August 2017: Big Latch On

By Melissa Anderson Kirwin

 

Big Latch On, credits to Ash D Photography

I could not think of a better way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week than to be a part of BMSG’s Big Latch On event. The morning was spent with some amazing women and their families all with the common goal of supporting one another throughout their breastfeeding journey and raising awareness on the breastfeeding support resources available within the community.

My four-month-old daughter, Luca and I attended the event and were amazed at the warm collective spirit of the organizers and participants. Aside from the primary reason to participate in the actual Big Latch On event, we all were there to share our experiences, exchange information and support one another on the topics of breastfeeding, pregnancy, childbirth and baby wearing.

Luca is my second child and breastfeeding experience. As I was preparing for her birth, my ego and my personal successes with my firstborn son had me eagerly awaiting another “successful” breastfeeding experience with my second child. Mother nature definitely humbled me this time round with engorgement problems, clogged milk ducts and forceful let downs – none of which I encountered with my first child.

At the event, I was able to discuss some of these issues with the BMSG Breastfeeding Counsellors. They provided me with tips on how to manage forceful letdowns and make the initial part of a breastfeeding session more comfortable for my baby girl. I learnt that by lying down or leaning back, gravity is able to work in your favour by slowing the flow of your milk. Additionally, a baby boy may nurse more vigorously than a baby girl. So my “forceful” letdown three years ago may not have been so strong for my son whose appetite may have better matched my flow of milk. I was also reassured that as my daughter gets older, she will be better able to handle a letdown. As I was pondering on the drastic differences between my breastfeeding experiences, one counselor even mentioned that the caloric content of breast milk made for boys is higher than girls. The human body is indeed amazing on how breastmilk is tailor made for each baby.

I was also able to spend some time with the husband and wife team from Warabee, local baby wearing experts and distributors of ring slings, wraps and other baby wearing products. Not only did they have the baby carriers available from their company but they also had a huge sample of baby carriers from other companies to try on. They are truly dedicated in educating on baby wearing and finding the best possible carrier that fits the needs of parents and their babies. They spent time with me and assisted me in trying on a few carriers with Luca to see which one fit us the best. My husband and I currently own a handful of baby carriers and never felt that any of them were completely comfortable for either of our babies or us. With the new expansion in family size from one child to two, comfortable baby wearing is now essential for us as we trek the streets of Singapore. The partners from Warabee helped me figure out why none of our current carriers felt right and provided me with a few options that felt much more comfortable than any other carrier I have tried before.

It was such an amazing opportunity to participate in The Big Latch On event. Through BMSG’s efforts, all participants were able to contribute to raising breastfeeding awareness and support breastfeeding families across our community and at the global level (by being counted in the Global Big Latch On participant numbers). I walked away as an inspired breastfeeding mother and I cannot wait for BMSG’s next event on supporting women and their families in their breastfeeding journey!

Do go to our Facebook page to check out the whole album for the Big Latch On!