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Baptist Hospital

  1. #17
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I think much of this is how the patient approaches it, too. I've been asking about breastfeeding from the beginning. I'm going to write it clearly on my birth plan, and stick a big note on my bed. My doc said this was a good idea. And I'm willing to go through the discomfort of hauling myself to the nursing room if I really don't get a private room.
    So I think it's do-able, though it's not what most of the local / mainland mothers opt to do. I just need to be a little insistent.

  2. #18
    RileyC is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyousBaby View Post

    Just in case I don't have much milk as my previous 2 gals face this problem. So the hospital were bttle feed n I tried breastfeeding too.
    Joyous baby, I'm not sure if or how much you've read or heard about breastfeeding, but the size of a baby's stomach in the first few days of its life is that of a small marble. In other words, a baby doesn't need to drink that much. In the first few days immediately after giving birth the body produces a small quantity of colostrum ( or first milk, which is yellowish in colour and contains, among other things, antibodies) and then the breast milk comes in at about day 3. Your body will and can produce enough milk, but breastfeeding isn't easy and requires patience.

  3. #19
    charade is offline Registered User
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    RileyC, this may be true but in my own experience, a baby can be hungry before the breastmilk comes in adequately. I had a miserable time the first couple of days after my baby was born because even after two hours of breastfeeding - and sitting up with the baby at my breast for two hours at a stretch each time just after having delivered was a killer - my baby was not satisfied. This may be because he just wanted to keep sucking but when I finally agreed to let them feed him formula (they cup fed him) he was fine and would go to sleep peacefully. Once my milk came in though he was fine and I had no problems breastfeeding him exclusively. If I had to do it again, I would have agreed to those initial formula cupfeeds sooner and saved myself a whole lot of agony and fatigue.

  4. #20
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Amazing what a difference doctors can make even at the same hospital. My preferred doctor may be out of town a few weeks before my due date, and he kindly set up a back-up.

    So I went to see this back-up doctor to go over my birth plan, and her views on natural birth and breast-feeding were totally different. In fact, her first question to me was "when did you schedule your C-section for?", and then looked non-plussed when I said I hadn't pre-scheduled one.

    She dismissed exclusive breastfeeding as "gweilo" idea, and said that it didn't work for Chinese people because we were prone to jaundice and getting yellow skin. In fact, she dismissed most of my birth plan -- moving around in early pregnancy, being allowed to eat and drink lightly -- as "gweilo" things. I don't mind honest advice, but she seemed rather stuck on "Chinese people do this, but gweilos do that." She said this in Cantonese in front of my foreigner husband.

    After openly discussing these issues with my excellent main doctor over the last few months, he's never mentioned that Chinese babies must have formula to prevent jaundice. (What of bi-racial babies then?)

    Not sure what to do. Hopefully, baby will arrive either before or after my regular doctor's week off. Do you think I should look for another back-up? Or do you think it will be fine? After all, it's the maternity nurses who look after feeding babies anyway. I did talk to them, and they seem pro-breastfeeding.

  5. #21
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    For those who do want to breastfeed, its a really good idea to read/learn as much as possible before the birth of your baby. As a new mother, it can be overwhelming when the hospital staff tell you your baby is hungry. Babies cry for a lot of reasons, not just hunger. Education is empowering and can help you make the right decisions for your baby. A good point to remember is although medical staff are highly trained individuals, they are often not trained in the specifics of breastfeeding. Their desire to help may actually cause you and your baby more long term problems.

    Some physiology:

    - Babies' stomachs are really tiny. On the day of birth their stomachs are about the size of a marble. At this age their stomachs also lack the ability to stretch. So the small amounts of colostrum (mother's first milk) are in fact in perfect harmony with this. Colostrum is rich and thick and is ALL your baby needs until your milk increases in a few days time. Some mothers get a little worried about this, wondering if their baby will starve or dehydrate. This is not the case, and introducing other liquids (formula, glucose water etc) will do more harm than good (see next paragraph). In the next week as your milk volume increases, your baby's stomach will be very slowly increasing in size and begin to be able to stretch a little.

    - The junctions in a babies' intestines are quite open, meaning allergens etc can easily pass through into the bloodstream. Colostrum acts as a 'sealant' helping to seal these junctions. So it is very critical your baby only be fed this colostrum until your milk increases around 3-5 days later. During these first few days of colostrum-only, your baby will want to nurse very very regularly. This is his way of helping himself, he instinctively knows this is what he needs. Now is not the time to set a schedule or get rest, that can happen a little later. It is worth it for your baby's health.

    - Breastfeeding regularly in the first few days and weeks will help your milk supply reach its full capacity. The first month or so is critical, as this is when the prolactin receptors in your breasts 'activate' and essentially tell your body how much milk you'll need in future. Infrequent breastfeeding or supplementing in the early days can permanently affect your milk supply, making hard work for you in the future. This is why the routine separation of mother and baby is so detrimental. Not to mention he only knows your voice and will probably be frightened being handled by random people he does not recognize.

    - Introducing foreign substances (anything besides your colostrum and milk) into a tiny baby will have an immediate effect on your baby's digestive tract, changing the PH balance and gut flora. Even one bottle will do this, and even if after that you go back to breastfeeding, it will take a couple of weeks for the baby's gut to return to its normal state. This can have long-term effects, increasing your baby's chances of digestive illnesses and allergies in the future.

    - Breast milk is the best food for your baby. Not only does it provide the perfect balance of nutrition, amongst other things it also contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-allergy properties. In developing countries, babies who do not receive human breast milk are far far more likely to die than those fed breast milk. The only reason we get away with so much formula feeding in developed countries is we have the medicine to treat the illnesses these babies are more prone to.

    Of course it is a personal choice, and it is not the end of the world if you choose not to breast feed. It is, however, up to you yourself to make this decision. Don't allow hospital staff to intimidate you and make this decision for you...

    If you find yourself in a situation where you don't know the answers, a quick call to La Leche League (free!) or a Lactation Consultant will help you find the answers.

    :)

  6. #22
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Lali07, wondering if your post was in response to my comment. Was it?

  7. #23
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Gracey, it is really sad that you have to go with this back-up doctor you are not fully comfortable with when part of the reason for going private is to have a doctor you are comfortable with. If I got a really bad feeling from a doctor, I would try another. (or I would consider going public... why pay the high rates and deliver with someone you're not comfortable with).

    Regarding breastfeeding, I don't think your ob/gyn will really have much to do with it. It's more the attitude of the hospital in general. From talking to my colleague who delivered there last year (and breastfed very succesfully for over a year), they seem to have a similar schedule at Baptist as in United Christian, the public hospital I delivered in (kind of every four hours). However, they seem to assume that mums won't want to breastfeed in the middle of the night. However, when she said she wanted to, they said she was free to come to the nursery and breastfeed whenever she wanted (which she did though she chose to skip one shift).

  8. #24
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    Hi Charade,

    No, not in response to any particular post. It was mainly in response to the concept of routine separation and formula-feeding. If thats what a mother wants and needs, then thats absolutely her choice. But to make it standard procedure is taking the choice away from the mother, and making breastfeeding harder if thats what she is trying to do.

    My point is, healthcare professionals are not always trained in the specifics of breastfeeding. A new mother is susceptible to scaremongering and guilt, and is likely to go along with the advice of the hospital staff, even if their advice is incorrect and not what the mother would choose if she had the correct information. The correct information can be found in many places, such as the World Health Organization, La Leche League, American Academy of Pediatrics and their worldwide equivalents, all of whom suggest making it possible to keep a mother and baby together.

    It is sensible to learn and make choices before the baby is born, at least that way when the baby arrives, the mother can make informed choices, not have her choices made for her.

    Lali.

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