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Not so baby friendly....

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok - I gave birth at a baby friendly hospital. My midwife was awesome, but at my 6 week pp visit I found out she doesn't do IUD insertions. (I got my period back 6 weeks pp with my first and I think 10 weeks this time, although I'm not sure if that was or wasn't - only time will tell.) So she sent me around the corner to the OB office. In fact it's the only OB/Gyn office affiliated with this small regional hospital. I went there for an initial consult and then the insertion. The doc was great and since she's listed with my insurance as a PCP I changed my primary to her. (I'd still go with midwifery care for other pregnancies, but I digress....)

As a CLC and well informed about all the hoops the hospital had to jump through to get the Baby Friendly status I was quite shocked with what I found at their front desk. I saw the LLL Breastfeeding Answer Book on the top shelf (where no one could get it) behind the desk and formula marketing brochures at eye level on the front desk accompanied by nicely done gift basket containing formula.

I went to the hospitals Breastfeeding Support group this morning and mentioned it to the IBCLC who facilitates the meetings. She confirmed that the OB offices and pediatrician offices have to comply with the Baby Friendly standards of practice as well for the hospital to get the designation, so there shouldn't be any formula marketing materials out anywhere.

I have an appt on Tuesday with the doc for a string check and I'd really like to graciously remind her that the practice is violating the standards ... I'm just not sure how to go about saying it firmly and, as I said, graciously without coming off like I've got PMS. Any suggestions?

post #2 of 5

Yech what a drag. If I were you I'd say something like "you know, I know the hospital your practice is affiliated with is Baby Friendly, I'm just wondering if they shared information with you regarding artificial baby milk advertising. Last time I checked it was not allowed, the hospital really should have provided you with that informayion"...put it on the large faceless hospital, it lets your OB off the hook and reminds her to shape up :)


good luck

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

The response when I approached it was "would you like some samples?" and then a statement about even though we push  BF we have moms who still chose to formula feed and we have it out there for them. I've since learned that however disappointing the OB office's stance is, they are not subject to the rules the hospital they are affiliated with - because they are a private practice.

post #4 of 5

Arg...annoying. Well, you could always take your business elsewhere, if that's an option for you? I just got PPO insurance at my new job so I'm switching to a midwife for Well Woman care, and in case I ever have another baby.


I mean, if a patient of theirs has questions about formula, I imagine they could offer support on an individual basis. What they are doing is actually advertising (forwhich I'm sure they are being greatly rewarded by the formula company) a specific brand, and if you r OB doesnt know how handing out samples sabotages BF...well, sge doesnt sound smart enough to be your doc :)

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

I hear ya. The bottom line is, for me personally, she's my PCP not my OB. I've had such great experiences with midwifery care, unless there were some serious complications in my pregnancy, I would not consider an ob/gyn for prenatal care or birth. Thus far, I like her for everything else. I am a healthy person and I really only need somewhere for my records to be sent and someone to refer me to a specialist if need be. The only reason I was referred to her was because my CNM doesn't do IUD insertions, and I thought it would be convenient to have her as my PCP. I rarely ever see a doctor unless it's the annual visit.

On a broader view of things, it's clear that even with the Baby Friendly designation there are still gaps in encouraging moms who choose to breastfeed to continue to breastfeed without sabataging it with formula samples that could be given before or after the hospital birth during office visits. The idea with the bf status is that moms who chose to bf are not made to feel inadequate or have their efforts short circuited by bad advise. If a mom is going to quit bf, statistically it's done within ten days of discharge from the hospital, which are usually the hardest.

I will give kudos to the pediatricians I've dealt with. They have been very encouraging ... and I haven't seen any formula marketing materials or samples in their office!

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