What did Zoe Tay do with her excess breast milk?
Celebrity Mummy Zoe Tay revealed that after her first child that she had an overabundant milk supply. So what did she decide to do with the extra milk? Read on to find out more.
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.
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.
She advised mothers to eat a healthy and balanced diet when breastfeeding as it can affect the quality of the breast milk. To ensure she got balanced nutrients, Zoe Tay said her doctor recommended a health supplement to be taken together with a balanced diet.
She added that sometimes you may face obstacles when breastfeeding like insufficient supply, pain and tiredness. But it is important to have the 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!
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 even got creative and used 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
Following what Zoe mentioned earlier, some mothers have trouble breastfeeding due to several reasons like insufficient milk production due to the baby being premature or baby being underweight and not latching on properly in order to stimulate milk production.
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 neighbor 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.
Disadvantages of milk sharing
There are a lot 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. But the newer 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. She explains that 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 adds: “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.”
Is there a safe way for milk sharing? Find out on the next page..
How you can share milk safely
- Be informed of all the advantages and disadvantages of doing so before you embark on finding a donor. Even though the donor is a friend ask to be informed about her medical history. You can also them to consent to a blood test to screen for major illnesses.
- Share your plans with your baby’s pediatrician 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.
- Be informed about breast milk storage times and temperatures before you use expressed milk.
We hope this information was useful to 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.