Newborn Baby

Back off, Bloomberg!

Apparently the mayor of NYC doesn’t think people are smart enough to make their own decisions. First Michael Bloomberg bans sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces (because nobody is smart enough to figure out they can get more than one at a time), and now he wants to keep baby formula under lock and key at the city’s hospitals, just like narcotic drugs.
Under the Latch On NYC initiative which takes effect in September, nurses would have to sign out any formula used, document why it was used and chide educate the mother about why breast milk is better.
I think this initiative means well. We all know that breast milk is better for babies. My concern is that in their eagerness to make sure all moms breastfeed, the well being and overall birth experience of the mother might take a backseat.
Let me explain. I had every intention of breastfeeding my son when he was born five months ago. I had the breast pump and all accouterments at the ready. Even after a difficult labor and eventual cesarean, I was determined to breastfeed. Mother nature just didn’t agree. At 41 years of age, I didn’t get any milk. I kept trying over the four days I was in the hospital, producing a crabby and hungry baby, and a feeling of failure.
After two days of trying at home and a tearful call to the lactation nurse because my son was losing weight at an alarming rate, she gently suggested that I consider a switch to formula. When I protested, she asked me how I wanted to remember my time with my newborn. Did I want to remember a time full of frustration and crying on both our parts, or did I want to look back and remember a peaceful time of bonding with my son?
She was right, and her gentle question gave me the peace that allowed me to switch to formula without guilt.
My concern with NYC’s breastfeeding initiative is that the gentle suggestion of formula by a lactation nurse might be squelched. Someone like me might be encouraged to continue trying to breastfeed even though it isn’t in the best interest of mom or baby. More than likely they will switch to formula eventually anyway, and they will have feelings of guilt and failure and memories of a birth experience that aren’t as happy as this time should be.
The birth experience is wonderful and sacred. We don’t need politicians intruding upon it by crafting policies with a One Size Fits All mentality. I say back off, Bloomberg.

What do you think about this initiative? Good idea, or more movement to a nanny state?

8 Responses to Back off, Bloomberg!

  1. Luan
    - July 30, 2012 Reply

    Totally AGREE! I can’t believe this is the FREE America we all thought we lived in. Where is our freedom? It’s going away as our politicians regulate them away and if we stand by and do nothing we WILL end up being regulated into not having ANY freedoms that our military forefathers have fought and died for. Bloomberg has stepped WAY over his boundries on several things, but I think this time he’s over the top. Mothers have the right to breastfeed or NOT. It’s that simple. NO ONE should force them into doing it if they don’t want to. Give them the info, explain to them how, and let them know that they are there to educate, not dictate!

    • Kenja
      - July 30, 2012 Reply

      I think that’s what they pretty much do so far. I am just worried that this is a slippery slope where lactation and other nurses will not feel they can “go against” the initiative and recommend formula when it is needed.

  2. Elizabeth
    - July 30, 2012 Reply

    I wonder why there isn’t both? Prep for beastfeeding is crucial establishing challenging & I think most new mom’s need help doing this. But I do not think a mom who can not be made to feel badly!

    • Kenja
      - July 30, 2012 Reply

      Exactly. There is a happy medium. Breastfeeding is on the rise in this country without locking up the formula like it’s an addictive drug.

  3. Suzanne Bogue
    - July 30, 2012 Reply

    The focus should be on having healthy children not how they are fed. Both ways are safe and healthy. I understand his thinking in part but I think JFK had the right idea when he encouraged health education exercise through mandated school physical education and healthy meals. It was a start. Now not only physical education has gone to the wayside but politicians are mini managing our lives to the point of insanity. What Bloomberg should be doing is finding funding for the education of women in their childbearing years who need help with the basics of parenting and healthy child rearing. That would be sane and become self sustaining.
    When you start telling people that they HAVE to do things a certain way it oppresses and causes those who might otherwise seek a healthy solution to rebel against their own best interests. It’s how tyranny takes hold as well. It starts with small things that sound reasonable but are not.

    • Kenja
      - July 30, 2012 Reply

      Or maybe increase funding for prenatal care for low income women. Of course, that makes too much sense.

  4. Christie Tate
    - July 31, 2012 Reply

    I am boiling mad about this. Wtf? It’s hard enough to deal with all this without being shamed by city government. Seriously? Stop criminalizing women’s decisions. I had similar issues to you and I just don’t if I need the freaking mayor up in my grill. Great post!
    Christie Tate recently posted..Blue Baby’s Side of the StoryMy Profile

    • Kenja
      - July 31, 2012 Reply

      I love NYC, but I’m really glad I don’t live there right now. I’m sick and tired of politicians poking their nose where it doesn’t belong. At least I know that kind of thing would never fly here in Texas. Is a little common sense too much to ask these days?

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