Sunday, October 3, 2010
Great news!!! Swapping in Vietnam is totally cool!!!!! Whoah, whoah, whoah...not that type of swapping you pervs! I'm talking about babies swapping different mothers' breasts. Okay, so it's not that far off from the type of swapping you were thinking.
Long story short: Hoai's sister-in-law gave birth eight months ago which meant there was also an adorable little girl baby in the house at times. At some point, I walked into a bedroom and saw the sister-in-law breastfeeding. I quickly said, "Whoahhhh. Sorry!" and exited the room (yes, Mom, I know there is no reason to be embarrassed). A moment later, I walked outside and saw the sister-in-law's baby with the brother-in-law. I immediately said to Huyen, "Uhhhh, if this baby is here, who was the sister-in-law breastfeeding?" The answer was Hoai's baby. Apparently new mother's help each other out by breastfeeding if one is low on breast milk. I had never heard of such a thing before however Huyen told me it is very common in Vietnam. In fact, she said that women used to sit in a circle breastfeeding each others' babies. She said that Vietnamese believe that when a baby drinks from another mother, it will increase milk production from that mother.
I told this to my mother who validated the theory behind this. My mother said that the more a woman breastfeeds, the more milk a woman will produce. My mother, a breast feeding advocate, told me that her pet peeve is when doctors tell women who are struggling to produce milk, that they should both breastfeed and give formula. She said that by giving formula to a baby it'll make the baby breastfeed less and thus in turn make the mother produce even less milk.
The more I thought about it, the less weird it seemed to have a different mother breastfeed a baby. I mean, that's what wet nurses do, right? That said, it's still a little weird to me! Mothers in America, how would you feel having another woman breastfeed your baby?