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No More Free Formula in Hospitals Is Best for All Moms

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Posted by Michele Zipp
on April 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM

baby bottle

If you have your baby in a hospital, there are many ways the scenario will play out. But one thing is almost always certain -- you will have access to free formula. Lots of it. Even if you are nursing and baby has that sticker on the little rolling crib that says "I'm a breastfed baby." Now I wasn't always sold on the idea that this is a bad thing. If a mama is formula feeding, why not be able to get a whole bunch of expensive formula courtesy of the hospital where you (or your insurance) spent a whole lot of money to have a baby there? Makes perfect sense. But then I started thinking some more.

Those formula companies who place their products in hospitals ... do they have an ulterior motive? And, most worrisome, for the mom who really wants to breastfeed, those first moments and days are very important, and if formula is there to tempt her to just let the nurses feed the baby, it can derail her breastfeeding efforts.

There is much more to it than just some free stuff.

Dozens of health and consumer organizations are sending letters to hospitals around the country demanding that they stop giving out free formula supplied to them by the formula companies. They believe it's like an endorsement for the formula and can halt a mom's breastfeeding success. I agree. Some hospitals have already ended the free formula deal and and many are calling themselves "Baby Friendly" and helping moms breastfeed. This is what we need everywhere.

Way back when my mother had me, people actually believed that formula was better for baby than breastmilk. We all know that isn't true unless of course mom is hooked on drugs and baby shouldn't be anywhere near her breastmilk. But this was was preached to consumers by formula companies and the medical community who just weren't up to speed with their research.

More from The Stir: Arsenic Found in Organic Baby Formula: Is It Your Brand?

I'm sorry but the natural milk you produce to feed your baby just isn't as good as this artificial stuff we put together in a factory. Wow. Could you imagine if someone told you that today? Mama knows best -- and mama makes the best milk. We know this now. This is fact.

New moms are also more vulnerable when in a hospital setting. At least I think so. Just going through labor or a frightening delivery by c-section, you are healing and learning your way through those first moments of motherhood. You have all these nurses around you, food delivered, fresh water given just by ringing a bell. And if you are tired (which you most likely will be) and the temptation of formula is right there to feed baby instead of your breast, you may take it. It's like giving a crying child what she wants even if she shouldn't have it. And yes, it's easier to go that route, but once you get home, there is no more bell to ring for water. No more meals delivered, no nurse to mix up formula and feed your baby for you. If you started in the hospital as a mom who wanted to breastfeed but used the formula because it was easier, the reality sets in when you get home and there are piles of bottles with all of their parts to wash.

Breastfeeding isn't easy. But it is worth it for so many reasons. And ease of use is one of them. When you are really tired once you are home and baby wants to eat, breastfeeding is easier than making a bottle of formula. We don't have to get into the benefits for baby's health and mama's health because we all know them by now, but let's just say it surpasses what you can get in a bottle any day.

This isn't about bashing formula. Because I think it's fantastic and I both breastfed and formula fed my twins. This is about giving a mom who wants to breastfeed the best shot at succeeding. This is about helping her most in the beginning when she needs that support the most. This is about what's best for mom and baby. Because we all deserve the best -- or at least the best shot at trying.

What do you think of an all-out ban of free formula in hospitals?

 

by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM
Replies (11-20):
xo.MommyW.xo
by Silver Member on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM
8 moms liked this

I think people need to mind their own fucking business

Tanya93
by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:49 PM
Quoting paganbaby:






What if moms want it? Why shouldn't a hospital meet the needs of that mom?
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:50 PM

See, that makes it so hard :-( Imagine if you were a first time mom, hurting, tired. You'd proably give in then regret it once you got home. I know a lot of moms who did. That's where it pays to have a supportive mom, husband, sister, ect. My sister guarded my boobies, lol. I made it known to her that I only wanted to bf and boy did she see to it! No nurse was allowed to come in with a bottle ha ha

Quoting AlmostFamous:

When My YDD was born, I remember the nurses constantly offering me formula. They'd say things like "if you want more sleep I'll be happy to give the baby a bottle tonight", and when I was having latching trouble they'd say that I need to supplement, this was all in the first two days after DD was born, I told them no. But it was a much dif experience than my ODD birth, they sent the lactation consultant right in with her, different hospital though.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

i.m.r.
by Bronze Member on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:51 PM
I definitely don't agree with this article. The hospital I delivered at was very pro bf and very anti ff. They didn't even ask me if I wanted to formula feed. It was assumed all mothers delivering were planning on bfing unless the nurses were told otherwise. I did plan on bfing so it was nice to not even have so much as a sign up about formula. But what about preemies whose mothers may not be able to bf? What about mothers who just simply don't want to? (it is their choice) I just don't think the pendulem should swing completely to the other side. I felt no pressure to ff at all in the hospital. But as the week went on when I went back for her two day check up I felt immense pressure to bf even though my body had already started to refuse to make any milk. I think there's a happy medium that hasn't been reached and I don't think banning formula from hospitals all together is the answer...
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AlmostFamous
by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:52 PM
Yeah, I think had I not already been through it, I would have made a poor decision and given in. But I kept telling them no, I was amazed that they kept pushing the issue.

Quoting paganbaby:

See, that makes it so hard :-( Imagine if you were a first time mom, hurting, tired. You'd proably give in then regret it once you got home. I know a lot of moms who did. That's where it pays to have a supportive mom, husband, sister, ect. My sister guarded my boobies, lol. I made it known to her that I only wanted to bf and boy did she see to it! No nurse was allowed to come in with a bottle ha ha

Quoting AlmostFamous:

When My YDD was born, I remember the nurses constantly offering me formula. They'd say things like "if you want more sleep I'll be happy to give the baby a bottle tonight", and when I was having latching trouble they'd say that I need to supplement, this was all in the first two days after DD was born, I told them no. But it was a much dif experience than my ODD birth, they sent the lactation consultant right in with her, different hospital though.


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paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

If a mother wants free formula then she can simply conntact the formula companies and request a free sample. Lord knows I got enough of those when I was prego and after the kids were born. That and free diapers, baby wash, lotion and coupons galore. Just go online and sign up.

Quoting Tanya93:

Quoting paganbaby:






What if moms want it? Why shouldn't a hospital meet the needs of that mom?


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting Tanya93:

Quoting UpSheRises:





Goody for you. Why can't my friend that had her boobs removed at 26 because of cancer not be able to get free samples after she had a child?


Yeah, too many busybodies

Because in capitalism everything is a commodity...even the commercial products we use to feed our babies. Why is someone ENTITLED to get free formula for a few days while they are in the hospital?

Tanya93
by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM
Quoting paganbaby:





Or the hospital can provide the samples. It is amazing how people think other things should just be provided by the government have no problem telling women that something not provided by the government should be banned from the hospital. Hypocrites abound.
Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 8:56 PM
2 moms liked this

I wish I could grab my tits squirt milk like a lactating machine gun at this blog writer.

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