As a mother of 3 young children I decided to choose breast feeding. This is meaningful to me because I know that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. I feel that breastfeeding support is essential for mothers and families to initiate and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices. I was very lucky to have a huge support system when I choose to breast feed my children. The support started while I was pregnant and continued throughout my motherhood journey. There were classes to take before the birth of my children, breast feeding consultants at labor and delivery who were a phone call away and they continued the support after I was released from the hospital. There were also breast feeding support groups who met once a week that was probably one of the biggest helps for me. I also was lucky to have a close neighbor and friend who was an expert at nursing and helped me through my ups and downs of breast feeding.
Globally, less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. I decided to look up information about China and their views on breast feeding. Although statistics tell us that China has better breastfeeding rates than the US and Europe, most people having a baby in Chinese hospital will feel there is far less support and understanding about breastfeeding. Most mothers will experience a large amount of pressure to formula feed in the hospital. This is true for foreign mothers and ever truer for Chinese. Still, the general attitude is China is pro-breastfeeding. In contrast to the West almost all Chinese women plan to breastfeed. Breastfeeding in public is much more acceptable in China than in the West. For most, formula feeding is not seen so much as a “choice” and women only plan to use it if they have to. Still with a lack of medically sound support, unethical marketing, and abundant family pressure few manage to exclusively breastfeed and wean long before they hoped to.
I think knowing what I already know about the benefits of breastfeeding and what I can learn just be keeping up with research it helps me be an advocate for family, friends and families that I provide care for. It helps me support them better and give them all of the facts as well as tips on breastfeeding. I can be a model for other mothers who are thinking about breastfeeding or in the process of. Even with the support breastfeeding my first child was a tough task and I couldn’t have done if I would not have had the support system that I had.
Breastfeeding a Baby in China. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2015, from http://www.havingababyinchina.com/reference/breastfeeding-a-baby-in-china/