to give thier children. Some mothers can not breast feed, some because of health reasons. So I guess that makes them bad mothers and should be banned like the clothing. If you are going to be passionate about something, then protest something that will make a difference..Not something that get thrown up on and tossed away in a couple of months.

  42. Rachelle Switzer says:

    You got screws loose lady. I BFE, and did for just shy of 2 years with my first as well, and you make us look bad. Get off your high horse and enjoy a cute laugh every once in a while.

    PS I believe there is a war going in Afganastan killing thousands of innocent children, maybe you’ve heard of it…? Because that is worth our concern, Old Navy chains certainly are NOT.

  43. You know, a mother’s milk is “best” for her infant because it automatically changes depending on the child’s needs and stages of development. How does donated milk work in that context? What if the infant has an intolerance to some food? Does donated milk come with a list of ingredients? Can you match it to the developmental stage of the infant? Are there never any health issues related to storing? Are donating mothers tested for what else might be in their systems? Just curious.

    And really? Suggesting bringing in an ‘artificial’ milk supply to nurse an adopted or foster child? Really? Or using formula (which suddenly seems okay) through a rigged breast-feeding system? That just sounds like agenda-pushing to me.

  44. I think this is ridiculous. I am so sick of parents who are breastfeeding judging those who dont, or in my case absolutely couldn’t. I have been told so many times that breastfed babies are healthier and smarter and that is absolutely not true. Thank God for formula. My kids have turned out to be smart and healthy individuals and they were formula fed. The onesie, which I own is cute and by no means says anything negative regarding breastmilk. We have much bigger issues in the world to worry about here people.

  45. One more thing, if anybody was smart they would realized that the shirt is also cute, esp. for people who happen to own a fomula firebird considering the emblem behind the bottle. Once again, this whole thing is absolutely ridiculous and offensive to people who have no choice but to formula feed.

  46. Um yeah I wouldnt want my baby wearing a fake nipple on his shirt. Ugly!

  47. Mother’s milk is normal because it is species specific. It doesn’t matter about the foods the mother eats. No, there have been no health issues related to storing. Mother’s milk is preferred feeding over formula 99.99% of the time. Donated milk does not need a list of ingredients but I can get a link for you with that. (It’s really late here, right now). Your questions are surprising me, it’s as if you have never heard of any of this before. But, then again, that is why it is so important to keep getting the information out there for the people that just don’t know. Whether they match the age of the donor milk to your baby doesn’t really matter, formula never changes, although if you call a couple of milk banks they might tell you how close they try to match it. Human milk is the safest substitute for our infants. If your child has an intolerance to some food then they will probably have an intolerance to formula, also.

    Donor milk banks receive milk from lactating mothers who have been carefully screened for health behaviors and communicable diseases, similarly to the way blood banks screen donors. Additionally, milk bank donors must:

    be non-smokers

    not regularly consume any medication (including mega-vitamins)

    not consume excluded medications or alcohol within the specified exclusion period

    Milk is transported to the milk bank frozen. The milk from several donors is pooled after thawing, and then heat-treated to kill any bacteria or viruses. The milk is processed and then refrozen. It is only dispensed after a sample is cultured and shows no bacteria growth. Milk is shipped frozen by overnight express to hospitals and to individual recipients at home.

    There are special donations from mother’s who don’t consume dairy or other allergens and these would be separate. They don’t take milk from mother’s if baby is over one year of age. I don’t remember exactly how the age matching works, but you can call and ask and go to the website to gain more information at The Human Milk Banking Association of North America. http://www.hmbana.org/ http://www.hmbana.org/index/history/ http://www.hmbana.org/index/faq/

  48. This is ridiculous. I decided to formula feed after I struggled to get my child to breastfeed. Never once did I feel pressured by the so called Formula Nazis that breastfeeding advocates (some of which are the true nazis) say are out there. I never understood why anyone would have a problem with a company trying to promote its product. It’s asinine. But I don’t feel Old Navy is encouraging breastfeeding, but some babies are Formula Powered and that is fine! I’m not a bad mother and am tired of the crazies trying to tell me I am. Get a life!

  49. Oh and Krista is right, I’ve seen many shirts promoting breastfeeding and every piece of literature I’ve seen from formula companies say breastfeeding is best. So where is the harm except for those that think any mother that decides to use formula is somehow less of a mother and this is condoning ‘bad’ behavior. I think it is cute and if my son was still using formula would get it.

  50. No Cheryl, I’ve never tried to make someone feel bad for breastfeeding, but you by your words try to make me feel bad for formula feeding. YOU ARE NOT A BETTER MOTHER THAN ME. I know plenty of people that have unhealthy children that breastfed and mine is healthy and was not, except for my early attempts. I’m not a selfish person, to imply that I wouldn’t give anything for my child is horrible! Get off your high horse of superiority. You don’t deserve to be there so get off!

  51. Andrew MacVicar says:

    The breast feeding movement has gotten out of hand. Comparing formula feeding to giving your kid a cigarette? Please. I now hate “breastfeeding” but have no problem with babies getting their nourishment from their mother’s breast. What’s the difference you ask? Well you freaks have taken a perfectly natural and benign concept (breastfeeding) and turned it into an ideological agenda against anyone who chooses to formula feed. Breastfeeding now carries this connotation thanks to you. How about you spend your time focusing on how you parent YOUR kids and stop worrying about how others are parenting theirs. You have way too much time on your hands and spend too much of it judging others. It’s bordering on harrassment.

  52. Agenda? Are you kidding me? This is a well known practice, we don’t recruit mothers, they come to us asking how they can breastfeed this new child they are bringing into their homes. Even babies a year and older. There are many links to sites and forums, thousands of adoptive mothers are out there. The milk they do bring in is certainly NOT artificial. Some moms are already nursing a child when they get a foster child or adopt a child so they then nurse both. Just type in adoptive breastfeeding and you will immediately find many links. This link will give you the Newman-Goldfarb protocol: http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/induced_lactation/faq.html

    But mothers have done this for centuries, basically it would happen when a daughter would die in childbirth and her mother or sister (that might already be nursing) would put that baby to breast and just bring in a supply. Sure they often had to give a feeding of something other than breastmilk in the beginning, or find a lactating woman, but women used to bring in full supplies for the new babe. I have been studying this since 1998 when I took a conference session given by two mothers who had nursed their adopted children. A doctor and an R.N., no less. Sometimes the healthcare providers are the least likely to give you the support and think that it is possible.

    And, NO, formula is not ‘suddenly’ ok, it is merely a means of providing nourishment for a baby whose birth mother is not available and the adoptive mom cannot bring in a full supply and is not able to get other human milk. Breastfeeding is more than food, it is important for the development of the entire child brought about by the connection and interaction, the skin-to-skin contact. Mothering at breast (the natural place for your child to be) will provide brain growth, social development, physical therapy, visual acuity, normal respiratory levels, temperature, oxygenation and cardiac development. This is why even bed-sharing is so important for your children, when they feel secure that their needs are acknowledged and answered and know that they can trust you, they become very secure and independent teens and adults.

  53. Much ado about nothing.

  54. Some of you talk about “choice” and “rights” but in the same breath you condemn women who “choose” not to breastfeed! Formula is NOT dangerous. Mind your own business, take care if your own kids and leave other women to make their own choices!

  55. again we get the furious hateful formula feeders, accusing everyone of shaming them, judging them, calling them names, when it HAS NOT HAPPENED. no-one said formula feeders were inferior, they said the product is inferior. If you can’t tell the difference between you as a Mom and a product you buy, that’s your problem and it wasn’t caused by anyone else. If a simple statement of fact is interpreted as an attack on you as a person, you have some issues that you need to address and calling people names like “judgemental” and accusing them of being hateful won’t help. Breastfeeders don’t attack shame and judge formula feeders, however formula feeders DO go into a feeding frenzy anytime the very real medical risks of formula is mentioned. using formula, for WHATEVER reason, even if it’s because you didn’t “want” to, does NOT make you a bad mother! i have never ever heard anyone call someone a bad mother for formula feeding and i’ve been mothering for almost twenty years now. i HAVE seen many moms respond to simple facts by loudly crying “im not a bad mother, how dare you call me that!” when no-one did in fact call her anything. since formula can and does have such negative health consequences on the whole (and no, one infant here or there does not prove or disprove this, 100 years of scientific research proves this so any child that may or may not be “just fine” isn’t the point) it is important that all mothers are given true info to make their decisions with. things like this shirt, that falsely delude moms into thinking that formula is “just fine” are working against this.

    if you were forced to use formula then YOU are not the one who made the decision, you don’t need to justify yourself. if you truly are informed and did a risk benefit analysis in order to make your feeding decisions then you also don’t need to justify yourself. if you didn’t know the truth about formula then you also shouldn’t blame yourself for choosing it, how could you know? when you know better you do better. we all do the best we can. but shouldn’t every mom be protected from lies that put her baby at risk? THAT is what this post is about.

  56. Mother’s milk is normal because it is species specific. It doesn’t matter about the foods the mother eats. No, there have been no health issues related to storing. Mother’s milk is preferred feeding over formula 99.99% of the time. Donated milk does not need a list of ingredients but I can get a link for you with that. (It’s really late here, right now). Your questions are surprising me, it’s as if you have never heard of any of this before. But, then again, that is why it is so important to keep getting the information out there for the people that just don’t know. Whether they match the age of the donor milk to your baby doesn’t really matter, formula never changes, although if you call a couple of milk banks they might tell you how close they try to match it. Human milk is the safest substitute for our infants. If your child has an intolerance to some food then they will probably have an intolerance to formula, also.

    Donor milk banks receive milk from lactating mothers who have been carefully screened for health behaviors and communicable diseases, similarly to the way blood banks screen donors. Additionally, milk bank donors must:

    be non-smokers

    not regularly consume any medication (including mega-vitamins)

    not consume excluded medications or alcohol within the specified exclusion period

    Milk is transported to the milk bank frozen. The milk from several donors is pooled after thawing, and then heat-treated to kill any bacteria or viruses. The milk is processed and then refrozen. It is only dispensed after a sample is cultured and shows no bacteria growth. Milk is shipped frozen by overnight express to hospitals and to individual recipients at home.

    There are special donations from mother’s who don’t consume dairy or other allergens and these would be separate. They don’t take milk from mother’s if baby is over one year of age. I don’t remember exactly how the age matching works, but you can call and ask and go to the website to gain more information at The Human Milk Banking Association of North America. http://www.hmbana.org/ http://www.hmbana.org/index/history/ http://www.hmbana.org/index/faq/

  57. Amazingly oversensitive! You realize not everyone can breastfeed their child, right? And that there are some human beings with a sense of humour? I hope you’re not this dreadfully self-righteous in real life.

  58. “Rather, it’s that by far, the formula industry doesn’t need Old Navy’s help with exposure and support.”

    I agree 100%.

    Why don’t they have a breastfeeding onesie as well? Or at least a “milk” onesie. To me it sounds like they’re making a statement.

  59. Wow! Interesting…I’m a total natural mama myself (I gave birth at home without drugs, feed my kids organic, etc.), but I do take issue with someone comparing the phrase “Formula Powered” to “Cigarette Powered”. What breastfeeding advocates forget is that moms who try breastfeeding b/c they KNOW “breast is best” but for whatever reason CANNOT do it are often DEVASTATED by their “failure,” and being lectured to about it makes them feel worse. I’ve had both experiences: I tried breastfeeding my first daughter, but had a terrible time, suffering 7 straight weeks of pain, repeated infections, engorgement, & crying from both of us. During that time, I fed her every 2-3 hours & sometimes cried through the feedings they were so painful. I finally stopped & was able to hold her against my chest without pain for the first time. I grieved so deeply that my plan to breastfeed came to an end (& it probably contributed to my PPD), but I am so grateful that there was formula!! We were even given donated breastmilk from another mother, but who usually has access to that? My doctors, lactation specialist, & midwives never figured out what was “wrong” with me or my breasts–which is what it felt like. With my second daughter, I had a completely different experience, possibly because I changed my diet before she was born, specifically to avoid yeast; I breastfed her for a year, & it was easy & wonderful. But I KNOW how sad it is for moms who try & can’t breastfeed for whatever reason–and feeding their children formula is the next best option. And I think my eldest & every kid I know who WASN’T breastfed has also turned out pretty wonderful!!!

  60. I am breasting feeding mom, pumped for 1 year after going back to work so lets say dedicated to it. Though I understand that some people are not able to breastfeed their kids and some choose not to. It is their decision and just as we so proudly say we breastfeed our kids they too can choose to brag about they fact that they share feeding with their partner or other people with formula. Who are we to judge them? And shame on us, look at the people who stare at us when we feed in public and how does that make us feel. Why are we doing that to them.

  61. How about we empower moms with education about all options to feed their kids instead of hating on those who can’t do it the natural way.

    My wife tried for 6 months with each son and it didn’t work. Your venomous hate and preaching is just as bad as those who scorn you from breastfeeding in public. It’s just as hurtful.

    We’re just trying to feed our kids here – why be so judge judy about it?


  62. Formula Feeder says:

    This is seriously outrageous. No, not the onesie- but the writer of this blog. I, like many other mothers, tried to breastfeed my daughter, but was unsuccessful and I felt like a complete failure. My daughter has formula fed since she was 3 weeks old and is one of the HEALTHIEST babies at, now, 1 year old. You need to find something better to do with your time than this. Has Old Navy hurt you in anyway? Has Old Navy changed the way you live your life from this ONE piece of clothing? Has Old Navy implied in any way, shape or form, that you’re a bad mother for breastfeeding? DIDN’T THINK SO! So can it. Go fight for your rights to breastfeed in public rather than boycott a simple piece of clothing that only offends a handful of people.

  63. Melanie Knight says:

    COME ON!!!!!!!!!!! I am so effing sick of this whole boob vs bottle debate. My son was breast fed for a bout 2 weeks and it was not working for either of us so I switched to formula so he could actually get something to eat and be satisfied…. I never got to do it with my daughter because she was a c-section. Both of my children are very healthy and above average when it comes to height weight and intelligence and it is not just me saying that it is the doctors. In fact they wanted to have William looked at because he was so advanced for his age but I said no. He is that way because Andrew and I speak to our children like human beings not idiots who don’t understand what the word bottle is. I was looked down upon by “friends” for not breast feeding and they figure it was because I did not try hard enough, yeah well when my baby has ingested milk/blood from my raw and bleeding nipples and is still crying for more I think the right thing to do is give them what they need FOOD! I think it all boils down to genetics in the long run. I honestly don’t think that breast fed babies are smarter than bottle fed babies and quite frankly WHO CARES AS LONG AS THE BABY IS GETTING NUTRITIOUS FOOD!

  64. I’m pro-breastfreeding and my son was breastfed.

    However, for me personally the Gap families terrible history of human rights violations is a lot more boycott worthy than a t-shirt slogan you don’t agree with.

    By all means boycott, but personally I think boycotting ten year old children been sold to Gap sweatshops in India is way more important than formula vs. breastmilk.

  65. 1. I think they pulled the onesie, I couldn’t find it on their site. 

    2. I think a few have missed the core issue here…

    The problem is with the formula industry as huge corporations looking for the maximum profit and not really interested in you or your baby!

    Once upon a time, formula was invented to save the lives of babies who would otherwise have starved or failed to thrive. This was a GOOD thing. 

    BUT, then the formula makers saw that they were making money from all of this formula and thought, “if we can make this much from selling formula to help babies in need, think of how much we can make if we convince everyone that they need formula too!” Thus began the marketing blitz of formula. 

    To those who try to nurse and cannot or who adopt or who have to take medicine that would harm your baby: you are doing the perfect thing to give your baby formula, you are wonderful parents!

    Unfortunately, we are bombarded with formula ads, coupons and free samples so many women don’t even think to try breastfeeding, they just go with formula and assume that it must be ok because everyone else seems to use it. 

  66. I am a mother of two adorable, highly intelligent children and they are both “formula powered”. Despite my exhausting and stress inducing attempts to breast feed them both, I was unable to do so. I am not ashamed of this and frankly, I would by this shirt for them. I think you are just a bored woman that has to stir up trouble to make herself feel like she has a purpose in life. There are a lot more loving ways to fulfill that need and maybe you should explore your options. Can’t you see that you may be persecuting formula fed children and their mothers?!? Please think about others before you talk.

  67. Wow Cate… you are annoying. And a bit of a hypocrite as well. You say you fed your older child formula, and then you turn around and call it “muck.” Come on. Yay, good for you, you were able to feed your second kid from your boob. Everybody clap, Cate is a better mother than those of us who could not breastfeed.

    Thanks for continuing to make us formula feeders feel like crap because “formula isn’t the healthy choice.” Get off your high horse and realize that the choices YOU make for your kids are not always the RIGHT CHOICES for everybody’s kids.

    The shirt is ugly and pretty dumb. But you have way too much time on your hands if you took the time to contact the company and write this totally self-serving “blog post” calling for a boycott. Get a life!

  68. And to Alexx, you are a silly twit. I can’t believe you compared formula to cigarettes. And sorry we can’t all conform to your “normal, healthy” way to feed a child. Your self-righteousness is turning my stomach. Seriously, you need to speak to somebody about your lack of self-monitoring. I really hope you are not so sanctimonious in person. If you are, I really feel for your breastfed-kids. If you have any, that is.

  69. Boycott over this?!? You’re nuts.

  70. Casaundra said: “Breastfeeders don’t attack shame and judge formula feeders.”

    Think again! It happens all the time, often to mother who are having problems breastfeeding and are seeking support and assistance.

    My suggestion would be to contact Old Navy and tell them you would like them to offer a breastfeeding version of the outfit. Jumping right into a boycott is ridiculous and extremely over-reactive.

  71. Not every baby can be breast fed! It is my choice to formula feed just as it is yours to breastfeed. Thanks to people like YOU, my baby didn’t eat for a week! I had a c-section and he would not take to breastfeeding no matter what. The hospital refused to let me formula feed him and led me to believe that if I could not get him to latch we could not go home.

  72. There are moms out there that choose to feed their babies formula and might find the t-shirt funny and descriptive. I don’t see how this t-shirt is undermining breast feeding. The t-shirt isn’t forcing formula on babies, is it? The t-shirt doesn’t even say that formula is better (or worse) than breast milk. I think that breast feeding advocates are reading way too much in this t-shirt. You say you support women’s right to feed their babies however and whatever they like but when when anything even mentions formula you say it undermines breastfeeding. It’s also not very supportive of formula feeding mothers to say how bad you think formula is, how unhealthy it is to breast milk, and how you don’t want formula companies or their advertising to existent and not imply that a formula feeding mom is not a good mom.

  73. I always see the pro-breastfeeding activists saying how formula feeding is pushed on moms. With my experience of my 9 & 13 year old, was the complete opposite. I was pressured at every single chance to breastfeed my kids. Formula was NEVER pushed down my throat, even though that is what I choice.

    I tell you one thing, this onesie or any of the NUMEROUS shirts that talk about boobs, breastfeeding, super hero for making milk, etc would change my mind one way or another.

    This seems like a really silly thing to get this upset over & to boycott the company over.

  74. I find the “anti-formula” sentiments offensive as hell. My wife was UNABLE to breastfeed our son. It was heartbreaking to her. And for you people to keep pushing your propaganda is obscene. You are probably the same people that don’t vaccinate your children and end up killing other people’s children who CAN’T be vaccinated.

    If you want to breastfeed, fine and great….but stop pushing your ideals on everyone else and mind your own business.

  75. RedKitten says:

    I think the very idea of the boycott is regoddamndiculous. I swear, you people will not be happy until formula-feeding moms are made to wear hairshirts emblazoned with a scarlet “F”.

    And it’s ludicrous to think that this shirt is “endorsing” formula feeding — I mean, does any sane human being honestly think that a mother will switch to formula because she saw it on an Old Navy onesie? There are TONS of bf’ing t-shirts and onesies out there, why not let FF moms have this one, instead of shrieking to the rafters about a silly little shirt that makes mention of formula and has the temerity to NOT compare it to cigarettes or rat poison?

  76. I find the “Breast is Best” onesies a lot more offensive and holier-than-thou than this.

  77. I had no idea this was such a controversey. I’m a first time mom due in March and I plan to formula feed. Why would anyone besides my husband care about my decision? I mean, can you pick a more boring issue to argue about. Yawn.

  78. I breastfed all my kids except for one…he was allergic to my breasmilk…sorry, but he was. They all had terrible colic, so this second one was formula fed after 3 weeks and was a changed baby. He is a happy, normal kid, just like the other exclusively breastfed ones. So I am coming from both sides of the spectrum and I think you are crazy for freaking over a stupid onsie at old navy. There are children starving and abused in this country and you’re lecturing about what they should eat when they are just born…maybe you should aim your misplaced fury at some causes that will actually help children with no advocates or voice instead of lecturing parents who do actually care and can still afford to shop at old navy these days. Step out of your priveleged white girl bubble and stop firing off letter to parenting magazines about the formula conspiracy and go volunteer somwhere. You are what is commonly referred to as a “nipple nazi” and you are no better than people who would have cps take away a home birthed child. I’m willing to bet you’d like the government to call anything less than breastfeeding child abuse. It’s really a shame you can’t embrace the blessing of Personal liberty and choice we still have some of in this country. People like you are the reason so much of our freedoms are being taken away under the guise of “for your own good” now go puree some organic carrots for your own baby food and read the constitution already.

  79. Offended_Mommy says:

    I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed my babies. After having serious health problems for the first 3 months after my sons birth, my supply dropped to barely nothing. I worked with many different people to try getting my supply back but nothing worked.

    I think it is wrong for you to pass judgment on anyone who uses formula whether it is medically impossible or not. Why is it wrong for a company like Old Navy to support mom’s who choose to use formula.

    I find it just as disgusting that there are women out there today who are pushing this whole breastfeeding until the child is 3yrs +. I am sorry, but I believe that is a selfish agenda and is kind of a twisted way of thinking. If a child is asking for your t_t it is time to stop!

  80. I had to adopt my child and could not breastfeed

    I had no option but you make me feel sad and angry.
    Formula is NOT a dirty word and you need to consider the feelings of mothers in my position. You make it sound like using formula is child abuse

    I’m sick of people like you who find any excuse to promote
    their cause. Should mothers be allowed to breastfeed in public
    places? Of course. But have respect for others and cover up with
    A scarf. Those who don’t want to are just looking for trouble and they know it

  81. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after adopting our son so milk banks weren’t an option as I was focussing on living. Additionally whilst I appreciate the benefits the very thought of using the milk of others. I think every mother wants the best for their child and should be able to choose either way

    For those who can’t breastfeed and want their baby to have breastmilk a donor bank is fine.


  1. […] its “New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” More recently, Old Navy garnered criticism from Eco Child’s Play for joining the infant formula bandwagon with it’s promotion of a 2-in-1 Tattoo-Graphic […]

  2. […] all know breastfeeding is best for baby…and mama. Formula simply isn’t the healthy option. So, why doesn’t Old Navy know it?” […]

  3. […] “Let’s make sure we all voice our outrage at their support for the formula industry… We’re smart enough to boycott Nestle. But Old Navy, too? Yep,” writes Cate Nelson, on the parenting blog, Eco Child’s Play. […]

  4. […] }); }TweetShareWhen we’re not bickering about companies that empower the formula industry, some of us are actually paying attention to recalls that affect […]

  5. […] when I heard that many mommy bloggers are calling for a boycott of Old Navy over a supposedly pro-formula onesie? My first instinct was to click over to their site and buy […]

  6. […] Nelson at Eco Child’s Play seems to think it’s part of a conspiracy from the formula industry. She writes, “We all […]

  7. […] thought we were all through fighting about clothing. But no. Danielle offers some […]

  8. […] proclaims that the baby in question is “Formula Powered.” One mother, Cate Nelson, at Eco Child’s Play argued that this onesie was akin to propaganda on behalf of the formula industry and clothing a […]

  9. […] Tell Old Navy to Stop Empowering the Formula Industry (ecochildsplay.com) […]

  10. […] for the health and well-being of babies everywhere and you can practically hear them chanting, “Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!” Then there’s the backlash in favour of the poor souls who can’t breastfeed for whatever […]

  11. […] and child, it is also better for our environment.  Often when we post pieces pr0-breastfeeding and anti-formula, we are accused by readers of being insensitive to those who cannot breastfeed.  Although we […]

  12. […] to sponsor its “New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” More recently, Old Navy garnered criticism for jumping on the infant formula bandwagon with it’s promotion of a 2-in-1 Tattoo-Graphic […]

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