Free formula for new moms becoming more uncommon

Free formula for new moms becoming more uncommon

Mothers used to leave hospitals with their baby in one arm and a package of formula in the other, but between 2007 and 2013, the number of hospitals offering moms free formula and formula coupons declined steeply.

In 2007, roughly 73 percent of hospitals offered breastfeeding mothers formula packs, but by 2013 only 31.6 percent of hospitals were following this practice, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, only 25 percent of hospitals were giving out formula packs in 24 U.S states.

“Several studies have shown that providing infant formula discharge packs to breastfeeding mothers reduces duration of exclusive breastfeeding,” said Dr. Jennifer Nelson, lead study author and epidemiologist with the CDC, in a news release.

According to Mary Ann Neumann, an advanced practice nurse for Women and Infant Services at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, breast milk provides complete nutrition for babies essential for their health, growth and development that formula can’t duplicate.

“The health benefits breast milk provides impacts infants throughout their lives,” Neumann says. “The lower rate of obesity in childhood alone leads to a lifetime of better health.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants should be breastfed exclusively until they are 6-months-old and should encourage breastfeeding until 12 months.

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One Comment

  1. I am a big supporter of breast feeding and nursed all four of my children. I took a lactation and breastfeeding course in graduate school. But I acknowledge that breast feeding is not for everyone, and not everyone is able to provide adequate nutrition for their child. If you are a struggling parent and you need help with acquiring formula, but don’t qualify for WIC or other community programs, check with your pediatrician. The practice I used to work for always had samples and they are more than willing to share with their families when asked.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.