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What would it take to change the system?

  1. #9
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Hi Nicole

    I hope Maddie will be home with you soon. I can't imagine what you are going through emotionally on a daily basis, and then to have the desire to invest emotional energy in 'changing the system'.

    I do think that any letters need to be directed to the Health Authority - try to send it directly to the top dog there - maybe google will help.
    I would also suggest you send a letter to Dr Margaret Chan - she's a Hong Konger who is now Director-General of WHO. Again, google should be able to help with an address. As WHO recommends breastfeeding for the first 2 years of life, it might be interesting to ask her why HK hospitals don't promote this.

    Good luck with your endeavour!

  2. #10
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i remember after my 2nd's birth, i exclusively breastfed for 6 months. at about 4 months, the doctors were shocked that i was STILL breastfeeding. she said that she thought it was great, it was just REALLY uncommon in hk for mums to feed that long....i also think that locals would be very hesitant to use another woman's breast milk. heck, most of them aren't organ donors either....

  3. #11
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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    i remember after my 2nd's birth, i exclusively breastfed for 6 months. at about 4 months, the doctors were shocked that i was STILL breastfeeding. she said that she thought it was great, it was just REALLY uncommon in hk for mums to feed that long....i also think that locals would be very hesitant to use another woman's breast milk. heck, most of them aren't organ donors either....
    I also get praised when I tell the doctors that I am breastfeeding exclusively... But people are not always so bad about doing donation... at least they do give blood... but probably most people are still conservative and think that they should die and be buried or burned as a whole.

  4. #12
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    It is really mystifying why the NICU doesn't promote kangaroo care, because the research evidence is now so overwhelming that it saves babies' lives. My guess is that it is a logistical issue. For mothers to spend many more hours with their babies, there needs to be more provision of seating and/or bedding in proximity to babies. Staff will need training. This might require infrastructure changes within the hospital, as well as cost money to train the nurses, and nurses' routines would need to change a lot. But with enough public pressure, maybe they will realise that this is an important issue and that any money spent will be recouped in the future, because of the infants' reduced need for healthcare expenditure in the future. Does anyone know where would be a good place to start with initiating such a campaign?

  5. #13
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honkyblues View Post
    Hi Nicole

    I hope Maddie will be home with you soon. I can't imagine what you are going through emotionally on a daily basis, and then to have the desire to invest emotional energy in 'changing the system'.
    I don't really want to invest that much emotional energy in changing the system, but I've spent a lot of time observing the way things happen up there in NICU... and the little one in the bed next to Maddy is about the same age as her, maybe only a week or two younger. The parents are ALWAYS at the hospital, a lot more than I am - they're there when I get there and they're still there when I leave... then they're still there when my husband goes after work too. (must be a first child! If I didn't have an older child, I'd be there that much, probably!!) - but they still have not yet held their baby. Their baby is kept in a box, and they can touch their baby through holes in the side. It's completely crazy, in my opinion...

    The baby across from Maddy is probably only about a month old (mustn't have been AS premature as the one next to Maddy) and the parents just held him for the first time this past week...

    I don't talk to the other parents, but I observe them... and I "feel their pain" because I'm in a similar situation. But I'm lucky because I can hold Maddy and now I can even bath her... they watch me bath her and I'm sure that it makes it harder for them because they can't even hold their little ones... and I don't think there's any medical reason why they shouldn't be able to.

  6. #14
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennyB View Post
    It is really mystifying why the NICU doesn't promote kangaroo care, because the research evidence is now so overwhelming that it saves babies' lives. My guess is that it is a logistical issue. For mothers to spend many more hours with their babies, there needs to be more provision of seating and/or bedding in proximity to babies. Staff will need training. This might require infrastructure changes within the hospital, as well as cost money to train the nurses, and nurses' routines would need to change a lot. But with enough public pressure, maybe they will realise that this is an important issue and that any money spent will be recouped in the future, because of the infants' reduced need for healthcare expenditure in the future. Does anyone know where would be a good place to start with initiating such a campaign?
    That's a good point - because there aren't that many chairs there (and they are all the hard stackable plastic kind), and not much privacy if you want to do the proper "skin to skin" kind of kangaroo care which involves opening up your shirt and placing the baby on your bare chest.

    I think maybe another thing is, the hospital seems so afraid of infection that parents must wear hospital gowns when holding their children. That's kind of the opposite of kangaroo care!

  7. #15
    dimsum mum is offline Registered User
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    hi nicole

    our triplets were born at 26 weeks. we did not get to hold them for at least a month and they never encouraged skin to skin kangaroo care. yes, we were at QMH as well.

    i hope your dd comes home soon. i am near to qmh if you ever want to meet up and chat, or if the parents of any of the preemies ever want to talk about the NICU tango (one step forward, two steps back.)

  8. #16
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    This is not only a problem in Hong Kong but also in New Zealand. In New Zealand a group of mothers have got together to lobby the government there and formed a group called NUMB, Neonatal Unity for Mothers and Babies, http://www.numb.net.nz/index.html

    I think it would need a campaign like this in Hong Kong to change anything. I realise that this seems like a huge thing to do but remember the quote from Margaret Mead
    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

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