Lactation expert empowers other mums after breastfeeding saved her
Widely regarded as the "Baby Whisperer" as her touch can soothe any crying infant, senior lactation consultant Wong Boh Boi is a household name in the industry.
With Mother's Day round the corner, Dr Wong shared how helping mums breastfeed became her calling.
She developed pre-eclampsia about halfway through her pregnancy with her first child, which led to an emergency caesarean section at 33 weeks in a hospital in Britain.
She was then admitted into the intensive care unit due to being in a sedated state from having high blood pressure.
Dr Wong said the medical team continued to bring her baby son to her to breastfeed.
She told The New Paper: "When I woke up after 10 days, I asked the nurses if I could start breastfeeding, but they burst out laughing and said I had been feeding the entire time since the operation."
Dr Wong believes her baby's cry and touch saved her life.
"The baby nuzzling up to its mother is a way of showing her love, and this triggers the mother's brain to respond to the baby's needs" she said.
"That is the reason I woke up and the reason it became a passion of mine to help new mothers with breastfeeding."
Dr Wong, who is in her 60s, had been studying nursing in Warrington and decided to focus on breastfeeding after her experience with childbirth.
She studied midwifery in Manchester and completed psychiatric and neonatal ICU training in Cheshire. She then pursued her doctorate at National University of Singapore.
After about 30 years of experience in both clinical and hospital settings and spearheading ParentCraft centres within local hospitals, she finally set up her own lactation and baby care consultancy this year.
Dr Wong said: "New parents are bombarded with so many things, so I decided to create tailored programmes that best suits their needs.
"I am able to help them overcome any fears and develop the confidence to help themselves through the journey."
Dr Wong added: "Practice is important - assess yourself and find what works for you.
"Make sure you have enough rest, a well-balanced diet, endurance and enough support. Always start with skin-to-skin to allow the baby to get familiar (with you) and don't distract them while they are feeding."
And for women struggling to breastfeed, she tells them to take a step back.
"Observe yourself and see what the setback is. Don't feel pressure from others - they mean well but are not always right. Seek professional help instead to have a thorough assessment for yourself and the baby," she said.
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