About me

I was a full time working mother and have been nursing my 2 beautiful children (3 and a 5 years old).

I have previously struggled in breastfeeding when I had my 1st child. I didn’t know much about breastfeeding then. Like many mothers, I wish to give the best to my child. Coming from a health conscious family, able to breastfeed was one of the thing which I wanted to achieve.

At first, I was having a hard time getting help and support in breastfeeding. I felt I was alone and feeling hopeless. Everyone was too busy with their daily life. However, the obstacles I faced did not stop me, instead, it motivated me to try even harder. During my journey in breastfeeding, I have learnt a lot, though trial and errors and through lots of research and reading.

During my second pregnancy, I did lots of research and studies. Using the knowledge that I've gained, I continued breastfeeding my 1st child throughout my pregnancy and was blessed with abundance of breast milk. I was not only able to nurse both my children, I was also supplying my excess milk to a pair of twins and to my niece. There were at least 350 packets (5 to 6 ounces each) of breast milk given away! There were suppose to be my backups but I never got a chance to use any of them. It was kind of scary looking back at the amount of milk I was producing. The supply came in solely because there was demand! Picture below was taken from my frozen milk storage notebook.
Now that I have achieved my goal and have experienced so many great benefits of breastfeeding, I hope to share everything I’ve learnt, practically and theoretically. Much time and effort have been invested to put together this blog. I hope you will find it helpful in some ways.

Breastfeeding does not mean you have to either do it fully or non at all. Breastfeed some if not all. Knowing you have done your best is all that matters. Enjoy your motherhood :)

Last but not least, I wish to thank my family, my brother in-law, Reverend Kumara for recommending me to Hypnobirthing (when I was pregnant with my 2nd child), to my parents in-law, Miss Heang in teaching me about health and detox and online support groups for their invaluable supports. Especially to my loving husband and my mother in-law, I am ever grateful to you.

My story Part one....It was 2006, after working in Singapore for about a year, I was pregnant with my first child. I didn't have many friends there then. However, I was glad to know a working mother at my work place who breastfeed her children. I wasn't close to her as she is often very busy and hard to get hold of. She would express her milk everyday at work. From there, I've learnt the importance of breastfeeding and that it is possible to fully breastfeed even when you are working full time. It was my first time seeing breast milk. It was an amazing feeling. I've never seen or taste human milk in my life. From that moment onwards, I've decided to fully breastfeed my child.

Like many new mothers, breastfeeding is very new to me. I know nothing about it. I thought it would come naturally. Somewhere along my pregnancy, one of my friend, Jason recommended I join a very active forum, to learn more about motherhood: http://www.singaporemotherhood.com/. Till today, I am still active in the forum. I am grateful to be able to share my ups and downs, tears and joy with the mummies there. The forum was considered my only source of knowledge as I didn't have any friends who breastfeed.

After my delivery, I started to learn how to hold and breastfeed my baby. But, there were a lot of things I didn't know. I didn't know I have to work hard to increase supply, I didn't know I have to breastfeed as often as I can so that I can stimulate more milk, especially the first few days. I also didn't know that I have to wake a sleeping newborn so that I can breastfeed 2-3 hours apart. I thought I was suppose to rest! All I know is I want to fully breastfeed and I requested the nurses in the hospital not to feed formula to my baby but to bring her to me if she needs me.

The problem started on the 4th day. I still remember clearly the morning where I cried with my baby in my room because I could no longer satisfy my baby's hunger and she was crying non stop and physically I was in pain due to the forceps and episiotomy during my delivery. Because of my wrong latching method, breastfeeding was so painful that it felt like a knife cutting me. I had no choice but to top up with formula for the first month. I felt like a total failure. What went wrong?

To be continued.......

Do I need to sterilize?

Thought of sharing this piece of info with everyone.

My son is turning 1 year old in less than one week time. I am wondering if I still need to sterilize my pump equipments and bottles. At times I may store the fresh milk up to 5 days before consumption. If I don't sterilize, would the breast milk spoil easier?Hope you can advice.

Generally, when baby turns 6 months old, there is no need to sterilize the pump parts and bottles anymore since he would have started on solid food and we do not sterilize the spoon and bowl too. However, if you prefer to be safe about it, you can sterilize the items once a day. Other times, simply wash with water and detergent.

Not sterilizing will not cause expressed breast milk (ebm) to be spoiled more easier. However, recommended guidelines suggest up to 48 hours for storage in fridge and up to 3 months if you freeze the ebm. If you store your ebm in the fridge for up to 5 days before consumption, you may wish to check that it's not spoilt before you give the milk to baby.

Thank you for reminding me on checking the fresh milk. I believe we can detect the spoilt milk by smelling it?

Yes, my ebm spoilt once (I did an experiment to test the cooling efficiency of a cooler bag)...it looked and smelled really disgusting, didn't have to taste to figure out that it's spoilt. Some would prefer tasting it to be 100% sure they were really okay.

A community message from BMSG:

Lovely article

Often, I have friends and family members reminding me to wean my 3 year old daughter. But in my heart "no" is the answer as I know what I am doing. Both me and my daughter just love the special bonding feeling. I know deep down, I would continue as long as my children are willing. Although rare, I'm glad I'm not alone...... http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/ruth_kamnitzer.html

To know more about Breastfeeding Beyond Toddlerhood:

Also, more interesting links at the right side of my blog "Breastfeeding benefits"

Congratulations Jenny, you've made it!

I would like to share this happy news to everyone. For the past 2 months my sister in-law, Jenny have been working very hard trying to build her supply, pumping and latching. I was giving my support and guidance at the same time but it was her efforts and persistencies that leads to her success. In her case it was "demand, knowledge, persistencies, mental support = supply". I have stopped supplying my breast milk to my niece since 2 days ago and guess what? My sis in-law is freezing her extra milk now! What wonderful news. My niece is all chubby and healthy now.

Lets wish her an abundance of breast milk especially after she starts work next week. When there is a will, there is a way.

Breasfeeding need not be all or nothing...

Would like to highlight that breasfeeding need not be all or nothing. If situation does not allow to continue, you could still latch on once at night, once in the morning or whenever you are with your child.

"According to the Iowa Extension Service, every teaspoon of breastmilk has 3,000,000 germ killing cells in it; so if a baby gets even one tsp. a day, it is very valuable!"

One of the reason why I choose to breastfeed a long as I can:
"breastfeeding is truly not just about the milk. I cannot imagine what mothering would be like without nursing. How else would I comfort him when he is sick, calm him after a temper tantrum, or soothe him quickly back to sleep when he wakes during the night with teething pain? "
(Quoted from a website)

Latching on one side, pump on the other side

On my previous post about building supply:

"While latching on one side, pump on the other side at the same time. A very effective and easy method to emptying the breast and stimulate more milk. Is a way of telling the brain you have twins to feed. The brain will adjust the supply accordingly. If baby is not satisfied with just one side, feed the expressed milk."

For mothers who wish to build supply, this method is better than taking food to build supply. No joke! Every time I do that, my milk will flow non stop. It's like continues let downs. If baby is sucking well, you will experience it too. Instead of 5oz, I could get up to 8oz on one side.

If you have introduced bottle feeding, I would advice you to use a slow flow teat so that baby will work hard on sucking milk. For me, Avent teats (newborn size) are great for a start. I will only change the teat size when my baby is showing signs of exhaustions when sucking milk from the small teat.

For more info: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVDecJan06p123.html. A very good link on "Insufficient Milk Supply for a working mother"

".....On the Web site, Mama Cherie, Dr. Jack Newman suggests using only newborn flow nipples no matter the age of the baby, because a rapid flow can cause a baby to prefer the bottle or to overfeed. You can discuss ways for the mother to approach her baby's care provider about feeding the baby only when he's hungry, not pressuring him to finish bottles, and using soothing methods other than bottles when he is fussing......"
Share the good news if this works for you. Good luck!

My Avent Single Electronic Breast Pump died on me yesterday

I normally pump 2 times a day at work, using my Uno Avent pumps. I have 2 Uno Avent pumps. One bought in 2007 in Singapore and the other July, 2009 in Malaysia. After using it for only 5 months, the new Uno Avent motor died. I'm not sure what was the cause as it was fine during my morning expression.

So, okay. I called up the distributer. Was told that it is still under warranty since I bough it in 27 July 2009. Went home and look for my warranty card and to my supprise it was written there 6 months warranty from date of purchase. I bought the pump at Mothercare.

Next day, called the distributor again. Was told that since I bought it at Mothercare, they can't give me a replacement. I have to deal with Mothercare!! So, I called Mothercare and was told that their warranty period is 6 months! I was so shock that Mothercare only offers 6 months of warranty. Told the sales assistant that I only started to use it in end of November 2009 after baby's birth. Finally, they agree to give me a replacement. Phew! Else I have to get a new one!

The distributor provide 2 years warranty instead of 6 months! For offers (20% discount), you can look out for Mom and Baby Expo, Motherhood Expo, Parenthood Expo.

Oh! By the way, I was told that Mothercare's warranty is only for one time. Means second time with problems, althought it's still within the 6 months warranty, you'll have to get a new one.

Please tell all your friends about this.