Breastfeeding is no walk in the park, but with the right support from the start, you’ll be on your way to a confident, rewarding breastfeeding journey ahead
While planning your ideal birth, have you given any thought to how you’ll approach breastfeeding? The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly advocates breastfeeding as the best start for newborns, as it provides all the nutrients that infants need for the first months of life, as well as antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. So it’s important that the hospital you choose to deliver in is able to support your breastfeeding journey!
Mount Elizabeth Hospital is one such hospital, with a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) accreditation by WHO to show that they actively promote and support breastfeeding. With a team of dedicated obstetricians, senior nurses, midwives and lactation consultants, Mount Elizabeth Hospital is well-equipped with the experience and expertise to support you in your breastfeeding journey! But how exactly do they ensure mamas are well taken care of and are equipped with the right skills to continue breastfeeding after being discharged from the hospital? Lactation Consultant Tse Mei Yin shares more below.
Breastfeeding guidance from pregnancy and beyond
In order to prepare you for the journey of being an expecting mother, we equip you not only with the necessary motherhood skills, but also with knowledge relevant to early stages of pregnancy. Coaching you on caring for your newborn begins early, with the right information to prepare mothers to have a positive mindset on their journey into motherhood.
Learn about breastfeeding before you give birth
Preparation for breastfeeding upon registration
We provide you with information on breastfeeding and its benefits to both mothers and their newborns by giving you a BFHI booklet upon confirmation of your maternity pre-registration at Mount E. This will give you and your partner a head start to widen your scope of knowledge on how to achieve your goals in breastfeeding.
Online antenatal classes
We have antenatal classes for parents who are keen to know more about childbirth, baby care and breastfeeding so as to boost their confidence in parenthood. With current Covid-19 restrictions, we’ve moved these antenatal classes online!
How Mount E helps to encourage breastfeeding and supports you immediately after you deliver
Immediate skin-to-skin contact upon delivery
Evidence shows that immediate skin-to-skin contact with your newborn greatly increases the success rate of breastfeeding. Mothers are often named ‘the best warmers in the world’ because their body warmth, voice and natural smell help to soothe newborns from before and after birth. Our lactation consultants or nurses will be there to guide you through the miracle hour of skin-to-skin in the delivery suite.
Comfortable rooming-in arrangement
We believe that rooming in with your baby (as opposed to your baby being placed separately in the nursery) establishes the bond between you and your baby so you can learn to identify their feeding cues and patterns as well as allowing your little one to recognise their parents’ voices to further encourage breastfeeding.
Daily visits by Mount Elizabeth Hospital’s lactation consultants
We visit mothers and their newborns daily to make sure they are coping well with breastfeeding and to affirm that they are doing well. The care plan and coaching will really depend on the condition of the mothers as well as their newborns on a day-to-day basis. As a lactation consultant, I need to be sensitive and understand our patients’ physical needs, such as tiredness from the labouring process, pain threshold and readiness to learn new techniques. I would say, “Make the best use of given opportunities.” It’s my responsibility that coaching is done constantly, demonstrating the skills of breastfeeding whenever the opportunity arises.
Lactation consultants will be with you from Monday to Saturday, and there are days when we would stay in the maternity wing till late. In our absence, our amazing nurses who are working round-the-clock will be ready to assist you with any breastfeeding matters – they’ve been trained with the right knowledge and skills too!
A lactation consultant’s advice on your postpartum diet
We support your recovery and health after you give birth by providing a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet to ensure that you achieve all your nutrient needs while breastfeeding. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a lot of evidence to support the idea that milk supply can be increased by eating the right foods. We do however have a confinement menu that includes food such as papaya soup and fish etc, that are traditionally believed to increase milk supply, so that you can order foods that align with your personal tastes and requirements.
Continued breastfeeding support even after you head home
We will continue to be part of your learning journey after you head home. We often conduct post-discharge calls to inquire on how both mothers and their newborns are coping with breastfeeding. We can also provide advice over the phone should you have questions about breastfeeding. We take pride in our high success rates for breastfeeding – by constantly educating new mothers, affirming and re-affirming their fears and anxiety, and giving them lots of encouragement to help build their self-confidence. The involvement of husbands and caregivers is very important to reassure mothers that they are not alone in their journey in adapting to this new chapter of life.
The initial period of establishing breastfeeding may take a toll on you, but with the right support from the start, you’ll achieve great joy and success in breastfeeding!
Mount Elizabeth Hospital, 3 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228510, Tel: (+65) 6250 0000 / 8111 7777 (WhatsApp), www.mountelizabeth.com.sg