In the news:
Description: Two media images of babies being fed in Haiti. The first is being breastfed. The entire breast is pixellated out. The second baby is being bottle-fed by a gloved hand. The bottle logo is very prominent. The bottle company, Avent, is one with long-standing global violations of the World Health Organisation Code (WHO Code) for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
I’ll leave you with a slide from the UNICEF presentation, Infant and young child feeding in emergencies in the media [PDF]
“We distributed children’s clothes and about 40 mothers showed up with their babies, we…taught them how to use the milk powder we had received in big quantities.” Source: Real Medicine Foundation News. Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004/5
ETA: No, wait, there’s one more thing I want to say. Many of these resources focus on babies and the immediate effect of (mostly) well-intentioned but misplaced infant formula “aid. There is much less focus on the effect on women. For many women, the only method of child spacing available to them is exclusive breastfeeding. With a lot of women’s breastmilk supplies disrupted by inappropriate milk replacements, where are you six months down the track? If the babies survive the artificial feeding in the first place – and, contrary to the ideas of some ignorant Westerners, diarrhea is not a mere nuisance in a disaster – you have a cohort of women who are not only scratching to spend a large proportion of household income on a continued supply of breastmilk substitutes, but are also pregnant again. Irresponsible “aid” doesn’t only affect babies, it contributes to poverty and illness for mothers.
The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and World Food Programme “Call for support for appropriate infant and young child feeding in Haiti”
Infant feeding in the post Indian Ocean tsunami context: reports, theory and action [.doc format; also available in PDF here]
ICDC Focus: The Code and infant feeding in emergencies