Parents may no longer have a choice in how they choose to feed their newborn babies in New York City.

New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley today launched “Latch On NYC,” a new citywide initiative to support mothers who breastfeed their infants by asking city maternity hospitals to voluntarily sign on to support a mother’s choice to breastfeed and limit the promotion of infant formula in their facilities which can interfere with that decision.

Under the plan, baby formula would be placed under lock and key and a doctor would have to sign off that there was a medical reason that the infant could not be breastfed. Promotional products with baby formula logos on them would also disappear from the hospitals nurseries.

The regulations would also discourage "rounding off" feedings for breastfeeding mothers whose bodies don't produce enough milk naturally. As is current practice, those mothers start by breast feeding their child and then supplement the feedings with formula to ensure that the child is getting the proper nutrition.

The program is called "Latch On" - and is supported by a large number of New York city and state agencies.


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