These mums believe in breastfeeding

Breastfeeding sounds natural and its benefits are well documented.

But a study by the Health Promotion Board last September on the prevalence of the practice found that only 42 in 100 women here still breastfeed their children at six months.

Then there are mothers like Madam Lim Ting. The 32-year-old is in a group of one in 100 whose children are exclusively fed breast milk, even when they are six months old.

She explained: "It's convenient as there are no bottles to wash and sterilise. There's also the savings because you don't need to buy formula milk."

Her older child, who will turn five in two months, was weaned after 18 months. She has a younger child aged 16 months, who is still nursing.

Madam Lim, who lived with her in-laws, cherished the mother-and-child bonding during breastfeeding and decided to continue after her maternity leave.

She said: "It's an amazing feeling when you carry the baby in your arms and feed him. In a way, I was hooked on breastfeeding."

There were also practical benefits, said Madam Lim, who is now a housewife and blogger at miracule.blogspot.com

It was not so easy at the start. Indeed, there was pressure from family members to give up as they were worried that Madam Lim might not be producing enough milk for her child.

Another young mother, Madam Gladys Hoo, who is in her 20s, was told by people around her when she was pregnant "not to get her hopes too high" that she would be able to breastfeed.

After all, her grandmother was the only woman in her family who had managed to breastfeed successfully.

Madam Hoo, a material planner, was encouraged by her former boss, who told her about the benefits of breastfeeding.

'MOTIVATED'

The mother of a 16-month-old boy said: "I was very motivated after she told me that there's a huge difference between her two children, one who was breastfed, and the other who was not. The one who was breastfed had no allergies at all."

She also counts on the support of her family and a supportive working environment, which allows her to breastfeed before work and during lunch time.

"They were encouraging and told me to breastfeed for as long as I can. But you also need determination, perseverance, commitment and you need to be positive."

The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented.

Breastfed children develop stronger resistance to disease and infection and are less likely to develop other medical problems when they are older.

Madam Lim was among 183 mothers who attended the SuperMom Latch On event at Suntec Convention Centre on Saturday.

Organised by parent-led initiative Supermom and Pigeon Singapore, the event attempted to break the Singapore Book of Records for the largest number of mothers breastfeeding together.

The attempt failed though 101 mothers managed to nurse successfully.

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