In the nine months leading up to the birth of my first daughter, I read countless books, articles and blog posts about the benefits of breastfeeding. I was determined to give it my best shot and did everything I could to ensure that my baby and I would have the best chances for success.
So it was funny that immediately after her birth, the hospital gave me not one but two "complimentary" gift bags to take home to help me care for my daughter. Both were formula bags ... diaper bags filled with formula samples, bottles and coupons handed out for free by the formula companies, and subsequently by many hospitals to new moms. Turns out, I wasn't the only one to recognize the contradictory message here.
The problem with breastfeeding is there is no company that will benefit, thus no sponsorship dollars to be earned in its promotion. Though medical professionals tout the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby, they previously did not have the tools to offer patients the support and messages that were needed to encourage breastfeeding beyond the first few days or weeks.
But a few months ago, one company that does promote breastfeeding, Lansinoh, decided to take a stand against the formula guys and offer an alternative to the formula-laden gift bags. In August, Lasinoh helped 200 hospitals across the country replace their formula discharge bags and samples with the Healthy Baby Bounty Bag, a breastfeeding support promotional discharge bag.
The Healthy Baby Bounty Bag contains product samples, coupons, information — all to support and encourage moms who choose to breastfeed. The bag even includes an electric pump, milk storage bags, nipple cream and nursing pads. Hospitals including UCLA Medical Center, Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and Exeter Hospital were among the first to distribute Healthy Baby Bounty Bags to new moms.