Hospitals to Keep Baby Formula Under Lock and Key

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Aug 14, 2012

As World Breastfeeding Week arrives it’s a good time to think about all of the benefits our kids receive from breast milk. But as many new moms know, breastfeeding is not always easy and can be a very personal decision for all of us to make.

New York City is one of the many places now trying to encourage women to breastfeed and is taking some controversial steps to try to increase the breastfeeding rate within the area. A recent report from CNN discusses the new practices put forth by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to influence new moms that breastfeeding is the right way to go.

The city of New York is now urging all of the area hospitals against offering free formula to new moms with the thinking that if they are not offered the formula they will be more likely to breastfeed from birth. Starting in September, nurses will be told not to give out formula to new moms unless there is a medical reason for the newborn to receive it. The hospital’s formula will be locked away with all of the medication and its use will be tracked with the data sent to the Health Department.

Some feel this is a good move because new moms are often confused and tired after the birth of their child and may accept formula from a nurse without really thinking much about it. Others feel that keeping formula locked up sends a message to new moms that they don’t really have a choice in the matter and must breastfeed even if they didn’t plan on it.

What New York City is doing is nothing new, many hospitals across the nation have stopped accepting samples from formula companies and do not hand any out to patients. One mom and lactation expert, Stephanie Rodriguez, explains how having that can of formula available at the hospital can make it too easy for moms who had originally planned to breastfeed. Rodriguez explains, “In my work, I regularly see clients that tell me that they weren't going to give bottles, but, you know, that can was there and it seemed like it would be easier. ... It's a real problem that is keeping moms from attaining their own breastfeeding goals. It's not the entire issue, but it certainly doesn't help.”

What do you think of the plans to stop hospitals from handing out formula to new moms?

Do you think limiting the amount of formula given out at the hospital will help to increase breastfeeding rates?

Make a Comment

thebeverlyhillsmom by thebeverlyhillsmom | BEVERLY HILLS, CA
Sep 03, 2012

I am not okay with it. My first child I attempted to nurse but after having impants it was painful and I tapped out. With my middle child I said never again and in the hospital I had to argue with many nurses over my choice, it was really uncomfortable and they were just rude. I shouldn't have had to argue my choice, its my choice and I made the right one for my child and I. My 3rd child in a moment of pure insanity I decided to attempt the torture again. I started feeding her immediatly after birth and after 12 hours of non stop screaming I had to fight for a bottle, as in argue with a nurse. Turns out I have severe nerve damage from multiple surgeries and she wasn;t getting anything at all but the nurse made me out to be a bad mom for asking for a bottle, that my child needed. I don't think the mayor who I don't believe has nursed latley or anyone else should tell me whats right for me and my child.

DivaMom812 by DivaMom812 | WOBURN, MA
Aug 16, 2012

You are kidding me, right? I see no uproar over this because it's breastfeeding yet any other time the government steps in and tells someone what to do (ie: this same mayor banning x-large sodas to 'save' people from obesity) and how to live their lives and what CHOICES to make there is at least a rumble. How is it ok for anyone to tell a woman what choices she should make. This is a hot topic for me, I tried to breastfeed and I lasted for 4 weeks. My son was STARVING. Because of the pressure that I felt in the hospital (in the fragile post birthing state) my son was STARVING. If you 'trust' a woman to give birth, you should 'trust' this woman to care for a child. Which includes letting the family make the choice of breast vs. bottle. Shame on you Mayor.

babsywabs by babsywabs | Notre Dame, IN
Aug 15, 2012

The nanny state being put in place by Mayor Bloomberg needs to GO AWAY. We are a country of free people; baby formula is a legal product, and for the mayor of a city to arbitrarily decide that it needs to be locked up goes against everything this country stands for. Perhaps breastfeeding is the better option, but it should be the MOTHER'S choice, not the MAYOR'S!

kikibird by kikibird | Maplewood, NJ
Aug 14, 2012

Wow! I can't imagine how annoyed the formula companies are going to be. I was introduced to Similac at the hospital even though I was nursing. I think its great to give women more reasons to try and nurse...if it works for them.

love2sample by love2sample | PHOENIX, AZ
Aug 14, 2012

it is a personal decision. some can't even when they try. no one should make them feel worse than they already do by making it a big deal to get formula.

tara19652006 by tara19652006 | ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Aug 14, 2012

Education is the key and then let the mom decide. There are many reasons a women chooses to bottle feed and should have to fight for her choice after giving birth.

fairy73 by fairy73 | Spring Hill, FL
Aug 14, 2012

I fed my first 4 all natural, but with my 5th I could not due to illness and meds that I was on and did not want to contaminate my breast milk. But still it should be up to the mother how she chooses to feed her child.

blizzardmonkey by blizzardmonkey | akron, OH
Aug 14, 2012

in my opinion it will hurt hospitals how can a hospital tell you we want you to breastfeed because it is natural and yet we allow women you have had inv pregnacies that is not natural no it is a women choice not a hospitals i can see more women choosing to stay home oif more medical facilities start acting as though they are in charge of the childs decisions

maineac by maineac | STANDISH, ME
Aug 14, 2012

I don't know if it will help increase breastfeeding or not, but it certainly can't hurt! It's definitely a start, but there really needs to be a LOT more education and encouragement for mothers to be as to the HUGE benefits of breastfeeding their babies to go along with this measure. It also wouldn't hurt for people and businesses to be more accepting of public breastfeeding, after all, it IS natural!