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Kristin Park: To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed -- That Is The Question

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I know I've written about this before in a previous post ... about how difficult it was when I decided not to breastfeed my fourth baby (and I don't mean the decision itself was difficult -- it was that the health care providers around me were unbelievably difficult). Well, I'm just glad that I'm not giving birth today because of the self-righteous stance that a slew of hospitals and providers around the country are taking.

What's happening is this: there's a movement involving hospitals in New York, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Texas to stop giving out free formula samples to new moms. The thinking behind this movement is that because the American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that breastfeeding is best, then new moms should not be exposed to a 6-pack of free formula bottles because, heaven forbid, they will most assuredly become instantly swayed to give up breastfeeding. I mean, who are we as women to actually make the choice on how best to feed our babies?

And so what about the women who end up having to have an unplanned (or planned) C-section which can delay milk production by several days? Or the women who have babies that suffer from severe allergies? Or the women (like me) who choose to take an anti-depressant, that happens to be very dangerous to an infant, in order to be able to function as a mother? I'm sure there are plenty of new moms who are suddenly confronted with a change in plan and have to use formula for one reason or another, and are unprepared ... it is essential for them to have easy and free access to formula.

Whoever had the idea that mothers need to be denied something in order for them to make the "right" choice (according to the mandate of an organization) is absolutely crazy. And, not to mention, obviously a man. This isn't an Orwellian world we live in -- at least not yet. Let's protect our right to choose how we feed our babies.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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