Before I get started with my post I want to share a simple fact. While I am a breastfeeding mother, both of my older children were formula fed. One from 5 weeks old on and the other from roughly seven months on.
Now onto my post.
For years there has been lots of talk about taking free formula out of hospitals. Recently another push for this crusade has made it into the media spotlight. Lauren here on Baby’s First Year actually wrote a great post yesterday on her experience as a breastfeeding mother and the formula samples the hospitals give out.
Whether it has been breastfeeding advocacy groups supporting petitions or just local mothers asking for better breastfeeding support inside the hospitals – it is something we constantly see coming to light.
Now the whole issue is controversial and I am sure there will be moms out there who do not like what I have to say, but it seems to be eating away at me today. I just need to get it out.
In other parts of the world it is pretty routine for women choosing to use formula to feed their baby from birth, to stock up and bring it to the hospital with them when they check in. In fact I have a friend in England who gave birth not that long ago who had to do this.
And I think this is a step in the right direction!
Hospitals often give out a lot of free stuff, but most of it is sponsored by the company. In my local area it is Similac and Pampers. Those are what the hospitals giveaway to parents. On your way out the door they stock you up and send you on your way with your little bag of treats.
But the problem is the formula.
It is a giant sabotaging booby trap for new moms who are any of the below:
- In pain from giving birth
- undereducated on breastfeeding
And the list goes on.
No, I am not saying formula feeding mothers are ignorant. I am saying mothers as a whole in America are typically (the majority) under educated on breastfeeding and creating a successful breastfeeding relationship. I know! I was one of those mothers. Not once, but TWICE!
Where am I going with this?
Personal responsibility. That is where I am heading!
When a parent makes a choice regarding their child they are typically expected to see that choice through. If you are going to cloth diaper you do not expect the hospital to give you a starter stash of cloth diapers, even though it would be nice. Or if you decide you want your baby to wear only a certain type of clothing – you don’t expect the hospital to supply you with your clothes to get started. If I was to even suggest this as an idea for the future people would flip out.
So why is formula any different?
We know that formula costs money, we know there are assistance programs for those who cannot afford formula feeding, but come on! If you want to formula feed, it isn’t too much to ask to bring your own. That free formula that is given out in the hospital is not free by any means.
Maybe this would encourage more mothers to research their choices just a little bit more, or even simply try out breastfeeding at all.
This could not only boost our breastfeeding rates in America, but maybe it would send a better message to the big companies… Hospitals should not be sponsored!
Read more on Baby’s First Year from Danielle:
photo credit: flickr