Can you present yourself and your family?
I’m Kristen from Hong Kong! We are a family of 3 with my baby girl.
Constance is now 8 months old and 8.5kg.
Will you tell us about your decision to breastfeed?
I think most moms would want to try breastfeeding first as it’s recommended by the World Health Organization and all doctors. It was not easy at first as Constance stayed in the hospital for 9 days after she was born and we were separated. I just kept trying and hold on to the belief of “to give the best to my baby”. And then ,when she was around 2 weeks old, my volume of milk was more stable until now.
Did you take any steps to prepare to breastfeed before you had your daughter?
No, I didn’t, But I started to do breast massage when I was around 32 weeks pregnant. I did it everyday during my shower time, I took it as a way to communicate with my baby, so it’s a pleasure! Also, I have been drinking maternal milk formula every day and night since I got pregnant and up until now.
What has been the hardest part about breastfeeding, and how did/do you manage it?
Persistence is the hardest. You have to control your diet, your schedule, even your outfits, which have to fit for breastfeeding. And especially Constance does not like bottles, so I chose to work from home so that I can feed her on demand anytime unless I really have to go out. Sometimes I give myself a break, I eat and drink something I like right after breastfeeding, so there would be around 2-3 hours before the next round of breastfeeding. I don’t treat all these as sacrifice or compromise, it’s all about priority. My baby’s needs are the first priority in my life now, I make choices that make me happy.
Another difficulty I think is the pressure and expectation from people around. It seems like negligence if a mother does not breastfeed and chooses milk powder. Even though I'm a breastfeed mom, I 100% support those who feed their babies with milk powder. Most importantly, I believe in “Happy Mom, Happy Baby”.
Has anything about breastfeeding surprised you?
I treasure the intimate breastfeeding time with my girl, it’s a time which only the two of us can enjoy. And she always smiles like an angel when she finishes. It gives both of us a tremendous satisfaction.
Do you have tips for moms who want to increase their milk volume?
First of all, I think keeping yourself in a relaxed mode is the most important. Your mood will definitely affect the milk volume. If you have to pump milk, watch a video you like and bring a cup of drink you like. Enjoy the process rather than keep looking at the bottle, you will be surprised. Secondly, I recommend maternal milk formula (no matter what brand, I myself have been drinking Abbott Similac for a year) or supplements (those with fenugreek are good). There are tons of food that can help boost up milk volume, but I think rice and water are the best.
How has your partner or family helped you with breastfeeding?
My family is so supportive! They never give me any pressure on breastfeeding. I can choose whether to keep doing it or switch to formula milk. I think the biggest help is that they let me do whatever I feel comfortable with.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with breastfeeding moms or soon-to-be moms?
One of the difficulties I’m facing now is that my baby girl relies very much on me for her sleeping. Like when she wakes up in the middle of the night, only sucking can give her comfort and fall asleep again. That means both of us cannot sleep through the night and it’s quite tiring. I think not every breastfeed mom has this problem, but avoiding feeding your baby while sleeping would make your mom's life much easier!