Mayor Bloomberg is getting behind the push for breast-feeding over the use of formula for new moms, a New York Post article reported.
As a part of the New York City Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, beginning September 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that certain hospitals use. And when formula is used, the medical reason will be documented.
So far, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have agreed to the plan.
Studies have shown that breast-feeding has numerous benefits for children. Breast milk contains vitamins and nutrients needed during the first six months of life, as well as substances that protect infants from illness.
“New York City is definitely ahead of the curve,” said Eileen DiFrisco, of NYU Langone Medical Center, where the breast-feeding rate has surged from 39 to 68 percent under the program.
But not everyone is convinced: “They make formula for a reason, and the FDA makes sure it’s safe,” said Roxanne Schmidt, whose 14-month-old twins were fed with formula from birth. “Locking it up is just wrong.”
U.S. Senate Candidate Wendy Long issued an email statement on Tuesday calling on Bloomberg to reverse his decision:
“Whether in Washington or in New York, a governing philosophy that replaces personal choice with a nanny state bureaucracy is wrong,” said Long. “I can’t think of a more intimate or personal decision, and the notion of a government-imposed mandate stigmatizing women who chose to use baby formula is simply absurd.
“Finally, what’s even more ironic is a pro-choice politician dictating how to feed a newborn that he wouldn’t guarantee a right to life.”