Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Interesting Article

Here's an interesting article called "Breast-feeding rebels in China."  Breast-feeding is, in fact, not common in China and many people think it is worse for the baby than formula.  Parents who want to go natural don't have much information and face a lot of opposition from well-meaning relatives who are sure that formula must be better.  Apparently some groups have sprung up in big cities to support families that breastfeed.  Here's a quote from the article:
Chinese mothers have learned not to trust anything anymore, even themselves in many ways. Groups like these educate women about motherhood, facilitate purchases of foreign baby care products and above all provide a support network in a society that still favors caesarean sections and formula above natural birth and breast milk.
Chinese women are more likely to have caesarean births than any other nationality in the world (46% of births are c-section; Vietnam is second with 35%). Doctors and hospitals can make more money performing c-sections and they are much more predictable than natural births. Commonly, women undergo surgery, use the c-section as an excuse to not breastfeed and then hand the baby over to grandparents so they can continue living their lives.

I have also heard that some parents will schedule C-sections so that their children can be born on auspicious days -- occasionally up to two or three weeks in advance of the due date! 

And I once talked to a student who was the second or third child in a family that was only allowed to have one.  In order to dodge the local family planning authorities, the mother had a C-section to deliver her a month early.  She was then spirited away to a relative in the countryside, where fortunately she remained in good health and (although I don't remember the exact story) was likely raised there for several years before returning to her parents.

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