Issuu on Google+

Designing The Perfect Nursery 10 Tips to get you started

Babies:

Are They Always Cute And Cuddly?

What is the cost of raising a child in Singapore?

Childproof Your Home: Gates, Locks, Drawers and Latches? w w w . n e w a g e p r e g n a n cP rye g . nca o n cm y GuidE

1


contents

08

 st Month Of Pregnancy 1 Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum

12 14

 0 Things You Should Know 1 About Babies Caring for a baby is all about trial and error. Here are 10 fun things about a baby to kick-start your parenting journey. 2nd Month Of Pregnancy Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum

18 20 22 24 28

 2 Things Dads Should Avoid 1 Saying To New Mums No matter what you do, these are the things you should NEVER say to a new mother.  rd Month Of Pregnancy 3 Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum  ow Much Does A Baby Costs In H His First Few Years You will definitely be surprised with the costs of raising a child in Singapore! 4th Month Of Pregnancy Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum  0 Tips For Decorating The 1 Perfect Nursery Designing your own nursery room can be so much fun! But where do

you begin? These tips will help you plan and prepare ahead.

30 32

 th Month Of Pregnancy 6 Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum

38 42 44 46 49

55 Pregnancy Guide

 pidural Pain Relief For Labour E Does an epidural really help out with the pain of giving birth? Dr Choo Wan Ling tells you more about epidural and how does it work.

34

52

2

5th Month Of Pregnancy Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum

 est Maternity Hospitals in SG B Where is the best place to deliver? Different mothers share about their own delivery experiences at the different local hospitals. 7th Month Of Pregnancy Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum  inderland Infant Care K Finding a quality infant care service with dedicated teachers and a safe environment for your baby? Find out why Kinderland is the right school for your baby!  th Month Of Pregnancy 8 Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum  ow to ChildProof Your House H For young children, the risk of sustaining an injury is high. How can you childproof your house to make it safe for your child?  th Month Of Pregnancy 9 Words From The Doctor & An Experienced Mum

 erminology and its explanation T (A-Z) Common baby care terms you need to know about!


Editorial Team Editor Crystal Tan Contributor MarcieMom, Jenny Tai & Cindy Gan Art & Design Art Director Crystal Tan Marketing & Advertising Business Development Manager Elaine Lau Web Administration Web Development Director Seow Poh Heng If you wish to contribute to our pregnancy guide, we will love to hear from you. Do email us at mailbox@thenewageparents.com For advertising enquiries, email us at advertise@thenewageparents.com While every care is taken in the production of the magazine, the publisher, editor and editorial team assume no responsibility for any inaccuracies and omission, which might arise. Opinions by the contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher and the editor. The articles in the parenting booklet are for references only.

Pregnancy GuidE

3


New Age Pregnancy

Medical Team w w w . ne w a g ep r e g n a n c y . c o m

Dr Choo Wan Ling Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, SOG – Choo Wan Ling Clinic for Women (Gleneagles Medical Centre) Dr Choo Wan Ling has over 15 years of clinical experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is experienced in antenatal and gynaecological scans, antenatal care and risk assessment, prenatal screening, vaginal, assisted and caesarean delivery. As a mother to 2 girls herself, she is familiar with the difficulties some mothers-to-be go through during pregnancy and after, and is also an advocate of natural birth and breastfeeding.

Dr Wendy Teo Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Dr Wendy Teo is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with more than 10 years of experience in the field. In her clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, she provides specialised care to women for various conditions including pregnancy, infertility and gynaecological disorders. Dr Teo has a special interest in infertility. Her heart goes out to couples who have difficulty conceiving and she would like nothing better than to help them complete their family.

Dr Wee Horng Yen Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Dr Wee Horng Yen was formerly a Senior Consultant at KK Women's and Children's Hospital at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, where he spent more than 12 years dedicated to the care of mothers-tobe. In recognition of his dedication to patients, he has received the highest service awards from the Health Ministry, Public Service Commission, Spring Singapore, Singapore Health Services, and The Straits Times Mind Your Body’s inaugural Top Ten Doctors Award.

Dr Cynthia Kew Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Dr Cynthia Kew is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist practicing at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. Being patient and attentive in providing antenatal care to expectant mums, she has delivered many babies over the years. Dr Kew’s subspecialty interest is Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Endometriosis. Her dedication to patient care has led her to receive several awards such as the Singapore Health Quality Service Silver Award in 2012-2013 and the Service From the Heart Award (KKH) in 2013.

Dr Cindy Pang Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Dr Cindy Pang is an experienced obstetrician and gynae-oncologist with more than 10 years of clinical practice. Besides the management of a wide range of conditions involving the female reproductive system and providing antenatal care to expectant mothers, her main subspecialty interest is in gynaecological cancer care. Teaching and training for medical trainees and junior doctors is also one of Dr Pang's dedications. She is a clinical instructor of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, as well as an adjunct professor at the Duke-NUS Graduate School of Medicine.

4

Pregnancy Guide


Dr Kelly Loi Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Hospital Dr Loi has been practising as an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist for over 10 years. Over the years, she has developed particular expertise in antenatal and obstetrics care, gynecologic and laparoscopic surgeries, treatment of infertility and IVF. Dr Loi has been actively involved in research in these areas and has presented papers on these topics at medical conferences. As the medical director of Health & Fertilty Centre for Women, she aims to continue to offer dedicated services to her patients, with state-of-the art facilities, in an environment designed with the patients' comfort and privacy in mind.

Dr Lim May Li Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Hospital Dr Lim May Li is Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Gynecology Consultants Clinic & Surgery, located at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. She has much expertise in the care of women with normal pregnancies, high risk pregnancies and for pregnant women with medical disorders and pregnancy complications. Her expertise in high risk pregnancies places her in an ideal position to care for women with normal pregnancies as she is able to monitor pregnancy progress closely to optimise the chance of a good outcome for mother and baby. Dr Lim is empathetic and compassionate towards her patients.

Pregnancy GuidE

5


letter from the editor

Congratulations Mummies (and Daddies)!!

'A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.' - Eda J. LeShan

Being pregnant can be exciting and overwhelming too. If you are a first-time parent, you will probably be wondering what you need to do for the next 9 months. Well, now you can breeze through your pregnancy as our experts and fellow mothers share their advice, tips and experiences. Feeling lost and wonder what goes on in your tummy? This pregnancy e-guide will provide you with the information about your pregnancy stages on a month-to-month basis. You will get to know more about your baby’s development and the changes in your body. Raising a child is not cheap. Besides caring for the growing baby in your tummy, you will have to start planning your finances to prepare for your baby’s arrival. Have you ever wondered what is the real cost of raising a child? Find out how you can get a headstart in your budgeting plan in our article, How Much Does A Baby Costs In His First Few Years? This is also the time to discuss with your spouse on how to make your home more conducive for your newborn. It will be a tedious process thinking of how you can design and decorate your baby’s nursery, but it will definitely be fun and meaningful. In 10 Tips For Decorating The Perfect Nursery and How to Childproof Your House, we show you how to plan and prepare ahead. Nothing brings more joy to a family than the birth of a baby. Cherish this precious moment! May your new bundle of joy bring happiness, love and lots of laughter in your life! Yours Truly,

Crystal Tan

Editor of The New Age Parents and New Age Pregnancy

6

Pregnancy Guide


Pregnancy GuidE

7


1st Month

First Month of Pregnancy You have just found out that you are pregnant! Congratulations! You have been planning this then I’m sure you and your partner are elated and excited, all ready to embark on this journey. There are usually plenty of questions at this stage such as what are the things you can or cannot do or what are the foods you should avoid and the list goes on.

By Dr Choo Wan Ling Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, SOG – Choo Wan Ling Clinic for Women

D

iet in pregnancy should not vary much from before pregnancy, such as a sensible diet that is low in fats and sugar. There are certain foods that should be avoided or taken in limited quantities throughout your pregnancy and that includes:  Raw or half cooked foods (sashimi, half boiled eggs). Make sure food is cooked thoroughly to ensure

8

Pregnancy Guide


that pathogens are killed.  Soft unripened cheese  Intake of caffeinated drinks. Limit coffee to a maximum of 2 cups a day or 3 cups of tea  Reduce intake of liver products due to the high level of retinol content that may affect the fetus.  Reduce intake of deep sea fish like tuna, deep Atlantic cod fish, swordfish as these contain a high level of mercury. Vitamin A (tretinoin) and mercury have been associated with fetal deformities.

Changes in Mother’s body and health You tend to feel very tired easily. Listen to your body and rest

whenever you have the chance. During the 1st month of pregnancy, most women tend to have a poorer appetite. If you are experiencing ‘morning sickness’ during the first few months of pregnancy, your appetite can be affected. Morning sickness usually last the whole day and evenings are usually the worst. Epigastric discomfort is very common too. Try to take small but regular meals – that would help alleviate some of those symptoms. Urinary frequency is also a common complaint, especially at night when it disturbs your sleep. This is due to the expanding womb pressing on the bladder. Continue to stay hydrated, but reduce

water intake after dinner.

Fetal development During the first month, the blastocyst (a ball of cells) reaches the womb and implants itself into the uterine lining. Some women may experience slight spotting at this stage, which is termed as implantation bleeding. After a week, the cells start to differentiate into the different organs and the external features are starting to form (embryonic stage). This is a crucial stage as the fetus is very susceptible to damage from the consumption of unsuitable medications, illegal drug use, smoking and getting infections like rubella. The fetus’ limb buds, which look like paddles,

are beginning to form. The jaw bones and the fetus’ heart start to form. Even the neural tube which will eventually become the baby’s brain and spine, has started to develop. In the later part of the month, the umbilical cord will be formed, leading to the placenta. The size of the baby is about 1.5cm at this stage.

Common question that mothers have Can I exercise when I am pregnant? Yes. Exercise is safe in pregnancy. However, as most women tend to feel very tired and possibly ‘sick’ in the first trimester, it can be tough to stick to an exercise regime. Start slowly and consistently. Rest if unwell.

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai Congratulations! This is the beginning of an incredible journey in becoming a mum. In these 9 months, you’re going to experience many exciting changes – both emotionally and physically. There might be times when you simply feel overwhelmed, tired, worried and stressed, but there were be countless of moments when you’re full of joy and energy too. It may be hard to believe right now that you’re really

pregnant (after all, your belly isn’t showing yet), but as your baby grows and your body changes more each month, this reality will be easier to wrap your mind around. In the meantime, embrace the start of this miraculous journey. To be able to provide the best for your growing baby, you must take care of your own health first. During this period, trust your instincts, lean on your husband for support, and learn as much as possible. Not forgetting to be good to yourself.

You are feeling:

Excited and emotional. There is a new life growing inside you, which means that you are about to embark on a new adventure. Due to elevated hormone levels, your mood fluctuates frequently. You might also feel vulnerable, cautious, scared or worried as the possibility of a miscarriage is the highest at trimester one. Do not stress or worry too much! Staying at peace and remaining as calm as possible is the best for you and your baby.

Pregnancy GuidE

9


1st Month

Quote of the Month: “Pregnancy seems designed to prepare you for life as a mother. You start making sacrifices nine months before the child is born, so by the time they put in an appearance you are used to giving things up for them.” –Brett Kiellerop Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts:

Do you feel easily tired? Early pregnancy fatigue is normal. Sneak in a nap during the day or head to bed earlier. You’re not being lazy – you’re simply replenishing some energy as your body uses up a ton of strength to build a cozy, secure life-support system for your baby. If you’re experiencing nausea or morning sickness, avoid common triggers such as the smells of leftovers, garbage, pungent cooking or perfume. Nibble on smaller, easily digestible and nutritious meals or snacks throughout the day

10

Pregnancy Guide

instead of eating three large meals. Ginger, vitamin B6 or B12 helps to reduce queasiness and soothe your stomach too. Just be

sure to check with your doctor and ask for the recommended dose before taking any over-thecounter supplements.

Your Pregnancy To-Do List: 1. Schedule a prenatal checkup with your obstetrician as soon as you know you are pregnant. Prepare a list of questions that you will like to ask. 2. Eat prenatal vitamins and nutrient-dense foods. 3. If you smoke or drink alcohol, quit immediately. 4. Do in-depth research on your health insurance coverage for prenatal care and delivery. 5. Start saving up for your baby.


Pregnancy GuidE

11


Babies

10

Things You Should Know About Babies

Babies are oh-so-precious and adorable. The cute button nose and sheepish grin melt hearts over and over again. We all know they don’t come with instruction manual, taking care of a baby is all about trial and error. But before you missed out anything, here are 10 fun things you should know about your new baby. By Cindy Gan

the “breast crawl” – place a baby who has just been delivered onto his mother’s chest and you’ll see that he instinctively crawls towards one of her nipples. Experts say it might be due to a mother’s natural scent which invokes this call-toaction. The sense of smell is also the baby’s strongest ability at this point. Mama’s smell = comfort and security.

#1

#3

Those who say “I wish I could sleep like a baby” are most likely the ones who have yet to have one. All babies go through different sleep patterns. If your little one is sleeping through the night, thank your lucky stars and enjoy your freedom. Most of us struggle with babies waking up nightly, sometimes every hour, so sleep is pretty much a distant dream. All normal though, no sweat.

12

Pregnancy Guide

Just make sure you cherish those times, as it might take a turn and be different again. A newborn usually deprives its parents around 350-400 hours in the first year! If your baby is not sleeping too well, you may want to start on Sleep Training to get him or her to sleep through the night.

#2

A few minutes-old baby can crawl to his mother’s boobs. Yep, you read right. It is known as

Poop comes in all shapes, sizes and colours that belong to the Pantone chart. Well, they start off black due to meconium, then camo-green to mustard, with the occasional mix of both. Wait till they start solids – and oh wait, dark coloured foods and fruits appear in poop too, don’t get too worried and dial for the Paediatrician immediately.


#4

All the world’s a blur when a baby arrives in this world. Things appear in black and white with no clear defined outline. So when you think your newborn is smiling back at you, that grin is actually a muscle twitch (sorry to break the truth, new parents!). Their vision continues to develop and becomes clearer in the next month, hence black and white images aid as visual stimulation during the early days. They can only focus 8 to 10 inches from their face; about an arm’s length, just right to see their own little fingers and mummy and daddy’s faces.

#5

Babies are not as fragile as they seem. Technically, it seems babies are as feeble as they looked. When they start to flip or hold things, you’d be surprised with the amount of strength summoned by that little being. Still, do handle them with care, especially when their neck muscles have yet to develop fully and when they are up and about, be

mindful of them falling off beds and chairs. Babies communicate by crying – suss out the intended message. Babies cry for a reason so it would be helpful to learn how to decipher those cries and learn to know what they need. A hungry baby does not cry the same way she does when her diaper is soiled. It takes some time to differentiate but all in good faith so that you know what to do to appease an angry bub, pronto!

#6

#7

Your little one is a natural swimmer from the day of conception. Make sense, doesn’t it? Hypnobirthing is increasingly popular in Singapore after its wave of acceptance by our Western counterparts. As to the belief of keeping the delivery state as natural as it is in the womb, thus delivering a baby in water and subsequently bringing a new baby to the pool draws from the theory that swimming is actually an innate ability from the start. That explains the burgeoning number of baby

swim classes which boasts claims of invigorating the brain mass and develop bodily coordination and muscles. The drawback? We lose this ability with time, and hence, we have to pick up swimming all over again when we are older.

#8

Babies have around 10,000 tastebuds! When babies hit the 6-month mark, introduction to solids are much fun (and definitely a mess!) for them. It’s good to expose them to a myriad of textures and tastes with different foods. Similarly, when baby is in the womb, they pretty much tried everything that their mum takes in. Adults however, have way lesser tastebuds than that of a baby as they disappeared along the way – oh my!

#9

When babies gum you, it hurts! Think the toothless one is all sugary without a bite? Breastfeeding mums can attest to the gum power a newborn can have. If your little one is ready for solids, baby-led weaning encourages babies to feed independently while gumming away even if they don’t have a single pearlie white. Sounds impossible? Wait till you see baby-led weaners demolish an entire drumstick.

#10

Babies laugh on average 300 times

a day. It’s not difficult to make a baby laugh, sometimes the simplest action (like your comic face) or a funny sound can get him into a giggling fit. Laughter is the best medicine – spread happiness and receive it too! We were all babies before, and those were probably one of the best times of our lives, although not for our parents, perhaps. Challenges or not, cherish those moments while your munchkin is still at this stage, because the clock won’t turn back its hands. Happy parenting!

Pregnancy GuidE

13


2nd Month

second Month of Pregnancy

Like most women at this stage, you have probably discovered that being pregnant has its down side. This is the time when you may start to suffer from what is known as minor discomforts of pregnancy. 14

By Dr Wendy Teo Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

T

he hormonal and physiologic changes during pregnancy are unique in the life of women. Pregnant

Pregnancy Guide

women experience sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone, as well as changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones. Though these changes affect the mood of pregnant mums, it can also create the “glow” of pregnancy and significantly aid in the development of the fetus, and alter the physical impact of

exercise and physical activity on the body.

Changes in Mother’s body and health The changes that mothers may experience at this stage include:  Increased in frequency of urination  Whitish vaginal discharge (thrush)  An increase or decrease in appetite


 Constipation  Slight backache  Leg cramps  Sleepiness or tiredness Do not worry there is not much weight gain as most mummies may experience nausea, vomiting and weight lost at this point. Mummies may notice some changes like tender breasts, soreness and swollen leg. As the weeks go by, the baby starts to grow toward the sides in order to allow some room for the organs to develop.

Fetal development During the second month, the baby organs and system are gradually developed. The most striking change over the next two to three weeks is the appearance of identifiable human features as the basis of the skeleton is forming. The baby now has recognizable parts, such

as head, body, arms and legs. The umbilical cord is also present. Although human features are present, the proportion is much different than it will be when your baby is born. The head is large in relation to the trunk, and the arms and legs are short and flipper-like. The baby is also quite active at this stage, although mummies won't be able to feel any movements yet. By week 6, the baby’svheart beat should be visible and by the time the baby is 8 weeks old, he will be about 2cm long (about the size of the top joint of your little finger).

Common question that mothers have Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy? Yes, having sex during pregnancy is safe for most women with uncomplicated or low-risk pregnancies. If unsure, consult your doctor.

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai Although the changes in your body are still not visibly obvious at this point, you are probably feeling some pregnancy symptoms more acutely. The emotional and physical changes are out of our control, just go along with

them and be reassured that all pregnant women go through such metamorphosis on varying levels.

You are feeling:

Moody. You’re really coming face-to-face with being pregnant now and that the symptoms are becoming

more apparent. It is normal to feel overjoyed about carrying a unique baby while also feeling less than enthusiastic about an unsettled stomach, bloatedness, exhaustion, gassiness, frequent urination, and other discomforts. But stay positive – you will make it through!

Pregnancy GuidE

15


2nd Month

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts: Your breasts may feel fuller and slightly sore. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, your breasts will increase in size – which isn’t exactly something to complain about! Get a comfortable, supportive cotton bra, enjoy warm, relaxing showers and give yourself gentle breast massages. Getting up multiple times a night to pee? There is nothing you can do to stop the frequent urination, but if all those trips to the bathroom make for a poor

night’s slumber, indulge in a daytime nap to make up for lack of sleep! Whatever you do, do not restrict the intake of fluid just to prevent frequent urination. Pregnant women need to stay hydrated, so be sure to drink more fluid. Pregnancy headaches are common and can happen anytime. Go to your room, draw the shades and lie down to rest. If your headache is severe, consider taking acetaminophen, but stay away from aspirin and ibuprofen. If unsure, consult your doctor.

Tip of the month:

Get in the habit of keeping a running list of questions that pop up between prenatal visits. This way, you’re always armed with the things that you will like your doctor to address during your appointments.  

Your Pregnancy To-Do List: 1. Evaluate your place to see if it is adequate for raising a kid. If not, consider your options and explore moving to a new space. Homehunting and moving can be timeconsuming, so start earlier rather than later. You probably will not want to do all this with a big belly. 2. Go shopping for maternity bras and underwear if your current ones are beginning to feel too snug for comfort.

16

Pregnancy Guide


Parenting

12 Things Dads Should Avoid Saying To New Mums By Ruth Mak & Crystal Tan

You may have heard about the 'crimes' new fathers commit in the first few months of parenthood by the seemingly innocent things that they say to their wives. Here, we look at twelve things that one should avoid saying, at all costs!

Pregnancy GuidE

17


Parenting in her by acknowledging her for a job well done. Trust me, your wife will appreciate that small little help in caring for the baby as she handles other tasks or get a short rest to replenish her energy. Learn to care for the baby and be an involved dad. Your wife will definitely feel glad that she is not left to deal with the difficult situations on her own all the time.

❹Y  ou should learn from so-and-so, she's doing a pretty good job As much as this may come from good intentions, this can sound very different if your wife has had a particularly bad day. In fact, it could simply sound like she is being compared to another mother, and has been indirectly criticized for doing a pretty bad job. Bring your parenting suggestions to the table as a form of discussion, in how you both could improve, rather than interrogating and doubting her as if parenting was meant to be the mum’s job only.

❺W  hy do you look tired all the time? ❶ You look fat

A woman's tummy does not miraculously shrink into four pack abs the moment the baby is out. Nor does the extra weight that had been gained during the pregnancy slide off within weeks. Yes, some lucky ones may lose their extra kilos without much effort on their part, but it does not happen for most women. These comments hurt and your wife is more aware of the situation than anyone else! Don’t add salt to her wound, murmur something sweet to her and let her know that you love her no matter what.

❷W  hen/how are you going to start losing some weight? Trust me, new mums are also

18

Pregnancy Guide

eager to lose the extra kilos that they have put on, but the needs and demands of their baby will outweigh that of losing weight. Furthermore, the first few months are the adaptation period where new moms usually struggle with caring for the baby. Do you think your wife has the time and energy to think about losing weight at the moment? Be sensitive and help her out as much as you can!

❸A  re you sure that's the correct way to do it? This seemingly innocent question places a lot of doubt in a new mum, in a time during which she (silently) craves and needs encouragement that she is doing her job well. Instill confidence

You probably wouldn’t aware of the amount of sleep that your wife (doesn't) receives on a daily basis. Motherhood is not quite similar to the mums who grace magazine covers because the reality and time does not permit so. Instead of asking this question, pitch in with the household chores and parenting duties so that your wife can catch up on some rest.

❻W  hen are we going to have sex again?

After having a baby, the frequency of intimacy usually takes a huge dive and it is a common problem faced by couples! There are so many reasons why your wife is not having the mood and time for sex! She may be exhausted from caring for the baby all day long or she may be still feeling


sore after childbirth or even, she is not feeling confident about the body she now has. Be there to lessen her load by caring for the baby, helping with the household chores and showing that you care by pampering her and giving her a good massage. Lastly, not forgetting to give her a little more time, when she is ready, you will definitely have sex again.

❼S  o, what have you been doing all day?

Let's see.. Feeding the baby, going through 8-10 diaper changes throughout the day, pacifying the baby, napping the baby (successfully, or not) 4-5times a day, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, getting meals on the table, trying to get a shower... nothing much really.

❽ Why didn't you....?

Whatever it is that you want to ask, always think of the fact that you now have a new member in the family. There are a ton of reasons why your wife did not do what she has been doing before the baby comes along. The main reason is the same - the baby’s needs come first. Be a little more understanding towards your wife in your words and your actions.

without having to point finger at each other. Having a baby is a bliss, make parenting a joyful experience too. Share, be understanding and work things out amicably.

❿ Why isn't the baby sleeping through the night yet?

Assuming that this question was not asked within the first month of your baby's life, the answer to this question has many factors involved in it. Putting baby to sleep through the night is possible if you would be willing to pitch in to help in sleeptraining the baby. Discuss this openly and work out a solution together. This may involve many trial and error, be patient and things will work out eventually. If not, seek help from the professionals.

⓫ Stop worrying

Honestly, this is hard. From the moment the baby was born, or even before, your wife has probably had her mind filled with concerns about the child. Instead of telling her not to worry, try the positive route instead. "He'll be okay", "She's stronger than you think", etc. Think positive, speak positively.

⓬S  o, when are we going to have the next kid? This is not a good question to ask, especially during the first six months after childbirth unless you both already have plans for another baby. We will advise against harboring this thought at the moment too, especially after seeing how your wife has had a very rough day with the kid/s. We're not talking abstinence here, just avoiding procreation for a sane period of time.

Putting baby to sleep through the night is possible if you would be willing to pitch in to help in sleep-training the baby.

❾M  y mum thinks/ says…..

Your wife probably would love to respect the ideas or remarks that your parents have, especially so with the experience they have in raising you and your siblings up. On the other hand, she is probably in a dilemma as well as she really wants to raise a child in a different way from the good old days. Especially it’s the 21st century now, where many things have changed along the way. Understand what she is thinking and respect her decision. If not, share your plans and talk about what each of you feel. You can both work out a plan amicably

Pregnancy GuidE

19


3rd Month

Tip of the month:

Some pregnant women are not as enthusiastic about sexual activity. Do it if you feel for it. If you have any concerns, check with your health provider and do not forget to let your husband know how you feel.

Third Month of Pregnancy The last month of the first trimester may be a particularly trying month as hormone levels peak during the 9-10th week, meaning more severe morning sickness. Do not worry about not eating enough for the pregnancy. If you start off at a healthy weight, you do not need extra calories during the first trimester. 20

Pregnancy Guide

By Dr Cindy Pang Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

Avoid food that may contain harmful bacteria, such as soft cheeses (from unpasteurized milk), pâtÊ and raw or undercooked

meat and poultry. Some fishes contain methylmercury, harmful in high doses to the growing fetal brain. Limit your consumption of fish to the equivalent of about two servings per week. Between 11-12 weeks, your doctor will usually recommend that you consider first trimester testing for fetal anomalies, in particular Down syndrome.


This battery of tests includes ultrasound measurement of the fetal neck skin thickness and maternal blood tests for hCG hormone and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) levels. Together, they provide an estimate level for Down syndrome risk.

Changes in Mother’s body and health Increased blood volume

due to pregnancy may cause increased urination, as well as more stuffy noses, nose bleeds and bleeding gums. Constipation issue may arise and it is common because of hormonal changes cause by muscular fibres trying to relax. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Do not forget to take in more water too! Consult your doctor in extreme cases.

Fetal development By the end of the third month, your baby measures about 10 cm long and weighs around 28g. Lots of changes are happening during this month. Features such as the external ear are already formed. Fingernails and toenails, tiny muscles and baby teeth under the gums are all developing rapidly. Some of the baby’s organs are already functioning, such as the

kidneys and liver. The rest of the body parts such as the digestive system, bone marrow, reproductive organs and the pituitary gland, will mature slowly.

Common question that mothers have How do I stop morning sickness? Ginger tea may help to reduce your symptoms, small healthy snacks between meals will help too.

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai You’re now at the tail end of the first trimester! Congratulations on reaching this first milestone. By now you may have gained more weight. Your belly is also starting to protrude a little to accommodate your growing baby. Don’t fret about your expanding waistline. Instead, celebrate the beauty of your pregnant body.

You are feeling:

Although you’re still riding the emotional roller coaster, you’re probably less anxious and fearful of miscarriage now as you reach the end of the first trimester. Some women wait until they past their first trimester before announcing their pregnancy. If this is the case for you, you are probably excited about breaking this happy news. Finally, there is no need to make excuses for skipping out on drinks with your

girlfriends! Thankfully, nausea and vomiting are starting to wane.

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts:

You might be more forgetful than usual, thanks to all these pregnancy hormones. Don’t be too frustrated. Blame it on the “pregnancy fog” and do your best to jot down notes and refer

to your schedule when needed. Smartphones and refrigerator are probably the best place to remind you of important dates and information. You can also ask your husband to remind you on important occasions. As your digestive system slows down, you may experience some constipation. Eat more fiber, drink plenty of water, and do some light exercise to get your bowels moving.

Your Pregnancy To-Do List: 1. Plan how to announce the news of your pregnancy. 2. Continue to get as much sleep as possible. Let undone tasks slide and just hit the sack if you’re tired. 3. If you want to travel, the second trimester is probably the easiest and the best time to do so. That means you can start booking your tickets now! 4. Talk to your doctor about a weight goal for your pregnancy.

Pregnancy GuidE

21


Finance

Baby How Much Does A

Cost

In His First Few Years?

There are many surprises that first-time parents will have, from the baby kicking in the womb, to birth, to first step and to that special moment when the baby starts to call Mummy and Daddy. By MarcieMom

I

t's a magical moment that married couples will like to have after they start their new life together. If you are planning for a baby or waiting for the arrival of your baby, you will discover that there is a ‘hidden surprise’ of raising a baby in Singapore. That means, the cost of raising a baby is a huge hefty sum! Before you become a parent, you may think that the cheapest gynaecology, maternity care, infant care and preschool service will do - after all, your parents did not pay a premium for these services and you turned out fine! However, things are different once you are a parent - many parents-to-be started to seek friends’ recommendations, do up the pros and cons memo and the list goes on! You will definitely be surprised with the costs of raising a child in Singapore!

Maternity to Delivery Visits to a gynaecologist, including a standardized test at different stage of pregnancy, cost about $3,000. There may be additional visits required if there is initial spotting or other issues encountered during pregnancy. For delivery without complications, it cost about $1,500

22

Pregnancy Guide


depending on the number of days stay and choice of wards.

Post-Delivery Medical Expenses Medical expenses doesn't stop after delivery. It will continue to incur after delivery - both for mummy and baby. Typically, there will be followup consultations required to see the gynaecologist and the paediatrician, sometimes also lactation consultant. Gynaecologist consultations cost about $350 for 3 visits post-delivery and paediatric consultations cost about $350 for 3 visits. Lactation consultation can cost about $200 for 2 visits. While immunization for baby to help them fight diseases and illnesses can cost around $500 for the first two years of their life. This is already at a subsidized rate if you go to polyclinics. The costs will be higher if you head to private clinics or hospitals. As an estimate, medical expenses (without any complication or medical condition) would be about $6,000.

Baby - Essentials The good news about baby essentials is that most items are perfectly good, even if they are hand-me-downs. However, for hygiene and safety related items like milk bottles, car seat or stroller, you may want to consider getting a new one. A quick checklist of hand-medown items so that you can start asking around for it! Maternity clothing - Dresses and nursing bra Baby clothing - Baby suits and don’t forget the mittens and bibs Baby feeding - Breast pump (can cost up to $800, depending on model), breast feeding support pillow Baby sleeping - cot, playpen Baby essentials - diapers, baby wipes and baby sling These added up to about $15,000 over two years, with a mix of new items and hand-me-downs. Some items like breast pump really

need careful evaluation. It will be recommended to get a new one for efficiency and hygiene. These days, there are so many different breast pumps in the market from manual pumps to electronic pumps - you will be able to find one that suit your needs. If you are open to a second child, keep some of these ‘unisex’ clothes, baby’s furniture and products that are in good condition such as play pen, stroller and breast pump.

Insurance You can consider getting insurance for your child - various options are available under medishield. This can be fairly inexpensive to cover hospitalisation, payable by Medisave or can cost about S$2,500 per annum for a more comprehensive plan covering pregnancy, congenital complications and critical illnesses. As this varies significantly, we assume no cash payment involved if you take up one that is payable by Medisave.

Infant care and Preschool (up to nursery) Sending your child to full-day infant care and preschool is increasingly adopted by parents, especially for families without the support of grandparents or helper. Assuming

going to infant care from about 5 months to 18 months, it can cost about $7,000 with government subsidy. Private preschools are more expensive than governmentsubsidised ones and from 19-months to 4 years old, it can cost about $40,000 per annum. Whichever preschool you choose for your child, do stay with your child during the trial period (the first 3 days). You will get the chance to understand the school system and also, help your child get through this difficult transition.

Monthly Baby expenses Baby expenses include toys you may buy for your child, clothes, activity books and the list goes on. A rough estimate is about S$400 per month for children aged 2 to 4 years old, that would add up to about S$10,000. You will be surprised with the cost adding up to almost $78,000 for raising a child from baby to 4 years old. With a baby bonus cash gift for the first child of $4,000 and maximum child development account matching contribution of $6,000, this would reduce the cost to $68,000. It is quite a hefty sum to raise a baby! However, think of the love, hugs and affection you will receive from your child, you will think that all these are really worth it!

Pregnancy GuidE

23


Fourth Month of Pregnancy

24

Pregnancy Guide


4th Month Crossing into the fourth month of pregnancy marks the start of the second trimester. Your pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and fatigue will slowly begin to disappear. You may feel more energetic and start to enjoy this stage of your pregnancy. However, you may feel clumsier as your pregnancy bulge grows. Using a good supportive footwear and avoiding heels will help you get around easier and puts less strain on your feet. Here is a list of things to note: Changes to mother’s body and health By Dr Cynthia Kew Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

 You may feel faint if you are standing for too long or from getting up too quickly from sitting or from a lying position. This is due to the likelihood of your blood pressure falling due to posture. Try to avoid sudden change in positions, but do it gradually.  Your baby ears are developing. Listening to gentle music and reading books aloud may be therapeutic as your baby will respond to all this. It also keeps your mood light and happy.  Avoid contacts with an individual who has a cold.  Stay clear of smokers as the smoke inhaled can harm the baby.  Chicken pox can complicate matters for the baby. Do not make contact with anyone suspected of having the disease.

At this stage, your tummy will start to show and you may need bigger clothes. Wrap dresses or loose shirts or pants with adjustable waist bands are golden, as you will grow even bigger in the following months. Besides your tummy, you will notice your breasts becoming fuller and larger. Get a new and comfortable bra now! You may start to have cravings for certain food. However, don’t stuff yourself with food because you do not need to eat for two! Eat as per usual and be aware of your food intake to ensure food quality. Always consume a balanced diet that consists of a good balance of protein, calcium and iron as these are the key nutrients that aids in the growth of your baby. This is also the period where the baby’s teeth start to grow so increase your calcium and vitamin D intake now!

Fetal development During the fourth month, your baby starts to look more like a real baby. The facial features like eyelids, eyebrows and outer ears are developing. Teeth are formed inside the baby’s gums. Currently, the head is about half the size of the body while the brain begins to resemble that of the adult. Baby’s skin is pink and transparent and lanugo or very fine hairs will start to grow on the body too. Baby’s nervous system is starting to function and the vertebrae or bony parts of their spine

continue to strengthen. The external genital organs of the baby become obvious at the later part of the fourth month.

Common question that mothers have Is there any child birth classes I can sign up for? There are many child birth classes available so that will depend on the classes you intend to choose. Take the new parent classes as a couple, if possible. This will help you and your partner feel connected and ready for the arrival of the new baby.

Pregnancy GuidE

25


4th Month

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai Experiencing a welcoming boost of energy that reminds you of your old self? You no longer feel nausea nor fatigue. There is no urge to lie down in bed and sleep the day away. And you can actually keep your food down! It is a good thing, because you and your baby are gearing up for an exciting period of rapid growth.

You are feeling:

Cheerful and relaxed most of the time. You’re actually up for some activities and outings with your friends. Your mood is much better than before, thanks to increased energy and appetite. At times you may feel a little overweight or clumsy, but don’t get too down about it. Talking to your husband and doing a bit of exercise like yoga helps to boost your mind and body. Now that your belly is larger, you may feel the presence of your baby more acutely. Stronger mothering instincts may kick in.

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts: If you’re suffering from heartburn, avoid greasy, fatty, and spicy foods. Keep track of the specific foods that trigger heartburn. Eat small but frequent meals, and make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to decrease stomach acid. Does your back hurt? Stand and sit up straight. Good

26

Pregnancy Guide

Your Pregnancy To-Do List 1. Begin putting the nursery together. It is one of the best parts about preparing for the baby. Pick an adorable or suitable décor and theme, decide on the colour for the room and do not forget to get a baby cot. 2. Treat yourself to a ‘Me’ Day, where you get to do what you like. This special day out is all about you. 3. Go and shop for some maternity clothes that are loose-fitting, soft and stretchy. posture will help lessen back strain. You can also release the tension by going for a relaxing pre-natal massage. You can also get your husband to massage you before bedtime - which not only eases the pain, but also strengthens special care and bond.

Your gums may bleed easily due to hormonal changes that make them more sensitive than ever. Do your gums feel especially tender and swollen? Schedule a dentist checkup to make sure your teeth and gum are healthy. In the meantime, brush and floss regularly.

Tip of the month:

If your feet have grown larger from water retention, try to raise your legs on a footstool whenever possible. Elevating the feet above the heart will help to improve blood circulation and decrease the swelling. Buy a cute and comfortable shoes during your special day out. You deserve it!


*

* Compared with Combi’s old model strollers

Combi Singapore 732 North Bridge Road Singapore 198700 Tel: 6291 1183 www.facebook.com/Combi.Singapore


Baby's Nursery

10 Tips For Decorating The Perfect Nursery

By Crystal Tan

Designing your own nursery room can be so much fun! But where do you begin? Do you start off by purchasing all the furniture you like or do you have to paint the room first? Before yoAu get started, check out these tips to help you plan and prepare ahead. 28

Pregnancy Guide

1

Choosing a theme for your nursery Deciding on a theme gets you started on this whole project for your baby. Do you want your baby’s nursery to have a modern, simple or vintage look? Or maybe even a color or animal theme? These days, parents are getting more creative than before, check out Pinterest for some really cute inspirations.

2

Kick-start with the right crib Baby’s crib is usually the center of attention, choose one that will

complement the theme you have in mind. If you are getting a brand new crib, remember to purchase it early. You may need time for delivery, assembly and even return due to damages.

3

Add a personal touch to the room Nothing beats having a personalized space for your child’s growing years. So add in pictures of the family, D.I.Y projects for the baby and memorable items as a décor for the room. Dedicating a space for your child’s new photos will serve as a great conversation


starter for your family and friends when they come to visit.

4

Finish all painting jobs, at least two months before the baby’s due date It is recommended to finish up all painting jobs 2 months before baby’s arrival. This is to prevent baby from inhaling potentially harmful substances when they sleep in the room. Remember to open up the window/s for better ventilation in the room. Although the risk of fumes from modern household paints harming baby and pregnant mums is low, it is still recommended to avoid painting if you are pregnant.

5

Get baby products that are durable and ‘washable’ Baby is fragile and the last thing you want to see is a bump on the head or any cut on the face or body. Get toys or products that are durable and safe so as to minimize the risk of injuries. Not forgetting that a baby is also prone to ‘accidents’ and that include and not limited to vomiting, diarrhea and spills. It is recommended to get washable items for your baby or you may regret later!

will help to keep the nursery organized, neat and dust-free. The last thing you want to see is a cluttered and messy room. You wouldn’t like it and the same goes for the baby. If you think your storage space should be out of sight to others, consider hiding the storage areas with ceilingmounted curtains. Alternatively, get a baby closet with built in changing table, that will keep the room clean and neat!

8

Variation in light intensity The lighting in the nursery should be flexible in its intensity. There will be times that you will want a softer lighting to check on the baby without interrupting their sleep and other times, you will want it brighter for changing and cleaning. Getting a night lamp can be a great substitution for the main lights too!

9

Be inspired but think realistically There are so many great ideas out there and you might be

inspired to get many beautiful furniture or decorations for your baby. Be inspired by the different ideas that you have seen, but not overly inspired. Think realistically about your budget, the duration of usage and how useful it is. Come up with a budget list so that you can work within your plans.

10

Safety is always your top priority There is no point in having the most beautiful decoration and furniture, knowing that it will not be safe for your baby. Always review and inspect the furniture and decoration before purchasing it. Avoid purchasing brittle objects and objects that may end up as choking hazards. The arrangement of the furniture and crib and the power points should be taken into serious consideration too. Designing a nursery that can grow with your baby will be more practical and not so time-consuming. How will you decorate your nursery?

6

Add an adult-sized chair in the room While preparing and choosing your baby’s furniture and toy, one may forget to get some adultsized furniture in the room too. We will highly recommend a comfy rocking chair that you can rock your baby or one that you can sit for some reading while your baby sleeps. Definitely helpful when caring for your baby during those late nights or early mornings too!

7

Don’t forget Storage Space Within a month or two, baby’s products and necessities will start piling up. A good storage space

Pregnancy GuidE

29


5th Month

Fifth Month of Pregnancy By Dr Choo Wan Ling Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, SOG – Choo Wan Ling Clinic for Women

I

f you are a first-time mum, you should still be feeling great at this stage. You may start to feel the fetal moving in your womb at this stage. The movements are still very light at this point and may feel like fluttering touch only. There are days when you may not feel any movement at all as the baby is still quite small. Try to exercise regularly if you can. It will help you maintain your fitness level, which is important during delivery.

Changes to mother’s body and health You are starting to look more prominent with the pregnancy bump. Stretch marks may start to form so keep your skin moisturized. Due to the expanding bump and the additional weight on your body, you may start to get swollen legs and varicose veins. Be extra cautious when you are out, your

30

Pregnancy Guide


ligaments might weaken due to hormonal changes. Thus, it is common to sustain ‘sprains’ especially in the bum area (sacro-iliac joint).

Fetal development During the fifth month, the baby should weigh

around 300-600g and approximate 20cm long from crown to rump. Baby’s eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed at this stage. Through their eyelids are still fused, the eyeballs are fully developed. Baby’s organs are almost fully

formed at this stage. Be amazed that their air sacs in the lungs are fully developed now, but they are still not mature to function outside the womb. The baby is starting to accumulate fat and beginning to look more ‘chubby’.

Common questions that mothers have Can I still travel at this stage? Yes, at this point airlines do allow pregnant women to fly. You should still feel fairly mobile at this stage to enjoy travelling.

Quote of the Month: “Let us make pregnancy an occasion when we appreciate our female bodies.” –Merete Leonhardt-Lupa

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai This month is all about prioritizing sleep to accommodate the growing set of aches and pains you’re experiencing – including persisting back pain. The good thing is, you will still feel relatively energetic. The downside is, your muscles and ligaments are really stretching to support the weight of your growing baby. But here’s an exciting bonus for you, you

will get to find out the gender of your baby during the fifth month of pregnancy!

You are feeling: More on edge. Sleep deprivation may contribute to brain fog and a short temper. Set aside a specific time and place in your home where you can de-stress and connect with your baby. Place your hand on your belly and imagine the little miracle that you’re growing. Think of

Your Pregnancy To-Do List 1. Start a list of baby names. Whether or not you chose to find out your baby’s gender, you and your husband can jot down some favourite names to choose from. 2. Think about your preferred method of labor and delivery. Do you prefer to deliver naturally without any pain medication, or are you planning to get an epidural? What would you say are the pros and cons of each?

kind and gentle thoughts about yourself and your body and you will forget about the aches and pains for a while.

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts: The skin on your belly is stretching, getting tighter and tremendously itchy. Rub some baby oil, coconut oil, or your favourite moisturizing cream to relieve the itching. Any discomfort in your lower abdomen and hips can be relieved by doing three to five pelvic tilts, follow these steps:

❶ Get on your hands and knees. ❷ Breathe in, then tighten your abdomen and buttocks. Your back will naturally arch up. Hold for three seconds. ❸ Breathe out and relax. Your back should be straight. ❹ Repeat.

Pregnancy GuidE

31


Labour

Epidural is a form of anesthetic that is administered to the back of the woman during childbirth. Does an epidural provide very good pain relief during child birth? Dr Choo Wan Ling tells you more about epidural and how it works.

32

Pregnancy Guide


How does an epidural work?

An epidural is a regional analgesia. That means that it decreases (rather than block completely) pain sensation in a particular region of the body and in this case it’s the lower part of our body. It blocks out the nerve impulses from the lower part of the body with anesthetic medication that is instilled in the epidural space.

What is the procedure like?

An epidural feels like a normal injection except that it is done along the spine. It is usually performed by an anaesthetist. You will be asked to lie on your side or seated upright. With your back arched outwards (with body curled up) to ‘open’ up the spaces between the spinal bones. The first injection will be administered to numb the area before the epidural needle is inserted. You will feel some pressure as the anaesthetist is inserting the epidural needle into the space. Subsequently, a fine plastic tubing will be threaded through the epidural needle and the needle will then be removed. The anaesthetic medication will be pumped through that plastic tubing continuously to provide the pain relief throughout the labour process. At the end of the delivery process, the plastic catheter will be removed.

Can anyone have an epidural during delivery? Most women can have an epidural during delivery. There are certain contraindications to epidural and these are:

 The fetus is significant distress  Abruption placentae (separation of placenta before delivery of baby)  Infection at site of injection  Bleeding disorders  Back/neurological conditions (this is dependent on case to case basis)

epidural is in, you would have to be restricted to your bed and not be able to walk around. If you would prefer to be mobile during labour, it is best that you delay having the epidural until the discomfort gets too much for you to want to walk anyway.

What are the pros and cons of using an epidural for pain relief during labour?

Is there any side effect for using epidural?

Administering the epidural during labour is to help alleviate the pain. In comparison to the other forms of pain relief in labour like Entonox (gaseous mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen) or Intramuscular Pethidine, the procedure of having an epidural is more invasive as it requires an injection into the epidural space in the spine. However, the epidural provides very effective pain relief compared to Entonox and Intramuscular Pethidine. Having sufficient pain relief allows you to relax and rest during labour, conserving your energy for the pushing later. Many a times, we do see that with relaxation, the cervix does actually dilate faster. Hence it is not true that having an epidural would slow down labour progression. The fear that some women have is that they would be unable to push the baby out because they can’t feel the contractions. As the epidural dose can be adjusted, when fully dilated, it is possible to lower the dose of epidural so that some sensation can be felt to help with the pushing. As an epidural reduces the sensation in the lower body, once the

Common side effects include uncontrollable shivering, nausea, vomiting. Sometimes after the initial placement of the epidural, there can be a sudden drop in the mother’s blood pressure and that can cause the fetal heart rate to drop. This is usually momentary and once the maternal blood pressure is stabilized with intravenous infusion, the fetal heart rate should revert back to the norm. As the sensation in the lower body decreased, there may be a need for a urinary catheter as you might not be able to sense if the bladder is full. This sensation would slowly return a few hours after the epidural is removed. Similarly, walking can only resume later after the epidural wears off after the delivery. In instances where some women may have difficulty pushing due to numbness, the need for instrumental delivery eg. Vacuum and forceps delivery is increased during the second stage of labour. Less than 1% of patients may experience a ‘dural’ tap. This is when there is a puncture in the dural membrane. When the epidural catheter is removed, the fluid surrounding the spinal cord flows out from the puncture resulting in an intense headache when upright. This usually heals on its own after a few days to a week, otherwise a blood patch can be done to close up the gap. Nerve damage is extremely rare.

Will the epidural affect the newborn? There is no concrete evidence to suggest that epidurals can affect a newborn or the fetus.

Pregnancy GuidE

33


6th Month

Sixth Month of Pregnancy 34

Pregnancy Guide


Fetal development By Dr Choo Wan Ling Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, SOG – Choo Wan Ling Clinic for Women

Changes to mother’s health and body

You would be starting to slow down at this stage as the belly continues to grow. Try some back stretches to ease the back aches. This is the good time to start on pelvic floor exercises to tone up the muscles – you would not want the incontinence (trouble controlling urine) to continue after birth. Do some feet/leg exercises at bed time to help reduce the leg swelling and cramping. If leg cramps are common at night, you can consider getting compression socks to wear at night.

The belly is getting bigger and more uncomfortable. Backaches are common as the back arches to balance the bigger tummy. Lower leg swelling is getting more obvious too. As the pelvic bone starts to expand as the baby grows, it puts a strain on the pubic symphysis (right below the belly). Mums may complain of sharp pain when walking, sitting, getting up or turning around in bed. You can consider getting a belly belt to help support that area. Urinary frequency may be an issue again as the pressure from the womb increases. Due to the uterus pressing on to the pelvic floor, some women may even experience urinary incontinence when they cough or sneeze.

During the sixth month, Baby’s lanugo hair is becoming more obvious as it takes on a darker tone. They are still growing at this stage and will start to grow rapidly towards the end of this month. Baby is putting on more fats and they look like a full-grown baby. At this stage, baby’s hearing and sight are becoming more distinct. There may even response to loud noises and even light source that is placed on mummy’s tummy. Well, don’t be surprised if you feel baby’s hiccups in the womb too.

Common question that mothers have Should there be any changes to my diet? There should not be much changes to your current diet. The foods to avoid and restrict are the same as before. You may notice that you have a better appetite and continue to keep to the nutritious foods that you have been consuming. Do continue with the supplement intake so to replenish your nutritional needs.

Pregnancy GuidE

35


6th Month

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai This is the last leg of your second trimester and you are already at 2/3 of the journey! Keep up the morale by indulging in some cravings and whims and going on a date with your husband.

You are feeling:

A bit puffy and bloated. Are your hands, feet and face experiencing some mild swelling? That’s because of water retention from significant

increase in blood volume. It’s a natural part of pregnancy. But any frustration about your size might dissipate once you sense your baby moving in your womb. You might even be startled when you feel your little baby hiccupping in your womb! It’s a funny and incredible sensation.

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts:

Mums-to-be are especially susceptible to vaginal infections

Your Pregnancy To-Do List 1. Go on a romantic date or weekend getaway with your husband. 2. Have you already preregistered at the hospital where you will deliver? If not, better get on that now.

because of the surge in hormones. While increased clear vaginal discharge is normal throughout pregnancy, if you experience persisting itchiness, burning, swelling or irritation around your vagina, or if your discharge is abnormal (very gray, white or yellow), consult your doctor immediately. For prevention, wear loose cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants. Better yet, put on a pretty dress or skirt for breezy comfort. Leg cramps are due to pressure from your growing uterus. Do leg stretches and massages, wear comfortable shoes, and eat calcium-rich foods. Avoid crossing your legs as it restricts circulation and don’t stand or sit in one position for too long. Putting your feet up and exercising should also help.

Quote of the Month: “A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside...when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone” –Unknown 36

Pregnancy Guide


Pregnancy GuidE

37


Labour

38

Pregnancy Guide


Best

Maternity Hospitals

In Singapore By Cindy Gan

Delivering a baby is one of the biggest milestones in life – bringing life to the world brings a wave of emotions quite different from baking the bun in the oven. After carrying your baby for nine months, all parents were be eager to meet their baby. Most parents’ top concern will be where is the most comfortable and safe place to meet their bundle of joy. Read what these mummies have to share about their own delivery experiences at the different maternity hospitals in Singapore Pregnancy GuidE

39


Labour Convenience and assurance give us a peace of mind Melissa, who is currently expecting her second child, shared that she delivered her elder daughter at Gleneagles because of her gynecologist. “The services provided by the hospital was pretty good during my first pregnancy. However, delivering at Gleneagles can be quite costly as they only offer 2 bedded room, 1 bedded and suites for delivery.” Her gynecologist is based at the hospital and hence, convenience and assurance helped in her choice. On a general basis, delivery in private hospitals tends to cost more compared to public hospitals. There are several factors that make up the bill i.e. type of ward, delivery method, hospital stay package, usage of delivery suite, peripherals such as

40

Pregnancy Guide

medication, cotton balls and baby’s essentials such as diapers, new set of clothing, pediatrician checks and immunization jabs. In addition, for your spouse or a family member to room-in, rates are charged per night. For private patients, the gynecologist’s fee is billed separately.

when she delivered her son: “The nurses were awesome. Attended to all my needs and requirements. The lactation consultant was helpful too and the physiotherapist (I had a cesarean) was good too.” Needless to say, she would highly recommend KKH to anyone.

Is a well-equipped hospital on top of your priority list?

Appetizing meals make the stay a comfortable one

While Melissa had her own experience at Gleneagles, she has positive vibes about KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) as her sister-in-law had delivered all her 3 children there. “KKH comes in top for their pediatric service,” Melissa shared. It is the only full-fledged and well-equipped hospital to manage newborn complications and many other hospitals send their patients there to seek treatments. Mother of one, Katherine, recalls a highly positive experience at KKH

Some of us detest eating foods provided by the hospital due to the unappetizing look and lackluster flavor. We had to agree that meals prepare by the hospital do play a part in providing a holistic and comfortable experience for new mothers. We are surprised that there are menu selections at some hospitals and new mothers are allowed to choose between regular or confinement food. Jerelynn, who delivered her boy at Mount Elizabeth Orchard, gives


thumbs up to the dishes she had during her stay in the single-bedded ward. “It was a pleasant experience. Nurses and lactation consultant were experienced, professional and good with babies. Maternity wards are clean and spacious,” adds Jerelynn.

Attentive and professional nurses make a difference I welcomed our little girl at Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) as our gynecologist’s clinic was located there. She could hop over to Mount Alvernia though, so it was a choice between the two.We eventually went with the former in view of the traffic between both hospitals, and was worried about the delays in getting her over when we needed her. TMC is cosy and the rooms are clean and spacious, allowing my husband to room-in comfortably. We had an extremely positive experience with the Sister who helped us during the second half of the delivery process. She was full of energy and sent positive motivation to cheer us on. However, we had an inexperienced midwife who assisted us for the first half of delivery process and the experience was not pleasant. For Julia, who delivered her daughter at Mount Alvernia, this Catholic hospital has earned nods of approval from many parents for having a certain kind of warmth that exudes from their staff. Despite a surprise Cesarean due to her breech baby, she “found the nurses to be very professional and accommodating. By and large, it lived up to my expectations but then again my ward was in the new wing,” quips Julia. Despite delivering her firstborn at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), Jane too, agreed that Mount Alvernia is one of the best maternity hospital in Singapore. Hearing good feedback from friends who delivered at Mount Alvernia, she says her friends were “sharing that the service is good”. From her own

experience at SGH: “The waiting time was terrible. There was no differentiation between private or Subsidized patient. Everyone had to queue and wait together. You might be attended by an inexperienced Medical Officer (MO) if you were admitted for delivery during the wee hours. Consultation fee is the same as a private hospital.” Despite some bumps, other areas received credit. “Delivery charge is cheaper and lesser people deliver there so nurses are more attentive to your needs during the stay.” And due to a preexisting medical condition, she may still return to SGH for her next child.

QUICK DIPS ON THE INDIVIDUAL HOSPITAL RATES GLENEAGLES $3,175 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. KKH $2,020 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. MOUNT ELIZABETH HOSPITAL S$3,180 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. MT ELIZABETH NOVENA HOSPITAL $3,330 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. MT ALVERNIA $2947.85 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. SGH $3,000 - $3,300 for single-bedded A1 Class with normal delivery, 2-day stay. (Inclusive of doctor’s fees, services and ward stay) TMC From $3,143.66 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. PARKWAY EAST $3,136 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. NUH $3,110.50 - $4608.50 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. (Inclusive of doctor’s delivery fee, nursery fee and etc) RAFFLES HOSPITAL $2,588 for single-bedded with normal delivery, 2-day stay. *All prices are correct at time of publication

Additional support through antenatal class Like Mount Alvernia, TMC has a ParentCraft Centre to assist new parents in caring for their newborn and the breastfeeding journey. Both centres organize Antenatal classes for parents-to-be, and Mrs Wong Boh Boi’s classes are highly recommended – even hubbies won’t fall asleep! Having heard several good reviews, I wouldn’t mind considering Mount Alvernia for my next child, since we are most likely staying with the same gynecologist. All hospitals do maternity ward tours, so it would be nice to check out the facilities and clear all your doubts and concerns with the hospital representative. Antenatal classes are available at the different hospitals too. However, schedules and payment are separate from the maternity package that the hospitals offer. If you’re welcoming a baby soon, congratulations and we hope that you will find a hospital that meet your needs!

PREGNANCY GUIDE

41


7th Month

Seventh Month of Pregnancy Tip of the month:

Worried about stretch marks? Is more cropping up? Although many balms claimed that they can prevent stretch marks, there is little proof that they actually work. But to relieve tightness, continue to rub a rich, creamy moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and looking smooth. Do not be too bothered with these stretch marks because you will find it all worthwhile when you meet your baby!

Apart from the routine follow-up with your obstetrician, you may be advised to undergo an ‘oral glucose tolerance test’ (OGTT). This test helps to diagnose Gestational Diabetes Gestational diabetes (GDM) during pregnancy. It can occur anytime during pregnancy, but typically, it occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy. 42

Pregnancy Guide

By Dr Kelly Loi Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Hospital

T

his test is usually offered to women with risk factors for developing GDM at around 28 weeks

gestation. Poorly controlled gestational diabetes can lead to macrosomia (large babies that is above 4kg) or difficult births (shoulder dystocia, birth trauma and emergency C-sections). There is also an increased risk of stillbirth with poorly controlled diabetes. When diagnosed with this condition, close monitoring of the pregnancy is needed. Dietary control may be sufficient in some cases, but insulin injections may be required. Some risk factors include being overweight, belonging to an older age group (aged 35 and above), a personal history of polycystic ovary syndrome, a previous history of a big baby or still birth and a family history of diabetes. As the pregnancy is nearing full term, you may ask your doctor about the mode of delivery and birth plans may be discussed.

Changes in Mother’s body and health The baby bump becomes increasingly prominent and stretch marks may start to appear. Continue to keep your skin moisturized. You may


feel some pain in your ribs as baby grows and pushes upward on your rib cage. The pressure may cause indigestion and heartburn too. At this stage of your pregnancy, you may also experience occasional Braxton Hicks tightening (hardening and relaxing of the uterus).

Fetal development During the seventh month, your baby measures about 25cm from crown to rump and is growing plumper with an estimated weight around 1kg. Their head and body are now proportioned like a newborn's. Baby’s hands are now fully formed and

you will be surprised that their fingernails are growing too. Your baby will continue to change position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound, pain, and light.

Common question that mothers have At this stage, is my

baby considered fully developed? Even at seventh month, the baby is still ‘premature’. In the event that there are any signs of labour or if there is any concern that the amniotic bag is leaking, you should let your doctor know immediately.

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai Welcome to the third and last trimester! This is the final leg of your pregnancy journey. You might be getting a bit nervous at the thought of your impending labour. Do you know that your internal organs has shifted to make room for your growing baby? Yes, you might experience some shortness of breath along with the feeling of being very “full.” Not to worry – read on for tips on how to get through your seventh month as smoothly as possible.

You are feeling:

Tired. The pregnancy fatigue you experienced in the first trimester is back. Once again, you’re tempted to crawl under your office desk to nap or nod off in front of the television in the early evening. You also feel very “stuffed up” because your breasts are larger than before and so is your belly. Your baby is growing remarkably fast. Everything in your tummy feels overwhelmed and crowded,

Your Pregnancy To-Do List:

1. Do you have the intention to breastfeed your baby? If you plan to, then in addition to looking into nursing bras and pads, you could also check out breast pumps and nipple ointments so that you’re prepared for it. Consult other mummy friends who has breastfed and those who did not to get a better idea on this breastfeeding journey. 2. It is time to research on the potential pediatricians for your baby. 3. Are you planning on taking childbirth classes? If you haven’t signed up already, do so now. so it’s hard to get comfortable sometimes. Just remember, it will not be long till you get to meet the love of your life.

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts: If you’re out of breath easily, try to raise your arms high up above your head. Breathe slowly, taking in deep breaths to get more air. When you’re walking or exercising, take frequent breaks in between to catch your breath. Your breasts are probably

feeling heavier than ever. That’s because your body is gearing up to feed your baby. Whether or not you decide to breastfeed, your breasts will prepare for it. At times, you might find that your nipples are leaking out a clear or goldenyellow fluid called colostrum. It is an extremely nutrient-dense form of milk. The leak is minimal so there is not a need for wearing nursing pads yet. If you have the intention to breastfeed your baby, it is a time to get a pair now. It is a good time to try on some nursing bras too.

Pregnancy GuidE

43


Advertorial

Kinderland infant care Choosing The Right School For Your Baby With more mothers opting to head back to the workforce after giving birth, parents start to look for alternative care for their baby. It’s not easy to entrust your precious little child to any caregiver unless you know that your baby will be in good hands. Many new parents turn to Infant care centres knowing that their child will be well cared for by the professionals in the school. Kinderland Infant Care is one that stood up among the rest with its quality services, dedicated teachers and a safe and secure environment for baby’s exploration. 44

Pregnancy Guide

Choosing a right school is crucial for your child's success in life The first three years of a child’s life are the most crucial period for their growth and development. Therefore, a quality school makes a difference in your child’s life! The school will provide the setting where the children can thrive under a qualified and experienced team who understand how to heighten their holistic development. The team at Kinderland Infant Care strikes a great balance in helping these children learn through developmentally-appropriate activities and discover through self-exploration. In return, the children are conscious and curious about the world that they live in. In addition, the team strongly believes in raising children who are creative in their thinking and are strong and independent problem-solvers. Kinderland is one of the minority that adopts a smaller ratio of 1 caregiver to 4 infants, which is below the ratio given by the Ministry. No doubt that they are a school that truly cares for the well-being of these little children under their care. Every child’s needs and interests


observant and responsive to their needs. The positive energy that the teachers displayed, helps the baby to adapt to the new environment quickly. This could be the reason why the babies are happy explorers in the school.

matter to the school and they strive to provide a conducive environment where they can grow and learn. Dedicated and responsive teachers When talking about quality care for young children, the teachers’ patience, energy level and tender care play a big part too. For a baby to feel safe and a sense of belonging to the environment, the teachers must build a strong relationship with them through endless love and tender care to help them adapt, grow and learn in a happy environment. The qualified and experienced teachers at Kinderland undergo specialized training to help them understand the baby’s needs and development. They respect each baby as an individual and are

Safe and secure environment for exploration A young child needs a loving and caring environment to learn and develop. The environment should be safe and yet, provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. In each school, the needs of the babies are taken into consideration during planning and designing. Each centres have their own specially designed environment that creates a safe and conducive setting for the babies to grow, explore and learn

at their own pace. Even their toys, furniture and equipment are specially selected and designed for their age! With 4 infant care centres and 22 preschools to date, Kinderland is conveniently located around Singapore. It will not be just a school, but it will become yours and your child’s favourite school!

Kinderland Infant Care is available at: Kinderland @ Ministry of National Development, 7 Maxwell Road MND Complex Annexe B, #06-02 Singapore 069111 Contact: 6323 1138 kesmnd@kinderland.com.sg

Kinderland @ SengKang, 363 & 365 Lorong Buang Kok Singapore 547687 Contact: 6315 8732 kessk@kinderland.com.sg

Kinderland @ Hougang Blk 202, Hougang St.21, #03-00 Singapore 530202 Contact: 6287 1841 keshg@kinderland.com.sg

Kinderland @ Republic Polytechnic 17 Woodlands Ave 9 #01-01 Singapore 738968 Contact: 6269 5414 kesrp@kinderland.com.sg

Contact the individual centres or call them up at 6881 8818 to take a tour around the school!

Pregnancy GuidE

45


8th Month

46

Pregnancy Guide


Eighth Month of Pregnancy At this stage of your pregnancy, it may be challenging for you to move around due to the swelling in your ankles, fingers and even your face as your body produces and retains more fluid than usual. Try to sit with your legs elevated whenever possible. Gentle massages also help to improve the situation.

survival rate for babies born between 32-35 weeks is about 98%, but babies that weigh less than 4pounds will automatically be placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.

head will begin to descend into your pelvis. You do not have to worry if your baby is breeched (buttocks down), as majority of the babies will turn by themselves at the second week of this month. The chance of your baby staying breech is low. The

When do I know that I am going into labour? The signs of labour include waters break or when you suspect your amniotic fluid is leaking, contractions that are more frequent, stronger and painful, abdominal pain and slight bleeding. If you are unsure, call your doctor or head to the hospital immediately.

By Dr Wee Horng Yen Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

I

f your blood type is Rh negative, you will be given an Anti-D injection at this stage. This will help to prevent your immune system from forming antibodies and attacking your baby’s red blood cell.

Changes in Mother’s body and health You may have experienced BraxtonHicks contractions since entering the third trimester. However, at this stage, you may encounter an increased occurrence of these contractions. These contractions may give you the wrong signal and you may even panic and think you are

in labor. The difference between a true labor and a “false labor” symptom is that Braxton-Hicks contractions do not continue for a prolong period of time. A real labor symptoms means that the contractions will grow consistently longer and stronger. As your baby matures, he may play with the umbilical cord, causing it to become entangled. A reduction in baby’s movements may signify cord accidents. Hence, fetal movements are highly pertinent at this stage. Though his movements may alternate between a state of rest and active moving, you should note that in every 2 hours, there should be at least 10 baby movements. Also, expect stronger kicks and punches from your baby.

Common question that mothers have

Fetal development During the eighth month, most babies’

Pregnancy GuidE

47


8th Month

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai It is not too long before you get to meet your baby! During these final two months of your pregnancy, try to focus more on yourself. Once you give birth, most of the attention will be on the baby as relatives, helpers, your husband and you try to meet his or her needs. It will be crazier than ever. But right now, while your little baby remains tucked away in your belly and you’re still the glowing mum-to-be, do what you need or love to do – before your life undergoes those huge changes.

You are feeling:

Very pregnant. You walk with a slight “pregnancy waddle” and your ball of a belly gets in the way of doing things, like tying your own shoelaces or picking something up from the floor. Despite these little adjustments, you’re also more or less

Tip of the month:

If the maternity clothes that you bought earlier no longer fit you well, go and shop for new ones. You can also put on your husband’s T-shirts for comfort and convenience. Your weight gain should be slowing down so try to cut back on ice cream and other late-night munchies.

48

Pregnancy Guide

Your Pregnancy To-Do List:

1. Pack your baby’s essentials as well as your own in a bag for the hospital. 2. If you’re working, start wrapping up projects. Delegate your tasks to those who will be covering for you when you’re on maternity leave. 3. Go on a “babymoon” with your friends. It could be a fun sleepover at a fancy hotel, a day at the spa together, or a catch-up lunch at your favourite restaurant. This is your opportunity to connect with them before you feel too pregnant, or before the baby arrives and takes up all your time. acquainted with all the usual bloat, aches and pains and soreness that have continued to linger on for the past several months. Well, what’s another month or two of discomfort when you have already come so far? So hang in there!

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts:

Many mums-to-be experience groin and pelvic pain as well as a strain on their inner thighs. Make sure you’re sitting down when getting dressed, especially when putting on pants. Avoid activities that will cause you discomfort. For example, take the elevator instead of the stairs and when you do take the stairs, go up or down slowly, taking one step at a time. Sleep on your side and avoid rolling over in bed. Doing some pelvic tilts can also help. Other unpleasant symptoms like leg cramps, lower back aches, heartburn, and shortness of breath are probably still

going on and could continue till the end of your pregnancy. Refer to the previous months for remedies for these discomforts, and in the meantime, be encouraged that they will vanish after you deliver.


Home

How to

Childproof Your House By MarcieMom

Pregnancy GuidE

49


Home

For young children, the risk of injury often comes from falls, choking, poisoning, burns and drowning. Childproofing your house becomes an important factor in caring for your child. Below are the top 10 tips on childproofing your home: Childproof Tip #1

Get A Baby’s Eye View From an adult’s view, there may not be much danger or accidentprone areas at home. However, things can look very different from

your crawling baby’s view. If you get down on your knees and move about, you may suddenly notice that the electricity outlet is right in your face beside many sharp corners you could bump into. Household tools kept in lower cabinet look dangerously like a toy and are a real

danger. As your child grows older, look around the house again at his or her eye-level. Childproof Tip #2

Bumper That Corner Bumping into corners of tables is a common accident for a child. Get bumpers for all corners and if you’re designing your house for babies, choose furniture without sharp corners and which you won’t cringe if the bumpers left a mark after removal. Childproof Tip #3

Cover The Outlet All electrical outlets should be covered and you can choose those with sliding safety latch. Make sure the plug-in caps you choose are not easily removed and become a choking hazard. Drawers should be closed and installed with safety latch too. Childproof Tip #4

Gate It Your crawling baby/ toddler probably has no business in the kitchen. Install a safety gate where you don’t want your child to go. If you are choosing a safety gate that works with pressure clamps instead of requiring holes to be drilled, make sure that the gates themselves are secure and will not fall off. Childproof Tip #5

Put Danger Away Children will not know that something should not be consumed nor played with, thus keep items below out of reach: Detergent and chemicals Flammable liquids Medicines Sharp objects like knife, pen knife,

50

Pregnancy Guide


letter opener and scissors Tools Pot handles or hot objects should be kept out of reach and the former, turned inward Trash cans Childproof Tip #6

The Tiny Ones Babies who are learning to crawl are also exploring their world. Very likely, anything on the floor (even lizard poop!) may be of interest to them. Be sure that paper clips, loose staples, buttons, coins or safety pins are not on the floor. Childproof Tip #7

Coil It Electrical wires may trip a child or if it’s too long, it may be a strangulation hazard. Likewise for curtain cords. Be sure that these are either in protective casing or safely coiled and out of reach from the child. Childproof Tip #8

No Topple Adults don’t pull the entire bookshelf when using it, but children are likely to climb on the shelves, thus toppling the entire shelf over. Television and other furniture which may tipped over should be secured to the wall. Place heavier items below to reduce risk of toppling over. Childproof Tip #9

Off The Window Avoid placing furniture near to the window, such as a chair where the child can climb and look out. As children have a higher centre of gravity, it is easy for them to tip over and fall off. Never encourage a child to climb on a chair and look out of the window.

Childproof Tip #10

Practice Water Safety Never leave water in the bath tub nor leave a child unattended in one. Toilet seat cover should have a safety latch to avoid the child falling in. For washing machine, always switch it off (and unplug if necessary) to avoid a child pressing

and starting a washing cycle, and being in it! Keep all electrical appliances away from water to avoid electric shock. While childproofing your home is important, child supervision is critical. No matter how safe your home is, your young child should always be supervised – of course, a childproofed home makes your job easier!

Pregnancy GuidE

51


9th Month

Ninth Month of Pregnancy By Dr Lim May Li Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Hospital

It's almost time to meet your little baby, which means you will deliver anytime soon. This stage of pregnancy can be considered as a significant pregnancy milestone. As the pregnancy is approaching "term", many pregnant mothers will likely be in a mood of anxiousness or excitement while anticipating to deliver and meet their baby. Vigilance on baby's wellbeing continues to be of paramount importance.

A

swab test will be taken from the birth canal to screen for a bacteria called "Group B Streptococcus" (GBS). GBS is an organism found in the gut. Due to close proximity between the anus and birth canal, GBS is

52

Pregnancy Guide


sometimes detected in the vagina. A positive swab test means antibiotics will be given to the pregnant mother during labour. This is a preventative measure against infection in the newborn.

such as headache, visual disturbance, nausea/vomiting and right-sided upper tummy pains warrant immediate medical attention.

Changes in Mother’s body and health

On this last stage of pregnancy, the baby is getting rounder each day. Their wrinkly appearance will disappear and their skin will get smoother in the healthy shade of pink. Baby’s brain is developing quickly and they are currently practicing their natural reflexes in your womb, such as blinking. Your baby will drop lower in your abdomen and towards the last week of labor, baby will position their head down into the pelvis. You are right, baby is preparing for birth!

Baby will continue to be active in the womb, so you will continue to feel them move consistently. Consult your doctor immediately if you are wondering why your baby is not moving as much as before. Your feet/leg will continue to swell and the pressure on your lower tummy will bring inconvenience and discomfort. Rest as much as possible and keeping your legs propped up will help to alleviate these symptoms. This stage of pregnancy may be the time when problems such as high blood pressure first arise. Symptoms

Fetal development

Common question that mothers have Will I have a normal birth? The chance of a

successful vaginal birth will be more assured when the mother goes into labour and when there is observation of

the continual opening of the neck of the womb and the downward movement of the baby's head in the birth canal.

Mum’s Sharing By Jenny Tai You’re in the last month! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far. It has been quite a journey. Keep in mind that babies are not always born

on their expected due date. Perhaps, your little one is more eager to come into the world, and will arrive early for you to rejoice. Or maybe your baby needs more time before he or she meets you. Whichever the

case, do not get too anxious. Your darling will come in due time. So, are you ready for the grand finale?

You are feeling: Ready to pop. And on top

Pregnancy GuidE

53


9th Month

have a long commute, make sure you go to the bathroom before you hit the road. And do not be embarrassed to excuse yourself for a quick bathroom break in the middle of long meetings. No one is going to scoff at the needs of a pregnant lady.

Tip of the month:

of that, you’re a jumble of nerves. You’re insanely excited, terrified, worried, irritable, impatient and happy. Sometimes you think that nine months have flown by too quickly, while other times you might think that you have been waiting for this day for way too long. At this stage, you might also be dreading the labour and delivery process and could be worrying yourself silly. Steer clear of negativities! That horror story that happened to your XXX’s friend is not going to happen to you. So stop freaking out!

Remedies for Common Pregnancy Discomforts:

Do you feel irregular contractions in your uterus? These are Braxton Hicks, and they are just false alarms for labor pains. In fact, it is also your body’s natural reaction as it prepares for the actual labour. It’s normal to feel Braxton Hicks near the end of your pregnancy. Try to relax or change your position to ease any discomfort. You might have to pee more often during this stage. Even though your bladder feels like it is the size of a bean, you should continue to stay hydrated. If you

Your Pregnancy To-Do List 1. Double check that you have everything you need in your bag for the hospital. Make final arrangements for your hospital stay. Remember your camera! 2. Talk to your husband and relatives about who the people who will be visiting you and the baby. It is also good to let your husband know who you will love to see and those that you prefer rather not host. Let your husband take charge of this. 3. Decide on who will enter the delivery room with you.

54

Pregnancy Guide

Sit or lie down on your side together with your husband, talk to your baby about how excited you both are, as you both look forward to welcome him or her into your family. Voice how much you love him or her already. This will strengthen the bonding before your baby arrives. Pregnancy is only the start of a lifelong relationship with your child. From the first month through the ninth month of pregnancy, you experienced the miracle of carrying and growing a new life. Your body is amazing, and you are amazing. You’ve been making sacrifices for your child since Day One. As you begin motherhood, keep in mind that no one knows and loves your baby like you do. You’re going to be a great mum, believe in yourself!


Baby Care Terms

Terminology and its explanation (A-Z)

Common Baby Care Terms You Need To Know About! By MarcieMom TERMS

EXPLANATION

Acidosis

Condition characterised by too much acids in the body fluids; young children may be diagnosed with metabolic acidosis, whereby the body produces too much acid or the kidneys are not able to remove sufficient acid.

Allergy

Hypersensitive reaction of the immune system to allergens that may manifest in the airways (asthma or allergic rhinitis), skin (eczema) or as food allergy.

Apnea

Pauses in breathing or shallow breaths; obstructive sleep apnea where enlarged tonsils block the airway is the most common types of sleep apnea in children.

Baby wearing

Refers to carrying the baby in a baby carrier or sling.

Birthmarks

Pigmented skin spots that can either be at birth or shortly after birth.

Pregnancy GuidE

55


Bronchitis

Inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tube lining.

Circumcision

Refers to removal of excess foreskin (in boys).

Cleft

Cleft lip and cleft palate are facial and oral malformations that result due to insufficient tissue in the mouth or lip area for the tissue to join properly.

Colic

Refers to excessive crying in babies, generally more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week and for more than 3 weeks.

Diaper rash

Refers to the skin at the diaper area being red, irritated with rashes.

Diphtheria

Bacterial infection that causes at thick coating (or membrane) in the nose, throat or airway. It is a condition for which vaccination is administered as part of the DTaP vaccine.

Down syndrome

A genetic condition that occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

Ear infection

Also known as acute otitis media, commonly refers to bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear.

Eczema

An inflammatory skin condition, characterised by itch, rash, redness, blisters, thickened or pigmented skin.

Engorgement

Refers to the painful, over-swelling of the breasts with milk.

Flat head

Also known as plagiocephaly, it is a condition that causes a baby's head to have a flat spot or be misshapen.

Follow-up formula

Refers to formula milk designed for babies above six months old.

Fontenelle

Refers to the soft spots on the baby’s skull where the bones have not yet fused.

Gastrointestinal reflux

Common known as acid reflux, refers to the lower esophageal sphincter not closing fully or opening too often and allowing stomach acids to move into the esophagus.

Grasping reflex

Refers to the instinctive and involuntary curling of baby’s fingers over an object.

Grazing

Refers to eating small amounts of food throughout the day.

HFMD

Hand, food and mouth disease is a contagious disease which is caused by virus that lead to fever, blister-like sores in the mouth and skin rash.

Heart murmur

Extra or unusual sound during a heartbeat

Heat rash

Also known as prickly heat or miliaria rubra, it refers to a rash resultant from blocked sweat glands

Ibuprofen

Medication that is prescribed for fever, pain relief and inflammation

Impetigo

A bacterial skin infection with appearance of tiny red spots that become blisters that rupture and produce a honey-coloured crust.

Incubator

An intensive care unit that maintain suitable temperature and environmental conditions for premature babies.

Jaundice

Refers to yellow pigmented skin due to build up of bilirubin in baby's blood.

Kangaroo care

A technique sometimes practiced on preterm newborn babies where the baby is held skin to skin with an adult.

Kegel exercise

Refers to exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles

Lactose intolerance

Refers to a deficiency in the intestinal enzyme lactase and thus cannot absorb lactose.

56

Pregnancy Guide


Baby Care Terms

Mastitis

Refers to inflammation of the breast.

Meningitis

An infection of the lining and fluid that cover the outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Motor skills

Refers to movements carried out when the brain, nervous system and muscles work together; can be categorised as fine motor skills or gross motor skills.

Nebulizer Treatment

Refers to treatment where the liquid is changed to a mist for easier inhalation, often used in asthma treatment.

Neonatologist

Doctor trained to handle complex and high-risk conditions in infants.

Night terror

Refers to alarming sleep disruption that occurs during deep non-rapid eye movement sleep.

Omphalocele

Refers to birth defect in which an infant's intestine or other abdominal organs are outside of the navel area.

Placenta

Organ attached to the lining of uterus during pregnancy that sustains the foetus with nutrients, helps with waste elimination, gas exchange with protection function.

Pneumonia

Bacterial or viral infection inside the lungs.

Premature baby

Refers to baby of less than 37 weeks gestational age.

Quinsy

Also known as a peritonsillar abscess, is a rare complication of tonsillitis.

Ringworm

Rash caused by the fungus trichophyton and microsporum.

Rooting reflex

Refers to a reflex in newborn babies where the face is automatically turned towards a stimulus and sucking motions are made with the mouth when the cheek or lips are touched (for breastfeeding).

Rotavirus

A highly contagious virus that infects children, characterised by diarrhoea.

SIDS

Refers to sudden infant death syndrome, often associated with sleep in newborn babies

Scarlet fever

Caused by the streptococcus bacteria that makes a toxin that cause a scarlet-coloured rash.

Separation anxiety

A common emotional stage of development where the child starts to be anxious when separated from the parent, typically from around 10 to 18 months of age.

Teething

The process of the baby’s teeth emerging, from around 6 months old.

Thrush

Refers to an overgrowth of the yeast candida in a baby’s mouth.

Tonsillitis

Inflammation of the tonsils, can be due to bacterial or viral infection.

UTI

Also known as urinary tract infection, acute cystitis or bladder infection, refers to infection of the urinary tract.

UVC

Umbilical venous catheter, commonly used in the neonatal period for vascular access.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves at frequencies higher than the human ear can hear, to develop image for examination of what’s inside the body or the baby.

Vaccine

Typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism but in a weakened or killed form to improve the body’s immunity against it.

Weaning

Process to introduce the child to a solid-food diet

Wheezing

Refers to a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing, caused by narrowing of the airways due to inflammation, infection or obstruction.

Whooping cough

Also known as pertussis, refers to an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Part of the DTaP vaccine.

Yeast infection

Infection due to the yeast candida albicans.

Pregnancy GuidE

57


w w w . t h e n e w a g e p a r e n t s . c o m


New Age Pregnancy Guide 2015