Access to infant milk formula should be restricted “more like prescription drugs”, a maternity group says.
Hospitals were right to require new mum’s to sign a consent form if they want their babies fed formula, said Brenda Hinton, a spokeswoman for the Maternity Services Consumer Council, reports NZ Herald.
“In principle I don’t have a problem with it. But the policy needs to be actioned sensitively, so women understand why this is happening.”
“If a parent is making an informed choice to feed a baby infant milk formula that’s their right.
“I do think as a society it would be a good idea if formula was treated more like a prescription drug, something that you use if you are unable to breastfeed.”
The Waitemata District Health Board in NZ, is among 18 DHB’s nationally to require completion of an informed consent document before a baby is fed formula.
However, Isis McKay, the maternal and child health manager of Women’s Health Action, disagreed with Ms Hinton’s idea of requiring a prescription to get infant formula.
She said providing information about infant formula to parents who wanted to use the products was important, but the objections raised by some women to the informed-consent system indicated it needed to be re-assessed.
“While we understand the importance of supporting women to make informed choices around infant feeding, we do think it is time for a change in how we provide information and support to people who need to or decide to use formula.
“There is so much misunderstanding and misinformation around.”
“While I am a huge breast feeding advocate and disagree with formula feeding by choice without even trying to breast feed, no one should have the right to take away a moms choice because it is her body. I do however think that the insane amount of advertising needs to stop. Formula should not be advertised at all.”
“No. We need to work on breastfeeding education and support, particularly within medical staff. Making formula harder to access isn’t going to increase breastfeeding rates, it’s going to endanger children.”
“You can’t do that until we have systems in place that support women breastfeeding.”
“No, this would make the divide even worse. We can’t restrict access to life saving formula, there are so many reasons to use formula: maternal death, adoption, CPS cases on and on. And I know we all can relate to difficultly acquiring needed prescriptions in a timely manner.”
“Seriously? Let’s put more stress on new mums by making formula prescription only… ”
“Utterly ridiculous, whatever happened to freedom of choice??? I’ve breastfed two children but I’m astounded at this suggestion, beyond words!!”
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