May 11th, 2012

Maternity Ward Swag

By Elizabeth Mitchell Armstrong
The New York Times

FLOWERS will be arriving on moms’ doorsteps this Sunday; cards and homemade presents will be on their breakfast trays. But the newest mothers, in hospitals across the country, will receive a gift that does more harm than good: free starter packs of infant formula.

Breast-feeding offers numerous benefits to babies, including protection against childhood obesity, diabetes, some respiratory and ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome. Mothers who breast-feed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancer. Yet although three out of four mothers in the United States breast-feed their newborns, fewer than half are still doing so by the time their babies are 6 months old.

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