All Mass. hospitals eliminate formula giveaways
BOSTON (AP) -- No more Massachusetts maternity hospitals are still offering free infant formula gift bags to new mothers, a milestone welcomed by breast-feeding advocates.
Public health officials told The Boston Globe all 49 birth facilities in the state voluntarily eliminated the giveaways by the beginning of July.
Massachusetts tried to end the free formula practice with a statewide ban in 2005. The decision was overturned several months later when Gov. Mitt Romney replaced some members of the council that approved the ban.
Studies have shown that breast-feeding mothers who receive free formula are less likely to be breast feeding by the time their infant was 1 month old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers exclusively breast-feed for the first six months to provide babies with protection against many illnesses and allergies.