Joanna Goy is the owner of Singapore Lactation Bakes and the mother of three. What now is a manufacturing plant in Singapore began in her home kitchen as a way of adding the nutrients missing in her diet to help with her breastfeeding journey.
“When I was a new mother, I suffered from postpartum depression because my first baby was not able to latch on successfully. The guilt of not being able to provide for my child, and the pressures from the hospital staff caused me immense stress and I was unable to provide breastmilk for my child.”
When Joanna had her second child, she took to reading intensively about the production of breastmilk in new mothers and realised that there were some nutrients that were missing her diet, so she decided to create her own lactation bakes. Within one week her body started to show results and she was able to breastfeed my second child with excess milk to spare.
“The media always portrays motherhood as a bunch of mothers sitting with their cute babies and having a cuppa, but the reality is that motherhood is hard and challenging. A changing hormonal system within our bodies, the pressures of what society expects from you as a mother, and the demands of two hour feeding schedules can really drive even the most capable woman to her knees.”
Joanna goes on to share, “After my maternity leave, I went back to my job as a banker but found myself often thinking about my experiences. Over the course of two years, I experimented with the key ingredients to make delicious lactation bakes and sent them to mothers all over Singapore. Singapore Lactation Bakes’ (SLB) reputation as an effective and tasty lactation bake grew and so I left my high paying job as a banker to dedicate my life to this cause of helping new mummies. Here at SLB, our company motto is: mummies first and profits second. We believe in going the full distance for the mummies, so we’ve made our business to be more than lactation bakes.”
Keeping the hawker spirit alive
As a child, Joanna often helped her family in their hawker stall serving customers and cooking food so she grew up with a very strong sense of community and camaraderie. Many of her core values of today were developed during her time helping out in the hawker. The hawker spirit of Singapore embodies values like hard work, good customer service, and the spirit of perseverance.
“With SLB, we make sure that we always put the customer first. We believe that behind every strong business is a strong focus on customer service and feedback. Through the years, we have built a solid and resilient business because of the support of our customers.”
The journey to now
“During the early days of the business, my husband and I really struggled to make enough to get by. I remember when I was baking late into the kitchen one night after my kids had gone to sleep. It was late, I was tired and I burst out crying. I sat on the kitchen floor and cried for a good one hour, then I wiped my tears and kept baking till the morning.”
For Joanna, she still vividly recalls this incident. “I remember this because it was the turning point of my business. When I had made up my mind not to give up, I pushed on with all my strength and my best effort. I realised that all I had to do was to make up my mind not to give up.”
“I believe that every entrepreneur needs to have faith. Faith can come in many forms, some people pray, some people find it in their children, and some people find it within themselves. My advice to them is to take a chance on yourself, look deep inside you, you can find the strength and resilience to succeed. Dig deeper, look harder, and find in yourselves that drive to push ahead.”
Breastfeeding is so important for all mothers because the experience of being able to give life through childbearing and milk production is an honourable and precious duty. However due to misinformation in the media, and lack of education in this field 61 per cent of mummies reported that they were unable to produce milk for their children beyond the second month of childbirth.
With Singapore Lactation Bakes, Joanna’s aim is to empower women, and give them the gift of being able to form close bonds with their children from the start through breastfeeding.
“Our goal is to grow and develop with mummies through their journey of motherhood. This is why we are active in our community of supporting mothers, and we often give free seminars on breastfeeding and how our lactation bakes can support them.” They even conduct IG Live sessions to speak on important topics for the new mother and even the seasoned mother.
“We are proud to say that our lactation bakes are currently being given away in hospital packs at 3 maternity hospitals in Singapore. This is an honour and a great validation for us to be recognised by the industry. We’ve also moved from a retail shop to a manufacturing plant in Singapore. With the appropriate license from SFA, we are set to expand exponentially in this market. Our goal is to make these cookies accessible for all mothers in Singapore, through our manufacturing and automation capabilities in this field.”