PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — As part of efforts to encourage breastfeeding, mothers who give birth in Rhode Island will no longer receive free infant formula when they head home from the hospital.
The state’s birthing hospitals ended the formula giveaways as of this fall. Rhode Island is the first state in the nation in which all hospitals have ended the practice.
State health officials say studies link formula giveaways to decreased breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding has been shown to be healthier for both infants and mothers.
The state health department will highlight the end of formula giveaways at an event Monday at the Statehouse. Stephanie Chafee (CHAY’-fee), a nurse and the wife of Gov. Lincoln Chafee, plans to speak at the event.
Formula will still be available to new mothers who experience difficulties with breastfeeding.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.