July 19th, 2012

Massachusetts Hospitals Ban Free Baby Formula Gift Bags 7 Years After Mitt Romney Said No

By Jessica Samakow
Huffington Post

Last week, Massachusetts became the second state in which hospitals have voluntarily banned sending new mothers home with free infant formula goody bags. Hospitals in Rhode Island were the first to end the practice, in November.

The goal is to encourage mothers to breastfeed rather than bottle-feed. Research has shown that when hospitals gives moms free formula, they’re likely to start bottle-feeding their infants sooner than experts recommend. A 2008 study concluded, “Women who received these packs were more likely to exclusively breastfeed for fewer than 10 weeks than were women who had not received the packs.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics, health officials and doctors agree that “breast is best,” and the AAP recommends that mothers should exclusively breastfeed for at least their babies’ first six months.

Time Healthland reported that breastfeeding advocates planned to gather Wednesday at the Massachusetts State House to celebrate their victory and noted that the state Department of Public Health had earlier tried to ban free formula gift bags.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/massachusetts-formula-ban_n_1684259.html

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