Bloomberg, Health Dept. Hoping To Spread Initiative To Over 20 Hospitals

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Health Department are pushing a new initiative to get more new moms to breastfeed.  It’s called the “Baby Friendly Initiative” and starts at the hospital.

But not everybody is on board.

Jennifer Cannizzaro just gave birth to little Ellery on Wednesday. Ellery is her third child and it’s the third time she is breast feeding.

“It is kind of like riding a bike because I finally got the hang of it with my first two breastfeeding and she took right to it,” Cannizzaro told CBS 2’s Rachel Stockman.

Cannizzaro had her baby at NYU Langone Medical Center. The hospital is one of the first in the city to take part in the Baby Friendly Initiative.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city Department of Health hope to spread the initiative to as many as 24 other hospitals.

“The actual designation is from the World Health Organization and UNICEF for hospitals that provide the highest level of care for breastfeeding support,” nurse manager Karen Goodman said.

What that means is the hospital educates new mothers and staff on the benefits of breastfeeding.

“We do not give out gift bags of formula, we do not encourage its use,” Goodman said.

In fact, at NYU Langone the formula is locked up.

While many support breast feeding, some wonder if the city initiative has gone too far.

“I think it’s a woman’s decision, but I don’t think nobody is supposed to push anything like that,” Alin Leeve said.

“My response would be is that we don’t force them. We do not force breastfeeding on mothers at all,” Goodman said.

In addition to NYU Langone Medical Center, Harlem Hospital Center also takes part in the Baby Friendly Initiative.

Hospitals that want to participate will be eligible for federal funding.

What are your thoughts on this city initiative?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…


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