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From mom with love

© Courtesy of Wardina Safiyyah Fadlullah

by Jeswan Kaur 
KUALA LUMPUR, 28 July 2008 - Breastfeeding is all about love, affirms Malaysian celebrity mother Wardina Safiyyah Fadlullah (29) who believes that mom’s milk is the only choice for mothers to nourish their babies.

“Breastfeeding is something I am extremely passionate about. For me, breastfeeding was the only natural thing to do, therefore when my daughter Amna Nafeesa was born five years ago I set my mind to breastfeed her until she reached two,” says the actress, host, columnist and interior designer who breastfed both her daughters and is now looking forward to a repeat of the mother-child bonding with her third baby.

”I am now pregnant with my third child and yes, I am definitely giving this baby ONLY mother’s milk!”

Not falling prey to substitutes

While many a busy mother have succumbed to the massive promotions by milk companies seducing them to opt for formula milk, ironically, Wardina who has multiple professional commitments, is vehement to never fall prey to substitutes, no matter what.

“After reading about how the IQ of breastfed children is six to 10 times higher, I knew what I wanted. There are so many other perks of breastfeeding. Kids begin to walk and talk earlier, they have better social skills, they have better jaw and dental development, they are healthier and happier,” explains Wardina. “The ‘contents’ in breast milk can never be emulated.”

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) confirms Wardina’s convictions citing that breast milk contains all the essential nutrients as well as antibodies that counter infection.
”Scientific evidence from hundreds of studies over the past 25 years has clearly proven that breastfeeding is the optimal way to nourish and nurture infants,” says WABA’s World Breastfeeding Week coordinator Julianna Lim Abdullah. “On the other hand, children who are not exclusively breastfed for six months are more vulnerable to diseases like diabetes type 1 (40 per cent), obesity (25 per cent), leukaemia (30 per cent), diarrhoea (100 per cent), recurring ear infections (60 per cent)  while 25 per cent are more likely to be hospitalised for respiratory infections like asthma and pneumonia.”

Pumping all the time

Wardina’s convictions in the power of breastmilk have challenged her to find creative ways to ensure her babies receive what is best for them.

“Because I was working, the hassle was much more. I had to pump and express my milk ALL THE TIME! I had to plan my time, manage and ‘squeeze’ in my pumping sessions in between my already hectic schedule,” laughs Wardina.

“But I was unfazed. I read as much as I could, talked to other ‘professional’ pumping mothers and got myself used to it. Before going back to work I stored inside the freezer 80 bottles of expressed breast milk and practiced vigorously. I would pump anywhere, everywhere, since in Malaysia workplaces and public places are not that ‘mommy friendly’. I would pump inside the car, the toilet, behind doors – you name it.  I never skipped my pumping sessions and after a while it became second nature and a part of me. I would not go anywhere without my pump or baby!”

For the love of my babies

In the face of such ‘challenges’, where did her faith in breastfeeding come from?

“The Quran encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies for up to two years. My conviction was further boosted by the fact that I wanted only the best for my kids. You can buy and give them expensive toys and send them to the best schools but to me the BEST starts with breastfeeding," adds Wardina.

“It is priceless! One thing for sure, I never regretted the fact that I breastfed my children. Money cannot buy the close bond I share with my daughters because I gave them something that no one else can!”

“The misconception of ‘not producing enough milk’ and ‘formula is just as good’ does not help at all. We need to change this in order to see healthier and happier babies.” 
Supportive family

Wardina’s quest to ensure her daughters received the best nutrition vis-à-vis mother’s milk was made possible by the support shown by her family.

“My family was amazed at how committed I was. They never once suggested that I stop or switch to formula milk because I was constantly talking about the benefits of breastfeeding! I even took a 12 hour lactation course to gain more knowledge and am continuously supporting other friends and colleagues to breastfeed.”

As for support from the father of her babies, Wardina quipped:  “He did not know much. I was the one reading, doing all the explaining and at the same time telling him how lucky he is having a wife so determined and prudent.”





World Breastfeeding Week 2008

      Mother Support:
        Going for Gold

     1 – 7 August 2008

Press Release

UNICEF Malaysia WBW '08 Activities 

Innocenti Breastfeeding Communication Package

Real Lives: Malaysia Breastfeeding


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