The Home Front

Politics, culture, and American life — from the family perspective.

Nanny-State Watch: Bloomberg and Breastfeeding


Karol Markowicz writes in today’s New York Post on Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to get more moms to breastfeed by making it harder to get formula while babies are in the hospital:

In the hazy hours after her new baby is born, a mother faces the decision of whether to breastfeed or use formula to feed her child. She may try to breastfeed and succeed right away — or it might take a little time to figure out.

But should she choose to supplement with formula, she’ll now find New York City standing in her way.

Under a new Mayor Bloomberg-led initiative, Latch On NYC, moms will have a tougher time making the decision to formula-feed.

As The Post reported last weekend: “With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.”

Since newborns need five to six bottles in a 24-hour period, that’s going to be a lot of lecturing.

Though formula-makers themselves note “breastmilk is best” in their ads, Mike Bloomberg feels that what is lacking for women, should they decide not to breastfeed, is education. They must not know that breastmilk is best. Never mind if they physically can’t breastfeed or don’t get any maternity leave or simply find breastfeeding to be more trouble than it’s worth. They will be educated.

The Post story also quoted Lisa Paladino of Staten Island University Hospital: “The key to getting more moms to breastfeed is making the formula less accessible. This way, the RN has to sign out the formula like any other medication. The nurse’s aide can’t just go grab another bottle.”

Yeah, that’s a good idea. Make more work for the nurses in the neonatal unit. The rest here.


Subscribe to National Review