In a bid to boost low breast-feeding rates, the Mexican Government says it will no longer allow giveaways of baby formula at hospitals and clinics.
Anyone can still buy formula at stores and it can be supplied at a doctor's request or for research purposes, said federal health risks oversight agency. But the agency argued that free samples must be excluded from private and public hospitals "because it is a commercial practice that may discourage breast-feeding."
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months, but only 1 in 7 mothers in Mexico do so. Mexico's rate is among the lowest in Latin America. Mother's milk is richer than formula in nutrients and antibodies that protect newborns from infections.