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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

NYC Bans the (Formula) Bags

Published August 1, 2007 9:14 AM by Abigail Scott

In an effort to boost the number of new moms who breastfeed, New York City's public hospital system recently announced it no longer will give free baby-formula samples in gift bags for new mothers. Instead, gift bags will include "a breast-milk bottle cooler, disposable nursing pads, breastfeeding tips and a baby T-shirt with the slogan "I Eat at Mom's" emblazoned on the front.

Also as part of the program, breastfeeding consultants will visit mothers at bedside "to help initiate breastfeeding within one hour of delivery." Free breast pumps will be given away, and hospitals will provide hospital-grade electric breast pumps to mothers whose newborns have to remain in the hospital.

On the New York Times blog, readers weigh in on this controversial decision. Several people applaud the measure, saying among other things, the samples are just a big marketing ploy by formula manufacturers, and even impoverished women with nutritionally unsound diets can have enough breastmilk for their babies. On the other hand, many people call the initiative intrusive and say it's up to the mother to decide how she feeds her baby, whether by breast or bottle.

posted by Abigail Scott


Mayor Bloomberg is a dictator.  Of late, in this city it has been his way or the highway.  Sure, this measure will save the city a ton of money.  That is always the bottom line.  Don't believe it when his administration preaches that it is for the health of the newborn.  When I had my daughter back in the day,  I chose to breastfeed her although I had no support from anyone.  I depended on La Leche League to coach me through badly chapped nipples and many other related problems.  Eight weeks later when I had to return to work,  the League told me I was a terrible mom because I would be away from my child for 10 to 12 hours a day. Beside the fact I was an exhausted and frail single mom...I could not produce the quality and quantity of milk my child required.   Breast feeding is not possible for everyone and Bloomy should butt out of womens' choices and stop shoving his beliefs onto everyone else.

dianne, pacu - rn, weill cornell August 25, 2007 2:17 AM
new york NY

I do not believe breast feeding should be thrust upon anyone not willing to do so or do not have the time to do so. I was in a hospital with my son that thrust bf upon new moms. My son was hospitalized fro dehydration and 2 pound weight loss from birth weight at 2 weeks of age. The problem, I could not produce enough breastmilk even exclusively breastfeeding and pumpinp after feedings. All day total would be less than 1 ounce. Please let moms choose. This is modern times and we do live in a free country? the nipple *** need to back off from where they are not welcome.

jeanetfer August 15, 2007 1:06 PM

PLEASE!!!! New mom's should not have breastfeeding thrust upon them by anyone! There are women out there who do not choose to breastfeed for any one of a number of reasons. To not give them the same treatment as breastfeeding mothers is apalling to me. Let the mother choose whether or not to breastfeed and give them the support they need without judging them! Then give them a bag with formula, etc. in it so that they don't feel like they are being "bad mothers" for deciding not to breastfeed.

lisa, RN August 14, 2007 8:14 AM
Casselberry FL

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