Katelyn Tan | A Singapore Beauty, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger

FAQ For All The Soon To Be Mummy and Daddy

Monday, 20 June 2022


Sharing this frequently asked questions for mummies and daddies -to-be cause I realised I can't remember some of the details and need to dig through past messages with friends to recall, before I can share with friends who are newly mummies-to-be. So next time I can simply share this post with my friends, especially the first-time mummies-to-be, easily with this link hahahas. Hopefully it is useful for the other mummies-to-be too! 

I think support from fellow mummies is very important, espeically for new mummies cause you simply don't know where to start. That said, throughout your pregnancy and even after giving birth, you will hear tonnes of advices. Everyone is being helpful but you need to remember that you are the final decision maker, just listen to what you think works for you and don't let others force you into doing things you don't like. 

Note: I'm not a pro and I'm just sharing based on my experiences and what was shared with me. 

When should I start buying things for my baby?
Most start to buy after 12 weeks or 20 weeks when they know the baby's gender. You can also research first and wait for baby fairs. It also depends on whether you have space at home to store the items. Generally it should be safe if you have everything ready and set up by 35 weeks. What should I buy for my baby?There are so many things one needs to buy to welcome the arrival of a baby. Here's a list of what to get and some of the more important ones are Clothes, Mittens, Cot, Bedsheets, Sterilizer, Milk Bottles, Bottle Brush, Nursing Bra, Breastpump, Body/Hair Wash, Towels, Swaddles, Stroller/Carrier. Here's a list for you to consider:

Nursery
□ Cot/Playpen
□ Mattress
□ Bedsheets
□ Baby Monitor
□ Night Light
□ Play Mat
□  Rocker

Travel
□ Car Seat (if you drive)
□ Pram
□ Carrier 

Feeding
□ Milk Bottles and Sterilizer
□ Bottle Liquid Cleanser
□ Bottle Brush
□ Silicone Manual Breast Pump e.g. Haaka
□ Hospital Grade Breast Pump
□ Portable Breast Pump
□ Nursing Cover
□ Nursing Bras
□ Nipple Cream
□ Breastmilk Storage Bags
□ Cooler Bag e.g. Packit

Bath & Changing
□ Infant Bath Tub
□ Baby Shampoo
□ Baby Shower Gel
□ Baby Face Cream
□ Baby Lotion
□ Diapers
□ Diaper Cream
□ Changing Mat
□ Disposable Changing Sheets
□ Wet Wipes
□ Cotton Balls
□ Nail Cutter

Clothing
□ Burp Cloths
□ Bath Towels
□ Short Sleeve Onesies
□ Mittens and Booties
□ Long Sleeves Pyjamas
□ Swaddles
□ Fabric Detergent

Where should I buy these baby products?
I like to buy baby products on Amazon, Shopee, Lazada, Carters and Pupsik. If you want some savings, you can do a price comparison, sometimes the prices can be even better than baby fairs so you really need to research well if you want the best savings. But as the items purchases are for baby, I only purchase from reputable sellers, especially from the original flagship online stores.

What should I pack in my hospital bag?
Get your hospital bag ready by 37 weeks cause that's already full term. It might be easier to keep everything is a cabin luggage. Here's a list for you to consider.

Administrative
□ Gynae Letter
□ Hospital Admission Form
□ NRICs
□ Marriage Certificate (if registering birthcert at hospital)
□ Past Receipts (for medisave claims)

For Mummy
□ Breast Pump (optional, I used Pumpables)
□ Nipple Cream
□ Nursing Bra
□ Clothes x1
□ Disposable Underwear
□ Toiletries Binder (if you bought)
□ CTG straps (if you already have one)

For Baby
□ Clothes x1
□ Hat, Mittens
□ Socks x1
□ Swaddle x1

For Daddy
□ Clothes x2
□ Underwear x2
□ Jacket
□ Phone charger
□ Toiletries 

How do I know if I am having contractions?
Firstly, download the contractions app on Android Play or Apple Store. Start timing yourself when you feel cramps. It will help you monitor and advise if you are having labour contractions. 

What should I do if I am having contractions?
If you are having your first child, it's said that the rate of dilation is about 1cm per hour, so mabye about 4 to 10 hours? It really depends on the intensity of the cramps and how dilated you are. If you just started having cramps only, you're not in too much pain and your waterbag has yet to burst, you can even take a shower before grabbing your hospital bag and going to the hospital. If it's unbearable or if your water bag breaks, please go to the hospital immediately. There's a possibility that some might have very fast labour, even their first child. I went from 7cm to 10cm dilated in 10 minutes (thankfully), the nurses had a shock too. 

How can the daddies help the mummies?
Be very supportive of your wife and be there to comfort her. My hubby googled about "how to help the wife while she is in labour" and actually prepared songs for me to listen to since I like to sing, tried to pat me and all. Though I rejected everything, he still kept finding ways to help. Eventually one worked for me - he thought of monitoring the contractions chart for me. 

Is the laughing gas useful?
I felt that it was useful for me as I delivered without epidural. The nurses told me to use this specific breathing method for the laughing gas to work: hold the laughing gas mask properly, sides must be sealed, take a deep breath in, hold it for 2 seconds, before breathing out. My hubby monitored the numbers for me throughout, told me when to get my laughing gas mask ready, when to breathe when the number is at its peak and when to relax. I can't see the contraction numbers myself as the monitor is behind me so what my hubby did really helped as I am mentally prepared for each contraction and I don't need to be on laughing gas throughout. Also, I think all the breathing helped to distract me from the pain too. That said, the pain was unbearable from the time I was 7cm dilated. One thing to note is you are not allowed to use laughing gas during delivery and I also heard that laughing gas is not available at Mt Alvernia, not sure if it is still the case now. 

Should I take the epidural?
If you don't want to use epi, my gynae said it's really mind over body - you need to remind yourself to relax and not think of the pain, the more you think it is painful, the more it will be. You can try to go without epi if you want, but don't be overly persistent about it. Seek guidance from your gynae on whether to administer epi and do a self-tolerance check. If you are already in unbearable pain before or by 4cm dilation, just take the epidural and don't suffer for nothing as the pain will only intensify and you cannot afford to miss the administration cut-off. I also heard that sometimes epidural is recommended when a person is dilating too slowly cause when you are in pain and not relaxing, you cannot dilate. If you keep holding it and don't dilate, you will suffer the pain for nothing and there is a risk of having to go for e-csect. So you really need to relax as much as you can, with or without epi if you want natural birth. 

How bad are labour contractions?
I was mentally prepared to take epidural at 4cm if I couldn't take it as I heard many stories about how bad contraction cramps were. However, I have very bad period cramps when I were younger so at about 3cm dilated, it felt like mild cramps to me. At about 5cm dilated, it felt like period cramps to me and the chart showed 50 to 60. I heard for those who are induced, it goes up to 100+. But when it hit 7cm and hitting 80, I really couldn't take it as the pain kept intensifying. 

When is the cut-off for epidural administration?
Do check with your gynae in advance to see when is the cut-off for epi, usually it's around 4cm dilated is the cut-off cause you need to be administered by 5cm, some allow max 6cm. They usually buffer an hour from 4cm cause the anesthetist needs 45mins to travel and 15mins to set up. 

How much does epidural cost?
Cost wise it varies for public and private hospitals. Edpidural injections are cheaper in public hospitals at around $700+, compared to private hospitals at a price around $900+ to over $1200. This is based on what I heard in 2020.

How can I prevent my little one from getting Jaundice?
It is very common for Asian babies to have Jaundice. My gynae shared that I can cut-down on ginger if I am worried about Jaundice since I am breastfeeding. A friend also shared that it is important to ensure that baby is hydrated i.e. enough breastmilk or top up with formula milk if insufficient, as babies cannot drink plain water, to flush out the Jaundice in the body, if any. 

How would I know if I need to top-up with formula milk?
If baby is latching all the time or if baby lost more than 10% weight during the hospital stay, you will most probably need to top-up with formula milk (fm). I tried requesting for a formula top-up from the nurses at Mt E Novena, but they rejected and said they only give if baby loses 10% of birth weight or unless the PD says he needs fm. Anyway, we immediately bought fm after we were discharged cause I don't think baby was drinking enough. I'm neither pro-breastmilk nor pro-formulamilk, I think it's more important that the little one is well-fed. 

Can I drink plain water after delivery?
I've heard many say that you cannot drink plain water after delivery and can only drink red dates tea, soup or milo. I really tried but still don't get any urge to pee even on day 2. So eventually I drank a bottle of plain water and was finally able to pee. This is really important cause if you don't pee before your discharge date, you need to have a catheter inserted. Some additional tips from other mummies include relaxing, listening to waterfall sound, or using the bidet method to lightly spray and create the urge to pee, but make sure you remove the peeing tray first. The peeing tray is meant for collecting your pee only. 

What can I get for my wife to cheer her up after delivery?
You can consider getting your wife a push present and here are some suggestions that I curated - Meaningful Yet Affordable Push Present Gift Ideas

What is my flange size for my breastpump?
Check with the hospital if there will be a latching consultant on the days you are warded. Other than learning how to latch, you can also ask the latching consultant to help you estimate your flange size if you are pumping. Another way is to go on Pumpables to print their sizing guide to measure cause some say the size can change after birth. P.S.You can use promo code SHOP10-KATELYNTAN to enjoy 10% off storewide on Pumpables. Here are my review of Pumpables Hospital Grade and Portable Breast Pumps.

How can I register my newborn's birth certificate and CDA account?
There's a LifeSG (Previously Moments of Life) app for the registrations of birth certficate, CDA account and library card membership. You can register for the CDA account and library card before birth. For CDA, different banks got different interest rates so do check on that. After the kid is born, you can register the birth cert and also visit the library to collect the free library pack that consists of the library card, some new books and flashcards. If you already have the kid's name, you can register on the day of birth and collect the birth cert at the hospital at a fee. Else you can register later, within 14 days from the date of birth, and collect at ICA. 

What am I supposed to do for traditional confinement?
For the Chinese, they believe that the month after giving birth is very important for rest and recuperation else the body will become very weak. It's also said that one should not be exposed to wind during confinement. According to what I've heard, if the wind enters the body, it's bad and can result in issues like rheumatism in years to come. There are many variations of confinement routines that mummies follow out there though. Here's some that I heard:

• No drinking of plain water. You can only drink red dates tea, milo or soup.
• No bathing nor touching tap water. If you want to, you can only with herbs water.
• No blowing of fan. Strangely but thankfully, aircons are allowed as long as it is not directed at you and kept at a temperature that's 25 degrees and above.
• No walking barefoot. You are supposed to wear bedroom slippers everywhere and wear socks when you sleep.
• No wearing of shorts. You need to wear long pants to block off any possible wind.
• No drinking cold drinks.
• All meals must have ginger, protein and carbs. I didn't take any ginger though, to prevent Jaundice since it was advised by my gynae.
• Do postpartum jamu massage, I think this is not a traditional Chinese practice but most mummies have been doing it to tighten their tummies.
• Must stay at home for 30 days, hence the term "confinement", and some go up to 1.5 months.

That's all I have to share for now. Mummies and daddies, please feel free to comment if you have any questions and answers to add. I will update the list along the way! :)

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