April 2018 Newsletter: Counsellor Spotlight – Shana Shang

By BMSG Editorial Team

As part of recognising the work of our volunteer counsellors, we will be featuring our counsellors regularly in our monthly newsletter. Our counsellors come from all walks of life, which adds diversity to our counselling team. This month, we feature Shana Shang, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner and mother of two girls.

Shana (bottom left) with her family.

Tell us more about yourself!

My name is Shana Shang. I have two children. I am a registered nurse and also a certified TCM physician. I am currently working as a TCM physician at a local clinic here. I meet a lot of breastfeeding mothers at my clinic and that was one of the push factors in helping me decide to become a volunteer counsellor. I have since been a volunteer counsellor with BMSG since March 2017.

What inspired you to become a volunteer counsellor?

It is not a special moment or event that inspired me to become a volunteer counsellor, but rather it was my own breastfeeding experience and struggles that brought me all the way here. I remember feeling so lost in trying to latch, and caring for my first child, and I nearly went into depression because of that.

When I had my second child, I encountered mastitis and struggled with finding proper treatment for it. My past experiences has taught me that emotional support, knowledge and resources are really valuable for breastfeeding mummies in Singapore, regardless whether you are a new or veteran mother. Every breastfeeding experience with each child is different. I have since discovered my passion in helping breastfeeding mummies due to my experience.

Shana (standing 2nd from right in black) with her batch of then trainee counsellors in 2017.

How do you juggle between your responsibilities at home, at work, and your counselling duties?

As I am occupied with patients on the weekdays, I am scheduled for Facebook counselling on one weekend and WhatsApp counselling on one weekday. There are times where I will need to attend to the needs of my family during the course of my rostered shift; I struggle just like any other working mother as weekends are precious for my family and me. Fortunately, my fellow counsellors will step in and help whenever they are available. Indeed, they make such a great team. From time to time, I also facilitate the breastfeeding workshops run by BMSG together with my other counsellors. Though it has been very busy for all of us, I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie with the BMSG team and we look forward to helping the women we meet along the way.

Interested to become a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with BMSG? Training sessions are conducted once a year. Intake for 2018 has closed but if you are interested in the training for 2019, email your interest to office@breastfeeding.org.sg.