Preparing for breastfeeding in China requires us informing those around us about it. There is no shame in whether you breastfeed or formula-feed. It is, after all, a choice. However, letting your close ones know your choices would help be aware and be more supportive. In the spirit of these choices, I would like to talk about gift ideas for your friend who Plans to Breastfeed in China.
The past couple of years brought in a baby boom among the locals and the expat community. Here in Zhuhai we don’t have a huge number of expats, but someone is having a baby every few months!
Recently, the Chinese government has been very much in favour of breastfeeding. And that resulted in nurses constantly encouraging new moms to at least try and breastfeed.
In reality, many of them don’t have much training in this area. And per few of my friends experience, sometimes it gets too overwhelming for the mom and the baby as it feels like they push a bit too much.
I always say that we need to appreciate the effort and as soon as we feel uncomfortable, let them kindly know, and they won’t take it personally.
Getting back to the gifts. Baby showers are not common in Chinese culture. But visiting the mom and the baby after birth in hospital, or 1 month after birth at home, with gifts is what people do here.
Whether it is your Chinese friend or an expat friend, here are a few ideas of what you can get to make a simple breastfeeding basket:
- Disposable or reusable breast pads. They are very very helpful for a mom whose milk comes in full force and later!
- Pure coconut oil or lanolin cream. Both are natural lubricants that can be ingested by babies without any harm (except for individual allergy to these products). They help with healing the breast of minor issues. And don’t need to be washed off.
- High fiber or digestive cookies. These are great to snack on. And they help with milk production.
- A small thermos or a tumbler. Breastfeeding Moms need to be hydrated. So having warm water by a mom’s bedside is a great idea.
- Few small towels that can be used as burp cloths or simply for wiping the sweat, or the milk that sometimes sprays.
- Few magazines or light books that a mom can read while nursing, if she feels like.
- Lip balm or small container of Vaseline – I don’t really need to tell you what for.
- Lactation teas. Those can be purchased now in various baby-mommy care stores, as well as on Taobao.
What other things did you find useful during those first weeks when you were establishing breastfeeding?
Varya is a contributor to havingababyinchina.com. She is originally from Russia and has been living in China for over a decade. She is a Mom of 3 , an educator (Montessori, Positive Discipline), postpartum doula, baby massage and perinatal fitness trainer, breastfeeding and lactation specialist. She blogs at creativeworldofvarya.com about multiculturalism and life in China.