Whether you’re a new mom, or a mom to be, or mom to grown-up kids, motherhood is such a special phase in our lives. Since I just gave birth to my second child, I thought I’ll share a little on the tips my mom has given me to help me prepare for motherhood, TWICE! ☺
I’m sure it’ll be useful tips for first time mummies in Singapore, so read on! ☺
#1: Taking Care Of Yourself
#MyMumSays: You must watch what you eat and eat well from now on ok…
All moms “nag” about this. But now that you are pregnant, it is even more important that you take good care of yourself. This is the time to eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids, and exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy. Quit smoking and drinking alcohol immediately, and be wary of the products you use and treatments you go for.
When my mom found out I was pregnant, she taught me how to brew bird’s nest for myself and told me to do so once a week till I give birth.
My mother-in-law made heaps of fish maw soup for me because she said it’s full of collagen and very good for the skin and for the skin of my baby. Some also believe that it helps with blood circulation and that it can help with fertility when attempting to get pregnant.
#2: Financial Help
#MyMumSays: I think now you can use MORE money from your medisave to pay your hospital bills, go find out!
I’m the typical millennial, unfamiliar with the various government benefits/schemes. CPF is a place where I trust my money will go to and stay out of reach till I retire. Well thanks to my mom for reminding me that I do have medisave and that under the Medisave Maternity Package (MMP), I can use some of the money to help offset some of the costs incurred for pre-delivery expenses such as pre-natal consultations, ultrasound scans, tests and medications, on top of the Medisave Withdrawal Limits for delivery expenses, incurred at both public and private healthcare institutions.
Under the MMP, you may withdraw:
- up to $450 for each day in the hospital, and
- $900 for pre-delivery medical expenses (doubled from $450 as of March 2016), and
- an additional surgical withdrawal limit between $750 and $2,150 depending on the type of delivery procedure.
We used this for both our first and second child! :)
|Amount I Can Withdraw From Medisave under the Medisave Maternity Package|
|For my first son, Daniel
(Born Dec 2013)
|Hospitalisation: ($450 x 2 days) +
Vaginal Delivery: ($750 for procedure ) +
Pre-delivery Medical Expenses: $450 (baby born before March 2016)
|For my second son, Nathen
(Born Apr 2016)
|Hospitalisation: ($450 x 2 days) +
Vaginal Delivery: ($750 for procedure) +
Pre-delivery Medical Expenses: $900 (baby born after March 2016)
To deduct these charges from Medisave, all I did was to present the bills incurred for pre-delivery medical care to the hospital where my baby is delivered. The hospital helped me to submit the bills, together with the delivery expenses, for Medisave claims under the Medisave Maternity Package.
Note: See here if you are eligible.
#3: Antenatal Class
#MyMumSays: You and Peter should go attend classes that’ll teach you how to take care of newborns.
It is normal to be afraid/worried of the actual childbirth process as well as how to care for a newborn. The husband and I were all of that until mom told us to go attend some childbirth education classes. It was great we did!
Childbirth education classes are a great idea for first-time parents and a helpful refresher for those who have already experienced birth and parenting. We attended the one organised by Thomson Medical Centre and it covers a wide range of topics from pain relief, actual labour, caring for newborn, and so on.
#4: Reach Out & Connect
#MyMumSays: Go talk to your friends who are pregnant or go make friends with other pregnant mummies online!
Reach out to the online community of other pregnant Singaporean mothers. Lean on them for awkward questions and share experiences. You’ll find this rather rewarding and helpful. Especially so if you are a new mum-to-be. :)
Or even better, connect with a friend who’s an experienced mother. Her experience will be invaluable.
For both pregnancies, once I knew I was pregnant, I went to Singapore Motherhood Forums where pregnant women in Singapore gather into forum threads based on the month of your child’s EDD. From there, get access to the relevant Facebook Group (e.g.: Jan Mummies /Feb Mummies) and make friends! If you intend to breastfeed and want to seek advice on that, there are many breastfeeding support groups on Facebook. You can just search for it or comment here and I’ll point you the right way.
#5: Allow a Transition Period
#MyMumSays: Just accept the help that we are all going to give you ok. No complaints. You will need it.
I hate asking people for help but what mom said about accepting help from family did end up being one of the key things that helped keep my sanity after birth. You can prepare all you want but you’ll never really be prepared enough for the chaos that will come with a newborn – whether it’s your first or second born.
When I had my first child, my mother-in-law came and stayed with us for 2 months. When she was about to leave, the husband and I were wondering how were we going to manage 1 child. On hindsight now, that was EASY-PEASY but at that point in time, it didn’t feel so easy.
When we expected our second child, we welcomed all the help we could get and still it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Daniel, our firstborn, decided it was the best time to start his terrible two years… and Nathen, our newborn was sleeping less and less as each day passed. We really wouldn’t know what to do or rather how chaotic it will be without my mom and my mother-in-law’s help. So accept help, welcome the chaos, take the time to get used to it.
#MyMumSays plenty of things everyday (because that’s how mothers are), but I’ve learnt after so many years, that when it comes to life lessons, she’s the go-to person. So never ignore advice from your mum, especially when it comes to starting a new family.
If your mum gave you advice on how to prepare for motherhood, do share with your family and friends. This is the trending hashtag to use: #MyMumSays. I hope to see more people sharing wise words from your mom! :)