Michael Bloomberg wants hospitals to hide baby formula, force breastfeeding
posted at 2:27 pm on July 30, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has devised a new and cunning way to force new citizens of New York to suck at the teat of the State by insisting that they suck at their mother’s.
The New York Post reports that the man who would be king is pushing hard against hospitals that freely dispense baby formula, insisting that they lock up their inventory of the product so as to force the hands (and breasts) of mothers of newborns. “Starting Sept. 3,” the paper notes, “the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use—the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.”
The maneuver is part of the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative. Under it 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have already agreed to stop giving out swag bags with formula-company logos. The initiative also mandates that hospitals document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.
One might note the irony of a man who is staunchly pro-choice enforcing a “no-choice” measure. Then again, the capacity to think logically and exercise sound judgment evidently has evaded Bloomberg ever since he graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1964, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in tow.
This latest measure is typically divisive, receiving a thumbs-up from La Leche League, a Bronx cheer from bottle-feeding moms. The Post quotes Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, as saying, “If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed. It’s for me to choose.”
Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who insist on formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will adopt an out-of-sight, out-of mind approach, storing formula in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications. Would-be bottle users will also receive a mandatory lecture on why they should reconsider.
The article notes that medical experts are in widespread agreement that breast-feeding in the first weeks of life gives a baby a critical healthy start, equipping the newborn with antibodies that are otherwise unavailable. Yet, one important nutrient—vitamin D—is missing from breast milk but used to fortify formula.
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