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OPINION: Should the Government Tell New Moms to Breastfeed?

The NJ Department of Health may be giving hospitals guidelines on swaying new mothers to choose breastfeeding over bottles. Should that be the role of government?

A new mother has just delivered a healthy, crying cherub of a baby. It's time to feed the infant.

The New Jersey Department of Health has just issued what may become new rules for hospitals to encourage and teach their new moms to breastfeed their infants and wean the mothers off using baby formula.

The goal is "to increase exclusive breast-feeding rates, improve health outcomes of mothers and infants, reduce childhood obesity rates and contain health care costs," the Department of Health told the Star-Ledger.

That would make New Jersey one of four states with written guidelines for hospitals on breastfeeding.

By doing so, the Department of Health may have walked into a field of landmines. The topic of whether to breastfeeding - or not - has been a highly charged one among various mothering groups.

Some militant moms go to one extreme, that not only is a bottle mom risking her child's health by not breastfeeding, but that she is selfish and lazy for not doing so. 

Mothers who have been stung by the barbs of the breastfeeders strike back by calling them Nursing Nazis (and worse.)

And then there are a few mothers who believe in live and let live, whether it's breast or bottle. The battle to make mothers who don't conform feel as if they are bad mothers may be a strong incentive for them to turn their backs on formula and go back to Mother Nature.

Some who believe that breastfeeding is a mother's choice don't think that the government should be forcing hospitals to put pressure on new moms to breastfeed. 

TELL US: Should breastfeeding be a private decision? Should mothers be pressured, whether by the hospital or by breastfeeding moms, to give up the bottle? Should the government be involved in this? Do you think that mothers who use formula for their children are selfish, while breastfeeding moms are saintly?

What do you think?

bayboat February 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM
The govt can "advise" all it wants.."tell" is a different matter.
Opinionated February 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM
The answer is "yes". The people who NJ voted the candidates into the Senate and the White House have spoken. You will run your life the way you are told or they will raise your children for you.
Nj Ghost February 20, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Is this going a bit far? It's got to be a spoof. This morning Att: general eric holder stated that "Americans really don't have a right to home school thier own children"..Now aint that a hoot??.....it's where we are going folks.
Donna L Shaver-Kaiser February 20, 2013 at 09:00 PM
absolutely "NOT"..........
Mammmamissy February 21, 2013 at 12:33 AM
I have brestfeed all my children, including my 7 month old now. I do not give them bottles at all. Never have givin them formula. That being said.... I would NEVER try to make a mother feel bad about not breast feeding. I do not think that the mother or child will have a pleasant experience if it is forced upon. In order for a mother to successfully breast feed they need to want to do it. No woman should feel guilted into it. I do not have a problem with this hospitals suggesting it to the mothers, however if they do not want to breast feed than that should be the end of it.
Vinny G February 21, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Are you freaking kidding me??? Now we are going to tell moms to breastfeed? I'm all for it, but seriously now, we're going to force people to do so? Uh... HELLO... its personal choice. This just confirms freedom is over. I'd go watch some tv now, but it may soon be outlawed after 8pm too. Arghhh.....
Charlie February 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM
My wife couldn't breast feed to do an illness she contracted when she was pregnant. My child was born premature, turned out to be healthy...never breast feed, rarely sick, intelligent, very little problems and wasn't a breast feed baby...I think the government needs to butt out of the American peoples rights...especially one as personal as this.

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