Popular Singaporean actress Zoe Tay is married to Singapore Air Force pilot Philip Chionh and the couple has three sons aged 7, 5 and 2. She is also known to have said that if she had her way she would have another baby. This 45-year-old celebrity mum is also a strong advocate for breastfeeding.
Zoe Tay – This beautiful celebrity is also a strong advocate for breastfeeding
In an interview given after she had her third son Nathan, this veteran actress talked about the benefits of breastfeeding and how she enjoyed it. She says that it is natural for first-time mothers to feel apprehension, but once you get going you can be proud that you are giving your child the best. She also added that Breastfeeding helps to heal the mother’s pregnancy wounds faster, aids in slimming down and lowers the chances of breast cancer.
Zoe Tay says breast milk is the best for babies
She advised mothers to eat a healthy and balanced diet when breastfeeding as it can affect the quality of breast milk. Zoe Tay took health supplements along with a balanced diet as recommended by her doctors.
She added that sometimes you may face obstacles when breastfeeding like insufficient supply, pain and tiredness. But it is important to have support and encouragement from people around you; especially your husband. While celebrity mum Jamie Yeo faced similar obstacles in breastfeeding her baby, Zoe had quite the opposite situation after she had her first baby. She had an overabundance of breast milk!
Zoe Tay says she had an overabundant milk supply
She had so much milk; she says she didn’t know what to do with it. But in the end, she found worthy ways of using it. She offered it to children of her friends – who gladly accepted, and she checked with her doctor so see if the hospital needed any. She found other creative ways like using it as a facial mask, shampoo and shower gel.
It is widely known why giving your baby breast milk trumps giving them formula, but do we know enough about sharing breast milk? Read onto the next page to find out more…
Why Do Mums Turn to Milk Sharing
Some mothers have trouble breastfeeding due to several reasons like insufficient milk production, premature baby, underweight child or and not latching on properly in order to stimulate milk production.
Some babies who are born prematurely don’t latch on immediately to stimulate milk flow
On the other hand, like Zoe Tay there are also mums who find they have too much breast milk and do not want to waste it by throwing it away, instead find it a better option to donate the expressed milk. This is why many mums turn to milk sharing.
Like Zoe Tay did, if you choose to share your excess breast milk with a friend or neighbour it is called ‘cross sharing’. However is it advisable to know your friend’s medical background before you enter an agreement to share breast milk. Before we come to the disadvantages of milk-sharing, we must understand the several positives of breast milk and why it is recommended.
Benefits of breast milk
Breast milk is nature’s perfect baby food. It contains immunity-boosting antibodies and healthy enzymes. WHO and UNICEF recommend that children initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. This means that no other foods or liquids are to be provided, including water.
- Protects against allergies and eczema
- Makes vaccines more effective
- Could prevent obesity
- causes less stomach upset and constipation as compared to formula milk
Disadvantages of milk sharing
There are a lot of diverse opinions on the subject of sharing breast milk. There are many ‘milk banks’ in countries like the US and Australia that follow strict standards and screening of donors. The new trend is websites that skip the middle man – the bank in this case – and put mums directly in touch with the manufacturer (so to speak!).
Singapore does not have a regulated milk bank currently. However Human milk 4 human babies – Singapore is a thriving network that puts donor mums in touch with mums needing breast milk for their babies. Since the mothers get in touch privately there is no official screening that happens in these cases.
Dr Yong Tze Tein, a senior consultant at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Singapore General Hospital commented about this subject in The Sunday Times in October 2011. She stated “the health risks of sharing unregulated milk outweighs the benefits of breast milk. Since breast milk is also a form of bodily secretion, diseases such as HIV may be transmitted from the milk to the baby, just like through the exchange of bodily fluids via sexual contact”
She highlighted, “In the absence of such regulations, mothers who share milk through informal networks run the risks of their baby being infected by such diseases and also food poisoning from the improper handling of the expressed milk. Hence I discourage mothers from sharing milk.”
How you can share milk safely
It is important that the donor’s baby is of a similar age to your baby
- Stay informed of all the advantages and disadvantages of doing so before you embark on finding a donor. Even though the donor is a friend, be informed about her medical history. You can also get them to consent to a blood test to screen for major illnesses.
- Share your plans with your baby’s paediatrician so they can advise you on how to use donated breast milk safely.
- It is important that the donor’s baby is of a similar age to your baby.
- Have full information about breast milk storage times and temperatures before you use expressed milk.
We hope this information was useful for you. How do you feel about milk sharing? Take our poll to give us your opinion on milk sharing.
If you have experience in milk sharing, please do leave us a comment below.
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