Dr. Tengku Nur’ Atiqah – a lactation consultant, medical doctor, and mum-of-three – shares insights about breasfeeding a baby

For new mothers, breastfeeding is often the next natural stage after hours of delivery, but it is not an easy or smooth journey for all mothers to feed their newborn baby.

Mothers should take some time to learn about and prepare for breastfeeding before their bundle of joy arrives. Breastfeeding benefits the baby as it provides the necessary nutrition for the infant.

Recently, World Breastfeeding Week 2022 (WBW) was celebrated with the theme Step Up For Breastfeeding, aimed at educating and supporting mothers.

In conjunction with the theme, Buds Organics, an organic personal care product for mother and baby, held a session for mothers to find out from an expert everything they needed to know about breastfeeding.

The speaker, Dr. Tengku Nur’ Atiqah, a lactation consultant, medical doctor, mother of three children, and the founder of Bondahaven Breastfeeding Specialist and Spa, empowered mothers with knowledge at the session.

We had an email interview with Tengku Nur’ Atiqah to get her insights about nursing with the Sun readers. Besides Tengku Atiqah, Buds Organics Chief Marketing Officer, Edna Lim, also shared with us some information on the company’s products.

What are the changes a mother goes through during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Tengku Atiqah: “Through pregnancy and birth, a mother goes through a significant paradigm shift, physically, emotionally, and mentally. First-time mothers will experience an increase in breast size as her milk glands and milk ducts develop, preparing her body to breastfeed her baby.”

$!It is advisible for new mothers to learn about breastfeeding before the baby arrives. – Freepik

What should a mother know before starting to breastfeed her baby?

Tengku Atiqah: “Breastfeeding is a learned skill! It’s not as automatic and natural as most people assume it to be.

“Attend a breastfeeding class before you deliver your baby, and call for help from a lactation expert as soon as you realise you’re having trouble breastfeeding.”

Lim: “Setting yourself up with the right products to ensure a smooth breastfeeding journey is also key. Do have the Buds Cherished Organics Organic Breast Massage Oil and Nursing Salve handy – we promise you’ll not be able to live without them.

“The go-to products are Buds Cherished Organics’ Precious Newborn set, which consists of the Precious Newborn Head To Toe Cleanser, Precious Newborn Cream, and Baby Bum Balm. The entire Buds Cherished Organics range is preservative free and made with ultra-luxurious organic actives to pamper your little ones. We also have mom products in this range.”

What are the common breastfeeding problems?

Tengku Atiqah: “Breast engorgement, blocked milk ducts, and sore or cracked nipples are all common breastfeeding complications. These commonly happen in the early stages, when mom and baby are both finding their rhythm and getting used to breastfeeding. A simple solution we formulated is our Buds Cherished Organics Organic Breast Massage Oil. For mothers with breast engorgement, we would highly recommend a warm compress to open up the ducts, followed by a breast massage with the Organic Breast Massage Oil to clear out the clog.”

$!Learning about breastfeeding

Does the composition of breast milk change at different stages?

Tengku Atiqah: “One of the most amazing benefits of breast milk is how customised it is – even morning and evening feedings have different content. Your baby’s first milk: the colostrum, is a concentrated liquid rich with antibodies, good bacteria, and even a mild laxative effect, to get rid of the toxic meconium inside your baby’s belly as fast as possible. This then changes to transitional milk after day 3, to mature milk after 10 days. Breast milk content also changes afterwards, according to the baby’s most current needs.”

Where can you find breastfeeding support in Malaysia?

Tengku Atiqah: “If you are near Bangi, you can come to Bondahaven Breastfeeding Specialist & Spa for help. Otherwise, nearby Klinik Kesihatan or hospitals might have a lactation team. Facebook support groups such as The Breastfeeding Advocates Network and Happy Breastfeeding Malaysia provide a wealth of information and a network of lactation counsellors around Malaysia.”

What tips would you give to new mothers who are breastfeeding for the first time?

Tengku Atiqah: “If you are new to breastfeeding and are not sure whether you are doing the right thing, check if your baby is fully relaxed after his feed. If breastfeeding is not painful, your baby is sleeping soundly, gaining weight steadily, and has about 6 wet diapers per day (for age 1 week or older) – rest assured, your baby is getting enough milk.”