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Breastfeeding 101 and the Tips You Need to Know

On our 7th episode of “Parenting Talk Series”, we brought in expert Breastfeeding Counsellor Nicola Chong from Le Leche League Hong Kong (LLL) to talk to us about the all-important topic of breastfeeding!

We discussed about what happens during those first couple of days postpartum, what are key things to do to have a successful breastfeeding journey, advice for career moms going back to work, and to debunking myths about breastfeeding. And because this topic is prominent to the health of our baby, we had to split the interview into two parts! We hope this interview helps those thinking about breastfeeding, those starting out on their journey, or those struggling and want to know where to get help.

As always, Little Monkey is here to provide information to help make parenting easier. This is so parents can make informed decision – whether that decision is on where to take their kids to play on the weekend by using our child-friendly directory to our project – “Parenting Talk Series” – 30 minutes recorded interview with subject experts on all things parenting uploaded to our blog for the convenience of parents to watch whenever they like.

If you would like to contact Le Leche League Hong Kong (LLL), attend one of breastfeeding meeting, or contact a Breastfeeding Counsellor, please see the full contact details below in our visual.

Part I

Part II

Here is a recap of what we spoke about and the visual aids.

  • Nicola Chong is a mother of two from New Zealand and have been living in HK for the last 10 years. With a background in biological science, she is now a Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHM) and a Breastfeeding Counsellor for Le Leche League Hong Kong (LLL). She first attended LLL meeting while pregnant with her first born and joined 4 years ago as a leader.
  • Le Leche League is a NGO that started in the US 65 years ago and have since expanded into Hong Kong 43 years ago. LLL Leaders are all mothers who had breastfed for at least 1 year and they are volunteers who offer peer to peer support and share evidenced-based breastfeeding information to people who wish to breastfeed. They have regular meetings in both Chinese and English.
  • We started the interview with discussing what happens to a women’s breast when she’s pregnant and what she should be feeling 3-5 days after giving birth as her milk comes in. First time mothers can take longer for their milk to come in but the ultra-rich in nutrient colostrum is enough to satisfy the newborn baby in the days before the milk comes in.
  • The key to increasing and maintaining supply is to breastfeeding on demand in the first couple of months of a baby’s life. This way, the baby is getting the comfort it needs from mommy, who they know for 9 months in her tummy, to their mouth telling the breast to produce the needed nutrition from the colostrum and breastmilk that will come in.
  • When the milk comes in, our breasts will be engorged and when this happens, sometimes it might be painful or very hard feeling. And during feeding, there might be tingling sensation for let-down of the milk.
  • Our breastmilk regulates around 4-6 weeks as our body is rested and healed. During this time, there might be leakage from the breast which is why nursing pads are useful especially soft bamboo reusable type as they are better for sensitive nipples.
  • Listen as Nicola and I discussed other tips and ways to increase breastmilk for the baby such as frequent feeding of at least 8-12 times in the beginning to other tips.
  • A good latch is key to a good breastfeeding journey. Nose to nipple and tilting it up is the best way to get a latch (see visual below) and a good latch should not hurt. Hear my story as I had a good latch but wasn’t able to really breastfeed until later and why.
  • Recommended positions to start breastfeeding are the laid-back style and the side lying positing (see visual below) as these are the easier way to start. Hear Nicola explain why.
  • The term lactation consultant has been loosely used so make sure that you’re seeing one who is IBCLC or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to ensure you’re getting professional medical advice.
  • We also discussed baby cues of hunger (see visual below) as crying usually means that the baby is already in the stage of being frustrated as they are extra hungry so we must calm them down first before attempting to feed.
  • Going back to work is one of the most daunting time for a breastfeeding mom and so we discussed some ways to help along with debunking the old theory of building up a freezer stash. Listen as Nicola explains why. Crying over spilled milk is a real thing once you become a breastfeeding mama.
  • Also, understand what is paced bottle feeding so that you can explain to your caregiver during your return to work so to help ensure your breastfeeding journey is successful.
  • Nicola gave us a great tip on freezing different sized portion during when we’re back at work and why.
  • Finally, we went into debunking some myths from breast size to having enough milk if the baby is still fussy. Hear Nicola and I speak on this topic. If you have other myths that you want to learn whether it is true or not, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you so much to a real-life superhero, Nicola, who takes precious time out of her busy schedule to volunteer to be Breastfeeding Counsellor to help answer questions and support breastfeeding moms. Be sure to keep their contact information handy for when you need help. Breastfeeding can be a lonely journey sometime if you don’t have your tribe of support so for a successful journey, make sure you know where to go for that support.

And as always, we really hope these 30 minutes Parenting Help video interview is useful to you parents watching. Recently I spoke about abdominal separation so our next interview will be on this topic on how we should heal our body after giving birth. Please stay tune for our next interview and in the meantime, check our Scarlett’s post about a local point of view (written in Chinese and translated to English)!

Below are the visuals we used during the interview for your information.


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