Breastfeeding Help in Thailand
I have been so busy with my midwifery training that I've been letting my lactation counselor certification get pushed back and back. I decided back in October of 2008 to do the training with CBI.
So today I looked up what I had left to do. I finished up the book reviews today... I realized I had read about 20 birth/breastfeeding books over the last couple years and had plenty that I could submit. Submitted a survey of breastfeeding help options in my area (more on that in a minute), and then looked at what is left. I have 6 breastfeeding scenarios that I need to research and write up action plans for. Then I have to do 30 hours of supporting at least 8 women or 4 hours of that teaching breastfeeding. I just need to go back through all of my records over the last year or so and log many of those mothers/babies. I'm sure that I've done at least 30 hours in the last year alone!
So what else is new with breastfeeding options for women in Thailand?
1) K. Meena at the pro-natural birth hospital. She is very busy with the hospital and IBCLC meetings. She works with training other nurses/staff on breastfeeding. I would like to go with her to the next national meeting and see what is going on. I am not happy with how much training is going on when really trainings do nothing if the OBs, pediatricians, and hospital administration is not on board.
2) La Leche League. There has never been one in Thailand until this past year. A leader from the USA moved here and she is now running a group and does free home visits to help women.
3) Bumps and Babies. A pregnancy and breastfeeding group for expecting and new mothers. They have special speakers and usually there is someone there that can help with breastfeeding. Next year when the twins are in school, I can volunteer there occasionally.
4) The Breastfeeding Cafe. This is held at a knitting/yarn shop in the center of town that has opened up its meeting room to anyone doing birth/pregnancy/breastfeeding meetings. Women can meet there on certain days of the month and ask their breastfeeding questions.
5) The Parent Vine. This is a new website/forum specifically for mothers, mother-to-be, and families. The site owner is extremely breastfeeding friendly and advertises all breastfeeding help for mothers.
6) My new Thai friend. I discovered Khun Bee on Facebook. She and I were both posting on KellyMom and I found out that she runs the "Nom Mae" (mother's milk) Thai breastfeeding group on Facebook. She is also heavily involved with a wonderful Thai breastfeeding website. She and some of her friends are doing a grassroots initiative together working on legislation and to help fight the formula companies that are illegally advertising and pushing formula on new mothers at offices, hospitals, and government offices!
7) ME. I'm averaging about 1 home visit a week to help new mothers with breastfeeding or other baby questions. Once the construction in our apartment is done, I hope to have a nice office area for breastfeeding appointments!
Women struggle here as they learn to breastfeed. Hospital policies go against breastfeeding, and formula companies are waiting to exploit that. With the few above resources though, more and more women are having success!