The Campaign Spot

Keeping Abreast of Nanny State News in New York

The first Morning Jolt of the week examines former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assessement of a recent GOP running mate,  coverage of Romney’s trip to Israel, and then this bizarre development in New York City:

Mayor Bloomberg, Regulating the Space between Babies and Breasts

Remember, women, the important thing is that progressives respect you and your right to make your own choices about your body.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

“If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed,” said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, ages 4 months and 9 years. “It’s for me to choose.”

Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.

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.

This is raising hackles outside of conservative circles. “Gothamist Executive Editor Jen Chung, mother of one, shared her mixed feelings with us: “For many women, breastfeeding is HARD, that’s why there are lactation consultants who charge like $175/private visit or $35 for a 15-minute phone call after you leave the hospital. And when the breastfeeding isn’t going well, it really makes the mom depressed. For some moms and babies, it’s easy, for others, it’s harder. I definitely think moms should give it a try for as long as they can but they shouldn’t feel like terrible mothers if they can’t or that the hospital/medical professionals won’t support them. Keeping formula ‘locked up’ is also weird — moms could just make their partners/friends buy it from the drug store.’”

Doug Johnson sees echoes of national policy to come in Bloomberg’s decision: “Hardly anyone disagrees that breastfeeding is what new babies need, and the formula (while safe and effective) does not match breast milk in providing what babies need. Still, this is the kind of bureaucratic overreach that government control of health care famous that we are in store for. Your future under Obamacare is playing out right in front of your eyes in New York City…”

Is anyone else dumbfounded that the most draconian of food and health laws are being enacted in “hey, fuggedaboudit” New York City? This is the city of pugnacious tabloids, the mafia, Archie Bunker, Tax Driver, Joe Namath – this city used to define its identity through toughness, and defiance, and independence, and disregarding authority. And now some pint-size billionaire has decided he’s the city’s healthy living messiah, sent to save us from ourselves, to use the power of government to force us to make what are considered the healthy choices…. today.

Phineas writes at Sister Toldjah’s site: “That’s the essence of liberal fascism, of the nanny-state, of arrogant would-be Czars like Mike Bloomberg: there is no limit, no point at which they say they control enough. Every minute aspect of your life –how much salt you use, how much soda you drink, how you feed your baby– is subject to the state’s direction. Every. Single. Bit.”

“Just image if the poor babies need more than 16 ounces of formula,” fears the Jammie Wearing Fool.

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