PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI/AP) - Rhode Island's birthing hospitals will no longer give new mothers free infant formula when they head home from the hospital.
This decision is part of efforts to encourage breastfeeding.
The state's hospitals ended the formula giveaways as of this fall. Rhode Island is the first state in the nation in which hospitals have ended this practice.
Health officials say studies link formula giveaways to decreased breastfeeding rates. Breastfeeding has been shown to be healthier for both infants and mothers.
The Rhode Island Department of Health will hold an event Monday at the Statehouse to explain the end of formula giveaways. First Lady Stephanie Chafee, a nurse and wife of Governor Lincoln Chafee, will speak at this event.
Formula will still be available to mothers who experience difficulty breastfeeding.
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