Advertisement
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Does free formula from hospitals discourage breast feeding?

Posted by   + Show Post

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
Replies (21-30):
jessicaaris
by Member on Sep. 27, 2011 at 10:24 AM

No I don't think so. I didn't breastfeed my girls and I made that decision without any influence from anyone. Breastfeeding is not for everyone and I think that hospitals having formula encourages people who do not want to breastfeed not to feel bad or guilty about it.

Bob192
by Bronze Member on Sep. 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I've had 5 kids and I don't think those bags encouraged me to formula feed.  I was glad to have it for a back up though.  I ended up exclusively breastfeeding most of my babies until their first birthday.

The hospital did push formula on me for most of my babies b/c they felt they had lost too much weight before we left.  This made me angry.  In the end my babies wouldn't even take the formula and did just fine.

LindaClement
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

It's not a gift from the hospital, though --it's a gift from a manufacturer who knows that the more often they put it in front of people, the more often people will use it. They are shopping for heavy users --people who use the product multiple times every single day, hopefully for years...

Would you feel the same if tobacco companies were allowed to put cigarettes into going home packages for heart patients? Those things are freakin' expensive, it would be a much MORE generous gesture, wouldn't it? 

Quoting Ludvik_Smith:

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.


4kidz916
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 4:31 PM

When I had my babies, they only gave the goody bags with formula to the formula feeding moms.  The bags I got didn't have formula.

splatz
by Sarah on Sep. 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM
I don't think a gift from the manufacturer is going to change your mind if its set.
Most hospitals around here give you an option of a ff'ing goodie bag and a bf'ing goodie bag though.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
turtle68
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

 I dont think it discourages....what I dislike about it is the commercial side to it.  Hospitals will get the best deal from the formula company that offers them the most. 

Mothers who use that hospital formula will 9 times otu of 10 continue to use it outside of the hospital

Ludvik_Smith
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 8:58 PM
1 mom liked this

Haha I don't compare baby formula to cigarettes. 

Quoting LindaClement:

It's not a gift from the hospital, though --it's a gift from a manufacturer who knows that the more often they put it in front of people, the more often people will use it. They are shopping for heavy users --people who use the product multiple times every single day, hopefully for years...

Would you feel the same if tobacco companies were allowed to put cigarettes into going home packages for heart patients? Those things are freakin' expensive, it would be a much MORE generous gesture, wouldn't it? 

Quoting Ludvik_Smith:

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.


 

sivie2
by on Sep. 27, 2011 at 9:17 PM

I don't agree at all. I think if you want to breastfeed you will.  And if you don't the free formula is nice.   It didn't affect my decision to breastfeed..And I did breastfeed all 3 babies, even though I recieved free formula the first s times.  The 3 time the hospital said the don't give it out anymore because of this reason.

LindaClement
by on Sep. 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM

I only compared them because formulae are a much less-healthy choice (not a 'neutral' choice) and the companies that make them just happen to make massive profits selling them, while knowing full well they are a much less healthy choice.

The other parallel to cigarettes is implication that because it is the hospitals 'giving formula out' is that it's a safe, healthy choice. And, when mom's having a hard time in the middle of the night, panicking and alone, it will just 'happen' to be handy in her house, right there --endorsed by the hospital, so it 'must be fine.'

Imagine if they sent home cigarettes with a heart disease patient trying to quit, not 'because they endorse them' and 'not because they're healthy' but because they know it's hard to quit, and the smokes are provided to the hospital free (along with often extremely large grants), so in both cases, it costs the hosptial nothing (and virtually assures extra healthcare dollars from every single patient who receives them).

Accident? I think not.

Quoting Ludvik_Smith:

Haha I don't compare baby formula to cigarettes. 

Quoting LindaClement:

It's not a gift from the hospital, though --it's a gift from a manufacturer who knows that the more often they put it in front of people, the more often people will use it. They are shopping for heavy users --people who use the product multiple times every single day, hopefully for years...

Would you feel the same if tobacco companies were allowed to put cigarettes into going home packages for heart patients? Those things are freakin' expensive, it would be a much MORE generous gesture, wouldn't it? 

Quoting Ludvik_Smith:

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.


 


kgalvano
by Member on Sep. 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM

no

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)