The physician as advertiser: the unintentional discouragement of breast-feeding

Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Jun;81(6):1048-51.


To be consistent with national health goals and ACOG policies and recommendations, physicians providing prenatal care should encourage breast-feeding whenever possible. The parents' choice to breast- or formula-feed their infant is the consequence of a complex decision. The physician's role is to provide information objectively so that the parents' decision can be made on an informed and factual basis. Clearly, the physician must support parents' decisions. However, the distribution of formula or vouchers in the physician's office during the antepartum period places the physician in the position of advertising or promoting a specific product and of potentially contributing to the failure of some patients to nurse their infants. We urge physicians not to distribute formula or formula vouchers to their pregnant patients, and encourage local and national obstetrics organizations to consider devising and discussing a policy statement discouraging such practices.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Physician's Role*
  • Prenatal Care*