RI hospitals no longer offering free infant formula

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Mothers giving birth in Rhode
Island will no longer leave the hospital with a free bag of infant formula.
      As part of an effort to encourage breast feeding the state's seven
birthing hospitals stopped formula giveaways this fall.
Island is the first state in the U.S. 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's first lady hailed the
decision Monday at a Statehouse event. Stephanie Chafee, a nurse and the wife
of Gov. Lincoln Chafee, says eliminating formula giveaways is a
critical step toward improving breastfeeding rates.
will still be available to new mothers who experience difficulties with breastfeeding.
      (Copyright 2011
by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)