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A ban on baby-formula freebies

Yay for Massachusetts! I'm a few days late to this, but I was heartened to read that hospitals there - in an effort to further promote breastfeeding - have collectively agreed to stop distributing infant-formula gift bags to new moms. They're following the lead of Rhode Island, who instituted a similar ban last year.

The reason this is a big deal? Past research has shown that women who were sent home from the hospital with formula were several times less likely than their empty-handed counterparts to be breastfeeding exclusively after two weeks. And in a report (.pdf) from last summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described these formula freebies, given out by 80 percent of hospitals, as making it difficult for mothers and babies to be able to breastfeed. (Talk about mixed messages: Breastfeed your child because it's best for you and the baby - but here, take some formula.)

In the CDC report, one of its recommendations on how hospitals can better support mothers is to stop distributing these give-aways.

Previously: More breastfeeding support needed in hospitals, Surgeon general calls for more breastfeeding support, Breastfeeding called a “secret weapon to save billions of dollars” and Free formula may discourage moms from breastfeeding exclusively
Via Common Health
Photo by nerissa's ring

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