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News, updates, thoughts & more

"My initial entry into motherhood in the summer of 2020 was a beautiful one; smooth, well supported, calm, despite the chaos of the third wave of COVID swirling outside. Hugo and I were in a lovely bubble for the first three days. But my journey into breastfeeding was a different matter and beset with issues that I hadn't even considered or knew were possible, odd, you might think, given my background as a former practising physician! But Yvonne was a wonderful balm to my anxieties and challenges. Her reassuring presence on our first day home with our daughter was all that I needed to feel that I was doing alright for a first time mum without family to help, but it was her ongoing, much much needed support during some very tough weeks ahead, support that only my own mother could have provided, that made me realise just how vital her services were to new families in Hong Kong. The more that I spoke to people, the more that I came to learn of the legend of Yvonne Heavyside and how many people's lives she had touched and helped. Her praises were sung, and my praises were added to that growing list!

So when she quietly disclosed to me that she was retiring, I was stunned. She couldn't possibly leave us, I'd told everyone about her, we needed her! But by then my curiosity about breastfeeding and everything involved with it was truly piqued, something that I had mentioned to Yvonne during one of her postnatal visits with us, and I wanted to learn more; how could I help others with their breastfeeding journeys in the future? So it was such a shock and a huge honour indeed when Yvonne asked if I would consider taking over the reins of The Family Zone and continue the work she had started. There is a funny parallel between the origins of The Family Zone and its new beginnings, and I can only look back at last year, my first year as a mother, and be grateful that my challenges brought Yvonne, Peter, Hugo and I together. I'm so thankful for Yvonne's help, kindness and empathy, and I hope that we do her proud and continue her legacy in supporting the next generation of families through their journeys."

Dr. Michelle Ng

MBBS BSc (London)

Certified Lactation Counsellor & Postpartum Doula (CBI)

"It gave me great pleasure to hand over the reins of The Family Zone (TFZ) to Michelle and Hugo.

I first set up a postnatal home visiting service during very similar times to those that prevail now, at the start of SARS. I was working at The Matilda International Hospital as a Health Visitor, running their Well Baby Clinic and the Mum and Baby Group. At that time many new parents were nervous to go near hospitals or doctor’s surgeries, to avoid catching SARS. This resulted in many experiencing isolation and anxiety and so they requested home visits.

My long-suffering husband started to help with running the company and over the years we added new professional associates and developed new services.

One thing I continuously noticed was that many of my clients were very anxious about leaving their babies and little ones with domestic helpers so, listening carefully to their concerns, I tailored a Paediatric First Aid & CPR and Childcare domestic helper course, something which proved very relevant to Hong Kong life. Along with the Paediatric First Aid & CPR for parents, these courses have always been extremely popular, often with waiting lists.

When I initially started teaching TFZ Ante-natal classes, they were huge! Sometimes the attendance was 30 couples per course, but happily now those group classes are much more intimate, enabling plenty of questions and discussion.

The Family Zone evolved from a one-woman practice to become a busy provider of many services catering to the needs of parents from the antenatal period and beyond.

As you can imagine TFZ was very much my baby, and as time was rapidly approaching for us to leave Hong Kong I felt sad that we had not found anyone we felt comfortable could continue the services on offer. Then, almost miraculously, at the 11th hour, I met Hugo and Michelle, and I knew immediately, even before they approached me, that they were the ones! Between them I saw that they have the perfect combination of qualities, energy and enthusiasm and I am thrilled that they have embraced the work of The Family Zone with the values of acceptance, warmth, love and kindness."

Yvonne B Heavyside

We're really excited to announce an update to our services. In order to better support mums in Hong Kong and following feedback from families we have so far worked with, we have devised a Breastfeeding workshop with the intention of helping mums-to-be and new mums (and dads!) better understand the intricacies of breastfeeding.

Support of breastfeeding is a foundation to the mission of The Family Zone: to support families in Hong Kong and empower them further in their parenting journey.

During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions to our team, as well as being guided through different feeding and problem solving strategies and activities.

Contact us to find out more.

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