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Breastfeeding Moms Boot Nestle From Maternity Wards

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If breastfeeding is healthier for babies, why are hospitals pushing corporate infant formula? How a growing number of states and cities are banning marketing in the maternity ward.

From TIME magazine’s provocative photo of a mother breastfeeding her toddler to the recent controversy surrounding an American University professor who breastfed her baby while teaching a class, how we feed babies often attracts its fair share of media attention.

But while news coverage often focuses on what are perceived as personal choices related to infant feeding, an important piece of the puzzle is often missing from their analysis: the intrusion of massive corporations into the relationships between patients and health-care providers, and the subordination of public-health considerations to profit margins.

Fortunately, advocates and activists are joining forces and putting a spotlight on this missing piece of the puzzle. And momentum is building as hospitals across the country—including all of those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island—are telling the infant-formula industry to take their marketing pitches elsewhere.

Science or sales pitch?

Consider this: Across the country, up to 72 percent of health-care facilities with maternity units distribute so-called infant formula to new mothers in industry-supplied “discharge bags,” complete with formula samples, coupons for formula, and marketing materials.

With the many benefits of breastfeeding touted by the Surgeon General and other public-health officials, why would hospitals send a new mom home with a bag full of formula? Because the infant-formula industry, which is worth $3.5 billion in the United States alone, knows there couldn’t be a better marketing tool than hospital freebies that are seemingly endorsed by health-care providers.

Studies show that women who receive infant formula samples in maternity wards are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner and less likely to breastfeed exclusively. Though all major health care organizations recommend that infants be breastfed exclusively through six months, only 16.3 percent of moms nationwide achieve this goal. Experts agree that one of the obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding is ubiquitous infant formula marketing.

Certainly, families should make their own decisions about how to feed their babies, taking into account a variety of life circumstances and personal preferences that might make them elect to use infant formula instead of breastfeeding. But as far as practicing evidence-based medicine goes, it makes sense for health care providers to recommend the option that is best for their patients’ health. That recommendation is seriously undermined by infant-formula marketing in health care facilities, highlighting the conflict between the ideal goals of hospitals (health) and goals of formula manufacturers (profit). As one humorous comic put it, discharge bags seem to send the message, “Breast is best, but you probably can’t do it.”

This issue strikes a chord that goes beyond this particular product. We look to our health care providers for scientifically based medical advice, not for a sales pitch. So many aspects of our lives are commercialized, from schools plastered with advertisements, to bridges, highways, and roads named for the corporations that make the highest offer. Still, at the very least, shouldn’t our relationships with our health care providers be spared from the encroachment of values that turn every human interaction into one of buying and selling? Shouldn’t we be able to trust that our doctors, nurses or midwives are offering us advice that is best for us, not best for the bottom lines of deep-pocketed corporations?

The struggle for a marketing-free maternity ward

Fortunately, we are starting to see change on this issue, thanks to many years of work by committed public-health advocates and activists. Recently, Public Citizen, the organization I work for, launched a campaign calling on health-care facilities to stop allowing the distribution of infant-formula samples to new moms. More than 15,000 people have signed Public Citizen’s petition calling on the three major manufacturers of infant formula—Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé—to stop using health-care facilities to market their products. Some states are leading the charge to get infant formula marketing out of hospitals.

Last fall, Rhode Island became the first state in which all maternity hospitals voluntarily eliminated industry-sponsored discharge bags. This summer, Massachusetts followed suit, with all 49 of its hospitals ending formula marketing on their premises. Massachusetts advocates overcame significant obstacles: In 2005, then-governor Mitt Romney forced the state’s department of health to overturn regulations that would have banned formula discharge bags from hospitals. Most recently, 28 of New York City’s hospitals voluntarily agreed to stop distributing infant-formula marketing materials to new moms.

The movement to ensure that health care facilities promote health, not corporate profits, is gaining speed. It’s time for hospitals across the country to say “no more” to corporate interests encroaching on patients’ access to quality health care.


http://truth-out.org/news/item/11964-breastfeeding-moms-boot-nestle-from-maternity-wards
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM
Replies (251-260):
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM
Wrong.

Ask anyone who used formula at the hospital... It is on the itemized list on the bill. So yes, they do pay for it.


Quoting Aslen:

there'd be no reason to, unless something unforseen happens. And, you pay for those hospital pumps. You rent them. So yeah your point is moot


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Then no hospital supplying breast pumps either.



You wanna BF bring the pump yourself.




Quoting Aslen:




Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?



If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.

theyre not banning formula. They're just not supplying it. They're not saying "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FF" THAT would be banning formula. You want to FF bring it yourself


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:02 PM
Because not everyone can breastfeed. It's not the best option for everyone.

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting Godgaveme4:

And i paid for all the formula my babies drank while in the hospital.  Just like i paid for all the meals i ate in the hospital.


A PP commented that she received a free hand pump.  I may not happen in all hospitals but it happens in some.


You either support all mommies for their choice to feed their their baies or you do not support any of them with free material.


Quoting Aslen:


there'd be no reason to, unless something unforseen happens. And, you pay for those hospital pumps. You rent them. So yeah your point is moot


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Then no hospital supplying breast pumps either.

You wanna BF bring the pump yourself.



Quoting Aslen:





Quoting Godgaveme4:


I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?



If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.


theyre not banning formula. They're just not supplying it. They're not saying "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FF" THAT would be banning formula. You want to FF bring it yourself




 

What would be wrong with only supporting the clearly best option of breastfeeding, though?

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM
1 mom liked this
EXACTLY.

Don't push formula then get the Lactation nazi nurses out of my room too!


Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

If you are going to take away from one, you have to take away from the other. Also if a woman chooses formula, that means no more packets on BF or pumps, etc. Those women are bombarded just the same, just it happens more often and in more places than the hospital.



Quoting motherslove82:

You are not entitled to free formula samples. A company has the right to allow or disallow any product they want. They aren't saying that they aren't going to allow formula. They just aren't going to push it on women anymore.





I have said, with 4 children, that I plan to exclusively breastfeed and I was bombarded with formula samples from hospitals and doctor's offices. How is that not pushing your beliefs on someone?






Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

Doesnt matter what is healthier. It is a mothers xhoice what she wants to do and if you take formula away based on what you think ois better for the baby and its mom, you are pushing your agenda on them.







Quoting motherslove82:

That is not what the article is saying. It's not about advertisement alone. It's about a doctor/hospital handing out formula samples, which makes it seem like they are endorsing formula. Breastfeeding is healthier. It's kind of like a doctor's office handing out Mcdonald's coupons or gift certificates.

I never used the formula samples, but I love diaper bags, so I would miss getting those. :-)

Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?





If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Because not everyone can breastfeed. It's not the best option for everyone.

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting Godgaveme4:

And i paid for all the formula my babies drank while in the hospital.  Just like i paid for all the meals i ate in the hospital.


A PP commented that she received a free hand pump.  I may not happen in all hospitals but it happens in some.


You either support all mommies for their choice to feed their their baies or you do not support any of them with free material.


Quoting Aslen:


there'd be no reason to, unless something unforseen happens. And, you pay for those hospital pumps. You rent them. So yeah your point is moot


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Then no hospital supplying breast pumps either.

You wanna BF bring the pump yourself.



Quoting Aslen:





Quoting Godgaveme4:


I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?



If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.


theyre not banning formula. They're just not supplying it. They're not saying "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FF" THAT would be banning formula. You want to FF bring it yourself




 

What would be wrong with only supporting the clearly best option of breastfeeding, though?

Formula feeding moms do not need "support" though in the same way breastfeeding moms do.  Just because a hospital supports breastfeeding does not mean it has to ignore formula feeding. 

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:14 PM
You are asking way too much. BF Nazis and sanctimommies want THEIR way supoorted and pushed and if you do not lock step with their views, you are not worthy of support or assistance.


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

EXACTLY.



Don't push formula then get the Lactation nazi nurses out of my room too!




Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

If you are going to take away from one, you have to take away from the other. Also if a woman chooses formula, that means no more packets on BF or pumps, etc. Those women are bombarded just the same, just it happens more often and in more places than the hospital.





Quoting motherslove82:

You are not entitled to free formula samples. A company has the right to allow or disallow any product they want. They aren't saying that they aren't going to allow formula. They just aren't going to push it on women anymore.







I have said, with 4 children, that I plan to exclusively breastfeed and I was bombarded with formula samples from hospitals and doctor's offices. How is that not pushing your beliefs on someone?








Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

Doesnt matter what is healthier. It is a mothers xhoice what she wants to do and if you take formula away based on what you think ois better for the baby and its mom, you are pushing your agenda on them.









Quoting motherslove82:

That is not what the article is saying. It's not about advertisement alone. It's about a doctor/hospital handing out formula samples, which makes it seem like they are endorsing formula. Breastfeeding is healthier. It's kind of like a doctor's office handing out Mcdonald's coupons or gift certificates.

I never used the formula samples, but I love diaper bags, so I would miss getting those. :-)

Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?






If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

What kinds of support or assistance do FF moms need?

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

You are asking way too much. BF Nazis and sanctimommies want THEIR way supoorted and pushed and if you do not lock step with their views, you are not worthy of support or assistance.


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

EXACTLY.



Don't push formula then get the Lactation nazi nurses out of my room too!




Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

If you are going to take away from one, you have to take away from the other. Also if a woman chooses formula, that means no more packets on BF or pumps, etc. Those women are bombarded just the same, just it happens more often and in more places than the hospital.





Quoting motherslove82:

You are not entitled to free formula samples. A company has the right to allow or disallow any product they want. They aren't saying that they aren't going to allow formula. They just aren't going to push it on women anymore.







I have said, with 4 children, that I plan to exclusively breastfeed and I was bombarded with formula samples from hospitals and doctor's offices. How is that not pushing your beliefs on someone?








Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

Doesnt matter what is healthier. It is a mothers xhoice what she wants to do and if you take formula away based on what you think ois better for the baby and its mom, you are pushing your agenda on them.









Quoting motherslove82:

That is not what the article is saying. It's not about advertisement alone. It's about a doctor/hospital handing out formula samples, which makes it seem like they are endorsing formula. Breastfeeding is healthier. It's kind of like a doctor's office handing out Mcdonald's coupons or gift certificates.

I never used the formula samples, but I love diaper bags, so I would miss getting those. :-)

Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?






If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.




Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM
Well support for their choices, in the face of Lactation Nazi Nurses for one.They need the same support as ANY new mom. My SIL did not know how to swaddle, how to warm up formula or if she even needd to, etc ... (she does both, FF and BF) . Treating FF moms as less than BF moms, which a hospital DOES by offering free samples of products to help with BF but REFUSING to offer the same toFF moms because their choice is seen as substandard, is not acceptable to me.


Quoting paganbaby:

What kinds of support or assistance do FF moms need?

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

You are asking way too much. BF Nazis and sanctimommies want THEIR way supoorted and pushed and if you do not lock step with their views, you are not worthy of support or assistance.





Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

EXACTLY.





Don't push formula then get the Lactation nazi nurses out of my room too!






Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

If you are going to take away from one, you have to take away from the other. Also if a woman chooses formula, that means no more packets on BF or pumps, etc. Those women are bombarded just the same, just it happens more often and in more places than the hospital.







Quoting motherslove82:

You are not entitled to free formula samples. A company has the right to allow or disallow any product they want. They aren't saying that they aren't going to allow formula. They just aren't going to push it on women anymore.









I have said, with 4 children, that I plan to exclusively breastfeed and I was bombarded with formula samples from hospitals and doctor's offices. How is that not pushing your beliefs on someone?










Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

Doesnt matter what is healthier. It is a mothers xhoice what she wants to do and if you take formula away based on what you think ois better for the baby and its mom, you are pushing your agenda on them.











Quoting motherslove82:

That is not what the article is saying. It's not about advertisement alone. It's about a doctor/hospital handing out formula samples, which makes it seem like they are endorsing formula. Breastfeeding is healthier. It's kind of like a doctor's office handing out Mcdonald's coupons or gift certificates.

I never used the formula samples, but I love diaper bags, so I would miss getting those. :-)

Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?







If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.






Posted on CafeMom Mobile
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I can see that. And I totally forgot about warming the bottle. It's been over a decade since I've FF a baby,lol. They say not to use a microwave because it can create hot spots but I found that shaking it after and testing it is just fine. That and following the directions on the container, making sure baby doesn't swallow air, and you're good.

As for the swaddling, every mom should be taught how to do that.

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Well support for their choices, in the face of Lactation Nazi Nurses for one.They need the same support as ANY new mom. My SIL did not know how to swaddle, how to warm up formula or if she even needd to, etc ... (she does both, FF and BF) . Treating FF moms as less than BF moms, which a hospital DOES by offering free samples of products to help with BF but REFUSING to offer the same toFF moms because their choice is seen as substandard, is not acceptable to me.


Quoting paganbaby:

What kinds of support or assistance do FF moms need?

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

You are asking way too much. BF Nazis and sanctimommies want THEIR way supoorted and pushed and if you do not lock step with their views, you are not worthy of support or assistance.





Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

EXACTLY.





Don't push formula then get the Lactation nazi nurses out of my room too!






Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

If you are going to take away from one, you have to take away from the other. Also if a woman chooses formula, that means no more packets on BF or pumps, etc. Those women are bombarded just the same, just it happens more often and in more places than the hospital.







Quoting motherslove82:

You are not entitled to free formula samples. A company has the right to allow or disallow any product they want. They aren't saying that they aren't going to allow formula. They just aren't going to push it on women anymore.









I have said, with 4 children, that I plan to exclusively breastfeed and I was bombarded with formula samples from hospitals and doctor's offices. How is that not pushing your beliefs on someone?










Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

Doesnt matter what is healthier. It is a mothers xhoice what she wants to do and if you take formula away based on what you think ois better for the baby and its mom, you are pushing your agenda on them.











Quoting motherslove82:

That is not what the article is saying. It's not about advertisement alone. It's about a doctor/hospital handing out formula samples, which makes it seem like they are endorsing formula. Breastfeeding is healthier. It's kind of like a doctor's office handing out Mcdonald's coupons or gift certificates.

I never used the formula samples, but I love diaper bags, so I would miss getting those. :-)

Quoting Godgaveme4:

I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?







If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.







Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Breastfeeding tickers

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:28 PM

You don't end up in the cardiac unit anywhere near where I live, where they absolutely do all of that: nutrition consultants, fitness experts, rehab coaches whose job it is to see to it that you stop living your old (deadly) lifestyle and start living a new, potentially life-extending one.

The comparison is extremely apt: both sets of companies have spent billions minimizing the risks and hazards of using their products that they have known about for decades.

Quoting anxiousschk:

I don't recall a pushing for an active lifestyle or tons of nutrition consultants stopping by either.  Nor was my gma sent home with a bag of fresh fruits and veggies.  

Also, I think it's a poor comparison to say formula and cigarettes are the same. 

Quoting LindaClement:

It is rather like the cardiac unit sending quintuple bypass patients home with a bag that includes cigarettes and coupons for cigarettes, with information like 'we all know clean air is best... but if it just doesn't work out... have some smokes on us.'



tweety101149
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:08 AM


Quoting futureshock:


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Because not everyone can breastfeed. It's not the best option for everyone.

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting Godgaveme4:

And i paid for all the formula my babies drank while in the hospital.  Just like i paid for all the meals i ate in the hospital.


A PP commented that she received a free hand pump.  I may not happen in all hospitals but it happens in some.


You either support all mommies for their choice to feed their their baies or you do not support any of them with free material.


Quoting Aslen:


there'd be no reason to, unless something unforseen happens. And, you pay for those hospital pumps. You rent them. So yeah your point is moot


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Then no hospital supplying breast pumps either.

You wanna BF bring the pump yourself.



Quoting Aslen:


 



Quoting Godgaveme4:


I hope this means ALL free samples are gone then.  That means no free samples for lotion that help when you BF or anything else given away to help the mother.  Can't have anything corporate interfering right?



If you are banning for one set of parent then you ban all corporate gimicks.


theyre not banning formula. They're just not supplying it. They're not saying "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FF" THAT would be banning formula. You want to FF bring it yourself


 


 

What would be wrong with only supporting the clearly best option of breastfeeding, though?

Formula feeding moms do not need "support" though in the same way breastfeeding moms do.  Just because a hospital supports breastfeeding does not mean it has to ignore formula feeding. 

That's B.S.  F.F. moms are treated like leppers by many staff members, they do just about ignore them.  I have heard many stories from the ff moms that they were chastized by nurses, and the la leeche police.   I think that if product information is banned for ff moms then it should be banned from bf moms. If either need support then go to a new parent support group or call la leechie or breast feeding coach. I am tired of ff moms being made to feel like less than a mom. Shame on the bf agenda of la leeche.

butterfly on headlynda  




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