Going to be a lengthy post, here are some quick links to jump within the post:
I was warded in the Single Deluxe Room, and this is what it looks like. If you are interested, you can see the list of Mount Alvernia Maternity Packages here.
There’s a rooming in service, if you pay S$80.25 extra per night, one person gets to stay with you and sleep on the day bed, inclusive of 3 meals (lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next morning). Han decided to stay the second night until we were discharged, but he only managed to have breakfast on the last day since he came over after work.
There were some pee pads in the drawers beside the bed. The pee pads are for sleeping on, to protect the bed from lochia leaks. The nurses also gave me some maternity pads with cooling function. You basically use it like a light stick – bend it in half and shake it to activate the cooling agent. Those were really great for soothing the swelling down there post delivery. However, the mesh like disposable underwear that came with the maternity pads were practically useless. I ended up wearing the cooling pads inside maternity pants that my girlfriend gave me, Depend Silhouette for Women, and the nurses said that those pants were really good. You can get them from Amazon.
I also put on the Belly Bandit Original 3 hours after delivery, and wore it 24 hours over my pyjamas. I couldn’t track the progress since I didn’t have a measuring tape with me, but my gynae was very encouraging when she saw me in it the next morning after the delivery.
If you had epidural during the delivery, you might not be able to feel your legs for the next couple of hours, and a nurse will be assigned to help you to the toilet for the first toilet visit post delivery, and also to make sure that you are able to pee well. After that, you’re on your own. The bars for the toilet would come in really helpful after that, when you’re all sore down there and need to slowly lower yourself onto the toilet seat. If you had a natural delivery, then incontinence is to be expected, but it would get better over the next few weeks as you recover and your muscles bounce back in shape. Meanwhile, just keep doing those kegels!
It was time for dinner when I was shown my ward. The hospital specially prepared confinement food, and the first meal I had, was fish, vegetables, fish soup and some fruits.
Breakfast the next day was pork porridge, bread, and milo.
Lunch was again fish, vegetables, chicken soup and fruits.
There was tea. Some unidentifiable pastry, red date tea, and milo. I apologise for the awkward angle of the photo…lol.
Dinner was pork, vegetables, some soup (can’t remember!), and of course fruits!
The last breakfast was macaroni soup, bread, and milo.
Surprisingly, the food was actually really good and not as bland as how other people have described hospital food. The nurses told me the kitchen also made sure that the food were prepared separately according to confinement requirements. 🙂
The nurses brought Ardan to me every 2-3 hours, but I had no colostrum, so I was really quite confused by morning the next day. I asked the nurses what to do, since clearly I had no milk coming out of my boobs, and I didn’t want to starve my child. They said that they don’t make suggestions. -_- I asked my pediatrician the same question, and he said that babies have enough resources to last 3 days postpartum so I shouldn’t worry too much until I was discharged.
On the second day afternoon, the lactation consultant came to visit and she taught me how to massage my boobs, as well as hand expression, but still, nothing came out. She was visibly perplexed, and told me that the baby had to have one stool within the first 24 hours, and two in the next 24 hours to expel the meconium. So I asked what her recommendation was, she mentioned to feed the baby some water first, so that he’d have his first stool within the first 24 hours at least. I agreed, and that was done. She also recommended that I rent the hospital pump to stimulate my boobs in between nursing Ardan, even though I brought my own Medela Pump in Style Advanced (PISA), she insisted that the hospital pump would be stronger. It IS pretty hardcore looking with a piston, but I can assure you, my Medela PISA pumps way harder than this machine.
Throughout the second night, the nurses brought Ardan to me every 2-3 hours as well, but I was watching the clock and he should have at least one poop within the first half of the second 24 hours, and another poop within the second half of the second 24 hours. When I was still milk-less, I told the nurses to feed him some water to get the first poop out, and decided that I would ask them to feed him formula throughout the rest of the stay while I bonded with the rented pump every 2-3 hours throughout the second night.
We were discharged from the hospital on the third day, and our follow up appointment with both the pediatrician and my gynae was one week after his birthday. On the way out, we bought a small tin of formula milk and other supplies we haven’t had time to get since Ardan was 20 days earlier than expected.
The Sprout App
While I was in the hospital, part of my time was spent looking for a multi user app to track Ardan’s feeding, and diaper change frequency. I found Baby Sprout, which not only allows me to track these two things, but additionally, allows me to track my pumping frequency, Ardan’s sleeping hours, activities, growth, upcoming doctor appointments, immunization log, medications, and milestones of firsts. It also supports tracking more than one child, which is a function I found lacking in a lot of other apps. Not that I am going to use this function, but it just makes sense to have it for the people who do need it.
The pumping tracker was extremely useful for me, I am able to check if I am on track to pump 8 times a day, have I (accidentally) missed any pumps, and am I able to fully supply Ardan with breast milk as an exclusively pumping mom. The app tracks the volume I pump, as well as the volume he takes per day.
The growth chart is really interesting, it shows you how your baby is growing against other children his age. Though I do think the measurements are from the US and not Asian, but it’s still interesting to know nonetheless.
The app is free for a single user; to enable multi user data entry, each of the users have to pay S$1.28, which is really cheap considering how well built the app is. After you’ve made the purchase, you can install the app across multi devices. Han and I have it on both our iPhones and iPads.
And the in app graphs allow you to analyse the data in various ways. For example, just for feeding alone, you can see the number of times from latching on, or from breast milk fed through the bottle. If the baby is fed through the bottle, you can indicate the volume, as well as whether it was breast milk, or formula milk.