NYC pushes breastfeeding over formula

July 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

NEW YORK, July 31 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest initiative promotes breastfeeding over infant formula, officials said.

While new mothers who favor bottle feeding will still be able to do so, beginning Sept. 3 nurses in New York City will have to sign out the baby formula in hospitals participating in the initiative, the International Science Times reported.

The program, first announced in May, will be optional, the report said.

"Human breast milk is best for babies and mothers," city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said when the program was announced in May.

The International Science Times said the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breastfed for the first six months for protection against illnesses and allergies. The report said formula fed babies are at a higher risk for diabetes and ear infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded.

Not everyone is happy.

"If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed," Lynn Sidnam, told the New York Post. Sidnam is a Staten Island mother whose two girls were fed formula fed. "It's for me to choose."

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