The International Formula Council (IFC) and its members are committed to supporting the well-informed decisions parents make in terms of how to feed their babies, whether they choose to exclusively breastfeed, partially breastfeed, or bottle feed their infants. Breastfeeding is the preferred form of infant nutrition; however, if infants are not receiving breast milk, baby formula is the only nutritious, safe, and recommended alternative.
Mothers have the right to choose the best feeding option for their babies given their particular circumstances. In order to make a well-informed decision, mothers have the right to receive information and resources about all infant feeding options. Whatever a mother’s decision, she should be supported and counseled in her choice.Recently, government policies have been introduced in several states that would restrict a mother’s access to information about certain infant feeding options, as well as samples of infant formula. In states, such as New York, Massachusetts and California, there have been efforts to ban commercial infant formula samples and information, such as brochures, posters and educational items in hospitals. A proposed bill in California would have made it a criminal offense to market or distribute free samples of baby formula in hospital maternity units.
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