I am totally inspired by 2 breastfeeding related projects I recently read about.

The first is Best for BabesBYOBoobz™ – “a home party kit with tools and resources needed to make your community truly babe-worthy and breastfeeding friendly”. Breastfeeding advocacy should be dedicated to the community – I’m a believer – that it takes a village to help a mom and her baby breastfeed successfully. The home party kit will be launched on September 29.
Aside from educating the community, the kit could also be perfect for a baby shower party! Locally, Pam Magallon has prepared a guide to organizing a breastfeeding-friendly shower party. I know the party organizers mean well, but all the baby showers I’ve attend always involve some form of artificial nipple – bottle or pacificer. Breastfeeding stuff (e.g. pads, nursing bibs, pillows) are usually not included in the baby registry or as gifts (unless a breastfeeding mom presents the gift). A similar BYOBoobz kit available locally would be a fun way of educating the new mom and her community/support group about breastfeeding and how to help her succeed with it.
Next is the Laramie Breastfeeding Bag Project started by Amanda Mack at her local hospital in Wyoming. She shared the step by step procedure on how you can start a breastfeeding bag project in your own locality. Her efforts have certainly paid off. Barely a week after her post, several similar projects have been started in Kentucky, Michigan, Orlando, Houston and Port City!
The hospital where I gave birth at conducted breastfeeding classes and had a breastfeeding center to boot. However, when Naima and I were discharged, guess what we got? An Enfamil Diaper Bag with a Changing Pad, Enfamil Lipil water bottle and sachets of Enfamil powder! So much for being breastfeeding friendly, huh? Meanwhile, at our first well child visit at the local pediatrician’s office, we got another Enfamil giveaway – this time it was a lunch bag filled with 2 small Enfamil cans. At this point, Naima and I were still exclusively breastfeeding and I had been really determined to pursue despite the sore nipples, worries about milk supply. Plus, I had a supportive husband who cheered me on to continue nursing Naima.
However, not all moms are able to resist the temptation of that can of formula lying on the dresser. As Mi’Ann shares, she was able to speak to a mom who had a 3-day old baby, had engorged breasts but was giving formula to her baby because her hospital had included formula samples in her take home bag. There are even stories of some nurseries bottle feeding babies, despite mom’s clear instruction about breastfeeding.
A “Philippine Breastfeeding Bag Project” is certainly an ideal project. But I’m wondering if it will be feasible? I can’t remember where I read this but formula companies spend $27 per baby for marketing while the US government allocates $0.21 per baby for breastfeeding marketing. A similar concern exists for this project – would there be sponsors for the hospital take home bag and its contents? Plus, compared to the US breastfeeding bag projects which are based in hospital with births at 40 per month, I think that Philippine hospitals have birth ratios that are much much higher than that! It is much easier and cheaper for hospitals to rely on milk or pharma companies to sponsor the bags but I definitely think that real breastfeeding friendly hospitals should allocate some part of their budget for this project.
Any breastfeeding mom/advocate up for these projects?