Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Portland Hospitals Give Babies the Best Gift of All for WBW!

That is, they are no longer giving away formula-filled discharge bags!

As of today, all major hospitals in Portland, Oregon, will no longer serve as formula company marketing hacks, sending new babies and moms home with formula in the traditional "gift" bag. This was managed without government intervention, but by staff lactation consultants and others who persuaded their hospitals administrators to voluntarily stop issuing the bags. (Once a couple hospitals agreed to stop, an LC at one holdout warned, "You don't want to be the last hospital in town still giving away formula, do you?") Altogether, five hospital systems, totaling 16 medical centers (including several outside the Portland area, as far off as Medford, Oregon), have stopped giving out formula in discharge bags. Some still are giving bags, but without formula or coupons.

Today, during its annual Benefit Luncheon, the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon awarded the following hospitals for "Maternity-Care Best Practices" for eliminating infant formula sample packs:
  • Adventist Medical Center
  • Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
  • Legacy Emmanuel Hospital and Health Center
  • Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center
  • Legacy Meridian Park Hospital
  • Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center
  • Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital
  • Providence Portland Medical Center (where my two came into the world!)
  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
  • Providence Milwaukie Hospital
  • Providence Newberg Medical Center
  • Providence Seaside Hospital
  • Providence Medford Medical Center
  • Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • OHSU Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center
  • Three Rivers Community Hospital (bag-free since 1997 and Baby Friendly since 1999!)
Thank you to all those who worked to make this happen. Oregonians once again lead the way in the US, supporting, protecting, and promoting breastfeeding!