Lactation consultants and resources for new mums in Shanghai

If you’ve made the decision to breastfeed but are finding it difficult, Shanghai has both resources and people to help

Photograph: Kevin Liang via Unsplash
There’s a lot to prepare for when you’re pregnant. And when it comes to breastfeeding, some mums-to-be think it’s something they’ll just deal with when the time comes. Nursing a new baby can go smoothly and easily, but more than half of new mums find that when the time does come, they in fact don’t just magically know what to do says American-Sino Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Shlomit Entes. She’s a paediatric nurse and lactation consultant – basically a woman’s personal coach on all things breastfeeding – in charge of prenatal classes and at-home visits.

If you’ve made the decision to breastfeed but are finding it difficult, Shanghai has both resources and people. Here experts from two women’s hospitals in the city explain how working with a lactation consultant can help.

Redleaf Hospital

Discomfort or even pain when breastfeeding is common among new mums, and even in those who’ve had babies in the past, but it doesn’t have to be Ferguson Women’s Health’s Tara Yang tells us. She’s one of three lactation consultants at the women’s clinic, which emphasises teaching the latest techniques in breastfeeding like how to best help a baby attach to the breast, which can minimise most painful conditions.

‘We have even had mums come to us with their third and fourth babies, shocked at how [newer practices] made their experience completely different,’ she says. ‘New mums can be surprised that breastfeeding, although natural, doesn’t always come naturally to all mums or babies.’ Her team is prepared to help mums in loads of different situations successfully breastfeed. That means not only helping through a mum’s first few weeks of nursing, but also helping her prepare for the end of maternity leave, coaching in the process of relactation (or bringing back milk supply in women who’ve stopped nursing), or even initiating lactation in adoptive mothers. 

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155 Songyuan Lu

American-Sino OB/GYN Service

This private hospital’s lactation classes get new mums comfortable with what to expect from breastfeeding, and offer tools and solutions to common hiccups. With an extra bit of knowledge, Entes says that in her experience, most breastfeeding issues are easily resolved. As for when to reach out for help? ‘Right after birth or just when you feel you might have a problem – the sooner the better. Lots of mums talk with friends, have WeChat groups and generally can feel prepared, but when the time actually comes, sometimes things can be more challenging.’

Entes, who also works as a private parenting coach for the early years, says that it’s incredibly important to know that it’s natural to face challenges breastfeeding. ‘It’s extremely important to get good support from partners, friends or anyone who can help.’ Lactation classes themselves offer community, something that Entes says international women or those living in Shanghai away from their hometowns might not have. The private hospital’s Mom’s Club also offers group classes on breastfeeding and postpartum care among others.

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800 Huashan Lu

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