Philips Avent invited us to share our Breastfeeding journey

Daddy has blog about his breastfeeding journey before. Couples understand the benefits of breast milk for baby, although the husbands do not secrete milk, they can help the Mrs in other areas.

Last Sat, Daddy was invited by Philips Avent to share his thoughts on breastfeeding. We wish to encourage more husbands to support the Mrs to nurse longer.

To quote from Philips Avent:
Philips AVENT has come to notice in recent times that there has been greater emphasis on the father figure in each family, especially in today’s modern society. Unfortunately, modern mums often face challenges when it comes to providing what’s best for their child – breast milk. This August, a month dedicated to breastfeeding awareness and advocacy, Philips AVENT is exploring ways to amplify the important role dads play in helping to ensure a healthy start for our babies, as well as to educate them on ways they can actually do so.

You can imagine the awkwardness, facing a crowd of parents, talking about breastfeeding.
It is not a natural topic for Daddy, fortunately we have Kelvin from Cheekiemonkies to face the audience together. Read his insights here.

Taking a glance around the hall, we are glad more dads are getting involved. They are hungry for more knowledge, and eager to provide support for Mrs to sustain their breastfeeding routines.

We know guys normally scream for help only at their wits’ end. The team from Philips also shared with us how guys are increasingly active when it comes to breastfeeding Q&A.

That could be the reason why two Daddy bloggers are in the breastfeeding panel 🙂
Fellow panel members Dr Yong, Betty, Angeline and Valerie share their expertise and experience (be it science, techniques and tips) with the expectant parents.

(image credit Philips Avent)

Ms Betty Lee (Lactation Consultant) show us in a few slides how the baby suckles by latching onto the areola. The guys uninitiated might believe the milk comes direct from the nipples, which is not true.

We learn that every female has the ability to produce Enough milk for their babies, and an ample bosom does not mean more milk availability. Look at image below, it is all about “Demand and Supply“.

Bad latching will cause nipple soreness, which might become painful enough to discourage a nursing mum from carrying on. Another common symptom would be breast engorgement, which can happen when the wife miss a nursing session. The breasts would be swollen, hard and painful. We remember Mummy using cabbage leaf to try and ease the swelling.

(Image credit Betty Lee)

Ms Angeline Wee (BMSG‘s Breast feeding counselor) is an advocate for 100% breastfeeding. Daddy notice more public events (like this and this) to raise the awareness of breast milk’s benefits, and to encourage mums to nurse their child for a longer period.

Peer influence is the best way for mums to motivate each other.

It is perfectly ok to nurse in public, as long as the mums are discreet. Some people might be uncomfortable because they are not used to the sight (少见多怪).
Hello, the boobs are not even exposed !

Angeline encourage nursing Mums to stay away from negative sentiments, that is, those Mummies who keep saying “do not bother”, “very painful experience”, “always no milk” etc.

A nursing Mum needs more positive encouragement.

(Image credit Angeline BFSG)

Dr Yong (Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, SGH) wants more “skin to skin” between Mums and Babies. It is soothing for baby to feel Mummy’s heartbeat, a familiar sense of comfort and security. She highlighted that in some countries’ hospitals, there is no baby nursery. Babies are always side by side with the Mum. Nursing is a natural way for Mums to bond with their baby. “Skin to skin” brings comfort to both Baby and Mum, and Dads are welcome to trial too.

Valerie (nursing mum) shared the challenges of expressing in office. We have all hear stories of mums nursing in server room or even toilets. Not every company has the luxury of a dedicated nursing room.
With work, stress follows, and sometimes Mums will feel disappointed about the sudden drop of milk.

(image credit Philips Avent)

After a child’s birth, anxiety fills a Mum’s thoughts :
– Can we handle the child?
– Are we doing the correct thing?
– Is everything ok?
– Is baby having enough milk?
– The Whys, the Hows, and the Ifs

The last thing a Mum need is more doubts about her ability to Nurse.
All the panel experts have a few common points :

– Demand and supply, Mums will always produce more milk to cater to the baby’s intake
– First time Mums worry about the lack of milk. But in the first few days, only colostrum is available. A spoonful is enough for the baby
– the baby’s stomach is only the size of a marble after birth. It is natural for it’s weight to drop after birth and recover later with milk intake
– A husband’s support is absolutely important for the Mum to continue nursing

– confinement ladies might request the Mums to sleep through the night, but our experts recommend to carry on nursing whenever the baby requires. (additional night feeding tips)

– The last thing we can do is to “recommend” the Mrs to supplement baby with formula! Although the intention might be to let the Mrs relax, or to ensure baby has enough milk, it is absolutely not OK to the Mrs. She will feel guilty about not giving enough and might be discouraged to carry on nursing.

How can Dads help?

– Work out a schedule with the Mrs, so that Daddy can help nurse the baby (bottle) when Mummy is resting. This allow the Mrs to rest for a longer stretch
– Burp the baby after every feed
– help to sterilise and wash the milk bottles and breast pump
– Running household errands, Mrs just need to relax
– Clamps can be common, massage the Mrs’ calves
– for families with multiple kids asking “Why baby always need milk!“, Dads can try to sooth their jealousies
– this is the best time for Dads to nurture a stronger family bond, be it with spouse or with children

– invest in a good pump (battery) for the Mrs, so she can spend less time expressing milk

** Identify when we can be helpful. As the Mrs’ body is undergoing hormonal swings, the husband’s help might not be appreciated at times. If necessary, take a step back and pop by later to help 🙂

What is Daddy’s take home message?

We guys tend to assume that the Mrs will instinctively know what to do. Please remember she is also a First time Mum. When it comes to nurturing the baby, it is a learning journey for both Husband and Wife.

– Daddy encourages more Husbands to encourage the Mrs to nurse, read here.
– Click on BMSG (Breast Feeding Support Group) for all your breastfeeding queries

Breastfeeding and the man

** Updated post on 2014 Mar 05 **

MadPsychMum has started a blog train “WHY I BREASTFEED FOR……..”. There will be a total of 24 mums from the Singapore Mom Bloggers community to share with the story behind every breastfeeding mum, so make sure you come back here and click on the button below to read more stories!

You might be asking why is a Dad involved in the blog-train about breastfeeding?

Everyone knows that a guy’s breasts will not lactate right?
Babies would not know the difference, they see nipple, they will bite!
(Serves us guys right for going topless at home)

Nevertheless, Daddy wish to share his own experience about how a husband can encourage breastfeeding. Nursing is never easy, a lot of determination, a lot of pain (soreness, engorgement), and mostly lack of sleep.

We guys will never understand the discomfort.
We do not understand the pain of waking up every 2 hours to nurse, the pain from engorged breasts, nor the “inconvenience” when Mummy goes back to work and need to pump in the “meeting room or gasp Toilet!”

Nevertheless, Dads can, and should offer 110% encouragement for our spouse to carry on Nursing for as long as possible. Click to read about the 24 Mums who are sharing their breastfeeding journey and experience.

~~~ ~~~ Breastfeeding from a Dad’s perspective ~~~ ~~~

The men know the benefits of breastfeeding, but do we know how to encourage the Mrs to nurse for a longer period?

– breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs
– the money saved on milk power can be used for other enrichment programs
– Mummy’s uterus shrink faster, and she can regain her shapely figure
– Daddy goes “WoW” at Mummy’s engorged mammary ( >_< )

** disclaimer.. the last benefit might only be for guys keke

During antenatal courses, we always hear why Mum’s milk is best. But how many men
understand how tough it is for Mummy to keep to her breastfeeding regimen?

Breastfeeding is all about efforts, discipline, and a strong faith to provide only the best for our infant. Do we realise Mummy’s challenges at work?

– what will Mummy’s colleagues feel about her breastfeeding in office?
– where does she go to express milk, is there any privacy?
– how can she store extra milk?

Mummy Adora has highlighted two other points :
1) unsupportive spouse can be the biggest hurdle for Mums to carry on nursing
2) The smart Daddies would encourage Mummies to nurse longer, so they can sleep “uninterrupted” through the night :p (read her comments below)

Daddies should acknowledge and appreciate our Mrs’ sacrifices.
That precious 30ml of lactose does not come easy, and nursing an infant at two-hourly interval is no joke! How can we motivate our wife to nurse longer?

The man might not be useful in the milk department, but he can mobilise the family to handle household chores, and allow Mummy to take short naps.

– Wash the laundry, scrub the car, dry the mitten (Why baby so many clothes!)
– Cook a simple meal (singular). If the man can whip out a three course meal, the other family members might get some decent home-cook meals
– Use the extra small hands at home, give them some tasks. (Maid carry Army bag)
– Kids can dumb the rubbish, water the plant, or simply bond with the new member
– We are very fortunate, our kids can pamper and Hun Tum massage us.

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Despite her busy schedule, Mummy can always squeeze an extra hour per day for her favourite Korean drama (multitasking).

If there is one thing Daddies can buy for Mummy, get a battery breast pump.

Can you imagine squeezing milk manually at 2 am in the morning?
Mummy’s hand will cramp up at the end of the session :p

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BMSG (Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group) is partnering Philips to run
The Greatest Gift”. This is a campaign to promote breastfeeding amongst mothers and mothers-to-be in Singapore. Mummies and Daddies can help to spread awareness, and win prizes too :

– Visit (T&C applies)
– Summit a photo of Mummy nursing (please get Mummy’s permission first !)
– Dateline is 30Sep

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Kudos to Mummy. Give our Mrs a pat on her back, encourage her to nurse for as long as possible. For the adventurous man, maybe we can pick up Robert De Niro’s strap-on boobs from “Meet the Fockers” !

Nah, you will Never see Daddy Andy in this outfit.