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Does free formula from hospitals discourage breast feeding?

Posted by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM
  • 30 Replies

Critics blast formula freebies in hospitals


By LINDSEY TANNER

CHICAGO - Jessica Ewald brought more than a new baby boy home when she gave birth earlier this year. Like many new moms, she got a hospital goody bag, with supplies including free infant formula and formula coupons.

"We gave it away the moment we came home because I said I'm not having that in our house," Ewald said.

Ewald, 32, of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is the daughter of a breast-feeding activist who fought to get those goody bags out of hospitals. Ewald was taught early on that "breast is best," and even though as a teen she rolled her eyes when her mom asked pregnant women about nursing, Ewald knew she'd choose breast over bottle when her own time came.

Borrowing a line from a blogger, Ewald says hospitals sending newborns home with formula "is like giving somebody divorce papers at their wedding." It can really undermine a woman's determination to breast-feed, she said.

The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares her concern.

"Hospitals need to greatly improve practices to support mothers who want to breast-feed," Dr. Thomas Frieden said last month in releasing a CDC report card on breast-feeding. It showed that less than 5 percent of U.S. infants are born in "baby-friendly" hospitals that fully support breast-feeding, and that 1 in 4 infants receive formula within hours of birth.

Routinely offering new moms free formula is among practices the CDC would like to end. In some cases, hospitals agree to give out those freebies in exchange for getting free supplies for special-needs infants, Frieden said.

Full story from TODAY.

by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 2:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
armywife1229
by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 2:32 PM

No, I think if you decide to breatfeed some free formula will not dissuade you. If you have decided to formula feed, then its a help.

Ludvik_Smith
by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM
1 mom liked this

IMO, just because a hospital gives a can of formula to a new mom in a goody bag doesn't mean that they are discouraging breastfeeding or not supporting breastfeeding. It's just a free gift for goodness sake, a nice gesture. I mean, if they give away disposable diapers are women going to get mad because it means that they are discouraging or not supporting cloth diapering moms?

It's just a gift, every mom can choose what she wants to do with it, we don't have to cause an uproar about it.

goddess99
by Michelle on Sep. 26, 2011 at 2:51 PM

I made my decision long before going to the hospital to have my dd.

jltplk25
by Gold Member on Sep. 26, 2011 at 5:10 PM
I don't think so. I was never offered formula bc I said from the start I was breastfeeding. With Lexi I had a hard time getting her to latch so I was given a couple of those little things of formula.

I think what discourages some women from breastfeeding is a lack of knowledge and support, not hospital freebies.
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melissaAD1125
by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM

It doesnt if a mom really wants to breastfeeed her baby she will no matter what the hospitals give them. Sometimes that free formula helps mothers in need who may not be able to breatfeed or who cant afford the formula while they wait for their wic I dont care if they didnt give me free formula i still wouldnt breastfeed i will be buying my own formula when this baby is born

Kristin42010
by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 6:07 PM
It's just a nice gesture. Most moms already know wether they are breast or formula feeding. Breast milk is free for a longer period of time. One can of formula doesn't last very long at all.
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Pammi86
by Pamela on Sep. 26, 2011 at 8:05 PM
For me it was a life saver! I had major health problems after my daughters birth and was still bf up until I left the hospital! They sent me home with formula just in case and thankfully they did bc the day I left the hospital I was later re admitted that night due to health problems. Without the formula my baby wouldn't have ate that night or the next few days and it was a relief not needing to send my disabled mother all over to purchase some! In the end I couldn't bf and had to stop when she was about 2 weeks old due to medication I HAD to be on. I hope next time is better but I don't think formula feeding is bad! You do what's best for you and your baby and there's no shame in that!
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GotSomeKids
by on Sep. 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM

No.  I think most people have already made that decision.  Plus, I say nothing wrong with a back up plan.

Janet
by Ruby Member on Sep. 27, 2011 at 12:04 AM

 No, nothing wrong with them giving out formula. It's just a freebie bag. You use what you need and maybe share what you don't need with someone else in need.

brandilee18
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 12:14 AM

i think its given to the parents for free yea but in cases like avery we had to use it the first night (he wouldnt eat cuz he was sleeping tried finger feeding then had to force bottle feed nurse made him eat lol)but for my friend she didnt even try to nurse she asked for a bottle and never went back and i think if u dont nurse at least in the hospital ur being selfish cuz u dont give ur child a healthy start. i only bf my son but i bf my dd in the hospital

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