Is baby formula really all that bad? So bad that it should be kept locked up and only doled out under extreme circumstances? According to New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it is. As part of a campaign called "Latch on NYC", Mayor Bloomberg is asking most hospitals to refrain from offering new moms baby formula. In fact, he wants baby formula under lock and key, and only after a mom asks, is given a stern lecture on the benefits of breastfeeding, and the nurse can provide a medical reason for supplying the forbidden formula, can the mom get her hands on the stuff.
Mayor Bloomberg is also now requiring all new parents to use cloth diapers, only feed their children homemade organic foods, and to homeschool.**
**Just kidding. He's not really requiring all that. Just the breastfeeding part.
Because, you know. Mayor Bloomberg must surely know how easy and convenient breastfeeding must be for all new moms, right? After all, aren't all women given the, ahem, equipment needed to feed their babies? So, really, how hard can it be?
Actually, it can be kinda tough for some new moms. And like any parenting choice -- whether it's to homeschool, be a free-range parent, an attachment parent, to circumcise, to eat organic foods, to get your child's ears pierced, etc, etc, -- it's a personal decision for a family to make together. And no -- Mayor Bloomberg is not considered part of the family.
Listen, we (and we're sure, most new moms) are well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding.
For some new moms, it comes easily and they love it, while other new moms maybe don't want to do it. Maybe they can't, or maybe it doesn't fit their lifestyle. Either way-- it's up to them. If a mother wants to give her baby formula because it gives her the freedom and relaxation to enjoy being a new mom just a little bit more, more power to her. And if a new mom wants to breastfeed, high five to her, too.
Because you know what? In reality, this boils down to choice.
Breastfeeding is a choice. It isn't always easy, and it isn't for everyone. And it is a mother's choice whether or not to do it. It isn't up to the city of NYC, or it's mayor, to decide whether or not a new mother should give her child breastmilk or formula. Sure, Mayor Bloomberg is certainly entitled to his own opinion, and he can certainly feed his own children how ever he sees fit. But, in my opinion, this is a case of Mind Your Own Business, Sir.
New moms have enough on their plate. The last thing they need a (male) mayor telling them how to feed their newborn child. If she wants (or needs) formula, give her the dang stuff, no lecture required.
And apparently, other states are following this trend, too. Massachusetts has stopped sending new moms home with free infant formula goodie bags, a practice Rhode Island stopped doing in November as well, all as "encouragement" to get new moms to breastfeed.
Now you know my opinion...what's your take on this issue? Do you think the mayor has any say in the breast-feeding vs. bottle-feeding choice? Is this a case of keeping "unhealthy" behavior out of hospitals? Or is he just sticking his nose where it shouldn't be?
Tell us your thoughts!
And if you are looking for more breastfeeding (or bottle feeding) resources, we have lots: