Fewer Hospitals Giving Away Free Formula

Sherri - posted on 09/26/2011 ( 100 moms have responded )

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(CNN) -- An increasing number of hospitals are no longer giving new moms industry-sponsored baby formula samples when they leave the hospital -- and that's a good thing, health experts say.

The number of hospitals choosing to discontinue this practice doubled, on average, in the past four years according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

However, most hospitals still send new parents home with samples of formula, even though major health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend mothers try to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life. Breast milk is considered to be the best source of nutrition for newborns and infants.

"It's a change, but it's just a small change," says Anne Merewood, Ph.D., director of the Breastfeeding Center at Boston Medical Center and senior study author.

Four years ago, researchers surveyed hospitals in all 50 states and found that all but 14 percent of hospitals were giving new mothers free baby formula samples. In 2010, they surveyed hospitals in 20 states (the 10 best and 10 worst states when it comes to distributing industry-sponsored formula samples).

The latest study found 28 percent of hospitals were now leaving formula out of the goodie bags they were sending home with new moms.

"But most hospitals are still giving them out," says Merewood. She adds that most hospitals do not pay for the formula they feed their youngest patients or give the parents. "Hospitals don't have a role in marketing formula but that's what they're doing," Merewood believes.

In August, the CDC released a report that found hospitals need to do more to encourage moms to breastfeed. "We know 80 percent of mothers plan to breast feed," says Cria Perrine, Ph.D., one of the authors of last month's CDC report. She says 75 percent of moms do start nursing their newborns, but half of them give their baby formula by the time their little one is one week old.

Experts including Merewood and Perrine believe that new parents may interpret the hospital's gift of free formula as an endorsement. Merewood adds that when women are given free formula, that's usually the brand they will continue to use.

"It's very hard to change hospital practices," says Merewood. "It's natural for people to want to give things away." But she is encouraged by the trend she is seeing with her new survey.

Perrine says recent CDC data also finds fewer hospitals giving away free formula, (65.8 percent in 2009), "but it's not as fast as I would like to see."

In the past, the American Hospital Association has told CNN that hospitals support breastfeeding, but "breastfeeding is a personal choice and hospitals will follow the wishes of the mother, be it to breastfeed or bottle feed."

Perrine says even if mothers intend to breastfeed and give their babies formula, they shouldn't start the formula until after they leave the hospital.

During the first few days of a newborn's life, mom's breast milk provides baby with antibodies to ward off infections, hormones to regulate eating and it helps reduce diarrhea.

Studies have also shown that breastfeeding helps lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome, as wells as diabetes and obesity later in life.

Copyright CNN 2011

Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/29299251/detail...

So what do you guys think??

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mary - posted on 09/27/2011

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I just want to clarify some things that appears to be a bit muddled - even in the CNN article. It is not the hospital that provides these free bags - it is the formula companies. The hospital merely distributes them. As well, you are not required to accept them. You can even go through it (if you want) and remove anything from it that you wish. They are not mandatory.



As for hospitals providing formula for babies who are still inpatients...of course they do! They have formula on hand for the same reason they have a kitchen. Part of the "service" provided by hospitals is offering meals for all of it's patients, including infants. I'm a little perplexed when people talk about hospitals providing formula "free" for newborns; it's about as free as that lovely tray of mystery mush that they serve you, the mother, for dinner. Hospitals have to have a supply of formula on hand. Newborns are not their only patients that may need it - they see babies in the pediatric department as well.



As for hospitals promoting a particular brand, or "supporting" the formula industry - I wish more people understood that it really has nothing to do with the "hospital's" view on breast vs bottle, or even thinking one brand is superior to another. It all comes down to finances.



As I said, hospitals have to have a stock of formula in house - not just for the newborn nursery - but for those pediatric admissions as well. In the same way that they have contracts with the makers of everything from toilet paper to jello to medical supplies, they have contracts with the various formula companies. They don't support Enfamil over Similac any more than they support one toilet paper manufacturer over another; it's all about who they got the better contract from. (And who the hell in their right mind would base their choice of TP on what the hospital provided - tissue paper for gift wrap is softer and more absorbent!?!)



I'm sure some of you will find that appalling - but the bottom line is that hospitals need to meet a budget, and find ways to keep costs down - especially in light of decreasing reimbursements and rising costs. Like any other institution, they have bills to pay. Part of the reason they distribute those "free" bags is that it is built into the contract with the formula company.



Now, it does get confusing, because they do have products on hand from their competitors. Due to a variety of issues, they have to. Some "sick" babies or those with dietary issues/intolerances cannot tolerate the standard brand of the formula the hospital is contracted with. So, in practice, they have a "house" brand that is made available to everyone, and then have other brands and types of formula (i.e. soy) on hand for those who need it. The hospital eats the difference in cost when another brand has to be used.

Claire - posted on 04/20/2012

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I have to ask. What is "tried hard enough", "didn't try to hard"??? Why is it up to anyone else to decide if another mother "tired hard enough". It has nothing to do with anyone else. Why is this such an issue all the time, breast or bottle whoopy do as long as the baby is begin fed. I just don't get it. If you see a mother formula feeding why do people assume she "gave up", "didn't try hard enough" etc. Its pathetic really that any one would judge another mother even if you know her you are not her so you have no right to judge.

So me for instance when i have formula fed my 4 children, i didn't try hard enough right, that is the assumption of some people, how about i have abnormal milk ducts that do not allow milk to come out of my nipples. It is physically impossible for me to breastfeed. So why oh why should i ever feel guilty, or be told i am poisoning MY child for giving them formula. Why does it have anything to do with anyone else. Oh right it is none of their business but for some reason many people think it is. And then the people that say "oh well its ok for you then" Sorry but its ok for anyone at all to breast or formula feed their child. When did it become ok to force an opinion of someone else? And yes it is just an opinion and nothing else.

In the end the method of feeding a child is immaterial. I spent many months at the Children's Hospital here in Sydney Australia. Spend some time there take a look around a the kids that are suffering from cancer, blood disorders, disabilities etc and you will realize that this does not matter at all. There are more important things in life then fighting over the way a mother feeds her child. It makes me so sad that there is such a division in place. Breast of bottle, we are all doing our best, end of story. And don't get me started on the breastfeeding makes kids smarter rot.... tell that to my formula fed son with an IQ of 200. It makes no difference at all it is the luck of the draw and his IQ makes no difference to his ability to form and keep relationships or his dreams in life. So who cares if a child is academically smart, as long as they are happy right.



Sick of the fight that goes on over and over and over again about this ridiculous topic. If your child has a brain tumor, being breast or bottle fed will have made squat difference to their chances of recovery. Do whatever works for you and your baby, that's it. However a mother wants to feed her child I support it, regardless of if i have done it or not, her child her choice, but DON'T ever ever judge any parent for the choices they make for their child. It has nothing to do with any of us in any way. Why can't parents just support each other, why do they have to fight and bicker all the time??

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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Who do you think makes up the WHO? Oh...that's right. DOCTORS.

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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No, Sherri it's not. The WHO:



"...PIF (powdered infant formula) is not a sterile product and may be contaminated with pathogens that can cause serious illness. Correct

preparation and handling reduces the risk of illness.



Where available, commercially sterile ready-to-feed liquid infant formula should be used for infants at greatest

risk. Sterile liquid infant formula does not contain pathogenic microorganisms and so does not pose a risk of

infection. However, its use may not always be an option, and the use of PIF may be required.



PIF is not a sterile product and may contain harmful bacteria. Reconstituted PIF provides an ideal environment

for the growth of these pathogens. Even if present in powdered formula at very low levels, inappropriate

preparation and handling of reconstituted PIF provides ideal conditions for these pathogens to multiply, which

greatly increases the risk of infection. However, the risk of illness can be reduced if PIF is prepared safely and

handled correctly..."



Other sources:

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/f...



http://www.infantfeeding.info/preparatio...



So, no. It's not recommended to feed PIF over premix that is sterile.

Kate CP - posted on 09/26/2011

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I never used the formula they sent home with me when I had my daughter. With my son...I had the can open, the bottle prepped, and water boiling when he finally stopped crying and stopped trying to nurse and went to sleep. I was at my wits' end and he had been nursing NON STOP for hours. Later I found out he was cluster feeding and it was normal, but at the time I felt like he just wanted more than I had.

I think there needs to be more education for moms on what is "normal" for newborn babies.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Erin - posted on 06/07/2012

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I think Most nurses are stupid at aiding with breast feeding at least around here they assume moms are all gonna formula feed. It gets on my neres. I had to call in a specialist to help me because the other nurses weren't even trained to help. Maybe an ob nurse should be required to learn that in order to work in the unit? Not rocket science seriously.

Becky - posted on 02/07/2012

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I've never even been offered formula in the hospitals here. The nurses always just kind of assumed I planned to breastfeed. Which was fine, because I did. With my first, he had to have his blood sugar checked several times because he was so small and then he developed pretty high jaundice levels. Not once was formula even suggested to me. Probably because he was doing very well in spite of everything.

I guess for some moms, being given the free samples might make a difference in whether they breastfed or not. For me, I have had at least one can of formula sitting in my pantry with every baby. Not from the hospital, but free samples directly from the formula companies. I've never opened any of them. I keep them for a few weeks just in case for some reason breastfeeding doesn't work or there is some kind of emergency and then once breastfeeding is well established and I have a supply of pumped milk built up just in case something were to happen to me where I couldn't breastfeed for a while, I give the formula away. I'm not entirely opposed to the free samples because emergencies could happen where mom, as committed as she was to breastfeeding, couldn't do it for a period of time. But I don't think they should be pushed either if a woman doesn't want them.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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Wow, that's awesome!! It would be nice if more would do that! I mean not every mom is prepared for bringing their baby home.... I had my girl in Alberta and my boy in Nova Scotia and I got nothing, man was I ripped off! ;)

Sherri - posted on 02/07/2012

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Wow Meme - our hospitals give formula, an entire pkg of diapers, a few hand knit baby hats, soft dry wipes, a tee shirt and receiving blankets, a baby tub, vaseline and gauze if circumcised, a diaper bag and tons of free samples tucks medicated wipes, a peri bottle, pads and mesh underwear for mom.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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I was given the choice to plan my c-section with my second. I had an emergency c-section with my first after 28 hours of labour... So, with my second since I had already had a c-section I had a choice. I am stubborn and I wanted to try again with natural. So, needless to say, I did not pick a c-section date, went into labour at 40 weeks and was in labour for 34 hours and it ended in another emergency c-section! I am not equipped for natural births I guess... SUCKS If we have another I will be picking a c-section date for sure! It keeps the baby from being in so much stress and it is less dangerous if you are not in labour when having a c-section...



BTW - I was pissed they let me go so long the 2nd time around. They promised that since my water always breaks at the beginning of labour, which it did with my 2nd as well, that they would not let me go more than 24 hours. 34 hours later! Then after my son was born they told me he needed to be checked every 6 hours with blood work to make sure he didn't have any infection because when your water breaks you should not go more than 24 hours!! I was irate! Good god what was wrong with them? Too many shift changes and no one talking, is what I think... But my son was fine, thank god!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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I wasn't given a samples of formula when leaving the hospital in late 2010. They don't give them out here, not sure if they use to but they don't anymore. They do try to get the mother to breastfeed but if the mom can't or isn't in to it, it is recommened you bring your own Formula. They do, however, provide Formula in Hospital if you don't bring any, they don't send you home with any. They also recommend bringing your own diapers and receiving blankets and baby clothes. Hospitals are getting CHEAP! LOL Although, like the Formula, they will provide while in Hospital if you don't bring your own, it is just recommended to do so. I had everything packed weeks ahead, so I was ready. ;) And I breastfed....

Merry - posted on 02/06/2012

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Yeah I have a friend who had a csections and she didn't wnt to do a vbac so she got to choose the date to have her csection.

But she had a 'medical reason' to do a csection.

I'm pretty sure celebrities can do it 'just cuz'

Janice - posted on 02/06/2012

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If you have to have a planned c-section for medical need then some doctors will let you choose a day close to the 39 week mark.

My daughter was breech and after a failed ECV I had to schedule a C-sec. I was due 11/4 and I was able to choose 10/30 as her birthday. My SIL is about to have a 2nd c-sec. and she goes to the same OB so she will also get to choose. Of course the doctor can always Veto.

Sherri - posted on 02/06/2012

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Ya Kate you get to do that if you are a millionaire however, usually for the avg. Joe Shmoe you can't.

Kate CP - posted on 02/06/2012

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Doctors will let you pick your labor date if you're after 38 weeks. Posh Spice did it and several other starlets. It's rather common.

Amanda - posted on 02/05/2012

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I think the hospitals should continue to give out samples to those who want them. With my first daughter, I could not breastfeed because of a medication that was medically necessary. By the time I had my twins (10 yrs later) I was able to breastfeed somewhat. They were premature so for the first several months, even if my body produced enough milk, I still had to fortify it with the preemie formula for the extra calories. (During that ten years, the necessary medication I need had a newer form that was not transferred to the breast milk.) Some mother choose to bottle feed and I think we should support all moms no matter how they decide to feed their baby.



As a side note: my eldest was induced right at 36 wks because I have a blood disorder and the doc did not want me to go into labor uncontrolled because of my medication. My twins were c-section at 32 wks because of premature labor and they were breach. I would hope that doctors are not making decisions so people can 'pick' the due date because it can be risky to have a preemie. All my girls were in the 4lb range and I can tell you they ate MORE than a typical newborn. The peditrician assured us this is normal because they are trying to 'catch up'.

Rosie - posted on 02/05/2012

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i never had to by more formula, but my kids didn't eat much...evident by their scrawniness even to this day. but everybody else i know that was on wic complained that they didn't get enough. i can see the complain, yet they also explained that they didn't provide enough sometimes for the average baby. i think they had to buy one can a week more.

Merry - posted on 02/02/2012

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Wic always clearly says that they do not give a full supply of formula. So parents on wic have to buy their babies more.

I too am on wic, and I also work for wic :)

Janice - posted on 02/02/2012

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IDK much about formula but my friend who got it through WIC said sometimes she didn't have enough. And her daughter is super tiny (a week late and only 6lbs) - and so I dont believe she eats an above average amount.



I agree with you Laura about some woman choosing formula because they have WIC. WIC serves low income families and often that also means uneducated or too stressed by other factors to even want to bother. I say this as someone who has a BS and is currently receiving WIC. :)

Sherri - posted on 02/01/2012

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Not really Laura because some babies will eat more I only did a rough calculation and I could be really off.

Sherri - posted on 02/01/2012

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Laura I would bet it would depend on how much your child eats. But my guess is around 2 cans of formula a week for the standard 25oz cans.

Stifler's - posted on 02/01/2012

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There's only one brand of premixe here and that's s26, and I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Merry - posted on 02/01/2012

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I can't stand the smell of powdered! Lol.

I've never seen the premixed stuff in person though. Maybe it's even worse!

Wic will give you like 10cans a month for the first 6 months. Then like 9 cans a month for the next 3 months then I think 7 cans a month for the last three months.

Something like that

It's a freaking huge amount of free formula.

I swear it's a huge reason why some of my clients don't try too hard to nurse as they know they can get free formula so easy.

It's great to help moms out don't get me wrong. But idk, that sounds like overkill in the can department. How many cans do you need in a month!?!?!?!

Sherri - posted on 02/01/2012

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I just don't know how you can get past the consistency of pre-mixed or the smell. I had to use it once with my last one when we had to fly and I couldn't bring powdered on the plane. He couldn't even keep any of it down because it was so thick and smelled so bad. Unless absolutely necessary I will never use the premixed again, if I use formula it will only be powdered.

Kate CP - posted on 02/01/2012

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Pre mixed is more expensive, but when you're only feeding it for the first couples weeks/months of life and then move on to powdered, it's not that big of a deal.

Sherri - posted on 02/01/2012

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@Janice WIC pays for powdered or pre-mixed however, you will get through virtually the whole month on powdered then pre-mixed. Because pre-mixed is so much more expensive you can get a weeks worth of pre-mixed for what it would cost you for a months worth of powdered simply for the convenience.



I have already received several free sample cans of formula through the mail and I didn't even ask for them, plus they will give me a can in the hospital as well.

Janice - posted on 02/01/2012

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Rosie does WIC even pay for the pre-mixed? I thought they only paid for powder.

Rosie - posted on 02/01/2012

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i never got powdered formula in the hospital for feeding, it was always premixed. i also never got "samples" to take home, which was frustrating for a formula feeding mother to now hear these other people getting formula.

nobody ever told me anything either about using premixed over powdered-all 3 times. nobody at the hospital, no pediatrician, no nurse at WIC. not once.

Jodi - posted on 02/01/2012

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Looking at a statistic doesn't tell the full story. Many women CHOOSE to have a c-section or induction because they can choose a date that is convenient to them. I would suggest that THESE are women who also use private hospitals. I don't think it is fair to blame the doctors or the private nature of the hospital for this higher statistic unless you can also get statistics for the number of private hospital c-sections and inductions that were the choice of the patient. I think you will find that the private hospital environment is more open to the demands of the patient.



Maree/Kel, they are not permitted to "give away" formula in hospitals in Australia now. Not even samples.

Maree - posted on 02/01/2012

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Yeah i have heard the c-section rates are higher vicki...but i had a private doctor that delivers at public and private hospitals so i guess he decides whether c-section or natural is best..I don't know !!!

Some doctors are more likely to push inductions and c-sections more than others. I think next time i will go to the public hospital but still have my private doctor...only because trying for a natural birth after c-section is more risky so that's what he recommends.

Why do you think the c-section rate is so high in private??? Is it due to having more private doctors rather than mostly midwives??

Krista - posted on 01/24/2012

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Yeah, I find that bizarre that hospitals would give away formula samples. I was certainly never given any, and that's perfectly fine with me.



And Kate, you're not the only one to hear that about powdered formula. Our health nurse told us to stick with the concentrate for the first couple of months, because there was no way to keep the powder sterile. I think I might have even seen something on the back of the Enfamil can about it, but don't recall -- I'll go look at one at lunchtime and see.

Vicki - posted on 01/24/2012

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Depends on the individual hospital I think Kel. I birthed at the major public maternity hospital in Western Australia. It's a baby-friendly hospital initiative accredited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Friend... which means formula is not given out. I know at a nearby private hospital mothers can just help themselves to formula and bottles etc.



Personally I'd never go near a private maternity hospital. Their cs rates are often over 50% and often they aren't very supportive of bfing.

Maree - posted on 01/23/2012

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yeah thats right. Public hospitals are free. They are covered by medicare and every Aussie can use them at no cost just like public schools. If you want to go private,have your choice of doctor and stay in the private hospital then you need private insurance.

Ania - posted on 01/23/2012

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I was not planning on giving my baby formula, but when my milk didn't come in until the fifth day after i delivered my son and he had problems latching that free sample was a God send. After that we established brestfeeding relationship and I BF my son exclusively and then with solids until he was 21 months old...

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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I think their public hospitals are the free ones, private you py for through insurance.



Correct me if I'm wrong here Aussies ;)

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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We don't have such things as private or public hospitals here?? All hospitals are just public.

Maree - posted on 01/23/2012

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I am in Australia too. I was in a private hospital,not sure if their rules are different to public or not but when my milk came in and i was in pain,the nurse came in and said "would you like to pump some milk or give some formula to give yourself a break?"

I took her up on the pumping offer to get a bit of relief and pumped during the night so that the nurses could feed her and i could get a bit of sleep,the next day i was in much less pain.

Anyway,when i booked in to the hospital they gave me the tour and showed me where all the sterilization equipment was and told me to bring my own bottles and formula. I told them i won't be needing formula but they insisted on spending half an hour going over it all...just in case.

I didn't get any samples in my bounty bag...but i suppose they are a good idea,rather than having to buy a whole tin....however i also see(as someone else said) that it can cause a new mum to be tempted to use it and give up on breast feeding.

Is there a difference between public and private hospital rules??? I had my first baby 11 years ago in the public hospital but i don't remember exactly what happened except that they took it apon themselves to give him formula without my consent one night to which he retaliated by projectile vomitting it back up !!!

I was not offered a pump or anything but one nurse did say to me that i seemed like i wasn't coping and to put him on the bottle if i wanted to...i didn't do it but it was suggested.

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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Yeah if that baby who died would have had the water boiled before using it then it wouldn't have had the whatever toxin in it that killed him. But honestly, how many moms are always going to mix it exactly right with cooled boiled water?

The gov and hospitals and formula companies shouldn't be counting on all moms being smart and careful at all times.

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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If mixed properly it is no more a risk then feeding them premixed formula. I also am not nit picking just pointing out the obvious of what you posted.

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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How did I just KNOW you were going to nit pick at THAT. *ALL* babies have a compromised immune system of the gut.

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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Yes to premature infants or those with a compromised immune system. They said nothing on there about your avg. normal baby Kate.

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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From http://similac.com/feeding-nutrition/for... (A FORMULA COMPANY)



"How to prepare powder baby formula



Preparing Similac® powdered formula is simple. You also will find directions on each container.



Your baby's health depends on carefully following these easy directions. Proper hygiene, handling, and storage are important when preparing baby formula. Failure to follow these directions could result in severe harm. Powdered infant formulas are not sterile and should not be fed to premature infants or infants who might have immune problems, unless directed and supervised by your baby's doctor. Consult your baby's doctor about the formula appropriate for your baby; the need to use cooled, boiled water for mixing; and the need to boil utensils, bottles, nipples, and rings in water before use."

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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I think pediatritions should be following the world health organization right........?





Wasn't there a baby that JUST died from bad water mixed with a powdered formula? And a Walmart recall and all?

If he had been fed a premixed sterile formula he wouldn't be dead.

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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Okay according to the WHO not by the pediatricians and formula companies as you initially stated.

Sherri - posted on 01/23/2012

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Actually the hospital and the formula companies are fine with the powdered formula being fed from birth and that is all my oldest ever got even in the hospital. I would never give the premixed crap it is so revolting.

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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Yeah I read that too Kate about the powdered formula being not 'safe' for newborns and yet that's what they hand out in the hospital!

I also had a close call with the free formula. Eric was in a growth spurt and I had fed him over and over side to side to side and he wasn't satisfied crying arching etc. I said if this last time doesn't work I'm mixing some formula and thank God it finally put him to sleep! But the nurses had warned me in the hospital, take this formula, I said I'm breastfeeding, she said, oh you never know when you might need it if your milk quits out on you. I was thinking wtf? Can milk really just stop out of nowhere? Makes me mad.

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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Kate and unfortunately it's still happening just as you said it there. I'm a bf counselor through wic and I just had a new mom call me today, no one told her the size of her baby's belly at 2 days old, no one told her how fast milk was digested, no one told her anything helpful! In fact they told her only to feed every two hours so she was so worried he was wanting to eat a lot more then that. Her milk isn't in yet and the dang nurse old her only every two hours. Seriously people. These nurses need to be properly trained because new moms take the nurses words as facts!

Thankfully this mom called me and after a chat she is happy and confident again but if she hadnt had somewhere to call she would likely have switched to formula like her mother was telling her to do.

Stifler's - posted on 01/23/2012

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here some people decide they don't want to do it and have to bring their own formula and bottles. if they're having troubles breastfeeding usually we're in hospital one day it's a bit early to break out the formula so they help you hand express and learn to latch etc.

Janice - posted on 01/23/2012

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Kate like you, the best help I received was here on COM. My daughter was born on a Friday and there was only 1 LC there on the weekends an she was on vacation! The regular nurses were completely useless. I received great info an help the Monday morning before I left by the M-F LC, but after I got home an was having issues. I called the LC and found out it would cost 150$ a session to get help! We didnt have that money so I muddled along for weeks until the issues resolved themselves. My daughter did get some formula during that time because I had the free cans and the doctor said she wasnt gaining quickly enough. If it wasnt for the informative moms on COM I would of listened to the doctors crappy advice, continued supplimenting, then my supply would have gone down and I would be in the same boat of soooo many women who were forced into formula because of supply issues.

Its very sad that women aren't more well supported by health professionals.

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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Have to add one more thing...



Pediatricians and the formula company agree that newborns and neonates SHOULD NOT be fed powdered formula and you should give them the premixed stuff to cut down on the chance of contamination and infection.



So...why don't they send home premix instead of the cheaper powdered crap? It's an advertising ploy and it's working. *grrrrrrrr*



Okay, end rant. :P

Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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I breastfed my daughter when she was born and I'm still nursing my son who will be a year old this Friday. With my daughter I only ever gave her formula when I couldn't nurse her for health reasons (in the hospital, on medications) and when she got older and started to wean herself.



With my son...I took home a healthy baby boy and the formula bag they gave me with the free sample. After two nights of being up every hour nursing the little guy I finally gave in and told my husband to get the formula out and clean a bottle. I was at a loss...I was tired, defeated, and felt helpless. The hospital NEVER told me that this was normal. NO ONE ever told me that it was normal for newborns to initially nurse every hour to increase milk supply. The lactation consultants were essentially useless and callous to boot.



As my husband was cracking the seal on the formula container my son finally stopped wailing at my breast, nursed for a final time, and then slept for three hours. I never gave him the formula. How did I get through? I went online and I talked to other moms who told me that, YES it's normal! WHY couldn't I get that in the hospital? WHY couldn't I get a person to tell me "Hey, if you ever have any questions, if you ever need help day or night no matter what time...call me. I can walk you through it, come over and help...I'll be there. I can help you." THAT'S what a lactation consultant should do. But they don't. They just walk into your room at the hospital, shove your boob in the baby's mouth, and then tell you you're doing it wrong.



Formula from the hospital needs to be stopped and more support needs to be given. Better resources, more people on staff who can actually help and be encouraging needs to be in the place of the formula goodie bags. I would much rather take home a little business card with a name and some phone numbers on it with instructions to call whenever I needed help than a bag full of formula and some coupons.

Merry - posted on 01/23/2012

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I think America is finally starting to get with the picture on the whole formula issue.

most moms can breastfeed and most want to, but the formula is there just in case Andim a moment of doubt it's all too tempting.

If its not in the house it's less tempting to go out and buy some unless you really need or want it.

If its just sitting there it might be used when you're just aggregated and then mom never reaches her personal goal.

If you want to feed formula then go buy some. Or if you are not able to buy it then go to wic.

Hospitals don't need to be undermining women's confidence like this.

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