"Latch on NYC' to support breastfeeding moms

May 9, 2012 1:50:00 PM PDT
New York City wants more newborn babies breastfeeding and they say, making that happen starts from the minute a child is born.

At Harlem Hospital, 84 percent of women breastfeed their infants.

And now a citywide initiative to support the practice.

Soon you'll see posters hanging in the subway and in hospitals.

But the biggest changes will happen inside those medical facilities that volunteer for "Latch on NYC". They'll agree to remove all infant formula advertising or promotional material and discontinue giving out free formula and agree to not supplement breastfeeding infants with formula unless medically indicated.

"About 80 percent of breastfeeding mothers do get a gift pack with infant formula on discharge, this will be a big change for them to no longer get infant formula on discharge and we know that some 60 percent of infants who are breastfed are supplemented with formula while in the hospital," said NYC Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

Farley says formula fed babies are three times as likely to be hospitalized for lower respiratory infections than breastfed babies.

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