Delaware Hospitals Will No Longer Give Formula Samples to New Moms

DELAWARE--Delaware hospitals will no longer provide formula samples to new mothers.

"I've bought everything. I mean I have everything but I don't have formula yet because I don't know what the hospital might recommend or what they would think would be best," said Rebecca Montgomery. She's expecting her first baby in two months. But she learned today that after she delivers she won't be leaving the hospital with the gift bags they have traditionally given out filled with bottles and formula

"I think that's something they should not take a way," said Montgomery. Starting today, Delaware health officials say none of its hospitals in the state will give out formula samples any longer in an effort to better promote breastfeeding.

"I think that's something that they should give because not every mom is going to be able to breastfeed. So I think it's something they should continue to give out," said Montgomery.

Dr. Karyl Rattay is the Director of the Division of Public Health in Delaware.

"This is kind of changing the paradigm so that breastfeeding is the first choice but if people choose not to it's not a judgment on them. But certainly we don't want to be supporting them in quitting breastfeeding when they're trying so hard not to," said Dr. Rattay.

10-month-old Melissa's mom Tara says parents should have a choice. She also feels the formula samples come in handy if a mom intends to breastfeed but gets home and can't.

"I think everybody should have the option to if they want to breast feed or if they want to have milk from any company. You're so stressed out and you're not thinking of those things and to have it readily available it's like oh wow thank you so much, I wasn't even thinking of this," said Tara.

Delaware is the third state to ban the bags along with Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They're touting the health benefits of breastfeeding and that it saves money for families and health companies. Health officials also say doing away with the bags eliminates the impression that hospitals prefer or are pushing one formula over another.