Why Banning Formula Isn’t That Awful

I mentioned earlier that New York City has placed a ban on free formula samples in all of its public hospitals. The announcement came this week during World Breastfeeding Week and as usual, the debate is raging. Many moms are saying that a ban on formula would’ve excluded them because they either couldn’t or didn’t want to breastfeed. Other moms are talking about how awful they felt when they were made to feel like an awful mother because they didn’t want to (or couldn’t breastfeed). So is banning formula a horrible thing to do, leaving out thousands of moms that choose formula?

Banning Is Not Entirely Accurate

Rest assured, if you really put your foot down, you can still get free formula samples. True, you’ll have to speak with a nutritionist or your baby’s pediatrician, but hospitals still have free formula samples. They just aren’t giving them out quite as easily. And I’m sure it’s true that more than a few moms will run into nurses that will not be as tactful or polite as they possible could be. But their job is to discourage formula use. If you really feel you need the formula, ask to speak with your baby’s pediatrician.

Banning Formula Saves Money

Statistics show that banning formula substantially increases breastfeeding rates. What programs like this didn’t anticipate when they first started was that banning formula substantially decreases expenses because babies are overall healthier. (Again, we’re speaking in statistics here–statistics always refer to large groups and NOT individuals.) There’s less hospital admissions for infants under the age of two, less ear infections, less medications dispensed. From a financial standpoint, banning formula makes sense.

What About Those Moms That Feel Guilty

If you’ve read my blogs this will be familiar: No one can make you guilty without your permission. You may have also heard me say that most moms quit breastfeeding because they didn’t have the right support. Banning formula forces hospitals to provide that support via lactation consultants and staff training. I know many moms who tried desperately to breastfeed and were honestly lacking in someone who had knowledge to come along side and help. With a ban on formula–hospitals now have that support available.

And Those Moms That Don’t Want to Formula Feed?

For those moms that are fully aware that breastfeeding is substantially healthier and still want to formula feed maybe because of work or simply because they don’t want to breastfeed, you can still get some samples from the hospital by speaking with your baby‘s pediatrician. I’m not saying no one will give you a hard time. . .but that it’s possible to get the formula there still if you have to. You can also go online to formula companies and obtain coupons and believe me, they are more than happy to send stuff to you.