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We’ve rounded up the best healthy restaurants in Singapore where you can satisfy your cravings without sacrificing pregnancy nutrition.

When you’re eating for two it’s important to nourish your body with healthy and nutritious meals (rather than follow any strict diet!). So that means a balanced plate with lots of fresh vegetables and veering away from highly processed, fried food.

We’ve rounded up our favourite healthy restaurants in Singapore that serve up delicious food that’s good for you, too! Many of these healthy restaurants make everything from scratch and use healthier, better quality ingredients so it’s natural that the price point for these dishes will be higher (BUT! If you dine using these dining apps or discount books you can score 1-for-1 deals on your healthy meal!).

Afterglow – Raw, Vegan

Afterglow in foodie hipster enclave Keong Saik serves fresh, healthy vegan dishes (with a lot of raw options too), subbing standard carbs with more nutritious alternatives like nuts or veg as in the Avocado Kimchi Rolls ($14) with almond sushi “rice” and the Raw Vegan Nut Cheese platter ($14) offering cultured cashew cheese instead of the dairy cheese version. Afterglow even has a kid-friendly healthy menu consisting of lentil flaxseed nuggets with garlic cheese “aioli” ($8) and sweet potato wedges ($6). Raw dishes include Raw Pizza and Raw Lasagna ($22) while cooked mains include the hearty Quinoa and spinach hash brown burger ($20). Don’t miss desserts like raw chocolate and raw cheesecake. NB: Check to see if this spot is still on Eatigo – you can bag yourself a 50% bargain if you are in luck! Read more about dining deals here.

Afterglow, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131, Tel: (+65) 6224 8921, www.facebook.com/afterglowsg

A Poké Theory — Poké

Poké here, poké there – there’s pretty much poké everywhere in Singapore now! A Poké Theory remains one of our faves thanks to their great range of choice for bases (sushi rice or healthier lemon herb quinoa), plus raw fish cubes of shoyu tuna or spicy salmon and plenty of veggie toppings. Poké bowls range from $11.50 (sushi rice)/$12.50 (quinoa) for 100 grams to $15/$16.50 for 150grams. For brekkie (or dessert) – try one of their superfood smoothie bowls ($6). They have several branches so there’s bound to be one just an order away.

For other poké restaurants check out this roundup!

A Poké Theory, various locations including 27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623, www.apoketheory.com

The Botanic — Plant-based, Vegan Options

The Botanic beside the Fairmont is decked out in hanging plants, gorgeous lights and wicker chairs, making for a bright and airy lunch spot. The menu showcases Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on plant-based dishes with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free plates alongside free-range, organic meat and seafood dishes. Group Executive Chef Shannon Binnie is vegan so that says something about their authenticity! We love their vegetarian rendition of the Scotch Egg ($15) with an organic free-range egg encased in falafel instead of traditional pork sausage, on a creamy sauce of tabouli, cucumber and yoghurt. Also try their vegan Kale Salad ($16) and Harissa Spiced Spatchcock ($29) chicken, a carb-low dish of lemony grilled chicken on a bed of labneh, smokey eggplant and verde sauce.

The Botanic, 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre, #01-22A, Singapore 179103, Tel: (65) 6837 0995, www.thebotanic.com.sg

Bakalaki Greek Taverna — Grilled Greek Meats

Not billed as a healthy restaurant officially, but from fitness experts we know that Greek cuisine is alway a good bet when hunting down healthy dishes thanks to the largely grilled meats, colourful salads, and liberal use of heart-healthy olive oil (just skip the extra pita bread!). Bakalaki Greek Taverna is one of our fave spots for a leisurely lunch or group dinner with its great seating from booth seats to alfresco. Healthier dishes include the Grilled Octopus and the Mixed Grilled Meat platter. Good luck averting your eyes when the next table orders the Greek doughnuts, Loukoumades of little fluffy fried doughnut balls! Other Greek spots to hunt down include Blu Kouzina and Alati.

Bakalaki Greek Taverna, 3 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168891, Tel: (+65) (+65) 6836 3688, www.facebook.com/BakalakiGreekTaverna

Carrotsticks & Cravings — Kid-friendly Healthy Cafe

Carrotsticks & Cravings cafe at Loewen Gardens is a healthy, Aussie-style café popular with mamas after nearby fitness sessions or kids’ classes. There’s a play area for kids and a small trampoline so the little ones can romp before or after your meal while you enjoy that almond milk flat white or turmeric latte. On the menu: healthy, refined sugar-free dishes from Shakshuka to Smashed Avo, Feta and Dukkah on sourdough toast ($16), to Acai Bowls ($14). Plus there’s lots of gluten free and dairy free dishes, and a cute kids’ menu too. If Dempsey is too far for you know that there’s a Carrotsticks & Cravings cafe at Rob Quay, too.

Carrotsticks & Cravings, 75E Loewen Rd, Singapore 248845 Loewen Road, Singapore 248845, www.carrotsticksandcravings.com/cafe-and-cooking-school

Cedele – Soups and salads

Cedele may be a chain but that does mean you know what you’re getting no matter which branch you pop into. They offer low-carb Grills & Greens that are great for a balanced diet – high in protein, fibre, and vitamins and minerals. Their soups are super healthy and made daily with fresh ingredients and many of their mains are gluten-free.

Cedele, various locations in Singapore, www.cedelegroup.com

Chico Loco – Hormone-Free Chicken and Salads

Chico Loco is pioneering the oxymoron of a hashtag #dirtyeatclean with its (almost) guilt-free protein-rich dishes of grilled chicken (antibiotic-free, hormone-free, cage-free and organic-fed, by the by). Chico Loco brines the chickens for 10 hours in an umami-sweet solution, then bastes them with a secret house blend of 11 herbs and Mexican spices before spit roasting them for an hour. Chicken is served in three sizes –Quarter ($9), Half ($17) and Whole ($32) with Mexican sides of corn and guac. Load up on fresh veg in their side salad or plump for their weekly Salad Special (from $13, with add-ons available).

Chico Loco, 102 Amoy Street, 069922 Singapore, Tel: (+65) 9738 782, www.facebook.com/chicolocosg

COMO Cuisine — Healthy COMO Resort Food

COMO Cuisine in Dempsey offers the refined contemporary healthy food that the Como Resort & Hotel Group is known for. This restaurant is another great option for a ladies (or business) lunch thanks to its minimalist cool white decor and soft lighting. There are lots of fantastic salads on the menu like COMO’s ‘Big Raw Salad’ ($18) of shredded vegetables and apple cider vinaigrette, or the more interesting Roasted Cauliflower salad with pomegranate and kale ($18). Mains include Grilled Squid and Grilled Lamb but it’s not all squeaky clean healthy here so when you fancy you can order Steak Frites or a bowl of pasta. Portions are modest so there’s always room for dessert. We love the fact that instead of a kids’ menu they are into developing kids’ palates so small foodies get to choose any dish in a smaller portion.

COMO Cuisine, Block 18A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249677, Tel: 1800 304 6688, www.comodempsey.sg

The Daily Cut – Protein and veg bowls

A fave with office workers and fitness peeps, The Daily Cut allows you to build your own bowl ($9-15) from the range of ready-made items including lots of protein options from skirt steak to chicken or shrimp plus fresh vegetables like green beans, cauliflower, glazed root vegetables, and salad. Pimp up your bowl with Sichuan silken tofu, egg whites and spicy house seasonings and you are all set. Lots of outlets around town.

The Daily Cut, various outlets including1 Raffles Place, #B1-31 One Raffles Place, Singapore 048616, www.thedailycut.sg

DoSiRak — Korean bowls

DoSiRak serves healthy, Korean-style lunch bowls in the CBD. You can choose your own bowl – carb (like brown rice), protein like beef bulgogi ($8.90 or kimchi tofu $7.90), and several veggies like beansprouts and carrots. DoSiRak say their offerings are prepared with less oil and if you load up on the veggies this makes a healthy Asian style lunch.

Dosirak, 6A Shenton Way, #01-44 Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815, Tel: (+65) 6636 6034, www.dosirak.com.sg

Grain Traders — Healthy Bowls

Grain Traders are probably the original grain bowl people here in Singapore! Choose one of their signature bowls, with ingredients ranging from tuna and wild mushrooms to strip loin accompanied by a combination of vegetables. Or build your own bowl (start with bases like quinoa or super greens, then add on a protein and all manner of veggies and healthy sauces) from $16. They also do a great breakfast (with both sweet and savoury options), along with fab coffees and fresh juices.

Grain Traders, 38 Market St, #01-01/02/03, CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946, www.grain-traders.com

     Read more: Healthy Eating on the Cheap: Score 1-for-1 meals with these Apps 

HRVST at Kilter Avenue – Vegan

HRVST is a vegan restaurant and bar taking fine dining concepts and spinning them into vegan creations. “Scallops” ($12), are actually king oyster mushrooms artfully presented with spinach puree, garlic snow (made of garlic oil and tapioca), baby carrot, baby corn, toasted hazelnuts and lemon zest, while orange glazed tofu ($14) sees broccoli and cauliflower blanched in kelp stock, with pickled yellow ribbons atop sourdough spread with house-made nut butter. Desserts range from a deliciously creamy dairy-free matcha ice cream ($8), to fruit-based popsicles ($3). Look out for the al fresco bar which serves vegan bar snacks alongside cocktails for the after-work crowd.

HRVST Kilter Avenue, 6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery, #05-01, 068815, Tel: (+65) 6920 7500, www.kilteravenue.com/hrvst

Kitchen by Food Rebel — Wholesome, Healthy Meals

Kitchen by Food Rebel has health coach Elika Mather at the helm. Elika is passionate about wholesome healthy food and she does a huge amount of research on finding honest suppliers. Everything in her little café is made from scratch. Check out their veggie Zoodles with Bolognese ($18), or their Sustainable Barramundi with Asian Greens ($21) for solid protein-rich meals. They are also open on the weekends for brunch for açai bowls, Cinnamon Spiced Overnight Oats ($9.50) and Rendang Eggs ($24), plus Bulletproof coffee or super smoothies like the Incredible Hulk ($9). They have even partnered with fitness gurus for a special Ultimate performance-approved menu!

Kitchen by Food Rebel, 28 Stanley St, Telok Ayer (S) 068737, Tel: (+65) 62247088, www.foodrebelsg.com

Hello Baby — Vegan Food Truck

Hello Baby is the sister food truck linked to the aforementioned vegan resto HRVST. This vegan street grub kiosk in Chinatown dishes out Singaporean classics, reinterpreted vegan-style. Chilli crab is given a vegan makeover with chilli sauce, enoki mushrooms and served in mantou sliders ($10). Young Jack Cubano ($10) sees young jackfruit cooked in top-secret housemade hoisin sauce and served with spring onions and sliced cucumber for that extra finish.

Hello Baby, 10 Trengganu Street, Singapore 058464, www.facebook.com/hllo.b

The Living Cafe — Raw foods, vegan and gluten-free options

Balanced Living Café on Bukit Timah is popular with those serious about eating clean. Their menus offer something for those eating vegan, gluten-free and even raw diets (but they do serve meat, too so you can dine in a group with various requests). The Living Cafe uses lots of healthy nuts, seeds and grains as well as fresh vegetables (including herbs harvested from their Aerospring Indoor system) to offer a wholesome and nutritious meal. Look out for their crunchy vegan broccoli mushroom pizza ($20) with a crust made of herbs, oats and flax seeds, and toppings of pesto and macadamia cheese, Barramundi brown rice bowls ($18), sesame tofu burgers, and Sweet Potato Rosti With Poached egg and Smoked Salmon. Those with a sweet tooth will be satisfied with their RAW desserts and bliss balls.

The Living Cafe, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758, Tel: (+65) 6762 8029, www.balancelivingasia.com

Original Sin — Vegetarian Restaurant

This Chip Bee Gardens Mediterranean vegetarian restaurant is a hit with the ladies that lunch. It’s been around for ages and is still going strong thanks to their varied menu and lunch set deals. It’s pretty easy to eat unhealthy veggie dishes here; Bosco Misto ($29), one of our fave dishes, can’t be really that good for you given the spinach, feta and tofu patties are deep fried — but it is oh so tasty! but there are healthy options on the menu. Original Sin can prepare dishes to be gluten-free, vegan and without onion/garlic for their sizeable Indian clientele so they are used to requests. The a la carte menu boasts lost of fresh salads like Kale Salad with sweet potato, feta and lentils ($19) and Beetroot Salad ($19) with avocado, edamame and yoghurt. Look out for their lunch specials at $24++ which includes a choice of main like the meatless Beyond Burger (ask them to swap out the fries for extra salad) or Veggie Bowl with spiced tofu, cauliflower, spinach quinoa with a choice of drink.

    Read more: Best Set Lunch Deals in Singapore

Original Sin, 43 Jalan Merah Safa, #01-62, Holland Village, Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6475 5605, www.originalsin.com.sg

Real Food — Vegetarian with Gluten-free & Vegan options

Real Food is a cafe set up by the organic grocery shop Real Food Grocer. There are three branches at South Beach, Oasia Hotel Novena and their flagship the lovely decked out Orchard Central branch with a retail section and comfy seating. Real Food serves vegetarian food with a conscience: NO processed ingredients, artificial preservatives or trans-fat. Their burger menu sees Portobello mushroom ($14.80), Millet and veg patties ($13.80) and Lentil Quinoa patties ($1380) instead of meat. There are brunch dishes from Gluten-free Banana Pancakes ($11.80) to gluten-free Soy Yoghurt with Granola ($8.80) plus vegan cakes, sourdough. cinnamon buns, smoothies, organic coffee and other health drinks.

Real Food, 3 locations, check the website for details, 181 Orchard Road #02-16 Orchard Central, 238896 Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6224 4492, www.realfoodgrocer.com

Soup Restaurant — Chinese herbal soups & Asian dishes

Soup Restaurant has locations all over Singapore and specialises in making traditional Chinese food. The menu features many herbal soups that are less than 500 calories in case you’re looking for a nutritious meal. For a protein boost try the Samsui Ginger Chicken ($19.9o) with a pretty spread of tender, juicy, chicken (half thigh and half breast) with a side of soup ($6-10). 

Soup Restaurant, Locations all over Singapore, www.souprestaurant.com.sg

SunnyChoice..

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On the lookout for a confinement nanny? Our guide will help you find someone both you and baby are comfortable with

The post-natal period is a special time for new mums to recuperate and rejuvenate from pregnancy and delivery… but with a helpless newborn who demands your unwavering attention on your hands, getting the time and space you need to recover isn’t easy. Having an experienced professional on hand to whip up nutritious, strengthening meals and look after your baby can allow you to get that much-needed rest, and with any number of confinement services available in Singapore, we’ve rounded up the best of the best so that you can get the care and attention you really need. mama.

Read more: 10 Confinement Foods this Mama & Cookbook Author Swears By

Some helpful advice

Good confinement ladies are a godsend and tend to be in great demand. Mums-to-be should start hunting for their nanny while they are in their first trimester. Try to have reasonable expectations of the nanny. First-time mums in particular can get anxious when things don’t go according to plan.

To ensure the right fit between employer and nanny, make sure to conduct an interview to suss out each other’s personalities and needs.

When selecting a nanny, pick someone whom you deem to be trustworthy. Choosing someone with the right attitude, who is humble and willing to take instructions, will also make life easier. Nannies who are not Singaporean need to have work permits, so do check that the agency from which you engage your nanny is MOM-certified.

Also have a long, hard think about your needs. If you have a helper, maybe you won’t need someone to live in throughout the month, but only at night. Conversely if you don’t have other family around to pitch in – or your helper isn’t particularly experienced with newborn babies – an experienced confinement nanny who’s with you round the clock could be a lifesaver.

Above all else, go with your gut and make sure to hire someone you can trust. Besides word-of-mouth and social media recommendations, you’ll want to make sure whoever you hire is reputable and MOM-certified. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out our roundup of the best confinement ladies and confinement nannies in Singapore — a few have even offered special discounts just for Sassy Mamas-to-be!

Read more: Why this Western Mama Loved Doing Confinement

Confinement Angels

In partnership with Singapore’s own “baby whisperer” Dr. Wong Boh Boi, Confinement Angels stands out for their rigorous training in which nannies study both childcare theory and get hands-on experience at the in-house training centre, which features a modern, applied medical-aligned syllabus. Simply completing the training program doesn’t guarantee that a nanny can take on jobs; only after another round of audits and evaluation will she be deployed for assignments. At Confinement Angels every single detail of the confinement experience is attended to, including breastfeeding support, correct hygiene methods, baby safety practices, and confinement diet planning.

How much: Prices start from $2,950 for the standard 28-day package.

Use promo code SassyCA to take $168 off the nanny service package and receive a complimentary baby photo session and baby massage session! Enquire for more details.

Confinement Angels, Email confinementangels2015@gmail.com or Tel: (+65) 8828 8415, www.confinementangels.com.sg  

Just Us

This in-home childcare (and eldercare) service provider has been around for nearly new decades, looking after everyone from newborns to the elderly. Just Us offers a full suite of childminding options, from live-in and live-out confinement nanny services, to overnight care, to ad hoc babysitting. Caregivers are primarily Singaporean and Malaysian, many of who speak English, as Just Us caters to both expat and local clientele. Every Just Us nanny goes through a personal interview with a potential employer before assignment to ensure it’s a good fit for all parties involved.

How much: Confinement rates range from $3500-$3800 per month, including the agency fee with free replacement and backup services, along with the nanny’s salary, work permit application and medical insurance.

Just Us, Email contact@justus.com.sg, Tel: (+65) 6299 4993, www.justus.com.sg

Gladys Care 1987

This second-generation family business started by the renowned Gladys Yip provides comprehensive personal confinement maternity support, including options for a live-in or live-out confinement nanny; both day and night nanny plans; and nannies who speak Mandarin or English. Gladys Care nannies are well versed in cooking nutritious foods for new mamas in recovery, and can also provide TCM lactation massage to improve and regulate the flow of “Qi.” Other massage offerings include prenatal massage, Javanese Postnatal Jamu massage, and anti-colic massage for babies.

Gladys Care 1987, Tel: (+65) 8318 1949, www.nanny.sg  

Star Confinement

You need only check out Star Confinement’s Facebook page to read more than 100 glowing reviews of their confinement services. With an emphasis on efficiency and professionalism at every stage of the process, Star also provides confinement nannies who average at least 5-7 years of hands-on childcare experience. You can actually click here to read their profiles! Nannies specialize in both prenatal and postnatal care for mama and baby alike, and they know how to cook delicious confinement food, too!

How much: Prices start from $1500 for a minimum 2-week stay.

Quote Sassy Mama when you book to receive a $100 discount! Valid through 31 October 2019.

Star Confinement, www.starconfinementnanny.com.sg, www.facebook.com/star.confinement

Amy Nanny
Since 2004, Amy Nanny has served over 10,000 mamas and babies in Singapore. Their confinement ladies are well trained in everything from breastfeeding techniques, to confinement nutrition, to baby health and medical care. Nannies are also thoroughly screened.

Amy Nanny Tel: (+65) 9782 5015, www.amynanny.com

Aunty Lee Confinement Nanny
A mother of three and grandmother with over 35 years’ infant care experience, Singaporean Aunty Lee is a trained, certified confinement nanny who’s also well-versed in TCM herbs and tonics. She speaks Mandarin and a variety of Chinese dialects in addition to basic English.

How much: Contact for details

Aunty Lee Confinement, email nanny@auntylee.com.sg or Tel: (+65) 8522 3097, www.auntylee.com.sg

JIA Confinement Agency
Set up in 2011, this MOM-licensed agency provides both English and Chinese-speaking in-house and daytime nurses (9am to 6pm). Nannies cook for the mother and look after the baby… whipping up traditional confinement food to help mamas recover quickly from the birth and ensure an adequate milk supply for breastfeeding. Standard packages are usually for one month (28 days), although longer stays can be arranged.

How much: $2,000 and above.

JIA Confinement Agency, Tel: (+65) 9459 9830, www.jiaemployment.com

Mommycare Confinement Nanny Services

With a major focus on training, Mommycare Confinement Services offers 24-7 live-in services for 28 days or longer, including cooking, preparing special baths, doing laundry for both mama and baby, and even helping out with household chores and grocery shopping if necessary!

Mommycare Confinement Nanny Serivces, Tel: (+65) 9739 5078, www.mommycareconfinement.com.sg

Nanny Saro
Nanny Sarojini d/o Lakshmanan was a maternity and neonatal nurse at Gleneagles Hospital for years before striking out on her own in 2010 — and has plenty of glowing references to show for it. She takes care of newborn babies, helping with bathing, feeding and settling, as well as helping the mother with breastfeeding, and most importantly… rest time! Call for rates.

Nanny Saro, Tel: (+65) 9487 6646, www.nannysaro.com

Nanny SOS
Established in 2011, this agency’s nannies go through stringent checks before being selected, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the best of the best here mama! Amongst their regular duties, nannies also prepare special confinement baths for the mum, wash the mother and baby’s clothes, prepare dinner for the father and do simple household chores if required. Helping new mamas feel pampered, post-natal massage and Jamu binding are also available and can be combined with the confinement nanny service or done on their own, and 14- 35- and 42-day options are also available. They also offer ad hoc babysitting!

How much: From $2,800/month for 28-day live-in.

Nanny SOS, Tel: (+65) 6817 2479, www.nannysos.com.sg

New Life Confinement Nanny
All the confinement ladies at this agency have between 3-10 years’ experience, and we like that one each woman’s profile page you can even get a sneak peek at some of her specialty confinement dishes! New Life also offers a confinement herbs package, along with both postnatal massage and lactation consulting and massage.

New Life Confinement Nanny, Tel: (+65) 8201 3465, www.nlconfinementnanny.com.sg

PEM Confinement Agency
PEM is the largest confinement agency in Singapore (with over 400 nannies on offer — all trained at their in-house facility) and has been around for more than 30 years. In addition to full confinement packages they also offer confinement herbal tonics and postnatal massage services.

PEM Confinement Agency, Tel: (+65) 6293 924, www.pemconfinement.com

Super Nanny Services
Offering both daytime and 24/7 options, Super Nanny also has a full suite of supplemental services like antenatal classes and baby massage. Chinese and Muslim Malay confinement ladies are from Singapore and Malaysia, and can speak English, Mandarin or Malay depending on a mama’s preference.

Super Nanny Services, Tel: (+65) 9751 1415, www.supernannyservices.com.sg

Thomson Parentcraft Centre
Providing Traditional Chinese Medicine-trained confinement nannies, Thomson Parentcraft Centre ensures all their “aunties” undergo extensive hands-on training in areas such as understanding and handling a crying baby, diet and nutrition planning for new mothers, and how to deal with common emergency situations before being placed with families. Parents can choose from a range of services including a stay-in nanny (14 pr 28 days), daytime-only nanny (9am-6pm) or night nanny (9pm-8pm). They also offer a separate confinement food home delivery service.

Thomson Parentcraft Centre, Tel: (+65) 6350 8848, www.thomsonmedical.com, www.facebook.com/thomsonbabyfair

Read more:
All About Jamu Massage and Postnatal Self-Care
Western Mama in Confinement

The post Find Your Dream Confinement Lady: Singapore Confinement Nanny Guide appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Excited about your upcoming bundle of joy, mama? Here are some cool shows to watch

…Especially if you don’t have the patience to read a baby book!

Yes you heard it here first: this Sassy girl is a soon-to-be Sassy Mama! After being on this awesome team for 3+ years it looks like I’ve gotten some baby dust sprinkled on me and am getting ready to have a little one of my own. I’m currently in my second trimester and I’m happy to report that getting dressed finally doesn’t feel like a morning marathon and putting makeup on is a lot more enjoyable!

During the challenging first trimester, I could barely do anything – my downtime consisted of laying sprawled on the bed, breathless (despite not doing much all day), and having just enough energy to pick up the TV remote to change channels or scroll through Netflix (I can already hear you mamas snickering at me… “Hah, this is only the beginning, sister!”). Usually I’m a sucker for true crime documentaries, but seeing as how every odd smell, sight and even thought made me feel queasy, I had to find something milder to watch. Then I came across The Beginning of Life.

Directed by Brazilian movie director and writer Estela Renner, The Beginning of Life investigates the brain science and development of babies right from the womb. With insight from various experts from Brazil, USA, UK France, Italy, the Africas and China, the docu-series provides eye-opening facts and debunks the myth that every child is born a ‘clean slate’ to impose our skills and beliefs on, and instead proves that babies have already begun their learning journey during gestation.

“In a full-term pregnancy, when a mom has gone to 40 weeks’ gestation, at birth that baby will recognise her mother’s voice. And she does that based on experience of having heard her mom talk while she was still a fetus.”
– Charles A. Nelson III Ph.D., Pediatrician and Neuroscientist, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

The Beginning of Life also talks about the importance of nurturing children from 0-5 years old, making mention that waiting until they are of age to attend nursery or kindergarten may be too late to tap into the child’s rapid development in the first few years.

I love how diverse the cast and subjects in the series are – not just in terms of ethnicity and nationality, but also socioeconomic backgrounds. The show portrays multiple families from economically disadvantaged circumstances, whose kids thrive in their unstable living conditions because their parents are able to passionately provide a good, nurturing start in life using the simple tools available to them for exploration and learning. There’s also a portrayal of non-typical family dynamics, like same-sex parents (and how their kids interpret this arrangement) and stay-at-home dads.

Other great learning points for parents/parents-to-be include how teaching babies face-to-face, in real life, is multiple times more beneficial than parking them in front of an educational video or TV show. A study in the series showed how a group of babies were able to absorb language nuances from a teacher in a classroom/playgroup setting, but learned nothing when the same lesson was played on a TV placed in front of them. Guess we gotta hold back on the screen time for infants, mama!

All in all, The Beginning of Life taught me a lot about the little things that matter, like acknowledging that failing at something is a part of life, and encouragement and support are essential in raising confident kids with high self-esteem. Kids with this type of positive support will be more open to trying new things and will not be afraid of failure.

Read more: Download our FREE Growth Mindset Infographic!

At the same time, though, it doesn’t make me feel like I’ll turn into a paranoid mother (guess I’ll have to see for myself when the time comes!). Rather, to nurture my future child in a positive way, and let them turn their failures and frustrations into life lessons.

More don’t-miss shows for mamas and mamas-to-be:

Workin’ Moms: Canadian, funny, a lot less depressing than The Letdown
Brainchild: Particularly great for mamas who already have older kids!
Yummy Mummies: I personally couldn’t sit through an entire episode but hey, some people truly enjoy reality shows like this one!

What are you watching on Netflix in preparation for your bub, mama? Let us know on Facebook!

The post I’m Pregnant & This is What I’m Watching on Netflix appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Trying to figure out where to give birth in Singapore? Check out our handy roundup to see which maternity hospitals are the best for you! Click here to download our full infographic breaking down costs, hospital facilities, and more!

Choosing which hospital you’ll give birth at is often driven by where your OB-GYN of choice practices, and choosing an OB-GYN usually happens when you’re more concerned with the early stages of pregnancy than thinking ahead to birthing. While all maternity care in Singapore is of a very high international standard at both public and private hospitals, there are significant differences in the offerings and costs, so we encourage you to carefully consider your options. As at every stage of pregnancy: ask questions, make sure you understand all the costs involved and be informed and empowered to make the best choice for you!

The low-down on pros and cons:
Pros of private hospitals

  • Smoother check-in and billing
  • More luxurious surroundings and private rooms on demand
  • Less time pressure as they’re not trying to process as many people
  • Guaranteed OB-GYN of choice
  • Amusing perks like cocktail parties, head massages and parking spots!
  • The cost difference between public and private is sometimes not as large as you might expect

Cons of private hospitals

  • More expensive
  • If there is an emergency you might need to get you or your baby transferred to a public hospital with a larger NICU or more specialist expertise
  • More OB-GYN led, slightly less active midwife support

Pros of public hospitals

  • Lower cost – you can also opt to be a private patient at a public hospital to access better grades of room and choose your OB-GYN
  • You are right where you need to be if something goes wrong in labour or after birth
  • You are more likely to have a midwife-led birth if this is what you want
  • NUH in particular is at the forefront of the natural birth movement in Singapore

Cons of public hospitals

  • Admin and wait times tend to be longer
  • Stricter visiting hours
  • Unlike private hospitals which will help to process insurance claims, with public hospitals you’ll have to handle the paperwork yourself
  • You might need to wait longer for pain relief

Read more: The Best Antenatal Classes in Singapore

The Hospitals

Public Hospitals

National University Hospital (NUH)
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore, 119074Tel: (+65) 6772 2002

The Scoop:
NUH is the medical teaching facility of NUS, and specialises in high-risk obstetrics. This hospital provides the most comprehensive care for at-risk infants with their cardiology, ICU, neonatal care and pediatric surgery departments all under one roof. This makes NUH the choice for mamas of multiples or tricky pregnancies in Singapore. As well as medical excellence, NUH has what is probably the most progressive attitude towards natural birth, supported by their unique Emma Care system which means that midwives handle normal labours as far as possible without intervention. NUH allows water births and offers aromatherapy and doula pressure as a pain relief system.

What Sassy Mamas say: “I delivered both my babies at NUH, as drug-free water births with Prof. Chong. I rate NUH highly. They are one of the more progressive hospitals when it comes to maternity care. Excellent facilities, are happy to facilitate immediate skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, rooming in, etc.” -Kirsten

See for yourself: Tours are held every Monday at 2pm (tours are also included in NUH’s antenatal classes, which are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays). Call the number above to register and pre-book; tours are limited to 10 couples at a time.
Cost: from $4,599 – $5,278 (normal vaginal assisted delivery) or from $7,186 – $8,132 (C-section) in Ward A bed (Emma Care package is extra).

Singapore General Hospital
Outram Road, Singapore 169608, Tel: (+65) 6222 3322

The Scoop:
A reliable choice without many of the bells and whistles of the other options in the little red dot. They also have a confinement menu, and are very supportive when it comes to skin-on-skin, breastfeeding and after-care support. This is a busy public hospital where you may not be able to get your room of choice.

What Sassy Mamas say: “I was admitted for 5 days at SGH when I delivered my bub. While the maternity ward rooms were old, they were comfortable and cosy. The nurses were helpful, offering advice on breastfeeding and assisting me by hand expressing colostrum for my newborn, who was in the NICU for observation. The food was appetising and I found myself looking forward to when meals were served. The aftercare was amazing with nurses calling me every two days to find out if I had any issues breastfeeding or if I was going through any baby blues. We loved feeling like part of a big family from when we went for our pre-natal check ups to when we left with our baby.” – Jasmine

See for yourself: 
Labour ward tours are held on Monday to Friday at 11.30am and 3pm and are included as part of antenatal classes at SGH. If you haven’t signed up for these classes you can still tour the facilities on the day of your consultation with your OB-GYN. No advanced booking is allowed.

Cost: from $4,552 – $5,466 for a Ward A bed and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $8,675 – $9,984 (C-section)

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)
100 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229899, Tel: (+65) 6225 5554

The Scoop:
If anything (God forbid) goes wrong when baby arrives, you’d want to be at KKH, the largest public hospital in Singapore. They deliver 30-35 babies each day (so they’re kinda the pros), but that can also make for a bit of a wham, bam, thank you ma’am experience. With a dedicated perinatal team always on standby, there’s no waiting around for an emergency c-section if needed, and the 28 private delivery rooms have all the mod cons you’d expect. Lactation consultants are on hand to dispense advice.

What Sassy Mamas say: “I’ve always been sure I wanted to deliver at KKH. It just made me feel
safe to know that this was the best equipped hospital in Singapore to deliver babies. I was very comfortable in my room, and most importantly, my wishes for direct skin-to-skin, immediate breastfeeding, and rooming-in with baby were accommodated without question. A bonus were
lactation consultants who helped me with the first few days of breastfeeding in their jolly “aunty-like” manner!” – Nadia

See for yourself: Take a virtual tour of a delivery suite.

Cost: from $5,164 – $5,700 for a Ward A bed and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $8,714 – $10,187 (C-section).

Private Hospitals

Gleneagles Singapore
6A Napier Road, Singapore, 258500, Tel: (+65) 6470 5615

The Scoop: Gleneagles provides a special confinement-food menu created in partnership with TCM professionals from Eu Yan Sang. Parentcraft classes are available and are run by midwives and lactation consultants. All rooms have Wi-Fi, TV and DVD player, private telephone, toiletries, slippers and towels provided. If you’re after the VIP treatment at Gleneagles, upgrade to a Superior Room Package (or one of their amazing suites) and receive a 15-minute complimentary head and shoulder massage, metabolic and hearing screening, as well as a range of blood tests for your baby, a celebratory cocktail party (woop woop) and a limousine ride home with your new arrival.

What Sassy Mamas say: “Overall I had a great experience at Gleneagles: pre-registration and check-in went smoothly; my room was brand new, clean, and bright; the food was surprisingly tasty; and my post-birth aftercare was outstanding, from the nurses who came by to unobtrusively check in on the baby and me, to the lactation consultant who gave me a shoulder massage and breastfeeding tips. I had some hits and misses with the nursing staff in the labour ward, but the delivery team that attended to me when push came to shove (uh, literally) was fantastic. They also completely followed my birth plan (immediate skin-to-skin, baby stayed with me throughout, no pacifier, etc.), which I really appreciated.” – Kate 

See for yourself: You can take a tour of the maternity facilities on weekdays at 1pm or Saturdays at 11am and 1pm; pre-booking by calling the above number is required.

Cost: from $10,568 – $11,960 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $16,262 – $18,096 for C-section.

Mount Elizabeth Hospital Orchard
3 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228510, Tel: (+65) 6250 0000

The Scoop:
Mount E’s location next to Paragon on Orchard Road sets the luxury standard for this hospital, and you’ll never have to eat the hospital food if hubby can be persuaded to grab some yummies from there! Single rooms come with all mod cons like flat screen TV and Wi-Fi, and like Gleneagles, traditional confinement food is available to help you keep your strength up post-birth. Some fun extra perks are a parking space for one vehicle from date of baby’s birth, welcome longan or ginger tea, and a mother and baby gift set. If you want to seriously push the boat out, upgrade to the fabulous Daffodil or Magnolia Suites. Mount E’s particular strength is the ease of checking in and dealing with admin, so at least while they’re taking all your money they do it efficiently and with a smile.

What Sassy Mamas say: I was very happy with Mount Elizabeth. From check-in to checkout the process was very easy. My little one arrived 4 weeks early and I had not registered or completed any hospital paperwork. They managed that with no issues and were very accommodating. Due to the early arrival my husband was unfortunately out of town. The nursing staff went above and beyond to be my support network while there. The head nurse even held my hand during the delivery and talked me through it!”– Kristin K.

See for yourself: 
Call 6731 2000 to register for a maternity tour.

Cost: from $9,673 – $10,691 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $15,415 – $17,629 (C-section).

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
38 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329563Tel: (+65) 6250 0000

The Scoop:
This brand-spanking-new maternity ward (opened in 2014) boasts a single-room-only setup, so you’re guaranteed your privacy. You’ll get all the fab added extras of Mount Elizabeth Orchard (see above), and if you upgrade to a Junior Suite you can enjoy relaxing on your outdoor terrace or entertain family members in your suite’s living room.

What Sassy Mamas say: “The nurses and midwives are fantastic. Supportive and ever so kind and patient. I really appreciate the care I got during and after my natural delivery. Baby and I had skin to skin immediately after birth and they didn’t rush at all to get her cleaned up. The nurses were very attentive.” – Christy

See for yourself: Call 6933 0191 to register for a maternity tour.

Cost: from $9,569 – $10,659 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $14,840 – $16,906 (C-section)

Parkway East Hospital
321 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427990, Tel: (+65) 6377 3737

The Scoop: 
Small and cosy, East Coast mamas will want to check out this option before considering schlepping elsewhere. Run by the same group as Gleneagles and Mount E, Parkway doesn’t have quite as many extra plushy perks as those other hospitals, but the rooms are newly renovated and the care is excellent.

What Sassy Mamas say: We moved to the East Coast before my daughter was born, so we decided to try out Parkway East, which was just down the street from our home. It is a small hospital with just a handful of maternity rooms and no fancy suites, but it has been recently renovated and we were pleasantly surprised by how nice it was! Completing the registration and paperwork was easy and the admin team was friendly and helpful. Overall the nurses were easy to work with and the quality of care was excellent. They listened to our requests and made sure we were as comfortable as possible during labour and recovery. The food was admittedly not great so we usually brought our own or ran downstairs to Delifrance. If I had a third child, I’d definitely go back to Parkway East.” – Kristin B

See for yourself: Tours are conducted on weekdays at 2.30pm or Saturdays at 10am. Bookings can be made online.

Cost: from $7,489 – $8,310 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $12,558 – $13,556 (C section).

Mount Alvernia Hospital
820 Thomson Road, Singapore 574623, Tel: (+65) 6347 6688

The Scoop:
We hear Dr. Lai is the OG OBGYN at Mount Alvernia if you’re looking for a natural birth. Mount A has a reputation for being very pro-breastfeeding and offering lots of support in this area, as well as being excellent for skin-to-skin. Their strict rules might raise some eyebrows (only one person is allowed in delivery room), but there is a fair amount of wiggle room if you’re prepared to negotiate. We love that their antenatal classes include a Marriage Enrichment segment to help new parents navigate through sex during and after pregnancy!

What Sassy Mamas say: “I was at Mount Alvernia and found the nurses warm and caring, and the lactation consultant was very encouraging and really helped me on my breastfeeding journey.”– Parul

See for yourself: Various times on weekdays and Saturdays. Bookings can be made online.

Cost: from $8,182 – $9,384 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $12,067 – $13,319 (C-section).

Thomson Medical Centre
339 Thomson Road, Singapore 307677, Tel: (+65) 6250 2222

The Scoop: Mixed reviews reign when it comes to feedback on Thomson Medical Centre – some people loved their experiences, others were not fans. The lactation consultant service in particular seems to need some improvement. If you’re bringing in your own doula and expecting a very natural birth, you’re likely to find success here. Special confinement foods are offered on the menu.

What Sassy Mamas say: “I chose Thomson because it was small. Everything you need from doctors and bloodwork, to food and pharmacy is convenient and close by when you need it. I also loved that the nurses at Thomson left us to bond with our baby for a long time. Those quiet moments with our new little one were absolute bliss!” – Jennifer

See for yourself: Tours are conducted on weekdays at 1:30pm and 3.30pm, and Saturdays at 11am and 12pm. Book your spot by calling 63580055 or register online.

Cost: from $8,018 – $8,952 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $12,126 – $13,678 (C-section).

Raffles Hospital
585 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188770, Tel: (+65) 6311 1111

The Scoop: Raffles only work with their own doctors (this includes paediatricians), and their doctors don’t practise elsewhere. We hear rave reviews for head lactation consultant Helen who is a whizz with helping to get your breastfeeding journey started.

What Sassy Mamas say: “Rooms are always clean, food was tasty by hospital standards and the staff are great. Request a room not right next to the nursing station if possible as it gets a little noisy.” – Mariana

See for yourself: No need to book an appointment – just join the tour (which starts from the Business Office at Level 8) on Mondays at 4pm, Wednesdays at 11.30am or Saturdays at 2:30pm .

Cost: from $8,294 – $9,203 for a Single Room and normal vaginal assisted delivery or from $12,809 – $17,373 (for C-section).

Costs for delivery are quoted from the MOH website: for Vaginal Births and C-section Births (which you should check for updates to these costs), based on a Ward A/1 bedded room, no complications and the ranges are based on the difference between a 50th percentile bill up to a 75th percentile bill.

Read more:
How to Choose Your Gynae: Top Questions to Ask Prospective Doctors
Ultimate Guide to Natural Birth in Singapore
Confessions of a Pregnant Doctor in Singapore (3-part series)

The post Where to Give Birth in Singapore: Public vs. Private Maternity Hospitals & Bill Costs appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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A diverse group of accomplished mamas tell us the secret to finding a mama squad — other mums to help you through the good times and bad!

There is nothing more life-changing than becoming a mama. The sleepless nights, the crying babies, the endless diaper changes – how do women get through this new life stage? With the help of other mums, that’s how! Our sisters in Hong Kong have rounded up a diverse group of cool and accomplished mamas to tell us their secrets to finding a group of other mums who helped them through the hard times (and good times!). We found out that these friendships are not only important, they can be life-saving!

Read more: How to form your own mama fitness tribe

“A mom squad has to start with your girl squad. Being a mother is just one part of who you are as a person. It defines you but doesn’t have to define you. You need to find a community of women who recognise that and encourage you to still be the woman you were before you had children. As a mother, you face a lot of unnecessary judgement, so having friends who are mums to prop you up is essential. They make you feel less lonely, and can help you maintain your sanity. My experience connecting with other mothers who aren’t friends first hasn’t always been positive. You may find that you’re actually different people with different mothering styles. And, you may find you run out of things to talk about.”

Norbyah Nolasco, Founder of I’m a Norbyah

“When I got pregnant, I was also just starting my business so it meant I didn’t have much time to attend meet ups. I joined a due date club on Facebook, and I remember seeing these mamas meeting up every Friday at 3pm for tea and cake. I thought, “Who the hell has time to work and have tea and cake at 3pm?” Well, as I carried on into my last trimester, I was slowing down a little, and made that Friday 3pm slot for tea and cake at Cafe 8! It was my weekly reminder to just enjoy and put my feet up. I also joined was Annerley’s Best of Both package, which brought together five other couples who were all due within three months of each other. We have become a lifeline for each other. Not all groups grow so tight, but I got really lucky with mine, and 18 months on, they are still my go-to group when something changes with Mya.”

— Dee Cheung, Founder of SUP Yoga Hong Kong and Float On

“I became a mother a little over seven years ago. I immediately noticed everyone was trying to do it ‘right’ or be ‘best’, or have opinions that were golden. It became a little overwhelming, and I ended up somehow sticking with friends who weren’t judging me as a mother. To build a solid mothering community I think the key most important factor is acceptance of your fellow mums. Maybe one is a stay-a-home mum who is pretty well off and lives a lavish life, another may be a workaholic (whether or not it’s because she has no choice but to provide), and another may be somewhere in between. The way I see it is: are they happy? Are the kids happy? In order to be a strong mother community we don’t need to be judgmental and instead be supportive when needed. And, always open our hearts and doors, and be kind. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have. The mums we choose to be in our tribe must be the foundations of what holds us together at times of strife, but also accepts us for who we are, no matter what.”

Ifat Kafry Hindes, Health and Wellness Advocate

“My ‘Mum Squad’ has turned out to be a mix of old friends who also happen to have kids now, and friends I’ve met through my daughter and work. It’s interesting how you bond with another mum – whether it’s over gin & tonics after playgroup, laughing over shared ‘splattered with sh*t stories’ or just having empathy when they burst into tears arriving late and flustered at baby massage class! I constantly marvel at how we can all have such different approaches to child rearing, yet find such common bonding ground — and don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have my squad available on WhatsApp at all hours of the day and night (one unexpected bonus when our dear friends/mum squad members leave our fine city for other lands). As they say, it does ‘take a village!'”

Joanna Bowers, Director of The Helper Documentary

“Having a mum squad is vital to your mental health, especially as a new mum. You need to be able to tell the endless – and sometimes seemingly pointless – stories to someone without feeling like they’re getting bored senseless! More importantly, you just need someone who understands what you’re experiencing and how tough it can be at times. If you’re having trouble connecting, I recommend simply plucking up the courage to talk to that mum you keep seeing in your favourite cafe, or reaching out to people via playgroups. I was lucky enough to have an amazing network of mum friends in both Sydney and Hong Kong — as well as my ultimate mum squad, my Mum and my sister, Eliza. When my son was first born I was completely clueless, and having the support and welcomed guidance from these women, who had been there before, made my experience so much easier.”

Jo Lorenz, Stylist, Photographer and Digital Content Creator

“I honestly don’t know how parents did what they did without smartphones! Group chats can be a blessing and a curse. There is always someone who will answer (even at 4am!) but that is also the reason why your phone battery needs to be charged so often! I have found though, that the older my children get, the more confident I am in my own parenting skills and the less I run to the chat for help. However, it is a great way to keep in touch. I find Instagram to have such a wonderful mommy community, and maybe I’ve been extremely lucky, but I have not had any issues with people dispensing too much info. In fact, I get a lot of DM’s after posting certain things with parents (mothers AND fathers alike!) chiming in with their, ME, TOO!s.”

— Alexa Bui, Founder of Cashmere and Candy

Just say yes! If a pregnant friend, contact or trusted pregnancy group (such as Sassy Mama!) asks if you would like to join a group of pregnant women with a similar due date, don’t overthink it. Within typical social norms, you may be interested in knowing whether these women have similar interests, values, careers, or the many other criteria we normally use as a filter for who will be in your squad. In the case of moms-to-be, the similarities far outweigh the differences, and you can find common ground with just about anyone. Forming the group by the last trimester is key, as new moms don’t typically have time or energy to join a group, so it’s best to get acquainted early. Once you’ve established a baseline of trust within your group, open up and ask your wildest questions. You’ll find their insights and support far more meaningful than sifting through countless links on Google. Set up a WhatsApp group and meet as often as you can (pre-babies), and then continue socialising when you have your babies. As I did with mine, you will lean on your mom group more than you anticipated, and you will be happy you said yes. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of finding women within a narrow band of due dates. Outside of three months apart, moms feel like they’re in another and long forgotten chapter, so stick close and ride out the firsts alongside each other.”

Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle

Ready to build your own mama squad? Join one of our Sassy Pregnancy Due Date Clubs today!

This article was originally published on 14 February 2018. 

The post How To Build A Mama Squad: Meeting Like-Minded Friends After Pregnancy appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Mama of two Namita knows a thing or two about food (and recently underwent confinement). Here are her tips for a delicious, nutritious confinement period

I’ve just had a baby? What should I eat?

Whether or not you decide to hire a confinement nanny after giving birth, you should definitely arm yourself with a good understanding of the types of foods that are good for you, bad for you, and why. Your diet and nutrition as a new mama should be a top priority, not only for your recovery, but for the baby’s nutrition via establishing a healthy milk supply for those mamas who are breastfeeding.

The confinement period is an important time to rest and heal, and whether you’ve had a natural birth or a C-section, your body has gone through a lot! Most Asian cultures require a period of anywhere from 21 to 40 days for mummy and baby to stay home and rest. Different cultures observe varying rules and guidelines, some far stricter than others. In general, the principles during this period are to keep warm, eat well, rest a lot and stay hydrated. It’s also important to avoid cold and raw foods, and because a lot of wind is considered to have entered the body during childbirth, it’s best to avoid gas-producing foods like beans and cruciferous vegetables. Think warm, easy-to-digest and nourishing!

Here are 10 great foods to eat during the confinement period (inspired by Indian mamas and Indian confinement diets!)

Read more:
Ultimate Guide to Confinement Nannies & Services in Singapore
10 Awesome Baby Products I’ve Discovered as a Second-time Mama
Will chocolate make my baby darker? Top 5 pregnancy and breastfeeding food myths debunked

Lead image sourced via Getty

The post 10 Confinement Foods this Mama and Cookbook Author Swears By (with Recipes!) appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Get the facts on Gestational Diabetes and find out how you can protect yourself, your baby, and your wallet mama!

Did you know that up to 1 in 5 pregnant women in Singapore is likely to develop Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) ? That’s one of the highest rates in the world, mama. (By comparison, the rate is only about 10% in the United States.) So what can you do to avoid GDM? Or, if you are diagnosed with it, what can you do to treat it, while also ensuring you’re covered financially?

Read on to find out! 

The Facts on Gestational Diabetes

GDM is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, occurring either when a mother can’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin is not working well enough to act on the sugars in her body. This leads to excess glucose in the bloodstream, which can be passed on to your baby.

Associated complications during pregnancy and labor include excess birth weight, premature birth and, in some serious cases, stillbirth. GDM can also increase your risk of developing pre-eclampsia, which can be life-threatening to the mother, and can also lead to emergency C-sections and intensive interventions for the baby. Babies can also be put at increased risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Risk factors for GDM can include age, lifestyle, ethnicity, high blood pressure, and high BMI (in other words, exercising and eating right during pregnancy are hugely important, mama!), but the actual causes of GDM are still unknown.

How Gestational Diabetes is Diagnosed and Treated

Between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, your OBGYN will conduct an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), where you’ll be asked to drink a super sweet glucose formula and take a series of blood tests to determine the level of glucose in your bloodstream. The process is relatively straightforward, but takes a few hours (so as to measure how the glucose affects your system) and requires fasting beforehand, which is never fun for hangry pregnant mamas!

If you test positive, and are diagnosed early, you can reduce the risk of complications with medical treatment and healthy lifestyle switches. This would involve things like cutting down on sugar, simple carbs and fatty foods, and choosing healthy food alternatives like steaming instead of frying. It’s also so important to exercise with at least moderate intensity for 30 minutes a day, mama. This could be something as simple as going for a walk after dinner!

Dr. Watt Wing Fong, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre, also suggests pregnant mamas consider spacing out their meals. That is, eat smaller portions, but more frequently. “It’s also important to monitor your sugar levels and stick to the diet plan or medication advised by your doctor throughout the pregnancy,” she tells us.

How will GDM affect medical costs?

It’s been estimated that the combination of prescribed medications, additional clinic visits, and professional dietician support can add up to around $500 in out-of-pocket expenses. Unfortunately, not all standard insurance plans cover those extra treatments.

Vitana is a cool new product that is Singapore’s first standalone cover for GDM. Pay a single, one-time fee of $99 and, in the event that you are diagnosed with GDM, Vitana’s system automatically triggers a flat payment of $500 into your bank account. (We love that the one-time $99 fee also includes the cost of your OGTT at participating clinics – about $40-$55 on average). Read on to see how Sassy Mamas can save $50 off the policy!

If you happen to experience any GDM-related conditions covered by Vitana, you’ll receive an automatic $2,000 payment. So you’ll never need to make a claim, mama! (Sweet! Err…Hooray!)

Insurechain - Vitana | How it works - YouTube

Want to know more?

Check out Vitana’s website to read up on eligibility criteria (refreshingly straightforward!). After you visit a participating clinic (woohoo I see my awesome OBGYN on that list! –Ed.), you can sign up in just two minutes and get yourself covered with the Vitana app. Or email the Vitana team at contact@vitana.sg to find out more, mama!

 For a limited time, Sassy Mama readers can save $50 off the registration fee with the promo code GONGXI (valid through 11 February 2019). You’ll also get a FREE Oral Glucose Tolerance Test at participating clinics (for a limited time)!

Vitana, email contact@vitana.sg, www.vitana.sg

The post How Pregnant Mamas-to-Be Can Protect Themselves from Gestational Diabetes appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Ab Separation – aka Diastasis Recti – is a common condition that occurs during pregnancy and after. Women’s physiotherapist Tamara Gerdis takes us through the facts

Please welcome physiotherapist Tamara Gerdis, a women’s health specialist from Singapore’s first dedicated women’s health physiotheraphy practice, Physio Down Under, to weigh in on a super-important topic that can make us squeamish, but affects a majority of mamas and post-natal women!

Get to know your Diastasis Recti Abdominis Muscles

During pregnancy, as your baby grows, pressure is placed on your abdominal wall. This increasing pressure, along with hormonal changes, leads to softening of connective tissue, which results in widening of the mid line of your linea alba. The linea alba is the narrow band of connective tissue between your rectus abdominis (or “six pack” ) muscle. A gap bigger than 2cm occurs in over 60% of all pregnancies in the 3rd trimester, and in more than 30% of postpartum women. This gap is called diastasis recti abdominis muscles, or DRAM.

How do I know if my tummy muscles have separated?
Widening and thinning of the connective tissue of your abdominal muscles results in a characteristic doming or bulging of your abdomen when doing any activity that requires abdominal effort.

If you suspect you have a DRAM, you can check by lying down with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand behind your head and your other hand with your fingers at your belly button. Gently roll your head and neck up as if you are doing a small ‘crunch’. At the same time feel around your bellybutton for a gap between the muscles. This feels like 2 firm edges of the muscle with a soft dip in-between. Try also to feel how deep the dip is. Deeper dips take longer to close than shallower dips.

Read more: What to Expect at Your First Women’s Physio Appointment

I have a 3-finger separation of my abdominal muscles, do I need to be careful with anything?
A gap larger than 2cm should be reviewed by a women’s health physiotherapist. Additionally, there are some activities that can make the separation worse or prevent it from improving, and these should be avoided or modified. These activities include:

  • Any heavy lifting
  • When getting in and out of bed, make sure you roll on to your side first. Don’t do a ‘sit up’.
  • Apply gentle pressure to your tummy to support it when coughing, sneezing or laughing.
  • Avoid any activities that over stretch your abdominals such as leaning back over a fit-ball or backbends
  • Any activity that causes bulging or doming of your tummy

How can I correct my DRAM?
Most DRAMs respond very well to a specific exercise program that usually starts with activating from the inside out, or more specifically your transversus abdominus muscle. Your exercise program should be corrected and progress as you become stronger and the gap continues to close. Immediately post-delivery, women with a larger than 2cm gap may benefit from an abdominal support, but this is only a temporary measure until your deep abdominal muscles are stronger. Wearing an abdominal support for a long period of time will ultimately weaken your abdominal muscles.

How long will it take for my DRAM to disappear?
This varies from woman to woman but can be anywhere from six weeks to a year. Many factors will influence your recovery such as your commitment to the exercises, avoiding aggravating activities, posture and genetics. Many women will never achieve complete closure of the connective tissue of their abdominal muscles, but anything less than 2cm is considered to be in the normal range.

I am 6 weeks postnatal and would like to start bootcamp. Is this ok?
At 6 weeks postnatal, your ligaments and connective tissue will still be softer and stretchier. This means your joints will be vulnerable to injury. In addition your pelvic floor will still be weaker and certain high impact exercises can have a negative affect on your pelvic floor leading to urinary incontinence or prolapse. Many trainers theses days are able to assess for a DRAM and they would hopefully refer you on to a women’s health physiotherapist if your gap was  bigger than 2cm. Even certain core exercises like the plank can be detrimental to your DRAM if you have a large gap or aren’t able to activate your deep abdominal muscles correctly. Ideally all postnatal women should have their abdominal muscles checked before embarking on a new fitness regime

I am 6 months postnatal and have just started some personal training, but my trainer has told me I have separation of my abdominal muscles. Is it too late to work on closing the gap?
It is never too late to start specific exercises to help close a DRAM!

Read more: Five Things to Know About Postpartum Movement

I have been told that I have an abdominal muscle separation, is this dangerous?
A DRAM is not dangerous, however, it can predispose you to back pain, pelvic instability, urinary incontinence and postural problems. Some women with DRAM may develop hernias, which would require a medical assessment.

Do I need surgery to correct my DRAM?
Most women will achieve good results by following an appropriate exercise program for DRAM. Very few women have an actual separation or tear of the linea alba which might ultimately require surgery.

The post Expert Advice: 9 Ab Separation Facts for Pregnancy & Beyond appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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Second-time mama Namita discovers heaps of cool new baby products on the market since giving birth six years ago

Figuring out what you need for a newborn baby can be daunting…everyone has their version of the ‘must-haves’ list! I distinctly recall buying way too many things for my son and feeling bad about not using many items lovingly purchased for him.

With Baby #2 on the way, I wanted to be a bit smarter about what I was going to stock up on…I had kept some of my son’s old things but given the six-year age gap, I knew I had a fair bit of new things to buy and so I sat down to dust off the old excel sheet.

I was also really curious to learn about what new baby products were on the market- given the progress in tech in the last six years! Of course, the basic items such as swaddles, wash cloths, onesies, pacifiers etc. will always be needed and on the list…but what were the cool new baby gizmos out there? I did tons of research online and snapped up a whole bunch of new products in no time. Watch out, mama, the nesting phase can be dangerous to the wallet!

Fast forward to baby girl being born and now that we’re a month in, we have a real sense of the items from my list that are super useful and impressive. As you can probably imagine, I once again bought way too many things (and way too many pink things!), so here I am distilling down the top 10 items that have really wowed this mama!

Click through our gallery to see Namita’s Top 10 picks!

Read more: Downloadable Baby Checklist: Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves

Lead image by Snuggle Baby Organic

The post 10 Awesome Baby Products I’ve Discovered as a Second-Time Mama appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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From nutrition tips to beauty must-haves, we round up 8 ways to take care of your body throughout pregnancy and after

We’ve debunked pregnancy food myths and prepared your for some of the crazy stuff you’ll be ordering at midnight once bub arrives, but what can you do to take care of yourself in the meantime, mama?

Check out our roundup of eight ways to take care of your body before, during and after pregnancy!

And to make sure you give your bub the best possible start (by saving money, of course!), be sure to click all the way through to find out how you can score an exclusive discount off groceries with FairPrice On.

All images sourced via Getty

The post From Stretch Marks to Your Hospital Bag: Taking Care of Your Body Before, During & After Pregnancy appeared first on Sassy Mama.

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