|Posted by transitionsbirth on June 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM||comments (0)|
The Indiana Perinatal Network has a goal that all hospitals in Indiana will discontinue the practice of handing out free infant formula discharge packs by the end of 2013. All birthing hospitals have received letters asking them to stop this practice. Studies have shown that mothers who receive the formula packs breastfeed for a shorter length of time than those who do not. The Indiana Perinatal Network has provided this fact sheet on the dangers of providing formula gift packs to mothers.
Hospitals that give free formula samples do so in violation of the World Health Organization Code on Marketing Breast-Milk Substitutes. A 2009 survey found that 34.2% of hospitals nationwide no longer provide formula samples. Rhode Island recently became the first state where no hospitals distribute the formula packs.
The Evansville Birthnetwork joins with the Indiana Perinatal Network and La Leche League of Southwestern Indiana in asking our local hospitals to discontinue providing formula discharge packs to new mothers. We want to see more mothers succeed in breastfeeding and we know these gift packs often undermine that success. We encourage area mothers to contact our local hospitals and ask them to stop providing these packs.
We are proving three ways for you to let local hospitals know you want them to stop proving formula packs to new families. We have started an online petition that you can sign: Stop Giving Formula Samples to New Mothers.
Or, you may write a letter to each of the following people. A sample letter follows.
We will also have preprinted postcards available to sign at Birthnetwork and LLL meetings.
The Women’s Hospital
Attn: Chris Ryan
4199 Gateway Blvd.
Newburgh, IN 47630
St. Mary’s Medical Center
Attn: Jeanne Braun
3700 Washington Ave.
Evansville, In 47750
Dear Ms.Ryan (or Ms. Braun),
I join with the Indiana Perinatal Network, the Evansville Birthnetwork and La Leche League of Southwestern Indiana in asking your hospital to stop providing infant formula discharge packs to new mothers. Studies have shown that mothers who receive the breastfeeding packs tend to breastfeed for a shorter length of time than those who do not. Breastfeeding provides many health benefits to mothers and babies. By making it harder for mothers to succeed, you are preventing mothers and babies from receiving the full health benefits they would receive from a longer duration of breastfeeding.
I want mothers to succeed with breastfeeding and believe these formula marketing packs provide an unnecessary obstacle. Please support breastfeeding mothers. Stop providing formula discharge packs.