The psychological aspect of breastfeeding

After the demands of work, insufficient milk supply is the second reason working Singaporean women quit breastfeeding, according to a 2001 Health Promotion Board (HPB) survey.

Breastfeeding forums are rife with accounts from mothers feeling inadequate because their milk doesn’t seem to cover their baby’s feeding needs.

“Insufficient breast milk is often a matter of perception and inadequate understanding of how breast milk is produced. No matter the feeding method, breast milk is produced. Continued supply is ensured by regular and frequent suckling at the breasts. In reality, very few mothers cannot produce enough milk,” says Dr Yong Tze Tein, Senior Consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, and President of the Association for Breastfeeding Advocacy (Singapore).

Should you be mixing formula and breast milk?

Mixing breastfeeding with bottle-feeding will worsen poor milk supply. Why? A formula-fed baby will suckle less. With less perceived demand, the mother’s production decreases. “To ensure good supply, feed the baby on demand. Avoid unnecessary supplementation with formula or water,” says Dr. Yong.

Breastfeeding in Singapore

In Singapore, with the introduction of the Baby Friendly Health Iniatiatve, all three restructured hospitals with maternity services – Singapore General Hospital (SGH), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and National University Hospital (NUH) – have been accredited "Baby Friendly".

This means steps have been put in place to support and assist mothers in breastfeeding and hence, the breastfeeding rates in Singapore have increased.

Mastitis (inflammed breasts) is a problem some breastfeeding mothers face. Learn to prevent mastitis on the previous page.

Ref: Q15