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The Expat Mums-to-Be Guide: Settling in Singapore

Expecting a baby, albeit a unique experience, can be especially difficult to go through when you’re staying in a new country. Not only do you have to deal with your changing body and new pregnancy symptoms, but you also have to get used to living in a new environment and adjusting to a different culture.

All of these changes you’re going through makes having a strong support system around you extremely important while you’re going through your pregnancy journey. Besides providing emotional support, your network of friends in your new home country will be able to help you with your pregnancy needs such as looking for an OBGYN and checking out classes and services for mums-to-be.

 

Ease Your Pregnancy Journey with These 5 Tips

If you’ve just moved to this nation recently and are going through a pregnancy, here are some tips to help you get settled in this Lion City:

Join a Support Group

The easiest way for you to meet new people and make friends when you’ve just moved to a new country is to find a community of like-minded people. And with the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, this should be a piece of cake. Ideally, you should do your research before you move to Singapore so you’ll know what to look up once you’ve started your new life in your new home. In Singapore, there is a large number of support groups catering to mums-to-be as well as new and experienced mums. Some of them include the New Mothers Support Group, Mother & Child, Stork’s Nest Singapore, and Four Trimesters. These support groups offer a range of activities for their members including coffee mornings, various classes and programmes, and even playgroups so your little ones can make some new friends too. Online publications such as Sassy Mama and HoneyKids Asia will even notify you when there are meet-ups for mums as well as activities for the kids.

Attend a Prenatal Class

If you’re expecting your first child, it’s a good idea to book a prenatal class so you’ll know what to expect during your pregnancy. A prenatal class will also provide you with valuable information on how to prepare for your labour and delivery as well as tips and advice on caring for your newborn. Plus, attending a prenatal class will also give you the chance to meet other mums who are going through a similar experience, which is something you’ll want to have especially when you’re living in a new city. Some of these prenatal classes will organise get-togethers too so mums can maintain their network of new mummy friends throughout their pregnancy and beyond. For example, Beloved Bumps, founded by UK-trained midwife Natasha Cullen, has a ladies lunch as well as a playgroup for babies up to six months old.

Find an OBGYN

Doing your research when it comes to your obstetrician/gynaecologist is crucial when you’re expecting, even more so when you’ve just moved to a new city. First and foremost, you need to figure out how the healthcare system works in Singapore and how much it’s going to cost you to give birth here. Other factors to consider when deciding on an OBGYN how comfortable you are with the doctor, the proximity of the hospital or medical centre to your home, and what kind of delivery method the OBGYN is known for (this is an important one if you wish for a natural delivery as far as possible). Do your research by checking out reviews online, browse through mummy forums, or get recommendations from other mums. Another important tip: make sure you have a list of OBGYNs handy instead of just zeroing in on one and hoping you’ll be able to book him/her. The first OBGYN you decide on might not necessarily be Dr Right, and you’ll want to have a backup doctor ready in case things with your first choice of OBGYN don’t go to plan.

Consider Getting a Doula

Being in the hospital while you’re in labour can be terrifying, especially if you’re expecting your first baby. And when you’ll be giving birth in a foreign country in a hospital you’re not familiar with? Say hello to rising anxiety and worries, both of which you don’t need while you’re in labour. Sure, your spouse might be with you the whole time but he doesn’t know exactly what you’re going through. If you feel like you’ll be needing more than just moral support during your labour, think about hiring a doula. A doula will guide you through your labour, providing you with emotional support as well as helping you to get through your labour pains and contractions. When choosing a doula, ensure you feel comfortable around him/her and that he/she is open and understanding about your delivery choices. Resources you can check out for doula services include Doulas of Singapore, ParentLink and Four Trimesters.

Prepare for Your Labour and Delivery

Going through a pregnancy can feel lonely at times, and as your due date nears, this is when you’ll want to keep people that you have recently met and made friends with in your new home country close to you. Having people around who can give you emotional support can help you greatly, especially when your family and friends back home are unable to be with you. Use this time to rest as much as possible, avoid being under the sun for long periods of time, and hang out with your fellow mummy friends.