Formula Sample-Free Hospitals

The Ban the Bags Campaign

The Ban the Bag Campaign seeks to end the practice of giving new parents discharge bags that contain infant formula. Our work on this in Oregon is inspired and supported by a national Ban the Bag campaign.

When a health care provider hands out formula, it implies an endorsement of the product, including the particular brand, and undermines the breastfeeding support that was (hopefully) provided in the early hours and days after birth.

Evidence Behind the Ban

A landmark 2008 study by Oregon epidemiologist Dr. Ken Rosenberg shows these bags have a detrimental effect on breastfeeding duration and exclusivity.  Breastfeeding researcher Anne Merewood established the Ban the Bag campaign, and followed the resulting trends through 2011.  In December, 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee released a new position paper documenting the methodologically sound scientific literature exploring the impact of advertising and distributing human milk substitutes, and finding clear barriers to breastfeeding result.

Portland, Oregon was the first place in the country to have all hospitals in the city limits be bag-free. Read the press release here.

Oregon challenge:  Second bag-free state

Like the sound of that? It could soon be a reality.

  • In December, 2011, Rhode Island become the first bag-free state in the nation.  Can Oregon (please) be second?
  • 40 of the 52 birthing hospitals in Oregon have already banned the bag. Only 12 to go!  Let us know if you need help.  We can share strategies that worked for other facilities and help you think through might work in your specific setting.
  • For technical assistance or more information contact

Oregon bag-free hospitals

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon celebrates the Oregon hospitals which have already banned the bag, and the others that are examining their practices in light of the conviction that hospitals should market health and nothing else.

  • Adventist Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Ashland Community Hospital, Ashland, Oregon
  • Bay Area Hospital, Coos Bay, Oregon
  • Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria, Oregon
  • Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, Corvallis, Oregon
  • Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, Clackamas, Oregon
  • Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Legacy Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, Portland, Oregon
  • Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, Tualatin, Oregon
  • Legacy Midwifery Clinic, Portland, Oregon
  • Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center , Gresham, Oregon
  • Mercy Medical Center – Roseburg, Oregon
  • McKenzie Willamette Hospital, Springfield Oregon
  • Mid-Columbia Medical Center – The Dalles, Oregon
  • Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
  • Oregon Health and Science University Doernbecher Neonatal Care Center, Portland, Oregon
  • PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center, Eugene, Oregon
  • Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Hood River, Oregon
  • Providence Medford Medical Center, Medford, Oregon
  • Providence Milwaukie Hospital, Milwaukie, Oregon
  • Providence Newberg Medical Center, Newberg, Oregon
  • Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Providence Seaside Hospital, Seaside, Oregon
  • Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Oregon City, Oregon
  • Rogue Valley Medical Center, Medford, Oregon
  • Sacred Heart Medical Center, Eugene, Oregon
  • Saint Charles Medical Center-Bend, Bend, Oregon
  • Saint Charles Medical Center-Redmond, Redmond, Oregon
  • Salem Hospital – Salem, Oregon
  • Samaritan Albany General Hospital — Albany, Oregon
  • Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital – Lebanon, Oregon
  • Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital – Lincoln City, Oregon
  • Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital – Newport, Oregon
  • Silverton Hospital – Woodburn, Oregon
  • Sky Lakes Medical Center – Klamath Falls, Oregon
  • Three Rivers Community Hospital, Grants Pass, Oregon
  • Tilamook County General Hospital, Tillamook, Oregon
  • Tuality Community Hospital, Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Willamette Valley Medical Center, McMinnville, Oregon

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