Video: Hospitals should stop giving out formula samples and coupons.
Hospitals that distribute formula samples are in violation of a 1981 World Health Organization code that prohibits healthcare facilities from marketing infant formula.
Children that are not breastfed have more medical problems, including severe lower respiratory tract infections, obesity, diabetes, childhood leukemia and more. Women who do not breastfeed have higher rates of diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer, post-partum depression and bladder infections.
Many hospitals across the country have stopped distributing the samples. A 2009 study by the CDC found that 34.2 percent of hospitals nationwide have stopped the practice, and in November 2011, Rhode Island became the first state in which all hospitals with maternity wards stopped distributing formula samples to new mothers. A recent study noted that in states with higher numbers of hospitals eliminating the distribution of formula samples, there are higher rates of breastfeeding.