Formula and Breast Pumps in China

I recently heard from a friend who was traveling back to China that she was going shopping for infant formula to bring back to China. With all the tainted milk and formula scandals in the recent years in China, her friends are scared to buy milk and formula. Every few months, she spends more than $60 in shipping costs and mails a pack of powdered infant formula to her friend to feed her baby.

Another thought; do more women breast feed in China now after all these scandals? Also, how socially acceptable is it for working Chinese women to breastfeed or pump breast milk?

I am really interested in this topic for many reasons. When I was in high school I worked for an American nutritionist at a Chinese orphanage feeding babies. Also, for a research project I also called up Chinese formula companies to ask for the nutritional information for their infant formulas which unlike in the US, are not listed on the packages (only the ingredients are listed). I was always treated with suspicion. Only a small number of companies were able to connect me to the people who knew the answers, and subset of the people who knew the answers were willing to tell me anything.

Another reason I’m interested in this now is that I am 35 weeks pregnant, and in Boston right now hospitals are banning formula samples from being distributed to new mothers. Everywhere online, people are saying “Breast is Best” and extended breastfeeding is making the cover of Time magazine.