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A campaign to ban formula samples in hospitals

The New York Times, October 16, 2012

Breast-feeding decreases babies' risk of ear infections, diarrhea, asthma and other diseases, and may reduce risk of obesity and slightly improve I.Q., experts say. The question is whether samples tempt mothers who could breast-feed exclusively for the recommended six months to use formula when they’re exhausted or discouraged if nursing proves difficult. The C.D.C., the World Health Organization and breast-feeding advocates say samples turn hospitals into formula sales agents and imply that hospitals think formula is as healthy as breast-feeding. Health experts say that while some women face serious breast-feeding challenges, more could nurse longer with greater support, and that formula samples can weaken that support system.