Hospitals that discontinued distributing industry-sponsored infant formula sample packs to new mothers doubled from 2007 to 2010, but many continue the practice despite criticism that it discourages breastfeeding.
A follow-up study to determine how the practice of handing out free formula sample packs had changed among 1,200 U.S. maternity hospitals showed the number of facilities curtailing the practice increased from 14% in 2007 to 28% in 2010.
Major health organizations have called for a halt to hospitals providing free infant formula samples, including CDC, WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The hospitals that still continue to hand out the commercial formula do so because they get free products to use in their neo-natal care facilities, where babies often cannot be breast fed.
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