Michael Bloomberg

You'll Drink What New York Tells You to Drink: Breast Milk Edition

New York City hospitals to keep baby formula locked away.


Already leading one of the most aggressive "pro-breast milk" campaigns in the country, New York City has announced that it will now track usage of infant formula. In the latest salvo in the push to turn breastfeeding from a healthy option to a public mandate, hospitals will keep formula locked away, treating it more like contraband than basic infant sustenance. 

Women who have heard the advantages of breastfeeding and have decided—for whatever personal reason—to feed their newborns formula, will now have to justify their reasoning before they are given access to it.

When, exactly, exercising a personal right about what to do for your child (and with your own body) became a public statement, open to the city's files and others' judgment, is unclear.

NEXT: Human Medicine Could Learn a Few Tricks From Veterinarians

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They already put it behind the counter in bodegas, but I always thought that was because there was some black market for infant formula. I guess if there wasn’t then, there will be now.

  2. The guilt trip of the nipple nazis is definitely there… not just in NYC, but nationwide. I see no problem with actively encouraging breast feeding, but to make women feel like it is contraband if needed, that just increases the number of postpartum depression cases! My hospital was proud that they no longer give away formula in their “new parent” goodie bags. Instead, they cram it full of literature on how to create a successful breast feeding bond with your baby, with not a stitch of info on formula for when a mother is unsuccessful and needs to supplement (or for various reasons, chooses formula).

    Personally, I was completely on board with breast feeding, but my body was not- I just didn’t produce enough no matter what I tried. There’s nothing that says they have to give away formula, but healthcare providers should at the very least provide information on formula feeding, so mothers are not flying blind if/when it becomes necessary! At 4am when I realized I was starving my poor child, I was forced to use the free box of formula I received in the mail and boil a bottle a friend had given me in a pile of baby stuff. I knew nothing about that formula and have since done my own research to find a decent organic formula so I’m not inadvertently giving her antibiotics via BGH treated cows…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.