SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hospitals are closing newborn nurseries to keep moms with their babies around the clock in a move meant to encourage breastfeeding, but critics say it’s crossing the line.
The initiative was developed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to get more moms to breastfeed, but many moms and even doctors say hospitals need to go back to their old ways.READ MORE: 2 Men Who Drowned At Tuolumne County Swimming Hole Identified As Daly City, Pittsburg Residents
Yareli Armas just had her baby and is elated, but she’s still trying to get the hang of nursing. Noah is her third child, but this is the first time she’s tried breastfeeding.
“I always knew breastfeeding was the best thing to do for your baby, but I guess it was just like, bottle feeding was way easier,” she said.
Even if she wanted to do that, she didn’t have that choice at the Anderson Lucchetti Center. The newly built hospital is called a baby-friendly facility where nurses don’t offer formula or pacifiers.
“We like to encourage mom to feed your baby on demand when baby’s hungry,” said nurse Tara Jeno.
She does all her nurse duties in the room instead of the nursery. From weighing to lab testing, baby never leaves Mom’s side.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“Some moms want their sleep, so yes it can be hard,” she said.
So no more looking at baby through the glass. The nursery is now used as a storage for empty cribs.
Dr. Amy Tuteur supports breastfeeding but says the initiative has gone too far.
“I’m very disappointed in that I think it’s a very Orwellian name,” she said. “It’s not friendly to babies, and not friendly to mothers.”
She penned an opinion piece called in Time magazine, saying “the name ‘baby friendly’ is deeply wounding to women who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed.”
“It’s kind of ridiculous to have a program that intends to coerce 100 percent of women to breastfeed when we know that for some women, it’s biologically impossible,” she said.MORE NEWS: California Dominates 'Best Places To Visit In USA' List; Several NorCal Spots Included
Nationwide there are 350 baby friendly hospitals. Over a dozen are in Northern California.