Up close and personal with new mum, Tin Pei Ling

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We chat with Ms. Tin Pei Ling in an exclusive interview about her journey as a new mum, mummy's guilt and how she plans to juggle family and work.

Tin Pei Ling, working mum in Singapore

Our privileged chat over coffee with new mum, Ms. Tin Pei Ling.

Becoming a new mother is the beginning of a lifelong chapter, whether you are a public figure or not.

theAsianparent had the pleasure of chatting with Member of Parliament, Ms. Tin Pei Ling, who recently welcomed her baby boy, Ng Kee Hau, on 5 August 2015. Ms. Tin represents the MacPherson ward.

While she took time off her confinement period (the first month after delivery where mothers are supposed to recuperate and bond with their newborn) for this interview, it seems that she is already up and about due to her work commitments.

We caught up with her to find out how the past three weeks have been for her as a new mum.

This is the first installation of a two-part interview series, and has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Hello, Ms. Tin. Thank you for taking time to meet with us. How has motherhood been for you?

Hello. It’s been a beautiful journey spending time with my baby. I’ve been learning to understand what he needs when he cries, breastfeeding him, and picking up tips from the confinement nanny like how to bathe him.

What was your labour like? 

I first experienced some contractions in the afternoon of 4 Aug, and I was trying to be garang (tough) and didn’t want any epidural. I wanted minimal intervention, as some people have shared that there might be repercussions when I get older. I also wanted to recover quickly because there was speculation that the General Elections (GE) was around the corner.

Two hours after contractions started, though, I opted for epidural as the pain was too much. I initially used the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine and I even tried the laughing gas for pain management, but I could not tahan (bear it/tolerate it). They eventually found an anesthetist who administered the epidural, which certainly helped with the pain.

The contractions continued past midnight and it was already in the wee hours of 5 August. After an hour and a half of pushing, I was just too tired. So in the end we used the suction vacuum and fairly soon after I pushed, the baby was born, 12 hours after labour started!

I insisted on skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible and baby was on me for about an hour.

Was your husband, Mr. Ng How Yue in the labour ward with you? How did you feel when you first saw your baby?

Yes, hubby was in the labour room. In the beginning, he wasn’t so sure what he needed to do, but towards the end he was the cheerleader. He would tell me, “Coming, I can see it!” We attended prenatal class, so there was some sort of prep, but until the actual day, nobody knew what really happens in childbirth.

He cut the umbilical cord and there was a lot of blood after delivery – all was good.  He did not cry; he does not usually get too emotional as he’s generally quite cool.

The first moment I saw my son, I was relieved that he’s safely out. I was also really very exhausted. There was also an overwhelming emotion – and I thought to myself “this is my son”. He’s finally here, right in front of me, on me. He was 3.56 kg and I could feel the weight – it was like this is real. I felt a sense of achievement at that point.

Did you have a birth plan?

We did actually! But in the end it was I who could not follow it.

For example, I indicated that I did not want to have an epidural and an episiotomy. But in the end, I requested for those. I respect those who did not take epidural, but don’t know how they take it. I don’t know how they tahan.

Find out how Ms. Tin Pei Ling is adjusting into her new role and what made her tear up…

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