August 1st to 7th was World Breastfeeding Week – a global initiative to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. In line with this goal, Medela, Parenthood Media Network and Sunway Medical Centre joined forces to spearhead a Breastfeeding Bootcamp for parents-to-be and new parents.

The Medela company has always been a proud advocate for exclusive breastfeeding. Eric Lee, Business Development Manager of Medela Singapore, said, “Through the dissemination of information, the better education of consumers, healthcare practitioners and our retail partners, we have been able to bring forth innovative products that help mothers gain confidence in being able to provide the best nutrition support to her baby for a longer period of time.”

Emceed by the illustrious Hannah Lo, founder of SuperWomen 360, a movement dedicated to female empowerment, the breastfeeding bootcamp was attended by more than 200 parents. During the event, professionals from Sunway Medical Centre shared the A-Z on breastfeeding, which included valuable information on:

• How to successfully latch your baby
• How to ensure you have a good milk supply
• When you can start using a breast pump; and
• How to store expressed breastmilk

They also shared a nutrition guide for breastfeeding mothers and cooking demos on preparing milk boosting meals.Other fun activities included a lucky draw and two rounds of the Medela Challenge. Up for grabs were amazing prizes, such as the Recaro Pro Ride Hero worth RM1599; the Bounceroo worth RM999; and the Babyhome Dream Little Cot valued at RM1499. In the Medela Challenge, four fathers were pitted against each other to see who could install a dismantled Medela pump. Two winners walked away with the Medela Mini Electric breastpump worth RM559 each.

The Secrets of Successful Breastfeeding

Tioh Pui Youn, Sunway Medical Centre Lactation Counsellor, kicked off the bootcamp lecture series with the first topic on the Secrets of Successful Breastfeeding. She shared a wealth of information on: 
- colostrum, mother’s first milk
- transitional breast milk
- the myths surrounding breastfeeding
- the advantages of breastfeeding
- tips on how to start breastfeeding, including how to get a proper latch
- how to know if your baby is feeding enough
- understanding your baby’s breastfeeding cues

How Do I Store Expressed Breast Milk?

Dr. Cham Weng Tarng, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Rheumatologist at Sunway Medical Centre followed with another equally valuable lecture on how to use stored expressed breast milk. He also covered the best ways to store expressed best milk as well as how long it can be kept.

Mummy Eats Right, Baby Grows Well and Cooking Demo

In this topic, Ms Saw Bee Suan, Assistant Manager of Sunway Medical Centre’s Dietetics and Nutrition Services, talked about sample meal plans for breastfeeding moms. She also discussed how to introduce complementary foods when your baby is ready to start on solids. The session was concluded by a chef demonstration on how to prepare simple meals, such as chicken barley soup and tuna sushi sandwich.

Car Seat Safety 101 – How to Choose the Correct Child Restraint

After the tea break, Jchanet Tan, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and founding member of Child Passenger Safety Malaysia (CPSM), imparted vital information on car safety for children.

Choosing the Right Pump

Sister Elizabeth Richard from Blissful Parenting completed the lecture series with the final topic on how to choose the right pump for expressing breastmilk. 

Feedback from the Participants
For a registration fee of just RM50 per couple which included lunch and a door gift, many participants were amazed by the value they received from the bootcamp. 

One participant said, “As a father, as a husband, we shouldn’t just support our wives emotionally. We can actually participate in the process, like how to clean up the breast pump, store the breast milk - all these small matters, we as fathers can actually help out.”

“If you don’t get it from reading somewhere, you might want a session like this that can teach you everything in one shot,” added another participant.