Coming on the heels of Michael Bloomberg's controversial proposed ban on super-sized soft drinks, the New York City mayor is now taking aim at moms and their newborn babies. Well, sort of. The mayor is making city hospitals "lock up" formula in an effort to encourage more moms to breastfeed. Starting on September 3, officials will monitor how much formula is given out in hospitals and will demand medical reasons for each one distributed. Any mom asking for formula will also get a lecture from hospital staff about the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.

As part of the Latch On NYC initiative, which launched in May, many of the city's hospitals have already agreed to stop handing out swag with formula manufacturers' logos. "Human breast milk is best for babies and mothers," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement.

It's all great and beautiful…except if, like me, you are a mom who can't breast feed.

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Would you ever let another woman breastfeed your baby?

I know the benefits of breast milk. I had my heart set on breast feeding throughout my whole pregnancy. I read about it, took classes--it's ingrained in our pre-natal discourse these days. I had daydreams of feeding my baby where I was this Earth-mother type...my offspring taking nutrition from me as I smiled, my mind filled with happy thoughts.

The reality, though, turned out to be much, much different. After a grueling labor of 30 hours and an eventual C-section that left me beyond drained, I did manage to wake up and feed my baby about 45 minutes after coming out of surgery. I was already agonizing about the wait, but Sebastian latched on beautifully and had his first colostrum. I was proud in my drug-induced painkiller haze.

Soon after, my baby started to wake up every hour on the hour, crying and crying. This continued for many days as I tried to recuperate from major surgery and slowly gain control of my body again. I felt like I couldn't be a good mom to him in the state I was in, and it seemed like he was hungry all the time, so I decided to start giving him formula. He slept for three hours straight the first time I gave him one ounce, the most sleep we had in I don't know how long. Scared to death of losing my supply, I pumped every three hours, drank malta, panela--anything my mom recommended to increase my milk production. After a month of agony, I gave up trying to mostly breastfeed and switched to mostly formula with supplements of whatever I could give my little guy of my breast milk.

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To Mayor Bloomberg and the whole medical community, I have this to say: I know breastfeeding would have been good for my baby, I totally hear you. Heck, it would have saved us tons of money that we're now spending on formula. I would have given anything to have had the ability to feed my son from my breast. But for some of us it's just not possible. It won't benefit anyone to add any more guilt to an already suffering mom.

Do you think formula should be banned in hospitals?

Image via Thinkstock

About the author

Yuliana is the Assistant Managing Editor of Mamás Latinas and a new-ish mamá (as her son is almost a toddler, she can't claim new mami-hood anymore). She was born in Medellín, Colombia and raised in New Jersey.

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Filed Under: advice, stress, breastfeeding
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Lucy_BT
WTH what about women who do not produce breast milk like me????? What a jerk!
AFTER AN EMERGENCY C-SECTION AND COMPLICATIONS WITH MY NEW BORN I WAS UNDER SO MUCH STRESS I COULD NOT PRODUCE MILK. THEY MADE ME FEEL SO GUILTY IN THE HOSPITAL I LITTERALLY HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. NO MOTHER SHOULD BE PUT THROUGH THAT! I HOPE A WOMENS RIGHT ATTORNEY WILL GET INVOLVED AND STOP THIS MADNESS!
nonmember avatar
I think Bloomberg has himself confused with God or a communist dictator.
nonmember avatar
Breastfeeding is a choice and no one should be forced to do it. Get a grip people, mind your own business. All 3 of my children were fed formula from birth, all of them were healthy and happy babies. Do gooders...leave my breasts alone!
digit...

Breastfed babies feed more often. The first two weeks of feeding my son, all I did was sit on the couch and feed him. Even when I thought I had no more milk to give, I just kept right on doing it. I will readily admit that it was a haze. But I was determined not to fail again - because with my daughter, I had to exclusively pump because she would NOT latch. Even one drop of formula in the first few days/weeks can sabotage a mother's best intentions.

This article http://www.askmoxie.org/2012/07/the-illusion-of-choice-the-free-market-and-your-boobs.html is a great counterpoint to all of negative reactions to Mayor Bloomberg's proposal. And if anyone actually read the proposal, no one is being denied access to formula if they want it. No one is being forced to do or not do anything they don't want to.

I THINK BREAST MILK IS THE BEST THING A BABY CAN HAVE BUT I DO NOT AGREE THAT YOU SHOULD FORCE A WOMEN TO BREAST FEED I SHE DOES NOT WANT TOO...THEY SHOULD NOT VAN BABY FORMULA....THAT IS SO CRUEL....WHAT ABOUT THOSE FATHER THAT HAVE TO RAISE THEIR BABIES ALONE....I BELIEVE TO EACH IS OWN...THIS IS....(AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL)
dm1153

That not his choice is our some of us cant lacted

sweet...

He's an IDIOT! the end!

MrsDi...
What is wrong with that NY mayor!!! He is just obsessed with taking everyone's rights away. I hope NY citizens boot him out.
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