The Department of Health of the Philippines had been actively campaigning Breastfeeding as the primary means of nourishing babies. In line with this, the hospital where I gave birth had implemented guidelines on breastfeeding which were not practiced when I had my first two children.
So who could blame me for not entirely believing that they have turned a new leaf? Thus, I still wrote down, by hand, my requests regarding the situation surrounding my delivery via C-section. This piece of paper was read aloud, endorsed and circulated, as I was informed.
After the baby was delivered, she was cleaned then put on my chest and the lady tried to make her latch, which I cannot feel because of the epidural. They said it was supposed to be for 30 minutes, but I knew it was barely 5 minutes after which she took my newborn to the nursery.
Despite my instruction to room her in after 6 hours, they followed their own SOP of 12 hours for Caesarian. But since the 12th hour would be midnight, I consented to their bringing my baby to me the next day, which reached 24 hours. What made me grudgingly agree was that I was promised that my daughter will be given donor expressed breastmilk, and not glucose water as the pediatric doctor said. That was an improvement even though it kind of gives me a weird feeling.
I was always asked by the people from the nursery if my daughter was taking in milk and if her suction was strong. A lactation consultant was also sent in to check on me and give me tips on breastfeeding. Like:
- Put breastmilk on the nipples so the cracks will heal because breastmilk acts as an antibiotic.
- For my baby to open her mouth wide before feeding, run my nipple down the length of her nose to her lips.
- My baby should fully face my breast so that she won't have a hard time drawing in milk.
- And the usual, drink lots of soup with malunggay leaves to help in lactation.
Over all, I was a bit satisfied with how Chinese General Hospital implements the Breastfeeding policy. I hope that more and more moms would be encouraged to breastfeed. Because whenever I go there to be checked, or when I bring my kids to the pediatrician, I don't see moms who are feeding their children with their breasts. Always with a bottle. But maybe they pumped their milk? Maybe. And I hope they would truly make the hospital a mother-baby-friendly one, because there are no diaper-changing stations in restrooms, and even in the new building where my children's pediatrician's clinic (and others, too) is located, I don't know where I could clean up a poopy diaper. There is also an absence of breastfeeding areas or rooms.