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Jun 06

What are their future plans?

Phang says:  Well, simply to do more to promote breastfeeding. As we already have over 40 members, we are in the midst of splitting into two smaller groups. Though Lilian and I will be active in both groups, we are preparing a new leader to lead a smaller group so that each member s needs are met.

 Other than getting the corporate sector to take part in our gatherings, some members are interested to become breastfeeding counsellors. So I am helping to enquire about the necessary training needed. Who knows, if there are enough members, we might eventually be able to visit hospitals to encourage breastfeeding amongst new mothers!

Sheela Jayaraj, 34, of Klang, a mother of two boys, was invited to join the online Malaysian nursing mums website in February after writing to Chan.

 We are all mums who are very passionate about breastfeeding and raising our children in a loving and healthy environment. We support one another and try to meet once in a while to discuss various subjects. Our children also get to play with one another, she says.

The online group is beneficial to new mothers who are trying to breastfeed their newborns.  Many new mums give up easily if they have no support from anyone. There is no one to guide them on how to get the baby to latch on correctly or how to build up her milk supply, says Sheela.

 Experienced mothers can also transfer a wealth of information and knowledge to new mothers via the Net. Working mothers who wish to breastfeed can learn how to express milk so that caregivers can give breast milk to the babies, she says.

Members don t just discuss topics on breastfeeding but also share their thoughts on topics like cooking, hobbies and problems in their lives.

 It is a wonderful website and I have never looked back since I joined, Sheela says.  It has definitely changed my life for the better as I have caring friends from all walks of life to support and cheer me up when I am feeling blue.

Chan Hui Min, 35, a mother of two and a homemaker, thinks the online breastfeeding group is  fabulous because mothers no longer feel that distance is a hindrance to communicating with one another.

 We have mums in Malacca, Muar and Batu Pahat who have no access to lactation consultants. The group provides peer support based on our own experiences. Other than know-how support, we also give moral support to nursing mums and mums-to-be, she says.

 Since members are women from diverse backgrounds and cultures, we have been able to get different perspectives on subjects that are brought up for discussion.