This is the 60th post in a series on Booby Traps, made possible by the generous support of Motherlove Herbal Company.
Recently we asked you to share your experience with formula “gift bags” on our survey. We thank the over 3,000 of you who completed the survey!
The results have been fascinating, and we’re happy to share them here. Please bear in mind that these results are from an informal survey, not a scientific study.
We received responses from mothers living in every state in the U.S.,* with the highest number coming from California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Florida, Illinois, Virginia, Michigan, and Indiana.
Over 85% of you responded for births which occurred in 2010, 2011, and 2012. This indicates that the information you shared about formula gift bags is fairly current.
To share the rest of the results, I’ve created the pie charts below, and added comments where I think they’re useful.
30% of respondents said that they were offered a formula gift bag at their obstetrician’s office. A number of respondents also left comments saying that they’d been offered a bag at their prenatal introductory appointments at their pediatrician’s offices, and a few said that they’d been offered one at their childbirth classes.
- 2009: 33% offered bag prenatally
- 2010: 31% offered bag prenatally
- 2011: 28% offered bag prenatally
- 2012: 29% offered bag prenatally
63% of those who were offered a bag prenatally were offered a bag once, and 23% were offered one twice. 14% were offered a bag three or more times.
57% of respondents were offered a bag at their hospital or birth center. Several respondents left comments reporting that they received a bag during their hospital tours. 4% of respondents did not birth in a hospital or birth center, a number which is significantly higher than the national rate.
Again, I looked at the results from nearly four years of births, from 2009 through 2012, and here I found a clear and steep downward trend:
- 2009: 75% offered a bag in the hospital
- 2010: 67% offered a bag in the hospital
- 2011: 56% offered a bag in the hospital
- 2012: 47% offered a bag in the hospital
Again, I looked at the results from nearly four years of births, from 2009 through 2012:
- 2009: 17% offered a bag at pediatrician/family practice office
- 2010: 15% offered a bag at pediatrician/family practice office
- 2011: 16% offered a bag at pediatrician/family practice office
- 2012: 14% offered a bag at pediatrician/family practice office
Please note that this chart doesn’t do a good job of reflecting percentages of responses because mothers chose as many answers as applied. See the percentages below for a more accurate depiction of the response.
70% of respondents reported that they received formula samples in the mail when they had not requested them, and 41% said that they were offered free samples through email or another online communication. 4% were offered a bag at an ultrasound clinic.
7% were offered bags in other places. A number of respondents reported that they were offered gift bags at Motherhood Maternity or another maternity clothing store, and many stated that they received samples in the mail after making a purchase at such a store.
Several respondents said that they were offered bags at their postpartum appointment with their obstetrician, which we hadn’t included as an option.
Again, I looked at the results from nearly four years of births, from 2009 through 2012 and saw a clear trend here:
- 2009: 83% were mailed formula samples or received online offers
- 2010: 74% were mailed formula samples or received online offers
- 2011: 70% were mailed formula samples or received online offers
- 2012: 64% were mailed formula samples or received online offers
Thank you to everyone who responded to this survey! We’re planning more surveys on different topics, and hope you’ll participate. Your experience is very valuable in helping identify and fight the barriers which prevent us from reaching our breastfeeding goals.
* Respondents indicating that they did not birth in the U.S. were not allowed to continue with the survey.