Family Matters

Bloomberg’s Breast-Feeding Plan: Will Locking Up Formula Help New Moms?

New York City is calling on hospitals to lock up infant formula like medication and lecture new mothers about the benefits of the breast. Is that going too far? Maybe not

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There are lots of experts who have lots of opinions about New York City’s new plan to encourage breast-feeding in new moms by urging hospitals not to give them baby formula. Advocates praise the move as a way to limit the influence of formula manufacturers on new mothers. Skeptics wonder whether the policy will shame women who choose not to breast-feed.

As for my sister-in-law, Rachel, who recently gave birth in a Manhattan hospital to her first child, she knows firsthand how nurses pushing formula can impact an inexperienced mother. After her C-section, a nurse offered to give her newborn a bottle “to make it easier on you.” Exhausted and uncertain, she agreed — even though she’d intended to breast-feed. “I was a new mom,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Those are exactly the sorts of moms that Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes to influence with his voluntary Latch On NYC initiative. When it goes into effect in September, nurses in participating hospitals will be instructed not to give formula to babies unless there’s a medical reason to do so or unless moms specifically request it (they’ll first have to listen to a mandatory speech about why breast is best). Formula will be locked away like medication, and staff will be required to sign it out, track its distribution and report those figures to the Health Department, which presumably wants to know whether the new policy will cut formula use citywide. Twenty-seven of the city’s 40 hospitals have agreed to participate.

(MORE: What Mitt Romney Has to Do with Breast-Feeding and Infant Formula)

Sound extreme? Not to Melissa Bartick, an internist who is on the board of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. “I can’t even get an alcohol wipe without swiping my badge,” says Bartick. “Hospitals lock up just about everything from Band-Aids to gauze. The question we should be asking is why aren’t they locking up formula? The reason is because they get it for free.”

Typically, formula manufacturers stock hospitals with free samples of their products to encourage brand-name adoption. Many hospitals across the country still give away diaper bags packed with formula samples to new moms, despite increasing awareness that the practice may stymie breast-feeding. That practice is changing, though: many hospitals nationwide have voluntarily banned the bags, and in July, Massachusetts became the second state to go “bag-free,” with all 49 of its maternity hospitals pledging to spurn the formula freebies. (Rhode Island was first in 2011.)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises moms to breast-feed exclusively for about six months, then continue breast-feeding while offering new foods. In July, an annual gathering of state AAP leaders voted to support a resolution entitled “Divesting from Formula Marketing in Pediatric Care” that would call on pediatricians “not to provide formula company gift bags, coupons and industry-authored handouts to the parents of newborns and infants in office and clinic settings.”

The resolution, which now must be considered by the Academy’s board of directors, is proving controversial as it demands the organization decide how far to push its support of breast-feeding. “We’re not going to argue about the benefits of breast-feeding because we all know that,” says AAP President Dr. Robert Block, who has two adopted daughters who relied on formula. “We stop short of saying if you don’t breast-feed, you’re a terrible mother. There are a lot of babies who need to be formula-fed. Breast-feeding advocates would disagree with this. They say any baby can be breast-fed by any mother. But there are legitimate reasons for babies to need formula.”

(MORE: Can a Formula Company Really Promote Breast-Feeding and Fight Child Obesity?)

But there are also “booby traps” — what breast-feeding advocacy group Best for Babes terms the obstacles keeping women from breast-feeding success. Those include lack of support from employers, communities, hospitals and doctors who care for moms and babies. Pediatricians, suggests Best for Babes, should take continuing education courses on the basics of lactation management. “Pediatricians need to be as proficient in this area as they are in diagnosing a heart murmur, pneumonia or the common flu,” wrote Best for Babes co-founder Bettina Forbes in an email.

In New York City, 90% of moms start out breast-feeding, but more than two-thirds stop or incorporate infant formula by two months. To try to shift that number, Latch On NYC is rolling out a full complement of subway ads, with three posters comparing formula (unfavorably) to breast milk, and featuring a racial cross-section of mothers. A press release about the campaign explains the relationship between formula and breast-feeding success:

If the baby is not given anything but breast milk, especially in the first month after the baby is born, almost every mother will make enough milk for her baby. Using baby formula during this time can decrease the production of milk, and consequently make the mother reliant on formula.

(MORE: What the U.S. Can Learn from Indonesia About Breast-Feeding)

But the International Formula Council — which represents formula manufacturers and marketers — maintains that restricting access to formula isn’t the key to boosting breast-feeding rates. “A way to help mothers is to be supportive of the feeding choice they make for their infants regardless if they choose breast-feeding, formula feeding or a combination of both,” Mardi Mountford, the council’s executive vice president, wrote in an email. “For infants who are not breast-fed, infant formula is the only safe, nutritious and recommended feeding option.”

Mountford is right, of course, about formula being the only widely available alternative to breast milk (there’s donor milk too, though not enough to nourish all formula-fed babies). She’s right too about the need to support a mom’s choice. But she’s not necessarily right when she says that limiting formula doesn’t impact breast-feeding rates. NYU Langone Medical Center, which has already restricted access to formula, has seen its breast-feeding rate increase from 39% to 68% by doing so. “New York City is definitely ahead of the curve,” Eileen DiFrisco, a parent education coordinator in the hospital’s mother-baby unit, told the New York Post.

In my sister-in-law’s experience — and in the experience of dozens of mothers who shared their stories of feeling undermined when they were offered formula in the hospital — New York City’s policy seems to make sense.

(MORE: Moms Say It’s Hard to Breast-Feed for the Recommended Six Months)

It does to Stephanie Rodriguez, who had read what felt like every breast-feeding book imaginable in preparation for her daughter’s arrival. “I was ready,” wrote Rodriguez in an email. But then her daughter had a hard time latching on and instead of offering help, a nurse offered formula; Rodriguez took it. She kept working at breast-feeding and things improved, so they went home — free formula gift bag in tow.

At home, “feeling alone and confused,” Rodriguez gave her daughter some of the free formula. “My daughter had serious nipple confusion after that and the hospital bottles, and it took several weeks of hard, time-consuming work and dedication…to get her to take the breast again.” Rodriguez has since become a board-certified lactation consultant in Missouri, inspired by her personal struggle to feed her child.

“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,” says Rodriguez. “It’s not the entire issue, but it certainly doesn’t help.”

MORE: Why Most Moms Don’t Reach Their Own Breast-Feeding Goals

64 comments
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linayerkes
linayerkes



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linayerkes FLA from USA

tleighb7
tleighb7

I think it is a slippery slope here folks.  I personally could not breastfeed because of the medication that I take for a medical condition which was risky enough during pregnancy.  This is none of the mayor's business or anyone else's for that matter.  All that being said, with so much emphasis being placed on the health risks which are increased for the infant when not fed breast milk in the first days and the hospital tracking which babies receive formula it will be very interesting to see if they use it later in life to exclude insurance coverage for certain conditions citing lack of breast milk as the cause.  It would not surprise me in the least.  Once the mother has left the hospital there is no "tracking" of the formula purchases (except by credit card use possibly), so this would be one way for them to blame the mother for the health problems of her baby which may or may not be caused by formula.  How would men like it if every alcohol purchase, every tobacco purchase, etc were tracked and linked to their health history. 

Halli620
Halli620

It says that formula will of course be available for medical reasons, or even if the mother just requests it. She still has full choice. I think it's perfectly fine to explain to new mothers why nursing is better if possible since they may not know. The problem was that formula was being actively pushed on new mothers at the behest of companies, and that needed to be fixed. There is no lack of choice with this rule, only a lack of pushing formula, as I believe there should be, and I don't see why anyone would have a problem with this.

ERenger
ERenger

Maybe instead of locking away ALL the formula, Bloomberg should just limit the serving to 16 ounces. 

La Ugh
La Ugh

Bloomberg's women all have huge breasts.  Not every woman is the same!  Not every mom only gave birth to one baby at a time.  Our politians are so out of touch with the reality.Read more: http://healthland.time.com/201...

La Ugh
La Ugh

Bloomberg's women all have huge breasts.  Not every woman is the same!  Not every mom only gave birth to one baby at a time.  Our politians are so out of touch with the reality.

auschick
auschick

I was so upset when the nurses at the hospital gave my baby formula. I was having major latch issues (a combination of factors - inverted nipples, sleepy baby). I ended up seeing a lactation consultant, who also had me use formula to top her up, as she was losing too much weight.  I was extremely frustrated, but also very very determined, and finally when my LO was 2 months old, I was able to throw out all of the formula and go to exclusive breast feeding. I'm thankful that I had not planned to return to work until she was 3 months old (and even then, part time from home), otherwise I doubt I would have reached my breastfeeding goal.  I recommend lactation consultants to everyone.  I also recommend perseverance and doing whatever it takes!!

satmn
satmn

Apparently when one door closes for male politicians looking for ways to

intimidate, restrict, harrass, etc women (abortion, birth control,

etc), they manage to find another one (breastfeeding).

Sure, no one is saying that you have to breastfeed, no one is trying to

tell you that their way is better than your way, no one is trying to

take away your choice, no one is trying to apply any pressure

whatsoever. Sure, that's not happening at all...

You know what issue I would really like male politicians to get themselves all concerning about?  Equal pay.

satmn
satmn

Apparently when one door closes for male politicians looking for ways to intimidate, restrict, harrass, etc women (abortion, birth control, etc), they manage to find another one (breastfeeding).

Sure, no one is saying that you have to breastfeed, no one is trying to tell you that their way is better than your way, no one is trying to take away your choice, no one is trying to apply any pressure whatsoever. Sure, that's not happening at all...

You know what issue I would really like male politicians to get themselves all concerning about?  Equal pay.

Amanda Greathouse
Amanda Greathouse

I think it's a positive step, in reality.

I mean, right now, yes, seems inconvenient.

BUT...

The doctor said he had to swipe his key card to even get a bit of gauze. If they're using that kind of security/clearance for everything else, I think it's good to see formula treated the same way. 

ALSO:

I don't see the harm in it if it's available on request.

Breast milk and breastfeeding have many benefits.

 For one, you're passing on antibodies which are very important while the infant is too young for vaccinations.

Another benefit is psychological. As a psychology student, it's only sensible to think that if you disrupt instinctual things (suckling instinct) during development, it's bad for the child. In this case, you'd be referring to the steps of development, one of which, specifically during infancy, is the oral phase.

Another benefit is cost effectiveness. Breast milk takes only time. Formula takes money.

Another benefit is the oxytocin release, triggering chemical bonding between mother and child.

Another benefit is that it increases metabolism and burns calories - thus being great for helping lose pregnancy weight.

Brittany Lynn
Brittany Lynn

All these laws being changed and proposed in NY need to stop. First soda bans, than ridiculous smoking bans and lastly formula "monitoring". What's going to be next? The Mayor seems to be passing to many laws that shouldn't be up to his discretion. The benefits of breast feeding for a baby we all know are much better, but now he is pushing mothers to breastfeed, so if it isn't one extreme it's the other. It's not his place to be doing the things he is doing and it's getting ridiculous. Restrictions on everything, I thought we lived in America - Land of the FREE.

Charlene Connell
Charlene Connell

The mayor is restoring ETHICS to medicine.  It is unethical for hospitals to act as marketing agents for formula companies.  It is unethical for doctors to hand out non-optimal alternatives to human milk without discussing risks.  It is unethical for hospitals to not monitor and log formula distribution as it does the distribution of everything else.  Consider recalls, questions about how much formula the child has been taking in, and even theft.  What is happening is that formula will no longer have a free pass to try and push that choice on a captive audience.  No more breast feeding moms being told by nurses that they "gave them a little top off because they seemed hungry".  Instead, moms will have to ask for formula and formula will only be given to babies whose moms have chosen to feed them that way.   Imagine the outrage and demand for accountability if formula feeding moms had to worry about donor breast milk being given to their babies without consent?  Imagine the outrage if donor milk was sent home to moms who chose to formula feed "just in case"?  This is all about choice and respecting bfing women's choices as well.  If formula has to be asked for and lactation support has to be asked for, then finally both feeding options are being treated equally.  (And don't complain about the "lecture" of breast is best--which wording only shows and creates a bias against the provision--it is actually this long standing medical practice called informed consent.  When you were deciding on medication in labor, and the doctor listed the risks to you and baby, did you consider that a "lecture"?  Did you consider him to be pushing for natural child birth?  Invading your vagina?  Of course not, and it is the same with issuing formula.  I'm your health care provider and I'm here to give you the facts.  Guess what?  Lots of women don't know and haven't considered the facts about breast feeding and the risks associated with not doing so.  They have a right to know BEFORE their best chances to breast feed have passed.  INFORMED CONSENT is a good thing, and true choice cannot exist without it!)

jaylbee
jaylbee

Bloomberg doesn't know the difference between "leader" and "ruler".

Liza Wyles
Liza Wyles

Having birthed 2 babies in an NYC hospital in the past couple of years, I was "gifted" with formula samples (and no explanation), which I then donated to a food bank.  Nobody asked me if I wanted them (I didn't).  I think the INTENT Bloomberg has is good, but this protocol is ridiculous.  The time to talk to a brand-new mom about her preferred feeding method is NOT right after she's had a baby.  It's before. Give a woman some time to THINK.  Who is in their right mind after giving birth?   ALSO: can we see some education being offered for both formula and breastfeeding?  Share pros and cons, and leave the choice to those who will be caring for the children.  As for collecting data on the signed out cans of formula, it WOULD be interesting to see how that translates to health conditions of the population in correlation to that practice.  I do NOT think it's to see if it cuts formula use.  There is no reason to know that.  There IS a reason to try to definitively trace back the CONS of formula-feeding.  Are there really CONS?  Or is it just spun in a negative light when compared to breastfeeding?  As an extended breastfeeding advocate, I cannot invoke my prejudice on any other mother.  There are those who formula feed for SO many reason.  Let's not make them feel like they're not caring properly for their children.  And if you're so gung-ho about breastfeeding, Mr. Mayor, why don't you provide more accommodations for moms to do so in public, and educate city employees not to bully or harass those moms.  Because that happens, you know. 

breastisnotbest
breastisnotbest

"they’ll first have to listen to a mandatory speech about why breast is best"

really? REALLY? This is how we think we should treat women who are mature enough to have children...so we treat them like children?

I formula-fed our children, and I'm very proud of it. Why? Breast is NOT best for our situation, and I would have been FURIOUS to have been forced to listen to a mandatory speech over it. I have a strong family history of breast cancer in our family, and I tested positive for BRCA1 gene. Therefore, I had a preventative double mastectomy before having children so that I could live to raise our children because there have been far too many early deaths in my family. I probably would have chosen to try breastfeeding if I hadn't done this, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to be told that breastfeeding is best for our family when I have no breasts with which to feed them since I decided my life - not my breasts - were more important for our children's future.

And, yes, I've had to answer over and over and over again to other moms as to why I am not breastfeeding our children. Do you really think women like us like having to tell the entire world that we've had to have a preventative mastectomy because otherwise we have an 85% chance of getting cancer and dying? Do you think we enjoy having to tell the entire world what should be private medical information just to combat the breastfeeding Nazis? Seriously?!

I've also requested to have the choice to bring in my own organic baby formula rather than the hospital non-organic default. Fortunately, that request was granted. And this is what could happen - parents will just bring in their own formula. What the hospital has as default isn't what every parent has to be FORCED to use either, free or not.

I'm really glad this didn't happen when we were having our children; I would have chosen to have our children in another state or country rather than endure this type of treatment just because I made a mature, wise decision to have a preventative mastectomy after watching far too many family members die way too young and, yes, even leaving young children without a parent. That is not a better solution.

Terrence Ashwill
Terrence Ashwill

how is being offered something being "undermined"?  If you were going to use a crayon and I offer you a marker because you are tired and the marker is right here but the crayon is in another room that isn't undermining that is creating options.

This is just one more step towards the nanny state.  You can't smoke, drink a large soda, choose where to send you kid to school, or decide whether you want to breastfeed in NYC.

Crunchy Con Mommy
Crunchy Con Mommy

I think locking up the formula until prescribed or requested is probably a good move, but I don't think mothers should receive a lecture about it if they do request it. After giving birth, women need to be supported, not lectured.

mhucao
mhucao

Bloomberg is showing psychosis.  Time to remove him from power. Perhaps NY women should boldly expose their breasts in public, as they feed their children. Let's see if this NYC Nazi has the stones to tell them to cover-up, too.

Michael Collins
Michael Collins

Where is the place for public health policy? Yes, individual choice (and responsibility) is super important. And, the group (society) gets a say because it is footing some of this bill and WE all have to deal with invidual health decisions.

Do you think the state should have the right to keep children out of school because they haven't been immnized against potentially fatal diseases? Do you want your kid going to a school full of children that haven't been immunized?

So, there is a place for the state to exercise 'some' influence in public health policy. I don't think 'mandating' is correct. But, 'informing' and 'encouraging' might be a reasonable middle ground.

Greg Altuna
Greg Altuna

This is ridiculous. I only read the short deck, but was alarmed at the possibility that this might even happen. My wife was led astray by a bad lactation consultant, and we were forced to move to formula and ultimately goat's milk due to my daughter's stomach woes. 

I can't even begin to think of how hostile I would have gotten should I have not been able to go out and buy the formula at 2 in the morning.

matt6832
matt6832

I'm seriously starting to think this guy needs his own nanny...........in a mental institution.

whatelsecanisay
whatelsecanisay

When will men start getting 'free' birth control? I am sure many would like to stop paying for condoms.

myrtlemay lee
myrtlemay lee

Nanny Bloombucks is, IMHO, the most arrogant, egotistical little troll in US history (Napoleon belonged to Europe) amp; he should be living under a bridge instead of in luxurious digs in NY amp; the islands.  He's changed political parties at whim, sucks up to developers, won't rehire employees who quit his companies...

He's spied on neighboring states, spied on Muslim Americans amp; has used the NYC Health Dept as his personal militia all in service to his own ego.  He never simply advocates a position, he orders, taxes, bans or locks up anything he thinks you shouldn't have. 

He's a small, petty tyrant who should be laughed out of any healthy democracy.  And someday I'll tell you how I really feel.  LOL. 

myrtlemay lee
myrtlemay lee

 P.S.  I breast-fed AND used formula based on my child's needs amp; my own family situation.  The NYC Mayor of the day didn't feel the need to second-guess me.

Christine Mislang
Christine Mislang

I figure once men are able to breast feed then they can have a say on how women choose to feed their children.  I have yet to see a man whip out his boob at work, in the mall or anywhere else for that matter be it to feed or pump.  So Mayor Bloomberg and all the others who think they should tell women how to handle breast feeding, put a cork in it.

ReadHead322
ReadHead322

They do push formula on you in the hospital. Twice they asked me if they could feed the baby a bottle so I could sleep and twice I had to tell them insistently that I did not want my baby to have a bottle. I told the nurses I didn't need any formula to take home but they more or less made me take it 'just in case'.

Lip service is given to the benefits of breastfeeding in the hospital, but I do not think most healthcare workers there are committed to it for thier patients. The reason? More convenient for them to feed (or have you feed) the baby on a timetable with a bottle.

Cathie Chavez-Morris
Cathie Chavez-Morris

Well said Bonnie!  Great article.   Mayors have a responsibility to ensure their community is thriving!  That means even our smallest community members need to be given the best opportunity to thrive.  I am impressed by this initiative!

JuliaDeSotoRossi
JuliaDeSotoRossi

For many working mothers, it would be inconvenient to use a breast pump and refrigerate her milk during breaks and lunch periods at work each day, but some chose to do it. (More power to them.)

But why not educate new mothers to the benefits of BOTH methods and then let them decide?

corbeauetrenard
corbeauetrenard

As a new mother, I respectfully disagree with the tone of this article.

I was going to be a mother who breastfed for a full year, and received all of the equipment necessary including but not limited to a hospital grade pump system, Boppy, and nursing cover (I planned on attachment parenting and was going to have NO issue breastfeeding in public).

At the hospital, it was assumed I would breast feed after my c-section; I was never asked which I would prefer. Rather, the baby was given to me in recovery and I began the process then. I had a lactation consultant visit me daily, and things seemed to be going well until I left the hospital.

The baby and I struggled and struggled. He would cry and I wouldn't understand why -- I was feeding him hourly! When I took him to the doctor a week later, he had lost 2 pounds (yes it is normal to lose weight after birth, especially a c-section, but he had lost everything he had gained back at the hospital and more). He was not thriving. I was completely and utterly devastated. I was under the impression that "breast is best" and formula was no better than giving my child poison. I was in hysterics at the doctor's office and felt like I was an inadequate mother. It was then I started exclusively pumping. Thinking this would make things easier for me, I pumped and pumped through (literally) bleeding nipples, then I would feed my child, then pump again. All I did all day was pump and feed, reminding myself that I was doing the best thing I could for my child. I felt pressure on all ends: from family, friends, and the media.

Eventually I started to resent my son and fall into a deep post partum depression. It was at this point I decided that BREAST IS NOT ALWAYS BEST. I started introducing formula and it was the best decision I have made as a mother. I started to feel like myself again and began to have a life that wasn't exclusively devoted to producing milk. A happy and devoted mother leads to a thriving child, not breastmilk.

I think introducing a program such as this is completely wrong and can be dangerous. A woman should be able to choose how she wants to feed her child without getting a lecture from a nurse each time she requests formula. She should not be made to feel guilty if breastfeeding does not work for her. No one should have to go through what I did during what should be one of the happiest, albeit exhausting, times in their life. We need to develop a culture that celebrates mothers and doesn't pit one against the other based on the choices they make.

My body, my choice. When Mayor Bloomberg has a baby, he has every right to breastfeed too.

Nizudar
Nizudar

My wife’s breasts are worth thousands of dollars each, because that is how much she has saved me by breastfeeding our children.  If she needs to get them perked up later in life she has earned them and I'll be happy to buy her a new set.

 

That being said Mayor Bloomberg needs to stay away from my wife’s breasts.

Carolyn Brown
Carolyn Brown

People should note that this does not mean parents cannot get formula - only that doctors, nurses and hospitals can't advertise it.  Neither is there any intimidation to breastfeed.  Giving formula in the first few days of life makes permanent changes to the baby's gut and immune system.  So shouldn't parents be aware of the consequences of giving formula?  There have been numerous recalls of formula, more than almost any other product or drug.  Why wouldn't you want it documented if your child received something recalled so often?   

Xira
Xira

It's a very slippery slope. One that he's already slid down several times in relation to other types of 'sin'.

Charlene Connell
Charlene Connell

Letting companies have access to women and their children in hospitals is the slippery slope.  Treating formula the same as every other thing issued by the hospital is only ETHICS and responsibility.  No limit is placed on choice.  The limits are being placed on big corporations, and hospitals are being asked to be accountable for what they give out (chart it).  Lastly, informed consent promises every woman who leaves has made a real choice based on facts and evidence of how she wants to feed her child.

JuliaDeSotoRossi
JuliaDeSotoRossi

There are no laws in this country that provide nursing mothers with paid maternity leave.

Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg will become the first to initiat this law for breastfeeding mothers only, since he feels so strongly about the subject, but I seriously doubt it will happen. (You know it won't.)

RussianRevolution
RussianRevolution

I think there are laws that provide mothers with maternity leave (you won't lose your job when you take leave) but no laws that state it must be paid. That would be the UK.

Joanna Lynn Snell
Joanna Lynn Snell

That's parental leave, open to either parent. I would like to see the fathers breast feed though. I think I saw a device that would help with that on "Meet the Fockers".

tsandco
tsandco

Mistreating women that either can't or choose not to breast feed is simply wrong and wrong headed.

This is Liberalism's war on women.I believe that Mr Bloomberg's move here will backfire wildly, more so that his previous efforts to control other groups of New Yorkers (smokers, the obese, Chickfila supporters, etc).Time will tell if any women's rights groups will step up to the microphone and denounce Mr. Bloomberg's move to "treat formula as a controlled substance".

tleighb7
tleighb7

Ok, so I'm only going to say this once.  There is no liberal war on women.  Open your eyes and glance at the reality of the conservative attack on women's rights.  

ReadHead322
ReadHead322

What women are being mistreated?! My goodness, they just want to stop hospitals pushing free formula at you. Nobody said you couldn't still get it. You should relax a little.

Anita Baglione Leary
Anita Baglione Leary

Liberalism's war on women?  Bloomberg is an idiot for starting this issue, but it's Liberals who favor in giving people CHOICE.  I don't know where you get your definition of Liberal, but it is incorrect. 

RussianRevolution
RussianRevolution

I didn't understand the statement either....you know, because most raging feminists I know are staunch conservatives

RussianRevolution
RussianRevolution

maxineusa- You are as bright as most conservatives I know. Clearly I was being sarcastic....

maxineusa
maxineusa

Where on earth did you get the idea that raging feminists are staunch conservatives.  NO WAY!  I am conservative and I am certainly no feminist.  Feminist means you're a man hater.

Asa Blum
Asa Blum

How is this not like Dr. required to give a lecture to a woman before she has an abortion?   The Dr. should just help the mother make an informed decision on whats best for her.

I had two children and I can tell you of the experience that breast feeding is great but there is all to much pressure put on women to breast feed.  I called them the breast Nazis in the hospital.  

With my first child they encouraged it heavily giving my ex wife guilt.  She had a very hard time breast feeding required a lactation counselor.  We got the formula diaper bag when we left the hospital.  They asked us if we wanted the formula (stressing that they didn't have to put it in)  But I told them to put it in, I might need it one day.

Well we got home and Thank god I had it, my exwife fell in to depression mostly over inadequate breast feeding.   We used the formula and she ended up pumping breast milk.  Her production only allowed us to give milk during the day and formula at night.  Also the diaper bag they gave at the hospital was the best bag ever.  It was better than all the fancy one's we bought (functionally).

With my second child they no longer gave the bag away.  I had to go ask for some formula freebees.  It was rather annoying.  My exwife's production on the second child allowed us to pump and feed breast milk exclusively for 15 months. 

I think they should just provide the information and let the parents make a solid judgement.  I see a lot more hospitals guilt tripping first time mothers now in to breast feeding.  Everyone wants to breast feed unless your rich.  Formula is expensive.    And breast milk is better.  I think this is over reaching.  Let people do whats best for thier family.  You gonna take chicken nuggets off the menu of the hospital int he kids ward next?

Educate and inform.  Don't intimidate and withhold.

Charlene Connell
Charlene Connell

Lecture is a prejudiced poor choice of words.  They are requiring them to tell women of the risks of formula feeding (or not breast feeding if you will).  Women have a right to informed consent and assuming because they are born with a vagina or that their breasts grew right there on their chest -- assuming that because we are women we are born knowing everything about childbirth and breast feeding would be insane.  By providing women with some of the facts in the hospital, they will insure that women are making informed choices as to how is best to feed their children.  Opposition to this bill is based on lies and prejudicial use of language.  The rest of the developed world already follows these guidelines.

Daneye
Daneye

what if the breast holds more than 32 oz's?

Stephen Packard
Stephen Packard

 Bloomberg needs to understand that there is a HUGE difference between encouraging someone to do something and ramming it down their throat.   Yes, breast feeding is best and new mothers should be told this and given support in this area.  Nobody will disagree with this.

It's not as if using formula is harmful in and of itself.

When I was born, as with millions of people, I was *mostly* breastfed, but formula was used too, on occasion.  Why?  Because there were times when it made life a lot easier.  And life can be really stressful for new parents.

Bloomberg's been getting more and more draconian recently.  

I can imagine the conversations:

"We usually breast feed, but my wife is very very tired and the baby is crying.  I don't want to wake her.   I'm going to go make some formula"

"NO!  NO YOU WILL NOT!   I AM MIKE BLOOMBERG AND HER BOOBIES BELONG TO ME!"

Daneye
Daneye

what if the breast holds  more than 32 oz's