Locking Up Baby Formula? Bloomberg Slammed for Newest Breastfeeding Initiative

(Photo: Getty Images)

Mayor Bloomberg, also known as “Nanny Bloomberg” thanks to his many regulations for New York City, has gone a step beyond banning sugary sodas and trans fats, according to the New York Post.  Now, it seems he is also trying to regulate breast milk.

(Related: No More Big Gulps: New York City to Ban Sale of Large Sodas and Sugared Drinks)

According to the Post, Bloomberg is actually pushing hospitals to keep their baby formulas “behind locked doors” so that new mothers will be more likely to breastfeed.  Participating hospitals will begin on September 3d.

The New York Post has more:

The nanny state is going after moms.


Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

“If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed,” said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, ages 4 months and 9 years. “It’s for me to choose.”

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.

With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.

“It’s the patient’s choice,” said Allison Walsh, of Beth Israel Medical Center. “But it’s our job to educate them on the best option.”

(Photo: nyc.gov)

Read more about the “Latch On NYC” initiative by clicking here.

Like Bloomberg’s other regulations, the breast milk policy bears a resemblance to Cass Sunstein’s “nudge” theory.  The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (also known as the “Regulatory Czar“), Sunstein has long-advocated “nudging” Americans in the direction they really ought to go, by defining their choices and making the less desirable ones more inconvenient.  No one is forcing you to do anything…just helping to guide your decisions.

But for many, regulating soda and regulating breast milk are two different matters entirely.  The latter, obviously, feels much more invasive.

Back in April, when Bloomberg was just proposing the regulations, even Whoopi Goldberg told the mayor to “back off.”

Watch her segment from The View, below:

One commenter simply asked: “Why is Bloomberg so obsessed with what we put in our mouths?”

Apparently mothers have the “right to choose” an abortion in New York City, but if they “choose” bottle-feeding they’ll receive a stern talking-to, endorsed by the government.

This post has been updated.