Media Statement: AAP Resolution on Formula Samples
Standby Statement on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Breastfeeding Section “Resolution #67SC (12) — Divesting from Formula Marketing in Pediatric Care”
In November of last year (2011), the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Section on Breastfeeding, in conjunction with some state chapter breastfeeding committees, agreed to put forward a resolution for consideration by the AAP Board of Directors.1
Subsequently, this resolution was not selected by the AAP Leadership Forum for submittal to the AAP Board of Directors.
The infant formula industry agrees that breastfeeding is the ideal infant feeding method. The majority of mothers are aware of this as reflected by the increase in breastfeeding initiation rates over the past decade.2 However, some mothers have difficulty continuing to breastfeed once they leave the hospital or return to work.3 Because some women cannot or choose not to breastfeed, it is important that all parents have unrestricted access to accurate information about all appropriate infant feeding options.
The IFC believes that mothers, have the right to make informed infant feeding decisions according to their life circumstances and the needs of their families.
Parents look to their health care provider for infant feeding information and guidance. Healthcare providers should (1) discuss all types of infant feeding methods with parents so that they can make informed choices, (2) educate parents on proper infant formula storage and preparation, and (3) support parents in making the best infant feeding choice for their families. Without appropriate education, parents may make mistakes and other variations in formula-feeding that could have both short- and long-term health consequences for their infants.4 At the end of the day, the real objective for any campaign intended to increase breastfeeding rates should be to provide sound advice and support to new mothers.
Support for mothers’ infant feeding choice
Research shows that mothers know breastfeeding is the ideal infant feeding method and most plan to nurse their new baby.3 In fact, although samples of infant formula have been actively distributed at hospitals to mothers of newborns, data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Survey shows breastfeeding rates have increased over the past decade.2
However, some mothers, for various reasons, have difficulty continuing to breastfeed once they leave the hospital or when they return to work, and other mothers have their own personal reasons for not breastfeeding. All parents should be trusted and supported in making the best feeding choices for their babies according to their life circumstances.
Mothers Want Access to Infant Feeding Information
A 2009 national mothers survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of IFC surveyed a nationally representative sample of 876 mothers of infants aged 0-12 and found that almost all mothers (92%) approve of hospitals distributing diaper bags that include free infant formula samples.3
The 2009 national mothers’ survey asked why mothers stopped breastfeeding. Many described barriers that interfered with breastfeeding duration, including:
- Demands of work or school (82%)
- The inability to produce enough milk (81%)
- The expense of a breast pump (74%)
- The feeling that breastfeeding restricts freedom (76%)
- No time to pump at work (59%)
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Breastfeeding. Divesting from Formula Marketing in Pediatric Care. (2012) Available at: http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/DivestingfromFormulaMarketinginPediatricCare.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Immunization Survey; available at: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/NIS_data/index.htm
- Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies. National Public Opinion Poll on Infant Feeding. May 2009.
- Lakshman R OD, Ong K. Mothers’ experiences of bottle feeding: a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies. Arch Dis Child.
Robin Applebaum Morgan Dukes