August 13, 2010 7:27 pm

Old Navy endorses formula-feeding

I was browsing Old Navy yesterday looking for some clothes for Wesley when I happened across a onesie that gave me pause. (Keep in mind I was looking for clothes to buy for my baby – I did not go to this site with the intention of finding something that irritated me.)

I came across this:


I am not angry that this shirt exists. I think it’s cute and if I formula-fed, I would consider purchasing it for my baby. However, since I breastfeed, where the eff is my shirt? Why can’t there be both versions?


Is Old Navy afraid to put the word “breastmilk” on a shirt? I would be okay with “Powered by Mama’s milk” if they were squeamish. (Which… GRAH to that, I see no reason to be squeamish about feeding a baby.)

I just want to see equal representation. This says to me, “At Gap, Inc. we support formula-feeding instead of breastfeeding to the point that we will take the time to design and manufacture a shirt to communicate our stance.” Had both shirts been offered, I likely would not have even noticed this.

Given that Old Navy provides nursing tops to breastfeeding mothers, the production of this “Formula Powered” bodysuit without an accompanying “Breastmilk Powered” design baffles me.

I’ve sent an email to their customer service department outlining these issues, and I’m looking forward to their response.

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  • BreAnna says:

    I saw this image on The Feminist Breeder’s Twitter feed. Ridiculous! Update if/when they respond to your e-mail.

  • Audrey says:

    I don’t have any kids, but I agree that this is baffling.

  • Brianne says:

    ‘Formula Powered’ is punny. It sounds like racing fuel. Boys like race cars.

    I would imagine that the person who designed the shirt has no idea there’s an epic Formula vs Breastmilk battle being waged by mothers across the globe. They probably just thought it sounded funny.

  • Meagan says:

    My first thought was, “I have nursing tops from Gap, so if they don’t support nursing, then they’ve made a misstep somewhere!” Maybe we should buy those onesies and cross it out, or let the babies wear it only when we’re breastfeeding them in public!

  • Melissa says:

    I have to agree with Brianne. I doubt Old Navy’s clothing designers are really aware of the huge debate going on between formula and breastmilk. Thats probably why most of these companies don’t really write out heartfelt responses when people e-mail them about these things. I don’t think it’s because they don’t care, but rather because they have no clue. I highly doubt it runs as deep as Old Navy as a whole disapproving of breastfeeding or promoting formula feeding or anything like that. It’s pretty much impossible to have equal representation everywhere – and that extends far beyond the breastfeeding/formula debate.

  • Melissa says:

    And I forgot to add – you need to get rid of the bottle and put a set of boobies on the breastmilk powered one :D

  • the grumbles says:

    I agree that they probably had no idea it was a huge violent debate. They probably thought it was cute a funny. But, however subconsciously I do think it promotes bottle-culture over breastfed, people today see formula as the norm and breastfeeding as “extra” not the other way around.

    It would have been nice if they had offered a “Mama’s Milk Powered” shirt too. I would have bought the crap out of it.