Hospital Bans Formula Freebies in Latest Breastfeeding Victory

Rant 111

baby bottleThere are a lot of ways you can describe formula. Expensive. Annoying to make with the cleaning of the bottles and the mixing if you get powder. What is needed if you don't breastfeed. And contraband. As of now, in Massachusetts, new mothers will not be getting free formula samples to take home with them. And it's all an effort of encouragement. To help babies get the best start. To help moms.

I believe some time around the advent of formula, the master plan was to get people to think the synthetic breastmilk was better than the real thing straight from mama. But the thing is, we didn't know very well back then. We painted things with lead, made things with BPA, you know, did things that have jeopardized our health, unknowingly.

Then somewhere along the line, breasts became completely and totally sexualized and breastfeeding rates plummeted. Which takes us to today where 57 percent of Americans think breastfeeding is an obscene act.

The push of free samples -- that subliminal advertising, that mother's little helper all too tempting for a new mom who may be struggling with nursing her first baby -- is what derails many from giving their babies the best stuff on Earth. The stuff that comes from mom, pure and perfect and everything your baby needs. Breastmilk.

The hard truth is that studies prove that mothers who breastfeed and get those free formula samples when leaving the hospital are less likely to be breastfeeding by the time baby was 1 month old. It's like the anti-breastfeeding serum. And Massachusetts isn't the only state to say no more. The ban on formula samples is happening in many places around the country and soon we may be a no free formula samples in hospitals kind of country.

I realize some will blast all this. Question what the mothers who can't or don't want to breastfeed should do. Act as if the world is ending because *gasp* free samples of formula won't be coming home with new moms in their hospital stash right next to all the extra absorbent maxi pads.

I want to say this: I love formula. It's fantastic. It should be more awesome and companies should be more careful about making it as safe and as great as possible. Many of us need it. But if you want free formula samples, contact the formula companies. You will get them sent to your home and coupons and all that jazz. The banning of the free samples from the hospital is something I applaud even though I know how needed formula is because hospitals should have their patients' best interest in mind. And if a mom wants to breastfeed and has the free sample formula in her home and in a moment of insomnia decides to give baby just one bottle, that one act can ruin a woman's chances of breastfeeding until the recommended 6 months by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the World Health Organization's 2 years. We shouldn't be ruining chances when it comes to this. There shouldn't be a free temptation, given to a mom at a tender time, a whirlwind moment filled with overwhelming emotions.

Formula is great, and needed, and so necessary for so many. This isn't an attack on formula or those who use it. It's instead an effort to help breastfeeding. At no one's expense.

What do you think of the push to ban formula freebies in hospitals?


Image via nerissa's ring/Flickr

breastfeeding, formula, in the news, natural parenting


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Elise48 Elise48

I think that it's crap. I will never understand how this is a breastfeeding victory. I don't even understand why breastfeeding needs a "victory" since this shouldn't be considered a battle or war. It's ridiculous to ban free things for people who want them. Why can't they just implement a policy to ask first and accept the patients' answers and leave it at that.  

bella... bella_grace

I don't think it will make a bit of difference. You either want to breastfeed or don't.

nonmember avatar Shannon O'Conne

Such crap! This whole "battle" is made up by annoying bloggers like you. Not everyone is able to breast feed. I'm pretty sure that's why formula was invented. I plan on trying, but if I can't, I can't. I was bottle fed and I'm fine. This is just one more BS way to turn women against each other.

Candy... CandyWolf

I agree with Elise. I don't understand why this is refer to as a "victory" If you don't want it don't take it. It is as simple as that. But why penalize mothers who want it? Sorry that just doesn't make since to me. Breastfeeding is not for everyone contrary to popular belief. This is just crazy!

LynBoz LynBoz

It seems they are trying to force breastfeeding onto new mothers. It is the mothers personal choice and banning free formula from hospitals is not going to change that choice.

momof... momof030404

And crap like THIS is what makes people bitter and anti breastfeeding. It ALSO is what leads to some you being called Breastfeeding CRAZIES. You are helping NO ONE. NO ONE. It is NONE of your business to decide what is right for someone else. Formula is NOT poison it is a perfectly FINE food source. I have two daughter a year apart. My second girl got ZERO breast milk. She is in national elementary honor society and NEVER sick. My cousin extended BF ALL of her kids and they are ALWAYS sick. This will just add to the financial stress to new moms AND the emotional stress when/if they arent ABLE too BF. Way to go....WIN for making fellow moms feel CRAPPY!!

dreab... dreabug23

I think you should worry about your breasts and leave everybody else's out of this. There is no war on breastfeeding. I see mothers breastfeeding constantly and could give a rip. Most people could care less. A few stories come out about people approaching breastfeeding moms and suddenly there is a war on breastfeeding. If a mother makes the choice to breastfeed or formula is her choice. Back off!

nonmember avatar Kate

Elise and Candywolf, I gather that this is considered a "victory" for judgy and holier-than-thou mothers like Michele who can breastfeed and who try and who think they know what is best for every other mother and her baby.

fave82 fave82

So in a world where most are already financially strapped and everything is overpriced you think is a win to take away one of the rare freebies we actually get?? Puhlease. I took the samples and was grateful for them... And then i still breastfed for several months. And when the time came, those samples were still good and it saved me 40 bucks.

nonmember avatar Nicole

Yes, because those couple cans of formula will really make a dent in the overall cost of formula. *eyeroll* I would've liked a free pump at the hospital but I didn't get one. Those of you demanding free samples because you can't afford formula are probably on WIC anyway so why are you bitching. I think this is good. Free samples send the wrong message and can be too tempting for those who don't know that every time you supplement, your production goes down. Then you wonder why you can't make milk. No freebies for anyone.

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