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New Gift Bag For Breastfeeders

By Amy Kuras |

healthybabybagLike most people, when I left the hospital with both my babies, I was handed a gift bag. The first time, it was filled with formula and had nothing whatsoever about breastfeeding. The second time, I got a “breastfeeding bag” courtesy of a formula company, which had only one can of formula in it (versus the two in the other one), a nifty insulated pocket, and some other helpful things like a big water bottle, DHA capsules and an excerpt from “The Nursing Mother’s Companion.”

I am not as offended by the formula samples as some people, but still, those cans of formula a very subtle message that breastfeeding lies outside the “norm” of formula feeding, and had I not been through the awful first weeks of nursing once before and a very stubborn person besides, it might have dissuaded me.

So I like this idea for a new gift bag that 200 hospitals around the country are giving out: The Healthy Baby Bounty Bag. It’s a cute, lead-free insulated bag made from recycled materials with lots of great stuff in it, including samples of nursing pads, Mother’s Milk tea, and milk storage bags. It’s aimed at countering the traditional formula-based free gift with one that promotes breastfeeding.

There are also coupons for helpful things like lanolin nipple cream, nursing pillows and the like.

I think this is a great way to support new mothers who are getting started breastfeeding. Those first few weeks can be pretty tough, and giving a few tools to help get through that and reinforce breastfeeding as the norm, instead of formula, can make it easier.

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Amy Kuras

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6 thoughts on “New Gift Bag For Breastfeeders

  1. PlumbLucky says:

    My bag was a diaper bag, contained 4 small ready to drink thingies of formula, 4 breast milk storage containers that doubled as bottles, nipples that were interchangeable between either the formula tubs or the container/bottles, breast pads, nipple cream, coupons for anything imaginable (diapers, wipes, butt-cream, formula, nursing pads, nipple cream, milk storage bags and a couple of other things) for the baby, tucks, and a copy of The Nursing Mother’s Companion as well as a biz card from the hospital’s lactation consultant.
    I’m a bit odd I think. I had a few random samples of formula…none used by my child…but having them in the house made it slighly easier for me to “try this because I won’t have to run out in the middle of the night if I can’t get it to work” if that logic makes any sense.
    The samples all eventually went to people who did use them. I was happy to share, both the books I had and the formula I didn’t need. Baby’s gotta eat, however it is.
    Random find in the family archives recently – we (sisters and I) have often joked we have a wet nurse in the tree somewhere. Well, turns out there were several if you go back a few generations!

  2. Chiken says:

    I got formula samples from the hospital, but breastfeeding was definitely the expected norm. The lactation consultant visited with me twice, which was super helpful. At least where I was, there was NO information given by the hospital regarding how to bottle feed — a real oversight, I think, if breastfeeding for whatever reason doesn’t work that well for the mother and child.

  3. Marj says:

    I was sent home with an electric rental breast pump, a free hand pump, and was visited by lactation consultants the four days I was there like twice a day. I was intending to breastfeed, but by the end I felt so nagged by the staff (lactation consultants, doctors, and nurses) that I was tempted to throw breast pumps at their heads. Still, at home, 10 days in, things are going well, and I don’t feel too annoyed by my hospital.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Hey Marj, did you just bring home a new baby? Congrats!

  5. zaksmom says:

    Congrats, Marj! I got the bag with the formula samples, but my nurse got some nursing pads for me when I said repeatedly that I’d be breastfeeding. If I were the sort of woman to be swayed by packaging and presentation, I might not have been as eager to nurse after seeing the diaper bag stuffed with glossy pamphlets and formula samples next to a bland cardboard box of nursing pads. There was nothing in the diaper bag pamphlets about nursing- the only info on nursing that I went home with was from the hospital, buried in the info about aftercare and car seat inspections. Perhaps if hospitals offered both the standard bags and the Healthy Baby Bounty Bag and let parents choose, we’ll come closer to parity.

  6. PlumbLucky says:

    Shoot, the more I hear, the more I like my hospital. Although I will remember to bring my own nipple cream and some pacifiers next time. They don’t distribute paci’s (okay, whatever. My son has no such-nipple confusion. Has spit out a paci when hungry from day 2 when we came home and found one for him) and lanolin makes my skin blister. I was also lucky that the staff LC nicknamed him “shark”. They pretty much left me alone, they checked in twice a day while I was there to see how many times he was eating, peeing, and pooping. I was more annoyed by the nurses popping in and demanding I take stool softeners. Trust me. I know my body ladies (and gents). They do NOT work for me.

    Congrats Marj!!!!!!

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