Breastfeeding support in Singapore
We all know breastfeeding is the most optimal way of feeding your little one. The health benefits are huge; ranging from preventing bubs from developing ear infections, obesity and diabetes, and passing on some vital antibodies which will set him up for life. Additionally, it helps you as a new mom to lose some of your baby weight (not that that should be something you have to worry about), and it protects you from breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis in later life. Last but not least, it is a beautiful bonding opportunity with your little one, as during breastfeeding, your body gets flooded with all the good hormones you also experience when you fall in love!
However, even though babies are born with the reflexes to suck, and women have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time; it is a learned skill, and both you and your bubs need to practice latching on! So a bit of support early on in your breastfeeding journey goes a long way: women who receive breastfeeding education during pregnancy, and have a professional support them during the early weeks, have been shown to have higher success rates and more feelings of satisfaction after the first 6 weeks of postpartum.
When it comes to support in Singapore, you have plenty of options to get some assistance.
1. A doula (either your birth doula or a postpartum doula) is usually present during the first feed, or is able to visit you at home during your postpartum period. She has some experience in guiding mothers through a normal breastfeeding journey.
Check out the Doulas of Singapore association for a list of doulas available.
During Covid-19, doulas are currently not allowed to visit you at home or in the hospital, but many doulas offer virtual doula services.
2. If you didn't engage a doula, or if you have breastfeeding issues your doula isn't trained to resolve, you might want to have a breastfeeding specialist have a look. A regular lactation consultant is someone who has studied breastfeeding-specific education and is more specialised and experienced in the subject. They will be able to help you with all kinds of problems, like low supply, tongue ties, twin or tandem feeding... etc.
Just like Caring Hands, both Mother and Child and Beloved Bumps are midwife-led care centres who offer midwifery consults or lactation consultant services. Several hospitals in Singapore also offer lactation consults.
Most centres will provide virtual breastfeeding support sessions. If you are interested in engaging our certified midwife/lactation consultant for a virtual visit, check out our services here.
3. Finally, an IBCLC is someone who is internationally board-certified. They need to do extensive studies, and have several years of practice under their belt, before they get certified. These are the absolute specialists in the breastfeeding field! If no one else is able to help you, they definitely will.
These lovely ladies also offer breastfeeding education, and virtual breastfeeding support during these challenging times!
Remember that it's very common to struggle with breastfeeding in the early days. Don't get discouraged, and search for help! You are not alone on this journey.