Life as a first-time mum in a new country can be overwhelming, so it’s important to create a strong support network for yourself. Natasha Cullen is a UK-trained midwife and the founder of Beloved Bumps, a prenatal group that emphasises building relationships while offering informative and fun classes. She shares some advice for mums-to-be on how to settle in as you wait for the stork.
#1. Get connected
There are lots of classes for both expectant and new mothers in Singapore. The expat community is very friendly and it is generally easy to make friends. Joining Facebook groups such as NMSG (New Mothers Support Group), Stork’s Nest Singapore (SNS), HoneyKids Asia or Sassy Mama will give you updates on children’s activities and mummy meet-ups. For those with new babies there are coffee mornings, playgroups, or walks in the park. If you’re pregnant, prenatal groups and exercise classes are a great way to meet other mums-to-be.
#2. Get informed
Book into antenatal classes, especially if you’re a first-time mum. As well as preparing you for labour, birth and how to care for your baby, you’ll also meet others who are due around the same time. Beloved Bumps’ prenatal classes are fun, informative and social. We include pre-and postnatal exercise classes, a ladies’ lunch and a postnatal reunion to create even more opportunities to develop a strong network of friends.
#3. Get support
It’s quite popular for women in Singapore to consider using a doula – these women are on call during your labour and will support you throughout, helping with contractions, initiating breastfeeding, and so on. During labour, some women feel “left alone” while the staff aren’t in the room. It can be reassuring to have someone there who knows the hospital and environment.
#4. Get ready
As your due date approaches, it can feel quite isolating being away from family, so your network of friends will play an important role as you wait for baby to arrive. Try to rest during the day, and use the mornings or early evenings to avoid the heat and explore. Walking along the river or around the Botanical Gardens at these times is a great way to unwind and get some gentle exercise.
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This article first appeared in the January 2018 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!