Breastfeeding and the Expat

This month, my blog post for Expat Focus reflected on how I found my experiences of living in Jamaica when I was pregnant with my first daughter affected the decisions I made around breastfeeding.

It can be a controversial subject in this country – having been an antenatal teacher for the past few years I am well aware of some of the sensititivites of this topic. But an early task when I started my training with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) was to carry out a reflection on our “feeding experiences” and I realised then how influenced we are by the environment we find ourselves in when pregnant and/or we have a newborn.

As expats, we may be pregnant in a country with a birth culture totally different to our own. In some countries, highly medicalised birth is the norm, and cesearean rates are high. In other places, home births are encouraged and postnatal care is prioritised. During our first pregnancies in particular, when we are often more vulnerable than in subsequent pregnancies, we may go along with something that perhaps doesn’t feel right with us simply because that is what everyone else seems to be doing. Or conversely, we may be introduced to new ideas or new ways of doing something because that is what the local maternity services offer.

You can read my full post here but in the meantime I would love to hear how others have been affected by the country they found themselves pregant in when it came to giving birth or to feeding. Do you think it made you do anything differently? Did you regret any decisions you made? Or was it a positive difference? Let me know, I’m always interested in a good birth story 😉