Rhode Island Birthing Hospitals Stop Giving Away Free Formula Samples
December 1, 2011
by Kate Goodin
In an effort to promote breastfeeding, all seven of Rhode Island's birthing hospitals have stopped handing out free formula samples to new moms, unless medically necessary, said a spokesperson for the state's health agency.
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"We always support efforts to encourage breastfeeding," said Annemarie Beardsworth, the health agency spokesperson. The agency also cited the benefits of breastfeeding, which they say includes lowering the risk of certain types of cancers and type 2 diabetes in mothers and gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases in infants.
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While the state's actions align with the AAP, which recommends exclusive breastfeeing for six months, and the WHO, which advocates breastfeeding for two years, the International Formula Council says that "mothers should be trusted to make good choices for their babies according to their individual family circumstances."
Do you think more hospitals should follow Rhode Island's example, or should formulas samples always be available?