Breast milk is best for your baby

Breast milk is best for babies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. At around six months of age (but not before 4 months), infants should receive nutritionally adequate and age-appropriate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.

Abbott Singapore fully recognises breast milk’s primacy, value and superiority and supports exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO.

The content on this website is intended as general information for Singaporean residents only and should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice from your healthcare practitioner. The HPB recommends that infants start on age-appropriate complementary foods at around 6 months, whilst continuing breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond to meet their evolving nutritional requirements. If no longer breastfeeding, toddlers can switch to full cream milk after 12 months. This should be complemented by a good variety of solid foods from the four main food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and alternatives). For more information on the nutritional requirements of infants and young children, please visit



Preconception Care

The basics of self-care during pregnancy

If you are planning to have a baby, preconception care is important. This involves assessing the woman's overall health and identifying and being aware of any problems that might affect the mother and baby. Preconception care should ideally begin a year before conception. Make an appointment with your doctor for a preconception medical assessment.

Medical History

During your preconception medical assessment, you will be asked to give a detailed medical history of any chronic medical conditions. Because of your medical condition, you may need special care during pregnancy.

You will also be asked in detail regarding past pregnancies, complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, premature labour, premature birth, birth defects and pregnancy losses (miscarriages and stillbirths). Share any concerns or fears you may have with your doctor. If you had a problem in a past pregnancy, it does not necessarily mean the problem will recur. Most women go on to have normal pregnancies and healthy babies.

Genetic Disorders

Inform your doctor of genetic disorders that run in your family. Based on your age, family history and ethnic group, genetic screening and counselling can help you find out your risk of having a child with a birth defect and give you the opportunity to discuss the options.


Let your doctor know if you have had previous vaccinations, especially German measles, hepatitis B and chickenpox. Vaccinations can prevent some infections and it is important to be vaccinated before becoming pregnant as some vaccines are not safe for you during pregnancy.


You will also be asked about the method of contraception you use. If you have been taking birth control pills, you will be advised to stop taking them two to three months before trying to conceive to allow your uterus to go through normal cycles before you become pregnant.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

If you are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), you should inform your doctor as these can increase the risk of infertility and other pregnancy complications. Early treatment may help prevent the infection from being passed on to the unborn baby.

Lifestyle Habits

It is important to live a healthy lifestyle when you want to become pregnant. Discuss with your doctor your diet plan, exercise regime and how to manage your stress level. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs as these substances can cause infertility. Your spouse's lifestyle too can also affect your pregnancy. Some studies have found that if your spouse smokes, drinks or uses drugs, it can lower his fertility by damaging his sperm. Living with someone who smokes also means that you are likely to breathe in harmful amounts of second-hand smoke.

Immunisation for Preventive Care

If you are planning to have a baby, talk to your doctor about immunisation. Check that you have the following vaccinations as these will help protect you and your unborn baby against the following diseases.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine
  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
  • Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccine

healthy confinement recipe 1:
Braised chicken in ginger wolfberry milk

Credit: Gleneagles Singapore and Chef Catan Tan, Gleneagles Hospital Singapore

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