NY mayor: just say no to soda and baby formula
BY SETH GALINSKY
When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans, not yet approved, to ban the sale of soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces in fast food restaurants and delis regulated by the city—for our own good—many working people shook their heads in disbelief and amusement.
What will the liberal do-gooders and promoters of big-brother government come up with next, many thought, in using laws and regulations to help guide us in making “better” decisions in every aspect of our lives?
With the announcement of the city government’s expansion of an initiative to “encourage” women—translation: badger, pressure, guilt-bait, penalize—to breast-feed their newborn infants instead of using infant formula, we found out pretty quick.
The billionaire mayor—who acts more like a liberal wannabe meritocrat—has jumped on the latest fad to mount social pressure on women to first and foremost be “good mothers,” and accept whatever sacrifices that entails. The new campaign dovetails with the growth of an obsessive “parenting” trend most prevalent among middle classes.
At the heart of this program is the enforcement of New York State “hospital regulation to not supplement breast-feeding infants with formula feeding unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s medical chart,” the city health department says. In addition, the hospitals must “restrict access to infant formula by hospital staff.”
Twenty-seven of the 40 area hospitals that handle childbirths are on board.
Before the mother can get the first bottle of formula, “there’s an education, the nurse explains the benefit of breast-feeding,” Christian Preston, spokesperson for Staten Island Hospital told the Militant. “But if the patient still wants it, it will be provided.”
Asked if this means that infant formula would be handled like prescription medicine, Preston replied, “It’s not being locked up with a key, but it must be disbursed and tracked. It won’t be right there in the room.”
The New York Post reports that nurses’ aides at Staten Island Hospital don’t have automatic access to formula, it must be signed out by a registered nurse. Many hospitals, especially those that cater to working people, are understaffed and the nurses overworked. Will women who request formula get it when they want it?
Bloomberg and the social engineers who promote “Latch on New York City” are pitching the plan as a way to counteract greedy corporations who seek to make money off parents of newborns. As part of signing on to the program, hospitals will ban advertising of infant formula and free sample giveaways.
Most doctors believe there are health advantages for mothers and infants from breast-feeding, although how much is a matter of some debate.
While women from the upper classes can find a way to organize their life so they can breast-feed if they so choose, for working-class women who hold down a job, it’s not so easy. According to the New York Health Department, 90 percent of women who give birth in New York start out breast-feeding. Within two months only 31 percent are doing so exclusively.
Instead of arrogant lectures and regulations to “help” women do what the government thinks is best for themselves and their infants, women should have access to day care centers, medical care regardless of their ability to pay and paid maternity leave—and be left alone to make their own decisions.