New York City Mayor Bloomberg's mission to make his city healthier isn't stopping at public smoking or big sodas. Now he wants moms to breastfeed, reports the New York Post (which is dismissive of what it views as another "nanny state" effort). Starting in September, most of the city's hospitals will take steps to curb the use of infant formula and encourage new moms to breastfeed. For starters, formula will be kept in locked store rooms and distributed more sparingly. Moms who request it can expect a gentle lecture on the benefits of going natural. Also, no more swag for new moms from the formula companies, which critics see as not-so-subtle marketing.
The "Latch on NYC" initiative may be well-intentioned, but plenty of bloggers are seething at the notion that the mayor is trying to dictate their child-rearing choices, notes ABC News, which rounds up examples. At Slate, Hanna Rosin is among the critics. "We can all agree that breastfeeding infants is somewhat better than not breastfeeding them," she writes. "The question is, as I have written many times before, that we do not want to feed into a culture that has made the failure or lack of desire to breastfeed seem like a shameful or even criminal affair." Read her full post here. (Read more breastfeeding stories.)