Mental Health Awareness Month: Sprout Organic Speaks Out About Formula Shaming

Gold Coast, QLD (09/05/2023) — Sprout Organic Pty Ltd (“Sprout” or the “Company”), Queensland kids nutrition company, Sprout Organic, is calling on the Australian Government to address the issue of formula shaming this Mental Health Awareness Month by updating the scope and parental messaging within the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (MAIF) Agreement, which is currently under review.

Formula shaming is a form of parent-shaming that can have a significant impact on new parents who choose to formula feed their babies. It can cause feelings of grief, guilt, and inadequacy for parents who are already dealing with the challenges of caring for a newborn. This can lead to postpartum depression and anxiety, which can have long-term effects on both caregivers and their children.

CEO of Sprout Organic, Selasi Berdie commented on the issue, stating "As a brand that deeply cares about the wellbeing of parents and their children, we want to shed light on the impact that formula shaming can have. We want to create a culture of inclusivity and respect for all feeding choices, where parents can feel empowered to make the decisions that work best for their family without fear of judgement or criticism."

Sprout Organic is urging the Australian government to revise the scope of the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (MAIF) Agreement to promote inclusivity and respect for all feeding choices. The agreement currently aims to encourage breastfeeding as the first choice and optimal option for infants. While Sprout Organic fully supports this position as a current signatory of the MAIF Agreement, it also believes that the long-standing ‘breast is best’ messaging needs to be revisited to reduce mental suffering, in consideration and respect for parents who either cannot breastfeed or have made an informed decision not to. 

Berdie added: "We want to emphasise that there is no single 'correct' way to feed a baby. Behind every parent is a range of experiences that we may not be aware of: a challenging mental battle, a traumatic birth, a mastectomy, a prolonged stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, a thyroid condition, a breast reduction, or simply an informed personal decision to formula feed, without any justification needed. These experiences can greatly influence parents’ feeding choices. We need to respect and support all parents, regardless of how they choose to feed their child."

Sprout Organic is encouraging all interested parties to share their views on the MAIF agreement. The consultation period is open until May 12, 2023, and submissions can be sent to

In particular, the company is requesting the scope and messaging promoted by the current MAIF agreement to be updated in recognition the following:

  • The right of all caregivers to choose how to feed their child and their right to freely make that choice without the prejudice of others.

  • The right of women to breastfeed or formula feed without discrimination, noting that it is unlawful to treat a woman less favourably on the basis that she is breastfeeding or formula feeding under anti-discrimination laws (such as the Australia Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the NZ Human Rights Commission Act 1977 and Employment Relations Act 2000).

In closing, Berdie stated: "It's time to put an end to formula shaming and embrace a culture of inclusivity and support for all parents. We hope that our efforts will contribute to a more compassionate and respectful society that prioritises the wellbeing of parents and their children”.

Contact: Nadia Schilling,, 0469 545 424


Sprout Organic is an Australian children's nutrition company which produces organic, plant-based infant formula, and healthy plant-based snacks for kids. Its mission is to provide children and their families with access to nourishing plant-based food products across the globe. Approved by leading paediatricians, dietitians, and food science experts, in July 2021 Sprout launched its world-first plant-based and organic infant formula, disrupting a 120 year old industry that has seen little innovation beyond dairy or soy. In March 2022, Sprout was awarded the highly acclaimed World Food Innovation Award for ‘Best Children's Product’.