“Here’s Some Formula Just In Case.”Why not just say, “Good luck with that.”?
Receiving formula from your pediatrician “just in case”,is like getting the card to a good divorce lawyer from the person who married you and your spouse to each other. Imagine…
The Pastor, Priest, Universal Life ChurchPriestess that married you and your beloved says:
“I know you are planning on staying married forever but, not everyone makes it. I mean one-third of new marriages among younger people will end in divorce within 10 years and 43 percent within 15 years. So, good luck and take this card, this guy is a great divorce lawyer, you know, just in case. Good luck!” What would you say to that?
How Free Formula Undermines Moms Best Intentions
According to new study released in the American Journal of Public Health passing out diaper bags with free formula in them does in fact have a pretty significant impact on both the duration a mother breastfeeds and the exclusivity.
The Study Says. . .
“Approximately 67% of mothers who initiated breastfeeding out of the hospital had received the bags with free formula in them. Of those who received the bags they were more likely to stop breastfeeding before 10 weeks. Also they were more likely to not breastfeed exclusively but instead give filler bottles. The study concludes that providing formula for new mothers at hospitals is a definitive marketing ploy and that it definitely has an impact on the duration that a mother breastfeeds and the exclusivity with which she breastfeeds.”
Even the CDC reports:
“Although approximately 80% of women in the United States indicate before delivery that they intend to breastfeed, and 75% initiate breastfeeding, at 1 week half of women have already given their infant formula, and only 31% are breastfeeding to any extent at 9 months.” If women want to breastfeed their babies but are often unable to do what they have chosen, something is impeding their autonomy – and it is not the recommendation to breastfeed. Rather, it’s the obstacles they encounter in attempting to fulfill those intentions, including the obstacles created by formula marketing, that hinder women’s choices.
So Why isn’t Anyone Saying Something About It?
They are. Many groups like CitizenVox, banthebags.org, Baby Milk Action, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition,are standing up to these corporations and speaking out. So is anyone listening? Well, yes as a matter of fact they are. There are many hospitals now that are baby friendly. Is it enough? No. There’s a HUGE chunk of the US that just doesn’t “get” it.
Then, What Can We Do?
Educate. Share with friends and family the benefits of breastfeeding. Offer support to loved ones BEFORE they start breastfeeding. Approach your local hospitals as concerned citizens let them know you want them to become Baby Friendly. Get familiar with resources (see below) that can help new mamas and share away! We live in an amazing time in history where one’s opinion carries KLOUT. Use it, leverage it. Mamas, we have more power than you know!
Change Your Mindset
You know you want to nurse right? Then go into it with the same mindset you would when you get married. I mean, imagine if the one of the vows you exchanged was, “I’m gonna give this a shot.” You wouldn’t right? The best way to avoid what Best for Babes calls Booby Traps (Booby Traps are pitfalls that new moms fall in; lack of education, lack of support, etc.) is to get educated. Yes only 25% of babes are breastfed exclusively for 6 months in the US. Can this change? Yes. Yes it can, maybe. Let’s work hard for the future health of our children, just in case.
Interactive INternet TV Show all about Breatfeeding: LACTATION NATION
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