Monday, April 26, 2010

Breastfeeding & Babywearing - why they remain the best ways to bond with your baby

(The following was first published on our FaceBook notes on August 24, 2009.)

We had the good fortune of being invited by the Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group (S) to be a GOLD Sponsor for their World Breastfeeding Week event held last Saturday at the Health Promotion Board in Singapore.

Mdm Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek Holdings (also PM Lee Hsien Loong's wife) and guest-of-honour shared with the audience in her speech about her futile breastfeeding experience. Apparently the lack of experience and knowledge led to her being unable to breastfeed her child when she contracted chickenpox shortly after birth based on the advice given by her doctor. The reason was that they wanted to prevent her baby from catching the chickenpox virus as well. Unfortunately her baby did and when she tried to restart breastfeeding to pass on her antibodies to her baby through the milk, she found she couldn't despite her best efforts. The only consolation (as quoted from The Sunday Times dates 23 August 2009), she spent the next week with baby on her chest to provide a comfortable skin-to-skin contact while he recovered from his chickenpox.

We totally admire her efforts despite her heavy schedule to provide skin-to-skin contact for her baby to aid her baby in his recovery. Even though it was a pity that breastfeeding efforts was hampered, she has brought up a very important point to help babies thrive. That is, skin-to-skin contact.

Today, most talks when it comes to early childhood parenting will speak about bonding. And what really is bonding? If one were to check the dictionary, you will find that the explanation of the word "bond" really means something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together. And that in the parenting sense, can broadly be translated into skin-to-skin contact. By creating a good bond between parent and child in the early years, this can spell a lot of benefits in the long route of parenting by means of trust, confidence-building, high EQ, better IQ and so on. (You can read more about benefits of bonding in most parenting books.)

Babywearing, like Breastfeeding often provides the necessary ingredients for creating that special bond - because your baby needs to be held close to you for both actions to happen. While breastfeeding can only be done by a mother who directly breastfeeds her baby, babywearing can be done by daddies, mommies, grandparents or even other caregivers to help them bond with a new baby. Best of all, even if a mother for some reason could not breastfeed, there is no reason not to be able to create that special bond. With babywearing, all this is still possible.

Happy Babywearing!

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