Platforms in place to support breastfeeding

The perception that breastfeeding is not given much attention in private hospitals and that there is no policy in place is regrettable ("Increase breastfeeding rates to fight diabetes" by Dr Mythili Pandi of the Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group; last Saturday).

As one of the leading private hospitals with maternity services in Singapore, Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) fully agrees with Dr Pandi on the importance of breastfeeding.

We understand the difficulties and challenges of new parents, especially with breastfeeding.

Thus, we actively provide platforms for education and learning through childbirth education courses and parenting seminars.

Our lactation consultants drive home the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding through these platforms and provide avenues for new parents to seek advice and follow-up consultation.

In support of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, considerable resources have been devoted to promoting and supporting breastfeeding to new mothers at TMC.

We encourage new mothers to achieve skin-to-skin contact with their babies right after delivery, in the birth room and when they room in with their babies in the ward.

In addition, mothers will be supported by lactation consultants to assist with breastfeeding.

This is further augmented by an in-hospital programme to coach new parents on proper baby care.

Finally, through our "Call from a Thomson Angel" service - a follow-up call to new mothers 48 hours after discharge and one month later, we find out how they are coping with the new baby and if they need further assistance with breastfeeding.

Through these initiatives and education, we hope that more new mothers can breastfeed successfully.

TMC strives to provide the knowledge, assistance and support to mothers in their parenthood journey.

However, the decision to opt for total or partial breastfeeding, and the duration for breastfeeding, is a decision that is influenced by multiple external and personal factors ("Promote breastfeeding, but mind multiple factors at play" by Dr Ho Ting Fei; Tuesday).

Mega Shuen (Ms)

General Manager

Thomson Medical Centre

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2016, with the headline 'Platforms in place to support breastfeeding'. Print Edition | Subscribe