Thailand: HUG Your Baby Comes to Thailand

Jim and I arrived in Thailand eager to experience the culture, the food, and, above all, Thai babies and the professionals who care for them.

The day we arrived we had the good fortune to meet ("in person," though we had previously met on Facebook) Meena Sobsamai, a midwife and lactation consultant in Bangkok. Jim and I ate our first serious Thai meal and fell in love with sticky rice! (See photo below.) Equally as inspiring as the food was the conversation about Meena's work with young Thai families and her contributions to the Thai Breastfeeding Center Foundation

Though very committed to WHO's Baby Friendly initiative to curtail formula companies, Meena believes that what new mothers need most is confidence that they can birth and breastfeed their babies. 

We discussed the tricky dance of both teaching mothers to know that their bodies are prepared for this amazing childbirth process, and yet also providing information and support for them if all does not go as expected. I loved hearing about Thai factories with nurseries onsite to promote breastfeeding, mothers who pump their milk and courier it home to grandma and baby, and the vast network of mother-to-mother support systems in this country. I can't wait for more--more good Thai stories AND more good Thai food!

During the past few weeks I worked to create a Thai translation of The HUG Your Baby DVD. I began by rewriting The HUG script and changing English dialogue into voiceover. I also took this opportunity to add information on the process of Stage II lactogenesis (milk coming in), which I hope will cut down on a new mother’s worrying that she doesn’t have enough milk on day one, two and three.

Through the power of the internet (Elance), I  hired an English-to-Thai translator, asked Meena to do a back translation (to confirm accuracy of the translation), and finally hired Elance’s Thai narrator. With my first scheduled Thai presentation just three days away, I then employed Nuch and Nual,  two capable, English-speaking front desk employees, to help me sync the images to the Thai audio.  

With low-level editing directions such as “Just tell me when she says, ‘Families can learn how to tune in to their baby’s body language,’” we managed to get the job done. Nuch's and Nual's kind words, encouraging smiles, and steadfast persistence made this inter-cultural collaboration one of my favorite moments in Thailand thus far. CLICK here to preview the Thai version of The HUG DVD.