Do hospital formula samples discourage breast-feeding?

"After you have a baby, your mind can retain about two pieces of information which isn't enough", said R.N. Tiffany Bateman, BSA Lactation Department Manager.

As if the color of the room, not getting enough sleep, and dirty diapers aren't enough for new mothers to worry about, they also have to think about breast-feeding.

"That's a decision that's very difficult", added Bateman.

The Centers for Disease Control say -- forget formula and breast-feed.

Some hospitals have stopped giving out the free formula samples to new mothers for fear of discouraging breast-feeding.

"Some moms may get into it not really realizing how much work it is or how difficult it is and theoretically a mom could say, okay, I've got the formula here. I'll do this instead", said Bateman.

But Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital in Amarillo says even though formula should be the second choice to breast-feeding, it's a good safety net to have.

"Our goal, first and foremost, is to support breast feeding and that's what we try to do. The formula we consider a backup, kind of a safety net and a lot of the pediatricians consider them having that as a safety net for the baby more than anything. It's not something we're saying do this instead of breast feeding", said Bateman.

Just as for most things in life, being educated ahead of time never hurts.

"I really encourage prenatal education, even get a good book and read it, ask your friends who have breast-fed. The more you know about it going in, the more chances you are going to be successful and not need what's in that little bag", continued Bateman.

BSA offers a prenatal breast - feeding class once a month for expectant mothers. For more information about that class, you should call 212-BABY.