By Ready. Set. Grow!
With all due respect to Whoopi Goldberg, she should be careful before “reporting” on issues on which she is grossly misinformed. On “The View” Monday morning, the actress/comedian turned talk show hostess blasted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as if he were personally walking into every new mom’s hospital room in the city and forcing them to breastfeed. She called it “his” baby-friendly hospital initiative (see the second video down).
Well, Goldberg, this initiative does not belong to Bloomberg, and there is nothing forceful about hospitals setting guidelines and having resources available that help and encourage new mothers in the
breastfeeding journey. Of course, there are women who just can’t breastfeed or who simply don’t want to. But there are many, many more who could see great breastfeeding success with some help through what can be a very challenging time.
The “Baby-Friendly Hospital” initiative is actually a designation from the World Health Organization and UNICEF for hospitals that encourage and help new moms breastfeed. First 5 LA is currently helping 16 Los Angeles County hospitals earn this designation because breastfeeding is what’s best for babies and mothers. Breast milk is proven to help immune systems, control weight, boost brain development and increase the mother-child bonding experience. Many hospitals, especially those that serve low-income families, don’t have the resources or staff to help these moms – including those who really want to breastfeed but can’t get over the hurdles alone.
There is nothing militant or forceful about helping new mothers who want to make the best choices for their children. Everyone still has a choice. As they should. It’s irresponsible of Goldberg to spread misinformation to so many people who trust her.
To learn more about breastfeeding, including resources to help, visit our Ready. Set. Grow! Moving Families Forward Breastfeeding page.