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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 (231-240):
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Apr. 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Interesting...

Quoting LindaClement:

There is a country somewhere in southeast asia that has banned the advertising and sale of all artificial breastmilk substitutes without a medical diagnosis (not just a prescription, which is clearly far too easy to acquire). It's supplied solely through government channels, unless someone leaves the country, and its important is strictly controlled.

Strangely, they've not only had a great deal more success in increasing breastfeeding rates, but have had dramatic drops in several forms of childhood cancer and diabetes, along with overall healthcare costs of children under 5.


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

_Bama_
by on Apr. 12, 2012 at 7:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Me too sister!

Quoting romalove:

I am glad my childbirthing is over.


Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Apr. 12, 2012 at 7:48 PM
2 moms liked this

You must have totally screwed up without CM to tell you you were doing it wrong.

Were you one of those namby pamby scared and timid women that was forever being swayed by marketing? However did you get through it? I really hope you had someone smarter than you to tell you what to do.

Quoting _Bama_:

Me too sister!

Quoting romalove:

I am glad my childbirthing is over.




_Bama_
by on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Hes lucky to be breathing with a mother like me.... Just look at what I use to let him do.....

Luckily...... hes made it thus far.....

Except.........the sense of style.... but im sure some Cafemommer....could give us tips!

Quoting Momniscient:

You must have totally screwed up without CM to tell you you were doing it wrong.

Were you one of those namby pamby scared and timid women that was forever being swayed by marketing? However did you get through it? I really hope you had someone smarter than you to tell you what to do.

Quoting _Bama_:

Me too sister!

Quoting romalove:

I am glad my childbirthing is over.




disneymom2two
by Member on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM
1 mom liked this

I wouldn't support a ban on free formula in hospitals and I disagree that it's best for all moms.  I formula fed my son.  Whether I did so because I couldn't breast feed or because I didn't want to is no one's business but mine.  The bottom line is that I formula fed and yes, I did find those free samples handy.  The hospital I delivered at was definitely pro breastfeeding.

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM
1 mom liked this

OMG. That has got to be abuse ;) You probably didn't buckle them into their carseats correctly either.

They are stinking adorable Bama.

Quoting _Bama_:

Hes lucky to be breathing with a mother like me.... Just look at what I use to let him do.....

Luckily...... hes made it thus far.....

Except.........the sense of style.... but im sure some Cafemommer....could give us tips!

Quoting Momniscient:

You must have totally screwed up without CM to tell you you were doing it wrong.

Were you one of those namby pamby scared and timid women that was forever being swayed by marketing? However did you get through it? I really hope you had someone smarter than you to tell you what to do.

Quoting _Bama_:

Me too sister!

Quoting romalove:

I am glad my childbirthing is over.






MeTaL_MoMmA_08
by on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM
1 mom liked this
Glad I'm not having another kid and this isn't an issue.. I don't regret formula-feeding dd one bit.
lga1965
by on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:21 PM
1 mom liked this

 I never got free formula in the hospital -I had three kids. Of course, this was between 1967 and 1971. At Air Force Base hospitals. LOL. We bought formula. Well, I nursed my third baby until he was 3 months and then after I stopped, we bought formula. Nobody wanted to breast feed back then. The nurses didn't seem to care one way or the other. We just made up our own minds and I read books by La Leche League and it was sooooo easy and so cheap. I didn't even buy a breast pump. So it was free to breastfeed.

Mackenzie40
by Member on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM
1 mom liked this
I am a breast feeding mom and i think its insulting to treatwomen as if having artifical milk around or not having it aroind will be what sways them . Ridiculous.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
lga1965
by on Apr. 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM

 LOL.

Adorable kids!

Quoting Momniscient:

OMG. That has got to be abuse ;) You probably didn't buckle them into their carseats correctly either.

They are stinking adorable Bama.

Quoting _Bama_:

Hes lucky to be breathing with a mother like me.... Just look at what I use to let him do.....

Luckily...... hes made it thus far.....

Except.........the sense of style.... but im sure some Cafemommer....could give us tips!

Quoting Momniscient:

You must have totally screwed up without CM to tell you you were doing it wrong.

Were you one of those namby pamby scared and timid women that was forever being swayed by marketing? However did you get through it? I really hope you had someone smarter than you to tell you what to do.

Quoting _Bama_:

Me too sister!

Quoting romalove:

I am glad my childbirthing is over.





 

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