Monday, December 5, 2011

Main Topic Monday:Providence, RI Hospitals Doing Away with Free Formula

Read the article here: No More Free Formula in Providence, RI Hospitals

This may not be the most popular opinion, but I think this is a step in the right direction.  We all know BREAST IS BEST, so why are hospitals encouraging mothers to give their babies formula.  This is a great way for hospitals to send the message that women should at the VERY least try to nurse their children because it IS what is best for their babies and for mothers. 

Breastfeeding is extremely difficult for some women (myself included) and handing out formula makes it too easy to just give up.  My baby struggled to nurse when he was first born and the hospital kept saying "If he doesn't get it soon we can give him a little formula".  I remember thinking "My baby would only be getting colostrum right now anyway, my milk won't even come in for a few days.  What's the rush?" I refused the formula because I did not want to give up so soon, but not all women would do the same and not all hospitals would take no for an answer.

In my eyes hospitals giving new mothers formula is as bad as allowing advertising formula. 
Why are we inundated with ads for formula, but rarely see ads for breastfeeding?
Why aren't we educating women on the benefits and importance of breastmilk to a baby?
Why aren't we helping women find lactation experts and support groups in their area?

I am positive that if we as women started supporting each other and stopped treating breastfeeding like a taboo, but instead embraced it, there would be a lot more women successfully breastfeeding their babies.

Come back on Friday when I will share my struggle with breastfeeding and how I made sure my baby NEVER had formula.


Kim said...

I'm following you from the blog hop! I'd love if you could follow me back!

A little crunchy - Kimberly said...

Breast is Best and research shows that mothers are more likely to give up if they have been given free formula.

Glad I found you on the hop today!

spanish4kiddos said...

Breastfeeding is great for moms who can produce enough milk for the baby to be healthy but sometimes even a pump can't give you all the necessary milk that the baby needs. That's why it's necessary to use supplemental baby formula.

TToria said...

Each to their own and all that. Though you have, of course, got valid points here.

Passing through & following for the blog hop :-)

TToria @

Kim said...

Good points, and I think breastfeeding is fantastic but it doesn't work for some moms. I had preemie twins who were too tiny to latch, nor did I produce enough milk for them that early. I tried, but they still needed the added formula. I was thankful the nurses in the hospital made me feel it was ok to supplement with formula because I felt awful about not being able to provide enough for them. My boys are now 4 and are above average height and weight and are thriving in school. I don't think women should be made to feel badly about breastfeeding OR not. Here and followeing from the blog hop...

A little crunchy - Kimberly said...

Hello again! The fact is that very few women have a medical condition that makes it impossible for them to make enough milk. I know first hand as I have one of them and even with this issue I can nurse my babies, just not fully and the first few days of life colostrum is all babies need and it is not about amount at the point. So many hospitals and mothers worry because of the natural weight loss after a baby is born so they push formula needlessly. New studies show that mothers who had an IV pass on more liquid to baby and so when baby is born and releases that extra fluid, they drop to their normal weight. Alas, this is a topic of passion for me. I have had guilt over not being able to breastfeed, but it is the inner guilt of knowing I can't give my children 100% the best. I think women need to be told the facts, be told is can be very hard, and that really very very few women can't actually nurse, many just give up because they don't know it gets better, they don't have, support, they are not educated, or they just rather not anyway. I didn't know any better at 19, I wish I had. So now I am one of the annoying voices that remind others of the realities of breastfeeding. I am glad with my second child that I had other women with real information being the annoying voices in my life else I don't think I would have tried or learned so much. For me, I would feel guilty about not talking about this issue with others. I don't aim to make anyone feel guilty. However I know from experience and if people are honest I think they know it, that no one can make us feel guilty about something if that feeling is not already there in us about something.

This Mom's Heart said...

I am totally with you on this issue. I had three babies, none of whom had the reflex that causes them to open their mouths wide enough to latch on. Thus, nursing was a nightmare- I never could get them latched on well the first few weeks, and nursing was torture that I would have to take pain medication for just to get them latched on. I even had a lactation consultant tell me that I could teach lactation classes- I just couldn't get my babies to do it. Then I had mastitis and thrush. I was one of those people who had every right to give up- but I didn't. I nursed all three for over a year. The myths out there, the lack of support and education, and the availability of formula as a cure-all answer all sabotage a mom's desire to breastfeed successfully. As far as the "I don't make enough milk" argument goes... well, that's usually because you have "supplemented" with formula. Many moms fall into this pattern when they think their babies aren't eating enough- and every ounce of milk your baby gets somewhere else is an ounce of milk your body decided it doesn't need to produce. Nursing more = more milk. Nursing less = less milk. Ok, I'm done. :) There are few things I am super hard-core about, but breastfeeding is one of them! :)

Sarah said...

I agree and disagree with you. I personally was offended when I had my son and they tried giving me the Enfamil samples. I think they should be available, but only to those who wish to receive them. The message should not be that if you use formula you are a bad Mom. Sometimes it's the only option, and taking away resources can be dangerous.

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