August 8th, 2012

Formula v breastfeeding: Should the state step in?

By Kate Dailey
BBC News

New York City has put forth an initiative to end free formula milk samples and make it more difficult to access formula in hospital. Will the measures promote breastfeeding or add to a culture of shame for those who use formula?

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the specifics of a new initiative called Latch On NYC, it seemed at first glance like another aggressive move by the health-focused mayor.

Bloomberg, who already made international headlines for banning the sale of giant-sized soft drinks in the city, said that as of September, the 11 city hospitals and 16 participating private hospitals would restrict access to formula milk. For mothers who choose to breastfeed, this means treating formula similarly to medication, requiring that it be doled out only for specific reasons, and signed out and noted on the baby’s chart when administered. Mothers who chose to formula feed can still do so.

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