New York City’s public hospital system decided to no longer supply free baby-formula samples in their gift bags as part of their breastfeeding promotion. Instead of the formulas, new mothers will receive a breast-milk bottle cooler, disposable nursing pads, breastfeeding tips and a baby T-shirt with the slogan “I Eat at Mom’s”.

Additionally, breastfeeding coaches will initiate breastfeeding within one hour of deliver and the health agency will deliver free breast pumps and make available hospital-grade electric breast pumps for the newborns that have to stay in the hospital.

This decision made by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation to promote breastfeeding in such way has not been universally applauded. Many women argue that they don’t have an opportunity to breastfeed at all times, that they don’t feel comfortable or are too tired from the delivery. They argue that bottle-feeding is an important option for women and should be left for mothers solely to decide.

By initiating breastfeeding in such ways, many women who find nursing hard or unpleasant may feel guilty or inadequate. Bottle-feeding and giving away free formulas has been a tremendous help, especially to single moms and moms with low incomes.

New York City has made a goal to triple the breastfeeding incidence by the year 2010 due to its health benefits to both mothers and their children