Take Action: Stop Infant Formula Marketing in Health Care Facilities
A Guide to Meeting with Your Local Hospital
To increase the pressure on your local hospital to discontinue formula marketing, schedule a meeting with hospital officials. Here are some steps you can take:
- Gather a group of concerned community members to join you in your meeting with hospital administrators. Try to include a diverse array of stakeholders: parents whose children were born in the area (including breastfeeding moms), healthcare advocates, healthcare providers, community leaders, city or town officials, and anyone else who is concerned about the issue.
- Set up a meeting with representatives of one of the following:
- The Hospital President/CEO
- Ethics Committee
- Chief of Pediatrics
- Chief of Obstetrics
- Chief Nursing Officer
- Risk Management Department
- Corporate Compliance Department
- Call these offices and say you are concerned about the hospital’s policies regarding infant formula marketing. If you get turned away at first, don’t give up! Keep calling. If a member of your anti-formula marketing committee has internal connections in the hospitals, use those as much as possible.
- Once you have scheduled your meeting, prepare yourself and your committee.
- Bring a copy of the letter sent to the hospital asking it to stop marketing formula.
- Bring a fact sheet.
- Review the background information and talking points on this site.
- Check other sources for talking points. (See additional resources and supporting studies.)
- Consider letting some local media know about your meeting. Follow up after the meeting to let them know how it went.
- When you meet with hospital officials:
- Have a clear demand: stop all formula marketing in hospitals immediately.
- Make a few, well-stated arguments explaining the urgent need for this action.
- Provide some examples of the effects of formula marketing on new mother’s ability to breastfeed.
- Listen to their responses. Provide explanations and additional information to correct misconceptions, where appropriate.
- Ask for follow up: What will the hospital’s next steps be? How will they let you know about their progress?
- Follow up shortly after the meeting, thanking the officials for meeting with you and reminding them to let you know about their progress. Follow up again within a couple of weeks.