- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
New York City to mothers: You should breast-feed
Starting in September, dozens of city hospitals will ask mothers of newborns to listen to talks about why their breast milk is better than the sample formulas many hospitals offer for free. Then the women can decide for themselves, says the mayor.
Bloomberg has been ribbed as the city’s “nanny” for pushing programs aimed at making New Yorkers healthier _ from clamping down on big sugar-loaded drinks to creating no-smoking zones in public places.
Now, under the “Latch On NYC” initiative, 27 of 40 hospitals in the city that deliver babies will no longer hand out promotional formula unless it’s for medical reasons, or at a mother’s request.
“Most public health officials around the country think this is a great idea,” Bloomberg said at a City Hall briefing earlier this week. “The immunities that a mother has built up get passed on to the child, so the child is healthier.”
He says formulas remain an acceptable solution if a mother cannot breastfeed, whether for health reasons or because her schedule does not allow it.
The New York initiative is part of a national effort involving more than 600 hospitals, says Marsha Walker, a registered nurse and executive director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, a nonprofit based in Weston, Mass.
In 2011, Rhode Island became the first state to stop giving away free formula to mothers while educating them on the benefits of nursing. Massachusetts followed suit.
New York state ranks next to last by the percentage of breast-fed infants who receive supplemental formulas in hospital, at 33 percent, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. The figure is 38 percent for New Jersey.
By contrast, only 8 percent of newborns in Vermont are fed formula just after birth, Farley said.
Walker calls the practice of including such gifts to new mothers “a very potent form of marketing by manufacturers.”
Hospitals, she says, “are in the business of providing health care, not marketing pricey products to vulnerable patients.”
One such patient was Beth Schwartz, a Manhattan mother of four who had trouble breast-feeding when her first child was born.
“In a moment of weakness, I defaulted to the formula,” she said. “The fact that the hospital gave it to me led me to use it, because I might not otherwise have gone out to buy it.”
Schwartz said her doctor didn’t know enough about breast-feeding to instruct her, and she should have gone to a lactation consultant who could have helped her. The now 46-year-old mother did exactly that for her second baby.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- WILLIAMS: Bill Maher, comedian or bigot?
- NYT's David Brooks: Obama has 'manhood problem' in Middle East
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.