Far from giving new babes the best possible start, some moms are incensed to find hospitals doling out formula when sending them home after giving birth.
When Jessica Ewald opened her hospital goody bag, with included free infant formula and formula coupons, she was less than impressed.
"We gave it away the moment we came home because I said I'm not having that in our house," said 32-year-old Illinois mom Ewald.
Quoting a blogger, Ewald claimed that sending newborns home with formula "'is like giving somebody divorce papers at their wedding.' It can really undermine a woman's determination to breast-feed".
It's estimated that 72 per cent of birthing centres and hospitals sent American moms home with free formula last year.
"I don't think hospitals are the right place to market anything and I don't think hospitals should be marketing a product that is nutritionally inferior to breast milk," said Anne Merewood, an associate pediatrics professor at Boston University medical school and editor of the Journal of Human Lactation.
"People do think if a doctor gives something it must be good for you," Merewood said.
For decades hospitals have been offering formula freebies, but they have a new incentive to abandon the practice. Some women and activists claim that arming moms with formula right from the start tempts them to use it.
Scientific affairs specialist for the International Formula Council trade group, Haley Stevens said not offering new moms formula samples "is really irresponsible" as it could endanger babies if formula isn't properly prepared.
"We agree breast-feeding is the best, when you can do it," Stevens said. "There's no question. But if one size doesn't fit all, it's good to have a backup."
Were you sent home with free formula? Did you feel pressured to use it, or did you simply throw it out?
So much for the myth that chasing kids around all day keeps you slim. According to a new study in the journal Social Science and Medicine, childless adults stay thinner for longer than those with kids.
The fascinating study, which tracked changes in body mass index (BMI) levels (a ratio of height to weight) among 3,617 adults over a 15-year period, found that different life choices affect weight gain.
While parents reached an average BMI in the obese zone (over 30) by 55, those without children only hit the overweight zone (25 to 29) at the same age.
Men and women who have their first child at around 26-27 years of age gain the least weight over time than those both younger and older. (The lower socioeconomic status of most younger parents tends to increase the risk for obesity, according to Debra Umberson, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.)
Those who have children later in life feel the effects of mid-life weight, packing on around 3 to 4 pounds a year, together with the lifestyle restrictions of parenthood that further promote weight gain.
Fathers gain even more weight than moms, due to reduced exercise time and a decrease in substance abuse, such as smoking and heavy drinking.
“Parenthood imposes pressure for routine and new responsibilities such as staying sober and healthy to care for children,” says Umberson. “Given that smoking and heavy drinking are more prevalent among men, they are more likely to gain weight due to lifestyle behavioral changes.”
Umberson cautions that parents need to keep close tabs on their weight, since the gain happens incrementally over the years.
Something scandalous is going on in Northern Ireland. No, it's not political. Pop-litical, more like. Singer Rihanna is in town, preparing for her three sell-out shows at the Odyssey Arena this weekend.
She quickly ruffled local feathers while shooting a new video for We Found Love near Ballyrobert. The superstar was frolicking in a field topless when the farm's Christian owner gave her a talking to.
DUP Alderman and farmer Alan Graham insisted the 23-year-old Bajan beauty take her raunchy ramblings elsewhere.
“I did not know on Friday who was coming, but if the name Rihanna ...would have meant nothing to me,” the Co Down man said. "When the filming did become to my mind unacceptable I requested the filming to stop.”
Alderman Graham was out in the field in his tractor when he said he saw the star taking her clothes off. While this vision was exactly the stuff of most men's sauciest dreams, the farmer requested Rihanna to cease filming.
“I hope she understands where I’m coming from and we shook hands and we parted company on good enough terms."
Men everywhere shake their heads in dismay.