On June 17, Flagstaff Medical Center became the first hospital in Arizona to “Give the Bag the Boot.” In an effort to promote breastfeeding, the Women and Infants’ Center at FMC, in conjunction with the national Ban the Bag campaign, will be eliminating bags sponsored by baby formula companies, including formula samples given to moms when they leave the hospital.
“Breastfeeding is important because it offers health benefits for children that cannot be obtained through formula,” said Brenda Phipps, lactation consultant for FMC. “There are many studies which indicate that formula in discharge bags undermines breastfeeding and leads to lower breastfeeding duration. The practice of distributing these bags is discouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Practice, the World Health Organization, the Surgeon General’s Office and the Government Accountability Office,” Phipps said.
In place of the bags supplied by formula companies, FMC has created its own insulated bag for moms when they are discharged from the hospital. The bag will contain community resource information and breastfeeding information for those mothers who plan to breastfeed.
FMC’s Breastfeeding Center is located on the third floor of the Women and Infants’ Center and has been providing support for moms, for almost 15 years. The Breastfeeding Center offers information, support and encouragement to approximately 1,300 mothers each year. Services also include phone counseling, specialized outpatient consultation, breast pump rentals and sales, and breastfeeding accessories.
For more information on the Breastfeeding Center, call 928 773-2605; or for more information about the Women and Infants’ Center and the programs and services offered to the community, click on the Women and Infants’ Center link.