One of the best gifts a mother can give her child is something that money can’t buy.
The benefits of breast milk are so many – from protecting the baby against diseases to lowering the mother’s risk of breast cancer – that the World Health Organization recommends all infants to be exclusively breastfed till six months of age.
However, the breastfeeding journey is not always smooth for all mummies. This is why Thomson ParentCraft Centre is big on providing lactation advice to all parents, and it has set up a home-care service to attend to its discharged mothers in the comfort of their own homes.
For Mdm Junie Pong, 37, it was a relief that she was able to get professional help when she needed it most.
“I’ve experienced just about every breastfeeding issue except full-blown mastitis (breast inflammation),” said the mother of two. “Engorgement, blocked ducts, fever from blocked ducts, blocked nipples, bad latching… no one told me breastfeeding was going to be so difficult! All the books made it sound really easy.”
After delivering her daughter Amelia at Thomson Medical three years ago, Mdm Pong found herself with engorged breasts and sore nipples from poor latching. “It was horrible… it took me many tear-inducing massages to ease the engorgement,” she said. “I was always at the clinic for help, so you could say I practically lived in the ParentCraft Centre!”
“I was always at the clinic for help, so you could say I practically lived in the ParentCraft Centre!”
Thankfully, the team at Thomson ParentCraft Centre was able to help Mdm Pong with her blocked ducts and advised her on the correct nursing bra to wear, as well as the correct techniques when using a breast pump. So when Mdm Pong delivered her second child, Alexander, at Thomson Medical last October, she knew what to expect, but she still suffered from engorgement and blocked ducts.
“With two children it was not easy to seek help at the clinic. I was delighted to discover that Thomson Medical offered a home-care service,” said Mdm Pong. “Their lactation consultant came over to my place to massage me to relieve my engorgement, and also advised me how to latch correctly… I had forgotten the basics by that time.”
Blocked ducts and engorgement are common problems that can persist into subsequent pregnancies and affect milk production if not treated correctly, according to Assistant Director (Clinical) and Senior Lactation Consultant with Thomson Medical.
“It is important to use the correct massage techniques to relieve blocked ducts, as many new mothers do not know how to do it and end up with painful breasts, there is also no need to keep squeezing the breast while pumping milk, if you know how to pump correctly.”
Thomson ParentCraft is an advocate of using acupoints to help mothers relax, and in doing so, it helps them improve their breastfeeding. While relieving blocked ducts often require massaging the breast itself, pressing certain acupoints on the face, neck and hands has helped relieve stress in many mothers.
“We also show mothers how to massage to clear milk remnants after they have stopped breastfeeding, the correct way to do so is to gradually reduce the duration of each feed, followed by frequency, for around one month. This helps mothers to get back in shape and ensure their milk supply will not be affected in their next pregnancy.”
The acupoint massage proved to be effective for Mdm Pong, who uses it in addition to the breast massage techniques she learnt from Thomson Medical’s lactation consultants. As a breastfeeding mother who has been through so much, she has a few words of advice for fellow mummies: “Don’t stress yourself out! Breastfeeding can be tough, but persevere if you can. Relax and enjoy the process – there is plenty of wonderful help available if you need it,” said Mdm Pong. “The bond you form with your baby is priceless, and it’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
“Breastfeeding can be tough, but persevere if you can. Relax and enjoy the process – there is plenty of wonderful help available if you need it”
DID YOU KNOW?
- Blocked ducts and engorgement are common problems that affect most breastfeeding mothers.
- Pain is not always gain – if it hurts too much when you are trying to unblock your ducts, you’re probably doing it wrong.
- Acupoint massage on the face, neck and hands can help mothers relax and improve their milk supply.
- Daddy can help too! A hot drink and a massage for mummy will go a long way in helping her to relax.
- Don’t fret if you have problems with breastfeeding. Find ways to relax and get support from your family and your lactation consultant.
- To learn more about Thomson ParentCraft Centre’s services, please visit thomsonmedical.com/parentcraft-centre
NEED A LACTATION CONSULTANT TO VISIT YOU?
Call 6251 4090 to make an appointment at least one day in advance.