Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hospitals Ditch Formula Samples to Promote Breast-Feeding

News Brief by Enshu Chawla

     More hospitals are banning the distribution of formula samples, as about half of the hospitals surveyed by the CDC have done so. In contrast, only about a quarter of these hospitals had a ban on formula samples in 2007. States including Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are seeing these changes in policy, and Mayor Bloomberg's "Latch on NYC" initiative has grown in popularity among hospitals. Breast-feeding is widely known to be much healthier than formula, as the companies who sell formula agree to this. Individuals in favor of breast-feeding argue that the samples should not be given out to all mothers and marketed, but instead to those mothers who choose to use formula. On the other hand, formula companies claim that the formula can give an option due to the difficulty and pain involved with breast-feeding. Some mothers felt that they used formula at times only because it was available to them, while others saw it as a valuable resource for certain situations.            At Cooper University Hospital, seventy percent of mothers were using formula to feed their babies before formula was documented by nurses and stored away. Following these actions, seventy percent of mothers were breast-feeding. However, at Virtua Hospital, breast-feeding rates continue to increase with formula readily available to mothers. The argument over breast-feeding versus the allowance of formula giveaways has been seen in both lights throughout the politics of states such as Massachusetts and hospitals such as UMass Memorial. Formula companies are making it difficult for hospitals to distance themselves from the groups, because of free samples and gifts to hospital staff members. In general, the move that hospitals have made to ban formula samples has been very controversial due to opposing viewpoints among staff members, mothers, and formula companies.

Reference:Belluck, Pam. "Hospitals Ditch Formula Samples to Promote Breast-Feeding." The New York Times Health. The New York Times, 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. .
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