We’re excited to be taking questions from our readers as part of our new series: Let’sCHAT! This week we had a question for PurelyB co-founder and COO, Stephanie Looi — a question many of our mummy readers can relate to! We caught up with Steph at KL’s premier co-working space The Co. @ The Row and are really excited to share with you Steph’s tips and trick on balancing work, health and pumping on-the-go.
As a mother I always want to provide the best for my baby, but as a busy working woman sometimes I feel like my hectic schedule is getting in the way of that. Do my unhealthy eating habits affect the quality of my breast milk? And with Asia being so conservative, how can I pump in public when I’m on the go without feeling embarrassed? But most importantly, how in the world can I balance it all without going crazy?
Be Kind To Yourself!
Mindy, I hear you! Trust me! I know what you're saying… but here’s an important tip for working mothers: Be kind to yourself.
With 4+ year old child and a 10 month old baby, I juggle my time between my business and managing my household. Where’s my “me-time” right?
From experience, I’ve learnt to put aside all that worrying about, “how to schedule everything,” and, To. Let. It. Go. I know, easier said than done!
But, trust yourself and do what feels right and what works for YOU.
Mindy! You can’t be so hard on yourself! At the end of the day, trust me, everything will fall into place. Here are some of my personal tips and tricks on finding that balance.
My Top 3 Tips For Being Nourished On-The-Go
Busy days can be tough and it’s hard not to give into cravings. Skipping meals, irregular eating schedules and overindulging — I’ve been there! While your eating habits won’t affect your baby’s milk, it will definitely take it’s toll on your body. Here are 3 ways I keep that mummy-work-life balance.
1) Hassle-Free Healthy Meal Deliveries
When time is not on your side and cooking isn’t an option, get a healthy meal delivered straight to you! There are so many options to choose from. For example, In Kuala Lumpur, there is dahmakan and UberEats.
Pro tip: Find one that delivers to your hood and have their menu saved on your phone so you don’t have to go searching for it when you need it.
2) Organise Meetings At Healthy Places
Meetings, meetings, meetings! Yes, as a busy working mum, sometimes meetings run through meal times. So why not schedule your meeting at a healthy café? My favourites are Real Food and Sala, both in Kuala Lumpur.
Pro Tip: Pre-search a few healthy cafe options so you have them on the tip of your tongue when someone asks for a meeting. This way you never have to scramble for an answer when you’re asked, “So where should we meet?”
3) Stock Up On That Healthy Snack Stash
As a breastfeeding mother, I am constantly hungry throughout the day. To combat my unpredictable appetite I always have snacks on me. Open my bag and you’ll find granola bars (I love Amazin’ Graze), cut fruit and fresh juices (in a drip-proof bottle).
Pro Tip: Leave some snacks by the door so you will always remember to grab it on your way out. Also try and find snacks that will fit into your bag so you don’t have to hand hold it throughout the day.
The Big Breastfeeding Misconception
As a mother, you might be thinking, “If I’m not eating well — the quality of breastmilk I produce for my baby will be affected, right?”
One of the wonders of breastmilk is that your body knows how to cater to your baby’s needs. The quality of your breastmilk is not determined by your diet – whether you’re eating healthy or not.
While the milk for your baby won’t be affected, YOUR body will feel the effects of unhealthy eating habits. To produce all that breastmilk mothers’ need to ensure they are constantly nourished otherwise they will feel drained and it may affect their health in other ways. For me I notice that if I skip meals when I’m busy, I start feeling sluggish, tired and out of stamina, and it puts me in a cranky mood!
PUMPING BREASTMILK IN PUBLIC 101
My 10 month old baby is exclusively breastfed and that means I never miss a pump! This doesn’t stop me from running my company or travelling for work and it shouldn’t stop you from doing whatever you need to do everyday either!
Don’t Feel Embarrassed
It’s easy to feel embarrassed about pumping in public but instead, you should be proud! As a mother you are simply providing the best for your baby, and that is something not just anyone else can do. While there is no reason to be ashamed, here are a few ways I find make the process easier.
Meet Your Best Friend: The Nursing Cover
With a nursing cover, there’s no need to worry about exposing yourself when pumping. Using my trusty cover, I pump everywhere from restaurants to my car, and even at work where my colleagues don’t even realise I’m doing it!
Ask and You Shall Receive
Constantly travelling, I plan my trips in advance as I’m always pumping. From my experience people are more than willing to help cater to breastfeeding mothers. Hotels and stewardesses are happy to help me store my breastmilk, so don’t be shy to ask for help!
Being able to provide all the nourishment your child needs while juggling work and life is something to be celebrated. Remember, trust yourself and take care of yourself!
So now you’ve heard my tips, I’d love to hear yours! Leave a comment below for how you manage to keep that balance between work, health and breastfeeding. What are some struggles you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
We made this video with Steph at our partners’, The Co. You can experience their co-working space at The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur. To find out more about this premium workspace, click here.