In order to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their children, the Mexican government has banned free baby formula from being given away in hospitals, according to the BBC.

The effort is to increase breastfeeding rates, which are dangerously low. Only one in seven Mexican new mothers breastfeed their children, making their rates one of the lowest in Latin America. Baby formulas will still be available to be purchased in shops and also can be supplied by a doctor’s request. This isn’t the first time that Mexico has tried to encourage more breastfeeding.

Millions of people in the country live in poverty and consume water that is contaminated. The best way for children in Mexico to receive nutrients that they need is from breastfeeding. The issue of poverty has to do also with women who are in the workplace. Many Mexican businesses do not allow women to nurse or pump, making it difficult for women to give vital nutrients to their children.

Earlier in 2015, Mexico City began a campaign to boost the image of nursing mothers. Unfortunately, the idea received a lot of backlash when the advertisement featured women with perfectly toned bodies posing without tops to promote breastfeeding. The breasts were covered but with captions that stated that women shouldn’t turn their backs on their babies. Rather, they should give their babies their breasts to nurse. The backlash was from mothers who didn’t want to be known as bad mothers if they aren’t breastfeeding or can’t breastfeed.

According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age and can potentially continue up to 2 years of age or beyond. Children in countries like Mexico who have a high poverty rate have a higher rate of death for children. Feeding children through nursing early on has a positive effect and can help save lives in developing nations like Mexico.

Currently, only the Dominican Republic has a lower rate of breastfeeding than Mexico, which fell from 22 percent in 2006 to 14 percent in 2012, according to a Health Department survey. The government’s actions may help raise those rates and by extension, would be focusing on the state of public health in the region.