Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been considered the city nanny thanks to his overprotective attempts at improving New Yorkers’ health.
He recently passed new bills to reduce consumption of sugary drinks in restaurants, and the no-smoking areas in public places are his doing as well. His latest statement may trigger more controversy amongst both health professionals and city residents.
In cooperation with a national effort, Bloomberg has publically asked mothers to breast feed their babies if their health and lifestyles allow it. The ‘Latch on NYC’ initiative now has 27 of New York’s 40 baby-delivering hospitals planning to stop handing out promotional formula to all new mothers. They will be provided only for medical reasons or to meet specific requests.
Hospitals will also begin to offer educational discussions on the advantages of breast milk for new mothers. The women will then make their own decisions, the mayor reassures.
He explains that although formulas are an acceptable and convenient solution for mothers who cannot breastfeed- for medical reasons or because of conflicting schedules- breastfeeding is generally considered the healthier option.
“Most public health officials around the country think this is a great idea” Bloomberg said of the project. “The immunities that a mother has built up get passed on to the child, so the child is healthier.”
More than 600 hospitals across the U.S. have already changed their policies regarding formula samples and the education of new mothers.