NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: The Biggest Breastfeeding Bully of All

It’s not enough that hospitals are banning free gifts of formula, or that the editor of Mothering magazine likened free gifts of formula to cigarettes, now the mayor of New York City is locking up formula at local hospitals, according to the New York Post. He says that he believes the maneuver will “encourage” new moms to breastfeed, but it sounds like the ultimate act of breastfeeding bullying to me.

As part of his Latch on NYC initiative, which launches September 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use, making it the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation, reports the Post.

More than half of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded freebies, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

I live in New York City. Mason was born here. If I choose to give birth to another child in the city, I better pray that my child latches on immediately and is naturally perfect at nursing. Otherwise I’m going to have to negotiate with a nurse in order for my child to be fed (as I’m recuperating from a C-Section) and endure a “talking-to.” And what about that medical justification?  Is one night of solid sleep following major abdominal surgery good enough, or will I need to somehow feign total incapacitation?

I breastfed Mason the entire time I was in the hospital, but I was grateful that he could get a bottle in the nursery at night so that I could have a couple of nights of solid sleep (and time to heal) before we were totally on our own with him.

Oh, and get this: If I get thirsty during all of this, I’ll need to watch what I drink because the major is also trying to ban large sizes of sugary drinks from being sold in NYC. What liberty will he rob from us next?

Policies like Latch on NYC do nothing but create more stress and anxiety for expectant mothers. If a mom is willing and able to breastfeed her child, she will. If she’s not, she should have a viable alternative without being put through a major guilt trip. Why should NYC’s mayor–or anyone else, for that matter–have the right to institute a policy that make a new mother’s time with her baby anything but joyful?

Photo: Michael Bloomberg via Miro Vrlik Photography/Shutterstock

70 thoughts on “NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: The Biggest Breastfeeding Bully of All

  1. Thanks for continuing to keep your readers in the loop on this scary trend. We don’t have these restrictions in Missouri yet, but as a mom that struggled with breastfeeding, I can’t believe that they would put these restrictions in place that can make you feel more guilty about not being successful with it. Being a first time mom is stressful enough – let us decide what is best for our family!

  2. 3 Cheers for Michael Bloomberg. They aren’t HIDING formula, they are no longer PUSHING formula. We have MORE than enough research to show that, when possible for mommy, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for baby!

  3. Thank you! My daughter and I struggled the entire time I was in the hospital (and for more than a week after) to get the hang of breastfeeding. Thank heavens we had formula around so that she could get fed when she was hungry and after we had tried to breastfeed. It is not Bloomberg’s job to decide what is best for me and my baby – that is my job.

    Mayor Bloomberg – quit bullying all mothers ! Your desire is good; your methods are not.

  4. I am a strong supporter of breastfeeding and believe that we should encourage all women to try it, but this not the right approach. Some women can’t or don’t want to breastfeed and that should be their choice. It’s not for everyone. A more positive approach would be better, such as availablity of free lactation consultants at hospitals.

  5. I don’t understand women, first we wanted the right to breastfeed and fought for better access to breastfeeding. Now we have a mayor who is actively encouraging breastfeeding and we are now complaining again. Women need to pick a side, and be down with it. I have 3 children, breastfeed them all, was not successful and went to formula. Maybe the problem is not the Mayor its us women who are ultra competitive and put all this unnecessary pressure on all of us to be something we are not. Just pick what is best for you and your baby.

    As for sugary drinks, the same thing. First we complained there is too much sugar. Now he is trying to control that, but saying you don’t need a 32oz soda to quench your thirst. Drink and eat responsible.

    Breastfeeding is hard work, maybe if the hospitals took it more seriously and didn’t rely on formula I may have been better at breastfeeding.

  6. I think this is fantastic! Our country is so misinformed about how “safe” and “easy” formula is! Formula is necessary, absolutely! Sometimes there are real reasons a mom can’t or shouldn’t breastfeed, but it is a terrible trend of how many turn to formula when it’s not really needed! You want to sleep? Pump before you go to bed and have your partner feed that to the baby! You’re struggling with breastfeeding? Then go see a lactation consultant! It isn’t supposed to be hard, and there is help out there! There is tons of scientific research that proves that breast is best for baby and mom! Educate yourselves ladies!

  7. Are you kidding me? What next? Telling us what to read to our kids, restricting places we take them or even the amount of children we have? Who does think he is? And what does a man know about breastfeeding? He hasn’t ever had an infant latch on to his nipple like an industrial vaccuum and until he does, he should shut up. I breast fed by pump for four months two different times and I was glad to switch to a bottle because it was NOT easy to do. We are still a free country are we not? This is a headline that I would have expected to read in the 1940s and if I were a New Yorker, I would march my butt down to City Hall.

  8. hahahah GOOD im glad. now maybe all you breastfeeding crazies (and i dont mean people who breastfeed are crazy, i mean that all the people who say you are poisoning your child with formula) CAN SUFFER WHEN YOUR NEXT CHILD IS BORN AND YOU DONT HAVE ANY FORMULA AND YOU HAVE A SCREAMING CHILD BECAUSE YOUR BREAST MILK WILL NOT COME IN.. HAHAHAHAH I LOVE IT… ILL STAY IN FLORIDA WHERE I CAN FEED MY CHILD HOW AND WHERE I WANT WITHOUT ANY ISSUES…

  9. my son didn’t latch on for 2.5 weeks. It was a heartbreaking to feel like such a failure because of the negative attention given to formula. i pumped around the clock while trying to get used to my new family and dealt with crazy hormonal changes. Formula fed him when I wasn’t producing enough and I am grateful for the products given to us at the hospital so we didnt have to rush out the first night home because he hadn’t eaten for hours. While he did latch on eventually (the day I was ready to throw in the towel), I hate that I felt like formula was poison. While breast is best, formula feeders shouldn’t have to feel like failures.

  10. I totally agree! I breastfed all three of my kids but it wasn’t easy at the beginning with any of them! New mothers need support and understanding, not a lecture from a nurse and “documentation” every time they ask for a bottle for their screaming, hungry baby.
    This is definitely too much of the government running our personal lives.

  11. Yay for Bloomberg. He’s battling the corporate agenda (for once) started in the 1960s – 1970s to make mothers use formula instead of what is best for a baby – breast milk. (And, if a mother cannot possibly breastfeed I’m sure the hospital will help her with formula – – clearly they’re not going to let babies starve).

    As for banning sugary drinks…For the folks that want to drink whatever cr*p they want to drink, do thorough research into sugar and what it does to you. Educate yourself before you knock the mayor’s surprisingly healthy agenda. A few months ago, I saw a girl about 4 or 5 years old, on the NYC train, drinking from a gallon of coke!! I mean, she was drinking from it like it was a bottle! Her parents were, unfortunately, not informed…not aware of the physical and mental risks caused by such a high intake of sugar. LEARN YOUR FOOD! Food is political.

    p.s. Fox 5 News is on the corporate (Rupert Murdoch) payroll….Get out from under their disinfo…

  12. Shockingly enough, sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work! I had an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and one day, and my milk never “came in.” After repeat visitations to the lactation specialist, bleeding/cracked nipples, and bruised breasts (we were told to manipulate them by hand, which never worked either), my child would have died without formula. Do you know that now she is a very healthy almost two-year-old, who is a great and adventureous eater, who never even knew what breast milk tasted like. Forgive me for not jumping on the “breast is best” bandwagon. Formula saved her life. Personal liberties are being attacked. Whatever happened to the argument used so often by the pro-choice movement “my body – my choice?” Isn’t this exactly the same??

  13. Really Jill? They aren’t “hiding” it? You have to now get approval and they are tracking every single ounce of formula! That’s not just not “pushing” it. I had to take severe opiates for a busted pelvic bone during (mostly to get to and from appointments to move) and after pregnancy, no way could I breastfeed and keep my baby on this stuff. I felt guilty enough having to take it the couple times a week I needed to. I’m sick to DEATH of hearing how horrible of a mom I am, when my one child ONCE got a fever (and all 4 are perfectly healthy otherwise with one bout of strep, no ear infections, no illness, which I was extremely prone to as a child) over 9 years. For a mom in my position, someone telling me to get over it and TRY breastfeeding whether I want to or not and having to go through a restrictive process of formula tracking for food choice that *I* make for my kids.

    Are you saying it’s totally awesome to make sure they track how many jars we feed them next? Make sure we start them on Stage 1 at X weeks and we cannot move to stage 2 until X weeks at their determination? What about veggie Nazi’s to inspect your dinner? Because that’s what you are supporting. I’ll be at your house at 6pm on the dot to ensure your child receives green beans, of pristine quality and will be doing a check on the levels of pesticides to ensure you washed them properly to avoid illness… you know, “for the children’s sake”.

  14. Really Jill? They aren’t “hiding” it? You have to now get approval and they are tracking every single ounce of formula! That’s not just not “pushing” it. I had to take severe opiates for a busted pelvic bone during (mostly to get to and from appointments to move) and after pregnancy, no way could I breastfeed and keep my baby on this stuff. I felt guilty enough having to take it the couple times a week I needed to. I’m sick to DEATH of hearing how horrible of a mom I am, when my one child ONCE got a fever (and all 4 are perfectly healthy otherwise with one bout of strep, no ear infections, no illness, which I was extremely prone to as a child) over 9 years. For a mom in my position, someone telling me to get over it and TRY breastfeeding whether I want to or not and having to go through a restrictive process of formula tracking for food choice that *I* make for my kids.

    Are you saying it’s totally awesome to make sure they track how many jars we feed them next? Make sure we start them on Stage 1 at X weeks and we cannot move to stage 2 until X weeks at their determination? What about veggie crazies to inspect your dinner? Because that’s what you are supporting. I’ll be at your house at 6pm on the dot to ensure your child receives green beans, of pristine quality and will be doing a check on the levels of pesticides to ensure you washed them properly to avoid illness… you know, “for the children’s sake”.

  15. NYC Girl – why do women have to “pick a side” and all be the same side? This makes no sense whatsoever.

  16. yay! if it wasnt possible to breastfeed then it wouldnt be possible to have kids…people these days r lazy and always want to rely on someone else to do everything,like feeding your baby…come on thats whats breasts are for,if you want a whole night sleep then you shoulda thought about it before getting pregnant.the big soda ban is great also,maybe the obesity rate will cute back a bit…go home and cook homemade meals and make fresh fruit water and breastfeed your baby…stop relying on everyone else.

  17. I chose NOT to breast feed, for many, many reasons. The first being that I honestly think that the pressure put on mothers to breast feed when they can’t adds to post partum depression. The second being that all the reasons we’re given to breast feed: higher iq, fewer allergies and illnesses , and others aren’t always true. I didn’t have the stress of trying to breast feed. My baby got the nutrients she needed from formula, she never had colic, was rarely fussy, and has slept throught the night almost from the start. She is extremely healthy, happy, and is progressing great at almost six months. It was my choice not to breast feed.

  18. Firstly, how selfish of you to rely on formula just so you can have a solid nights sleep. Part of having a child is obviously plenty of sleepless nights!! No child asks to be conceived or born so who are you (mother or not) to deny your child something that is so amazingly beneficial for them just so you can sleep. Comments like this surrounding breastfeeding initiatives absolutely Infuriate me. Unless you are absolutely not able to, there is no reason why you should not do what is proven time and time again to be so beneficial for your baby. Furthermore any form of encouragement for moms to stick it out and try harder should be applauded. When it comes to the longterm health of your child, I can seem to understand why anyone would have a problem with encouraging it.

  19. While I do think moms should have a choice, I am still nursing my 15month old but I did supplement every now and then with formula. I think they should really try and push breastfeeding to moms on medicaid and WIC, why should my family have to pay for your irresponsible choice to bring a baby into the world that you cannot afford and now pay to feed the baby because you dont have the patience to breastfeed, and the number one excuse is I couldnt nurse blah blah and while this is true its not common. What do you think moms who couldnt afford to buy milk did in older days, they used the resources that are free which is the breast.

  20. WHO DIED AND MADE THE MAYOR GOD? it is a woman’s RIGHT to choose to breast feed. Who the hell does Bloomberg think he is making a choice for them? My Best friend just has a child 3 weeks ago and she chose to formula feed her baby because she also suffers from Bipolar. She was not able to take her medication through the pregnancy and is now back on her meds. The baby cannot feed from her for this reason. I can tell you what i would do. I would take a can of formula with me to the hospital and DARE them to take it away from me……..Anything to control the human race!!!!!

  21. I’m absolutely for breastfeeding, and I’ll admit it kind of took me aback the way that formula was being hawked by Similac et all when they somehow found out I was expecting. But honestly, how is it his business whether or not you choose to breastfeed your child? If he’s so concerned, it would seem more prudent to make breastfeeding education and assistance – especially during those first few days/weeks after birth – available and affordable to new mothers. It’s such an overwhelming time! The last thing you need is more stress about feeding your baby.

  22. I agree with Bloomberg here. It’s not so much that he’s banning the use of formula for mothers, but that he’s stopping the heavy marketing in hospitals. I formula fed both of my kids. I knew before I had my son,thathe would use formula. I researched and spoke to my dr and friends about what they suggested. At the hospital, I was given a tote, coupons, and the fomula the hospital was carrying that month. It was not what I wanted, so I kindly asked for my choice. I was told they switch out brands monthly and I had to use what they had.I respectfully declined and requested the “other brand.” They had it , it just wasn’t being promoted tht month.

  23. Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

    Let me start by saying that you are an idiot! There are many factors to breastfeeding…it’s not as cut and dry as you think it is. I am a Registered Nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & a mother of two, and NO, I did not breastfeed my second child. I had a lot of trouble with my daughter latching on, sore nipples & ultimately ended up having to supplement with formula because I could not produce enough milk & I also did not enjoy it! New moms should not have this added stress after having a baby. Since
    you’re not a women, I wouldn’t expect you to understand how stress deceases your milk supply or that it can take up to a week after giving birth before your milk supply comes
    in. Here’s a thought…instead of focusing on such ridiculous issues like the size of our sodas or locking up formula in hospitals how about you come up with a plan to get the free loaders off of Medicaid??

    Amy, RN

  24. I had an emergency c-section at 35 weeks. My baby girl weighed 5 lbs. 1 oz. I was told I signed something allowing the hospital to feed my preemie formula before surgery. I don’t remember it… after her heart rate went from 140 down to 39, all is a blur.
    My baby girl was born at 12:10 am. I was NOT allowed to hold her until I could move my frozen limbs! It was 8 am before I was finally taken to my room and allowed to see my sleeping baby. My baby… who had already been given 2 bottles of formula… did not want to wake to nurse. I was a first time Mom at 41. I am also a single Mom… No family (both my parents have passed on), and no help or support from my daughter’s father or his family.
    I was visited by a lactation consultant on the evening of the 2nd day in the hospital. She was really not much help. My milk was not coming in… only one breast was finally starting to feel a little “fullness”. My tiny girl was not latching, all she wanted to do was sleep, when I tried to wake her not much worked. She loves to have her feet touched and that just seemed to lull her to sleep more deeply. Getting her naked did not help either. Plus there was the added pressure of the constant weigh-ins. The “Your baby went down a few ounces, make sure you try to breast feed her for the 2 hours THEN give her formula, OR ELSE! Basically I was told that my baby… On the 3rd day she weighed in at 4 lbs. 11 ounces, would NOT go home with me unless I fed her the formula!
    I was almost hysterical and in tears on day 3 when the doctor had a social worker visit me. I felt like a failure as a Mom! When my daughter tasted the formula and realized how easy is was to drink it, she no longer wanted to latch. In the end, taking home a healthy baby was more important to me than Pissing off the hospital by refusing the formula.
    MY 14 mo. old is now a healthy toddler. She has had one ear infection in her lifetime, that’s it. It was so comforting that I could tell her pediatrition how many ounces (I charted it) she was drinking as we had THREE doctors visits during the first week home. (She was also jaundiced) Healthy babies are what’s important… it does not matter HOW they eat, but that they EAT!

  25. Documenting WHY a woman wants formula is absurd! Why would a woman want formula? Because it’s HER body and she feels like it! We need to butt out of eachother’s personal decisions.

  26. this is nuts! why is the government infiltrating whether or not a woman breasfeeds???i’d say thats a very personal choice! it’s all to do with money! wake up! think about it. how many women have state funded healthcare? how many women and kids are on the wic program? if we strong arm the lower income families into breastfeeding it will save tax dollars. smfh!!this is soooo wrong! it went from taking french fries outta happy meals tot aking formula from babies!welcome to the communist states of america folks! settle in…its gonna be a long ride!

  27. Is he nuts what about the mothers that just cant breastfeed or simply just dont want to. I tried with each one of mine and failed but my nurses were supportive of my choice. I would hate to be a mother that was refused a bottle cause of some fool that should have no say so in the matter. Point being he needs to just butt out. I understand that its breast is best but there are those of us that simply just chose the bottle.

  28. Please don’t try to bully me into a decision. I understand that breast may be best but it is still my right to decide on what I feed my child. Sometimes (as one mentioned) it is not as simple as wanting to sleep throughout the night and as they suggested pumping for the partner. What happens if you are a single mother, or like my family has an active duty spouse that was deployed. How are you going to pump for your partner when there is none?
    Maternal feelings do not come naturally to me. It took a long time before I felt ok about even having a child. My child is loved and provided with everything he needs but I did not breast feed. If I could go back I still would not. In fact, my breast size never changed during pregnancy and I never produced milk. There was nothing medically to suggest why. Also because of digestion problems my son had to be on a very expensive specialized formula so even if I had tried to breast feed it may not have been best for him at all.
    If you want to breast feed I support that. I have a friend who is breast feeding her newest child and I have no problem with how or when she does it. But you are not better mothers. So please keep fighting for your right to do it and stop fighting people like me for the right to use formula. My son is very healthy, very smart, perfect weight and very active so I don’t think my decision has harmed him in any way.
    If I had another child I would proudly proclaim in the hospital that I was refusing to breast feed.

  29. Complete and total BS. My daughter is 2.5 and was a formula baby. Breastfeeding didn’t work for us, and I’m not now, or ever will feel like a bad mom for that. She got what she needed and was/is completely healthy. Yes, breastfeeding would have been nice, but if it’s not something a mom chooses to do, or can’t do, it’s no one’s buisness and it shouldn’t be monitored or criticized. If this ‘trend’ in hospitals comes to my state when I have my next child, I’ll stay home and give birth in the living room. I’m going to do what’s best for me and my baby, regardless of what some government idiot says.

  30. @NYC_Girl its not all or nothing, its simple we should have the right to breastfeed and to be supported when we say that is what we want to do, but women shouldn’t be FORCED to breastfeed, there are more than just physical or medical reasons a woman may choose not to breastfeed and she shouldn’t have to explain herself to anyone or have to be lectured about how wrong she is for making her decision. I am so tired of everyone assuming that if a mother chooses formula she must be uneducated and needs to be taught and lectured about what is best, yes there are a lot of women uneducated about breastfeeding but there’s about an equal amount who know the facts and still choose formula and they have very valid reasons that they don’t need to justify their choices to anyone.
    If I had to deliver in a hospital that followed this policy I would bring my own formula in with me. I would even write to the formula companies asking for as many free samples as they are willing to give me so I would have plenty of formula for my baby without ever having to ask a nurse or get lectured about how wrong and uneducated I am.

  31. If you go to the Latch on NYC website, you are able to get more info. WHat is actually happening is they making it easier for mothers who choose to breastfeed to strictly breastfeed. If you introduce formula or binkies in the very beginging while trying to breastfeed you will cause problems and the chances of being succesful at nursing is less likely. WHen I am in the hospital I make it very clear my child is breastfed, which means NO formula, bottles or binkies. This seems like bullying but in all actuality, it is making it so as a mother who wants to be successful at nursing, we dont have to be concerned and worry about the baby being given things that will make it harder to nurse. Breastfeeding may be natural but it is not always easy!
    They are not saying you HAVE to breastfeed, if you choose to bottle feed they have formula handy, and ready. This is to make strictly nursing easier.
    And if you have a difficult time nursing, they are there to help you, Your child will not go hungry.

  32. Amen. I recently had a baby and tired very quickly of the breastfeeding bullies. Yes, it is a good thing to do. No, it is not for everyone. I hope that there is enough reaction to this to put a stop to it. What is going on in NYC??

  33. Just sign up for the formula companies freebies while pregnant,I had so many samples on hand and 3 weeks worth of the 2 oz Enfamil bottles ready when they were giving away cases of them. Took maybe 20 mins on the website and phone,what wasn’t used was donated to the local family shelter. i know O’ve noticed the formula companies offering the gift bags that the hospital would give online now. When i had my son in 2011 they did include some breastfeeding items like ice packs,small bottles to pump into and a cooler bag.

  34. I think there is another factor people are forgetting…breast milk is absolutely free! I understand that it is up to the family to decide, it really is a personal decision. But financially it’s great. Even if you have to buy a $300 pump, it will pay for itself in what you save on formula. Furthermore, this could potentially save the government money if you consider how many new parents are on WIC or food stamps. I’m not saying poor people shouldn’t get a choice, but it’s something to think about. WIC even provides a new pump for free if you are working and/or going to school. I’m speaking from personal experience. We qualified for WIC with our first son because I was still in college and kept my pump and am using it at work for my second son. I wasn’t trying to be a drain on the system by having children before we could bear the full responsibility, but they helped educate me on the benefits of breast feeding and I decided that if I could do something for my children that is great for them and it’s free, why not at least try?

  35. Really??? What about mothers who can not breastfeed? I have always wanted to breastfeed my children but after having my first child in the fall, I could not. It was very emotional to find out that my body could not produce enough for my baby. Now your going to make mom go through even more stress and have baby possible starving the first few days because the hospital can’t freely give out formula??

  36. I think this is absolutely horrible!!!! I tried to breastfeed my oldest daughter but was unable to after trying for almost 2 weeks. Because of all the problems with my first I didn’t even try with my other two. We live in the United States of America. How dare he tell a mother that they have to breastfeed. I guess he would rather have our babies starve to death then give them formula. By the way, I have three very healthy little girls who are actually healthier than my friend’s children who have all been breastfeed until at least a year old.

  37. I had a breast reduction years ago and knew I may have problems breast feeding. So, when I had my son I already had my plan and the nurses hated that I already knew exactly how I wanted to feed my son. I got donor milk in a bottle in the hospital, started pumping the first night (I was not going to make him try to feed on a breast that probably wasn’t working), and then the tiny amount of breast milk I did end up getting (and not even until day 6) I mixed with the formula at home. By 6 weeks it just wasn’t worth it anymore. But my point is, even in a state that doesn’t have a breastfeeding intiative that I know of, man did I get attitude from the nurses! And I didn’t care one bit. It’s none of their business. You don’t like, I’ll go to a different hospital next time.

  38. I think it is a great idea. I was practically forced to give my child a bottle with in the first few hours because I had doctors orders to “rest” which was absurd. I think telling me I need to rest after my c-section was just there way of interfering with my ability to breast feed because once my son had a sweet bottle of formula he wasn’t really interested in latching afterward. I think formula companies give incentives to hospitals and they probably get paid every time they check that “bottle fed” box. The sugary drinks aren’t healthy for you or baby so I say, more power to the mayor. Thanks for stepping in and taking the initiative to make moms and babies healthier.

  39. I am in total shock reading this story. Whether or not a mother and child choose to nurse, should definitely be between a mother and child! Not to mention the fact, that when I was in the hospital with MY newborn baby – I was NOT the one who gave birth to him and therefore was lacking 1 thing – BREAST MILK! What would I have to do? Beg for them to feed my child??? My son was adopted and we were there from his first breath. Being adopted you don’t always have 9 months to prepare – so I must have somehow over-looked how to find time to force myself to lactate. Don’t get me wrong – I know it can be done – but due to timing – it was not an option for me.

    Signed – a HORRIFIED and discriminated against adoptive MOTHER!

  40. “Is one night of solid sleep following major abdominal surgery good enough, or will I need to somehow feign total incapacitation?
    I breastfed Mason the entire time I was in the hospital, but I was grateful that he could get a bottle in the nursery at night so that I could have a couple of nights of solid sleep (and time to heal) before we were totally on our own with him.”

    No – this is not a good enough reason. I have worked tooth and nail to nurse my babies. I have suffered from severely low supply in both instances and yet I have still managed to give my babies what milk I can. This doesn’t make me Super Mom, it just makes me a person qualified to say that babies were born to be breastfed, regardless of the difficulties experienced by either party. It’s the best nutrition for babies and more mom’s would nurse their babies if they weren’t given an easy out by having formula thrown in their faces (it happened to me and I had the sense to realize what was happening). Mom Up – you’ll get a decent night’s sleep someday, but not today. Plenty of moms undergo c-sections (2 here) and don’t feel the need to sacrifice their babies’ welfare to get a decent night’s sleep.

    And for those moms who are encourage to formula-feed only to then lose their supply and find that they are unable to afford formula, my tax money has to pay to feed their babies. I’ve had to accept welfare before. It should not be used to buy formula for moms just because they want a decent night’s sleep.

    To the sugar drink ban – go NYC – great choice. We have helmet laws because common sense doesn’t work with some people when it comes to protecting themselves while riding motorcycles. Same deal goes for the drink ban.

  41. If a mom doesn’t want to breastfeed, locking up the formula is either going to cause her to not feed the baby, or not feed the baby adequately by rushing through the feeding to get it over with.

    Yes, push the education, push the reasons why breastfeeding is “better,” push initiatives to make it more appealing. But this is too much. Until Mr. Bloomberg lactates, he should keep his nose out of it.

    I breastfed my kids. After a while, I had to switch to formula. And my kids are none the worse for it. And pumping was a big pain in the behind.

  42. This is the worst thing I have ever heard! SHAME on him. When I gave birth to my son (in St.Lucie West, FL) I was unable to breastfeed my son and the the nurses made me try and after two days of not able to and with my newborn starving they finally gave me formula and then treated me like an unfit mother and one nurse even said I didn’t try hard enough. It was so heart breaking as it was that I wasn’t not able to do it I wanted to! I didn’t even know they had formula to offer I was going to send my mother to but some but they kept pushing me to try harder. I had to actually yell (which is something I do not do I treat people with respect) at them it is not working and my baby is starving I am feeding him back off and I don’t want to hear another word! Then to be told my child will not be healthy and would not “bond” with me along with all the other crap info they were feeding was a complete lie!!!!! He is now almost 5 and has been sick maybe 4 times. It is not ANYONES job to tell a mother how to feed!!!

  43. Wow. What a shock that a magazine with Formula company advertising revenue would take this view. *eyeroll*

  44. I live by a Baby Friendly Hospital. Allow me to explain what they do. The maternity ward does not accept any freebies or incentives from formula companies. All formula and related supplies are kept in storage in an area where the public won’t see it. They have an assortment of different formulas should the need arise. They are simply not visible. All mothers are encouraged to breastfeed. If they choose not to, they sign a waiver and that waiver permits the nurses to feed the infant formula. Since the hospital is Baby Friendly, they have lactation consultants on staff 24/7 to help new moms. All of the doctors and nurses go through extra training so that they can help moms nurse. I think it’s great! Breastfeeding is the perfect nutrition for babies. Formula laboratories have spent decades working to improve their formulas, and they have changed so much over the years. Yet, formula still doesn’t match up to breastmilk. It can’t. The best labs with the most talented scientists can’t reproduce breastmilk. The human body is an amazing machine.

    Since some mothers choose not to breastfeed, the hospital gives them the choice to formula feed. Breastfeeding isn’t forced upon them. They take literally 2 seconds to sign a form and, if the mother isn’t able to sign the form due to pain or weakness or pure exhaustion, the infant’s father can sign it. No big deal. How many tons of papers do people already sign in the hospital? If they feel that strongly about formula, then they can scrawl their name on the form.

    Meanwhile, the moms who feel nervous about their first attempts at breastfeeding are in an environment where they don’t see Enfamil and Similac logos plastered on every poster, banner, or the back of crib cards and they don’t have that nagging constant reminder that the formula companies assume they will fail and will have to use their product.

  45. Ok, so we are the most rediculous nation around. I see why he would push for “hiding the formula”. It’s natural, it’s there….It’s Free. Free people, Free. Women on WIC get coupons for formula, at about $14 a can, why wouldn’t tax payers being backing his efforts?? Oh right, we like to complain about the situation involving welfare and wasted money and not really do anything about it. (Then when school budget cuts come around and the only way around it is raising property taxes, no one wants any part of that as well, but that’s another story) I breastfed my first son till 6 months, my second son 3 months because I dried up due to health issues. I’m glad formula is there, but if this was any other “third world” country, this topic would be the last thing we’d be bitching about. It should be freedom of choice, of course, but keep it for the right reasons. (Not selfish reasons; you should know what your getting in to when you let your guy stick it in) I didn’t want formula shoved down my throat, but it was nice to have around. Anyway, yes, I agree with the giaganto sugary drinks as well. Come on people, we’re one of the most obese nations in the world. He’s trying to do something about it. They banned smoking in public there, ban large drinks and who knows what could happen next? Maybe, stop the ability to buy cookies and ice cream with EBT? Or worse, extra taxes on McDonalds! Oh the humanity!!

  46. Oohh..this makes me so mad I don’t even know where to start. Then I read some of the comments left and it’s worse.

    This policy is completely flawed and does put restrictions on a woman’s right in regards to their body, what they do with it, and how they raise their kids. I’m absolutely, hands down, big time supporter of breastfeeding. I also had to go through not being able to breastfeed because my milk hadn’t come in, my second child had latching issues because he was two weeks early, then I couldn’t breastfeed because of my meds. I sat in my hospital room with a pump going for almost 20 mins each with absolutely nothing. I pumped until I was sore, chapped, and bruised.

    To hide, discourage, restrict, or require a valid medical reason before allowing a mother to feed her children is just WRONG! They want to eliminate the swag, or formula company labeled free gifts, etc, that’s fine. But no mom should ever be chastised, guilt tripped, into breastfeeding.

    When I had my first child I was a young single mom working full time trying to make ends meet. Pumping was incredibly hard to do, I would loose break time or lunch time due to it, and every time I had to do it in a bathroom. YUCK! I even had people throw away the breastmilk I kept in the break room freezer. On my six week check up I was heavily chastised about supplementing with formula when needed. Every time I could I breastfed her.

    This isn’t about complaining or about women being lazy. This is about someone telling a woman what to do with her body, and how to raise her child.

  47. Why do people have to get involved with what is a family’s personal choice. Formula is not poison. My 3 very healthy kids prove that. I am all for educating people about options and then LETTING THEM CHOOSE. Breastfed or bottlefed, choose what is right for you and your family. No guilt attached!

  48. The day I wrote this article for my blog, giving bottle-feeding mothers the validation they so desperately desire for making a VALID choice, I got a HUGE response. Bottle fed mothers are already judged and made to feel guilty for simply making the choice that works for THEM. This is a personal choice, and the government has no place to tell a mother how to feed her child.

  49. AMEN SISTER! I will choose what is best for me and my baby thank you very much! Glad I don’t live in New York!

  50. @NLeighton
    Comments like these are exactly why there is a desperate need for more education about breastfeeding in this country. 1)Breast size has nothing to do with how much milk is being produced. 2)breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and infant by skin to skin contact, hormonal changes during breastfeeding, and the time and closeness spent nursing. “Maternal feelings do not come naturally to me”. Perhaps they would have come more naturally had you breastfed. The body and the chemicals within are designed that way for a reason. I’m not saying that to offend you or imply that you did something wrong, I’m just saying that oxytocin released in the body during lactation has a profound effect on bonding and “motherly” feelings. Proven scientific fact, not my opinion. 3)”Also because of digestion problems my son had to be on a very expensive specialized formula so even if I had tried to breast feed it may not have been best for him at all.” This statement makes no sense to me. Human milk is custom made for the human baby that it is intended for, thereby making it much easier for a baby to digest than milk designed to grow a baby cow or formulated from beans. All manner of digestive issues could be avoided by breastfeeding.

    I don’t agree with government regulation of our lives, but I do agree that formula should not be marketed to exhausted, vulnerable moms before they have had the chance to really give breastfeeding a chance. It’s too easy to give up or think you don’t have enough milk if there is formula sitting there just waiting to be used. Someone on a diet shouldn’t have a dozen Krispy Kremes sitting out on the counter, you know? You’re setting yourself up for failure. Breastfeeding is best. Period. It’s been PROVEN. If you choose not to do it, fine. Your choice. But the hospital should not give it out. If you want to use formula, bring some with you. Same as whichever clothes or toothpaste you prefer. They aren’t saying you can’t use it. Just that they won’t pass it out to everyone. It’s not your constitutional right to get stuff for free. Breastfeeding is free if cost is an issue for you. If you can’t breastfeed for some reason, then by all means, something can be worked out. But it shouldn’t just be a free for all. WIC spends $33 million A MONTH on formula, according to the USDA Economic Research Service. No one seems to give a crap about that when they complain about the economy.

  51. This more recent article quotes it at $850 million per year, or almost $71 million per month. When you factor in the cost of treating all the additional health problems that could have likely been avoided by breastfeeding (for both mom and baby), that number grows exponentially. Everyone can be mad and stomp their little feet about things they don’t like, but facts are facts.

  52. I dont think its very fair to assume that if a woman gives her baby formula in the hospital she wont breastfeed. I breastfed my daughter until she was 1, but if it hadnt of been for the formula in the hospital she would have gotten very sick. No matter how hard I tried to get her to breast feed she wouldnt latch on until she was 2 weeks old. Up until that point at home I had to pump and give it to her in a bottle. I understand that breast feeding is so much better on so many different levels but sometimes formula is necessary.

  53. …and in those cases, it can be used. But it shouldn’t be passed out to everyone along with the footie socks and peri-bottles.

  54. …and in those circumstances, it can be used. But it shouldn’t be passed out to everyone along with the footie socks and peri-bottles.

  55. So we have no problem in our country giving women the right to choose life for their unborn child but we that choose life have no choice in formula or beastfeeding. I have three children and breastfed all three however I don’t believe in forcing women to do breastfeed.

  56. Is it really that difficult to buy a bottle and some formula during the 9 months you are waiting on your baby to be born and just bring them with you to the hospital?? I mean, seriously, not that big of a deal….

  57. I think this is just ridiculous! While breastfeeding is better for babay, it should be a families CHOICE! How is a baby suppose to eat if the hospital doesnt provide some formula. I know when I gave birth to my daughter last year we were not allowed to bring any outside food or clothes for her until we left. We stayed in the hospital for five days after my C-section. There is nothing wrong with providing free formula to new families!

  58. i never even attempted to breast feed. The idea of a baby sucking on my breast grossed me out. I didn’t care what anyone else thought. Anyone that thinks I am a bad mother needs to mind their own business. I had every right to decide whether to breast feed or formula feed. My child has been extremely healthy. He has never had an ear infection in his 5 years, has no allergies, and is above average in development. My niece was breast fed for 15 months. She is in and out of the doctors. She has asthma, allergies, had to get her tonsils and adnoids out by the time she was 4. No one has any right to force a mother to breast feed.

  59. Honestly I’m surprised hospitals don’t lock it up now, and for none of the given reasons. They lock iup medical supplies to prevent theft, and help prevent hospitals from charging you for the stuff stolen or broken. Formula is expensive. If you leave and a housekeeper who gets paid crap comes in right behind you… well the temptation is clear.

  60. I think it is a good initiative since a lot of new young mothers often opt for formula feeding since they want to have some of their “life” normal. But if they actually tried to breastfeed, it would actually open their eyes to how beautiful of a bond it creates between mother and child. I am successfully breastfeeding my first child and I plan to breastfeed all my future children.

    And about the sugary drinks…it is a good intiative too since they are only bad for our health when taken in excess. Start thinking of your health mothers!

  61. Although I do not agree with this tactic, I do see a lot of moms my age (21) that don’t even consider the idea of breastfeeding. This can be annoying for several reasons. Most of them are on WIC or food stamps & don’t even want to bother trying something that has not only been proven to be better for baby but is also free? I had my share of complications with breastfeeding, and just recently started using formula a couple of times a day (due to my milk decrease) when he was 5 months old. Although this is not the best way to go about it, but in a sense, I am happy to see that breastfeeding is finally getting seen in a good light as opposed to a controversial one. Sure, no one wants to see this, but it is not breastfeeding getting blamed for once.

  62. Wow,what an incredibly entrenched bottle feeding culture you have in the US.The way we feed our babies is not a life style choice. It is a health and economic issue. The short and long term health of babies who are not breastfed are at greater risk. Mothers who do not breastfeed are also at greater risk of some diseases. Not breastfeeding costs our health care systems millions of dollars. Our political leaders are cognizant of this and realise improving breastfeeding rates by implementation of programs like the evidence based Breastfeeding Friendly Health Initiative are imperative.

  63. I couldn’t breast feed. Is he really suggesting that some babies starve. You can command someone on how to rise their children. Sounds like a Hitler/Castro move to me.

  64. 1st I would love to see this man starve for two weeks! I desperately tried to breastfeed, but I produced no milk not a drop. It got to the point one night when I was balling my eyes out and my poor starving baby was screaming because he could not take it any more, I bottle feed him. He is now a perfectly healthy seven week old. I would like this man to go threw the pain of trying to breastfeed a starving baby with an empty boob see how long his rude discriminating ass lasts. further more some babies don’t latch every baby is different and needs different things. In my opinion this is one of the stupidest men alive.

    A Mother who thinks he has no right!

  65. I had my daughter through C-section and was able to breastfeed. I applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s decision. I was lucky my daughter was born at a baby friendly hospital and within an hour of her birth she was latch on to my breast. a friend of mine gave birth at a different hospital and the nurses brought the baby to her to breastfeed two days after giving birth and only for 20 minutes (my friend was not able to breastfeed). It seems that hospitals take away the right of the mother to breastfeed and Bloomberg is only trying to encourage more breastfeeding at hospitals, instead of boarding women with the message that we are incapable of feeding our own offspring. Formula companies have changed normalcy, some children born in NYC hospitals would never receive colostrum which is so beneficial for the immature digestive system of the new born. Therefore, why not encourage women to breastfeed from the beginning, is the most beneficial act a mother can do for her child.
    I agree with Bloomberg, formula at the hospital should be given only for medical reasons not because the woman had a c-section and she wants to sleep more. On the other hand, at home if the mother decides stop breadtfeeding that should be her choice but in the hospital (meaning the first 24-48 hours a child is born) infants should have the opportunity to receive breastmilk- the best nutrition out there for infants (which is free).

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