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Massachustts Statehouse demonstration

735 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  KirstenMary
Hi all -

the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition is pulling together a demonstration at the Statehouse about the formula gift bag issue. They need our help!

"We will need to get as many folks as possible to come, and we would like mothers with babies as well. It would likely be the week of May 15. Please let [us] know if you think you can come and if you can round up people to come, as well. Exact date is TBA-- we need to get a sense on attendance, best days of the week, etc."

Please visit their website ( ) to sign the petition, if you haven't done so already.

If you are able to attend the demonstration, email them ( [email protected] ) and let them know what day(s) of the week would work best for you.

Spread this information to anyone who might be willing and able to attend! Let's give a strong show of support for the "gift bag" ban!
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Originally Posted by abranger
I signed up I'll be there!

I'll be posting more details as things are firmed up.
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We'll be there!
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We'll be there too!!
My letter (that I sent to everyone listed on the page

As a long-time Massachusetts resident, and mother of two, I strongly oppose the marketing of baby formula in the form of "gift bags" in Massachusetts hospitals. These "gift bags" are nothing more than a marketing plan by formula companies that wish to maintain a consumer basis by "recruitment" of new mothers. The breastfeeding information included in these bags is INCORRECT (I have received one with each of my children) and the samples of formula undermines a successful breastfeeding relationship between mother and child. It is too easy for an new mother, lacking in confidence and experience, to assume that formula is necessary or "better" than her milk, since the hospital sent her home with it! Even one bottle of formula can destroy a breastfeeding relationship in the early newborn days.

Breastfeeding is beneficial to both mother and child, and Massachusetts hospitals should not be catering to formula companies marketing schemes by promoting an inferior replacement to mother's milk. Of course, any mother has a right to choose formula-feeding over breastfeeding, however a more ethical alternative would be for the hospital to give formula samples to mother's who have ALREADY decided to not breastfeed, rather than shove every new mother out the door with a "gift bag" of formula.

Please reconsider this marketing scheme for what it is. Formula marketing has no business in Massachusetts hospitals!

Emma T.
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Excellent letter, Emmy!
Good luck Mass. moms, I hope the demonstration illustrates the need and support for the formula bag ban. It would be great if other states would follow.
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I am correct in remembering that MA would be the FIRST state to ban formula bags??

n/m found my Mothering mag and YEs it is...

Here's my letter... please feel free to comment, writing is not my best skill:

Dear Governor Romney:

As a Massachusetts resident, and mother, I strongly oppose the marketing of baby formula in the form of "gift bags" in Massachusetts hospitals. The "gift bag" ban addresses inappropriate marketing of baby formula by hospitals.

The ban already specifies that mothers that want formula can request samples and gift bags. Instead of further formula promotions, hospitals should be making a huge effort to encourage and support breastfeeding. It is too easy for a mother, lacking in confidence and experience, to assume that formula is necessary or equal to her milk. The simple fact that the hospital sent her home with a formula sample reinforces this misconception.

I'm sure you are aware of the benefits of breast milk to mother, child, and our society. Breastfeeding promotes mother-child bonding and provides health benefits to the child and the mother. Simply put, the more babies that are breastfed (or given human milk) the less money that parents and the government have to spend on health issues. Breastfeeding is a guaranteed WIN-WIN that medical professionals, parents and our leaders should all support.

I'm also convinced that formula companies are ruthless marketers. I'll share my formula marketing experience after a discussion with a group of mothers. One mother checked that she was planning on feeding her baby-to-be only formula. One mother checked that she was planning on feeding her baby-to-be only breast milk. Before my son was born I really didn't know much but that I wanted to try to breastfeed. I was intrigued that those 'surveys' mentioned that you could do both, so I checked that I was planning on breastfeeding but considering supplementing with formula.

Who got free formula? The mother who said she was breastfeeding did not. The mother who said she was formula feeding got ONE sample. What about me- the mother who wasn't sure, but wanted to breastfeed? Well, I got 100's of dollars of free formula and coupons. I certainly question the ethics of that, but it IS a brilliant marketing and money making strategy. Unfortunately, just one bottle of formula can sabotage the establishment of breast-feeding and that was not a risk I wanted to take.

I'm proud to say that ALL of my formula and formula checks were donated to a nonprofit agency serving Massachusetts youth. By the time my son was born I knew that I wanted to try to feed my son ONLY breast milk. It was hard and I did have to supplement for 3 days, but I made it through the rough beginning. Actually, it was extremely hard and successfully breast-feeding tops my list of accomplishments.

Unfortunately undermining the ban on formula bags is a step in the wrong direction. Please support the ban on formula bags and support breast-feeding. Help Massachusetts take the lead and become the first state to do this!

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Just printed out my letter and sent it to everyone that was needed!
Ok, we might get on the train and come up, but I can't find the info on the rally on their site? I only see the petition...maybe it's early and I'm a spaz, but can someone help me out with either a direct link or more info on where I click?

I don't think they've set the precise date yet; they're waiting for responses to see when the most people will be available. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to go (even though I'll have to be a sitting protestor, since I'll pass out if I stand in one place for more than a few minutes!)

- Krista
I sent an email and got a reply that they WILL post info on the website. I'll be sure to post the info here if I see it closer to May and on the MA board.

I'll be happy to go if I have the money to take the train in and if I can find someone to watch my bigger kids after they get home from school.

I can be there - I'm in RI but I can hop the train in Providence.
Is there any BFing NIP legislation on the table? That would get me there in a heartbeat.
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