Mayor Bloomberg: Locking Up Formula is Not the Answer

Oh no he didn’t.

As a lovely follow-up to the AAP’s resolution , Mayor Bloomberg has decided to throw d in his $0.2.

Yes, we know. Breast milk is the perfect first food for human babies. It is a fact which nobody, least of all me, is disputing.

Enter Bloomberg’s Latch on NYC initiative which, in addition to a whole bunch of pro-boob advertising which I am not arguing with, includes a strong suggestion to NYC maternity hospitals to “support a mother’s decision to breastfeed” by restricting access to formula by hospital staff and discontinuing the distribution of free formula samples to new mothers. Women will be able to request formula in the hospital, but before they get it then will have to endure a lecture on why breastfeeding is a better choice.

Advocates of the initiative say that it is unfair to a new mom to make formula an easily accessible solution when nursing their newborn proves difficult.  The problem is that, to me, this smacks horribly of limiting a woman’s right to choose how to feed her baby…remind anyone of another right to choose that women’s right advocates have had to fight for?

If the mayor really wants to help more women succeed at breastfeeding, where’s his initiative to offer free follow-up lactation consultations, breast pump rentals and longer maternity leave for new mothers?  Those are breastfeeding initiatives that I could get behind.