Hello Sylvia! We hear you’re an expert in nutrition and breastfeeding concerns. Please share with us your story of how it all started!
After completing a degree in Food Science and Nutrition, I spent a few years working for a food company and the Health Promotion Board. I learnt alot about food production and public health nutrition management.
In my last position, I was blessed with a chance to work for an MNC with its core business in food and nutrition. For the last eight years, I was in charge of customer relations and engagement. I was soaked in the business of helping parents understand nutrition and eating well.
Although I loved every day of my job, I was yearning to spend more time with my family. I decided to start a nutrition consultancy that allowed me to pursue my passion of helping new parents with nutrition.
Throughout my career, I met many new mums who had difficulty establishing breastfeeding. As a breastfeeding mum to three kids, the challenges of latching and creating enough supply for our milk guzzlers were so real. That’s why I took time to complete a certification in breastfeeding management so that I could help mums prepare and give the best nutrition to their baby.
Hence, Mother’s Love Nutrition Consultancy was founded out of love. A mother’s love for spending time nurturing her 3 children and the love/compassion for helping fellow parents with nutrition and breastfeeding. Loving everyday of my job!!
How do you hope to help fellow mums with what you do?
I want to help parents understand the importance of breastfeeding, good nutrition and how diet has an impact on their child’s life. I especially love helping parents prepare for successful breastfeeding, weaning right and tackling picky eating in children.
What are some common queries about nutrition that pregnant mums face and seek help with?
Many mums are worried that their diet is not healthy enough and resort to eating supplements. They are not aware that natural food sources are better absorbed by our bodies.
Some pregnant mums have no appetite at all or vomit often during the first and second trimesters. Keeping a food diary can help identify the triggers.
Also, many new mums don’t know that their bodies require more nutrients during the lactation stage, and they tend to neglect themselves after baby is born. Good nutrition during the lactation stage can not only help mum recover faster, it can also help mum produce better quality breastmilk for their precious bubs.
What is your typical day like at work?
When I left my full time job to start my nutrition consultancy business this year, I am blessed with super flexi work hours.
My mornings are mainly dedicated to the family: making breakfast, getting kids fed and ready for school and playing with my toddler. In the afternoons, I work on my weekly nutrition or lactating related posts for the website and Facebook, informational videos for my YouTube channel, put together product reviews or developing workshops for my corporate clients. During peak days, my ‘OT’ starts around 9.30pm till late.
Breastfeeding is a challenging journey for mums. Do you have any advice for breastfeeding mums who need a cheerleader?
Many mums doubt themselves and their ability to breastfeed. They often ask, “What if I don’t have breastmilk?”
Breastfeeding will be easier if you prepare yourself better. Have confidence and perseverance. Believe in yourself and know that you are providing your baby the best nutrition.
With 3 young children, how do you juggle work and family?
I learnt not to wear myself out by seeking the perfect balance. Accept the fact that a scale goes up and down.
When I was working full time, I had plenty of guilt trips. I told myself that striking a balance every single day is simply not possible and I started to go easier on myself.
When baby number 3 came along, I was a struggling juggler. I decided to engage a full time helper after returning to work, and she has been a great help. I could focus on my kids while she helped me with all the housework!
Before that, my sticky #3 would be strapped on me while I was doing house work. Sometimes I even had to latch her on to keep her quiet while cooking dinner. I try to teach my kids independence and to care for themselves at an early stage so that I can focus on other tasks. I was so relieved when they are toilet-trained and can shower on their own. Can you imagine how much time is spent in the toilet showering 3 kids and wiping bum bums before that? :)
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love helping mums and dads understand nutrition. Every day is different; I could be helping to tackle picky eaters, helping new mums gain confidence in breastfeeding and not lose focus or hope during the crucial initial weeks.
Do you have any tips on how to manage a child who’s selectively picky on certain foods on different days?
In general, picky eating can be prevented, starting from eating a good variety of food during the breastfeeding stage. Feeding baby with the right amount and appropriate solid foods is crucial too!
Selective picky eating needs to be tackled with patience (e.g. letting baby try that food for more than 10 times), satisfying baby’s urge to chew and offer age-appropriate textures. We should also cut baby some slack and only introduce new food when baby is in a happy mood.
If you could change one thing about motherhood, what would that be?
I’ll like a 48-hour day please! That’s not possible at all, so I ask for help from family often. Putting too much on our shoulders and trying to be a tough cookie mum will lead us to burn out quicker, and that affects our emotional well being too. Yay to guilt-trip free motherhood!
Indeed, nutrition starts before our baby arrives, and eating well for our babies is a simple step to take for our children’s health.
Thank you, Sylvia, for spreading the love of a mother to other babies and families in Singapore! It definitely takes another mum to understand the new mum challenges, and the right support can make a difference in their lives too.