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Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents

Postnatal Care: Why is it important for mums

Congratulations on your new baby! As a new mother, you may experience many changes, both physically and mentally. It is therefore important for you to practice good postnatal care and receive necessary support to recover from childbirth as you take on parenthood. Good postnatal care can also help to identify medical and physiological conditions that may occur after pregnancy and childbirth.

Particularly in Asian culture, new mothers traditionally undergo confinement for 30 days, or, up to an extended period of 3 months immediately after childbirth. During this period of post-partum recovery, depending on the culture you belong to, there may be many confinement rules to observe (Read: Confinement Myths), but generally, you can expect to gradually fall into a routine and adjust to your new normal. In the meantime, here are tips on getting the postnatal care in check as you get in the groove with the new addition:

Schedule rest

A family that gets enough rest stays together.

Getting sufficient rest is one of the most challenging things to achieve postnatal. The lack of rest can leave one feeling tired, more susceptible to emotional changes and slower recuperating for your childbirth wounds. Hormones are often out of whack during this period too, so it is important to rest. While you will need to make time for daily activities like eating, bathing (if preferred) and toilet breaks, you can aim for maximum rest by taking short naps throughout the day. As the saying goes “Sleep when your baby sleeps”, many mothers find it helpful to plan rest time around the baby’s sleep schedule.

Eat nourishing foods

Load up on greens to nourish your postpartum body.

Foods that are considered nourishing during confinement varies across cultures and traditions. In generally, maintaining a healthy diet of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables as well as good amounts of fluid intake will give your body the necessary resources towards a speedy recovery from childbirth. Eating well is essential during the postnatal period to allow your body to heal and replenish lost blood and energy. If you are breastfeeding, it is necessary to ensure that you take in at least 2 litres of fluids daily, to stay hydrated.

Take a breather and focus on your wellbeing, new mummy!

Even a 5-min break can do wonders for you, new mum!

In the process of adjusting to motherhood, new mothers sometimes neglect caring about your own wellbeing. It is important to ensure that your postnatal period is a comfortable, happy and healthy one. This may be an overwhelming and stressful time; new mothers will benefit from being patient with yourself and to take breaks during the day to do what you enjoy doing. It can be as simple as reading the news, or, watching your favourite show – dedicating time to yourself can do wonders to your mind, body and soul!

Seek help whenever you need

Grandparents are often very willing helpers – consider roping them in as part of your postnatal care plans!

In order to prioritise rest and your well-being for postnatal recovery, do not hesitate to raise your hands to seek help or accept help from family and friends.  (Read: How dads can help with breastfeeding.) Other than direct latching to breastfeed, others will be able to help you with things like preparing meals, run errands, care for other children at home, or even hold the fort for a few hours for you to have some me time or couple time. Remember, receiving help is less about the inability to cope on your own. It is more about prioritising your family’s needs during this recovery period with a vision on adjusting to the family’s new normal in the long run.

Motherhood takes time to adjust to and sharing feelings and the burden of problems with your family helps tackle them together, and brings you closer together as a family unit.

We hope this simple guide can help you transition into motherhood with more ease. Please feel free to share what you worked for you as part of your postnatal care plans.

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

A ‘Thank you’ Letter to My Child’s Father

To the father of my children,

Mothers are often put in the spotlight as the ones who sacrifice their all for the family. While that’s not untrue, fathers are given a lot less credit for what they do. Fathers provide more than financial support but also emotionally. I want you to know that you’re an awesome dad to the children and that I appreciate you.

From the start when we discovered our pregnancy, you have put in effort to be involved in every step of the way. From taking time off work to be there with me during gynaecologist visits, attending prenatal classes together and massaging my aching feet. Oh, and that time when I was pregnant and requested for “pizza, sushi or McDonalds, I don’t know”, and you came back with pizza, sushi AND McDonalds? Perhaps you were satisfying the little baby’s cravings?

As we counted down the days where we would become a small family of three, we were nervous yet eager. Pregnancy hormones gave me mood swings that saw me burst out crying at the smallest things. You would hold me and tell the baby to behave. Prodding my belly made the baby move and you would spend minutes playing with the baby this way. You helped to massage my aching feet that were bloating up from water retention and even helped me to cut my toenails when my tummy was too large for me to reach my toes.

From being there from the start, thank you my dear husband.

In the delivery suite, from the moment we heard our baby cry, our lives changed entirely. I wanted to breastfeed from the start, and you were supportive of it, often bringing me water when I latched so that there would be enough milk for the baby.

You never once shied away from fatherly duties. You handle poopy diapers like a pro, and burp the baby after latching. Sometimes you get puked on, but you laugh it away. I haven’t told you this, but mealtimes are much easier because you take the effort to feed our child instead of being hands-off. Diapers, feeding, bathing, changing clothes, there’s nothing you can’t help with the kids.

Although you’re tired when you return home from work, your face lights up when you see our child running to greet you. You’re the light of her life, and it shows. It is your effort – you invested the time to sit down, play with her and understand her needs. There’s no one else who would be able to play with them the way you do. The kids love it when you carry them on your shoulders. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do. In a way, carrying them on your shoulders is a symbol of how they can rely on you in their growing-up journey.

Sure, there have been arguments and disagreements on the way we parent our child but overall, I’m glad that we are in this life journey together.

For doing the best that you can, thank you my child’s father.

For loving the family, thank you.

For choosing to end work on time to be at home with the family, thank you.

For giving the children your best, thank you.

Thank you, my dear husband, my child’s father.

Loving you through the tiring days and more,

Your wife and child’s mother

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Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

5 Ways Fathers Can Support Breastfeeding Mums on Their Journey

Breastfeeding mums face huge challenges – from latching issues, engorgement, breastfeeding illnesses such as mastitis and difficulties expressing milk comfortably at work. Breastmilk has been shown to be beneficial to babies’ development and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of a child’s life.

 

A breastfeeding mum requires loads of support. If you’re a new father, here’s how you can play a part to give your wife a morale boost to ensure that your baby receives the best form of nutrition.

 

  1. Lend a helping hand

 

Whether mum direct latches or exclusive pumps, dads can support mums in different ways. When mum is latching baby, you can place a cushion behind your wife’s back to make it more comfortable, or bring her a drink to help her stay hydrated.

If the baby is on the bottle, offer to take over the feeds. Not only does it give your wife some time for a power nap, you also get to bond with your baby! That’s a win-win situation! After your wife finishes expressing breastmilk, help her to wash her pump equipment, bottles and pop them into the steriliser.

 

Bottle feeding lets father and baby enjoy some close moments together.

 

  1. Read up more about breastfeeding

A mother new to breastfeeding may encounter sore or cracked nipples which may bleed. By reading up on the causes of painful nipples and correct latching methods, you can help to soothe your wife’s misery and make the breastfeeding journey a more pleasant one. Otherwise, search for recommended International Board Certified Lactation Consultants available in Singapore.

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group and hospitals such as National University Hospital and Mount Alvernia have certified lactation consultants who will be able to ease engorgement, correct latching methods and assist in the use of breast pumps.

Lactation tea contains ingredients which are known to boost breastmilk supply.

 

  1. Feed her well

Did you know that breastfeeding mothers require an additional 500 calories daily? Stock up the refrigerator with wholesome, fresh foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, fish, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes to make sure that the calories taken in are nutritious as well.

There are certain ingredients which may help with the production of breast milk, such as oat, salmon, flaxseed, millet and barley. Take note that the milk-boosting effects may not be apparent for every woman and an ingredient which increases breastmilk production for one woman may cause a decrease in supply for another.

 

In addition, 88% of breastmilk is water. To prevent dehydration, it is essential that a minimum of 2L to 3L of fluids a day is consumed. Besides water, breastfeeding mums can consume soups, juices, water, lactation tea or even milk to make up the daily fluids needs.

A satisfied baby with a full tummy sleeps better!
  1. Support your wife against naysayers

During the breastfeeding journey, your wife may encounter unpleasant remarks from relatives, friends or strangers. Some may downplay your wife’s breastfeeding efforts and make her feel lousy by commenting on the amount of milk produced or the size of your baby.

Support your wife’s decision to breastfeed by fending off these remarks politely but firmly.

 

  1. Pack breastfeeding essentials for outings

With a constant lack of sleep, your wife may be too tired to pack baby’s diaper bag when your family goes out. Other than packing items that baby needs, remember to throw in a nursing cover and/or pump equipment with milk bottles so that your wife can breastfeed comfortably even when she’s outside.

 

Congratulations on this brand new journey together as parents! The above tips should help daddies to make your wife’s breastfeeding journey more bearable and less stressful. Have more tips to add on for new dads? Add a comment to let us know!

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Babies Family Fun Toddlers

6 Fun Ways to Prepare Your Elder Child for a New Sibling

Are you expecting a new bundle of joy, yet worried about how your elder one will react to his or her new sibling? Fret not as we have some fun ways to prepare your elder child for his or her new role!

1. Bring him or her with you to gynaecologist checkups
Bring your child along to visits to the gynaecologist where he or she can see the new sibling move during ultrasound scans. Use this time to explain to your child that the baby is still growing in your tummy. This way, your child can see how his or her sibling develops from a small foetus into a baby with each scan.

If you’re feeling artsy, create a scrapbook, let your child decorate it and add in new scan photos along the way!

2. Read books on new siblings
Take your child on a trip to the nearest library and borrow some books focused on introducing new siblings to the family. There are some websites which sell personalised sibling books that you can customise with your elder child’s name. Having themselves as the main character of the book helps them to relate better to the story.


Read up on how to cope with the new baby.

3. Sibling bonding
Encourage your child to talk, kiss or hug the new sibling through your tummy. Foetuses can hear sounds from inside the womb and this will build familiarity between the siblings even before birth. Try singing together with your toddler to your belly.

4. Involve your child in baby preparation
It is natural for elder children to feel mixed emotions about the impending arrival and change in status and not want to help. Gauge their interest level and ask casually if they would like to help you pick a colour for the nursery or choose clothes for the new sibling.


Your elder child can be given the honour of choosing colours for the nursery.

If you have yet to decide on a name for the new baby, you can even let your child have the honour of choosing his or her new sibling’s name from a shortlist?

5. Reminisce about your elder child’s baby moments
Perhaps it is time to cuddle with your child and tell him or her all about how you discovered you were pregnant and show how he or she grew from an embryo into a foetus and then a baby. What did you first notice about your baby? Was it his cute button nose, or her deep dimple? How did you feel when you first carried him or her? Was it on a rainy night or hot afternoon?

Birth stories help your elder child understand that they are just as important as the new addition.


In your third trimester, your elder child will be able to feel distinct movements from your belly!

6. Let your child be the first visitor
It can be confusing for younger children when they see their new sibling who used to be in Mom’s big, round belly. Allowing your elder child to be the very first visitor makes them feel important and there will not be external disruptions by other visitors who will crowd around the infant.

Try the above tips out and let us know if they worked for you! Do you know of other ways to help your elder child prepare for a new sibling? Leave us a comment!

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For Parents Pregnant

Dads-to-be, Here Are Ways You Can Be Involved During Pregnancy Too

Dads-to-be, are you feeling confused and left out? Being involved in the pregnancy strengthens your relationship and lets your wife know that she’s not alone in this journey. Read on to find out how you can support your wife during her pregnancy in 8 simple ways!

1. Be part of the pregnancy
The most important step in supporting your wife is to ensure that she knows you’re there for her. When announcing the pregnancy to friends and relatives, say “We’re expecting a baby” instead of “My wife’s expecting a baby”. This small move acknowledges your involvement in the new chapter both of you have embarked on so your wife knows she’s not alone.

2. Do the house chores
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and make life as comfortable for her as possible. If you don’t have the energy for house chores, get a helper to maintain the house in a clean condition. Pregnant women have a nesting instinct which creates a desire for a place that is spick and span to welcome her offspring.

Dads, it’s time to work those muscles and help with the house chores, especially when your wife’s pregnancy bump gets bigger.

3. Help out with the baby shopping!
Part of the fun comes from shopping for the new little one! Rather than simply passing your credit card to your wife, take interest in the necessary preparations to show your support. If you’re up for it, visit a baby fair to get a feel of what’s needed and what’s not. Baby fairs often have cheaper deals too!

4. Accompany her to gynaecologist visits
Try to be there with her for visits to the gynaecologist. Your wife will definitely appreciate the emotional support, especially during the oral glucose tolerance test in the 2nd trimester. What’s more, you’ll get to see your little one moving in utero via ultrasound!

See your little one at the monthly gynaecologist visits – it helps daddy to bond and understand how the pregnancy has progressed too.

5. Attend antenatal classes together
Taking care of a newborn can be daunting for first-time parents. Prepare yourselves by learning how to handle newborns from the experts. Some classes offer practical sessions with a doll. Although it’s nothing close to the real thing, having some experience and knowledge is better than being cluesless when baby is here!

6. Talk to the belly
Foetuses in utero are able to hear sounds from their external environment. Start bonding with your baby by singing, reading or simply talking to your wife’s belly. From the second trimester onwards, you’ll be able to feel baby’s movements including some sharp kicks! You’d be surprised – when your baby is here, she’s also likely to respond to familiar song and voices too!

7. Capture the memories
Surprise your wife with a maternity photoshoot to capture this precious moment in her life. You can even do a before-and-after shot in the same spot and pose after your baby is born!

Capture your wife’s glowing moments with her baby bump – the pregnancy journey is precious and memorable for both husband and wife.

8. Have a babymoon
A babymoon is a vacation taken during pregnancy. It’s one of the last few times to fully enjoy each other’s company. Air travel is restricted for pregnant women over 32 weeks of pregnancy, and a medical certificate is required between weeks 28 to 32, so remember to plan your trip before week 28! Morning sickness usually goes away by the end of the first trimester, so consider travelling in the second trimester.

Women undergo huge emotional changes during pregnancy and it is important that you show your wife that you’re there for her. Try the above steps to see if it helps and leave a comment if you have other ideas on how to pamper your wife!

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

Fathers, Mums Want You to Know that You are Awesome!

Parenting takes two to clap, and plenty of teamwork to boot!

From playing cheerleaders at the delivery suite, to helping with night feeds, fathers play a supporting role in their own ways.

According to the Father Involvement Research Alliance (FIRA), “Involved fathers are more likely to see their interactions with their children positively be more attentive to their children’s development, better understand, and be more accepting of their children, and enjoy closer, richer father-child relationships.”

Mums often play the role of gatekeepers in the family, and that sometimes influences how much fathers are involved in parenting (or, want to be involved!), and that would unknowingly affect the dynamism of a father-and-child relationship too. Fathers are also pillar of strength and support for mums during the challenging journey, from being the protective father who nurses a wounded knee to instilling child discipline and imparting values.

While both parents are antagonistic when it comes to raise healthy, world-ready children, the importance of an engaged father during a child’s growing up years is certainly instrumental, and deserves more than just a pat on the back.

Celebrating fatherhood with words of love from mummies

We spoke to four mummies in Singapore who share their heartfelt gratitude for having their spouse’s support in parenting. Fathers, these mums want you to know that they appreciate what you do for the children and family! Mums may not say it often, but every action from papas speaks a thousand words to your ladies. Raising your children together is like nurturing your flowers and watch them blossom with your love!

“One great help he has rendered up till this day is his willingness to do night duty.”

To Daddy Ken, father of two:

I would like to thank my husband for always lending me immense support during these initial years of parenting. One great help he has rendered up till this day is his willingness to do night duty. From the time our boy could take to bottle-feeding, he has been waking up in the middle of the night to feed him or get him back to sleep. He knows I need my rest so that I can function properly the next day. Also, he often encourages me to get some ‘ME’ time because he knows I need to be recharged. So, while I get my time off, he would look after the kids. Really thankful to him, my awesome partner.

– Lynn

“Waking up in the middle of the nights for the kids (eg: to prepare their milk), which allows me to have more rest.”

To Papa Aw, father of two:
To my dear partner aka Papa Aw,

Sometimes, you do make me mad;

Sometimes, you do make me laugh.

I believe that’s what love is about?

I appreciate the little things you have done for me & our family. Spending your time with us (though you could have choosen to work OTs for extra income)

Waking up in the middle of the nights for the kids (eg: to prepare their milk), which allows me to have more rest.

Just listening to my naggings when I’m down.

You are my partner, lover and my best friend.

Thanks for always being there for me. You’re the best!

— Xiuli

“You never fail to make it a point to remind her (daughter) that she is very much loved by her mum and dad.”

To hubby Terence, father of one & expecting their second child:

Thank you, dear hubby, for 13 awesome years of being together and for going through the ups and downs of parenting. It warms my heart to see how you dote on our little girl and shower her with love and attention. Although there are times when there is a need to step in to discipline her by making unpopular decisions, you never fail to make it a point to remind her that she is very much loved by her mum and dad. As we look forward to the arrival of our second bundle of joy next month, I know that the best is yet to come and I know that we can count on you to create more happy memories together!
— Justina

 

“He supports me in all my decisions and walks with me to try to make them successful.”

To Daddy Changhan, father of two:

I really want to thank God for a wonderful partner, friend, husband and father in my life. He has been a great source of support when we had our first child, and to our second child. I remembered there were many times when I need help with the house and baby, he will always be there with me. Often, he would offer to spend time with our children and be willing to listen to me on my preferred type of parenting. He supports me in all my decisions and walks with me to try to make them successful. Thank you, darling!

— Evangeline

 

Fathers, you’re more important than you think when it comes to parenthood. Together, you can build a wholesome family environment for your children to thrive and blossom into strong, independent people who value the importance of relationships and marriages.

Mums, do you have a special message to your husbands? Remember to share your heartfelt words of appreciation to let them know they are awesome!