Friday, August 3, 2007

Mommy’s (still & always) the best

Hi there! Larry here. Hui-Wearn requested me to guest-blog on the topic of (drum-roll please …) ‘breastfeeding!’ (Don’t ask me why… husbands should do as their wives tell them .. the faster they do it, the less they will be nagged at).

Err.. about the topic at hand :) - August 1st–7th is designated ‘World Breastfeeding Week’, [see ] and it’s also almost the 2nd anniversary of Hui-Wearn breastfeeding Evan. (Yes, Evan’s turning 2 on Aug 18th & he’s still nursing.)
In hindsight, I’m glad that a few things and events prepared us for the tricky road of breastfeeding. Why tricky? You see, Chinese ladies are not supposedly known for producing generous amounts of milk, and the mighty formula milk companies’ advertising.

We were grateful for the ante-natal classes as the instructor was a lactation consultant and was able to demonstrate clearly the finesse needed in nursing. The hospital that we went to prided itself as a “Baby-Friendly Hospital.” On the second day after Evan was born and with still no milk in sight, my mother suggested that we should at least give Evan some water to drink. So I approached a nurse for some water, only to be told that I would need to sign a release form before they allow Evan to drink water! It was only a little later that I understood that if Evan were to drink water, he might not want to suckle after that, and thus sabotaging the lactation process. “Baby-Friendly Hospital” indeed!

Evan was fully-breastfed for the first 6 months (as per WHO recommendations). So our son did not have a drop of water to drink in the first 6 months of his life! He started solid food at 6 months, but continues to breastfeed up until now, although the quantity of milk has reduced. Sometimes he just nurses for comfort.
It’s also good that Evan’s paediatrician is also a lactation consultant as well as a strong advocate of breastfeeding. We actually came across paediatricians who are ill-informed of the benefits of breastfeeding. One big help is the online forum,, which provides practical help and advice and fosters camaderie among nursing mothers.

Besides the obvious benefit of not having to buy formula milk powder, we also do not have to lug around flasks of hot water, milk powder and baby bottles when we leave home with the little tyke. We are glad too for the savings on the medical and doctor bills, as nursed babies are more resistant to illnesses and can recover more quickly when they fall sick. However, we invested in a breast pump, nursing bras and nursing wear (Nowadays Hui-Wearn justs wears normal clothes).

I admire Hui-Wearn for her dedication as she has to wake a few times a night to nurse Evan, all this time without complaint. On the days she is working, she takes time off 3 times a day to express milk in the office. Nowadays, Evan wakes up only once sometimes twice for milk – or rather, comforting.

Coming back from work with Hui-Wearn, it is always a joy to see Evan, without fail, running up to us laughing and shouting “daddy come back, mommy come back!” before clutching his mother and demanding “drink nen-nen!”

When the word ‘breastfeeding’ comes to mind, many of us would conjure the image of a baby quietly and demurely suckling at the mother’s breast. Not so with Evan. For a few months now, he has been doing what I call ‘freestyle nursing’ – with his mouth firmly latching on to mommy’s breasts, he will move and position his body, arms, legs and feet in varying poses.

Evan would respond “Nice!” after nursing. I wonder when he will stop?

No comments: