'World News' Uses Debated Health Claim to Promote Breastfeeding
Even something as natural as breastfeeding gets used by the media to attack business.
The New York Public Hospital System has stopped offering samples of baby formula as part of an effort to promote breastfeeding, according to an August 6 ABC âWorld News with Charles Gibsonâ story.
But, ABC didnât tell both sides of the story and this report could cause mother to worry or unnecessarily feel guilty, according the International Formula Council, a group the represents the baby formula industry.
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The ABC report also gave credence to the idea banning free samples would encourage breastfeeding, something thatâs not true according to Mardi Mountford, the executive vice president of the IFC.
âFuelling the movement to ban free samples of formula are studies showing new mothers given free formula are less likely to stick with formula,â added Stone.
Mountford said the samples have been in hospitals for 25 years.
âThe present trend of increasing breastfeeding has been going up, even when the infant formula samples were offeredâ Mountford told the Business & Media Institute. âWeâre talking about a little bit of product. To say that is going to change a womanâs mind â a decision sheâs been probably thinking about for months is silly.â
Mountford agreed that breastfeeding was the healthiest option, but breastfeeding isnât always possible and mothers deserve a choice.
âThe reality is lots of women start out breastfeeding, but the problem is when the moms go back to work,â Mountford added.
Mountford said the ABC coverage was prompted by this week being âWorld Breastfeeding Week.â
But the ABC reported also used the occasion as an opportunity to attack business; suggesting employers might make it difficult to breastfeed, even though most states have laws on the books protecting a womanâs right to breastfeed.
âIf you say to a new mom you need to breastfeed because it's good for your baby and then her employer makes it impossible for her to do that, all you've done is give her a guilt trip,â said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. âYou haven't really accomplished anything.â