New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city of New York will be enacting a program they call "Latch On NYC." Under the voluntary program, 27 of 40 area hospitals have agreed to record the amount of formula given out to new mothers.
That is not all. The most restrictive pro-breast milk program in the nation also asks that enrolled hospitals throw out gift bags for mothers branded with formula-company logos, and document every medical reason that is given when a mother asks for formula. Most severely, while new mothers who ask for formula will not be denied it, formula will be kept in locked safes or secure storerooms.
Breastfeeding advocates are undeniably thrilled about the new measure. Undoubtedly, the program has already seen some success. While the city's program will not begin until September 3, New York University's Langone Medical Center has already enacted a similar program. Under the stewardship of that plan, breast-feeding rates have nearly doubled from 39 percent to 68 percent.
But some new mothers are offended by the measure. They see the program as pressure. While staffers say that the choice between breast-feeding and formula is ultimately that of the mother's, for every bottle of formula that a new mother receives, the staffers are obligated to give her a talking-to as they make sure that the patients are "best-educated". It is only natural that some new mothers would feel demeaned.
Most experts agree that breast-feeding is good for both the infant and the mother, as the infant receives antibodies through the mother, and the mother receives help from healing from childbirth. Says the World Health Organization, "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."
But some women remain unconvinced. One woman said to the New York Post that, if formula was not safe, they certainly would not market it to infants.
(It is almost like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg wants reporters to call his control of the city a nanny state. Reporters, for their part, have said that and more. One publication called him a wet nurse.)