Friday, August 3, 2012

Is this really called for Bloomberg?

Look I'm all for trying to make sure kids have access to the best and greatest child care options available to them as they grow up but there has to be a line. A line between offering and mandating. And it looks like Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is going to be the next to cross that line.

It would seem that he is urging hospitals to take up the city Health Department's Latch On initiative that among other things would call for hospitals to start locking away baby formula as if it were medication.

How do parents get access to said formula for their newborns? Well they have to get a Registered Nurse to sign it out to them, a bottle at a time. Now apparently there are assurances that all requests will be honored. So why do this you may ask?
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.
That's all. The formula is being locked up so that every time someone goes to get some they have to listen to a sales pitch on the virtues of breast feeding.

From what I've seen of coverage of this on the net so far most (if not all) of what I've seen is coming from the angle of "How dare they try to control the sources of food mothers provide to their newborns?" That is a perfectly legit angle but I want to come from a slightly different one or three.

1. What about a woman that just gave birth but for who knows how many possible reasons, is not able to breast feed?

2. How about a woman that for some reason is not permanently unable to breast feed but is unable to do so temporarily? (I'm not sure how this could happen but I can't really say that it could never happen either.)

3. What happens in the event that there is no mother around, leaving dad on his own?

These are people that should not have to go through a marketing attempt to convince them to do something that they are not able to do.

The initiative is voluntary but 27 of the city's 40 hospitals have already agreed to it. That is imposing on a lot of people.

There's data on both sides here that argue that breast feeding is or is not superior to bottle feeding. As I said I get that people just want to "look out for the best interests of the children" but how far can people go with this before it turns into "dictate the best interests of the children"?