If I were back in Boston, I would have spent a great deal of time with Isis Parenting, an amazing local resource that combines breastfeeding support, developmental classes for caregiver and baby, retail space and all manner of support you need as a new mom. After Ellie got out of the hospital at a month, we were regulars at Isis and they’re still an important stop for me when we’re home. They made being a new mom (especially a first time mom) a much less lonely and scary experience.
I really miss that sense of community from Isis, and I wanted to find something like it again with Rhiannon. I was frustrated to find out that Kindermusik, Gymboree Play and the other mom/baby classes don’t start before 4 months at a minimum.
There’s nothing quite like Isis, but I’ve found the next best (and far more local) thing…Mother and Child, based out of Tanglin Mall.
Although I’m not a first time mom, I am a first time breastfeeding mom. My pediatrician recommended that Rhiannon and I check out Mother and Child, and get some support from Uma, their IBLC (certified lactation consultant). I was a little hesitant initially as I’d liked the IBLC from Gleneagles hospital, but I trust our pedi, and I decided it was worth checking out.
I’ve attended their breastfeeding cafe, which is a drop in price of $15. It’s nice to socialize with other moms and babies (although Rhi is usually the youngest by far). The crowd (at the least when I’ve attended a few times) is skewed heavily if not completely expat, which makes a lot of sense. It’s not very common for a local mom to do the stay at home mom thing, as most of them need to return to work shortly after the birth of their children. Breastfeeding is also not very common–some statistics say only about 25% of new moms breastfeed in Singapore. It makes a lot of sense that the expats would be the higher demand clients of a place like Mother and Child, coming from cultures with a higher emphasis/value placed on breastfeeding and for the most part with the financial ability to stay home with young children.
I’ve also gotten on on one support, which has been very helpful. Uma takes your medical history, details of your pregnancy and delivery, and makes a file for you. It allows her to track the baby’s weight gain and chart it, and to remember what issues you’ve addressed. She has helped me with positioning, building initial supply and restoring supply after illness, and general support. I don’t know that I would have hit my first goal of 6 weeks without reassessing and changing my mind…breastfeeding can be a challenge and we need support.
They also offer parent first aid/cpr and first aid/cpr for helpers. I’ve signed B up for the first aid/cpr class and Ravi and I are considering taking a class to review as well once we’re back home from the US.
As the mom of a preemie, one of the best things they have is the small retail space, which carries the only preemie clothing to be found in Singapore. Mothercare occasionally has this 5 pack of ugly outfits, but they don’t fit well and they’re overpriced. Nobody else has preemie clothes, even retailers like Baby GAP which in the US carries an under 7 lb line of onesies/sleepers. I had a few things from the US, but I was able to fill out Rhi’s wardrobe with some of Mother & Child’s line from Australia. The retail space has other cute stuff like feeding tools for older babies, blankets, breastfeeding supplies and the like. But my only purchase other than the preemie clothes was a onesie that says “Made in Singapore” that she won’t fit into for a while.
They have a bunch of other services and classes that I haven’t tried, like infant massage (include a dads & baby infant massage class), yoga, etc.
If you’re a pregnant or new mom, I strongly encourage you to go check them out
Tanglin Mall #03-11 (around the corner from Kindermusik and Mango Books) 6836-0063
Bowmont Centre #01-02 (in East Coast) 6446-7236