Mayor Bloomberg has been all over the news lately. First he wants to take away soda and now he’s decided to take away baby formula! Okay, so he’s still in the process of turning his plans into laws, but who knows… it could pass. If his new plans pass, new moms will no longer receive samples of baby formula in their “new mom gift baggies” the hospital hands out. Bloomberg’s goal in taking away formula is to reduce obesity. He says formula-fed babies are more likely to be obese than breast-fed babies.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) all recommend breastfeeding as the best option for babies. They believe breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies and protect against a number of chronic conditions. The AAP suggests breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months. They suggest continuing breastfeeding until the mother and baby are both willing to give it up. (Cheap Plug: Visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/hvparentmag to see our community chatter about the mom on Time magazine breastfeeding her 3 year old… now back to your regularly scheduled blog).
I have to be honest with you all. Breastfeeding is obviously a healthy choice, but I don’t think it’s suitable for everyone. In tough economic times like we face today, mothers simply can’t afford to be out of work for extended periods of time after giving birth. Formula offers these busy moms a means to feed their child and go back to work at the same time… HELLO, diapers don’t grow on trees!
I posted this topic on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/hvparentmag) not knowing if we’d get a huge response. Less than 20 minutes after posting, we had over 50 comments. The conversation was wonderful. We had moms and dads both sounding off on the topic! I wanted to share some of my favorite comments with you…
Kristyn Wesdorp Wosneski – “Seriously??? I HATE it when men stick their noses into women’s business like this. When he has the ability to breastfeed, then he can have a say in the topic. Granted, breast is best, but if for some reason a new mom can’t do it, is an alcoholic, does drugs, what have you, having that formula in the new mom bag might actually help out in a bind.”
Courtney Durfee – ” If 90% practiced exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, US health care savings would be $13 billion/year and would save 911 lives. Saved health care costs is $532 per infant a year.
Michele Rothstein Dolbin – In my situation, it was my baby who refused to nurse. She even refused pumped milk in the bottle. I felt guilty for YEARS. But she’s 12 – thin as a rail and fit as a fiddle.
Mari Martinez – This should not be an issue of MONEY! It should be the mother’s decision, after all that is what AMERICA is suppose to provide us with… the ability to make our OWN DECISIONS. Enough of the government trying to control our every move. Obviously breast feeding is the best, but if the mother is unable to breast feed then what? Shame on those who feel otherwise!
Michelle Amodio- How about giving mothers the time off from their jobs to successfully breastfeed? Education, time and work is required [for breastfeeding]. Pumping in an office or bathroom doesn’t make it better or easier. And I’m a mom who formula fed her baby for reasons that, well, no one needs to know why, because it’s none of their business. But if you want women to succeed, give them the time they need with their babies, don’t hide formula.
Galia Kisiova – Of course breast feeding is best, but come on, one can breast feed for 3 years and then follow up with junk food, lack of exercise and lack of example…it’s a choice…I saw Bloomberg’s proposal a few days ago and coming from Europe, I have only one comment-”Give mothers a year PAID maternity leave like they do in Europe and the number of breast-fed babies will increase without any measures… And I agree, it’s a personal choice, like so many issues with having/raising children. One can have an opinion, but one should also learn to respect others’ choices. While we are on it, who will address the fact that food stamps are spent on chips/juices/other junk food..and maybe come up with a law that makes parents, who receive free state health insurance for their kids, sign them up and actually attend sports activities…there are so many other measures that could save money…taking a box of formula out of a bag and making a mother feel guilty, in my opinion, is a poor choice.
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Although we all said it in different ways (some with shouty capitals, some with explicit language and others with less fervor), we all pretty much agreed that the option to breastfeed should be left up to the mother. Now, don’t get me wrong… Bloomberg is not taking formula off the shelves; he just wants to make it illegal for hospitals to give new moms samples of formula in their “new mom gift bags.” The decision is still up to the mom, but why should women that decide to breastfeed get more help in the hospital (often nurses give crash courses on the breastfeeding process after the delivery) than moms that decide to use formula? I don’t think this is fair at all.
I’m curious as to what all you moms and dads out there think about this issue. Don’t forget to leave your comments below!