an interesting approach...

formula companies are no joke. before lucy had even made her arrival into the world, i was "gifted" 4 large cans of powdered formula from enfamil & similac, 2 well-known formula brands. a little presumptuous, no? and how'd they get my address & due date? one actually came with a packet that "promoted" breastfeeding, but stated that it was best to have formula on hand for backup when bringing baby home. why? with all the "breast is best" info out there, i guess formula companies need to get their foot in the door as best they can.

i remember one night when lucy was very teensy, maybe 7 days old or so. she was trying to feed and majorly fussing--i ended up realizing that, at that particular moment, there wasn't much for her to drink. i ran to the freezer in search of breastmilk that i'd previously pumped. there were 2 half-ounce cubes there. plenty for her, at that age. she was screaming away in the back bedroom and i was defrosting the milk as fast as i could. so fast, in fact, that when i pulled the cup from the microwave, it tipped in my hands. breastmilk spilled all over the stovetop and onto the floor. i was devastated. found myself sucking up the milk with the eyedropper i'd planned to feed her with and squirting it into a dish. wondering when i'd last cleaned the stove and what was worse, letting her go hungry or possibly feeding her contaminated milk. and in the back of my mind through all of that, telling myself, "well, i could always use that formula..."

in the end, i didn't use it or the milk i was worried was contaminated. there was a teensy bit of milk left in the bottom of the cup and it was enough to curb lucy's wails. but in that moment of panic-stricken , baby-screaming-in-the-background weakness, i came really really close to pulling out the formula. would it have been the end of the world if i had used it? of course not. but neither did i need it there, sitting in the pantry, taunting me with its implied ease. no one really tells new moms about the physical pain attached to breastfeeding. sore is not really an adequate adjective--at least it wasn't in my case. every time lucy latched, it felt like someone had taken a torch to my chest. how simple it would have been to mix up a bottle, instead of going through that pain. but i guess that's what the formula companies bank on when they send out those samples.

lucy says "breast might be best, but who doesn't love a beer on a hot summer day?"

"dang. if only i could lift it..."

what to do with all my formula now? lucy & i've got the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing and we certainly won't be needing it. tossing the stuff would be an ultimate waste. so today i spent some time looking online, trying to find places to donate it. i'm having a very hard time finding one, for some reason. i googled things like "where donate unused formula" and "women & children's shelter, bay area" but didn't come up with much. disconnected numbers, or numbers that ring and ring with no answering machine. i'm thinking of calling a local church or two and seeing if they'll take it. all in all there didn't seem to be too many services in my area.

as for the weekly $5-off coupons that i receive in the mail from both enfamil & similac, i've got no problems finding takers. they're going to a few good homes and getting used, which at least means the paper they're printed on wasn't a total waste.


Kelly Marie said...

I agree that formula companies are certainly dubious. I did not have any formula around "just in case"...then, we landed in the ER due to dehydration when G was a few days old. I was producing zero milk. A couple weeks of pumping did nothing for me. I got about 1 ounce over the entire time I was pumping.

I know my case is extreme and rare. I still hold out for next time hoping i'll be successful at producing milk. Despite our ER trip with kiddo #1, I do not plan to have formula on hand when #2 comes home.

Have you tried Shepherds Gate for donating?

Molly said...

Most food pantry's take unopened cans of formula - you could always call your local WIC office and they probably could point you in a good direction to donate them. WIC may even take them because their vouchers don't always cover all the formula someone needs each month.
Good Luck!