New York City may ban formula for newborn babies & it's a horrible idea
Coming on the heels of Michael Bloomberg's controversial proposed ban on super-sized soft drinks, the New York City mayor is now taking aim at moms and their newborn babies. Well, sort of. The mayor is making city hospitals "lock up" formula in an effort to encourage more moms to breastfeed. Starting on September 3, officials will monitor how much formula is given out in hospitals and will demand medical reasons for each one distributed. Any mom asking for formula will also get a lecture from hospital staff about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.
As part of the Latch On NYC initiative, which launched in May, many of the city's hospitals have already agreed to stop handing out swag with formula manufacturers' logos. "Human breast milk is best for babies and mothers," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement.
It's all great and beautiful…except if, like me, you are a mom who can't breast feed.
Read more in ¿Qué más?: Would you ever let another woman breastfeed your baby?
I know the benefits of breast milk. I had my heart set on breast feeding throughout my whole pregnancy. I read about it, took classes--it's ingrained in our pre-natal discourse these days. I had daydreams of feeding my baby where I was this Earth-mother type...my offspring taking nutrition from me as I smiled, my mind filled with happy thoughts.
The reality, though, turned out to be much, much different. After a grueling labor of 30 hours and an eventual C-section that left me beyond drained, I did manage to wake up and feed my baby about 45 minutes after coming out of surgery. I was already agonizing about the wait, but Sebastian latched on beautifully and had his first colostrum. I was proud in my drug-induced painkiller haze.
Soon after, my baby started to wake up every hour on the hour, crying and crying. This continued for many days as I tried to recuperate from major surgery and slowly gain control of my body again. I felt like I couldn't be a good mom to him in the state I was in, and it seemed like he was hungry all the time, so I decided to start giving him formula. He slept for three hours straight the first time I gave him one ounce, the most sleep we had in I don't know how long. Scared to death of losing my supply, I pumped every three hours, drank malta, panela--anything my mom recommended to increase my milk production. After a month of agony, I gave up trying to mostly breastfeed and switched to mostly formula with supplements of whatever I could give my little guy of my breast milk.
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To Mayor Bloomberg and the whole medical community, I have this to say: I know breastfeeding would have been good for my baby, I totally hear you. Heck, it would have saved us tons of money that we're now spending on formula. I would have given anything to have had the ability to feed my son from my breast. But for some of us it's just not possible. It won't benefit anyone to add any more guilt to an already suffering mom.
Do you think formula should be banned in hospitals?
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