I want to preface this article by stating that I was breastfed, my four siblings were breastfed, my mom taught breastfeeding classes for Women, Infant, Children (WIC) when we were younger. I am a firm believer that breastfeeding is much better for the child when it is possible. However, we live in a society that shoves women in dirty bathrooms to cover up their breasts as they feed their child. Women are forced to remove photos of breastfeeding moms off of Facebook even if she is fully covered while feeding her newborn. Woman in combat boots face increasing difficulties breastfeed or even pumping breast milk while states side. Breastfeeding is considered vulgar, but when woman want to show off their cleavage in a sexy manner that’s fine, even on Facebook. So when I heard that Mayor Bloomberg, the same politician who is trying ban the sale of bottled drinks over 16 ounces that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, is now trying to ban hospitals from giving out formula to new mothers, you can imagine my response.
The New York Post reports, “Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.” Similar to when SWAT teams raided Amish farmers for selling milk, criminalizing anyone who dares make a choice about the food products they put in their body (I grew up in farm country – raw milk is safe and much healthier), we now get to feel like criminals for making a decision about how to care for our child based on what the city thinks we should do rather than what we can/want to do?
The Post continues, “Lisa Paladino, of Staten Island University Hospital, said: “The key to getting more moms to breast-feed is making the formula less accessible. This way, the RN has to sign out the formula like any other medication. The nurse’s aide can’t just go grab another bottle.” Again, instead of educating women about the benefits of breastfeeding, teaching women how to read the formula nutritional label and showing them dangerous chemicals lurking in it (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and fluoride), Mayor Bloomberg chooses to lock up formula.
Instead of making public restrooms breastfeeding friendly, or starting a campaign asking businesses to make policies that will give women more leeway to breastfeed or pump at work, Mayor Bloomberg wants to make women feel like criminals for asking for formula. This makes no sense.
Maybe it’s time for more women in higher office. What do you think?
Photo Credit: The International Breastfeeding Symbol was donated to the public domain by the creator Matt Daigle, see http://www.mothering.com/sections/action_alerts/iconcontest/waiver.html for more information.