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July 30 2012

Mayor Boob-berg Moves On

Julie Gunlock

Apparently not satisfied with overseeing the food and beverage choices of adult New Yorkers, chronically bored New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now moved on to another demographic of eaters—newborns.

Multiple news outlets reported today that Mayor Boob-berg is telling city hospitals to lock up baby formula so that moms can “decide” to breastfeed.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

I’m a big fan of breastfeeding. I did it with all three of my children--to a point my sister called “awkward.”  And while I encourage my pregnant friends to consider the option, I don’t live in a bubble. I’m fully aware that this choice isn’t for everyone. 

While I was able to stay home with my children and remove my shirt every three hours in the privacy of my own home, I have friends who started back to work after a few months of maternity leave.  For them, the three-times-a-workday ritual of heading to the public bathroom to alert your co-workers that your boobs are full of milk with the “wee wah…wee wah…” of your electronic breast pump (thanks breast pump manufacturers but your “black briefcase” design isn’t fooling anyone!) simply wasn’t a good use of their time when perfectly safe, nutritionally dense formula was a drug-store stop away from sheer happiness and less embarrassment.

And let’s face it. While it’s clear that breastfeeding is good for both baby and mother, the benefits are not that meaningful. I mean, it isn’t as though a legion of bottle-fed losers will someday say “if only I’d been breastfed.”  The truth is far less remarkable. Yes, there are some benefits with breastfeeding, but you are not dooming your child to a life of mediocrity if you choose to use formula. 

But more to the point; has Boob-berg completely lost his mind?  Why does Mayor Boob-berg think that he—a 70 year old man—is the appropriate spokesperson on this issue?  And why can’t he leave these very personal—indeed intimate—decisions to the women who just delivered the human being?  For goodness sake, is anything a personal decision anymore; must we all be guided by the meddling hand of our government minders?  It’s frankly strange, given Boob-berg’s dedication to women’s “choice” that he would seek to limit women’s choice after delivering a healthy human being.

The simple truth is that Boob-berg has no clue about breastfeeding but his obsession with obesity no doubt took him down this bumpy road.  Studies do show that breastfed children do grow up to be thinner kids but that has nothing to do with the formula itself and more with the fact that moms find it easier to simply hand their child a bottle instead of engage in the rather physically challenging act of breastfeeding. In other words, if you breastfeed, you might try other non-food forms of soothing your child—ergo, less calories.

I agree that there needs to be better education about breastfeeding that includes a warning to mothers that they shouldn’t use the formula filled bottle as a crutch to sooth a fussy baby. But government action is totally out of line in this arena.  This is an issue to be taken up by hospital officials and the medical community. 

The bottom line: Mayor Boob-berg needs to put his shirt back on and start focusing on the real issues New Yorkers care about: unemployment, traffic congestion, transportation problems, crime, and housing shortages.

Those issues might not be as attractive as women’s breasts, but seriously Mayor Boob-berg, stop embarrassing yourself! Act like a mayor, not a midwife.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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