Feeding techniques important
The low rate of breastfeeding exclusively for six months - at just 1 per cent - is a worrying trend, said Mrs Wong Boh Boi, Senior Lactation Consultant at Thomson ParentCraft Centre.
"Many mothers don't have the right knowledge or confidence to breastfeed," she said.
The National Breastfeeding survey conducted by the Health Promotion Board, found that while most women knew the benefits of breastfeeding and attempted nursing their babies, only 42 per cent of the infants were getting any breast milk at six months.
The survey, which looked at breastfeeding in Singapore and the problems faced by nursing mothers, involved 1,962 new mothers from nine hospitals. These women gave birth between July and September 2011.
Mrs Wong has 25 years of experience in helping lactating mums encourages women to seek help early to learn the right techniques and build their confidence in breastfeeding.
Returning to work after four months of maternity leave usually stops some mothers from continuing as well, she said.
"Some mothers feel stressed because of work demands and their milk supply decreases. Some don't have proper facilities at work and have to resort to pumping at the toilet. It's very sad.
"Workplace support and education about breastfeeding is important for a future generation of healthy children," Mrs Wong said.