As most of you know, I fought really hard to be able to breastfeed Hudson. It did not come easily. I worked around the clock with the nurses and lactation expert at the hospital to be able to breastfeed. Actually Hudson needed some formula for a little while. Off course, for medical reason I was very relieved to have access to some formula but I also knew that for the sake of my baby, I wanted to exclusively breastfed. I was so thankful to be at an hospital that had the funding for a lactation expert, and even more thankful that the lactation expert was in my room at every feeding to help me out. Hudson has been exclusively breastfeed since she was 6 weeks old. Just a few days short of 9 months, she is still breastfed and actually eating really little solids. (We are working on that).
Now, I know some of my friends did not receive the support they needed to be able to establish a good breastfeeding routine. The hospital close to our home even cut the position of lactation expert. So you would imagine how excited I was to see these posters at the hospital we visited in Bohol, Philippines.
I don't know how I exactly feel about it. Part of me think it is a great initiative. But at the same time, I do find it to be a bit extreme. (After all, some people do have really good reason to resort to formula). I am not from Bohol, so it is hard for me to understand the whole social context. Is there a milk bank available? But, still my husband and I agree that if hospitals were to put more effort in breastfeeding and less in giving out free formula samples, surely more people would breastfeed.
Later on in Manila, we visited another hospital and met with a (American) pediatrician. As we found out Hudson was getting her rash from an intolerance to the many mango I was eating, the question of breastfeeding came up. The pediatrician stressed many times, that I should NOT for any reason stop breastfeeding while we were getting her rash under control. And that she was really happy to see "me", a "foreigner" breastfeeding. I explained to her that in Canada, we get a whole year maternity leave and for that reason, it was "easier" to breastfeed. She was also very impress by my cloth diapers. She called herself a cloth diaper advocate in her time but was amazed at how "cute" they got over the year. I was expecting her to ask me to switch to disposable because of the severity of the rash but in the contrary, she kept praising us (me and my husband) for using such a healthy alternative. Can I say how much I love her! ;-)