November 26th, 2013

St. Joseph Medical Center no longer offers samples of formula to new moms

By Beth Anne Heesen
Reading Eagle

Until recently, women who gave birth at St. Joseph Medical Center’s Breidegam Family Birthing Center received free diaper bags filled with baby formula samples and coupons. But with research suggesting that these bags decrease the number of moms who breast-feed, hospital officials decided they could no longer advertise or promote the companies.

The action was part of a nationwide effort called Ban the Bags, which was founded in 2006 with a goal of eliminating infant formula marketing by hospitals. So far, 787 of the nation’s hospitals and birthing centers - about 23 percent - have said no to the bags, according to the organization’s website.

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