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Dozens of northwest hospitals are joining a nationwide push to get new mothers to breast feed their babies, instead of using infant formula.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island ban hospital gift bags containing formula samples.

Now some hospitals in Oregon are implementing the ban on their own.

Providence Saint Vincent Hospital in Oregon stopped handing out formula samples and coupons six years ago.

Statistics show 90-percent of new mothers in the northwest try to breast feed. 48-percent are still nursing when their babies are six months old, as recommended by pediatricians.

The formula companies being pushed out of hospitals have responded by saying, If patients are discouraged from using infant formula they may resort to inferior methods of infant feeding which can cause serious nutritional deficiencies and put the infant's health at risk.

The website Ban the Bags lists 20 hospitals in Washington state and 30 in Oregon that no longer hand out formula samples.

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