Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Breastfeeding issued a "resolution" to encourage pediatricians to stop distributing formula samples at prenatal visits and upon discharge from the hospital. There are good studies that show that these samples decrease the number of infants fed breast milk exclusively and the number of infants fed any breast milk. The specific resolution is here.
I and my partners at Hilliard Pediatrics have mixed feelings about this issue. As much as we want infants to successfully breast feed, we know many families find the samples helpful. We want to do what we can to encourage infants to have breast milk the first year of life. We also want to encourage infants who are going to receive formula to receive the best formula.
We will continue to discuss the issue here at the office. I suspect there is going to be an ongoing discussion for many in the coming months and years. I will keep you posted!