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Mexican Government Bans Free Baby Formula

The Mexican government has banned free baby formula at hospitals in an effort to encourage breastfeeding.

Health authorities said baby formula would still be available for purchase in shops and could be supplied at a doctor’s request.

But they said the country needed to boost low breastfeeding rates.

Mexico has one of the lowest levels in Latin America. Only one in seven mothers breastfeed exclusively during the baby’s first six months. The World Health Organisation says exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way of feeding infants. It says thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond. The Mexican health authorities said Mexico’s poor record is problematic in a country where millions of people live in extreme poverty and drinking water is often dirty or contaminated.