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“Nanny Bloomberg”, Mayor of New York City, Launches Controversial Breastfeeding Initiative

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Mayor Bloomberg, who recently earned the nickname “Nanny Bloomberg” after banning large sodas and trans fats from New York City, has now turned his overprotective eye towards the unlikeliest of targets – brand new mothers.



I can't believe this is happening! Wow, men voting on what women should do with their bodies. How ridiculous.


I nearly watched my first born die from mal-nourishment because of stupidity like this! Her tonsils were overgrown and she couldn't swallow properly. at 3 months she weighed a mere 3 pounds and I was told I was at fault. By 4 months I had her doubled in weight and she was finally thriving...because i went against her pediatricians advice and fed her formula. What a fucking idiotic thing to be voting on in this current economic crisis.


That's the most awful thing I've ever heard. There is no way New York can allow for this to happen


I had to be fed expensive soy formula as a kid, I was extremely lactose intolerant and threw-up every time I had any. My mum had to get WIC which luckily payed for it, but if it hadn't because of some idea like this? I would not be as healthy as I am now


Your information is incorrect. Your article is attempting to cause panic.

Here is the entirety of Latch On NYC:

Hospitals joining Latch On NYC have agreed to:

Enforce the New York State hospital regulation to not supplement breastfeeding infants with formula unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s
medical chart
Limit access to infant formula by hospital staff (it will still be available if a doctor orders it)
Discontinue the distribution of promotional or free
infant formula
Prohibit the display and distribution of infant formula advertising or promotional materials in any hospital location

Additionally, the Health Department is launching a subway and hospital poster campaign highlighting the benefits of breast milk, such as reducing the risk of ear infections, diarrhea and pneumonia. END QUOTE

That's it. ANYBODY can get "medical indication" for the use of formula if they choose not to breastfeed or are one of the 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000 mother baby dyads who actually medically NEED this stuff.

You can't just walk into a hospital and say, "I need a big bottle of Oxycontin, or I'll die." Nope. You have to have a REASON and a doctor willing to give it to you if you NEED it. Formula will be more easy to get (for the 36 hours you are in the hospital) than Oxycontin is to adults, but mothers will have to only ASK for it. When they get released, they can walk into ANY store and buy the stuff, if they so desire. IF it's a medical need, OR if Mama refuses to breastfeed, the baby will still be fed formula! People are so fast to jump to conclusions or protect their own choices, even when the facts don't support those conclusions.

NO babies are "going to die" as if a child were to die, it would certainly be a medical indication. These situations (where a baby "is going to die") are medically as rare as can be, but the plain desire of the mother NOT to breast feed is also a "medical indication." NO baby will go without their stuff in a can, if their mothers cannot or will not provide milk for them.

Basically. this will only get rid of the corruption laden Formula Industry's pacts with hospitals and maybe more babies who actually CAN breastfeed actually will be given a real chance at doing so.

Plus, the hospitals in NYC don't HAVE TO join Latch On NYC. Hospitals can opt out (I've been told) if they want to keep their corruption laden pacts with the "free formula" for patients from the formula industry. There are no Free Lunches and no such thing as actual "Free formula" however. Perhaps we need to understand that.

I'm willing to bet the babies born in Latch On hospitals will have a MUCH higher rate of breastfeeding and excuses not to will be much lower. As a result, both infant an maternal health will be better. THAT is a fact!

When women are given the chance to breastfeed and not have their chance destroyed by the premature introduction of unneeded (by most) artificial substances, most WILL succeed. Any baby who "might die" will still be allowed to have formula.

Just like any baby who "might die" without medication will be allowed medication. What is wrong with actually NEEDING something to gain access to it? (Like it or not, formula can and does cause health problems, usually in cases where it is and was NOT needed. What about these babies? The ones I see who puke. and scream and are in pain and can't shit, and get sick and become anemic all because Mama had to use that "free formula pack" she was given in the hospital and then Baby refused to nurse after he got the bottle, so Mama went out and bought more formula? THIS is more common than babies "almost dying" from lack of formula. These babies suffer and some of them die. They are NO less important that babies who need formula. The number of babies who NEED human milk is actually much higher.

Yes, there ARE mother baby dyads who NEED formula, but they are as rare as can be. (Most studies say 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000.) If they weren't, there wouldn't be 7 billion people on Planet Earth, nearly all of whom were breastfed, and most of whom didn't "almost die" from the lack of formula. Consuming Human Milk is the NORMAL AVERAGE human infant condition. The "Need" for formula is real, but rare.

The only thing this will do is prevent FREE formula from being dispensed in situations where breastfeeding WOULD HAVE succeeded if the formula hadn't been around. It is well known that the mere presence of formula a new mother's home reduces her chance of successfully breastfeeding by more than 70%. This initiative will eliminate those failures, while still allowing those who might need the substance access to it.

Any mother baby dyad who can't (or dyads where the mother simply doesn't want to) will will be given the formula the way you are given drugs in a hospital..... paid for. Just like you have to pay for any drugs used in the hospital, you pay for IV kits, you pay for everything from slippers to net panties and sanitary napkins after giving birth. Why should formula be different and be free? Not everyone needs it, in fact MOST mother baby dyads NEVER need it.

For those who DO need it, it will be available.

This is only being done to educate mothers and HELP the health of babies. It's SAD that it takes initiatives like this to even nudge people in the direction of good health. What people don't realize (I do, being a Lactation Consultant) is that the VAST MAJORITY of woman CAN breastfeed and the VAST MAJORITY for babies CAN breastfeed. Why shouldn't they if they CAN? If they can't their formula will be available.

The outrage should be saved for babies who do not NEED formula, but are given it anyway and then suffer from that decision.

The problem is; formula is TOO available in hospitals, I work with women every day who ARE breastfeeding and doing so successfully, yet still thing they have to have formula in thier homes, "Just in case." This is not logical. Given a chance, given NO bottles to cause nipple confusion and given the right help 99.9% of mother baby dyads WILL be successful with breastfeeding. For those in the 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000 range who cannot, the stuff WILL be available to them.

But, like other drugs which can cause health issues, but can help a FEW small number of people, formula has it's limitations. However, it will still be available to those who truly need it.

Not to mention the fact that you can buy the stuff in ANY store you can find, and most women and babies spend about 36 hours in the hospitals. If any of these women do NOT have a "medical indication" not to breastfeed, but still have a reason they don't want to do it, they can pick up a whole case of the stuff on the way home. NOBDOY will go without it.

The formula companies will make sure every woman gets her "Free" sample pack, usually timed with growth spurts and the beginning of colic, to make sure MOST women feel inferior enough and insecure enough that they will use it.

The formula companies have been "Playing dirty" for decades. This initiative only does a LITTLE to even out the problems these massive money making companies cause with their "free samples." I see NO problem with getting rid of "free samples" of formula. It can only help to cause a rise in the number of women who will actually be given a CHANCE to breastfeed their babies, while those who NEED it will still get it.


Hi P'Gell. Some issues with what you wrote:

"Your information is incorrect." It's taken from the newspaper article and while you clearly have a different spin on it, I don't think anything quoted isn't accurate.

"Your article is attempting to cause panic." That's a pretty bold accusation. I'm just reporting what was published - so if you have a problem with this being "a story" you might want to take it up with the DOZENS of newspapers and TV stations that have deemed it such.

The whole point of this post is to ask your opinion, not to make one. People DO have big issues with Latch On NYC and while you might disagree with them, it's not right to pretend this isn't a debate we should be having.

And, just to clarify, I personally identify as a "lactavist" and am a 100% supporter of breastfeeding as the best choice for infants. If you and I chatted, we'd probably be totally in sync in our beliefs about how hospitals mishandle getting kids to feed.


Champagne, you said, QUOTE His new “Latch On NYC” initiative will see 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals lock up infant formula “behind locked doors” – and release it only after mothers prove that they can’t feed their newborn from the breast. END QUOTE

No. All the mothers have to do is ask for it, because REFUSING to feed your baby at the breast, or SAYING you "can't" is actually considered a "medical indication" to use formula. Plus, the stuff won't be "behind locked doors." It only has to be approved to be used. And approval will only require having to be asked for.

In order to have healthy people and healthy babies, we need to understand something; Formula is LIKE a drug. SOME people need it, MOST people don't. When it's given to people who DON'T need it, it causes problems. MORE babies are harmed by formula they DON'T need than there are babies who will possibly "die" due to LatchOnNYC.

In fact, NO babies will "die" due to LactchOnNYC. (Because that's the argument people are making, "My baby would have died without formula." Of COURSE those babies would have been provided with it, That should go without saying.)

I'm glad you consider yourself a "lactivist" but I don't see the big deal with having to ASK for something as potentially damaging as infant formula!

After you have a baby you have to ASK to get out of bed, you have to ASK to take a shower, you have to ASK to have unwrap your baby! (in some hospitals.) Why is having to ask for and PAY for formula, which MOST babies DO NOT NEED and will be better off without, such a problem?

I do feel the article was a bit panic mongering. You called breastfeeding a "luxury." Breastfeeding is also NOT a "Luxury" Anybody, regardless of income or economic status can do it, in fact, it's MUCH cheaper than the average $8,000 to $13,000 a year spent on formula. Even pump rentals or purchases are MUCH cheaper than buying this stuff in a can.

Also as a nurse and a Lactation Consultant I know how these "Initiatives" work. All Mama needs to do is make a peep about "not being able to" or "not wanting to" and the stuff will be in her baby's bassinet within minutes. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

Now, start requiring a prescription for formula, and you'll have a story.

Simply Having to ask for it and pay for it rather than having it made an assumption that you and your baby NEED it when most don't? Not so much. I don't see what the big deal is.



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