Hospitals Hand Out Free Formula to New Article Review

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¶ … Hospitals Hand Out Free Formula to New Moms," reports on how American hospitals are evaluating their policies of providing new parents with free formula samples. The article is available online through Time magazine's website in their Healthland department, an area of the magazine devoted to providing information about trends in health, nutrition, and medicine. Time is a reliable media source because of its long-standing publication history, both in print and online. Additionally, the accuracy of the information in the article can be trusted because Rochman cites a number of peer-reviewed studies to support her claims.

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Rochman reports that hospitals in the U.S. are responding to pressure from breast feeding advocates and parenting groups when it comes to giving new parents formula for their new babies before they leave the hospital. A study recently published in Pediatrics found that while 75% of hospitals in the U.S. still give out free formula, this number has declined substantially (Rochman, 2011). Opponents of free formula believe that it has ethical implications regarding the relationship between hospitals and the companies which manufacture formula, and suggest that it can act as a deterrent to successful breastfeeding. This may also be a response to the U.S. Surgeon General's recent report on the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding which "decreases infants' respiratory and digestive problems, cuts down on ear infections, and is good for mom's health, too" (Rochman, 2011). The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested that formula is a poor substitute for breast milk, and has issued a call for hospitals to ban the practice of giving out free formula because it can negatively impact breastfeeding outcomes. Additionally, they recommend that all babies receive breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life (Rochman, 2011)

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