Discuss: Should NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg decide whether moms should breast-feed?
First, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg provoked accusations he was wanting to run a nanny state by regulating the available size of sugary drinks for sale.
Now he is insinuating himself into the beverage decisions for the city's newest and tiniest residents.
The New York City Health Department's Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is designed to make it harder for new mothers to choose to feed their newborns formula, providing a stronger incentive for them to make breast-feeding work. Formula will be kept under lock and key.
Every time a new mother requests a bottle, "she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead," according to The New York Post.
Twenty-seven of the city's 40 hospitals are participating in the program, dubbed "Latch On NYC." They will document the "medical reason" each time formula is used, The hospitals will "restrict access to infant formula by hospital staff, tracking infant formula distribution and sharing data on formula distribution with the Health Department," according to the city's web site.
Breast-feeding certainly is a more healthful for the baby, but the idea that hospitals would try to restrict access to formula during what is already a stressful time is disappointing. I chose to breast-feed my son, but I have a family member and a friend who had serious difficulty as they tried to make the same choice for their babies. They both ended up choosing to use formula and their little darlings are growing up healthy.
Their frustration at not being able to give their babies nourishment through breast-feeding would have been only compounded by getting a lecture every time their babies cried in hunger.
Yes, absolutely. Educate expecting mothers about many benefits and advantages of breast-feeding. Coach them once the baby arrives. Make it acceptable to breast-feed throughout our communities as the city of Seattle just did.
But don't make a stressful time worse by making new mothers beg for formula for their babies.
Update 10:15 a.m.
What do you think? Let us know in the poll below.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics