In light of some harsh criticism, Fraser Health is backtracking on a policy it’s been imposing on new mothers since 2007.
The health authority has been requiring mothers to sign a breastfeeding plan, which highlights the developmental and immune-building benefits of human milk over formula.
By using phrases like “even one feed of formula can damage [a baby's stomach] coating and make illness more likely”; “babies who do not receive breast milk are more likely to get significant illness and disease”, it left many parents feeling like it was an invasion of privacy and infringed on their personal choice.
“It was not our intention to offend any of our patients or their families,” Tamara Van Tent, Fraser Health clinical program director told Global News. “We appreciate the feedback of the public and we know childbirth should be a joyous occasion and should not have anxiety around feeding choices.”
Van Tent went on to say it was not the health authority’s intention to “sway patients one way more than another” but instead was meant to provide an opportunity to educate patients on feeding choices and support them in their decision.
Due to the backlash, the Fraser Health has removed the current version and will be replace with a revised version in the coming weeks.