Quote from babyRN.
I'm a NICU RN and will breastfeed when I have kids and I completely believe in it. But you can bet your dollar that first night after pushing a bowling ball out (or recovering from a major abdominal surgery!!) that I will not be feeding my kid with the breast and will be giving them a bottle. I would probably fall asleep with them and having a code blue called...A bottle will not kill them...
Those first hours of nursing are important for baby. Colostrum is extremely valuable for newborns, and that time is formative for bringing your milk in/establishing supply, for bonding, and to help your uterus return to normal size. I can't personally imagine not wanting to room in with my newborn that first night unless I was recovering from a serious complication; you can never get it back. All I wanted to do those first nights with my babies was snuggle them and touch them and get to know them!
That said, the issue the OP mentioned does sound like it would be hard to deal with on the fly right after delivery. So much about successful breastfeeding starts with prenatal education and support in the early postpartum period, and having an inflexible policy can be problematic when you are dealing with moms who aren't committed or prepared or even interested in nursing. However, how many mothers and babies are rooming in and encouraged to nurse before baby shows advanced signs of hunger? If your practices haven't changed much, how would they need to change to make sure those babies are getting what they need from mom? Breast milk is highly digestible in addition to newborns having tiny tummies, and those babies should be nursing on demand. I'm sorry, but if those moms really do plan to nurse when they leave the hospital, avoiding bottles as much as possible in those early days and supporting the mothers can make a big difference. I've seen the flip side so many times--mothers who want to nurse but didn't have the support in the hospital that they needed, their babies were given bottles and their confidence in their milk supply was compromised right away due to supplementation which also kept them from establishing a good supply, and it can go downhill from there. Clearly this isn't every mother, or even the majority; I understand many do not plan to breastfeed. But for those who do, you can make an enormous positive or negative difference in those early days.
I hope the hospital can address your concerns; the problems you are describing are definitely frightening and concerning, and given unlimited resources I would say there are ways around defaulting to formula supplementation except in extreme cases, but I understand that may not be feasible in many settings, including yours.