Wedding Woes

W. T. F.?

It's not the fact that the formula swag bags aren't going to be given out anymore (I didn't take one home from the hospital...I was too worried about copping as many diapers and mesh undies that I could), it's that they have to have a documented 'reason' that you're FFing your kid.  That's no one's effing business, as long as the kid is being fed.

New York City Will Encourage Moms to Breastfeed by Locking Up All the Formula

Breastfeeding, according to all the trendiest news stories, is the best thing ever — it turns your baby into a super genius with a brain the size of a mutated cantaloupe and all but ensures that child's eventual acceptance into an elite university, either Oxford or the Sorbonne, but maybe Harvard as a back-up. There are drawbacks, of course, but there are drawbacks to eating too much ice cream and nobody's solution to brain freeze is, "Stop all intake of ice cream." The point is, if you're a truly dedicated mother, you'll breastfeed, and if you refuse, the city of New York under Caius Brutus Bloomberg will make it unreasonably difficult for you to procure formula.

Starting September 3, reports the Post with nary a tinge of salaciousness, New York will implement "the most restrictive pro-milk program in the nation." As part of the city Health Department's voluntary Latch On NYC Initiative (which, I think we can agree, is a terrible name), New York's 40 hospitals will give up "swag bags" featuring formula logos (which include branded mugs and bottles), as well as document a medical reason for every bottle of formula that a newborn receives.

Back in April, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen wagged its finger at hospitals for being complicit in unethical marketing of the formula products, and so called for healthcare facilities to "immediately discontinue the distribution of commercial infant formula manufacturer discharge bags." Though New York's latest move to restrict the wanton distribution of formula grab-bags to labor-weary mothers has been applauded by breastfeeding advocates, formula-feeding moms are rightly pissed that they're getting a heavy-handed lecture on how best to fill their infant's squishy little body with nutrients.

"If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed," said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls. "It's for me to choose." Latch On won't deny women formula if they request it, but mothers who do ask for formula will be, according to Allison Walsh of the Bethel Medical Center, educated. Lisa Paladino from Staten Island University Hospital took the restrictions on formula one step further, explaining,

The key to getting more moms to breast-feed is making the formula less accessible. This way, the RN has to sign out the formula like any other medication. The nurse's aide can't just go grab another bottle.

Latch On NYC is extremely susceptible to criticism as a restriction on personal freedom, but the idea that formula makers aren't also exerting a similar (if subtler) kind of pressure on new mothers to use formula is naive. Still, nobody likes a lecture and being told that there's only one correct way to care for her newborn is probably the easiest way to anger a mom. "They make formula for a reason," says Roxanne Schmidt, "and the FDA makes sure it's safe." Putting that kind of trust in the FDA might be little too precarious a leap of faith for some people, but Schmidt does have a point — suddenly restricting a mother's choices is the most patronizing way to effect change there is. Besides, it's self-defeating — think of all the times someone reminded you to recycle or quit smoking or not huff so much glue, and then ask yourself if that person's nagging made you really want to change your behavior or, instead, exacerbated it, just to make them understand how paltry few fucks you gave about their attempt to regulate your behavior.

Re: W. T. F.?

  • 6fsn6fsn member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Holy isht.  That's a great way to make someone who tried feel even worse. 
  • You know, for all this controvery, I don't know one woman who could breastfeed that chose not to.  My friends who didn't, couldn't.  And at this point in my life, I have quite a few friends that are mothers, so I think I can safely say the woman that can and doesn't is pretty rare.

    So, way to find one more way to belittle a woman's body and decision re: it, NYC!

    And even if that minority exists (which I'm sure it does), people need to be butting out.  The kid is getting fed, right?  Then shut the hell up.
  • My neighbor and my sister's BFF didn't attempt to BF.   I don't know their reasons, but they seem like good parents with healthy, happy children. 
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My SIL and her two sisters didn't either.  Stupid SIL didn't, but that was probably more to do with being 16 with the first.  She's also the type to think that she was getting the shaft if other people were getting free formula and she wasn't.  I could see her not bf'ing just because she wouldn't want to miss out on a freebie.
  • I love that this just blithely ignores the other far more substantial/insurmountable barriers to extended breast feeding. The American workplace. Sure, there's some that manage for an extended period. There's far more that don't. And let's not even get into those that have to work more than one job, don't have the for Hoss the Pump, and lactation insultancy, don't get FMLA and if they did, they sure as hell can't afford to take it. This doesn't also address workplace "compliance" and how you can't legislate workplace culture.
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  • Dharma, even though I'm not aware of why my sister's BFF chose not to BF, I have a feeling that part of it is her job.  She is a manager in an accounting firm and her job is fast-paced and high-pressure.  I think even if she'd started out BF-ing, she'd would have never found the time to do it at work.  I think the other part, knowing her, was her comfort level with BFing.
  • So I'm going to assume then that this hospital has hired more lactation consultants and ensures that in the first few weeks after being home that these women have people helping them out if they have issues right? I wanted to BF so bad but my kid's sh!tty latch and jaundice issues were going to make it work. Those little bottles of formula were lifesavers. I needed someone to spend more than 30 minutes with me in the hospital than the overworked lactation consultant did.
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    Or make sure the hospital even has an lc.  With 6let the woman was on vacation.  With M2 the woman walked in with dirt under her fingernails that were covered in chipped polish.  She didn't wash her hands and prattled on about some study she was doing.  When she asked to touch me I kicked her out.

  • BF and working women really rankles me. I'd love to have another baby but I have no effing idea how I'd do what I do now and continue to BF.
  • Those little formulas saved us, too. My milk wouldn't come in. What was I supposed to do? Let the kid starve?

    And if I had another, I wouldn't bother. I hated it SO MUCH. Why does it matter why a woman doesn't BF as long as the kid is fed?! FFS. 
  • GBCKGBCK member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I'm prett pro-BFing.  
    But, really, this isn't how you 'fix' it.

    And pretending that this is THE reason women FF is crap.
  • DG1DG1 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary First Comment

    Oh boy. RAGE! 

    I would not want to be the person standing between the desperate lactating-failure mother with an infant who isn't gaining weight and the stash of formula. 

    and you know what's next - they'll tell you your "reason" isn't good enough. "Oh, you don't have enough supply? You must first prove that you tried Reglan, fenugreek, mother's milk tea, and hospital-grade breast pumping every 90 minutes before we will concede your need for formula." or "Oh, your employer doesn't provide pumping space? Stay home and BF your baby, you horrible, horrible working mother. Find another way to feed the rest of your family without that income." 

    I have MANY "friends" who are 100% sure that people with poor supply just aren't trying hard enough. Fck them, for real.

  • WzzWzz member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    i am pretty sure it is tied in with the W.I.C. program in NY.

    formula will be available, but first the nurses will speak with the mother abut the benefits of BFing. the news anchor was all, "yeah that's the last thing i need after 18 hours of labor - a lecture!" lol, she has a point.

  • WzzWzz member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    and FWIW, i wish they had more people at the hospital to speak with about BFing right away. more support would have probably meant success, which is probably the intentions of this program.

    i don't agree with this idea of his, but i think because it's bloomberg's last term he is going to get away with anything he can.
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