"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)