Hospital Tells Bottlefeeders to Bring Their Own Formula

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bottle feeding babyIf you're planning to bottlefeed, you might want to throw a can of formula next to your robe and slippers in that ready for the hospital bag.

The new trend in hospital maternity wards just made news in England's Essex this week: the hospital has told moms it's breastfeed or bring your own milk for baby.

They won't be supplying formula.

Frankly, as a mom who supports women's right to choose -- and women's right to realize that breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone -- I still love this idea.

Because let's face it: you don't know if breastfeeding is going to work for you until you TRY it.

And it's awfully tempting when you're lying spent in a hospital bed to give in to the lure of a nurse with a bottle. No judgment: you're tired. You're not thinking straight.

And you're screwing yourself.

Because sticking the artificial nipple in baby's mouth from the get-go makes it HARDER to breastfeed. So that kindly nurse isn't spelling relief for you -- she's foiling your future attempts to bring baby to breast.

My struggle with postpartum depression forced me to give up breastfeeding far earlier than I ever intended, and I still struggle with guilt over it. But I'm buoyed by the knowledge that I tried.

Every woman deserves the right to try, and a hospital that supports that right. The maternity ward is supposed to be a source of support for mothers -- not the little devil on your shoulder. 

And if you don't want to, stop off at the grocery store while you're contracting -- it's your right to choose.

Is your hospital offering formula?


Image via © iStock.com

delivery, labor & delivery

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xavie... xavierlogan09

i think it's a good idea. the nurses help you to learn how to breast feed if it's your first time trying. maybe it will get more mothers to try to breast feed. i know breast feeding was alot easier at the hospital for me. because i had nurses showing me what to do. i even had a lacation nurse give me information on nursing and tell me how to properly latch my son.

lolab... lolabelle2010

I think its a good thing. Obviously if there is an issue and the mother was planning to BF and she is unable to, I think that the hospital would need to have some on hand, which I'm sure they would. However, I think that the nurses would need to have extra training in helping moms BF. The nurses at my hospital were so pro-formula that they really had no advice other then how to get him to open his mouth! The LC was just as bad and handed me a nipple shield (which I didnt need...but I didnt know that until 3wks later when I went to a MUCH more educated LC) and that was that.

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

This is a great idea. And maybe when the mom to be stops in the store to buy formula she will see how expensive it is and how annoying bottles are to clean and realize that breastfeeding has EVEN MORE good things about it.


Great point, lola -- they probably (hopefully) have some on hand for moms who cannot BF.


I luckily delivered my twins in a hospital that was very helpful to those who want to nurse. I had a lactation consultant visit me two times a day and there were classes each day offered -- I was there for a week because I was recovering from preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome so I made good use of my time there.

1smar... 1smartcookie

Every woman also deserves the right to MAKE HER OWN DECISION.


Way to alienate FF moms.

jeann... jeannesager

1smartcookie -- did you notice I said I support every woman's right to choose? Which is more or less the same sentiment -- albeit different words -- as "make her own decision?"

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

I'm not sold that it's alienating. If you want to FF, then get formula. I think it's even better because then those moms can choose the formula they want for baby istead of going with whatever brand the hospital has. It allows the mom to make an informed choice on what she wants to feed her baby, by deciding what formula she feels is best.

1smar... 1smartcookie


Yes, jeannesager, I noticed that. You say you support a mother's right to choose and then sarcastically tell her to stop off at the store for formula when the contractions kick in. Sorry, but yeah, that's alienating in my book.  


CafeS... CafeSasha

I totally agree with you.

jeann... jeannesager

1smartcookie, sometimes you'll never win. I have shared that I ended up being a formula feeding mom countless times on this site, and yet hear that I'm not nice enough to formula feeders. On the other hand, I've shared that I desperately WANTED to breastfeed and believe very much in how wonderful it is, and hear from the BF crowd that I'm not devoted enough to the cause.


Which is it?


Are people that far divided that someone can't be kind to both sides?


You can call it sarcasm if you wish to, but I call it a point of fact. If you have your heart set on formula feeding, they are saying bring your own. They're not saying you CAN'T formula feed -- they're simply saying "bring your own."


As far as I'm concerned, that's giving women the right to choose. We are expected to bring our own breastmilk, so why not bring your own formula?

momav... momavanessa

I was just preparing myself to fight with the nurses about them going to try to give my newborn a bottle!! LOL! I think it is only right! Before they would just give your kid formula. If you want it then go buy it before you go. Give a mother a chance to breastfeed they're child!

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