May 27th, 2014

To promote breastfeeding, Jackson Health System stops giving out infant formula samples

Miami Herald

In an effort to promote breastfeeding, Jackson Health System is no longer handing out goody bags with infant formula samples and instead is giving new mothers its own breastfeeding discharge bags that include information on support groups, where to find breast pumps and how to collect and store breast milk. The change in the longtime policy is part of an effort to achieve the Baby Friendly designation, a global standard of care program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to encourage breastfeeding and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer support for what the American Academy of Pediatrics considers the optimal level of infant feeding. All the formula bags were removed last month from Jackson Health System’s three maternity hospitals, JMH, Jackson North Medical Center and Jackson South Community Hospital.

Jackson decided to do without the commercially sponsored formula bags given to discharged mothers “because it undermines our message and what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Marta Galarza, the University of Miami neonatologist who has spearheaded the designation effort. “This is an important way of telling new mothers, ‘You can do it.’ ”

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