My youngest child is in preschool, yet I still receive frequent marketing mailings from formula companies. Maybe my info is still on file somewhere or they think it’s time to remind me that maybe I should have another baby (haha) – but just last month I received a boxed shipment from a well-known formula company with free samples of infant formula.
This infuriates me because I can remember being newly pregnant with my first baby and feeling inundated with marketing information from so many formula companies. The amount of propaganda we receive as pregnant women is overwhelming. One of my care providers clued me in that perhaps I was receiving more than the “average” mom because I had checked the boxes indicating I intended to breastfeed my baby. My midwife’s opinion was that the marketing would be pushed to people like me even harder – so that they could try to “woo” me with their freebies of formula, baby bags, and cooler packs.
Recently, the New York Department of Health announced a new set of regulations which will ban hospitals (and the clinics they’re affiliated with) from marketing formula information and materials.
The main goal of these new regulations is to continue to increase breastfeeding rates within New York State. At this time, fewer than half of newborns in NYS are exclusively breastfed during the first few days of life. This is in contract with the national average, which is 70%.
In a statement released earlier this month, Commissioner of Heath Dr. Howard Zucker states, “Research shows that breast milk provides unique nutrients and antibodies that help protect babies from diseases such as ear infections, lower respiratory infections, and diarrhea, and decrease the risk of asthma, diabetes, and obesity later in life. For women, breastfeeding lowers their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, as well as diabetes.”
We at Moms Pump Here understand there is a need for formula and we do not want any moms to ever feel pressure to either breastfeed or to bottle feed. These choices should be your own decisions, not the result of multi-national corporations pushing their products to you. We welcome these new regulations and we look forward to seeing them implemented at our local facilities.