Confinement dos and don’ts

I just had my first session with Val from Nouri Face and Body Concepts, and found out that I’ve been doing so much confinement stuff wrongly.

Such as…

  • Drinking my red date tea at room temperature (no wonder I haven’t been feeling sweaty after drinking)
  • Adding tap water into my boiled herbal water for bathing (she said even a drop of unboiled water will render my entire pot of herbal water useless)
  • Taking tonics and “bu” too early as my body has a lot of wind still, so I should focus on removing wind before taking tonics (for optimal absorption)
  • Using the fan (she advised air-con is better as the air is stagnant and won’t enter the body)

Sigh. And I thought I was having it easy this round. Val said that if I don’t follow the rules, my entire package would go to waste. (I’m not making her out to be an authoritarian, but she really is serious about wanting me to have a successful confinement, to be stronger and regain my figure too!)

But not all is lost. I still have two weeks to get my act together, and make up for lost time.

Here are the dos and don’ts that I learnt today.


  • Use da feng cao boiled water and a micro-fibre cloth to bathe or wipe your body
  • Boil soups with rice wine and white peppercorn to expel wind from the body. (only when wind is expelled can you start taking tonics.)
  • Drink tea made with red and black dates in a 1:2 ratio. Must be drunk hot.
  • Use gloves if you need to do some washing so that you’re not in contact with cold water for prolonged periods.


  • Consume cold drinks or food (this will cause wind to enter the body and lead to water retention, weak joints, poor constitution)
  • Venture outdoors in cool or windy weather (if you must, cover up)
  • Consume anything that is not boiled and not warm
  • Eat bread (this may sound odd, but she said bread can cause wind)

Will be sharing more about my post-natal slimming treatment in my next post. Wish me well!

What happens when your waterbag bursts

Baby J arrived about 11 days before my scheduled c-section date.

I woke up at 1.30am one night to pee. I was surprised when greeted by what seemed to be a bit like a mini waterfall while sitting on the toilet bowl. It definitely felt like something was up because I couldn’t possibly have that much pee all at once.

As I walked out of the toilet, I felt like I was still “leaking”, so back I went. I found my liner was soaked through, so I changed to a normal pad instead.

The water in the bowl was a murky yellow. I woke the sleeping hubby and said, “I think my waterbag broke.”

“Oh. So how.”

“I dunno… Think we gotta go to the hospital. I call them and check.”

The nurse on duty at TMC told me to come in immediately. So we packed our things. I was hungry so I ate two slices of raisin bread. I wanted to hug the kids but didn’t want to wake them, so I just ran my fingers through their hair.

So off we went. To have our baby. 11 days before schedule. At around 37.5 weeks.

How did I feel? Well, somewhat relieved that I wouldn’t be sitting around wondering when baby J would come, and whether we would be able to wait till the scheduled c-section date.

Also a tad concerned, since both Vera and JJ were born at 40 weeks, baby J would be our first early baby!

As I laid on the hospital bed, I could feel the contractions that had been plaguing me since the past week getting stronger. I wondered if I was already dilated, but when the nurse did an internal examination she said my cervix was closed. I knew then I had no chance of having a vbac.

But I was surprisingly chill upon receiving that bit of info. I told myself, just relax, you’ll be seeing baby soon.

Since it wasn’t a real emergency, doctor scheduled me for a c-section at 8am in the morning.

I tried to get some rest but the nurses kept coming in and out and their voices prevented me from falling asleep. Guess it was also the anticipation.

When dawn came, I was shaved and prepared for the knife. As I was wheeled to the operating theatre, my anaesthetist came and asked a few standard questions.

In the theatre, the bright tri-lights were turned on. I was prepared for epidural and asked to curl up like a baby. The jab felt like a big ant bite and I jerked slightly.

Slowly I felt my sensations leave my legs. My doctor came, looking confident and composed as usual. It was just another day for him probably.

He didn’t speak many words throughout. Just focused on the task at hand.

I felt woozy, like swimming in a pool of jelly. I don’t remember feeling so drowsy during my second delivery. I whispered to the anaesthetist “where’s my husband?” and vaguely remembered that I asked the exact same question the last time. He said, “He’s coming. Once you are ready to start, he will be here.”

True enough. Hubby came in shortly. He held my hand.

I felt weak. And also like crying. But I knew in a few minutes time, baby will be out and I would hear his cries. I prayed silently in my heart.

Some pushing and shoving. Even the anaesthetist was helping to push baby out. And then quiet, then… “Wahhhh!”

My doctor came over the shield-cloth and showed us baby. He said, “Have a look. Boy or girl?” (Yup he has an odd sense of humour.)

Hubby was summoned over the side to cut the cord and take some photos. Then baby J, all wrapped up, is passed to me. I stare at him and worry that in my drowsiness I may drop him. But somehow we manage to keep it together and take more photos.

Then both hubby and baby left the room, and the sewing and mending work begins…I can’t wait to see baby again. I close my eyes and try to drain out the funny mechanical noises. To distract myself, I try to picture soothing gardens and blue skies in my head.

This is baby J’s birth story.

Baby Joshua



33 weeks and counting

Dear Vera and JJ,

Mummy is now 33 weeks pregnant. Walking around and going on bus-rides with you guys in tow is starting to be a laborious and somewhat hair-raising affair.

But thankfully, on most days, we receive the help of kind strangers who give up their seats for you guys, and we’ve managed to enjoy most of our gallivanting without too much ado.

I’m still quite determined to hang out with you both on my days off. Seeing the both of you have fun at the pool or playing with your friends at the playground or heartily tucking into our mid-day snack (which on good days consists of something chocolaty) makes my day.

I’m kinda thinking ahead and already feeling a sense of loss for such days. And am wondering how we are gonna cope after baby Joshua’s arrival, and when I will be able to take you out alone again.

It’ll be tough at the start, and I need to find out from other mummies how they do it. But though I may not be hanging out with you kids outside as much and have to do boob duty for most part of the day, please know that I am always loving you, and will still be around to play / mediate quarrels / comfort / pray okay?

I promise not to hide behind my phone when you come traipsing down the hallway, excited to share with me your news of the day.

I promise to let go of my need to write, vent and express through my blog, and to give you more one-on-one time wherever I can.

I promise to involve you both in the caring and loving of Joshua. Because we are one family, and we’ll all in this together.

Meanwhile, I am amazed at how the both of you have grown. (Just look at this 1 year ago photo I dug up.)

Vera, you’re so grown up now, and JJ, you’re no longer the little baby I once knew.

You both have your own little minds about how the world should work, and about when you get to eat your favourite things like ice-cream (ideally every day of course…)

Time is racing speedily by, and I realise you won’t remain so little for very long. I count these moments precious…before the whirlwind of change hits us.

So, I am thankful.

Thankful that I can still keep up with you guys.

Thankful that daddy and I can still find the time to go for couple pilates classes (at Pilates Fitness) on the weekends.

Thankful that baby Joshua is well and extremely active in the womb. (Sometimes I fear that he’s gonna kick himself outta there somehow. I know…crazy paranoid preggie mum talking.)

Thankful that whatever storms come our way, we know we will go sailing home safe and sound. Because we know that Jesus is in the boat, and he calms all our storms…Right guys?

Love you always and always,

Even when it’s tough.


Rent or buy maternity wear at Maternity Exchange

Maternity Exchange red dress

My approach to dressing has always been simple, practical. That’s why I tend to go for easy dresses that can be worn for different occasions – work or play.

When it comes to maternity wear, I’ve been blessed with pass-arounds from friends and have thus far survived on basic tops, stretchy pants, skirts, and of course, easy-to-wear dresses.

When I was invited to pick an outfit from Maternity Exchange, I was excited. It felt like I was shopping for a special occasion but thankfully the experience was cosy and stress-free, with the salesperson offering me helpful advice on picking the right dress. Quite simply, a dress that suits me.

As I was wandering through the racks, she asked what dress or style I was after and offered me a few different ones to try. (I eventually chose the one she had picked!)

To be honest, I was a little worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to find something nice. I’ve got a few problem areas like a heavy bottom and flabby arms. But I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the dresses I tried were well-cut and generally forgiving. I chose this red number as I thought I’ve had enough of black or dark-coloured dresses in my wardrobe. It was also casual enough for a day out with the girls, and professional enough to show up in at work.

It even doubles up as a nursing dress, with an extra cloth piece over the chest allowing for easy nursing!

Actually, I’ve always known Maternity Exchange for its innovative buy or rent retail concept. It offers mums-to-be the option to buy or rent their maternity outfits, so that we can enjoy a wide variety of clothing and the best fit throughout the different pregnancy stages. It’s like maternity wear that “grows” with us.

They even offer pre-loved pieces at reduced prices. And the best part? You can purchase the outfits that you’ve rented and fallen in love with.

Of course, we mums can have a rather tight hold on our budget, in view of a new baby’s arrival. But judging from the quality of the outfits and the modern designs, I felt the prices were quite reasonable – the purchase price of the dresses I picked ranged from $80 to $120 (The more expensive pieces are occasion wear/gowns and can go up to $500). Tops and bottoms start from $20.

If you’re looking to rent, rental prices for dresses start from $30, tops and bottoms from $25, and occasion wear from $50. Check out how their rental packages work here.

While browsing, I was rather pleased to find that the store also carries some nifty gifts and accessories for mums-to-be, new parents and babies. From psi bands for morning sickness, belly bands, swimwear, to swaddles and baby carriers, and even this Mama Earth Angel Baby’s mama bottom balm. I also picked up some really comfy and soft maternity/nursing bras (without wires), for everyday home use.

Maternity Exchange
Marina Square #03-108
6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594
+65 6100 3924 (6100-EXCH)

Website and online store:

The dress in this post has been sponsored by Maternity Exchange. All opinions are my own.

A preggy mum’s poem

Beautiful, radiant, full of life
Heavy, burdened, feisty mood swings

Feeling round and happy
Feeling fat and clumsy

Cravings for chocolate, sashimi, and durian ice-cream
Water retention, constipation, frequent pee breaks

Flatulence, embarrassing gases. Tired, tired feet.
Sleep is always an attractive proposition

Moments watching the clock tick by
Feeling the drum-beat in my tummy

Pregnancy is a funny thing.

You want it, you try for it
Sometimes it comes when you least expect it
And somewhere in the middle, you get tired of it.

Until you see baby face-to-face,
hold him chest-to-chest,
and then you’ll see
that a new life’s journey

has just begun….

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