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Baptist Hospital

  1. #25
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Lali, the fact is that many of us do not have a choice in the baby rooming in. Unless we have the money to shell out for a very accomodating private hospital like Mathilda, can afford a private room or are fortunate enough to be in the catchment area of the public hospitals that allow 24/7 rooming in, we have to follow hospital rules. Yes, a schedule in the early days might not be the best option, but from talking to many women who did follow that schedule (and it's generally only a couple of days) and who went on to breastfeed successfully, I'd rather not stress about something I can't really control.

    Moreover, sometimes a mother really does need to rest and a nursery is helpful (or if you are at home, a relative to take over the baby for a couple of hours). If I had my baby with me rooming in at hospital, I would have been sitting up with the baby 24/7 and neither I or any of the other women in the room would have got any sleep.

    I was never pressured to give my baby formula. To the contrary, I was encouraged to keep trying - my public hospital was very pro-breastfeeding. However, if a baby keeps crying after two hours (and I mean two hours non-stop) at the breast, and there seems no other reason (diaper is fine, otherwise healthy), then one has to wonder if the baby is hungry. Especially when you finally succumb, feed the baby formula (cup-fed) and the baby stops crying and goes to sleep. Again, once my milk came in, I never had this problem of baby crying after coming off the breast so I can only conclude he was indeed hungry for the first couple of days.

    I had indeed read up a lot and spoke to many people on breastfeeding before I had my baby. In fact, that's why I kept sitting there - in agony because sitting on an epistiomy wound for two hours is extremely painful - trying to breastfeed my baby. What I realised though is that sometimes instinct is better than all that research. And sometimes a rested mother is better at breastfeeding than one stressing about all the statistics.

    I'm not sure a 'quick call' to LLL or a lactation consultant is always the answer. I personally did not find these calls helpful. A lot of the information is like the one you pasted above - standardised. I actually found doctors more helpful, especially doctors that had breastfed. Soemtimes it really isn't a breastfeeding problem but a medical problem. This is my personal experience - other may have found lactation consultants very helpful.

    I think the scaremongering and guilt happens from both sides - from those that push formula and from those that push breastfeeding. I was more susceptible to the latter. Both sides are convinced they have the "correct" answer.

  2. #26
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Charade is right on one point -- most of us don't have the option of having baby room in.
    Trust me -- I tried. We were even willing to shell out for a private room in a private hospital, even though it would be a financial drain and not covered by insurance. (And we make more than the typical local family)
    The hospital simply has very few private rooms, and they cannot be booked in advance. If you are not in a private room, they will not bring the baby to you for breastfeeding.
    If you want to breastfeed exclusively, you have to negotiate in advance with the doctor and staff, put a clear sign up on your bed, set your alarm clock for a 3-hour cycle, and then physically walk down to the nursery every time. If you cannot do so -- if you're ill, weak, just had a C-section, etc -- I don't know what the solution is.
    I'm going to try my best -- but I don't think people should be judgmental against moms who can't bf exclusively, especially in situations like this.

    I agree with Charade that there seem to be some extreme positions on both sides. I dislike the way private hospitals push formula, or the way some doctors try to scare moms away from the breast. But I also dislike the way some people turn their noses up at moms who genuinely have a hard time with it.
    And I don't think it's true that if you don't do it 100% from the beginning, it won't happen. One of my relatives needed to use formula in the hospital (long story) but ended up breastfeeding mostly for several months after that. So every woman is different.

  3. #27
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    Charade and Gracey, shame on the hospital system that they still promote the kind of separation of mothers and babies (and sometimes fathers who are often left in the waiting room wondering whats going on) that was seen in the 1950s. I don't fully understand why the HK system is still like this in light of evidence and recommendations by organizations such as the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics (and their worldwide counterparts) that families should be kept together, to promote bonding and successful breastfeeding. Its no wonder breastfeeding is considered quite difficult these days, and statistics in HK reflect very low rates of exclusive breastfeeding.

    Of course there are genuine needs for formula, but on a much rarer scale than seen here. And there are plenty of cases where a rough start ends in successful breastfeeding, but it is a fact that there are some practices which do make it harder, whilst other practices which make it easier. I feel sad for the mothers here who really gave it a good go but it didn't work due to separation and incorrect advice.

    I still feel the best thing to do is have a good understanding and a good plan, and try to have the hospital staff respect the plan. I am grateful that we had our baby in Australia in a hospital which is a signatory to the Baby-Friednly-Hospital-Initiative, an initiative put forth by UNICEF (see below). So far as I know there are no hospitals in HK who adhere to this policy:

    UNICEF Baby-Friendly Initiative:

    - Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

    - Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

    - Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

    - Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one half-hour of birth.

    - Show mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation,even if they should be separated from their infants.

    - Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.

    - Practice rooming in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.

    - Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

    - Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.

    - Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

  4. #28
    miran is offline Registered User
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    Lali,

    I have to agree with Charade on this one. My son was born in Sanaotrium (private hospital) and we had a semi private room which meant no rooming in. Effectively that meant we could keep the baby with us for most of the day. But during night time I would go to nursery to feed him. Letting baby go to the nursery for some time, specially in the night helped me a LOT. I was exhausted, my milk supply was settling in and sitting up with an infant suckiling and then bawling for a couple of hours was very trying. The nursing staff were very supportive towards BF - brining the bay or ringing me up every time as per schedule or if the baby was crying. Asking me before giving even glucose water. But an expereinced old lactation expert summed it up the best - At 3:30 AM on the third night she said - "you have done your best. now just take a break for couple of hours. go back and try to sleep. if you are not tense, the baby would be relaxed and milk would flow in much sooner". She was right. A couple of formula feeds during those early days did no harm and I exclusively BF my baby for a year. After that he moved to cow's milk.

    Another advantage of a nursery was that there were a number of lactation experts on duty at different times. So instead of having someone specific assigned to me forever, I did get additional tips from whoever was on duty. Breast feeding is hardly an exact sceince to be done by the book - each tip helped settle us in.

    WHO needs to put up a strict guideline because they have to be followed accross cultures and geographies. They cant be saying might / may be / could - or their advice would get washed down completely. But IMHO the advice needs to be adapted to our particular circumstances. BF Nazis in the end do more harm than good for new moms - they almost scared me away. It was the moderates that made it possible for me atleast.

  5. #29
    miran is offline Registered User
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    Lali,

    Just wanted to add... a lot of my freinds have exclusively breast fed or mostly (barring one night top feed) breast fed theirs bubs in the first few months. Most of them wean before they want because of the stress, lack of family support, work-family balance, or sheer society pressure. The problem is much bigger and blaming the first 3 or 5 days in the hospital is naive.

    I would go with a good hospital and a good doctor irrespective of their rooming in regualtions. As long as they are not outright pro-formula and agains bf.

  6. #30
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    solidstars is offline Registered User
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    i gave birth at st teresa (private) and they were totally pro-formula. they kept trying to convert me (i was pro-breastfeeding) and kept telling me things like 'you have no milk' etc. thankfully i had [email protected] on my speed dial so was calling her for advice which helped me through those first few days.

    my 'chinese' baby did become jaundice but we ended up at margaret (meifoo) for the 'sunning machine' (no idea what they call this professionally) where the nurses were completely opposites to st teresa, and definitely more pro-breastfeeding and helpful with tips and advices.

  7. #31
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    There's even a big difference between doctors at the same hospital.
    My lovely doctor is very open and supportive to breast-feeding, as are the maternity nurses at Baptist, despite their (lack of) rooming in policy.
    But I had a check-up with another "back-up" doctor last week, who was not so breast-feeding. She told me that Chinese babies were more likely to have jaundice, that formula helped that, and that exclusive breast-feeding was a "gweilo" thing.
    So.... I probably won't listen to her unless I have some real breastfeeding issues.
    The irony is that none of my Chinese family have had jaundice, but my Western husband did when he was a baby!

  8. #32
    davidcd is offline Registered User
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    Gracey, did you give birth yet? How was your experience? I hope your little one is healthy and well.

    Your backup doctor sounds a lot like Dr Grace Wong
    Nga.nguyen likes this.

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