The illusion of choice, the free market, and your boobs

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg started an initiative called "Latch on New York" that is asking hospitals to take the formula samples off the bedside tables of new mothers and put them behind the nursing stations or in the drug cabinets so mothers have to ask for them. People are up in arms about this, crying that Mayor Mike is trying to prevent women from choosing and that he's creating a "nanny state."

No.

What he is doing is trying to even the playing field, so huge corporations that don't know or care about your health, your child's health, or any of the decision you make as a parent do not have the ability to pay to have access to your bedside table.

Does it make you angry that formula companies have paid to have the kind of access to you that no one but your chosen medical providers should have? That they have unfettered access to tell you things about your body that may be blatantly false? It makes me angry, but money buys your freedom. I'm surprised the formula companies haven't started striking deals in which women come out of labor and delivery with adhesive stickers (with the name of the formula) stuck across our breasts so the only way even to try to breastfeed is to peel off the stickers first.

Taking formula off your bedside table does nothing to change your ability to choose for yourself. If you are not handed a formula sample in the hospital there is NO EFFECT on your ability to give your child formula when you get down to the lobby, when you get home, a week later, six months later. None. If you are given formula in the hospital we know (based on formula company research) that women are less likely to breastfeed. This means that being given formula in the hospital narrows our choices. Not being given formula, no restriction on choice. Being given formula, restriction on choice.

If you truly care about a woman's right to choose what's best for her and her baby, you will take the financial pressure out of the equation, and eliminate any actions that impede free choice. Putting formula samples right next to the baby's head impedes free choice. Having to ask for formula (just like you have to ask for tylenol, or an extra chucks pad, or another container of orange juice) doesn't impede free choice. It doesn't change anything for women who cannot breastfeed–they can still get those formula samples easily by asking. It doesn't change anything for women who don't want to breastfeed–they can still get those formula samples easily by asking. It could change everything for women who want to breasfeed but don't have correct information or are experiencing problems they can overcome if they're given help, because they will be given EQUAL ACCESS to information that can help them breastfeed and formula samples. They ask for help or they ask for formula. Equal access. No privilege for formula.

I don't want the decisions I make about how to parent my children made by the highest bidder. Especially since the highest bidder doesn't care about me and only wants my money. (Let's not forget that those formula samples are worth about $1.50. A woman who chooses to feed formula based on those samples has just been signed on to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on formula once she leaves the hospital. She is never informed of that. Is THAT free choice?)

I don't care how you feed your baby. But I want you to make a decision about it with all the information, all the support, and all the help you can get. Free choice. I do not want your choices narrowed by the huge financial incentives formula manufacturers pour into hospitals.

As usual, Mayor Mike has gone about his objectives in a ham-fisted way, barrelling in and offending people in an effort to protect consumers. Had I been mayor I'd have gone about it a different way, by requiring any formula company that wants to market directly to consumers in a vulnerable position to fund the salaries of three full-time lactation consultants for every 10 beds in a maternity ward so there is always an LC available to troubleshoot problems, along with providing training in breastfeeding once a year for every RN, LPN, and MD on the floor. Then, go ahead and put formula on the bedside table because there would be an LC right there, too.

But until there is an even playing field, ACTUAL FREE CHOICE WITH BOTH OPTIONS REPRESENTED EQUALLY, don't believe the hype.

 

(Special thanks to Dr. Aneel Karnani of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan for several discussions that informed the argument in this essay.)

 

UPDATE: Don't beliueve that having formula on the table affects your likelihood of breastfeeding? PhD in Parenting has a roundup of the research on it at the bottom of this post.

120 thoughts on “The illusion of choice, the free market, and your boobs”

  1. What I object to is that the women will be subjected to a lecture about how breastfeeding is best each and every time they ask for some formula. There is so much wrong with this. If I am struggling to keep my baby satiated and not producing enough I don’t need a lecture every time I top my baby off with some formula. If I have been sexually abused and breastfeeding triggers flashbacks, I don’t need a lecture each time I go to feed my baby a bottle of formula. If I have decided I don’t want to breastfeed for any reason whatsoever I don’t need a lecture each time I go to feed my baby. It is disgusting that he is doing this to women. Honestly it annoys the crap out of me that people think that just because my baby got some free samples in the hospital that I am brainwashed into using that formula. I have a brain and I know how to comparison shop and pick a generic brand. This initiative will do nothing to increase breastfeeding rates and it treats women like children. That is why I am up in arms over it.

  2. And they do influence. I didn’t take any of them home, remembering this issue, but a few weeks later when I was standing in the grocery in tears looking for a formula to feed my starving baby (as advised by a lactation specialist who had worked with us for six weeks) I know I recognized the one I’d seen in the hospital.(end of story:) An unknown woman came up to me and put her arm around me as I stood there sobbing. She asked me how old my baby was and helped me choose a formula. I stuck with her recommendation for a year (and yes, 100’s of $).

  3. Yes! Now if we can only fill in the gap in lactation consultants. Educate the nurses. I know in some areas of the US, breastfeeding is totally the norm and mothers feel an extraordinary pressure to do it. But it’s not that way everywhere. I have a friend who had a baby over the weekend and had to wait days to get an LC to come see her. That’s just not okay.

  4. What about premies and the stress already encountered by having a sick baby? I went through so many lectures on how to care for the baby and staff questioning me why she was a premie. I wanted to know why I couldn’t hold her, why they couldn’t let me even try to breast feed her even though she was MINE. Too much government intrusion into our lives. It’s just another move toward socialism. You can’t even get a Big Gulp in NYC now. What if I want to save some of the soda for the next day? MR kids can’t get heart transplants now, old people with cancer can’t get cancer treatment but they get death counseling, and now big gov’t making a mom feel bad for wanting or needing formula!

  5. What I wish is that nurses would not feed the babies formula if the mother has asked them not to. In my case, I was never brought my babies to feed until the third day. Granted, I was awfully ill at first, but after 8 hours or so I could have started feeding them with assistance. But they didn’t bring me the babies until Wednesday morning. They were born Monday afternoon. I was knocked out (literally, they had to fix something) until about 1am Tuesday but I remember finally waking and then being all alone in the room. The babies were in the nursery and I didn’t even see them until my husband came the next day. Why didn’t they bring them to me and help me feed them, instead of feeding them with bottles? By the time I was well enough to think clearly again, they had been fed with formula for two days.

  6. Women are smart. If they want to breastfeed, they will regardless of whether formula is sitting in the diaper bag on the counter.I’m really torn. I breastfeed, but you know, I want more support for it in the hospital, but I don’t want to make any vulnerable person feel bad by choosing formula (or feeling guilty for having a nurse give a bottle overnight so she can rest on day #3 after no sleep in the hospital because hospital schedules are convenient for the nurses – not the patients). It’s tough. More LCs and more training for staff is a great idea, but there is more to it than that.
    (And recent studies suggest that unrestricted access to pacifiers means greater success at breastfeeding and that makes total sense because if you are the human pacifier, you are a lot less likely to stick with it.)

  7. Yes, well … There’s nothing “free choice” in getting a mandatory lecture on the merits of nursing. I can accept your argument; just don’t force us to listen to some anonymous LC/RN/whatever once we’ve already made the decision to feed with formula.In other words, if these city-run hospitals are gonna stick the formula at the other end of the hall in a secret cabinet, at least they better get out of our way and shut up once we’ve made our decision.

  8. I disagree. I gave birth in a hospital that was so pro-breastfeeding that my baby nearly starved. No formula was given. I didn’t know to ask – they just kept telling me my milk would come in and he was latching fine and not to worry. I told them I had no milk and the nurses kept shaming me and telling me not to supplement or I’d ruin my chances to breastfeed. I was in a post partum haze and didn’t know what to do except to trust these medical professionals. And guess what? My baby was literally starving. I never got any milk and I found out later o have severe breast hypoplasia which means I never WILL get any milk. So Joe was I given free choice? I wasn’t given any options – I was just shamed and told to keep trying to breastfeed and it would work. My child suffered because of it.

  9. Wow. So you guys had formula on your bedside table? At my hospital (one of the big ones in San Diego), it was… I don’t know where. Available, but not visible. (I know it was available, because the lactation consultant had me supplement with some with my first, because we had a really hard time getting breastfeeding established and she was literally starving. We eventually went on to breastfeed for 21 months. In retrospect, it was completely obvious why that tube supplementation helped- she was and is an impatient kid!)Anyway, women still choose formula here, so I don’t think that not having it on the bedside table is really hurting anyone.

  10. Great post, as usual, Moxie. To the people saying that women are smart and that formula samples don’t make a difference, we know that is patently false. As Moxie said, the formula companies’ own research proves this to be true. Think about your own experience. When it came time to supplement or wean, did you choose the brand you were given in the hospital? I know I did. That doesn’t make me dumb. It just means the marketing worked (and if it didn’t, they wouldn’t spend so much money on it…..which is why this stuff which is only about 25 cents to produce costs $15 a can).I do agree that moms shouldn’t get a lecture every time they ask for formula. They should be counseled on the risks to formula feeding once, sign a waiver and be done with it. This is the policy in hospitals that are certified Baby Friendly. Initially the Mayor had set a goal to have every hospital in the city certified by BFHI but it is a looooong, painstaking process, so my guess is that this program is a way to get some of those same policies in place until certification is possible. It needs some work, but the intentions are good.

  11. I am confused how taking the free samples of formula out of labor/delivery rooms would make a woman feel guilty about her choices. I remember being given the “breast feeding support bag” and thought it was such a nice gift until I got home and found it was full of formula. I felt patronized – that, who was I to think I could successfully nurish my baby? Shortly there after, I was buying formula to donate to the orphanage that my other son is from and was told that I better get ready to start buying it all the time because my milk was going to dry up any day now (by a man of course). Formula marketing is full of scare tactics and under cutting vulnerable mothers efforts to breastfeed. I think all the pressure should be taken out of the delivery room, there is enough in life as is.

  12. Wait, really? I should be counseled on the risk of formula feeding and SIGN a waiver before being allowed to feed my child? Yeah that’s not shaming at all.

  13. I’d like to politely disagree with the “women are smart” and “we can make our own choices” arguments.Hear me out.
    Yes, women who are educated, that reach out to forums of support, that do their research, that have the ability to contemplate the pros/cons of brestmilk vs. formula, that have a supportive partner, that have mothers/sisters/cousins/aunts that have been in the trenches with breastfeeding and know the perils and the heartbreak that goes along with being sole-source food service for an infant… those are the women that aren’t easily influenced by the “free” diaper bag & Welcome to Motherhood!!!! free formula samples…
    But what about the rest of the population? There’s far more women that have absolutely no idea the countless benefits of breastfeeding, that it’s free, that it’s not gross, that maybe you’ll surprise yourself, that maybe you can help another mother that’s struggling with the same choice one day… and hey, if it doesn’t work out or if it’s not for you, ask us and we’ll provide some formula samples. There are teen moms, low-income moms, moms that just haven’t seen breastfeeding… don’t they deserve an unbiased, un-marketed, un-corporate-incentivized post-labor chance at breastfeeding?
    I don’t see this as “big government” – and I’m a huge conservative anti-big-government-small business owner,blah blah blah. I don’t see it that way. This is a public health issue. This is an economic issue. This is about corporations running hospitals. This is everything that is wrong about marketing products to new mothers.
    Call me crazy. But I don’t think keeping samples behind the counter with the frozen maxi pads is going to hinder a single mom from choosing formula. But it might inspire them to choose breastmilk.
    And yeah. Nurses shouldn’t be lecturing new moms. And more LCs on staff would be a dream. And if the corporations started sponsoring nurse-education programs and paying for in-house LCs – and when that happens, maybe the argument will change.

  14. I think no matter what you choose, the ability to have both options clearly, and in an unbaised way, laid out in front of you.They gave out formula samples when I had my children, in ‘goody’ bags. Plastered all over the walls were the ‘Breast is Best’ signs. The nurses were very supportive and helpful with breastfeeding, there were breastfeeding clinics most days that you could attend to get help from the Health Unit and LC’s.
    And yet? When I got home and looked through all of the magazines that were given to me, and wanted to use the formula samples that were given to me, because breastfeeding was working but was absolutely painful torture for me (and no one knew why), I could find articles upon articles upon ads upon stories of HOW TO BREASTFEED. And HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR BREASTFED BABY IS EATING ENOUGH.
    I couldn’t not find one single solitary resource to tell me how much formula to feed my baby at their age. I found every comparable bit of information about BF’ing and how to resolve issues and how to latch and how to ‘measure’ success and how long to feed, but not a single fucking thing about how to actually go about making and feeding formula.
    I cried something awful trying to figure it out myself so that I would a) Feel less guilty about switching, and b) Not overfeed or underfeed my baby.
    Having the samples didn’t pressure me to stop breastfeeding, but not having all of the information I needed regardless of my choices was extremely hurtful.

  15. “Taking formula off your bedside table does nothing to change your ability to choose for yourself.” Nor does putting formula on your bedside table. It only makes it easier to choose formula. If you want laws to make making “bad” choices a little bit harder go ahead, but admit that’s what you’re advocating.

  16. This is a tricky issue. I think it depends what your baseline is. I think most of us can agree on the following:- education on the benefits of breastfeeding, and counseling on how it might be difficult at first should be provided or made easily available to every new mother, but should not be shoved down throats
    – access to LCs and breast pumps should be offered generously to all who want them
    – hospital staff should be supportive of the new mother’s choices (no formula-shaming, no shaming of desire to exclusively BF), provided there is no unusual medical issue
    and then I also think that access to formula should be offered generously.
    It may be that at one time the balance was tipped pro-formula at the hospitals because of the active marketing attempts of the formula corporations, but I do think that things have in many cases tipped the other way. I had my first 5 yrs ago at a NYC hospital, and formula was made available, but I was also guilted by the nurse when I wanted to give my screaming, unconsolable baby a bottle. At the same time, I didn’t know that I could ask for an LC (for free) until several days into my stay (had a c-sec). Then she told me I could get a pump. When I left I was given a huge bag of samples (definitely more than $1.50 worth, probably more like $40 worth), which I was grateful for a used tiny bit my bit over the next few months (because they were small bottles, I could do that, wouldn’t have been able to do it with a big tub). I ended up breastfeeding for 14 months, supplemented with formula, but it never got easy. I hated it, honestly.
    Ok, getting off topic. I think that Bloomberg’s intentions are good, but he is going about it in the wrong way. Don’t take away easy accesss to formula samples, but do be more open about breastfeeding resources (LCs, pumps). For those who say, you could always ask for what you want, I disagree. The first few days postpartum are so emotional, confused, physically difficult, etc. and for some it may be their first hospital stay and some are not as aware of confident in making their demands. I know I was.

  17. Shouldn’t have to hide any baby formula behind the nurses’ station. New moms should be presented with options and helped to proceed with any choice thay make! I am a nursing mom and this is a CHOICE I made! Starting to feel like government sticking their nose in everything.

  18. In bc I had the nurses refuse to give me formula and try to shame me, after my dd screamed with hunger for 24 hours. I finally had to really insist and make for the stores myself i went on to BF exclusively for 9 months. I will forever hate that nurse and how she treated me. No hidden cabinets, I am with awesome mom.

  19. Call me crazy, but I decided what I was going to do BEFORE I entered the hospital. The can of formula siting on the counter did not sway me either way.

  20. Excellent post!Wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about this program, as there’s been a lot of hyperbole in the media. (Shocking, right?)
    1. This a voluntary public health initiative, and hospitals decide for themselves whether or not they want to join. There is no government mandate here.
    2. For commentators who were concerned that mothers would be “lectured” every time they asked for a bottle, here’s the actual language in the policy. It’s very much about respecting a family’s choice and offering resources and support.
    “What do we tell our staff to do when mothers (families) request infant formula?
    While breastfeeding is healthier for both mothers and babies, staff must respect a mother’s infant feeding choice.
    Educating mothers and families about breastfeeding and providing encouragement and support, both prenatally and after birth, is the best way to ensure breastfeeding success in your hospital.
    While in the hospital your staff can:
    • Assess if breastfeeding is going well and encourage the mother to keep trying.
    • Provide education and support to mothers who are experiencing difficulties.
    • If the mother still insists on receiving formula, document it in the chart along with the reason and distribute only the amount of formula needed for the feeding.
    • Train staff in breastfeeding support (CLC, IBCLC) who can be available to assist new mothers at all times regardless of day, night or weekends.”

  21. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The lectures mothers get over using formula would only increase if they actually had to ask for it. Women have the right to make the choice that is best for them without getting lectured on how breast is best. I struggled for FOUR MONTHS feeding my daughter. I was miserable. She was miserable. But every time I talked about formula I got lectured by the lactation consultants. I got lectured from the doctors. I got lectured by nurses. She was my first. I didn’t know better than to say, “this isn’t good for us. it isn’t working”. With my second, breast feeding was easy for him. It was easy for me and I breast feed him happily for his first year. How I wish I could have enjoyed those first months with my daughter instead of being in pain, angry, and ready to cry because I felt pressured into doing something that would work for me. Why make the decision harder for women?

  22. I agree that women should not have to listen to a lecture or sign a waiver in order to get formula if they ask for it. Information can be OFFERED, but should not be forced on anyone, and the idea that you have to sign a waiver is just absurd and insulting. The proven differences between formula fed babies and breastfed babies are not so huge that this level of intervention is required. Removing the samples from the room, ok – providing information and support for breastfeeding from birth on, yes, please – but making women SIGN A WAIVER to get formula? That’s condescending. That’s treating adult women like children.

  23. @HygeiaKate I am not reassured by what you have posted. Note the language in bullet 3: “If the mother still insists on receiving formula…” (emphasis added). Really? I can’t just ask for formula? I have to be educated (and can’t decline to listen to the advice?)? I can’t “request” but must “insist?” Yikes.(Background: I gave birth in a hospital that’s literally nationally known for its LCs, made extensive use of their services both pre- and post-discharge, BF’ed my son until he self-weaned at 13 months, and also fed him formula — though I’d never imagined I would — which I started at the advice of the LCs using an SNS as my supply was low and persisted with when, despite my extensive pumping in addition to on-demand nursing, it never did rise enough to meet demand. I also got both formula samples and a manual breast pump as “gifts” through my hospital, without asking for either).

  24. Whoops — I tried to italicize the “still insists” in my quote above, but apparently these comments don’t incorporate tags. Thus the odd “emphasis added” in my remark — I was *trying* to add emphasis!

  25. Why not simply educate the woman on BOTH right at the start, ask what her intentions are, have her sign something that says, “Yes, I want to breastfeed” or “Yes, I want to formula-feed,” and “I have been informed of the risks and benefits of my choice” and be done with it? Anyway, I don’t think educating/lecturing/whatever you want to call it at 1 hour postpartum is going to do much good. The education needs to happen prenatally, with clear heads. Use the magic hour to encourage at least that first feed. I know someone who wasn’t planning to breastfeed until that first latch-on, and she went on to breastfeed for 3 years because “it was just so cute!” You never know.I do know that if a woman goes in uneducated or under-educated (as I did with my first baby), when the nurse suggests a bottle of formula because “you need to rest” and “his blood sugar might be low,” and you don’t know the damage that “just one bottle” can do, you trust the nurses and the hospital to do what’s right for your baby. And if they suggest (endorse) a particular brand and send you home with a box of ready-to-feed bottles, that’s what you’re going to continue to use if the lactation support is not on par with the ease of just letting someone else give the baby a bottle so you can rest.
    (Although, I was intelligent enough to realize that $14 a can for the identical Walmart brand is way smarter than $28 a can for the Enfamil.)
    If you go in already SURE that you want to breastfeed, it’s easy to ignore the formula. If you don’t, it’s easy to decide that formula will be just fine, thanks. If you decide to use formula, then it’s certainly easy enough to get. And I agree with the above poster who said that you do need information on how to properly prepare and feed the formula if you’re going to go that route.
    But if you, like me, go in figuring you’ll breastfeed and then get derailed by an unexpected c-section and major postpartum hemorrhage, and you don’t know that you might need to work for it a little bit, and the hospital nurses and doctors are telling you it’s just fine to give the baby formula and keep him in the nursery, then you’re going to end up formula feeding even though you didn’t really want to, and you’re going to spend the next two years crying about it. At least, I did. Fortunately, I was able to educate myself and go on to successfully breastfeed my second for two years and am now happily breastfeeding my third for going on 11 months and counting, but I still wish I could go back 5.5 years and tell my first-time-mom self what I’ve learned since. I often wonder how things would have been different if they’d just kept encouraging me to try one more feed, one more feed, we’ll help you, instead of giving me a breast pump and giving the baby bottles in the nursery.

  26. I came to comment but I think the other commenters have done so very eloquently. I see your point, but until we don’t have any judgment going on with the nursing staff (or rest of the staff, it’s not just the nurses), then you are not simply leveling the field.

  27. The risks of formula feeding? GMAFB. I’m all for breastfeeding (and am currently doing it myself) but this is a ridiculous statement.

  28. If we want to talk about increasing breastfeeding rates *at the margins* (which is pretty much where this discussion is because if you’re heck-bent on one way or the other, this doesn’t matter), then we really need to talk about WIC.WIC supplies the formula for free for lower SES women. If the woman breastfeeds, she can have a free pump and a small increase in her monthly calories (I think they add carrots and tuna/beans to her food stipend, but I’m not 100% sure about that). So, here we’re looking at FREE formula (not samples in the hospital but FREE for a YEAR) and trying to figure out how to increase breastfeeding rates in a population that historically has lower rates of breastfeeding. What you do in the hospital doesn’t matter if free formula is available for the entire year. Perhaps a bigger incentive to breastfeed (cash, I don’t know) is what is required.
    The WIC lady came to my hospital room all three times to find out if I wanted to enroll or continue my enrollment now that I was a mom. (Also, she asked if I wanted to apply for Medicaid since Medicaid pays for about 40% of births in my state.)

  29. Thank you MOXIE! Great backup to the mayor’s initiative.someone said that signing a form is shaming. I had to sign a form when I refused the eye goo, I wasn’t ashamed. I was making the best choice for my baby IN MY EYES. Choosing formula, not trying to BF at all, may be the best choice for some mothers IN THEIR EYES. Its not in the eyes of the hospital so you have to sign a waiver. NBD.

  30. Like @anon I had to wait until the nurses shift ended and walk down, with my drip stand, to the store of formula to get formula for my baby who had by then been screaming for more than 12 hours.I wanted to breast feed. I did go on to breast feed. Until she weaned herself.
    But due to losing so much blood I just had nothing in my breasts. Apparently the body reabsorbs liquid in desperate times.
    I tried to explain my baby was dehydrated and was told she was my first, and I knew nothing, and she wasn’t.
    So I got the formula, she had a lot! and she slept. First rest the other 30 women on the ward got too.
    The nurse tried to get colostrum out by placing empty, without a needle, injection needles on them and pulling the plunger to make a vacuum.
    32 stitches, a haemorrhage, a bruised by my bones and the ventouse screaming baby, a Rhogam injection in the sore behind and then that. Yikes. The Royal London is pro breast feeding and it’s good, but they won’t give out formula without a fight.
    Other friends at other hospitals describe a bizarre ” milk round” with nurses going round with the ready made formula in throw away bottle. That’s not ideal either.
    The same nurse also arranged breastfeeding support on the morning of our first day out of hospital and that led to complete success in terms of the feeding. Milk had come in by then.
    For me it was the wonderful support I got, at home, to help me nurse that made the breast feeding relationship. And that relationship was a beautiful one and a privilege. And free of charge, completely.
    I don’t think the hospital bit of formula had any real influence. Sometimes you need help. Formula is help. If you don’t need it, great!

  31. Part of the problem is you can never predict what kind of nurses or LCs you’re going to get – someone rabidly pro-BFing no matter if your baby is failing to thrive? Someone who thinks everyone could use some free formula and assumes folks know how to make choices and comparison shop? Or the rare person who actually respects a patient’s own preferences, free from judgment?Latch on NY rubs me the wrong way. My hospital nurses didn’t exactly show up at my bedside the minute I called them. I now appreciate the fact that nobody hid the formula samples from me, or made my baby wait 40 minutes until some employee found the stupid paperwork and the time to actually go fetch it for us.
    If Bloomberg really cares about breastfeeding, then instead of this window dressing he will make some Actual Substantive Changes like mandating NYC employers to provide pumping rooms and break time, and signing into law guaranteed paid maternity leave for all.

  32. Unless hospitals also have samples of different kinds of snacks available for all their patients who are of the solid-food eating stage, I don’t see why they should have samples of formula in rooms with newborns. It’s marketing, it’s not a public service.I think they should only have unbranded formula available in the hospital. The point is to get you hooked on their brand of formula instead of someone else’s brand. I know, I know, *you* aren’t influenced by marketing, but it does work on almost everyone else. That’s why the companies spend the money on it.

  33. Oh, God. This post vividly brought back the utter shame and despair I felt when I had to supplement with formula because I wasn’t producing enough milk the first week. The poster in my hospital room mocked me by telling me colostrum was enough for my baby. It wasn’t enough for my baby.Fortunately, I had a wonderful and sympathetic pediatrician who knew exactly what I was going through and assured me I wasn’t a failure as a mother because I couldn’t manage to feed my own child.
    Honestly, personally? It would have made me so much happier if there had been formula on the table. If anyone had told me that formula was okay. It did make me so much happier when the pediatrician said that.
    (My kid went on to BF for more than a year, after formula supplementing for about a week.)

  34. As someone said to me today, no where in the world does big business dominate over all else & masquerade as freedom than in the USA.THAT is why Bloomberg is right. He is taking away free advertising from the formula companies and giving back the right to women to make their own choice over whether to breastfeednor artificially feed. WITHOUT being brainwashed by free advertisement.

  35. NOWHERE else in the DEVELOPED world do governments allow formula companies to push their product in the way that it happens in the US.

  36. In the rest of the developed world, if a woman decides she wants to formula feed her child. She just asks the nurse to get her some, and she is given it. Bloomberg is NOT taking away choice. It is taking away the freedom of formula companies to brainwash and advertise for free.

  37. For those talking about how mothers will get lectured for not breastfeeding: this one’s a catch 22. They’ll get lectured for not giving their baby formula, lectured for giving their baby formula, lectured for having an epidural, lectured for NOT having an epidural, lectured about using birth control, lectured about NOT using birth control, lectured about working, lectured about NOT working . . . you get my drift. It has nothing to do with formula or breastfeeding, and nothing to do with the mother. It’s a broader cultural problem, and there’s no escaping it. The best you can hope for is to find a way to deal with it quickly and effectively, and to find ways to minimize how it gets under your skin.Actually, the very best you can hope for is that the process of becoming a parent makes you fierce, and that you don’t put up with that garbage anymore.

  38. I don’t know if this will add to the conversation but I didn’t expect there to be free *anything* in the hospital when I delivered. I was really grateful that they gave us a ton of diapers because we didn’t know how big he was going to be… and he came 3 weeks early… I didn’t notice any formula on the table but I think since it was a Baby Friendly Hospital they probably didn’t. I did however get formula in the mail that I threw out awhile later once I knew that my supply was fine and my son was thriving. I am torn on the issues in this post; I agree with a lot of what Jessica said. Talk about these things at prenatal appointments, discuss options, encourage her to give BFing a shot, and if it doesn’t work out, here is what she can do instead to make sure baby doesn’t starve, etc. PLENTY of support for whichever choice is made… and like birth plans we don’t know what’s going to happen at the actual birth; that is when support and a backup decision-maker can be key (like a doula could even advocate for BFing if wanted)

  39. How about real support for families and breastfeeding, like a decent maternity leave? Most / many women give up breastfeeding before 1 year and a lot of this has to do with the difficulty of working/pumping. Many women do not have supportive work environments or private offices and the stress of work/commuting does not encourage long-term breastfeeding, which is most beneficial if continued for at least 6 months!

  40. YOU may have had a horrific experience breastfeeding. I am sorry for that and sorry for any new Mom that has a shitty time trying to figure out feeding/sleeping/whatever– we all need more support and better information, etc. YOU may be completely unaffected by marketing (congratulations on being so intelligent and self-aware). YOU may find asking for a bottle of formula degrading or humiliating (really? it’s not condoms or crack.)However, your individual experience is not necessarily the basis for sound public policy. This is a public health issue. And public health policies have to be based on representative data, not a few anecdotes. Studies show higher breastfeeding rates are, in general, very good for babies health and very good for moms’ health (your starved baby and personal medical details notwithstanding). Studies also show that allowing formula companies to market their products in hospitals decreases the likelihood that women will breastfeed (an alternative to formula that has only a brief biological window to succeed before becoming impossible– think about it, formula companies will do everything they can to wreck that window so their product can triumph). So, public health policy, if actually aimed at, you know, promoting the public’s health, should do what it can to prevent formula companies from wrecking a woman’s chance to breast feed WHILE STILL PRESERVING FORMULA AS AN OPTION FOR WOMEN WHO CHOOSE IT. (Which has been said a gajillion times, already!)
    Formula can be a godsend. But in terms of public health policy, it should be seen as a back up, not a default first option. That’s all this new policy is saying.
    BTW, this whole ‘any choice a woman makes is awesome because it’s her choice and she chose it’ is bullshit. Sometimes people make less than optimal choices (lord knows I have). That’s ok. But acting like public policy should bend around to make people feel like “all choices are awesome! Yay for your choices ’cause you made a choice!” is not really a good use of public resources.
    /end rant

  41. This is fascinating. I live in a VERY pro-BF area, and the only free formula I ever received (or even SAW) was one can that came in the mail because I bought something at stupid Motherhood Maternity with a credit card.Not a single nurse even mentioned it to me and it definitely wasn’t in the room with us.
    The bigger problem is always going to be the nursing staff, I think. Most of mine were fantastic about helping us get started (and I was really not enthusiastic about bf but willing to give it a shot). But I had one who just kept telling me I was doing it all wrong and didn’t help either. If I had 3 or 4 of her, I’d have given up, I think.
    Another friend was not introduced to the SNS thingy at all and didn’t even know such a thing existed and had a much harder time than she needed to.
    It’s just crazy how everyone’s experience is so variable based on what kind of nursing staff they have. And it’s such a vulnerable time that any suggestion, either way, has a way bigger impact than it would normally.

  42. I live in an area where BF is not the norm! If fact in the city I live in I only know of three people who BF and stuck with it other than myself…one of which was my mother! The doctors here seem to know nothing about it either…I went to have my wisdom teeth out and the dentist told me if I was put to sleep I’d need to pump and dump for THREE days! I did not have them taken out but later learned that I could have nursed my son as soon as I woke up…However the LC in my hospital was AMAZING! She was so positive and spent so much time with my son and I! I got the free samples of formula and ended up donating them! But I will say I was VERY tempted to use some and had my DH not been so supportive, I probably would have gave in. My hospital did NOT put formula in my room and I’m not sure if I would have been given any but I asked for samples “just in case”…I live in Ohio in a very low income city, most mothers here are on WIC and very few breastfed.

  43. It’s DISASTROUS to me the way that formula companies have co-opted the term “choice” and used it to convince women that they’re giving them a choice when all they’re doing is trying to take a choice away. But the people who KNOW BETTER know exactly what predators they are. The people who take their side either have a vested interest in them, or haven’t done an ounce of research on this. Thanks for including PhD in Parenting’s link. I also wrote about this from the Privilege perspective: http://thefeministbreeder.com/you-think-women-arent-vulnerable-to-marketing-check-your-privilege

  44. Possibly the solution to this problem is to address it before a baby is born during prenatal care. That way when a mother delivers her baby (and is tired, hormonal, and crazy emotional)the appropriate support system is already in place and she is just simply being taken care of.(I nursed both of my babies and delivered them in a “must ask” hospital)

  45. If only there was a free sample of breast milk prepared for my newborn baby instead of formula, while I was in recovery from an emergency c-section, I would have felt I had a choice; formula was given to my child without my consent. How can that be allowed? Where was a LC to voice support of my choice to breastfeed? I really appreciate your blog post! Well said.

  46. I agree with the point above that one’s individual experience cannot be the basis of a public health policy, but it’s precisely because of my of my personal experience that I can’t support the methods that Bloomberg is employing here (even though I support the overall goal).I delivered twice in NYC hospitals and, the first time, got so many lectures on breastfeeding from nurses–something that I was determined to do anyway–but so little actual support (delivered on a Friday; no lactation consultants in the hospital until Monday) that I made myself crazy worrying that I was starving my newborn. I did take the formula samples the hospital gave me, but I was terrified to use them because of all those lectures mentioned above.
    I had quite a few dark nights of the soul when breastfeeding seemed not to be working and my baby seemed to be hungry when I just didn’t know what to do (and my insurance company didn’t cover LCs, as they didn’t cover breast pumps, because I was the spouse of the covered employee rather than the employee itself).
    Eventually, having the formula was a godsend (although I did not use the brand given to me by the hospital because my pediatrician recommended something else). Imagine being in the same position and not having either the formula or the support to figure out breastfeeding. Is there anything worse?
    I don’t see anything in Bloomberg’s program that mentions supporting nursing mothers (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2012/pr013-12.shtml), just lots of talking at them about things that they SHOULD do. And that’s not cool.
    Want to encourage breastfeeding? Make sure nursing mothers have ready access to lactation consultants and support. Make sure they feel confident about what they are doing. Don’t just tell them what they ought to do.

  47. Why are so many of you offended by this? Taking formula off the visible shelves at hospitals would not be done to make moms feel ashamed. It is simply doing as the article suggests – stopping formula companies from marketing their products in an unethical way – to vulnerable parents. Whether you “believe” it or not, the marketing of formula to new parents is not ethical. It sways their decisions on how they will feed their babies. Research has shown this. Research has also shown (time and time again) that breastfeeding is the optimal feeding method. This fact is no longer up for debate. If you do not “believe” this either, then you must not understand research methods and results. So, should society stop trying to promote the optimal feeding method that would improve overall health and well-being of society to prevent mothers from feeling ashamed? If you had no other choice but to formula feed, then fine. We all understand. It happens. There is no need to feel ashamed, but there is a need to promote breastfeeding and to stop the unethical marketing of infant formula. It would improve our society’s health. And, believe it or not, formula feeding does have health risks for both mother and child – another fact. Increased prevalence of childhood cancers, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and the list goes on. I’m not making this up. And if you weren’t aware of these risks, maybe it would have helped you to make a more informed decision if you had signed a waiver explaining all of this before choosing that can of infant formula at you hospital bedside.

  48. Just a comment to Carrie on the WIC point – I am a WIC mom and the best benefit was getting food for ME the entire first year I was breastfeeding. It helped tremendously in our monthly budget.If I wasn’t nursing, or stopped, I would only get food for 6 months (and formula).
    Plus, their support is phenomenal and they even laud me for nuring a toddler. It’s a great program and I’d be sad to see it lose funding. But ANYWAY.
    Great post, Moxie! 🙂

  49. I totally support this. As a mom who needed formula for my first after some setbacks and exclusively nursing my 2nd. I know its there. I don’t need it sitting on my table. I think the MAJORITY of women don’t have trauma or low milk supply but just need support. That said, I was never pressured either way. So that’s important too. Let women feed their babies as they see fit. Everyone knows formula is an option. Formula companies don’t need to be PAYING to be sitting in your hospital room as advertising.I don’t think he’s saying, “If you ask for formula you will get lectured.” I’m not sure how other hospitals or providers work, but at my hospital, a nurse talked to me prior to my delivery about my wishes for feeding and care. So, I suppose if you are a woman who knows ahead of time that you don’t want formula or that you don’t want lectures… you can make this clear.
    I totally agree with the above poster by also making donor breast milk an option. And it doesn’t need to be sitting in my hospital room either. Just an option. I brought donor milk from the denver milk banks and a prescription from our pediatrician with my 2nd delivery and kept in the hospital fridge.

  50. @Anonforthis, if your point is that comments from a convenience sample of AskMoxie readers don’t form a good basis for public policy then sure, I’ve got no argument with that.Taking your point that “public health policies have to be based on representative data, not a few anecdotes. Studies show higher breastfeeding rates are, in general, very good for babies health and very good for moms’ health,” I’ve got one counterpoint and one question. The counterpoint is that social science and public health researchers are increasingly recognizing the value of ethnographic accounts — anecdotes, if you will — in understanding what people actually do and how they actually make decisions (plenty of well-intentioned public policies have, after all, failed on exactly this point). Dr. Linda Burton’s work (and no, I am not she) offers an interesting example; see, e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788951/?tool=pubmed for an example (not of breastfeeding, not her area). And my question is simply — is this policy the most (or simply among the more) sensible use of public resources to promote/support breastfeeding? I’m entirely serious. Because, sure, I agree, it’s great if more women choose to breastfeed. And honestly, I don’t know enough about this policy in theory or practice to evaluate it. But of all the things we could do, I have to wonder if this is the one that’s most worthwhile …

  51. It really seems to me that we’re having a discussion (or argument, depending on your POV) that’s all about pitting moms against moms and choices against choices. I agree that as a public health measure, we need to promote breastfeeding. I agree that some people get lectures when what they need is help feeding their babies. I agree that because these events are happening at unbelievably important and exhausting moments in our lives, and because these decisions so loaded with values about what’s best for moms and babies, and because we all care about them so passionately, people are particularly vulnerable and freaked about by pressure from (from formula companies’ marketing and overzealous nurses and lactation consultants alike).But I don’t believe that this debate is what really matters or will really make a difference in supporting people’s choices to breastfeed. Health insurance coverage for LC support will encourage women to give breastfeeding a real shot. Real maternity leave options will make a difference in encouraging women to continue breastfeeding past the first few weeks. Access to designated pumping rooms (instead of the supply closets in which I pumped for several months) will allow women to keep breastfeeding once they return to work.
    Infant formula samples? Really? I don’t love them for all of the good reasons mentioned above, but why is this what we’re focusing our energies on? Why not tackle something substantial, rather than symbolic? Why do we always get distracted from the big, structural questions? I know why politicians don’t tackle them. But we’re not politicians.

  52. Wow I LOOOVE the recommendation that they fund more lactation consultants!! The lc at my hospital spent all of 2 seconds with me and seemed so rushed she didn’t answer my questions. The formula, however was right there 24/7 in the room fridge, in the gift basket, and even in my babies bassinet!!

  53. I totally disagree. This is NOT about breastfeeding. Just so you know, I nursed 7 babies. 4 of them for over a year, the next two for two years and the last one for over 3 years. So you are really preaching to the choir. I never used formula. Ever. HOWEVER, I find it disgusting that the free choice is being taken away from the women. Rather than lock up the formula, how about having a lactation consultant available? I live outside of NY. Our hospital is so pro-nursing. I had a lactation consultant visit me every day. You were allowed to return after the birth for help, and trust me, even though I was a “pro”, I still had issues with each baby. I took the hospital up on their offer. Since I was a nursing mom, I got a different diaper bag from the formula moms. It had other items it in for the nursing mom; can’t remember what.Basically, NYC is telling women that you can decide to abort a baby. You can even have public schools offer abortions to teenage girls. But formula, THAT needs to be locked up. Why not have nursing classes before birth? Our hospital offers that. Information is also given out at prenatal visits to the doctor and during Lamaze classes. There are tons of opportunities to get the information out there.
    Next question .. how would you feel about hospitals refusing to give epidurals unless a woman is screaming in pain? Maybe they should make it a certain threshold, or better yet, why not just refuse medication during labor unless you have a section? We all know how bad epidurals are for labor, for bonding, and for nursing after birth. Where will you draw the line. Just because you are pro-nursing does not mean this is a good idea. It means you are allowing the government to make decisions for you. What if the next decision is not one you agree with?

  54. Um, sorry. If you have a baby, and NEVER want to put your boob in its mouth, that’s your right — and without getting a lecture from some lactivists. I’m OK with formula not being free in the hospital, it’s not like any other services are. However, it’s your baby and your choice on how to feed it. This mandated lecture by zealots eerily reminds me of the lectures that women in some states have to get about adoption before they can get an abortion. Keep the state out of personal choices. Your reproduction is no one else’s business.

  55. I remember thinking formula companies are like drug dealers. They wanna hook you up. I was getting tons of formula in my mail when my son was born. They know..oh u use it once for free, then u get used to it and have to go to store buy more.So im proud to say that with combinations of luck and hard work my son has never had a bottle of formula in his life. And giving he is drinking regular milk now, he never will 🙂
    Also I agree 100% with one reader here that it wouldnt hurt to put breast pumps next to the bed

  56. Amen @alex!! “I don’t believe that this debate is what really matters or will really make a difference in supporting people’s choices to breastfeed. Health insurance coverage for LC support will encourage women to give breastfeeding a real shot. Real maternity leave options will make a difference in encouraging women to continue breastfeeding past the first few weeks. Access to designated pumping rooms (instead of the supply closets in which I pumped for several months) will allow women to keep breastfeeding once they return to work… why is [infant formula] what we’re focusing our energies on? Why not tackle something substantial, rather than symbolic? Why do we always get distracted from the big, structural questions?”Re: Why are so many of us offended by this?
    Singling out formula is stigmatizing for new mothers that choose not to breastfeed, and it’s made even more difficult for families and babies when baby food is stored under lock and key. All kinds of products are promoted in hospitals, including medical services, pharmaceuticals, food, candy, prosthetics, nearly countless products and services under one roof in order to serve medical needs, not all of which are controlled or require “proof” of medical necessity.
    The actual implementation of the policy is what is going to make or break the initiative. If the purpose is to track what parent chooses what feeding method and why, that’s pretty innocuous and it makes sense from a data-capturing and scientific/sociological perspective. If the purpose is to coerce parents into breastfeeding by shaming mothers and “educating” them into making the desired choices, that’s bad news, bad policy, and we need to protest this loudly. Hungry babies are designed to inspire anxiety and urgency in parents. Making them wait while the nurse walks to the pharmacy and signs out a bottle of formula while the baby is crying is unconscionable.
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/07/31/latch-on-nyc-or-else/

  57. At the end of the day, most (keyword there) of the critics of this initiative are just being reactionary and ego-centric.The healthcare system is not forcing anything on women, it is not pressuring mothers – it is making a desperate plea with mothers. Just like they’re making a desperate plea for people to lose weight, to live an active lifestyle to drink in moderation, to quit smoking. I understand there’s always someone who thinks they’re better than you for choosing breastfeeding, but that’s not most people, and it’s definitely not most healthcare professions. For the most part, if you feel pressure, or guilt or shame those are YOUR feelings.
    Maybe some healthcare providers are endlessly lecturing new mothers or refusing to give formula when it is asked for – they should not be behaving this way. That issue needs to be addressed, too.
    In general, breastfeeding advocates are not “lecturing” you. They are simply trying to stress the overwhelming importance of breastfeeding to the majority of people who don’t know, don’t understand or don’t want to bother. But of course, try to tell someone something they don’t want to hear and you’ll be accused of “lecturing” them. But they are HEALTHCARE providers, it’s their job. Would you not want their honest, informative professional opinion if you were facing a question of whether to have surgery or to go on medication? Of course you would. But nobody wants a medical opinion if it involves them having to do something they don’t feel like doing: exercise, healthy eating, and breastfeeding included.
    Also, this initative is NOTHING. Look at countries that have embraced the World Health Organisation’s code for formula marketing. Midwives are not allowed recommend formula feeding, or formula brands or even show pregnant women how to make up a bottle (they can show a new mother upon that mother’s decision to use formula after the birth of her baby). Formula companies are not allowed advertise breast milk replacement formulas, they are not allowed offer free samples, discounts, promotions or coupons. You have a general coupon or discount to use at your supermarket or pharmacy? It can’t be applied to infant formula.
    Requiring a mother to request formula and sign a waiver is *nothing*. And it’s totally normal for a hospital to have you sign something if you’re going against medical advice, which is exactly what you’re doing with giving infant formula (it happened to me once during my pregnancy and I opted to take the medical advice. Which I would have done anyway as it was MEDICAL ADVICE.)

  58. @hush when you write “If the purpose is to track what parent chooses what feeding method and why, that’s pretty innocuous and it makes sense from a data-capturing and scientific/sociological perspective,” well, yes and no. Ethical research on human beings (subjects) generally involves obtaining the informed consent of those subjects. Use of aggregate, unidentifiable secondary data (e.g. from administrative records) may not, but a lot of thought goes into what qualifies. Use of identifiable microdata from government records is a pretty involved and secure process; see e.g. http://mnrdc.umn.edu/gettingstarted .It definitely isn’t routinely considered OK to implement a policy and track results in the name of data collection/research.

  59. @Alexicographer – “Ethical research on human beings (subjects) generally involves obtaining the informed consent of those subjects.” Of course! 😉 Such research could be done in a way that passes HIPAA muster. But that’s probably not what’s going on with Latch on NY. My intuition is that the sole purpose of the initiative is to coerce mothers into breastfeeding by making the choice to formula feed more onerous.

  60. I am interested in the argument/ perception that “government is sticking their noses into everything” given the overwhelming evidence that the institutions which control our lives in so many ways, rarely with our best interests at heart, are corporations.Laws can help rein them in. As one tiny example, most people would agree, I hope, that laws against, say, ad campaigns for cigarettes targeting children and specific racial/ socio-economic groups are reasonable.
    There are valid arguments to be made against Moxie’s position here, but a knee-jerk reaction against “government” is not among them. Last I checked, most people owe quite a lot to government “intervention.”

  61. 1) The debate between free formula samples is a bit of a red herring. Real support for mothers and babies in the form of better maternity/family leave, better childcare options, accessible health care, and support for pumping in the workplace are just the first things that come to mind when I think about what needs improvement for better maternal and child health. Not shaming mothers for anything and everything and not leaving them to figure the whole thing out on their own, and tangible investments in children’s health and development are obviously pie in the sky.2) I’m shocked at the intensity of the controversy in this thread. I’m really surprised.
    3) Sorry guys, but breastfeeding is objectively healthier for babies and cheaper for mothers (it’s also easier for mothers, but that’s not so objective…). These are facts, not issues.
    4) For those babies who do need it, formula is a miracle but most babies don’t need it. Mothers are terrified that they won’t be able to breastfeed but low supply is pretty rare, and most other common fears and obstacles are not hard to sort out with proper education and support.
    5) Formula companies want your money, they don’t care whether you’re informed and they don’t care whether you have a choice.
    6) I don’t understand why this has turned into a question of free formula on your bedside table vs. formula under lock and key. Surely that’s a false set of choices.

  62. If Bloomberg really wanted to make sure all new mothers breastfeed their children for the first 6 months of their lives, he would pass a law for all employers in NYC to provide paid maternity leave for at least 12 weeks.FMLA only guarantees unpaid maternity leave for women working in businesses of certain sizes (I forget the minimum # of employees the business must have, but FMLA is by no means universally available). Women who must work to support their kids and who do not have paid leave — long enough to establish a nursing relationship and get over any nursing issues — will be using formula. Women who can take the financial hit or who have lots of resources in most cases will breastfeed. This is about money, not choice.
    A single data point, but illuminating: One of the women on the cleaning staff at my work was back on the job after 1 week postpartum. Think she was nursing for that week? Think she was pumping three times a day for a year? No to both.
    Of course Bloomberg wouldn’t want to do anything that would drive businesses out of NYC. So, instead, we get “no formula by the hospital beside table.”

  63. I think there’s a huge problem in how the Latch On NYC initiative is being portrayed in the media and understood by many people in the comments here. Here’s a link to the NYC.gov page about it (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/ms/latchonnyc.shtml) Please notice the following excerpts:”Latch On NYC is a citywide initiative to support mothers who ***choose to breastfeed *** and limit practices that interfere with that choice…. Hospitals joining Latch On NYC have agreed to:
    “Enforce the New York State hospital regulation to not supplement ***breastfeeding infants*** with formula unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s medical chart
    “Limit access to infant formula ***by hospital staff***
    “Discontinue the distribution of promotional or free infant formula
    “Prohibit the display and distribution of infant formula advertising or promotional materials in any hospital location”
    The whole initiative is written like this, with an emphasis on the policy’s being directed at mothers who have chosen to breastfeed and how staff deal with them — NOT with formula-feeding mothers. The only thing it says about them is this:
    “Mothers who decide to formula feed and cannot afford formula will be referred to WIC (Women, Infants and Children), a food and nutrition program for low-income families.” (Initiative description link)
    I read elsewhere (I’m sorry to say I don’t remember where, but I believe it was also a NYC.gov site) that mothers who choose to formula feed will be supported in their decision too. In other words, the so-called “lectures” are for women who already identify as choosing to breastfeed, and designed to get them talking through the issue rather than turning to formula as the first or only solution. The “lectures” are support for breastfeeding mothers, nothing more; the limits on the number of bottles, who can get them, and what they have to do to get them, again, are for breastfeeding mothers.
    I’m not positive, but it looks to me as if there will be no actual changes for formula feeding mothers other than formula not already being in the room — I’m fairly certain that if you identify as formula-feeding and ask for it, they’ll just give it to you. If you live in NYC and plan to formula feed, you’ll have a few months to ascertain if that’s true. If it’s not, or if you think you want some back-up formula as a breastfeeding mother without going through the hassle, you may want to put some formula in your labor bag along with baby’s first outfit.

  64. I think there’s a huge problem in how the Latch On NYC initiative is being portrayed in the media and understood by many people in the comments here. Here’s a link to the NYC.gov page about it (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/ms/latchonnyc.shtml) Please notice the following excerpts:”Latch On NYC is a citywide initiative to support mothers who ***choose to breastfeed *** and limit practices that interfere with that choice…. Hospitals joining Latch On NYC have agreed to:
    “Enforce the New York State hospital regulation to not supplement ***breastfeeding infants*** with formula unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s medical chart
    “Limit access to infant formula ***by hospital staff***
    “Discontinue the distribution of promotional or free infant formula
    “Prohibit the display and distribution of infant formula advertising or promotional materials in any hospital location”
    The whole initiative is written like this, with an emphasis on the policy’s being directed at mothers who have chosen to breastfeed and how staff deal with them — NOT with formula-feeding mothers. The only thing it says about them is this:
    “Mothers who decide to formula feed and cannot afford formula will be referred to WIC (Women, Infants and Children), a food and nutrition program for low-income families.” (Initiative description link)
    I read elsewhere (I’m sorry to say I don’t remember where, but I believe it was also a NYC.gov site) that mothers who choose to formula feed will be supported in their decision too. In other words, the so-called “lectures” are for women who already identify as choosing to breastfeed, and designed to get them talking through the issue rather than turning to formula as the first or only solution. The “lectures” are support for breastfeeding mothers, nothing more; the limits on the number of bottles, who can get them, and what they have to do to get them, again, are for breastfeeding mothers.
    I’m not positive, but it looks to me as if there will be no actual changes for formula feeding mothers other than formula not already being in the room — I’m fairly certain that if you identify as formula-feeding and ask for it, they’ll just give it to you. If you live in NYC and plan to formula feed, you’ll have a few months to ascertain if that’s true. If it’s not, or if you think you want some back-up formula as a breastfeeding mother without going through the hassle, you may want to put some formula in your labor bag along with baby’s first outfit.

  65. @Hush — thanks. I couldn’t tell from your comment whether you were saying “Oh heck, implement it and track the results” or something else … something of a sore point (human subjects research, *not* your comment!) with me as you may have surmised. Actually I’d guess that at the aggregate level (not requiring consent) such a policy change might indeed generate informative data, but obviously not OK to do that (change the policy) with data collection as the intent!@Maria I’d guess that BFing isn’t generally cheaper, unfortunately, after factoring the cost of lost work time, a real problem for many women since, as noted, infrastructure (time, space) often is not available in the workplace. (I myself had great infrastructure — flexible work schedule, private office with actual — gasp! — walls and a door, but still had far worse supply issues pumping away from my baby than I did nursing him or pumping in his presence, and the $300 I spent for the pump would have paid for a good bit of formula. I’m not complaining, happy to have bought it, but had my household budget been more sparse, it’s not obvious that was the better use of funds.)

  66. I had two babies over the past three years, and never once did it feel like formula was forced upon me or even encouraged… In fact, I was asked once if my plan was to breastfeed, and the staff followed through on guiding me through the process. It helped that directly after birth (and confirming the baby was alive and breathing) we got one hour of family bonding time (even after the second was born, with the two year old in the room) before they cleaned the baby up and administered the various vaccinations/meds… And I roomed in with the baby during postpartum. Do they really enforce it at other hospitals? If anything, I think the real challenge happens when moms reenter the workforce. I’m a medical surgical nurse, and more often than not, I’m so busy during a 12 hour shift that I usually don’t end up pumping AT ALL. It’s a wonder that I still have milk left. Management also makes me feel guilty for trying to use any of my state-mandated 15 minute breaktimes to pump.

  67. Where we agree: there needs to be a more balanced conversation/education about the importance of breastfeeding. There also needs to be more consultants available for lactation questions and overall newborn care. And, most of all, parents should have more say and more choice in how the hospitals treat their newborns. Absolutely!Where we disagree: mothers should not have to ASK for formula and FEEL LIKE A LESSER PARENT BY HAVING TO ASK when in the hospital. As a mother who very desperately wanted to breastfeed, who wanted to provide her premature child any nutrition she could, I was devastated when I couldn’t breastfeed or pump. The last thing I needed at that moment to feel like any less of a mother would be if I had to ask the nursing staff for formula or be subjected to some kind of educational lecture about the importance of breastfeeding.
    All mothers, regardless of their birth experience are in an incredibly vulnerable position in those first minutes, hours, days after birth. We must be able to strike a balance that allows mothers access to the tools/resources they need to start off right without being made to feel like they are making a wrong or bad choice. Only a mother knows what’s best for her and her child.

  68. @annie said – “There are valid arguments to be made against Moxie’s position here, but a knee-jerk reaction against “government” is not among them.”I can appreciate your point of view, @annie. “Latch on NY” has certainly created some strange bedfellows – it’s not often I, a left-liberal feminist, find myself in agreement with the Tea Party, but here I sit.
    I’m opposed because Latch on NY violates the First Amendment liberty of the patient not to be compelled to listen to government-ordered messages, at least within certain conditions, such as the face-to-face intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship.
    The mandatory talk about why breastfeeding is best is problematic, for the exact same reasons that the abortion speeches that have made headlines lately are problematic. It forces a one-sided message down the throat of a female (as always) patient, in a vulnerable position, presumed not to know any better or to be able to make decisions. Of course, we are not hearing any First Amendment complaints because the compelled speakers–the medical professionals–are on board with giving these speeches about breastfeeding, in contrast to their views about ultrasounds and the abortion-suicide link.
    There also is a problem of one-sidedness; while breastfeeding may be the better option, the alternative is not affirmatively harmful to a child and should not be presented to patients as such. This liberty recognizes that there is a second party to doctor-patient conversations whose First Amendment interests should not be disregarded, particularly in a way that assumes lack of agency.
    Recognizing this liberty still leaves it to be balanced against the government’s interests in promoting public health positions. But it seems that there will be ways for government to gets its message (whether about abortion or the benefits of breast milk) across without compelling participation in a one-sided conversation while a patient is a captive audience who often cannot simply leave the room or the hospital (insurance won’t cover the hospital stay unless it is of a certain minimum length.) I hope that helps clarify the position of left-liberal progressives who are opposed to this initiative while having no general animus towards governmental intervention.

  69. Formula is NOT food. It’s a chemically engineered, synthetic food-like product that is intended to feed a baby in a medical emergency. It is not food nor should it be given the equal playing field as breastmilk. Human donor milk is available if you ask for that too, but women are programmed to know that formula is the only alternative. You wouldn’t give a baby cow human milk just like you wouldn’t give a human baby dog’s milk. So why are we so okay with giving human babies synthetic formula made from cow’s milk? It simply disgusts me the way it is marketed as an alternative. Babies need unrestricted access to the breast (not a pacifier or bottle) and a mother who has support to get her through the first few weeks and months. It’s hard work but totally worth it. 99% of women in other countries that support breastfeeding can breastfeed. It’s a public health issue. The health of our babies depends on educating mothers about the dangers of formula (think of it as a prescription drug without the warning pamphlet attached). As for the baby getting enough: the first few days the baby hardly gets anything and THAT’S OKAY. Colostrum is all they need and if they are given unrestricted access and mom is getting enough support milk will come in in a few days. Women don’t even know that usually and they expect their milk to just be there. It’s not. It takes work. A baby is born with the stomach the size of an almond. I promise you they don’t need even a 4 ounce bottle of formula filling their gut with sugar to feed all the pathogens they come in contact with in a hospital. They need breastmilk that binds to the pathogens and prevents them from intruding in their guts.

  70. @Grace: Do you have the study to substantiate your statement that “99% of women in other countries that support breastfeeding can breastfeed?” I disagree with both the substance and tone of your comment, but we’re all allowed our opinions.

  71. Great post Moxie! I primarily breastfed, but pumping never worked for me. My life was much easier when I realized it wouldn’t kill my baby to have a bottle of formula once a week so I could go to yoga. 🙂 Baby formula is a wonderful thing for many reasons, but it shouldn’t be presented as the best option just because companies pay a lot of money to have it presented as such by medical professionals.

  72. I struggled to breastfeed initially because of un-diagnosed thrush and my daughter’s un-diagnosed milk allergy, basically making the first few months of nursing awful. Thankfully, we got through it, and went on to have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship for 2+ years. I’m grateful that I worked through the difficulties, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the following: a husband who stood behind my decision to keep going 100%, a dear friend who helped me through the tough times by sharing her own experiences with me, a long maternity leave (most of it unpaid)that allowed me to work the kinks out, and a couple of really good medical professionals who knew their stuff when it came to breastfeeding (there were many who didn’t).The best thing that I did was do some reading before giving birth (“So that’s what they’re for” by Janet Tamaro is a great one), so that when some of the less informed medical professionals in the hospital suggested that I give my baby a pacifier and formula the first night, I could confidently ignore their advice and know that I was doing the right thing putting my daughter on the breast. Sites like this one and kellymom.com helped me through the initial first weeks and months. If you’re not properly informed and supported, it’s easy to understand how women are swayed by fear and as Moxie said, the marketing in the hospital.

  73. What’s disappointing to me is how quickly the comments descended into Mommy Wars nastiness. Moxie shared an opinion on a new public health initiative – it’s her opinion to have and to share. I found this site a few months ago, looking for some thoughts or commiserations on a kid that won’t sleep. Said kid is a few months older and still isn’t the greatest sleeper, but we’re coping. One of the things that I found unique were Moxie’s readers, who were often so supportive of both Moxie and the parents who asked for advice. But this? This is ridiculous. Parenting is hard. There are thousands of decisions you make along the way that affect your child. Yes, breast is best (even those evil formula makers say it) and it’s beneficial to both mother and baby. It can be easy for some, and very, very difficult for others. But equating formula to poison, manufacturers to ”predators,” or the not-so-subtle insinuation that if you don’t breast feed, you’re not willing to do what’s best for your child, or you’re just plain stupid? C’mon….

  74. @Susan Case, I actually take issue with your characterization of socialism. I am an American living in Denmark, a social democratic country. My experience (anecdotal, to be sure) with the nurses who helped me learn to nurse my daughter was wonderful. They helped me from the first moment, had me pump to try to get my milk going (I had none for 4 days), and put a feeding tube through my baby’s nose to her stomach, so they could give her formula while she nursed, so she could get used to nursing while not starving. And every tiny drop I’d pumped went in that tube, too.I’m afraid people only hear the scary stories from Canada and Britain about understaffed hospitals, long waits even for emergency care, etc. It’s not all like that, and I want people to know that.

  75. Here in New Zealand, formula is strongly discouraged in hospitals and mothers are instead strongly encouraged/lectured to breast feed. Youwill be given formula for your baby if you insist (and sometimes this has to be very strongly), and this is usually given in a syringe (without needle). I have however heard stories of formula and bottles needing to be snuck into the mothers room. We are not required to sign a waiver, but nurses are not allowed to even tell you what brand of formula is used by the hospital.I had to deliver my fairly large baby by emergency c-section and my milk did not come in for 5 days. By day 3 my baby was not only starving from colostrum alone, he was also dehydrated (stopped peeing and had wrinkly skin). On day 4 the nurse finally relented and gave him 10mls of formula. I was given numerous lectures from various nurses and they told me that he wasn’t crying from hunger, I just had too many visitors. Yes I supplemented during the first month, until the littl dude decided he would only take breastmilk and by then it was ok. I hated breast feeding but continued until he was weaned at 12months. Those few first days in the hospital were some of the worse and most confusing of my life.
    Some other poster said that mothers are made to feel guilty about everything and I agree. Especially new mothers who have hormones, stitches and a whole bunch of emotional and physical issues to deal with, as well as the enormity of responsibility for new life. I think we should just cut each other some slack. Fine, encourage breast feeding but a waiver form?

  76. I’m in Canada, and the hospital where I had my daughter was very supportive of breastfeeding. I saw no formula anywhere. I had planned to breastfeed all along so this suited me fine.HOWEVER when i got home a nurse suggested i supplement with formula because my daughter had lost a tiny bit of her birthweight more than she was supposed to (She was 8.9 pounds to start). This in combination with a sleep deprived mother being told the formula was easier and might help her sleep more caused me to supplement a fair bit in the beginning.
    This led to the inability to properly regulate my milk supply. I couldn’t get a handle of breast-feeding for so long cause the schedule was so “off” from the supplementing.
    So making formula an easy choice, can be problematic in more ways than one. And not making it so “easy” and interchangeable might actually help mothers who think they “Can’t” breastfeed or that breatfeeding is “hard” due to oversupply issues etc.

  77. I had no problem asking for the formula. I gave birth in a “baby friendly” hospital and so the formula was not given. One had to request it. Not too big a deal, except for one nurse that gave me the stink-eye. She can eat it, though. But I think this is a fine solution. Curious to see if it actually makes a difference, though.

  78. I press the clerk said the Juicy Couture clothes into the water of the pen and water clean. Take it out and find that more white than before, and I was wondering if the Juicy Couture clothes dry meet to become yellow But the fact that I think are wrong, when get dry after the Juicy Couture clothes, find it really completely before more than white.Readmore:
    http://www.backtothebestbooks.com/forum/topic/44221?replies=1#post-50392
    http://pennystocks.socialparadox.com/blog/read/333375/the-juicy-couture-handbags–could-be-bought-online

  79. Choosing not to breast feed soluhd be an informed choice and so many women do not get told what the risks of cormula feeding a child are. If you could feed your child the best most nutrient rich organic foods for free or feed them mcdonald’s and pay for it, who in their right mind would choose mcdonald’s? Compiled by Motherwear:Breastmilk contains every nutrient in best proportions for perfect growth of brain and nervous system Taurine, an amino acid abundant in HUMAN milk aids in infant brain development & maturationBreastmilk is easily digested – no worries about milk allergies Nursing provides for optimum jaw, mouth & speech development Breastmilk provides immunity against viral diseases, respiratory infections & bacterial diseases Breastfed babies have fewer colds, ear infections, respiratory problems & digestive complaints Breastfed babies are less likely to succumb to SIDS Breastfed babies are protected against food allergies, dermatitis & chronic liver disease Breastfed babies have improved visual development Breastfed babies are at reduced risk of developing childhood leukemia Children who receive ANY formula in the first six months are at greater risk of developing asthma Babies who receive ANY formula in the first 3 weeks of life have twice the rate of minor neurological dysfunction Among kids aged 8 to 18, those who were breastfed have significantly higher IQ, reading comprehension and math ability Adults who were breastfed have lower cholesterol levels, diabetes, ulcerative colitis & Crohn’s disease Adults who were breastfed are less likely to develop breast cancer Benefits to Mother – Compiled by Motherwear Breastmilk is always ready – no measuring, mixing, or sterilizing bottles Breastmilk is always the right temperature Breastfeeding saves time Breastfeeding saves money – no formula or bottles to buy Fewer doctor visits, fewer prescription and hospitalization expenses. Fewer stained clothes Breastfeeding creates a powerful emotional bond with your baby Breastfeeding moms know they’re doing the very best for their babies Breastfeeding speeds recovery from pregnancy and delivery Oxytocin, a hormone produced in response to sucking, stimulates a sense of well-being Breastfeeding delays return of menstruation Breastfeeding reduces maternal risk of developing breast cancer Breastfeeding protects mothers from ovarian cancer, urinary tract infections and may even help prevent osteoporosis Breastfeeding speeds mother’s metabolism and burns an extra 500 calories a day Benefits to Society – Compiled by Motherwear Reduces health care costs Reduces maternal absenteeism among working mothers Breastfeeding creates a healthier workforce for the future Benefits to the Environment – Ross Laboratories / David Mager Motherwear’s efforts to influence more moms to breastfeed their babies longer have a beneficial impact on our environment too. Because our clothing and support make breastfeeding easier, Motherwear custo mers nurse their babies much longer on average than the national norm (18 months vs. 2.3 months*). When we commissioned our first environmental audit in 1995, the auditor was amazed to find that the increased duration of breastfeeding by Motherwear customers conserved many more resources than were consumed by Motherwear’s entire business. *Ross Laboratories survey 1992 By nursing their babies longer, Motherwear customers saved the following valuable resources in 1998-above and beyond the resources used by Motherwear to market, manufacture and distribute our products and catalog: **3,506,870 lbs. of steel from formula cans 364,463 lbs. of paper 359,608 lbs. of HDPE from plastic milk containers 3,790,007 gallons of milk, requiring 65,271,668 lbs. of dairy feed to produce 861,192 gallons of oil (equivalent) for cow milk, formula production, transportation and refrigeration-which produces 19,373,385 lbs. of carbon dioxide. 4,892 acres of forest are required to absorb this amount of carbon dioxide.

  80. I would never hire a wet nurse either. Furthermore, I could care less about whehter another woman breastfed or used formula. I only have enough time in the day to worry about what I’m going to do with my children. I don’t have the time or energy to be getting all in someone elses business. WHO CARES! I am just so tired of people trying to make real life soap operas outta everything. Uggaah!As of the Organic chic…Envy is one of the seven deadly sins and it looks like you have your gasoline drawers on all ready for your one way ticket to hell. The hate, rage, & jealousy that you have been spewing is just sad and pitiful. Sigh.

  81. Well I am the #1 formula fan and have been riecluidd about it. I just tell them to check out my healthy, intelligent children and tell me what I did wrong. Shuts them down fast! I look at it this way, there would be no such thing as formula if it were harmful to babies. I have never for one day felt guilty for not breastfeeding. It is ultimately the mom’s choice (based on if she actually can do it). Thanks for not banishing moms like me! =)

  82. Beautiful pictures. There’s nohintg like being a mom, and the animals feel the same as we do about their babies. When you posted the one about drinking milk, it reminded me of the moment right after I gave birth, and the way that both my babies looked right into my eyes as soon as they came out ~ to see their mom. I will treasure that moment until the day I die. I am so happy to be vegan and hope to inspire others, so that all babies can stay with their moms. It’s a beautiful thing.Happy Mother’s Day!

  83. I have an almost ovmwehelring urge to shout boobies right now!I am not a fan of bottle feeding. Don’t have kids yet, but as you said, mammals have breasts for feeding.Feeding in public? It’s a very difficult subject, especially in western areas. Something I did hear mentioned is that most of the people who complain about women breast feeding in public are other women!

  84. I’m a single mtoehr,but I am only seventeen.I will soon be eighteen,I am trying to get a job,but where I am noone is hiring at seventeen.I soon will not have any help from my mtoehr, it is now time for me to be on my own, but i cant afford it,and really need help.Is there anyway i can get help?? Thanks.

  85. I never had too many people ask anyniong or personal questions but when my twins were babies EVERYONE wanted to look at them. Total strangers would stop me in the grocery store two or three times every visit. My sister has a son a year younger and another a year older than my boys. One time we mixed up the kids in our double strollers (one of mine and one of hers) then walked around a summer town festival and NO ONE even looked twice at me! It was great not to have any attention over my twins!

  86. Not sure if my wife had that one! One question we often got that was funny is Are they Identical? Like your peeps we have a boy and girl, and from day one the boys was in blue and the girl was in Pink. Even after tlnlieg some people they were B and G they asked So are they identical? It never made sense to me, I guess when people relate to twins they think Identicals?So I would explain Boys have a Penis, and girls have a vagina! They are far from Identical!

  87. This is fantastic and all… but shpiipng on this is ridiculous.. It’s demanded you HAVE to pay within 5 days.. or get banned from all further auctions.. HOWEVER, they take weeks to get your items to you.. even though the email that I recieved stated: Please allow 2-3 days for processing and 5-7 for shpiipng.. According to that, I should have recieved my items over 2 weeks ago… Soooo long story short.. bid at your own risk.. Better to just DONATE directly to this charity..

  88. That’s a good question, and there’s no one aenwsr.Sometimes both aenwsrs are valid and you have to know enough about the problem to choose the right one.For example, you’re asked to find the velocity of a projectile at height y if its initial velocity is , v(o) . Then from the kinematics eqs you know the velocity is;v = SqRt[v(o)^2 – 2gy]You have to know that the +solution is when the projectile is going up and the solution is for when its coming down. There are other situations when one solution is not physically possible, which you have to figure out from you knowledge of the problem and of physics. Most of the time the correct solution is obvious, but not always. Sometimes the only way to be sure is to try each solution and see what result it leads to.So if you have a two solution dillema don’t feel bad. It happens, and you just try to figure out what each solution means, physically.

  89. Ok I may be a little out of the loop here. I know bearst feeding is best for your baby, and if possible that should be the first choice. But to me, 1 million babies being infected with HIV is still a pretty high number as it could have been prevented. Now I am not saying that mothers with HIV can’t still go on to have children, but why put your child through the risk of contracted HIV through bearst feeding when there are safer options? Esp. if they were able to skip the infection through pregnancy and childbirth? Esp. when they do not have the drugs to treat HIV and it means that it is almost always a death sentence. To me, it just doesne28099t make sense.

  90. I washed my frnieds hair because her hair was so thin you could see her scalp and she’s an older woman so I knew it would help. One month later she had a full head of hair and was to her shoulders. Within about 3 to 6 months she had hair to her bra strap in the back. I was so jealous because it worked faster on her hair than on mine. It does work on mine but I don’t use it every day. When I feel my hair has stopped growing I used it and Voila! Instant hair growth! It REALLY WORKS!!

  91. im srry i didnt mean after using btiion i ment after using btiion how long will my hair take to grow back i did not loose alot but every day i notice more and more hair faling off my head and ive been stressed and worried about this and it really does put me in depression and never wanting to go out because im so emberassed i do not know maybe it is from stress that im loosing hair i hope that it is that instead of me getting bauld already :-/ went to my doctors they wont help

  92. do not use any minoxidil pcdruots! the moment you stop, you will start shedding your hair again and will lose more than what you initially had. Iv read that saw palmetto is extremely good for hair because it block the testosterone from building up in your hair follicles and turning into DHT and since you are a guy, it also helps with prostate health. In general try taking supplements with 5000mg of biotin, Iron and Folic acid those should help you hair grow and be healthier.

  93. Luitsa / e-sata runs off the bracket, most new cases have e-sata aslwel on the front end.The cover over the chipset lights up with a blueish glow, very nice touch.the remote is one pain that i have, trying to connect it is tight as the cable length is just enough to fit.There are several instances where the board will humm, mine included, but you can easily rma with asus or return to the dealer for replacement.

  94. Hello joyzuhbbm, nuts that sales became available to one side within newborn summer….hahaha I laugh among the many my extremely older jokes. -Jordan Shoes Sale It broke my middle to decide some from within concerns i saw Jordan Shoes Sale.Good vojlgqhk!!

  95. I am FOR breastfeeding. I beileve working moms can still breastfeed. When I got pregnant, one of the first things I bought was the pump because I was determined to breastfeed. A very busy colleague of mine was able to make it 100% breastfeeding (and able to perform and publish numerous research papers).Unfortunately, I am 1 of 5 women who are not able to breastfeed. For some reason, there is nothing to feed no matter what I do. My doctor had to console me when I was teary-eyed when he told me I just simply can’t. So, for mothers who are able but chose to not breastfeed, I simply don’t understand any of their reasoning. Bin, Grace and Kim, I consider you lucky!

  96. I have nursed my kids in front of rleatives, in restaurants, at the street fair, in parks, and at church. BUT,I was always covered up. I threw a light-weight blanket over my shoulder extending down to cover the breast. At first I was worried the baby was getting to hot, but was told by a nurse that babies were used to warmth, being covered, etc I remember as a teenager having a distant relative just whip her breast out to her uncooperative daughter. I was embarrassed. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I decided not to subject others to this. There is still a way to feed a baby without showing the world what I’ve got. One last thing: my cousin, a pediatrician, stated that every day I should try to get a bottle of my milk frozen so that for days when I wasn’t home or would be out in public, I could give the baby a bottle rather than grapple with nursing. It was a wonderful suggestion and I used this for each of my kids. They are now grown and doing well in the world.

  97. Here is what has worked for me in trivelang with my kids, at various ages. I traveled for the first time with our oldest (now 3) when she was 7weeks old so the age breakdown is based on my experience from 7 weeks on. This is also based on my trivelang solo without my husband and only 1 kid at a time. 2m-whenever they outgrow their infant seat (for me this was about 6-7m and it wasn’t so much that they outgrew their seats that they just got to be too heavy to schlep around )-Stroller-if you have to bring a stroller, use a Snap N Go. If you don’t have one you can find them on craiglist for a pretty reasonable price-I think I paid $25 for ours and it was barely used. I was less inclined to stress over the SNG getting dinged up when I gate checked it over our BOB.Security-going through security was always stressful for me, though I found people to be very helpful, especially men, who often offered to fold the stroller and put it on the belt and again help after we went through. Some airports also have “family lines” where you can avoid the majority of the what I refer to as the “frequent or business traveler” who gets easily annoyed/is impatient. After the first trip, I learned to not let it stress me out and just take my time and get through-before you get in line take your baby out of the infant car seat and place them in a sling/carrier-this will leave your hands free to deal with your stroller (if no one has offered help) and your carry on, shoes, coat, etc…-if you’re not using a sling/carrier keep your baby in the infant seat for as long as you can, then remove him/her and place the car seat on the belt and walk through security-in some instances TSA agents let me keep the baby in my sling, other times I had to remove her-another thing to note when trivelang with young children, you can bring liquids, in reasonable quantities through security. Pull them out of your bag and let the TSA agent know-sometimes they go through security in a bin and then they’re “tested”, other times they go straight to being “tested”- collect your stuff and head to your gateWaiting to Board- do whatever is easiest for you/your baby-if she enjoys being in a sling/carrier let her be, if she likes to be in her infant seat, keep her in there …Boarding-unfortunately the concept of early boarding for families with young children has gone by the wayside so you have to line up with everybody else-gate check your stroller and place baby in sling/carrier (if not already in there)-if you purchased a seat then you can strap your infant seat in-if you didn’t purchase a seat, the sling/carrier will allow you to keep your arms free when you board and also while you’re on the plane-there were even times I was even able to read because the baby would fall asleep-I also found that using a backpack, over my regular, super cute diaper bag was easier and more comfortable to carry-breastfeed (or give a bottle) during take –off/landing, or if they’re fussy; pacifiers also work for the ears-if they have a special toy, blanket, lovie, etc that they like to cuddle with or is soothing carry that along with the essentials-diapers, wipes, change of clothes, and snacks (if they’re eating solids)-our kids always liked books so I also brought several books for us to read on the plane12m-18m-if you need a stroller, use a lightweight umbrella stroller-if you didn’t purchase a seat you can check your carseat for free (most airlines, if not all, so far all that we’ve traveled on-Delta, American, UsAir)-I also used my Ergo carrier at this age so I could have my hands free for security, boarding and being on the plane; though both our kids at this age preferred to be in my lap while on the plane-follow the above suggestions for going through security. If not using a sling/carrier, keep your little one in their stroller for as long as you can. This helps avoid having a runaway child-lesson learned the hard way -I found at this age, having a “special snack and toy/book” was beneficial because it was a special treat and new for the trip-I did bring more toys than when they were younger because they needed a little more entertainment to keep them occupied-I kept my backpack light with only the essentials-diapers, wipes, change of clothes and lots of snacks (both the usual things we have at home and a special treat-I substituted a sippy cup for the bottle during take-off and landing and still used the pacifier during the flight to help with the ears2-3years-so far, next to the infant stage, this has been the easiest stage-travelling with a car seat is not the easiest because they’re bulky but there are several things you can do:-buy one of those things that you can hook the car seat up to and wheel your child in their car seat-buy a strap, or make your own with an “o” ring using the straps for LATCH set up in your car, that you can attach the seat to a fully packed wheeling suitcase (much less expensive than the first option and what I am doing in 2 weeks when my oldest and I go to visit my family for a “girls trip”)-if you decide not to use your car seat on the plane you can check it for free-our daughter LOVED sitting in her car seat and looking out the window during the trip; she sat in her seat the whole time with only a few whines-Things that also made our trip a success: snacks (special and the usual), a new book, and a DVD player to watch movies-which is a huge treat because we’re not a TV watching family.Good luck!

  98. I think my favorite posts are ones where you talk about eexnrieecps nursing your own girls. Since mine is a little younger, it’s been interesting for me to hear what lies ahead, and the funny and challenging things that have come along for you! I enjoy reading your blog..-= Christina s last blog .. =-.

  99. yes it is bad. studies recltney have shown it to be because soy isn’t MILK it will keep you son from getting (oh i dont remember what its called at the time) some kinda vitamins.Dr’s have seen a rise in kids who-though looked normal in so many ways-were really malnourished. soy is good for the babies if you want to keep them from always having milk. but THE MILK sould always be the first choice. oh i remember now it becase it lacks IRON and you can get soy with iron i think..it will say something like -reinforece with iron..something like that..or the dr’s say if you give the babies soy only-feed them an iron subsitute as well.i’m not dr but i just read about this about 2 months ago. i believe the lack of vitamin c and iron gives the kids scruvy.seriously.by the way i work for wholefoods and i have a 1 year old.i had to add that link to just give you some prespective.

  100. My son has the same allergy and he is on Similac Isomil Soy Formula. I have never heard ahiyntng bad about it other than soy formula tends to make babies constipated than the milk-based formula. My son is 9 months old and has been on soy formula sense he was born, I dried up to quick and he wouldn’t latch on properly so I couldn’t breastfeed, and he is perfectly healthy. His pediatrician even recommended it so I would think that if it was bad for him then he wouldn’t have recommended it.If you are worried about it then you should just ask her pediatrician, he/she can give you the best advice on what to do.Good luck.

  101. You should be hainvg your doctor and/or health nurse help you along with this process. I had my son on soy formula, but that didn’t help his problems, so at five months he went on whole milk and was just fine. Watch out where you hear things from all kids are different, and it sounds as though you need some medical advice.

  102. Respond to this video my doctors wont do a thing they say they rent worreid abut there hair but im talking about me!! not them i worry about these things i do not want to loose all my hair in my head i tryied almost everything like castor oil,shampoos pills remedies everything and its been 4 months already using rogaine and i see a small diffrence in the back hair loss but now im worreid about the front i see that my hair in the front dont look straight line anymore :-/

  103. It would depend on the type of glass,my old Oceanic tanks have very thick unepmeertd glass,whereas my new tanks have much thinner tempered glass. The thicker (softer)tanks can be drilled (for overflows and the like),the tempered ones not. Somewhere I have a book called Aquatic Systems Engineering:Devices and How They Function. by P.R. Escobal,that may help. You might be able to find it at your local library. This book would help you calculate the load on the glass and the supplier of the glass should be able to take it from there.Good hunting and good luck. PeeTee

  104. Hi :)The WHO (World Health Organization) is now saying that exiuescvlly breastfed babies of HIV moms have no greater risk of testing positive at the 6 month mark than babies that are bottle fed. The key is that they cannot do both … they need to be committed to breastfeeding and believe in it.In 2009 we had a handful of HIV mommas in the program but we currently don’t have any with HIV. It has been odd how few we’ve had in the last year.

  105. Why does she think that the baby is not satisfied? First time motehrs often worry that the baby is not getting enough ****** milk because they can’t measure the ounces that the baby is getting. It is better to check and count wet diapers. Is the baby wetting at least 4 diapers a day? Relaxing is one of the best ways to produce milk. Your sister should drink a lot of fluids, nurse in a quiet, comfortable place, and relax. Also, her milk might not have come in until day 5 after the birth (or even later since she didn’t nurse much the first couple days). Don’t give up. It’s well worth the effort and time. See if you can find another mother who is (or has) nursed to give her some pointers.

  106. Review by Coleen R. Kyser for Rating: We have been using Newman’s organic dry dog food for over 5 years it was a Godsend when we diseevorcd it. Our little Jack had such severe allergies she was tormented day and night with unrelieved itching after trying endless other avenues to find relief for her we were to the point we thought we might have to have her put down for her to find relief. Then the idea came up that maybe she had chemical sensitivities so we decided to go organic all her deals miraculously cleared up once we started the Newman’s. However after giving glowing reviews for many years, we now have to concede something has changed our little Jack’s itching returned to the point of drawing blood. It is clear something changed and I believe it clearly is no longer as organic as it once was we are on the hunt again. I am not saying it does not have good quality ingredients but if you have a dog that is highly chemical sensitive this likely is not for you. Too bad it once was a superior product.

  107. Review by Journeywoman for Rating: I’ve yet to find any of the dogs I know that love it. I still have my allergic dog eaitng it, but she has to be hungry to eat this without doctoring. My vet doesn’t want me feeding her people food so I add some of Newman’s or Happy Hips canned to it.I’ve talked to a couple of vets about prescription diet and they all push the big company brand names. The common objection appears to be the soy used in Newman’s to increase the protein count.I am willing to put a little flavor in this to feed may dog high quality, social responsible food.I may be the only person who has made the following mistake but, assuming you catch the Amazon sales, make sure you are ordering the bag size you want. I thought I was getting a good price on one order until the food came and it was the seven instead of twelve pound bag.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *