August 1 marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week. Here’s how to celebrate breastfeeding in Singapore with other mamas and families!
World Breastfeeding Week 2019 runs from August 1-7, are you ready, mama? This annual celebration and awareness campaign highlights the benefits of breastfeeding in 170 countries across the globe – including Singapore.
As ever, we feel it’s important to highlight all the ways you can celebrate breastfeeding (and seek out support on your own journey) here in the Little Red Dot. Breastfeeding can be absolutely wonderful and rewarding, but it can also be challenging, isolating and demoralizing; this annual celebration is a fab way for mamas to enhance their support system and know that they are part of an important worldwide movement. Of course, breastfeeding is at once universal and also highly personal; tune in tomorrow as two different mamas reflect on their very different breastfeeding journeys.
Breastfeeding in the News
Two recent news stories that come to mind highlight some of the key challenges – both socially and in the workplace – that mamas can face on their breastfeeding journey. In July 2019, the airline KLM faced a social media backlash (rightfully so, in our opinion!) when a passenger complained that she was told to cover up her baby while nursing on a flight, with a crew member informing her it would be her own problem to deal with if another passenger complained.
Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.
— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) July 16, 2019
The airline doubled down on social media when the woman’s complaint went viral, tweeting that KLM “permits” breastfeeding on board, but will ask mothers to cover up if other passengers feel offended. They permit babies to eat on their planes, how generous of them! We loved seeing all the Twitter responses, many of which jokingly asked the airline if they would request that other passengers cover up if someone else was offended by them being offended.
Flying with babies and kids is incredibly stressful; it’s common knowledge that nursing babies 1) can soothe the pressure on their ears during take-off and landing and 2) keeps them happy and calm (and not crying — which is something else a lot of people complain about on planes). We were heartened to see a number of other airlines chime in to make clear that they welcome breastfeeding on board, full stop.
In June, a new study came out further illustrating the evidence that breast milk contains beneficial bacteria for babies with a far-ranging impact on their immune systems and metabolisms. Unfortunately, evidence also seems to suggest that babies benefit most when breastfed directly, losing out on some benefits even when drinking expressed milk from a bottle. Pumping and giving babies bottles of expressed milk is like a job unto itself, and has long been the best solution for working moms who can’t be home with their babies during the day. This newest study only furthers the argument for more generous maternity leave policies which allow mothers to be at home with their new babies for longer, ideally in combination with family-friendly office and work-at-home policies (in other words, basically Trehaus needs to go global!).
Events in Singapore
First off, if you’re nervous about breastfeeding out of the house, mama, be sure to check out our 6 P’s to Ensure Success Breastfeeding in Public. It’ll ease your mind to have a plan beforehand, and we promise: it gets a little bit easier every time!
You’ll also want to bookmark our Ultimate Guide to Singapore’s Best Nursing Rooms!
- Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group will hold its annual “Big Latch-On” on Saturday 3 August from 3pm to 5:30pm at the SKH campus in Sengkang. Mamas are invited to latch, pump or express milk in synchronicity with a worldwide movement, both as a means of celebrating their ability to comfortably breastfeed in public, and feel solidarity and comfort surrounded by other mamas. You can also look forward to expert talks, a babywearing demo, babywearing Zumba (so fun!), and fun activities for kids.The whole event is FREE and meant to be a fun day for the entire family, so round up the troops and head down to celebrate, mama! Seats are limited so be sure to register ASAP.Click here for all the details!
- Our friends at Beauty Mums and Babies will also be celebrating with a mass latch-on on Saturday morning from 11am to 3pm. We love that this event will be centrally located on Orchard at Takashimaya, home to one of our very favourite nursing rooms in Singapore! There’ll also be two informative talks, one on nursing from a lactation expert and another on infant first aid from a nurse and educator. On top of all that, there’ll be goodie bags! Tickets cost $10-$15 and be sure to register quickly, mamas, as seats are limited!
The Best Nursing Rooms to Breastfeed in Singapore
In our experience, the ability to nurse in peace goes a long way toward establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship. We also know that hunger can strike babies anytime, anywhere, so it’s key to know where you can find a cool, quiet place on the go. We scoured the island for The Best Nursing Rooms in Singapore and put together a photo slideshow of our top 10 pics, and also listed out all the other rooms on the island that we could find info for. Be sure to check it out, mamas, and let us know if there’s something we missed!
Lactation Consultants in Singapore
Breastfeeding might be the most natural thing in the world, but it often doesn’t feel that way when you’re doing it for the first time! So many mamas all over Singapore have raved about the difference a lactation consultant can make, whether it’s helping your baby get a good latch, identifying issues like tongue ties, or giving you pumping strategies to stimulate milk flow. Check out our directory for a list of top lactation consultants in Singapore, or look to other resources like Stork’s Nest Singapore, the Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group or La Leche League Singapore.
Speaking of Stork’s Nest, if you’re pregnant or just starting on your breastfeeding journey, you will DEFINITELY want to check out these 15 Things to Know About Breastfeeding (Before You Breastfeed), courtesy of Stork’s Nest’s amazing founder, Jani Combrink!
You Got This, Mama
However your breastfeeding journey goes, mama, we hope that it’s a smooth and positive experience for you and your bub. If you’re nervous about continuing it when you return to work, be sure to check out our Expert Tips on Breastfeeding When You Return to Work, which’ll give you the best chance for continued success. You can also read other mamas’ stories, from a recent recollection about the ups and downs of breastfeeding twins to another mama’s humorous struggles with insane nipple pain.
Lead image and baby flight image sourced via Getty