For a first-time mum, it can be overwhelming to tend to a newborn. Try having two of them! Imagine all the crying, diaper changes and feedings, and now multiply that by two. Patsy Soh, a dietician with Nestlé, shares her experiences on having twins.
Having twins is not as uncommon as it used to be. With the likes of Hollywood births coming out in doubles (think Angelina Jolie, Rebecca Romijn) with or without the use of IVF, having twins does not really raise eyebrows these days.
The exhaustion of having just gotten two babies out of you with the constant crying of the newborns might push you over the edge.
But not for this mother, who is coping and managing well ten months after delivery. Meet Patsy Soh, a dietician with Nestlé.
Born in Kuala Lumpur and now settled in Singapore, Patsy was married for four years before the arrival of her twins. Hardly at home and constantly meeting friends after work, Patsy knew having children was going to require major changes to her life.
Being the youngest in her family, did she feel suffocated with the idea of sudden having to raise not only one but two newborns?
"Not at all. I had looked after my nephews and nieces. When I was overseas for seven years, I babysat too. So it was definitely news I welcomed," Patsy explains.
In April 2008, Patsy gave birth to fraternal twins Rebecca and Timothy after an induced natural birth at KK Women's and Children's Hospital. Little Rebecca was first to come out, weighing 2kg.
And if you think giving birth to two babies would leave her winded, you’re wrong. Gutsy Patsy started exercising just two months after giving birth.
"It has been a learning curve for me. When the kids came along, it became claustrophobic to a certain point. All of a sudden the family had grown from two people to six people—my husband and I, my mother, our maid and the babies," Patsy said. But she has managed to make the most out of her time by bonding with the twins.
“Initially, it was a little hard. When I was breastfeeding Timothy, he latched on to my breast fast but Rebecca, being the smaller one, had a bit of trouble and I had to express my breast milk into a bottle for her. As a result, I could not really hold her and breastfeed her. That special bond I had with my son just wasn’t forming with my baby girl and the frustration was being felt by both of us,” Patsy recalled.
But problems are bound to resolve, and she found a way around this. As soon as her son was done being breastfed, which usually took around 45 minutes to an hour, she would cuddle with Rebecca and hold her for the same amount of time.
How does Patsy's career with Nestlé influence the way she cares for her twins? Read on to find out more.
Formula milk vs. breast milk
She may be working for Nestlé, but Patsy went ahead with breastfeeding. As a nutritionist, she is aware of the advantages of breast milk and was not about to let that go. But now, she has done the shift to formula milk.
How does a family friendly brand like Nestlé help its staff who have just become mothers?
“Nestlé really cares, not only for the consumers but its staff as well—and for all mothers in general. Being part of Nestle, we are given a year’s supply of powder milk and if we opt to breast feed, Nestlé still sticks to its policy only this time substituting the formula milk with Milo and full cream milk powder for the mother,” Patsy told us with a smile on her face. Makes you wish you were working for Nestle, doesn’t it?
The downside of being a nutritionist
That would have to be force-feeding the good stuff to your kids, according to Patsy. But the kids are eating better now, especially Rebecca, and Patsy has no real problem with the children’s diets.
Food and kids are something parents give up on easily. If Junior doesn’t like peas, then peas he shan’t have! If Princess tosses her mashed potatoes on the floor and demands for apple juice, then out go the potatoes and in comes the juice box.
Patsy’s advice for parents concerned about the nutrition of their children?
“Keep trying, even though it hurts to see hard work going to waste and be prepared with mess!”
Patsy is currently working part time for Nestlé and plans to keep it this way until the twins are two-years-old.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.