â€œLatch On NYCâ€ is a citywide initiative in New York City that was created to support mothers who breastfeed their infants by asking local maternity wards in hospitals to voluntarily sign on to support a motherâ€™s choice to breastfeed.
The local hospitals were asked to help do this by limiting the promotion of infant formula in their facilities, which could interfere with the decision to breastfeed. Many hospitals stopped handing out formula goodie bags almost immediately.
This fall, New York City Mayor Bloombergâ€™s â€œLatch on NYCâ€ initiative will start urging hospitals to go a step further and actually keep baby formula under lock-down. This new initiative is a push to encourage new mothers to breastfeed and will require new moms seeking formula for their infants to sign the formula out like one would do when purchasing medications.
The initiative will never refuse a mother formula for her baby but the new initiative to promote breastfeeding will require that each mother seeking formula receive a â€œmandatedâ€ talking to from the staff explaining why she should opt out of her unhealthy choice. The initiative will still provide all mothers with the choice to choose formula, but it will be the unpopular choice.
I agree that breast milk is the best choice when feeding newborns. Itâ€™s easier to digest and obviously, the most natural thing that we can feed our babies. I think it would be wonderful if all mothers could happily and easily breastfeed their children.
But some people simply are not physically able to breastfeed. I tried but I could never produce enough breast milk to feed my daughters.
As a mother, it was one of the most frustrating and trying times in early motherhood. I tried everything that I was told to help bring in my milk. I pumped. I fed on demand. I popped fenugreek until I was sweating black licorice out of every pore on my body. I drank motherâ€™s milk tea. Nothing seemed to work. I desperately wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby but no amount of wishing could make it possible.
I think the Latch On NYC is a great initiative, in that it supports new mothers in the choice to breastfeed. It promotes the lifestyle and will hopefully make the city more breastfeeding tolerant. It will also serve as a great resource for mothers who want guidance in her breastfeeding endeavors, but on the other hand, locking up the formula and hiding it from the mothers who cannot breastfeed is just plain mean.
If it weren’t for formula, I donâ€™t know how I would have fed my daughters. If it weren’t for formula, my daughterâ€™s jaundice would have escalated to an even greater threat to her health.
I had to nurse with the assistance of an SNS system. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively but I could not produce the amount of breast milk that was needed to provide enough nourishment for my daughter.
Should we mothers be made to feel like criminals because we need to give our babies formula?
Photo Source: Raphael Goetter