|NO MORE FORMULA FREEBIES: Moms in Massachusetts|
will no longer be handed formula in hospitals
All 49 birth facilities statewide voluntarily decided to eliminate infant formula giveaways. This is great news for the breastfeeding community because it's reducing the push for formula and giving moms a balance in the information they receive about infant feeding.
By promoting and pushing formula through giveaways, there is an implied endorsement that lets moms believe that it is the better way to feed their baby. In reality, what moms need to get is more breastfeeding education and support.
For example, studies show that women who receive formula packs in hospitals are more likely to exclusively breastfeed for fewer than 10 weeks over moms who do not receive formula. Instead of a normal goodie bag which contains formula, a good alternative could be a Healthy Baby Bag. A Healthy Baby Bag offers breastfeeding swag and moms can still walk away from the hospital with new items.
As I've mentioned before, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of their child's life and continue on as long as mutually desired by mom and baby. I realize that not all moms choose to breastfeed and there are cases when a mom cannot breastfeed for medical reasons, but I do believe that moms should be able to make their own choice when deciding how to feed their baby. The messages they get from healthcare providers and hospitals should not be so confusing.
By handing new moms formula in the hospital without giving them a choice, it can impact their breastfeeding decision. I am happy to see that more states are looking at their hospital policies and taking actions to support breastfeeding. Hopefully, within the next few years, more states will follow suit and stop handing out formula in hospitals.
Congratulations to Massachusetts! I can't wait to see which state is next in this movement.