Here's the headline & Article: NYC Hospitals Ban Baby Bottles, Formula to Boost Breast Feeding
WTH? When I first heard about this while watching The View yesterday (and ironically nursing JSL) it made my blood boil. I sat there listening to Elisabeth get upset over the entire thing. Since then it is all over the news and papers. Just now on Today the doctor (Nancy Schneiderman) got upset with how what she said are men telling women how to use their bodies.
Who gives the government the right to tell a woman how to feed her child? Those first days are stressful enough without a trusted place like a hospital not helping a new mother and hungry newborn. Nursing an infant is not something that comes easily for most people. Babies and moms often have latching issues in the early weeks. Nobody will argue with the studies that breastfeeding is beneficial for children, but what about those people that choose not to — no less those that can't.
Earth to Ding-dongs . . . . you read that right many woman have no othere choice. Why? Here are a few of the reasons off the top of my head:
1. Some women NEVER get milk in. My mother was one of these women. She tried to nurse me for quite some time, but she never had anything. She finally was told by my pediatrician that I was still losing too much weight and was not getting anything when nursing. I actually worried with my first pregnancy that I would not get milk, but I was lucky and have the opposite issue. A good friend also had this happen to her. Her daughter and I are fine. I was formula fed because of need and my friend's child received goat's milk (another wonderful alternative to formula).
2. Some women may need to stop nursing to take medications. People who suffer from chronic conditions often require to restart medicines soon after they give birth. Many of these women internally battle making this choice and cry over it. It is a brave thing to do to stop medicine to bring a miracle into the world and they must not be guilted into accepting pain. A happy, healthy mom taking care of a formula fed baby is the right choice for them.
3. Many women have PPD that requires them to take antidepresents (sorry Tom, but it is real). Facing this head on requires courage to face the fact and do what is best for the woman and her family. A mommy who can not function due to depression is not a good help to a baby, so forget the breastfeeding and bond while bottle feeding if need be.
4. Some babies just never get the latching thing. Many reasons can attribute to this. When I had NHL he was not able to latch to me. I have flat, inverted nipples and large breasts that made it impossible for him to latch. I had HORRIBLE lactation consultants at that first hospital. When I called them up a day after I left for help and told them I had double mastitis they told me just to give up. I was a stubborn person who was not going to give up, but I'm sure many people have thanks to this lack of support. I bought a hand pump and pumped for NHL's first 2-3 months of life. Then someone told me about nipple shields and I was able to get him to latch on and eventually do it with no assistance until he was almost 1 years old. With JSL I was armed and ready to fight for what I wanted. I had a nipple shield with me in the hospital and went to a different place to give birth. Here there were 2 amazing lactation consultants and nurses that sat with me for hours trying to get him to latch and nurse. It took him 2 1/2 weeks (I pumped all that time) but he finally got it. I could completely see why someone might have given up, but I was too pig-headed to do that. It burned me when someone once said to me “Oh pumping is so much easier!” How so? It took me twice as long. I had to pump the milk and then sit and feed it to the baby. GRRRR!
5. Lack of support from others. The pressure of nursing and time involved can be tough with everything else that comes with a new born. If your family and support system doesn't help it can be a daunting thing to try to do with a newborn.
On that note I am done ranting and am off to take care of my little guy. I'm sure we have not heard the last of this from NYC. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the days to come.
The article does say that formula will be available for those who ask.
Look, I see it as a 180 degree turn. Instead of the hospital automatically assuming you’re going to formula feed, and bombard the new mother with free samples of formula, they want to push for breastfeeding so they make it just a little difficult to get the formula automatically.
I actually emailed E on the view. I doubt she will ever read it but I tried. I brought up the same things as you…women unable to b/f for various reasons. I also brought up the Goat Milk thing and how I so wish for someone to be able to get that information to the public, it is second in line for everything only to mother’s milk and I wish so much I had a way to inform the large population of women about this. The other thing is that it is cheaper than formula. By about $3-5 a can..add that up over a year or more! WIC should even consider it along w/a vitamin supplement. Maybe we should ban together as women and write to everyone we can to get BS like this stopped! I feel your rant so rant away!
Formula will be available to feed the babies while there. However, they are doing away with the care packages for bottle fed babies when they leave. Many people use that formula for the first day or two so they can get home and not need to run to the store immediately. Now that won’t be an option. Many people were just surprised with the change when they showed up to the hospitals before the media caught it.
Personally I don’t like the turn. I think it’s above and beyond. Both times I went into the hospital they asked me upon arriving if I planned to bottle or breastfeed my babies. Both times I said breastfeed so they wrote down to have a LC come to see me. I thin a lot of this was done thanks to groups like LLL that are just WAY too vocal for my taste. I proudly breastfeed on demand and have been lucky not to need to supplement my kids, but a lot of people don’t have the choice. I think by making people have to practically beg is just wrong – especially in NYC where many of the people going to these hospitals need any support to get their feet on the ground.
Go you! I may e-mail her as well. I think she was great yesterday and she said it as a mother that breastfed and had to use formula to supplement.
You were one of the people that inspired me to rant. I remember how upset you were when you weren’t able to breastfeed. You certainly wouldn’t have wanted something like this to make you feel even worse. You did your research and found a great way to give J what she needed and man look at her now!
I definitely see where they’re coming from after feeling as if formula/bottlefeeding were pushed on me as a new mother (and even before I had the baby, for that matter!), but they’re not going about it in the way that will get the best results. Good lactation consultants (not some of the idiots I’ve encountered) will be a great help, teaching women before they even have the baby about the benefits of breastmilk, changing cultural opinion about breastfeeding in general, etc., are ways to do this. Trying to enforce it when there is a SCREAMING baby involved is ludicrous.
On that note, I was always really irritated when I allowed them to let baby #1 sleep in the nursery and then only brought her to me to nurse in the middle of the night when she was so furious that I couldn’t get her to latch on. They haven’t made it easy for nursing moms to get started as it is regardless of whether there were bottles or pacifiers available (there weren’t in my case; I practically threatened the nurses’ lives if they used them). There are many, many more variables involved here than simply a breast and a baby’s mouth, and until our society realizes that, we will never really encourage breastfeeding in a healthy way.
A book I recommend that really showed me how all-encompassing the very concepts about feeding our children and raising them in general are is Our Babies, Ourselves. It’s long but worth reading.
–curlie (you know who this is)
Hey there Curlie!
I have to say things have drastically changed from when #1 (NHL) was born almost 4 years ago to when #2 (JSL) was just born in May. With NHL I was given tons of samples of formula and things from the OB’s office and the hospital when I left. They were more pushy about giving him formula and also horrid when it came to helping me to get him to latch. Heck they never once suggested using a nipple shield for my trouble. Who knows maybe he would have been a pro with that earlier if we had tried it. For my birthing class with NHL they talked a lot about the benefits of nursing and trouble shooting. She also gave us information about people in this area that we could call if we had troubles after the baby was here. Still they were $$ and the LC at the hospital was pathetic.
JSL the hospital was much more into the baby being with mom most of the time. They would take him at night, but automatically brought him to me when they knew it was time to feed. Much different than the first time around. Since I was at different hospitals that could have been part of it, but not likely all. This time around the OB’s office gave me a little sample thing to take even though they knew I was nursing. They said keep it just in case you need it when you aren’t with the baby or something. At the hospital they were great and got me a pump this time. I explained how they wouldn’t last time and I knew my milk was coming in and wanted to pump to avoid mastitis and feed my very hungry baby that wouldn’t latch on. Having support this time made me even more determined to make things work.
Clearly we need to work on educating the public more about things and maybe spark a little debate to make people know that change is needed.
Keep me posted on how things are this time around with #3.