My hospital used a certain brand of infant formula. Does that mean it’s the best brand?
Many hospitals that are not Baby-friendly, have a contract with an infant formula manufacturer. Under the contract, the manufacturer usually provides free or low-cost infant formula and other items and benefits to the hospital and the hospital agrees to use only that manufacturer’s infant formula and related products. It is a marketing method designed to increase sales and by extension, will reduce the rate of breastfeeding. Hospitals that have free infant formula are more likely to use it and mothers who use infant formula in hospital are less likely to breastfeed exclusively. They often continue using the same brand as they assume the hospital chose it because it was the “best.” In fact, hospitals usually choose brands based on the best deal they can get. Their infant formula is no better than any other infant formula and is likely more expensive than store-brand infant formulas. Hospitals designated “baby-friendly” by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative must purchase infant formula at a fair market price and do not promote these products.