Oct 15, 2012 7:35 PM by Lacey Steele

Parkview Hospital in Pueblo takes part in an international Baby Friendly initiative by not giving out free formula samples

For all parents and soon to be parents, the next time you have a new little bundle of joy to bring home from the hospital, you may not get free samples of formula.

Internationally, hospitals prefer to promote breastfeeding.

We discovered it's catching on here in the U.S., including in Pueblo.

When a baby is born at Parkview, the mother takes home breastfeeding education.

"You know it's a gift only the mom can give," said Geri Davis, a Lactation Consultant at Parkview.

It's just one of many steps to get the hospital designated as Baby Friendly.

"Women who receive the gift bags breast feed less or the duration of breastfeeding is a lot less, so it really isn't very supportive of what we want to do," said Davis.

So formula gift bags are no more at Parkview.

Instead the focus is on breast milk, which has many benefits for both mother...

"Less breast cancer and a decreased risk for ovarian cancer, too," said Davis.

And baby...

"A baby that is breast fed exclusively for six months, has a better immune system the rest of their lives," said Davis.

Only about 120 hospitals in the U.S. have decided to give up formula samples.

They don't even accept them from formula companies.

"Babies are meant to breast feed," said Davis. "Just like any other mammal, they have all the instincts to be able to find the breast and feed."

It's something Parkview feels strongly about and has recently received an award for supporting breastfeeding.

If you cannot breast feed or choose not to, they will formula feed your baby at the hospital, but they still will not send any samples home with you.

Those at Parkview say Memorial Hospital is also working towards a Baby Friendly designation.



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