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JMH Stops Giving Out Formula Samples In An Effort To Promote Breastfeeding

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Healthwatch

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Expectant South Florida mothers will see a change after their baby is born  in the way they are feed.  In a global initiative launched by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to encourage breastfeeding Jackson Health and other South Florida hospitals are working towards being baby friendly designated but before that happens some changes are being made.

Jackson Health System, inside goody bags sent home with new mothers, is giving out information which includes material on support groups, where to find breast pumps and how to collect and store breast milk, according to CBS4’s news partner, the Miami Herald.

The hospital’s actions is part of the hospital’s effort to achieve the Baby Friendly designation, a global standard of care program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to encourage breastfeeding and recognize birthing centers and hospitals that offer support for breastfeeding, the paper reports.

“One of the most recent things we did stopped giving formula samples with bags it undermines the mom from being able to breastfeed,”  said Dr. Marta Galarza a neonatologist at Holtz Children’s Hospital to CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez.

Galarza, said no longer giving out formula samples, “is an important way of telling new mothers, ‘You can do it.’”

Galarza said that mothers often give up breastfeeding prematurely for several reasons, one including lack of support or not enough milk—which Galarza told the Herald is only the case 1-percent of the time.

Jackson’s decision to eliminate the formula samples, according to Ruth Jeannoel a lead organizer for the Miami-based Power U Center for Social Change, a grassroots organization that helps low-income women of color in Little Haiti, Liberty City and Overtown, is key due to the public hospital’s size.

“This is a huge step because Jackson is setting an example. It’s a leader. Others will be looking at what Jackson has done and maybe do the same,” Jeannoel told the paper.

Jackson, the paper said, hopes to complete its application process by the end of the year.

Ultimately however Dr. Galarza says it is the mother’s choice on whether or not she wants to breastfeed but they will educate and help them in the process and if formula is their choice, formula will be provided.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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