Love, Starts from Breastfeeding...

Give Your Baby the Most Precious Gift of All...

Dear Mum and Dad,

I'll be born soon!

While you are busy preparing my cot and other things, have you thought of giving me the most precious gift to help me grow strong and healthy? Yes! That's breastmilk!

I am growing day by day in Mum’s womb. I hope when I am born I can breastfeed, warm and safe, while Mum cuddles me. I would get all the nourishment I need to grow and the unique natural antibodies and living immune cells to protect my health.

I know some parents choose to feed their babies with formula milk. Formula milk comes from cow milk and is no comparison to the natural milk from Mum. Formula doesn’t have antibodies, nor will it adjust its nutrients according to my needs. It might have other risks as well.

I really hope you can read this booklet carefully to learn why breastfeeding helps me for years to come. I can’t wait to enjoy Dad being next to Mum while I breastfeed.

From your beloved baby …

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Let’s Start Breastfeeding

The many benefits of breastfeeding

According to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, babies should be breastfed exclusively in the first 6 months. Solid food should be introduced gradually at around 6 months old to cater to their nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can continue until 2 years old or beyond.

Contains natural antibodies that enhance immunity

During pregnancy, antibodies are transferred to the foetus via the placenta. These antibodies will be gone by about 6 months after birth. In the first 2 to 3 years after birth, babies can easily pick up infections due to their immature immune systems. Breastmilk contains natural antibodies, living immune cells, enzymes and so on that reduce the risk of infection.

Offers comprehensive nutrition that promotes growth

Breastmilk is a living substance. Mothers are able to produce breastmilk with a varied combination of nutrients that are biologically specific and meet their babies’ needs at different stages of growth. Nutrients in breastmilk, such as omega-3 fatty acid (e.g. DHA) and taurine, help babies develop different parts of their body, such as the brain, eyes and the digestive system.

Exclusive breastfeeding

Exclusively breastfeeding will act as forming a protective layer in the baby’s gut to protect the baby from infection.

Supplementing with formula milk or water
Lack of a gut protective coating
Easily invaded by harmful substances or germs

Direct breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are not limited to the composition of breastmilk…

  • Both mum and baby will release “love hormone” (oxytocin) during skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding which enhances bonding…
  • For babies: Stimulates emotional, intellectual and brain development to… become happy and confident little children
  • For mothers: Relaxes physically and mentally, maintains a happy mood, abounds with motherly love…positive impact on parenting.
  • The best way to avoid overeating is for the baby to take the lead in feeding, thereby reducing the risk of future obesity and diabetes.
  • Babies that are breastfed directly are less likely to have malocclusion (protruding teeth).

Benefits of breastfeeding

  • ↓Diarrhoea
  • ↓Chest infection
  • ↓Middle ear infection
  • ↓Respiratory tract infections
  • Helps digestion
  • ↑Accepts varied foods
  • ↓Obesity
  • ↓Diabetes

Preterm, sick (e.g. jaundice) or weak babies need breastfeeding even more!

  • ↓Breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • ↓Bleeding after delivery
  • Body slimming
  • Time and cost savings, convenient and environmentally friendly

Improves parent-baby communication

The longer you breastfeed your baby, the greater the health benefits for both of you.

Start your breastfeeding preparation from pregnancy

Your breasts start preparing for breastfeeding about the time you get pregnant and begin to produce colostrum during the second trimester.

Expectant mothers may feel breast fullness and darkening of the areolas, even the production of small amounts of milk. Some may have tiny accessory breasts under their armpits.

Did you know?

Size of breasts does not affect the milk supply

The amount of breastmilk produced is not due to the size of the breasts. Even if they are relatively small, it’s all about the amount of storage capacity inside the breast. Your baby will increase the frequency of feeding, if needed, to maintain the total daily breastmilk intake.

Flat or inverted nipples do not affect direct breastfeeding

If a baby suckles properly, she draws the nipple and most of the areola into her mouth and not just the nipple.

Watch video

Producing breastmilk to meet the baby’s needs 

Baby starts suckling at the breast

  • Effective suckling and frequent feeding
  • Most breastmilk has drained out
  • Message from the breasts
  • Less milk left = high demand
  • The amount of milk production will gradually increase

Increase milk production

Baby starts suckling at the breast

  • Ineffective suckling or infrequent feeding
  • Breastmilk has not drained out effectively
  • Message from the breasts
  • Much left over = oversupply
  • Milk production will decrease gradually

Reduce milk production

Breastmilk is a living substance 
It changes meal by meal, day by day, to accommodate the growth of your baby.

Please read:

  • Some babies may not suckle effectively. There may be excessive weight loss, dehydration or severe jaundice.
  • Some mothers may feel frustrated because of doubts and stress, while others may experience sore nipples, blocked ducts or mastitis, due to inappropriate breastfeeding skills.

Successful breastfeeding requires the concerted effort of mum, the baby and family, to learn, adapt and overcome challenges together

Expectant parents should prepare early, familiarise themselves with breastfeeding knowledge and seek family support. Most mothers can successfully breastfeed their babies if they seek help early should difficulties arise.

Antenatal talks

Breastfeeding support groups

Breastfeeding coaching

Chapter 2 - Your baby is born

Your baby has to adapt to the new world outside the womb. As he grows and develops, he will give out signals to indicate his needs. Parents should observe, understand and fulfil their baby’s physical and psychological needs to help him get used to the environment. These are the first steps in creating a bond between you and your baby. Here are some tips for beginners:

Intimate skin-to-skin contact

It extends the warmth and feeling of love from you to your baby outside the mother’s womb.

The golden first hour!

  1. Baby lies on mum’s bare chest
  2. Smells the scent of mum
  3. Looks at Mum
  4. Crawls up to the breast
  5. Gets it! Suckles on the breast!

Watch video

Skin-to-skin contact in the delivery room:

It gives the baby warmth, stabilises the heartbeat and breathing, and provides a sense of security

Frequent skin-to-skin contact with your baby:

  • Soothes your baby (especially when crying)
  • Stimulates the let-down reflex and helps milk flow
  • Enhances bonding between you and your baby

At home

  • I feel blessed!
  • This is so sweet!

In the hospital

  • A comfortable (deluxe) incubator!

During breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with your baby, please note that:

  • Mum can adopt a semi-reclined or sitting position, instead of lying on the bed
  • The baby’s mouth and nose should not be covered
  • Pay attention to the baby’s skin colour and breathing
  • Mother should put the baby back in his crib if she feels sleepy

Responsive feeding

Every mother-baby dyad has their own pace for feeding. Your baby should be fed according to his needs as well as the mother’s needs (e.g. relieve breast fullness). Once he suckles properly the feeding pattern will gradually become more regular. Whether breastfeeding or formula milk feeding, the baby should be deciding when to start or stop.

When to start?

As long as you watch carefully, you will notice early feeding cues, for instance:

  • Opening the mouth, seeking/ rooting
  • Hand to mouth
  • Making smacking sounds or becoming irritated

Crying or fussing is a relatively late hunger cue

Although your baby’s mouth is wide open, the tongue curls up and hinders proper attachment!

Do not wait until your baby is very hungry and starts to cry before feeding, as this may have an impact on effective suckling.

You can calm your baby via skin-to-skin contact before feeding.

When to stop?

Signs of fullness: suckles slowly, relaxes arms and feet, releases the breast, looks satisfied or falls asleep.

Watch video

Feeding does not require a strict schedule

Mum and baby in the same room

Letting your baby sleep in a cot by your bed can allow you to readily respond to your baby’s needs. This also fosters mutual understanding between you and your baby, and boosts your confidence in caring for your newborn.

Breastfeeding journey

First day after delivery

Watch video

I can:

  • Breastfeed my baby as early as possible. Do not wait until the milk “comes in”.
  • Feed according to my baby’s needs. Breastfeed at least 3-4 times on the first day.
  • Approach healthcare professionals for breastfeeding coaching to assess whether my baby attaches properly.
  • Put my baby’s cot next to my bed, so I can easily observe my baby’s needs and readily respond.
  • Sleep at the same time as my baby sleeps, and minimise guest visits to get as much rest as possible.

If you cannot directly breastfeed your baby: you have to frequently express milk within 6 hours after delivery so that you can feed your baby with colostrum and stimulate milk production.

Understanding colostrum

  • Your breasts begin to produce colostrum during the second trimester of pregnancy.
  • You will not feel breast fullness as the amount of colostrum is small. 
  • The thick colostrum also helps your baby to learn and coordinate suckling, swallowing and breathing abilities.
  • Colostrum is full of antibodies and is the baby’s first dose of “natural vaccine”.

Watch video

Understand me

Activity Most alert in the first 2 hours after birth; then becomes sleepy in the next 10 hours (may wake up once or twice in-between)
Size of stomach About 5-7ml
Around the size of a marble, matching the amount of colostrum
Feeding pattern Requires at least 3-4 times in the first day
(Babies normally have enough reserves to cope with their needs)
Soiled nappies At least once, black or dark green sticky meconium
Wet nappies At least 1
Weight Mild weight loss
Newborn jaundice Generally not present

*The infomation in the table above is based on a healthy full-term baby.

2 to 4 days after delivery

I can

  • Put my baby’s cot next to my bed, so I can easily observe my baby and respond to his needs
  • Be aware of my baby’s early feeding cues and feed any time. Baby generally needs 8-12 feeds a day.
  • Encourage let-down reflex before feeding. (Please read Chapter 3)
  • Feed my baby with one breast first until it is soft and feed on the other breast if needed. (Baby usually needs to feed on both breasts at this stage)
  • Take the initiative to approach healthcare professionals for breastfeeding coaching to assess whether my baby attaches and suckles properly.
  • Monitor my baby’s urine and stool to ensure he is taking in enough milk.
  • Exclusively breastfeed my baby. Do not lightly supplement with formula milk or water.
  • Get as much rest as I can. May consider limit guest visits if needed . Have a balanced diet and drink more water or clear soup.

Learn more about “milk comes in”

  • Hormonal changes will affect the amount of breastmilk produced and lead to breast fullness.
  • The sense of breast fullness will gradually subside within 12-24 hours.
  • Swelling caused by breast fullness will obstruct milk flow, making it more difficult for your baby to suckle.
  • To relieve breast fullness and help with milk flow:
    • Start breastfeeding as early as possible and frequently
    • Apply a cold compress to your breast with an ice pack, cold towel or cabbage leaf
    • Take painkillers. Paracetamol (Panadol) is suitable for breastfeeding mothers

If you have breast engorgement that lasts for more than 24 hours, or no “milk comes in” on the 4th day after delivery, you should seek advice from healthcare professionals as soon as possible.

Understand me


Activity

Compared to the first day, I am more active and alert but I cannot tell day from night. I can wake easily and give different signals, even crying, to express my needs. (Please refer to the following page, “Crying Baby”, and Question 3 in Chapter 7 for more details)

Size of stomach About 22-27ml
Around the size of a ping pong ball
Feeding pattern Usually need at least 8-12 feeds in the first few days
(Babies’ stomach is still small and therefore requires frequent feeding)
Soiled nappies Meconium
Changes to dark brown on day 3 & 4 and then yellowish
At least twice a day
Wet nappies On Days 1 & 2, at least 1-2 times a day  
On Days 3 & 4, at least 3-4 rather heavy nappies a day
Weight Continues to lose a bit of weight. Some babies may start to regain weight from Day 4 onwards
Newborn jaundice Level of a pigment called bilirubin in the blood increases, resulting in a yellow discolouration of the skin and eyes

*The infomation in the table above is based on a healthy full-term baby.

Points to note with newborn jaundice

  • Visit Maternal and Child Health Centre within 1-2 days after being discharged from hospital or follow up as scheduled.
  • Make sure your baby is taking enough breastmilk. It can reduce the risk of severe jaundice.
  • Do not feed additional water, glucose water or formula milk.

Mini Interlude (1): “The 2nd Night”

Mum: “My baby slept well yesterday, but tonight he’s clingy and falls asleep after suckling for just a short while. When I take him off the breast, he cries! Is there something wrong with us? Is my breastmilk not enough?”

Baby: “Mum’s chest is the safest place filled with blessings, where I can eat and sleep at ease!”

Having rested for a day, today I feel much more alert. This is such an exciting world:

  • I am surrounded by bright lights, noises and weird smells…
  • I am wrapped up and left to lie alone on the bed…
  • Now and then unfamiliar uncles and aunties touch me…

Mum’s chest is warm and safe. I am so blessed listening to her heartbeat and voice.

Healthcare professional: “This is the baby’s adaptation period.”

  • The delivery process has tired your baby out. After taking a full-day rest, your baby will become active on the second day of life, especially at night.
  • The sleeping cycle of newborn babies is very short. They wake up easily.
  • As babies have a small stomach and colostrum is easily absorbed, babies will feel hungry in an hour or even less. Hence, they need frequent feeding.
  • Frequent suckling helps increase milk production.
  • Hugging your baby frequently and skin-to-skin contact will make it easier for him to adapt to an exciting new world and learn to suckle breastmilk.

Mum: “My dear baby, for you I will!”

  • The nurse praised me for breastfeeding in a proper position and my baby suckles well.
  • My baby has adequate wet nappies and bowel motions and does not need formula milk supplement.
  • My baby feels satisfied with my hugs and does not need a dummy.

From 5 days after delivery to 1 month

I can

  • Have my baby in the same room to understand and readily respond to his needs.
  • Notice early feeding cues and feed any time. My baby generally needs 8-12 feeds a day.
  • Feed my baby with one breast first until it is soft and feed on the other breast if needed.
  • Monitor my baby’s wet nappies and bowel motions to ensure he has taken in enough milk.
  • Get as much sleep as I can by taking naps with my baby. Maintain a balanced diet and drink more water or clear soup.

Reminders:

Visit the Maternal and Child Health Centre or clinics with your baby to follow up on his health and how he feedings.

Take the initiative to approach healthcare professionals for breastfeeding coaching to assess whether your baby attaches and suckles properly.

Understanding “calibration period”

  • In the first 3 to 5 weeks, milk production will adjust according to demand:
  • Your baby’s effective and frequent suckling stimulates your breasts to produce enough milk to provide for his needs.
  • You will feel breast fullness immediately before feeding and your breasts become soft after feeding.
  • If the breastmilk has not drained out effectively, your breasts will produce substances that suppress milk supply.
  • In some cases, mums need to express milk to maintain milk production.

    For instance:

    • Mum and baby have to be temporarily separated if,.e.g. one of them needs to be hospitalised.
    • The baby does not attach or suckle well, resulting in ineffective drainage of the milk. 

Understanding me

Activity Sleeping cycle is still short. I will have phases of quiet and active sleep. I am easily wake up whether it is day or night. 
Size of stomach Day 7-10
Size of an egg
About 60-80ml
Feeding pattern - About 8-12 times a day. Duration of each meal varies between babies, ranging from 10 to 40 minutes
- As the baby’s stomach grows, his suckling skill improves and mum’s milk supply increases, he would be feeding around 7-8 times a day when he approaches 1 month old.
- Some babies, whether breastfed or formula-fed, may feed particularly frequently for certain periods of a day, and then sleep for 4-5 hours. This is called “cluster feeding”, which often occurs in the evening or at night time.
Stool Normal stool texture
Loose, pasty, soft and grainy
The stool can be yellowish, greenish or brownish. There can be big variations to the frequency and texture. Usually at least twice a day, but can be up to 7-8 times due to the mild laxative effect of breastmilk.
Wet nappies At least 5-6 heavy and wet nappies a day (equivalent to around 3 tablespoons or 45ml of water in a nappy)
Weight Regains birth weight in around 1-2 weeks, and then steadily puts on weight
Newborn jaundice Level of bilirubin normally stabilises in around 1 week’s time and then gradually drops

*The infomation in the table above is based on a healthy full-term baby.

Prolonged jaundice may occur in some breastfed babies and can last up to a few weeks. Usually this is not severe and does not affect the baby’s health. Please continue to follow up according to the recommendations of medical professionals.

Mini Interlude (2): “Crying Baby”

“My baby keeps crying unless he’s feeding or sleeping. I’m afraid picking him up whenever he cries will spoil him and make him clingy. What should I do?”

Baby: “Mum and Dad, I have lots to tell you!”

  • I have many needs, and I do rely on you…
  • I feel it is too bright around me, noisy, hot…
  • I am hungry, my nappy is dirty, I am too tired and sleepy…
  • I want my parents to be with me, not unfamiliar uncles and aunties…
  • I am not feeling well…my nose is blocked, something is tangling my little legs…
  • Sometimes I’m not even clear what I want…
  • I don’t know how to talk. I can only cry and use a few gestures to show what I need and how I feel.
  • If mum and dad attend to me immediately, hold me, talk to me, let me be close to your voices and smells, then I will feel that I am growing up in a loving environment.

Healthcare professional: “Timely response to your crying baby won’t spoil him, but rather will bring him up a confident and happy kid.”

  • Every baby is unique. Each one’s sensitivity and response to the environment are different.
  • In the first few months, your baby is trying very hard to adapt to the new world outside the womb. Some babies express their needs through their body language, or different degrees of crying.
  • Parents need to carefully observe and readily respond. When your baby cries, you can cuddle, sing or talk to him. This may not immediately stop the crying, but he will feel safe and being loved.
  • Ignoring your crying baby will make him feel anxious , lose confidence in his carers and make him even more clingy.
  • Babies who grow up in a positive and secure environment will feel happy and satisfied more easily, and become more confident in future. (Please read “Parenting Series 3-Baby crying”booklet)

After the first month

Understanding me

Activity:

  • Stays awake longer and becomes more active during the daytime. Sleeps longer at night, hence feeding will be more concentrated during the daytime.
  • Babies have different sleeping needs and patterns.

Feeding pattern:

Gradually develops a feeding routine and decreases feeding frequency. Every baby has a unique milk intake. This changes with growth rate, metabolic rate and level of activity at different stages.

Here are some examples of changes in appetite:

  • “Growth spurt”: Babies want to feed more frequently with corresponding increase in wet nappies than usual. This situation may last from a few days to over a week. Mums should feed their babies according to their needs. Milk production will increase accordingly to meet their needs.
  • “Tired of milk”: As the physiological growth of newborn babies matures, the amount of milk they require may slow down or slightly reduce. As long as they are active and alert and have no physical discomfort, you can feel reassured. Do not force-feed. You can consider feeding in a quiet corner for babies who are curious about their surroundings and easily distracted.
  • “Quitting night feeding”: Babies will stop taking milk at night, according to their needs. Usually after the 3rd month, babies start to gradually develop routines for their day and night activities. At around 6 months old, about half of babies can sleep for 6 hours at night. Even if they wake up in the middle of the night, they often fall asleep by themselves.

Stools:

  • When breastfed babies are about 1 month old, they may start to have fewer stools, or even none for several days. This is normal as long as the stool is soft, there is no vomiting or bloating, and they are energetic and pass wind.
  • Some exclusively breastfed babies may have more frequent stools. This is fine, as long as the stool is not watery or frothy and they are active.
  • If you still have questions about your baby’s stool pattern, please seek advice from healthcare professionals or the Maternal and Child Health Centre.

Weight:

Weight gain will be slower than the first 2 to 3 months and babies may feed less. So, observe your baby's hunger and fullness cues and avoid overfeeding.

After the first month

I can

  • Readily respond to my baby's needs and let him take the lead in feeding.
  • Breastfeeding becomes easier after I master the skills. I can interact more with my babyand that makes parenting enjoyable.
  • When my baby reaches 2 to 3 months old, I can help establish a bedtime routine by arranging regular daytime naps and encouraging my baby to fall asleep on his own. (Please read “The Lullaby 1: Developing Regular Sleep Patterns” booklet)
  • At about 6 months old, if my baby wakes up in the middle of the night, wait for a few minutes to see whether he will quieten down. This encourages my baby to fall asleep on his own. Otherwise, I can check my baby's needs and maintain a quiet and dimmed environment. Babies wake up at night for many reasons, not only for feeding. Rushing to feed my baby may cause him to rely on feeding or sucking to sleep.
  • Exclusively breastfeed my baby for 6 months, without unnecessarily supplementing with formula milk or water.
  • Introduce solid food to my baby at around 6 months old. Continue breastfeeding until 2 years and beyond, or wean off naturally.

Understanding “Maintenance Stage of Milk Supply”

Mums who are directly breastfeeding their babies or expressing milk, usually establish a breastfeeding routine in the first 3-5 weeks. The milk supply becomes steady and they should seldom feel breast fullness, even when the milk produced sufficiently meets their baby’s needs. However, mums who have an oversupply problem will frequently feel breast fullness and this will increase the chance of developing blocked ducts or mastitis. If you have any questions, please seek breastfeeding coaching.

Prevention of blocked ducts/ mastitis

  • Ensure your baby suckles properly.
  • Maintain a regular feeding pattern.
  • If you feel breast fullness between meals / expressing milk, you may express small amounts of breastmilk to prevent blocked milk ducts. You can apply a cold compress on your breasts to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Do not wear tight or wired bras.
  • Breastfeed your baby in different positions, such as the “football hold”, transitional hold, as these various positions can help prevent blocked milk ducts.

If you do have blocked ducts or mastitis, effective suckling by your baby is often the best way to clear the blockage.

Working Mums: combining breastfeeding with work

Living in a busy city, it is not easy to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. Family support and adequate preparation are crucial. You should discuss with management before you resume employment the specific support you require, so that you can express milk at work.

The “An Employee’s Guide - to Combining Breastfeeding with Work” booklet

The “Employers’ Guide - to Establishing Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace” booklet

During the last 2 weeks of maternity leave:

  • Practice expressing milk by hand.
  • If you choose to use a breast pump, understand how it works and then practice. Please read the “All You Need to Know about Breast Pump” booklet and the product user manual.
  • Let your baby get used to not suckling on your breasts.
    • Learn how to handle expressed breastmilk.
    • Understand your baby’s hunger and fullness cues and feed the amount and frequency accordingly.
      (Avoid overfeeding your baby when you are at work, otherwise, this will reduce your baby’s desire to suckle on your breasts and in turn reduce your milk supply.)

Fresh mum’s milk is my favourite!

Expressed milk as reserve:

  • The amount of expressed breastmilk that needs to be stored depends on your feeding plan after you return to work.
  • For the exclusively breastfed baby, if you estimate the amount of expressed breastmilk produced during lactation breaks together with direct breastfeeding when you are off duty, this should be enough to cope with your baby’s daily needs. Then, a day or two’s reserve of breastmilk is usually adequate.
  • If you predict you may not have enough expressed milk after resuming work, then you need to gradually reduce the number of feeds to prevent breast engorgement.

Breastmilk content varies according to the different growth and developmental stages of your baby. As fresh breastmilk best suits your baby’s needs, we do not recommend stocking up too much breastmilk.

Tips

Some mums will stock up as much breastmilk as they can before resuming work by excessive pumping. This will increase milk production. However, if they cannot remove the breastmilk readily after returning to work, this will increase the risks of blocked ducts and mastitis.

Practice:

Scenario 1: You estimate that during the time period at work, the number of lactation breaks is similar to the number of times you currently directly breastfeed.

Practice using expressing breastmilk in place of direct breastfeeding 1 to 2 weeks before returning to work, and let your baby adapt to being fed expressed breastmilk by the caregiver.

Scenario 2: You estimate that the number of lactation breaks at work is fewer than the number of times you currently directly breastfeed.

  • Method 1: Make use of your non-working hours (lunch time, breaks, before or after work), or shorten the duration of each lactation break in order to have more lactation breaks.
  • Method 2: If you are fairly sure that the lactation breaks will still be fewer than the number of times you directly breastfeed, you should gradually reduce the number of feeds over 1 to 2 weeks, in order to prevent breast engorgement.

    Example:

    You will have 2 lactation breaks during working hours. If your baby needs to be breastfed 3 times within this period, then you have to adjust from breastfeeding 3 times to expressing milk twice.

    • During the last week of your maternity leave, express milk 30 minutes later than the usual time you breastfeed your baby, followed by a further delay of an additional 30 minutes 3 days later. On the day you return to work, you can express milk twice while you are at work, and directly breastfeed your baby when you return home.

Baby: I want to be breastfed directly before and after mum goes to work, and during holidays!

Breastmilk production may decrease if you have few or no lactation breaks during work. If you want to maintain milk supply:

  • Breastfeed directly whenever you are at home. You may express milk on the other breast while you are breastfeeding your baby.
  • You can directly breastfeed your baby according to his needs at weekends and holidays.
  • Some babies may feed less when using a baby bottle, but enjoy suckling on mum’s breasts. Stop feeding if your baby refuses to feed and do not force feed.
  • Do not deliberately force your baby to quit night feeding. If your baby omits the night feed, you can express once before you sleep.

If the expressed breastmilk is not enough for your baby, supplement with formula milk, but avoid overfeeding.

Chapter 3 - Breastfeeding your Baby: Practical Skills

What is the“let-down reflex”

  1. Cells from mammary glands produce breastmilk. It is then stored in tiny vesicles and milk ducts.
  2. The vesicles and milk ducts are wrapped by tiny muscles.
  3. As your baby starts to suckle, signals are sent to your body.
  4. Upon receiving the signal, muscle cells around the vesicles and ducts contract.
  5. Breastmilk is then squeezed into the bigger ducts and comes out.

A good let-down reflex enables milk to flow smoothly.

Factors enhancing let-down reflex:

  • Feeling relaxed
  • Feeling confident
  • Feeling no pain
  • Adequate rest
  • Look at, listen to, smell and cuddle your baby
  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Effective suckling of your baby

Factors suppressing let-down reflex:

  • Negative emotions and anxiety
  • Lack of confidence
  • Experiencing pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Separation from the baby
  • Ineffective suckling of your baby

When the let-down reflex occurs, some mums may have the following reactions: 

  • Tingling sensation in the breasts
  • Streams of milk are ejected
  • Milk drips from the breasts
  • Pain from contractions of the womb

Some mums don’t experience any reactions.

Prelude to breastfeeding

You can use the following methods to stimulate your let-down reflex before direct breastfeeding or milk expression:

  • Relax by listening to music, take a warm shower, think of your baby, look at baby’s photos or videos
  • Skin-to-skin contact with your baby
  • Gently massage your breasts
  • Apply a warm compress on your breast (less than 2 minutes)
  • Get your partner or a family member to massage your back

Often used breastfeeding positions

Watch video

  1. Transitional hold — Best for Beginners

    Brings your baby to your breasts more easily

    Best for:

    • Mums:First-time mums
    • Babies: learning to suckle

    Method

    • Support your baby’s head and neck with your palm
    • Feed with the breast on the opposite side
  2. Football hold

    Brings your baby to your breasts more easily and you can observe her suckling

    Best for:

    • Mums: Large breasts, flat or inverted nipples, after a caesarean birth, blocked ducts
    • Babies:Premature, weak at suckling, reluctant to suckle on breasts

    Method

    • Support your baby’s head and neck with your palm
    • Feed with the breast on the same side
  3. Cradle hold

    Convenient

    Best for:

    • Babies: Already mastered suckling techniques

    Method

    • Support your baby’s head and neck with your forearm
    • Feed with the breast on the same side
  4. Side-lying position

    Convenient

    Best for:

    • Mums: Night feeding, tired mum
    • Babies: Already mastered suckling techniques

    Method

    • Let your baby lie on her side

Tips: Semi-reclined position

  • Keep your baby close to your breasts using gravity
  • Make sure your back is well supported

Best for:

  • Mums: Oversupply of breastmilk
  • Babies: Reluctant to suckle your breasts

Optimal breastfeeding bositions

Mothers can adopt various breastfeeding positions while paying attention to the following:

Wash your hands before holding the baby!

  1. Your back, forearms and legs must be well supported
    (Breastfeeding in a comfortable position helps milk flow)
  2. Proper position of your baby
    • With your baby facing your breasts.
    • Tummy close to yours.
    • Head and body kept in a straight line.
    • Neck is neither twisted nor bent forward (like nodding) or far backward.

      (A pillow can be used to support the back of your baby)

Loosening your baby’s clothes for skin-to-skin contact not only helps bring her to your breasts, but also keeps her warm with your body temperature.

Bringing your baby to your breasts

  1. Hold your baby securely and support her head and neck while she faces your breast.
  2. Have your baby’s nose opposite your nipple, with the head slightly tilted backwards.

    (If your baby’s mouth is close, let your nipple touch your baby’s upper lip and the mouth will open)

  3. When your baby opens her mouth, quickly bring her to the breast. Let her lower lip touch the lower part of your areola, while the upper lip covers the nipple.

Watch video

Does my baby attach well?

If your baby attaches well, she will take into her mouth the whole nipple and most of your areola. You can see:

  • The mouth opens wide, as if yawning.
  • The lower lip flanges out with the chin touching your breast.
  • The upper part of your areola is exposed more than the lower part.

Your nipple after being suckled

Good attachment:
The nipple is rounded or cylindrical in shape

Poor attachment:
The nipple is pinched. You should seek help from a healthcare professional.

Watch video

Does my baby suckle well?

If your baby suckles well, you can see:

  • The cheeks stay round while suckling.
  • Rhythmic, long and slow suckles and swallowing, with occasional pauses. You may even hear the swallowing.
  • When your baby has enough milk she releases your breast and looks satisfied.

After feeding, your breasts will become soft.

If your baby does not attach well, or you feel nipple pain, you can slip your finger into the corner of her mouth, gently remove her from the breast and retry.

If the babies suckle correctly their mums will not feel pain!
Both the mother and baby take time to practice and adapt to each other !

Watch video

If you have problem(s) with breastfeeding, please seek advice from:

Family Health Service, Department of Health

  • Visit Maternal and Child Health Centres
  • Call the Breastfeeding Hotline 3618 7450

Hotline Services provided by hospitals under the Hospital Authority:
(Applicable to mothers who deliver at these hospitals)

Prince of Wales Hospital 3505 3002 (24-hour phone recording)
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital 2595 6813 (Mon to Fri: 2pm to 3:30pm)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital 3506 6565 (Mon to Fri: 2pm to 4:40pm)
United Christian Hospital 2346 9995 (9am to 6pm, phone recording only)
Tuen Mun Hospital 2468 5702 / 2468 5696 (9am to 9pm)
Queen Mary Hospital 7306 9687 (8am to 8pm)
Kwong Wah Hospital 3517 6909 / 3517 8909 (24-hour postnatal hotline)
Princess Margaret Hospital 2741 3868 (24-hour phone recording)
  • Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association 2838 7727 (9am to 9pm)
  • Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mothers' Association 2540 3282 (24-hour phone recording)
  • Your paediatrician / obstetrician / family doctor

For more information on breastfeeding, please visit the following websites:

Watch video

Chapter 4 - Useful Tips to Increase Milk Supply and ManageCommon Breastfeeding Problems

Useful tips to increase milk supply

Start breastfeeding as early as possible

Make intimate skin-to-skin contact with your baby and start breastfeeding as early as possible after birth, so that your baby can acquire the suckling technique before your milk “comes in”.

Let your baby take the lead in feeding. Breastfeed frequently according to his needs

Your newborn requires frequent feeding. You should take note of his early hunger cues and feed at least 8-12 times a day. As your baby cannot tell day from night, waking at night for feeds is normal.

Night feeding

You have more milk-producing hormone at night. Hence, night feeding helps increase milk supply.

Ensure your baby suckles properly

If your baby suckles properly, he will get enough milk and won’t hurt your nipples. Seek help from healthcare professionals if you have any problems with breastfeeding.

Watch video

Ensure effective removal of breastmilk

Ineffective removal of breastmilk will inhibit milk production. Stimulating the let-down reflex before breastfeeding can enhance milk flow. However, if your baby does not suckle well, express the retained milk after breastfeeding in order to increase milk supply. Please consult healthcare professionals for details.

Pain Relief

Any kind of “pain”, including wound and breast pain, can weaken the let-down reflex. You can relieve pain by using painkillers ( paracetamol is suitable for breastfeeding mums), applying a cold compress on your breasts, or adopting a comfortable breastfeeding position. These measures can facilitate milk flow.

Getting adequate rest

To maintain your milk supply, you must stay relaxed and positive and get enough rest. Sleep while your baby sleeps, get your family or helpers to do the housework, simplify the housework and minimise guest visits in order to have more rest time.

Staying relaxed will help successful breastfeeding

Nervousness and anxiety will suppress milk production. If you encounter any problems or feel stressed, seek help from your family and healthcare professionals.

Balanced diet

Maintain a balanced diet so you have enough nutrients to ensure the quality of your breastmilk. Breastfeeding mums should drink more water and broth. (Please read Chapter 6)

Do not supplement feeds with water or formula milk lightly

Giving water or formula milk will fill up your baby’s tiny stomach, reducing his desire to feed at the breast and lead to decreased milk production. This, in turn, weakens the protections provided by breastfeeding.

Think twice before using baby bottles and teats

Sucking the teat is different from suckling the breast. Teats may affect some babies’ ability (especially for pre-term babies) to learn and master effective breastfeeding. If it’s really necessary, you may consider using a teat when your baby is over 1 month old.

Avoid excessive expression

Excessive expression may cause over production of breastmilk and making the breast engorged, thus increasing the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis. Consult healthcare professionals for more information.

Common Breastfeeding problems and management

Sore nipples

Some mothers’ nipples may be injured and hurt when the baby is learning how to suckle on the breast. You can:

  1. Prevent worsening of soreness or getting hurt again:
    • Seek breastfeeding coaching from healthcare professionals:
      • Learn different breastfeeding positions and then practice the most suitable one for your baby and yourself.
      • Understand and recognise proper attachment. (Please read Chapter 3)
    • If you use a breast pump, check the size and positioning of the breast shield and suction force. (Please read “What you need to know about breast pumps”)
  2. Before direct breastfeeding or expressing milk:
    • First, enhance the let-down reflex.
    • Feed your baby with the unaffected (or less sore) breast. Switch to the other breast when milk flows smoothly.
    • If the pain persists, slip your finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth, gently remove him from the breast and retry. A good attachment will not cause any breast pain.
  3. Nipple care and pain relief:
    • You may clean your nipples with soap or body wash once a day. Do not clean them with water or cleanser too frequently, as this may wash away the natural oils on your skin that have a germ-killing effect. This also increases skin dryness and cracking.
    • Express a small amount of breastmilk, apply it to your nipples after breastfeeding and let it dry.
    • Take painkillers, if needed.
    • You may try soaking a clean breast pad or gauze with warm drinking water and place it on your nipple for 20 minutes to alleviate pain.
    • You may also consider using a nipple shield as a temporary measure.

White spots on nipples

These white spots are caused by blockages to the milk ducts opening to the nipple.

  • You may warm your nipple to soften the skin before feeding. Afterwards, let your baby suckle. The blockage will be cleared by the force of the let-down reflex.
  • If the white spots still remain after feeding, you can warm your nipple again, and lightly rub it with a rough towel. Then, gently squeeze the area around the white spots with your fingers to remove dried milk from the milk ducts.

If there is no improvement after the above measures, please seek help from the Maternal and Child Health Centre, or your family doctor.

Accessory mammary gland

Accessory mammary gland refers to a small mammary gland tissue that grows under the armpits in addition to the breast. This is a congenital and common situation. Sometimes, there are also small, mole-like accessory nipples. Given the effects of hormones during pregnancy and after delivery, accessory mammary glands may grow and produce breastmilk. After milk has “come in”, these tissues may swell and become painful, and the accessory nipples may even drip milk. Usually, they regress within a week, and this does not affect breastfeeding.

Management of swollen accessory mammary glands:

  • Continue to breastfeed.
  • Do not massage the accessory tissues. Apply a cold compress to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Consult your doctor if you suspect there is inflammation.

Other issues

Some mothers may have problems such as blocked ducts, mastitis, fungal infections, or poor attachment of the baby. If the pain persists without improvement, or you have symptoms such as fever, swelling or redness, please seek help from healthcare professionals immediately!

Chapter 5 - Expressing Breastmilk

When should you express milk

You and your baby are temporarily separated:

Express milk at least 6 to 8 times a day to maintain milk supply, and at least once after midnight.

You continue to breastfeed after returning to work:

Prepare 2 weeks before you return to work. Please read Chapter 2.

Your breasts are very full:

Express a small amount of breastmilk so that your areola softens, making it easier for your baby to suckle.

Blocked ducts / mastitis:

If your baby refuses to suckle or the blockage persists after feeding, express as much of the retained milk as you can.

Insufficient milk supply:

If your milk supply is low due to baby’s ineffective suckling, you can under the guidance of healthcare professionals, express milk and feed your baby after direct breastfeeding. This also helps increase your milk supply.

Tips

If you have an oversupply of milk (your breasts become full shortly after feeding), relieving the discomfort by frequent milk expression can make the situation worse.

Please seek advice from healthcare professionals.

How to express milk by hand

Every breastfeeding mother should learn to express milk by hand in case it is needed. (Please read Chapter 3 “Prelude to breastfeeding”.)

  1. Wash your hand thoroughly and prepare a clean container with a wide opening before expressing milk.
  2. Place your thumb and index finger so they are opposing each other (in a C-shape) around the areola (about 4 cm from the nipple) and press downwards to your chest.
  3. Gently compress your breast tissue and relax your fingers. Repeat until the milk flows. If the milk does not flow smoothly, reposition your fingers.
  4. You may compress different parts of your breast around your areola so to drain the breast thoroughly.
  5. You can massage your breast gently every now and then to improve milk flow.
  6. When milk flow slows down, switch to the other breast. Switch 3 to 5 times, until your breasts become soft. The entire process normally takes 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. During the 2 to 3 days after giving birth, you should express milk frequently even if it is a small amount of milk. Milk supply will increase after the milk “comes in”.

Do not rub the skin on your breasts

How to use a breast pump

Please read the “All You Need to Know about Breast Pump” booklet and the product user manual.

Tips

Expressing or pumping milk should not cause any pain. If you feel pain, please consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

How to store expressed breastmilk

Breastmilk is the most precious food for your baby. You should store it properly in milk storage bags, in sterilised plastic or glass containers with a tight lid under room temperature, or in a refrigerator.
Each portion is ideally for one feed because any milk left over must be discarded.

Please refer to the storage recommendations below:

Storage temperature Duration/th>
Room Temperature (25-37°C) 4 hours
Refrigerator
Chilled compartment (2-4°C)
Freezer compartment (≤-18°C)
 
5 days
3 months
Independent deep freezer (-20°C) 6 months
Cooler bag with ice packs 24 hours

Breastmilk should be stored on the upper shelves of the refrigerator. It should not be stored by the refrigerator door where the temperature is unstable. Uncooked food should be separately stored on the lower shelves.

Tips

If you store breastmilk for premature or ill babies, please consult medical professionals.

Chilled breastmilk + frozen breastmilk → back into the freezer

  • Freshly expressed breastmilk cannot be directly added to frozen breastmilk.
  • You should chill the freshly expressed breastmilk in the refrigerator for an hour before adding to the frozen breastmilk.
  • The amount of frozen breastmilk must be more than the chilled breastmilk to avoid the frozen breastmilk from defrosting.

How to thaw frozen breastmilk before feeding

Frozen milk:

Place the frozen milk from the freezer in the chilled compartment of the refrigerator the night before feeding to thaw slowly. Alternatively, thaw frozen milk by putting the milk bottle under running tap water.

Chilled milk:

You can actually feed your baby with chilled milk directly. If needed, you can warm the milk by placing the milk bottle in warm water, below 55°C, to take the chill off. (Test the temperature of the milk using the back of your hand. If it feels warm, then the temperature is right.)

Do not use a microwave oven or cooking stove to warm breastmilk since overheating will destroy the nutrients. Warming your breastmilk in a microwave oven may cause it to heat unevenly, which may scald your baby’s mouth.

Tips

  • Do not refreeze thawed frozen milk.
  • Thawed breastmilk from the chilled compartment should be consumed within 24 hours.
  • Thawed and warmed breastmilk:
    • Must be consumed within an hour and any milk left over must be discarded.
    • If thawed breastmilk is not used immediately, it can be put back into the chilled compartment and be consumed within 4 hours.

Breastmilk will layer out after chilling. The top level comprises of fats and is light yellowish, which is normal and edible. Just shake the milk gently before feeding.

Thawed or frozen breastmilk may have a particular taste and odour due to chemical reactions between the enzymes and fats in the breastmilk. Provided your expressed breastmilk doesn’t smell sour or rancid and is stored properly, it is safe to feed to your baby. However, some babies may refuse to drink thawed or frozen breastmilk because of the taste.

How to feed with expressed breastmilk

You can use a small cup to feed your baby with expressed breastmilk after coaching by healthcare professionals:

  • Hold your baby in a semi-reclined position.
  • Tilt the cup slightly and rest on the edge of your baby’s lower lip, so the lips can touch the milk.
  • Let your baby lick or sip the milk inside the cup.
  • Allow your baby to control the speed of drinking. Do not pour the milk into his mouth.
  • It is normal for milk to leak from the corner of your baby’s mouth while he drinks.

For term babies, you may use a feeding bottle.

Baby should take the lead in feeding. Stop feeding if your baby shows cues of being full to avoid overfeeding.

Sterilising feeding equipment

All feeding equipment (small cups, spoons, milk bottles, teats, etc.) must be washed and sterilised after use. Please read the “Guide to Bottle Feeding” book.

Chapter 6 - Healthy Diet for Lactating Mums

  • Breastfeeding mothers need an extra 500 kcal of energy a day.
  • Eat foods rich in folate, iodine, zinc, vitamin A and DHA, and moderately increase intake of meat to ensure adequate nutrient levels in your breastmilk.

 

 

Eating well during breastfeeding

  • Eat a variety of foods, but avoid overeating.
  • Choose whole grains, eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Consume a bit more meat, fish and eggs than before pregnancy. Choose fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids but low in mercury content.
  • Eat seafood that provides you with iodine. Consume kelp occasionally. Consider taking a multivitamin/ multimineral supplement containing iodine, if you have problems in taking these foods.
  • Consume calcium-rich foods , e.g. milk, dairy products, dark green vegetables.
  • Ensure adequate water intake.
  • Limit drinking coffee, strong tea and avoid caffeine containing drinks.
  • Do not smoke or consume alcoholic drinks.
  • Consult a registered Chinese medicine practitioner before taking traditional herbal medicines or health tonics.

Remove the skin and trim the fat from meat and poultry to reduce the intake of extra calories

Regular physical activity

  • Have at least 30 minutes of physical exercise daily. Being physically active helps your weight return to pre-pregnancy levels. It also benefits your mental and physical health
  • Spend some time outdoors to maintain adequate vitamin D levels. Your baby also needs some sunlight exposure to produce vitamin D for bone growth. (Please read the “Parent information: Vitamin D” booklet.)

Daily Food Plan for Lactating mums

Food Group Servings per day Examples(s) of a serving
Grains 4 - 5 1 bowl of rice
Vegetables 4- 5 ½ bowl of cooked vegetables
Fruits 3 An apple, an orange or 2 kiwi fruits
Meat and alternatives 6 - 7 40 g raw meat/fish/chicken, or 1 egg, or ¼ block of firm tofu
Milk and alternatives 2 1 cup of skimmed milk or calcium-fortified soy milk
Oil, fat, sugar, salt In moderation
Fluid 10 cups 1 cup of water or thin soup

1 bowl = 250-300ml; 1 cup = 240ml

What food should I avoid when I breastfeed?

Eating a well-balanced diet is most important to breastfeeding mother. Avoid fishes of high methylmercury levels. Unless you or your baby has a particular food allergy, you do not need to avoid any food. If you suspect your baby is allergic to certain food you eat, you should consult your doctor.

Some babies are sensitive to certain strong flavored and gas-producing food such as garlic, curry or spices. They may be upset and cry after drinking your milk. If this happens, you should try to avoid these foods.

You should restrict consumptions on caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong tea and some soft drinks or you can consider decaffeinated options so to minimise the effect of caffeine on babies.

You should avoid alcohol because of its adverse effect on health e.g. affect judgment. Alcohol decreases milk production. It passes through breastmilk and may impair your baby's development. If you must drink on special occasions, make sure you limit your drinks to a small amount and avoid breastfeeding your baby within 2 hours.

Chapter 7 - Common Breastfeeding Myths

1. My month-old baby still has jaundice. Should I switch to formula milk?

Some breastfed babies may have mild prolonged jaundice, which is a mild condition and will naturally subside within 2 to 3 months. As long as your baby is feeding and growing well, it will not affect your baby’s health. However, your doctor may arrange blood tests or further check-up to rule out some important pathological conditions such as congenital bile duct obstruction. Some mothers may switch their child to formula milk unnecessary in order to help reducing the jaundice, though it is not necessary. You can continue breastfeeding your baby to provide the optimum nutrition and protection.

2. Should I stop breastfeeding while taking medicine?

You can continue breastfeeding as most medicines for flu, painkillers or antibiotics, are compatible with breastfeeding.In general, only a small amount of the medicine you take will eventually pass into your milk. The level of drug remaining in the breastmilk is much lower than the dose taken by your baby when she is sick. Also, it can be quickly broken down by a healthy full-term baby. There is no harm to your baby, so it is safe to continue breastfeeding. In fact, antibodies in breastmilk can strengthen her immunity.
Not only would refraining from breastfeeding or discarding your breastmilk deny your baby of precious breastmilk, it can also reduce your milk production.

Nevetheless, some drugs, e.g. anti-cancer drugs, radiopharmaceuticals or immunosuppressive drugs are not comptable with breastfeeding. Before taking any medicine or herbal drugs, you should consult your doctor first. If your doctor recommends you to stop breastfeeding while taking the medicines, then you should stop breastfeeding temporarily. However, you should still express or pump out the breastmilk from time to time to maintain the milk supply, so as to prevent duct blockage or mastitis (i.e. inflammation of the breast tissues). Resume breastfeeding after you stop taking the medicines.

3. Baby still cries after breastfeeding!

Crying and fussing could be your baby’s signals for a variety of reasons, such as feeling dirty, too hot, too cold, tired, sick, colic, uncomfortable and so on. Sometimes babies cry because they want company, not necessarily because they are hungry or don’t have enough milk. Hence, you should try to exclude the reasons given above first, and respond appropriately. If your baby's stool and urine are normal and there is normal weight gain, she has been fed enough. At this time, you can let your baby lie on mum or dad’s chest. This intimate skin-to-skin contact allows her to listen to a familiar heartbeat help her to calm down.

If there is no improvement or you still have questions, please consult the Maternal and Child Health Centre, or healthcare professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding

Chapter 8 - Listen to What They Say

Watch Video

The mums

Vani Ng, breastfed till 10 months old

It was tough to breastfeed exclusively in the first month. I really wanted to give up numerous times. However, I kept telling myself not to give up because it will give my daughter the best health protection.

Kwan Yee Lui, breastfed till 1 year old

I never thought of giving up breastfeeding as I know that breastmilk is the best natural food for my baby. Furthermore, I could enjoy the special bond with my baby through skin to skin contact during breastfeeding. This is irreplaceable!

Johanna Yeung, breastfed till 13 months old

I had a hard time at first with engorged breasts. It was like two large pieces of stone hanging on my chest. After adapting to the amount of milk my baby needs, breastfeeding became much easier. I hope all babies can receive mum’s most precious gift – breastmilk!

Kristoffer Tsang, breastfed till 13 months old

Some mums admire me for being a “rich mum” having plenty of breastmilk. In fact, I was once a “poor mum”. When I started to breastfeed, my baby cried with hunger from not getting enough milk each time. My family tried to think of ways to help. My husband bought me an electric pump and my mother made soup for me every day. After trying hard for two months and with the support from my family and colleagues, I am now a happy breastfeeding working mum and my baby is a healthy, lively breasfed baby

Hoi Ching Lam, breastfed till 8 months old

Don’t think baby would not feed. You need determination and patience when breastfeeding. In particular working mums returning to work after maternity leave needs more patience! Your hard work is worth it with your baby growing up healthily.

Tin Wai Ko, breastfed till 22 months old

Why do I keep on breastfeeding till now? It’s because my baby deserves to have the invaluable gift in life – breastmilk. I wish every mum can breastfeed!

Ting Ting Tam, Yau Yau Tam, twins breastfed till 19 months old

Determination and persistence are the keys to success when exclusively breastfeeding. I can overcome any challenge as long as I firmly believe breastmilk is of use to by baby’s whole life. My twin daughters are now over a year old. I intend to follow the WHO recommendation and breastfeed them until they are 2 years old or more.

The babies

Hei Hei Wong, breastfed till 9 months old

I was breastfed till I was nine months old. I’m now very healthy and very close to Daddy and Mummy. With them I like to behave like a little baby, particularly with Mummy, because I can go back to the feelings of happiness and safety she gave me when she breastfed me.

Ewind Lee, breastfed till 19 months old

Hi, I’m Ewind. I am now one year old. As soon as I was born, after I was wiped dry in the delivery room, the nurse put me in my mum’s bossom right away to breastfeed. I felt very safe, the milk was tasty and I felt mum loved me very much.

The dads

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Dads Play an Important Role in Breastfeeding

Dads, don’t think breastfeeding is only mums’ business. In fact, your support and involvement are very important. Do you know that breastfeeding your baby allows him to grow healtier and at the same time has many benefits for mum?

Although dad’s body does not make milk, you do play an important role in supporting the breastfeeding mother. You should take good care of your partner, letting her eat well with balanced nutrition.

Breastfeeding mothers will easily become exhausted with frequent breastfeeding and being busy taking care of their baby. Dad can support his partner by staying by her side when she feeds the baby, encouraging her, sharing the housework, cuddling and bathing the baby, changing the baby’s diapers, or simply singing a song or talking to the baby. You and your baby are closer and mum can have a break.

Winca Cheung, breastfed till 14 months old

Although tiring, my wife insists on continuing to breastfeed to give the best to our baby. She even breastfeeds in restaurants, shopping malls and coffee shops. I’m proud of her bravery and determination.

Hiu Yan Fung, breastfed till 2 years old

Breastfeeding needs heart and energy. I have never doubted the benefits of breast milk because it is a natural gift for our baby. If even mum does not mind the hard work, as a supporter, why should I complain? I will be supportive.

Tin Wing Chan, breastfed till 2 years old

At first, I was not too supportive of my wife breastfeeding because I didn’t want to see my wife so exhausted. It was also inconvenient to breastfeed when we go out. However, I changed my mind when I saw our baby healthy, feeding less frequently and my wife not so tired. So I decided to support my wife breastfeed.

Yana Chan, breastfed till 8 months old

My wife said when she breastfeed, it was most comfortable for me to bring her fruits and drinks. Sometimes I even do the cooking! When my wife is tired, what she likes most is for me to massage her back. I will help with the housework to give her most time to rest. The moments I enjoy most being with my baby girl are when I change her diapers, bath her, and play with her.

Yee Faam Yau, breastfed till 2 years and 6 months

It is hard to be a mother. With just a little bit less mental and physical energy, determination and tactics, it would be difficult to carry on. Mothers are so hard working, so dads should be more caring and attentive towards them. Taking the initiative to help with housework, carrying shoppings when going out, shielding her with a large towel when going to malls without baby care rooms, watching TV with the beloved wife after work… actually, what we do is only simple.

Special thanks to the healthcare professionals

Alicia Hui, breastfed till 10 months old

Having had an experience of failure, I thought breastfeeding was a story of fantasy and a mission impossible for me. Fortunately, thanks to the support and guidance of Dr Cheung, Ms Wan, Ms Chow, Ms Cho, Ms Yuen and many angels whose names I don’t know, I have been successfully breastfeeding my second child for more than 10 months now.

Hoi Lam Yip, breastfed till 6 months old

The family elders had bottle fed my newborn baby girl leading to nipple confusion. At the time, I was suffering from breast engorgement. I felt very helpless, emotionally unstable, and stressed. Later my baby kept loosing weight making me very worried. Fortunately, the medical team spent a whole day observing my daughter’s breastfeeding pattern and gave me unlimited support and encouragement, so I was determined to give my baby the best gift – breastmilk. Till now, she is growing up healthily, cute and lively, and rarely sick. Thanks to my family and the caring doctors and nurses of the Maternal and Child Health Centre who looked after me and my daughter.

Highly Recommended:

Breastfeeding journey:

  • First day after delivery
  • 2 to 4 days after delivery
  • The 2nd night
  • From 5 days after delivery to 1 month
  • Crying baby
  • After the first month

Family Health Service

Website: www.fhs.gov.hk

24-hour information hotline: 2112 9900

(Content revised 05/2018)