Rochester, N.Y.—New York City hospitals and health officials have been working since spring to boost breast feeding of newborn babies; the next step in the effort will take place next month.
Latch On NYC is a voluntary program in which hospitals commit to enforcing state regulations to withhold supplemental breastfeeding of infants with formula unless specified by doctors.
Dozens of New York City hospitals will begin speaking with mothers in September to persuade them against using formula.
“What NYC (is doing) and what we’d like to do is promote breast feeding and support women by trying to eliminate the unnecessary formula supplementation,” said Janis Wenk, Lactation Coordinator for Highland Hospital.
While Highland Hospital encourages breast feeding, women who give birth at the hospital do have a choice between breast feeding and formula, and are given formula upon request.
Critics do not believe the government should interfere with a mother’s choice.
Health experts say breast milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies that helps protect against infections.