I Agree With Mayor Bloomberg. (This Once)

Discussion in 'What's On Your Mind?' started by Elizabeth Conley, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Mayor Bloomberg and I often disagree, but this time he's right. Did anyone imagine the hospital pays for the formula they dispense at hospitals, or the boatload of formula company logo imprinted "free" stuff they hand out to every mother at the hospital?

    Every pusher and junkie on the streets of NYC knows THE FIRST FIX IS ALWAYS FREE. After that, you pay.

    The formula companies give hospitals and new moms "free" formula at the hospital to get them hooked. It's hard to start breast feeding after your breasts have already dried up and your infant is used to the bottle. At that point you and your kid are junkies.

    You will buy formula whether you want to or not, whether you can afford to or not, whether your child develops food allergies and chemical sensitivities or not. You might even read the latest Harvard studies about how the fluoride in formula, when combined with fluoridated water from your municipal water supply, leads to fluorosis and a significantly lower IQ for your child. Oh well. Watcha gonna do? You're owned. You were bought and paid for with the "free sample" of formula and the adorable miniature diaper bag the nurses gave you at the hospital.

    I don't like Bloomberg. He's a total (expletive deleted), and "stop and frisk" has earned him a toasty corner in (expletive deleted) for all eternity. This move to protect NYC's moms and babies from the formula pushers won't save his soul, but it is a good thing.

    phoebepontiac likes this.
  2. Totally agree.

    That NYP article begins with the line: "The nanny state is going after moms." It's all about how they want to LOCK UP THE FORMULA! And TAKE AWAY THE WOMENS' CHOICE! That's not what it is at all. That formula in the room isn't a right or a freedom, it's a sample. Nobody's entitled to a free sample, it's a perk, that's all. And an insidious one.

    The hospital maternity regime is known to undermine breastfeeding in a number of ways. This is a big one. It's placed there by the formula companies not out of benevolence or good public health policy, but to drum up business. Many women are all wrecked by their births full of largely unnecessary interventions, they're laying there exhausted and emotionally drained, they're freaked out and insecure about having a new baby, and it's easy to feel like there's no strength left for breastfeeding. If the formula's right there, handed to you by the hospital, it must be a good idea (you think, while your brain is completely altered by the experience of giving birth). But then, as Elizabeth notes, any formula the baby eats, especially in the critical first days, diminishes the mother's ability to adequately provide milk. Then, once the fog has cleared and breastfeeding seems like a good idea again, it's usually too late to turn back.

    It's not like women can't get formula, or don't know about formula. This doesn't take away their choice. It, in fact, puts them in a position to better make a choice.

    Hospitals are already nanny institutes in the way they care for new mothers and babies. They are not known for being bastions of freedom in birth and newborn care choices. If they don't approve of your car seat, for example, they don't allow you to take your baby home until you get one they like. I'm appalled that anyone is casting this as a freedom issue. It's not the same as being able to buy what size of soda you want.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  3. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    In communities where poverty is prevalent, grocery stores put formula under lock and key near the checkout isle. You can buy it at the register, after it's confirmed you can afford the product.

    Think about that for a minute or two, before you mistake the "free" formula samples in the maternity ward as a sign of benevolence on the part of manufacturers.

    Formula is expensive. Really, really expensive.
  4. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    the bonding time at the hospital after childbirth is irreplaceable, and a huge part of that is breastfeeding. The other advantages, such as tremendous boosts to the child's immune system from breastfeeding are well known. (reports are now coming out about breast milk stopping HIV transmission...)
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I never thought of this aspect of it, but it's true.

    It's like the two Kent cigarettes that were placed in every packet of C-rations in WW II. When you come home, they've got their claws in you.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  6. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Sorry, I totally disagree with this policy. The decision to breastfeed or not needs to be made well before the baby is born, and not as a result of being forced or at least intimidated into it by hospital staff. Nothing good will come of that.

    Further that the mother will get a "talking to" each time she requests a bottle is beyond the pale.

    Bloomberg's nanny city has gone too far with this.
  7. I'm not sure about the formula samples (I homebirthed), but I do know new moms get a "talking to" in the hospitals in this state, too, have for a long time, no matter their plans on how to feed. I don't think this policy is unique to Bloomberg, there's been a push for it nationally from various organizations for as long as I've been having babies and paying attention to the topic.

    I once read a story about a mother of many (six maybe?) who was having a baby in a hospital in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The hospital was rationing formula for babies who truly needed it. This mother had only ever fed formula to her many kids, and had only ever seen formula fed in her community. The nurses told her she would need to breastfeed. She was scared. She said, "I don't think I can!" The nurses said, "You're going to have to!" And so she did. By the time she was leaving the hospital, things were functioning a little more normally, and she was handed her free formula sample. She proudly turned it down and said, "I'm breastfeeding!" Just a data point.
  8. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    A mother who has made a decision to formula feed her child and has the financial resources to do so inevitably shows up at the hospital with the bottle system and formula she has pre-selected as a result of careful research.

    The only mothers getting a "talking to" are mothers demanding "free" samples. A "free" sample is not an entitlement, particularly if you're demanding medical personnel deliver this "free" sample without warning you that they consider the "food" not to be in the best interests of you or your child.

    My 75 YO mother went into the hospital for an invasive test. (She came out with a clean bill of health, but a day at the hospital accompanied by a companion was required.) I was priviledged to accompany Mom that day. After her tests she was presented with a typical hospital meal. It was selected for my mother by a professional nutritionist who had been made aware of my mother's nutritional needs by her physician. Mom was offered a very well prepared low sodium, low saturated fat meal that nontheless contained plenty of calories. Mrs. Dash's no sodium spice mix and healthy faux butter spread were the only condiments. Mom is a trifle scrawny but suffers high blood pressure and high cholesterol as a consequence of genetic predisposition.

    What would Mom have been served if McDonald's provided "free samples" of Big Mac Combos to adults in the hospital? (Out of the kindness of their hearts of course.:rolleyes: ) If the fast-food giants could market in this fashion, Mom probably would have been able to choose from a Wendy's Triple Stack or Burger King Whopper as well. The meal would not have been the same doctor-approved fare, but at least Mom would be able to easily revert to her normal heart-healthy diet when she escaped the hospital. Further, knowing such a bad meal would be offered, I could have packed her a picnic basket. What if Mom was a typical heart patient? You know, the kind of patient who rarely eats what's good for them or tries but constantly "cheats" on their diet? What message would such a patient recieve from a Big Mac Combo delivered by beaming hospital staff?

    Well-educated women are crying foul to the idea that women demanding "free samples" of formula at the hospital might have to endure a lecture about the benefits of breast feeding. Firstly, they're not considering the entitlement issues being raised here. A woman is "entitled" to "demand" a "free sample" of a product their obstetricians and pediatricians consider unhealthy be delivered to them by nurses and staff who have similar moral objections? Really? Secondly, they're not considering how lobbying for disadvantaged, less-educated women's "rights" to "demand" unfettered access to an expoitive marketing campaign that promotes the interests of greedy corporations over mothers and infants might effect the legions of women who aren't as fortunate as they are. Thirdly, the better educated, older than the average woman/teen giving birth protesters aren't considering the powerful message "free" formula delivered by medical professionals at the hospital sends to more vulnerable populations.

    I don't like it when my doctors tell me I'm fat, need to floss more often, must exercise more and should forsake salt forever, but that's what I pay them for. I pay them the big bucks to help me take good care of myself, and occasionally tell me things I don't want to hear.
    nachtnebel likes this.
  9. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    ... How to put this without offending anyone, especially since I'm a guy.

    My mother never gave me formula, and her reasoning was natural is better in the long run and less additives. I don't have a problems with samples but hard sell or forced is wrong.

    It's the ones that demand "entitlements" rub me the wrong way, and as much as I bite my tongue even I have limits.

    Now I am guilty of this type of sample thing, but in a different way. Several years ago I was branching out into newborn & childrens portraits. I bought a list of new parents and what I sent was a small gift basket with a bottle, pacifier, bib, stocking cap, and my brochure & business card the 1000 name list cost me $6000. It more then paid for itself. The feedback was the freebies weapache really needed and would rather have them donated those in need and they didn't want samples forced on them. Was a learning experience in marketing and had made me rethink tweak my future efforts.

    As much as I do/prefer paid work (EMS doesn't pay that well)I do a fair amount of charity/pro bono. I'm affiliated with NILMDTS (www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org ). It is one of the ways I give back to the community beyond what I do as a Paramedic. Despite the excellent working relationship with the hospitals It how ever is the hardest, mentally & physically draining of all the photography I've done. However just like in the field is to help those in the hour of need/loss.
  10. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Hospitals do bill for formula, it's in there under "supplies" or whatever. NOTHING is free in a hospital.

    I bottle fed my first born; he was healthy as an ox. I nursed my second one, who got sick at the age of 1 month and stayed sick for 2 years. She caught every bug that blew by her. In addition, she has allergies up the wazoo.

    Without giving TMI, I'll also say that the spousal abuse I suffered for years began when I was nursing - and that's not an unusual occurrence. 25% of women are abused by their spouses and 33% of those women are first abused when they are pregnant.

    To attempt to talk a new mother into breast feeding without knowing her home situation is totally irresponsible.
    Monica47 likes this.

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