Hospital’s Letter to Moms About ‘Artificial Feeding’ Criticized

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The breast vs formula debate is one of the most stubborn parenting debates. Does it really matter how one mom chooses to feed her baby? I mean, fed is best, right? Well, one hospital weighed in on the debate in a fairly obnoxious way, and some parents are calling foul. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK sent out a letter with patient information, for patients delivering at the facility. In the letter, they refer to artificial feeding, and say they won’t provide artificial milk to mothers and babies.

Artificial feeding? Are they robots? What is this nonsense?

Kathryn Booth shared the letter on Twitter, and she was just as incredulous about the wording as I am. It’s one thing to encourage moms to breastfeed, and give them the support and education to make it easier. But artificial feeding? Some women can’t breastfeed. Some babies don’t do well on the breast. And honestly, some new moms just plain don’t want to! But as long as their babies are FED, that should be the focus.

New moms need to be supported and offered help, not this. Aside from the wording, it’s also a little rude to ask women to bring in their own “artificial food”. I went into the hospital fully expecting to breastfeed, and my baby had other plans those first couple of days.

Other moms chimed in on the thread with their own thoughts about the wording in the letter. I sympathize so much with these women! Is formula breast milk? No. Is it technically “artificial”? Yes, I suppose. But there has to be another way to refer to it, so as not to judge and alienate new moms.

Feeding babies should be a no-brainer! Just FEED them, however you can or want to. It would be great if hospitals could be more supportive of new moms during such a difficult transition.

(Image: iStock/DGLimages)