Friday, 3 June 2011

Whizz pop bang! (A brave new world)

Isn't it funny how many gadgets we need to do our daily bits and pieces?  And how wonderful of Nestle to decide to help us out in an area where we clearly cannot manage.  No need to train Midwives in breastfeeding support, or to lead breastfeeding workshops.  No need for those pesky private antenatal classes where Mum might learn how to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.  No need for those Lactation Consultants, Breastfeeding Peer Supporters and Counsellors.

No no.  The kind and generous Nestle have decide to provide the first, ultimate, complete, nutrition device.  It will only set you back a zillion pounds/dollars/[insert currency] for the initial outlay and then those nifty, convenient little capsules will simply cost pounds/dollars/[insert currency] more than those bulky great tins.  I wonder of course if there is space on those teeny tiny capsules to remind the 'makers up' of this formula that the product is not sterile and therefore the water needs to be heated safely.  Of course they have been ever so kind as to provide water filters to prevent those nasty bacteria from entering the water.  Phew!  For a moment there I thought the freshly-made-up-at-the-touch-of-a-button formula might no longer be sterile… but… wait!  Let me think about that.  Just for a moment, a mere nanosecond.  Nope.  Still not working.  Definitely need to heat that water up to 70+ degrees.  Hmmm…. but this product promises formula made up and good to go in less than a minute.  <searches publicity photos for the cooling unit, sees none but assumes that the lovely Nestle will have taken care of that minor detail>

This world we live in is making us more and more dependant on the gadgets and gizmos.  I may reveal my age when I hark, with unashamed nostalgia and rose-tinted classes, back to the days of 'The Good Life'.  I confess.  I have been planning to grow my own veg for about 8 years now and as soon as the planning stage is over, I shall move straight into action.

But I do worry.  I worry that we leave our children the legacy of 'the button'.  Just push this button and that will happen.  Push the other and something else will happen.  Alongside 'the button' will be the pill.  Too fat?  Pop a pill.  Got Gestational Diabetes?  Pop a pill.  Got Morning Sickness?  Pop a pill.  Oh hang on, did that… Thalidomide anyone?  

It's all about making it easier.  I'm writing on a train, but I'm not using trusty pen and paper (train is far too jerky for that :excuses:).  I am using my laptop.  I can connect to the internet should I wish.  I could do an online shop and have the food delivered in time for my return home in a couple of days.  I could blog!  I have my smart phone in my lap.  I can Facebook and Skype and email and call.  It is all so easy now.  And there is the dichotomy.  I love that it is all so easy now.  I pooh-poohed the Smart phone.  Who needs the internet on their phones?  Why would you need access to your email? Please excuse me whilst I book a shopping delivery.  

I don't, however, understand how getting up out of my lovely warm bed in the middle of the night to hit a button would have made life easier for me.  It would still be cold in the kitchen and that wouldn't do.  I like the warmth of my bed too much.  It was one of the reasons why breastfeeding seemed the perfect choice for me.  My ultimate, complete, nutrition system, which pre-dates the BabyNes by Millennia, worked very well.  I remained in my warm and cosy bed, happily feeding my children.  

When we consider the forethought and benevolence of Nestle, we should try to remember that yes, it is being made easier for us.  Easier to fill their ever deepening coffers.  Easier for them to flout the WHO Code with our permission.  The late great Martin Luther King said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.".  Are we happy to stand by and let it be or is it simply just a convenient thing for others and we shouldn't begrudge them the chance to make their lives easier?

Nestle, the great equaliser. Nestle see the poverty divide and makes a machine to ensure even the most affluent households can have unsafe baby formula.

Nestle's 'wonderful' new gadget


  1. It's a new world. Is it brave? I'm not so sure. Why get out of bed when you can feed your baby in bed? Seems illogical not brave!

  2. It has all gone crazy. I find the lines on which the breastfeeding 'debates' are drawn unfathomable. I don't understand how it became 'radical' to be pro-breastfeeding. How it became such a debate, or how feminism got drawn into it in such a damaging way. I'm all for your body, your choice, OF COURSE. But I also feel panicked by the seduction - a pretend 'freedom' offered by a machine which takes away, potentially, so very much. You know me, gobby as they come, but I am often cowed into apology and, well, quiet almost shame in breastfeeding conversations as anything other than acting the slightly weird hippy is perceived and presented as smug.