Breast Feeding 'Affirmative Action'

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Breast Feeding 'Affirmative Action'
23
Tue, 07-31-2012 - 1:25am
Ok, once again I can't remember where I read the news story, buf maybe one of you can post the link about the NY policy of locking up formula in hospitals and treating it as medicine? That includes lectures on breastfeeding when requesting(!) formula and no more 'gift' bags or giveaways with formula company logos. So what do think - a great move for public health or a move against personal choice?

- JM

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 12:38pm
Jamie--That's the issue. It's not about the formula being used for medical supplementation. It's the freebies that create the problems. I would be more ok with it if labels were removed. It's just such a ploy to get moms to subscribe to one particular brand.

I did see the following last night, and thought it made some interesting points:

This is NOT saying that moms who want or need to use formula will not have access to it. This intervention is designed to prevent (or at least reduce) NON-medically indicated supplementation of breastfed babies. Formula is not locked up in
most hospitals because hospitals get it for free as a marketing ploy - they lock up everything else already. In addition to helping breastfeeding rates & baby health, this will also be safer liability-wise since hospitals will know what mom gets what formula and can notify them in case of a recall (which happens frequently). I was recently informed of another point in favor of locking up the formula: when one hospital started tracking formula, their consumption went down significantly overnight - hospital employees were taking it home with them. ~Kellymom.com
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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
I'm totally ok with formula being locked up and dispensed the same way any other substance is in the hospital. And I definitely think brand labels should be covered or not present in some way. It's not like when they give you ibuprofen, the nurse comes in the room and shakes a few Advil out of the bottle for you. Like I said in my other post, I am not cool at all with the hospitals basically acting as advertisers for the corporate formula machine.

I just don't agree that women should be harangued about breastfeeding. I'm cool with making a woman who chooses to formula feed from the outset sign a waiver or something similar, but I don't agree that she should have to bring in formula. And I don't think she should be lectured to. Whether she's well educated about formula/bf'ing or not, I think anyone who has just given birth should be afforded the dignity to make her choice and not be treated as though she were an ignorant child. Even if I personally think her choice may be based on ignorance and wish she'd just at least try breastfeeding for a few days.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 9:33am
Exactly, Courtney! And I think some sources are probably over-exaggerating the "lecture." It's tough for us to know exactly what they mean.

And considering I delivered at a baby-friendly hospital, but still had a nurse that brought me a pump but didn't know how it worked and was unable to help me with latch issues (oh, your baby just has gas!), I may be picturing a totally different type of talk than others.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2012
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 12:31am
I think the lecture is a good idea. I quit BFing my 1st after a month and a half because I thought I had a supply issue. Meanwhile I was making 32 oz a day and technically overfeeding my son. I know exactly how much I was making because I was exclusively pumping the entire time and I'd make exactly 4 oz. 8 times per day. It can't hurt to attempt to make people more informed. In my case, I was not educated enough about breast feeding to realize my son was getting more than enough milk and I was so stressed about it that I gave up way too easily.

Now all that being said, I don't believe any of the free samples of formula I got made me give up on breast feeding. In fact the first time I decided to give him formula, I went out and bought some. A free can of formula can't tempt me if I am determined to breast feed. I spend a lot of time reading and educating myself about breast feeding now because I'm determined to be more successful this time around. I have also found preparing my supplies for breast feeding (double electric pump, storage containers, nursing pillow, bottles) has increased my confidence to succeed.

So I'm on the fence with this issue. I do believe in the lecture they want to give new mothers. If you are feeling annoyed by hearing it because you are "choosing" formula, maybe it's a sign deep down that you feel guilty because you KNOW you are essentially choosing to not provide your child the best start in life possible. I honestly feel like a complete failure by only last 1 1/2 months the first time. I have guilt to this very day about giving up when I did. However, I do feel that if someone still wants to FF even after the "lecture" I don't really think it's such a bad thing to give them a free can of formula or whatever. It is really in everyone's own right to choose. I was a teen mom (and still a student) the first time, and every time I went to my doctor after I started FFing I would get some free samples and it really helped me out financially.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 2:56pm
But isn't one lecture per baby enough? The particular article I read said it would be required each time formula is dispensed. It'd be nice if they encouraged breast pump companies give samples...

I would feel annoyed by lectures regardless of my convictions - hey, hospital paperwork even annoys me. Maybe the mandate would seem a little less heavy-handed if the fathers had to hear the lecture, too. :-)

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2004
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 2:56pm

(this isn't directed at you TXDELA.. I just saw that it says reply to you.. it's just a reply to the topic :smileyhappy:

 

 I'll be damned if after I give birth if someone is going to lecture me about how to feed my baby. Not only do I DARE them, but I will climb across the bed and strangle the person who feels they have a right to judge my decision or LECTURE me?? And even better are the people who preach "it's best for baby" and then two years later you see their kid wolfing down a juice box and eating goldfish. Welcome to the world of dyes and processed crappy carbs! Oh but he got that golden magic breastmilk in the beginning so now he is immune to the world. If you want to preach BF then you best be feeding your WHOLE family organic food and be eating PERFECTLY yourself because lord knows your boobs are not some magical filter. This topic pisses me off to no end. SUPPORT in the hospital needs to be offered for the decision the mother makes, with information available for both. The day after I had my daughter I had a dying dog, HORRIBLE baby blues and eventually PPD. The last thing I would have needed on my plate was someone saying "Boy.. you really are failing even more by not breastfeeding" Screw that and any and everyone who looks down on someone for how I choose to nourish my child.

 

My stance is to Mind Your Own Business. I don't judge you for what you feed yourself and your kid, so stay the hell out of my business. And FYI this isn't directed at any one person who posted in this thread, so if you decide to take it as a personal attack, Don't. Because it isn't directed at anyone... it's just an overall frustration with moms beating each other up about petty B*llsh*t. Being a mom is hard enough without worrying about judgment... and it seems as soon as that baby leaves your body people just feel they have the right to tell you how the world should be according to them. News flash- write a book, those who want to hear your opinion will buy it.. those who don't, WON'T. So stop giving me something I have no interest in buying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 11:36am
Hehe. I love our board - we can all share our opinions and nobody acts offended. The funny thing is, I'm on my ipod, so I can't even see what is a reply to what. (So lots of guessing for me on Monica's posts. ;-) ) Theresa, another funny thing - I had a bad dream weeks ago that you had gotten upset with me and called me mean and everybody on the board agreed and flamed me. These PG dreams are so random. :-P *Hugs*

Back to Bloomberg - is this really a statewide mandate or just hospitals in the particular network? I'm very curious to see how this all plays out. Will it even be enforced, or do you think it's theoretical?

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 11:45am
JM--It's just for the hospitals in the city. Bloomberg is the mayor.

As for the "talk," I really think it comes down to what is said and how it's said. If it's a nurse asking why the mom would like formula, and it's because grandma wants to feed the baby, then I think it's perfectly acceptable to explain why that can cause issues. If a mom chooses formula from the get-go, that just gets documented. As for enforcablility, I delivered at a baby-friendly hospital that isn't supposed to offer formula unless medically necessary (though someone has pointed out to me that you can request formula from the beginning and that's fine), and my night nurse offered it to me, and another nurse offered us a pacifier. So it really just depends on who you work with. I imagine my LLL leader who works on the mother/baby floor is more likely to help moms out rather than offer them formula or a pump, you know?

From what I've been reading around the internet, this policy will best help moms who want to breastfeed, to keep them from getting wacky information...you know, stuff like baby must be starving because he wants to nurse constantly, or colostrum isn't enough for baby.


Oh, and off the topic--it always puts that you're replying to whomever wrote the post that had the "reply" button you click. It's been a big complaint since the upgrade in Oct 2010, that there's no longer a "reply all" option.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 6:33am
Hmm - the ipod lets me hit 'reply' or just 'post' at the end of the thread.

That's good if it's not as crazy as the article made it seem! I suppose people who have been around lots of friends and family with babies take it for granted that they have some sort of general idea while some women might truly know nothing and not know which sources to go to on the subject.

While I feel I know the basics on breastfeeding, I have to say I'm pretty much in the dark as far as bottle feeding goes! If the situation were the opposite, I could probably use a 'talk'. ;-)

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 8:58am
Well said, Courtney! That's an awesome post! :smileyhappy:
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