AAP Resolves To Eliminate Formula Freebies To New Babies And Parents

Heather Johnson

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has resolved to advise pediatricians to stop giving formula freebies including formula company gift bags, coupons, and industry-authored handouts to new parents of newborns and infants.

Based on the stance that breastfeeding is the normal, physiologic way to feed human babies as well as on the research that concludes that not breastfeeding increases the risk of adverse health outcomes in both mothers and babies, the AAP passed a resolution to advise pediatricians not to provide formula freebies to the parents of newborns and infants in office and clinic settings.

The AAP supports exclusive breastfeeding for about six months followed by continued breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods. The marketing of artificial baby milk including through formula freebies undermines the ability of women to breastfeed. As the AAP states in the resolution on formula freebies:

"The distribution of formula company products by a health care provider - hospital, nurse, or doctor, is nothing more than advertising. It is not generosity on the part of manufacturers. There is no "gift" in a "gift bag" except that from the healthcare system applying a seal of approval to the formula manufacturer without compensation."

Breastfeeding advocates are heralding the recent AAP resolution on formula freebies. For example, an infographic from Daily Momtra is currently making the rounds on Facebook:

There Is No Gift In A Formula Freebie Gift Bag

To read the entire AAP resolution, check out 2012 AAP Resolution - Divesting from Formula Marketing in Pediatric Care.

Do you agree with the AAP resolution to eliminate formula freebies to the parents of newborns and infants?