Love, Starts from Breastfeeding...

Give Your Baby the Most Precious Gift...

Dear Mum and Dad,

Soon I'll be born!

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

I am now growing well in Mum’s womb with all the nourishment and protection she has given me. I really wish mum will breastfeed me after I’m born, so that I can continue to get valuable nutrients and natural antibodies which safeguard my health. While breastfeeding, I can also feel the warmth and emotional security.

I know some parents may choose to feed their babies with formula milk. However, formula milk that comes from cow milk doesn’t offer me the same level of nutritional value as breastmilk. Moreover, formula milk won’t give me natural antibodies nor will it adjust the nutrients according to my needs. There are also other risks for my health.

So for my growth and health, please read this brochure carefully to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding.

I'm getting excited for the moment we're together while I'm being breastfed (suckling at mum's breasts).

Your beloved baby

Mum and Dad, are you prepared to breastfeed?

  1. Do you know:
    • The benefits of breastfeeding?
    • What is skin-to-skin contact?
    • The importance of colostrum?
    • The changes in the supply of breastmilk after delivery?
    • The techniques to breastfeed?
    • How to express and store breastmilk?
    • The community support for breastfeeding?
  2. Have you enrolled for breastfeeding workshop?
    Please note the date: 
  3. Have you discussed your breastfeeding plan with these important people?
    • My grannies
    • Natal care workers (Pui Yue) / relatives
    • Doctors and nurses of your birthing hospital telling them you wish to start breastfeeding soon after delivery
    • Your boss: you wish to continue breastfeeding when you go back to work
  4. Have you gotten other breastfeeding accessories such as breastfeeding bras and pads?

However, if for any reason you have decided to feed me with formula milk, please consult medical
professionals on how to choose the suitable products and prepare the milk correctly!

Content

Chapter 1 Benefits of Breastfeeding

How long should babies be fed on breastmilk?

The longer the babies are fed on breastmilk, the greater the benefits for the health of mothers and babies. According to the WHO’s recommendations, babies should be breastfed exclusively in the first 6 months and continue to have breastmilk with solid food in their diet until 2 years old or above.

Breastmilk – the natural food for babies

Contains Natural Antibodies that Enhance Babies’Immunity

In the first few months after birth, babies could get infection easily due to their immature immune system. Breastmilk, especially colostrum, contains natural antibodies, living immune cells, enzymes, etc. that boost babies’ immunity and reduce their chance of having diarrhoea, chest infection and other different kinds of diseases requiring hospitalisation.

Offers Comprehensive Nutrients that Foster Growth

Breastmilk is a living substance. Mothers are able to produce breastmilk with varied combinations of nutrients including DHA, Taurine etc. that are biologically specific to meet their babies’ needs at different stages of growth. Breastmilk helps babies in the development of different parts of their body such as the brain, the eyes and the digestive system. Besides, breastmilk also contains special enzymes that help babies digest and absorb nutrients.

Breastfeeding - benefits to mothers

Economical and environmental friendly, helps keep fit and prevents cancer!

  • Helps uterus return to the usual size more quickly, stops bleeding after delivery and reduces anaemia
  • Facilitates post-natal weight loss
  • Delays fertility naturally by suppressing ovulation with frequent breastfeeding
  • Reduces chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer with long term breastfeeding
  • Saves time & money and is convenient
  • Prevents environmental pollution and wastage from the production and preparation of formula milk

Enhances Mother-baby Bonding

  • Skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding enhances bonding and increases the mum’s sense of satisfaction.

Will breastfeeding cause my breasts to lose their shape?

Some mothers give up breastfeeding because they worry that breastfeeding will make their breasts droop or sag and thus affecting their body shape. There is no scientific evidence supporting this idea. However, some medical studies suggest that changes in the shape of the breasts might be related to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, causing the breasts to enlarge and the supporting tissue becoming lax. In addition, the tremendous weight loss after pregnancy, smoking and increasing age may have contributed to the changes. Wearing a good supporting bra may help preventing this situation.

Breastfeeding gives mums and babies lifelong health protection...

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

  • less Diarrhoea
  • less Chest infection
  • less Middle ear infection
  • less Respiratory tract infections
  • less Infantile eczema
  • less Obesity
  • less Diabetes
  • less Bleeding after delivery
  • less Breast cancer
  • less Ovarian cancer

Help babies accept various kinds of food

Facts You Should Know about Formula Milk Feeding

  • Unlike breastmilk, formula milk does not contain natural antibodies, growth factors and living immune cells. Hence it cannot boost baby’s immunity.
  • Although various vitamins and nutrients e.g. DHA, prebiotics, probiotics are added to most of the formula milk products to mimic breastmilk. These substances are usually made from cow’s milk or other food. They are different in structure, function and absorbability as compared to breastmilk. There is no clinical evidence to support formula milk fortified with these nutrients benefits.
  • There are risks of contamination during the production, storage and transportation of formula milk products. Formula milk is not sterile. Bacteria may grow if the milk is not prepared properly. All of these risks could possibly harm the baby’s health.
  • Formula milk products are expensive. In addition, the preparation for formula milk for feeding requires more effort such as sterilising the teat and milk bottles.
  • Once you choose to feed your baby with formula milk, your milk supply will decrease and it may be difficult to switch back to breastfeeding.

Chapter 2 When the Baby is Born

The first one to two hours after birth is the golden time to breastfeed your baby!

Early skin-to-skin contact enhances intimacy between mum and baby

You are encouraged to put your baby on your chest immediately after birth. It can give your baby emotional security and warmth and help to stabilise heartbeat and breathing. You can also enjoy the special bonding between you and your baby.

Suckling is the basic instinct of newborn babies. Take a look at how the little one does it!

  1. Baby lies on Mum’s chest
  2. Smells Mum’s milk/breast
  3. Looks at Mum
  4. Crawls up for feeding
  5. Get it! Suckles on the breast

Colostrum – the liquid gold

Colostrum contains antibodies and living immune cells. It is your baby's first dose of “natural vaccine”. Colostrum contains antibodies, and

  • Vitamin A to protect your baby from illnesses
  • Growth factors to help your baby’s gut development
  • Helps your baby to pass the first stool and reduces the chance of severe jaundice

The amount of colostrum is very small (about 5-7 ml per feed) and you may worry this is not enough to feed your baby. Actually, your baby is born with sufficient reserve (including water) in his body, so the small amount of colostrum is enough for his needs in the first 2 to 3 days. So you don’t need to give him water or formula milk supplement. The thick and sticky colostrum is perfect for your baby’s little stomach.It is also important for helping him develop skills in suckling , swallowing and breathing.

Feeding tips for the first 3 days after birth...

  • Healthy full term babies are normally sleepy after an initial approximately 2 hours of alert period after birth. They should have the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact and feed on the colostrum after birth in the delivery room. They then have variable sleep-wake cycles, with an additional one or two wakeful periods. Therefore, babies need breastfeeding at least 3 to 4 times on the first day.  From day 2 onwards, they are more alert and  need frequent feeding for about 8 to 12 times a day
  • When your baby is feeding on your colostrum, you don't need to give water or formula milk
  • Breastfeed your baby straight after birth. Baby needs time to learn to suckle. Don't wait until your milk "comes-in"
  • Have 1 to 2 nappies a day on the first 2 days after birth. They pass black or dark green meconium on the first day. And then pass stool at least 2 times a day from day 2 onwards

More suckling, more breastmilk

The more your baby suckles, the more milk you can make! When your baby suckles your breasts, signals will be sent to the brain and stimulate release of the hormones that produces more milk from your breasts.

The first 3 days after birth – “Colostrum”

  • Starting from late pregnancy, your breast produces colostrum for the newborn baby
  • The amount of colostrum is small and you won’t feel fullness in the breasts

The 3rd to 4th day after birth – “Milk comes-in”

  • With the changes in hormones, more milk is produced on the 3rd to 4th day after birth and you may feel fullness of your breasts
  • “Colostrum” gradually changes to “mature milk” afterwards

4 to 6 weeks after birth -“Calibration period”

  • Your baby gradually develops a regular suckling pattern
  • Breastmilk will be produced according to your baby’s demand
  • During a feed, your milk (mature milk) will change from watery “foremilk” to creamy “hindmilk” which contains high fat content providing sufficient energy for your baby
  • You should feed your baby on one breast first to ensure her taking both the “foremilk” and “hindmilk”. Then, feed her with the other breast if needed

Be relaxed, you can make it

Both you and your baby need some time to learn and adapt to breastfeeding. As breastmilk is biologically specific for your baby and can be easily digested, you need to breastfeed your baby frequently in the first few weeks. You may feel tired and blue sometimes. As long as you stay positive and relaxed, have adequate rest, feed your baby according to her needs in a correct posture and enjoy the intimate bonding, you will succeed!

Chapter 3 Breastfeeding your Baby: Practical Skills

Nursing Positions

Feeling comfortable during breastfeeding helps milk flow which in turn helps milk production and allows you enjoying the bonding between you and your baby. Different mothers and babies may prefer different positions in breastfeeding. You can choose the one that suits you while bearing in mind the following points:

  • Your back, forearms and legs should be well supported

Your baby’s position:

  • Facing the breast with the baby's nose to the nipple
  • Keep your baby’s body close to you (tummy to tummy)
  • To let your baby swallows breastmilk easily, keep his head and body in a straight line , so that the neck is neither twisted nor bent forward or far back

You may try different positions to breastfeed your baby

Bring your baby to your breast

  1. Hold your baby close to you with his nose pointing to your nipple
  2. Support your baby’s head and neck with his head tilted slightly backward
  3. Touch your baby’s upper lip with your nipple and he will by reflex open his mouth wide with his tongue down and forward
  4. Bring your baby to your breast as soon as he opens his mouth widely. Let your baby’s lower lip touch the lower part of your areola ( the part with dark colour around the nipple). Your baby will then take more breast tissues into his mouth and attach well to the breast .

Does your baby attach well?

If your baby attaches well, you can see:

  • Your baby opens her mouth as wide as a yawn
  • Your baby’s lower lip flanges out with her chin touching your breast
  • Your upper part of areola more than the lower part

In this way, your baby takes in the nipple and much of the areola (as shown on the diagram).

Does your baby suckle well?

If your baby suckles well, you can see:

  • Your baby’s cheeks stay rounded while suckling
  • Your baby takes rhythmic, long and slow suckles and swallows with pauses occasionally. You may even hear her swallowing
  • When your baby has got enough milk , she stops suckling, releases your breast and looks satisfied

When your baby attaches onto your breast well, she will suckle effectively. This helps you producing more milk. She will be able to get enough milk. You will not have sore nipples as well.

If your baby does not attach and suckle on the breast as described above, your nipple may get sored. If this happens, you can slip a finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth & gently take her off your breast. Take a short rest and repeat the steps suggested on “Bring your baby to your breast”.

How do you know your baby is getting enough milk?

Healthy full term Babies:

Feeding:

  • feed at least 3 to 4 times on the first day
  • feed frequently for 8 to 12 times a day according to their needs from 2nd day onwards. They appear contented and satisfied after feeds
  • However, every baby has his own feeding pattern. Some of them may need to be fed more frequently at certain time of the day. Therefore feed them according to their needs

Wet nappies:

  • have 1 to 2 nappies for exclusively breastfed babies on the first 2 days
  • have at least 3 heavier nappies per day on the 3rd and 4th day
  • have 5 to 6 heavy nappies ( equals to 3 tablespoons of water in a nappy ) with clear or light yellowish urine after the 5th day

Soiled nappies:

  • pass black or dark green meconium on the first day
  • change from passing meconium to  yellowish stool in the first 5 days
  • texture changes from loose or pasty to seedy gradually
  • pass at least 2 times yellowish stool per day ( size of a $1 coin at least ) in the first month

Body weight:

  • It is normal for your baby to lose a bit of weight in the first few days after birth
  • By the first to second week, your baby will regain the birth weight and then put on weight steadily
  • He will gain at least 0.5kg per month in the first 4 months

Mums:

  • breastfeed exclusively and no need to add formula milk or water
  • be free from breasts and nipples sore, see or hear your babies swallowing while breastfeeding
  • have the breasts become soft after feeding ( Mums have no such feeling in the first 2 to 3 days)

If your baby has the above signs of getting enough milk, please take him to a nearby Maternal and Child Health Centre for regular follow up within 7 days after birth. If you have any problem in breastfeeding or your baby does not have any of the above signs, please seek advice from:

Family Health Service, Department of Health

  • A nearby Maternal and Child Health Centre
  • Breastfeeding Hotline: 3618 7450

Hotline services provided by public hospitals for those born in that hospital only:

Prince of Wales Hospital
3505 3002
(24-hour voice mail)
Tuen Mun Hospital
2468 5702 / 2468 5696
(9 am to 9 pm)
Pamela Youde Nethersole
Eastern Hospital
2595 6813
(Monday to Friday:
2 pm to 3:30pm)
Queen Mary Hospital
7306 9687
(8 am to 8 pm)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
3506 6565
(Monday to Friday: 2 pm to 4:40pm)
Kwong Wah Hospital
3517 6909 / 3517 8909
(24-hour postnatal hotline)
United Christian Hospital
2346 9995
(9 am to 6 pm, voice mail only)
Princess Margaret Hospital
2741 3868
(24-hour voice mail)

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Hong Kong Association

2838 7727 (9:00a.m. to 9:00p.m.)

Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mothers' Association

2540 3282 (24-hour Voice Mail)

Your paediatricians / obstetricians / family doctors

For more information on breastfeeding, please visit the following websites:
Family Health Service, Department of Health, www.fhs.gov.hk
La Leche League, www.lll-hk.org
Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mothers' Association, www.breastfeeding.org.hk

The normal changes of stool in newborn babies

On day 1 to 2, you baby will pass some black or dark green muddy stool called meconium. On day 3 to 4, she will pass dark green or brownish stool and change to pass yellowish stool on day 5.

After day 5, the colour of the stool could be yellow, green or brown. Breastfed babies will usually pass softer stool and the texture will gradually changes from loose to pasty and seedy.

Chapter 4 Breastfeeding your Baby : Useful Tips

Let your baby take the lead in feeding

Every baby has her own feeding habit. Most newborns require frequent feeding of up to 8-12 times a day in the first month. You should feed your baby according to her needs. With good attachment, she will gradually establish a feeding routine.

You may ask “How do I know my baby is hungry?”. Actually, your baby will show you cues when she is hungry e.g. opens her mouth and moves around, puts her fingers to her mouth, makes smacking sound or becomes irritated, etc. Don’t wait till your baby cries to feed her as it may affect her suckling.

Sharing a room with your baby is more convenient for you to breastfeed and helps you to be more responsive to her needs. Staying close to your baby can enhance your mutual understanding and improve your confidence in caring her.

Do you have to burp your baby after breastfeeding?

Babies usually do not swallow too much air during breastfeeding. Thus, burping is not a must. If necessary you may burp him for a couple of minutes by letting him sit on your lap or lean on your shoulder.

Four “Don’ts” to Success

Don’t supplement with water or formula milk

The more you breastfeed your baby, the more milk you will produce. Don’t feed your baby with water or formula milk as it will disrupt his feeding routine. The water or the formula milk will fill up his tiny stomach. He will then drink less breastmilk and in turn may weaken the health protection by breastfeeding. You are recommended to seek help from the health professionals whenever you have concerns.

Don’t use pacifiers or milk bottles

Suckling the breast and sucking the pacifier are different. Pacifiers may affect some babies to learn and master effective breastfeeding in the first month. Therefore, you may consider using a pacifier or teat when your baby is over one month old.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It will take some time for you to manage breastfeeding well. Join support groups organized by the Maternal and Child Health Centres of the Department of Health or other organisations to seek mutual support and sharing of experiences with other nursing mothers. Don’t be afraid to seek help from health professionals when you have doubt.

Don’t give up easily

You may meet challenges in breastfeeding but do remember that support from your partner and other family members is important. They can help you with housework, taking care of your baby and giving you more time to rest. Try to keep on breastfeeding as breastmilk is the best food for your baby to stay healthy. Don’t give up easily. It takes time to get familiar with breastfeeding skills.

Chapter 5 Expressing Breastmilk

Nursing mothers should learn how to hand-express breastmilk. It is simple and economical. It saves your money from buying a pump.

When to express breastmilk

  • Most mothers experience breast fullness a few days after delivery. You can express a little milk to relieve the swelling and tenderness. It will soften the areola and make suckling easier.
  • If you cannot breastfeed directly such as when your baby is preterm, ill or has difficulty in suckling, you can start expressing milk within 6 hours after birth. You should express milk at least 6 to 8 times a day to maintain your milk supply.
  • If you want to continue to breastfeed your baby after returning to work, you should start planning and setting up a breastmilk bank for your baby 2 to 3 weeks before back to work.

How to prepare for expression

Prepare a clean jar and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before expression of milk. Relax yourself by listening to music, visualizing or carrying your baby for a while. Massage your breasts gently or ask your husband or other family member to massage your back. These would help milk production.

How to do hand expression

  1. Hold your thumb and forefinger opposing each other in a "C" shape and place them behind the areola of your breast at about 4 cm from the nipple.
  2. Compress the breast tissue gently and then relax. Repeat these movements until milk is flowing. If there is no milk, re-position the fingers until milk flow freely.
  3. You may compress different parts of your breast.
  4. When milk flow slows down, switch to the other breast. Keep switching 5 to 6 times for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. If milk doesn’t flow, gently massage your breast and try again.

Do not rub the skin on your breasts

How to Store Breastmilk

Breastmilk is the most precious food for your baby. You should store it properly in milk storage bags, sterilised plastic or glass containers with a tight lid.

You can refer to the storage recommendations below:

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

Storing the milk in an amount good for one feed to avoid wastage

You can store freshly expressed milk together with frozen breastmilk. However, you need to chill the freshly expressed milk in the refrigerator for an hour before adding it into the frozen milk. It should be noted that the amount of frozen milk should be more than the chilled milk.

Remember:

  • You must not put freshly expressed breastmilk directly to frozen milk
  • You should never store breastmilk near the door of refrigerator or freezer where the temperature is unstable
  • If you want to store breastmilk for premature or ill babies, please consult medical professionals beforehand

How to thaw and warm breastmilk

Frozen milk:

Take the frozen milk from the freezer to the chill compartment of refrigerator the night before feeding to thaw slowly. Thawed breastmilk should be consumed within 24 hours. You can thaw frozen milk quickly under running tap water.

Chilled milk:

You can actually feed your baby with thawed milk directly without warming or you can warm the milk by placing the bottle in a glass or mug of warm water. Test the temperature using the back of your hand before feeding the baby. Warmed milk must be consumed within an hour.

DO NOT use a microwave oven to heat or thaw breastmilk. Microwave oven heat liquid unevenly which may scald your baby. It may also destroy the nutrients in breastmilk.

Chapter 6 Dietary Tips for Breastfeeding Mums

How to eat healthily

To protect your health and to ensure your baby receives the necessary nutrition, you should maintain a balanced diet during breastfeeding. A breastfeeding mum needs an extra 500 Kcal each day compared to before pregnancy. That is what you get from a half bowl of rice (medium size), a slice of bread, a slice of low fat cheese, 60g of lean meat, half bowl of greenish vegetable (medium size) and a big apple.

You also need to drink an adequate amount of water or soup during breastfeeding.

You have to pay attention to select the following foods:

  • Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acid such as salmons, sardines, pomfrets, thread-fin fish and bigeye fish etc. Eating a variety of fish in turn. Avoid eating predatory fish with high levels of mercury e.g. shark, swordfish, bigeye tuna or bluefin tuna
  • Eat seaweed, kelp, and choose iodized salt to ensure adequate intake of iodine
  • Eat more calcium-rich foods: milk, fortified soy milk, cheese, yoghurt, tofu, dark green vegetables, dried shrimps, sesame, nuts, fish with bones that can be eaten

To know more about healthy eating and breastfeeding, you can refer to the leaflet “Healthy Eating during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding”

Outdoor activities and sun bath help to increase the amount of vitamin D in your breastmilk. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium which is essential for the growth of your baby’s bones.

Chapter 7 Common Breastfeeding Myths

1. Breastfeeding is so difficult that many mothers can’t do it

False! Breastfeeding is a natural process that almost every mum can do it. Although breastfeeding is not an easy task, your efforts will be rewarded when you see your baby grows healthily. In the first 4 to 6 weeks, both you and your baby have to adapt to the new skills. Your baby learns how to suckle and swallow while your breasts adjust the milk supply to his need. Breastfeeding is economical and convenient. It may be easier if you know more and get prepared before delivery. Seek advice and support from health professionals or experienced mums when you are in doubt.

2. The amount of colostrum produced in the first few days is so little that I need to give my baby formula milk supplement

False! Don’t worry about the small amount of colostrum. Your newborn baby has sufficient reserve at the time when he is born. Also, the size of his stomach is just like the size of a marble. Hence, the small amount of thick and sticky colostrum produced is enough for your baby. Most healthy and full term babies can be fed with breastmilk exclusively if breastfeeding starts right after birth and correct skills are used. In fact, your body is able to produce enough milk to satisfy your baby’s demand. Supplementing with formula milk will decrease your baby’s desire to suckle the breasts and hence diminish breastmilk production.

3. Most nursing mothers have to stop breastfeeding when they return to work

False! You can continue breastfeeding your baby after returning to work if you are well prepared. Before your maternity leave, you may inform your employer about your wish to continue breastfeeding and seek his support. Set up a breastmilk storage for your baby by pumping 1 to 2 extra times a day about 2 to 3 weeks before you return to work and store it in the fridge. After returning to work, take breaks for milk expression in a clean, warm and private room such as an unoccupied conference room or a lounge. Expressed milk can be stored in a fridge at the office and you can bring it home after work. Consult doctors and nurses at MCHC if you want to know more.

4. Nursing mothers should avoid certain kinds of food

False! Breastfeeding mums should take a diet of a variety.  If you and your baby do not have food allergy, you do not need to have any food restriction apart from avoiding eating fish of high methylmercury levels. Some babies may get upset after their mothers consume strong flavoured and gas-producing food such as garlic, curry or spices.  If this happens to your baby, then eat less of these foods. Caffeine containing drinks can affect babies and may keep them awake.  It is important to limit coffee, strong tea and some types of soft drinks.  Try the decaffeinated options. You should avoid alcohol because of its adverse effect on health.  Alcohol disrupts breast milk flow. It passes through breastmilk and impairs your child's development. If you are breastfeeding but need to drink alcohol on special occasions, you must be cautious to limit to a small amount and avoid nursing the baby within 2 hours

5. Babies with jaundice should not be breastfed

False! Breastmilk can help babies pass their stool and alleviate jaundice. You should continue breastfeeding even if your baby has jaundice or is undergoing phototherapy. Some breastfed babies may have prolonged jaundice. However, as long as the baby eats and grows well, the jaundice will be settled. Seek medical advice if you are in doubt.

6. Hepatitis B Virus (HBsAg+ve) carriers should not breastfeed

False! Babies of HBsAg+ve mums will receive hepatitis B immunoglobulin and hepatitis B vaccine at birth, followed by 2 more doses of HBV vaccine at one month and six months old. Hence, it is safe for these mums to breastfeed their babies.

7. Nursing mothers should stop breastfeeding when they are ill or taking medication

False! In most cases, you can continue breastfeeding your baby as most of the commonly used drugs such as pain killers or medicines for flu do not affect your baby. However, you should consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter drugs or herbal medications.

Chapter 8 Listen to What they Say...

The mothers

Vani, breastfed till 10-month

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

Kwan Yee, breastfed till 1-year

I’ve never thought of giving up breastfeeding as I know that breastmilk is the best natural food for my baby. Furthermore I can enjoy the special bonding with my baby through intimate contact during breastfeeding. Nothing can replace it.

Johanna, breastfed till 13-month

In the beginning, I suffered a lot because of the heaviness of my breasts due to engorgement. After adapting to the demand of the baby, breastfeeding becomes much easier. I wish all babies can receive the best gift - breastmilk from their mums.

Kristoffer, breastfed till 13-month

Some mothers envy me for having a rich supply of breastmilk. In fact, my boy cried for not getting enough in the beginning. Then my husband bought me an electric pump and my mother cooked soup for me every day. After trying hard for two months and with support from my family, I am now doing well after returning to work. My baby is so lovely and healthy.

Hoi Ching, breastfed till 8-month

If you are determined and patient, you can breastfeed your baby well. Working mums have to be very patient and determined in order to continue breastfeed their babies after returning to work. Your hard work will be paid off as you see your baby grows healthily.

Tin Wai, breastfed till 22-month

Why do I keep on breastfeeding? It’s just because my baby deserves to have the invaluable gift in life – breastmilk. Wish every mum success in breastfeeding!

Ting Ting, Yau Yau, breastfed till 19-month

Determination and persistence are the keys to success in exclusive breastfeeding. I believe that I can overcome all the challenges in breastfeeding as it gives a good start for my children’s life. My twin daughters are now one year old, and I have decided to follow WHO’s recommendation to breastfeed them until they are two years old or above.

The babies

Hei Hei, breastfed till 9-month

Mum breastfed me until I was nine months old. I’m now healthy. I can still feel the happiness and emotional security that I enjoyed with her during breastfeeding. I like to have intimate interactions with my Dad and Mum.

Ewind, breastfed till 19-month

Hi, I am Ewind and I’m now one. My mum breastfed me immediately after I was born at the delivery room. I can feel her love and the security when my mum holds me close during breast feeding. Breastmilk is delicious!

The fathers

Fathers Play an Important Role in Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding involves both parents. It is crucial for you, as a father, to provide support and get involved. Do you know that breastfeeding benefits both your baby and your wife?

Fathers do play an important role in supporting nursing mothers although you are not the one who nurses the baby. You should take good care of your partner, such as encouraging her to maintain a balanced diet, to ensure both your partner and your baby get sufficient nutrients.

Nursing mothers will feel exhausted easily with frequent breastfeeding and the busy task of baby care. The father can support his partner by staying by her side when she feeds the baby, giving her encouragement, sharing the housework, cradling and bathing the baby, changing the baby’s diapers, or even by simply singing a song or talking to the baby. This enhances the intimacy between you and your baby. Your partner can have a break at the same time too.

Winca, breastfed till 14-month

Although breastfeeding is tiring, my wife insists to do so because she wants to give the best for our baby. She breastfeeds our baby even in restaurants, shopping malls and coffee shops. I’m proud of her bravery and determination.

Hui Yan, breastfed till 2-year

Breastfeeding needs our effort. I have never doubted the benefits of breastmilk because it is a natural gift for our baby. If the mum never complains about it, why should I be against it? I will be a supporter.

Tin Wing, breastfed till 2-year

I did not support my wife to breastfeed at the very beginning because I didn’t want my wife to be overwhelmed by it. It is also inconvenient to breastfeed the baby in public. However, I changed my mind when I saw my wife managing it very well, and my son is growing healthily. My wife is now having my full support in it.

Yana, breastfed till 8-month

My wife likes me to bring her fruit and drinks when she is feeding our baby. To offer support to my wife, I would massage her back when she is tired, do the cooking and, take care of the housework. I enjoy changing diapers for my baby girl and bathing her. I really enjoy interacting and playing with my baby girl.

Yee Faam, breastfed till 2-year and 6-month

It is hard to be a mother as it needs physical strength, determination and perseverance. Therefore, fathers should be more caring and supportive towards their wives. I usually help my wife with housework, grocery shopping and provide her with assistance when she breastfeeds in public places. Spending more time with her after work is also a way to show care and concern. All these are just simple and easy things for me to do.

Special thanks to the health professionals

Alicia, breastfed till 10-month

Having had the failure experience in breastfeeding my first child, I thought that breastfeeding was a mission impossible for me. Thanks to the support and guidance from Dr. Cheung and Ms Wan, Ms Chow, Ms Cho, Ms Yuen and nurses whom I don't know their names, I have been breastfeeding my second child for more than 10 months now.

Hoi Lam, breastfed till 6-month

The seniors in the family had once fed my newborn baby girl with bottle and it caused nipple confusion. At the same time, I was suffering from the discomfort of breast engorgement. I was stressful, frustrated and helpless when I found my daughter’s body weight kept going down. Thanks to the caring medical and nursing team, they observed my daughter’s breastfeeding pattern and gave me valuable guidance and encouragement. Thus, I have persisted to breastfeed my daughter and she is now growing up healthily. Thanks for the care from my family too.

Breastfeeding – Simply the Best Choice for Mothers and Babies

  1. The longer you breastfeed your baby, the greater would be the health benefits for both of you. Exclusively breastfeed for 6 months and continue till 2 years old or above after your baby has started to eat solid food.
  2. Have skin-to-skin contact with and breastfeed your baby 1 to 2 hours right after birth. Then you have a better chance to succeed in breastfeeding.
  3. Colostrum contains antibodies and living immune cells. It is the first dose of “natural vaccine” for your baby.
  4. In the first 2 to 3 days, your baby only needs the very small amounts of colostrum. This thick and sticky colostrum helps your baby learn how to coordinate the suckling, swallowing and breathing skills during breastfeeding. Your baby needs time to acquire these skills, do not wait until milk “comes-in”.
  5. Let your baby take the lead in breastfeeding. Feed him whenever he has early hunger cues. Do not wait until he cries. Newborn babies need frequent feeding about 8 to 12 times a day. Effective and frequent breastfeeding helps to enhance production of breastmilk.
  6. Breastfeeding is not painful if your nursing position is correct.
  7. Don’t give water or formula milk to your baby while breastfeeding. It may disrupt your baby’s feeding habit and make him drink less breastmilk.
  8. Your baby will appear contented and satisfied once he has got enough milk. You can also observe your baby’s weight and excretion pattern to check whether he has taken enough milk.
  9. If you are not able to breastfeed your baby directly, start expressing milk within 6 hours after giving birth. Express at least 6 to 8 times a day to build up your milk supply.
  10. In the first 4 to 6 weeks of breastfeeding, both the mother and the baby have to learn the skills. A more regular feeding pattern will be developed gradually. The milk supply will be established according to the baby’s needs. Support from the father and family members are thus very crucial. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you have any concern!
(Content revised 02/2015)