Our bodies can do amazing things and breastfeeding is no exception. There’s so much more to this incredible process than first meets the eye. We speak to a lactation consultant and expert midwife at Matilda International Hospital for five breastfeeding insights that might surprise you. Due to give birth soon? Book a Matilda special maternity care package in response to the pandemic now.
You might think the basics of breastfeeding are simple: you put baby on a boob, baby drinks milk. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? However, breastfeeding is not always that easy. Breastfeeding tips from experts and support while you’re in the hospital is a game changer.
⇓ Scroll down for your 5 breastfeeding facts
Special Maternity Care Packages At Matilda International Hospital
Right from the start of your pregnancy, to labour and after the delivery, you’ll want to feel supported. This is just one of many things that the friendly team of midwives and doctors at Matilda International Hospital do very well. Covid-19 threw many of us into a spin with our best laid plans blasted out of the water. Luckily, Matilda has a remedy to take away some of your pandemic and breastfeeding anxiety:
If you want to transfer from a Public Hospital, you can book a two night Special Maternity Care Package from $59,350 with fix-rate costs and Dr’s fees included. Knowing that your partner can be right there with you throughout the whole labour can be a huge weight lifted.
Book an Extended Stay Package in a private room if you’d prefer to stay longer than two nights. You’ll also get physio and nutritional support included, plus a complimentary gift.
For the extended stay, clients of any packages can choose to use this package for staying longer.
Want the full VIP treatment? (You definitely deserve it, mama!) Private room patients can now enjoy 50% off on their upgrade to VIP room before the end of 2022.
Next, ease your mind on what is to come during your pregnancy by booking the new online antenatal course in partnership with Urban Hatch. Detailing what to expect during the process of labour, coping strategies, pain relief and more.
Finally, relax safe in the knowledge that Matilda has got your back once the big day arrives and it’s time to start breastfeeding. The international team of experienced midwives and lactation consultants will get your breastfeeding journey started on the right path.
Breastfeeding, and the mechanics of how it works, is an incredible thing, but there are details about it that might surprise you. To find out more, we speak to Wong Iok Seng, an experienced midwife and lactation consultant at Matilda International Hospital. With over nine years in the nursing and midwifery field, this mama-of-one shares some interesting facts and insights.
1. Breastfeeding Starts Before You Even Know It
Do you know that your breasts start to make breast milk as early as 16 weeks of pregnancy? The milk production process in our body is called Lactogenesis (Stage 1: Secretory initiation). It is mainly driven by high levels of progesterone produced by your placenta. Hence, some moms will feel a development in breast size during their second trimester.
Did your breast grow in size during your pregnancy? If your answer is yes, then that’s great news and it’s a step toward successful breastfeeding. If your answer is no, don’t worry or start to doubt yourself, read on.
2. Start Breastfeeding Early
Get a good start on breastfeeding by immediate skin-to-skin contact with your newborn at birth if you can, and start breastfeeding as soon as possible. Stage 2 of Lactogenesis (Secretory activation) comes after the delivery of your baby, though it takes a few days. It is caused by a surge and regulation of hormones like prolactin, oxytocin, cortisol and insulin, and the emptying of the breast milk.
Hormonal changes and effective breastfeeding will take around 2 to 3 days after delivery. Hence, mothers will see a significant increase of milk production once this stage is established. With that said,
“Be patient – you are doing great! Take things one step and one day at a time.”
If your milk does not “come in” within a few days, your experience may be different and there may be reasons for this, such as Caesarean section, retention of placenta, or medical conditions such as diabetes, etc. Seek help and speak to your lactation consultant.
3. Breastfeeding Is Medicine For You And Your Baby
Breast-milk is unique to each pair of mother and baby. Just like mothers who delivered preterm babies, the milk content is unique to suit the preterm baby’s needs and to the micro-environment the baby is dealing with. Colostrum is the very first milk that your body makes to provide for the baby . This thick, yellow, creamy milk strengthens the baby’s immune system as it’s packed with easily digestible essential nutrients and vitamins. Nipple sores and baby’s wounds will also heal faster when you apply breast milk. This is because of the active antibodies, anti-viral, anti-microbial and enzymes.
“The baby and mother can communicate with each other through their breast milk. So remember, your baby can “sense” your mood.”
Be positive and keep on believing in yourself. Your tender caring love and the “good stuff” in the breast milk is irreplaceable and medicine for you and your baby.
4. The Breastfeeding Experience Is Not Just Yours, It’s A Team Effort
To all the moms out there: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! A successful breastfeeding experience involves many parties. It is you and your partner’s decision to breastfeed (and I’m not talking about your baby here!) and your goals should be communicated with your family, caretakers, and medical professionals. What and how you want to feed your baby should be included in your birth plan. Breastfeeding is dynamic and flexible to your needs and your family’s individual situation. Everyone’s circumstances are different; giving your best is good enough.
5. Embrace, Experience, And Enjoy!
Every baby loves to be cuddled. Embrace your precious moments with your little ones before they grow up too fast.
“Your breastfeeding cuddles and skin to skin time will shrink from one hour to five minutes in a few months.”
Before you know it, your baby may be weaning from breast milk to solid foods. Everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different. As a lactation consultant, I wish that you can enjoy your own individual experience as I am with mine.
Get a great start on your breastfeeding journey with the team at Matilda International Hospital. Get in touch today to find out more about how a Matilda midwife can help you from giving birth to your postnatal and breastfeeding journey and beyond.
This is part of a special series, “Sassy Mama supports World Breastfeeding Week, in partnership with Matilda International Hospital”. For everything you need to know about breastfeeding in Hong Kong, click here.