Formula on lock-down after Sept - will this prevent you from using formula?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Formula on lock-down after Sept - will this prevent you from using formula?
89
Mon, 07-30-2012 - 5:07pm

 

Starting in September, Mayor Bloomberg's push to encourage breastfeeding will incorporate a new program urging hospitals to keep baby formula under lockdown.

The latest installment of the city's "Latch On NYC" initiative will require new mothers seeking baby formula in the hospital to sign the formula out like medication.

The New York Post reports new mothers will not be denied formula, but if requested, they'll receive a mandated talk from staffers and nurses on why they should opt out.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/bloombergs-breast-feeding-latch-on-nyc-hospitals-hide-baby-formula_n_1718664.html

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010

I just read this article, and also the website for the Latch On NYC initiative: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2012/pr013-12.shtml

I see more  lecturing of women on why to breastfeed, and more making it difficult and annoying to be a formula feeder, but NOTHING by way of actual, positive support for HOW to make breastfeeding work for the 90% of women in NYC who ALREADY want to do it.  No mention of improving availability of lactation consultants, no mention of teaching nurses how to help fix common problems (latching issues, tongue tie), no mention of providing lactation services after moms go home, no mention of educating doctors in and out of the hospital about when formula is and isn't necessary, no mention of new workplace protections for moms who work and breastfeed.  Nothing that might actually help (probably because those things would cost money).

This game of keep-away will do little to help breastfeeding rates past the first 2-4 days, but it will breed more resentment and mommy wars crap.  I'm not a fan.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

I must have read a different link. There was nothing that I read about lectures, being annoying or generally trying to make it difficult for formula feeders. It is about facilitating breastfeeding for those who have chosen to breastfeed.

What I read is that they are going to limit commercial formula manufacturer 's influence in hospitals. If anything it promotes "choice" rather than limits it. Here:

By joining this voluntary initiative for NYC maternity hospitals to support mother’s decision to breastfeed participating hospitals have agreed to:

Prohibit the display and distribution of infant formula promotional materials in any hospital location; and

Discontinue the distribution of promotional or free infant formula; and

Enforce the NYS hospital regulation to not supplement breastfeeding infants with formula feeding unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s medical chart; and

Restrict access to infant formula by hospital staff, tracking infant formula distribution and sharing data on formula distribution with the Health Department;

Jessica said: NOTHING by way of actual, positive support for HOW to make breastfeeding work

I agree that they do not share any specifics, but they repeatedly say that they strive to provide education and support for breastfeeding mothers. I don't think it is fair to say "nothing" is being done. I would hope that "education and support" includes many of the suggestions you've made.

They give a brief explanation of why formula samples will not be distributed to breastfeeding mothers:

Breastfeeding mothers report that receiving free formula at hospital discharge can make them feel like their breast milk is not enough to satisfy their babies.... These concerns, although common, are largely unfounded because most mothers do produce enough milk to meet their babies needs if they exclusively breastfeed. ...However, without the support and education these mothers need, many of them turn to formula.

This....will do little to help breastfeeding rates past the first 2-4 days

I disagree and so does the research. The mom who uses formula in the early days is more likely to lose supply and/or quit breastfeeding than a mom who does not use formula in the early days.

Every time breastfeeding is given support, it seems that allegations of the mommy wars emerge. Support for breastfeeding is a good thing - even if it takes profit away from the commercial formula industry. I have not read any recent statistics, but last I knew there are still a lot of moms who choose not to breastfeed. Nothing in this article refers to them. This article only refers to moms who have chosen to breastfeed.

I do not disagree that there needs to be continuing support and education about lactation for doctors, nurses, families as well as moms. I also agree that moms who face early breastfeeding challenges do not consistently get the support they need. But I think changing the culture of the hospital from formula as norm to breastfeeding as norm, brings us closer to a world where moms stand a good chance of getting the support they need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
nisupulla wrote:

I must have read a different link. There was nothing that I read about lectures, being annoying or generally trying to make it difficult for formula feeders.

 

From the link in the original post:

"The New York Post reports new mothers will not be denied formula, but if requested, they'll receive a mandated talk from staffers and nurses on why they should opt out."

If a mandated talk on what you should do isn't a lecture, I'm not sure what is. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
nisupulla wrote:

I agree that they do not share any specifics, but they repeatedly say that they strive to provide education and support for breastfeeding mothers. I don't think it is fair to say "nothing" is being done. I would hope that "education and support" includes many of the suggestions you've made.


No, I don't agree that they don't share any specifics.  They DO provide specifics about what they mean by "support":

They're going to

  • "prohibit" (the display of information about formula)
  • "not supplement" (breastfeeding infants with formula)
  • "discontinue" (the distribution of free formula)
    "restrict access" (to formula by hospital staff)

And, of course, they'll mandate talks to women on what they should do. 

Support is not--at least primarily-- telling women they should breastfeed and locking the formula in the closet for two days.  It's saying, "Here's how breastfeeding works," having people around who know how it works, and having those people actually helping moms figure out how to do it; it's also helping women make the rest of their lives (especially working) compatible with breastfeeding.  That sort of positive support is what I see no evidence of in this campaign.  Maybe the sorts of positive things I mentioned are actually part of the campaign, but with all the specifics they give about formula restriction, I'd think they'd have mentioned them.

(Note that I don't think ALL of the policies described are bad--doctors and nurses certainly should not supplement breastfed infants without medical reason, and I don't think breastfed infants should get free formula samples.  But there's a lot that's bad about it, and I wouldn't even call it "support," really.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

See I did read a different article! I only read the link in your post.**sheepish grin**

I am dissatisfied with the original article. It clearly shows some bias included including language such as "lockdown".

From the Latch On website:

 

“When babies receive supplementary formula in the hospital or mothers receive promotional baby formula on hospital discharge it can impede the establishment of an adequate milk supply and can undermine women’s confidence in breastfeeding. With this initiative the New York City health community is joining together to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.”

I would guess from this, that the "talk" is not focused on disparaging formula or convincing mothers to breastfeed. The talk is educational about how supplementing with formula in the early days can lead to reduced breastmilk.

I disagree that the list of four Latch On points is the extent of the support that the hospital gives toward breastfeeding. Frankly, that makes no sense. However, I think the four Latch On points does undermine the formula culture that has existed in hospital wards for decades. Each mom is only in the ward for a few days after birth. The hospital staff is influenced by the propaganda throughou each work shift.

It is clear to me that these effort are directed at the hospital culture NOT toward individual moms. Therefore it is a stretch to call this "Mommy War" fodder.

The "talk" is about protecting choice by providing accurate information, free from corporate interests.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

I think this article does a better job of making the ridiculousness of opposing Latch On clear. It is filled with misinformation and followed by ignorant comments.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/bloomy_bottle_boner_rCg0FYQGvEWauYeoCf5LuN

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

When my eldest was born almost 10 years ago, it was difficult to get support for breast-feeding as most of the hospital nurses were pushing formula bottles at me from the moment my daughter was born, encouraging me to take a rest while they fed my daughter a bottle.  I know they meant well, but I was bound and determined to do this breast-feeding thing right, and so I turned down their well-intentioned offers and watched my daughter like a hawk to ensure my wishes were respected.

http://www.mnn.com/family/babies-pregnancy/blogs/nyc-initiative-to-lock-up-baby-formula-in-hospitals-goes-too-far

It would seem to me that this initiative would prevent moms like the author from having to jump through hoops to protect breastfeeding from formula supporters.That is a good thing.

I suppose that it is possible that within the past ten years the culture has changed so radically that those employees who used to zealously push formula have now been converted to Lactivists who understand the role that formula and formula reps play in undermining breastfeeding,  but they is not consistent with my experience with human behavior.

Requiring staff to support breastfeeding by justifying each bottle will convert their thinking one bottle at a time. That makes sense to me. It supports the mother's right to choose without undue influence from the ingrained formula culture.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2011

Yikes, another attempt by NYC to curtail the rights of the residents. Way to go on making it harder for women to feed their babies! To have a form of safe and healthy nutrition locked up, that is treating those mothers unfairly and making them feel like they are doing something wrong. He needs to keep his nose out of what people are drinking (soda or formula) and focus on real issues.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
sixinchblackheels wrote:

Yikes, another attempt by NYC to curtail the rights of the residents. Way to go on making it harder for women to feed their babies! To have a form of safe and healthy nutrition locked up, that is treating those mothers unfairly and making them feel like they are doing something wrong. He needs to keep his nose out of what people are drinking (soda or formula) and focus on real issues.

welcome

Welcome to the debate board. It's wonderful to see you posting here and I hope that you will stick around and post more often.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

So it would be OK with you, even preferred, if moms are only given information about formula? Formula gift bags, formula posters, free formula, formula whether you intend to breastfeed or not?

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