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  • Writer's pictureCJ

I entered into my last trimester in agony, sleepless nights and frequent toilet breaks. I suddenly thought to myself “how would I know if I am ready to deliver?”. I searched and read over and over different articles of signs of labour, and tried to remember them. But with a pregnant brain, I had limited memory capacity. I hope this is one of the articles you will find it easier to remember!

With my firstborn, I had frequent contractions that were 8/10 at 3am! Then I decided to shower and wake my hubby up to get ourselves admitted. To be honest, moving around during contractions was much more bearable than lying down.

With my second born, I had to be induced into labour because my amniotic fluids level were low. WOW! Those contractions after the effect of induction starting kicking in made me kneel in bed. I think I gave the nurse a scare when she came into my room to check on me. Paced, deep breathing was my saviour to manage my pain before my epidural kicked in. HUSBANDS, LISTEN UP! There are some things you can do to support your wife too! Read on to find out!

Also, through conversations with young women around me, I learnt that it was essential to keep an open mind about your birth plans, because your baby may have his/her own plans =D

How do I know I am going into labour?

The “show”

You might notice a mucoid discharge (like thick egg white from a very fresh egg) which may or may not be bloody expelled from your vagina. This happens as your cervix starts to thin and widen, the mucus plug that sealed your cervix shut keeping harmful germs away from your baby is expelled. This is commonly known as “the show”.


Another sign that you are going into labour is when you feel regular contractions. Some feel this low in their pelvis like an intense menstrual cramp, others a dull backache. Contractions are an indication that the uterus is slowly gathering momentum to propel your baby into this world.

“Water bag breaking”

As labour progresses, the fluid surrounding and protecting your baby might leak as your membranes rupture. This is commonly known as the “water bag breaking”. It might leak in trickles as you change positions or flow down your leg depending on the position of your baby when this happens. A thick pad is useful to manage this as you travel to the hospital.

When should I start making my way to the hospital?

Bleeding/leaking amniotic fluid

Suppose you experience any bleeding or leaking of amniotic fluid. In that case, you should call your Doctor and proceed to the hospital without delay. Saving the numbers to your Doctor’s clinic and the labour ward now is an excellent way to avoid drama. If you leak and it does not smell like urine, it is likely amniotic fluid.

Regular contractions for the past hour

When you experience regular contractions about 15 minutes apart for an hour, you can start to proceed to the hospital. This is when you are likely to be moving into the phase of labour, where contractions become more intense.

Unmanageable pain

Suppose you are experiencing pain that you are not able to manage. You should proceed to the hospital, even if you without any of the symptoms mentioned above for a check.

What can my partner and I do to cope with labour discomfort?

Conserve your energy

Creating a soothing environment with your favourite music, scent, and comfortable clothing can make all the difference when managing contractions as your body naturally labours.

Contractions last from 30-90 seconds with an interval of 1-20minutes in between. They start shortly with a more extended rest in between. It progressively lasts longer with shorter breaks as it gets closer to the baby’s arrival. Distract yourself and stay calm during each contraction. Rest once the contraction subsides help you to stay comfortable and conserve energy for the pushing stage when your cervix is fully dilated.

Breathing and movement technique

When you can feel the contraction starts, take a relaxed breath out with pursed lips, breathe in slowly from your nose when your body is ready. Continue taking slow deep breaths like this until the contraction subsides.

Tilting your pelvis from front to back or drawing slow circles with your pelvis is also helpful to manage contractions. You can do these by dancing slowly with your partner behind you, he can rub your lower abdomen or wherever you feel the contraction as you move. When you get tired, you can move your pelvis while seated on a chair, your partner can sit behind you and help to rub your lower abdomen or back or shoulders to keep you comfortable.

Adopting upright or forward-leaning postures helps your body to labour faster naturally. If you go into labour at night, it is better to rest on your side or sit in a chair and lean forward on a table to conserve energy. If you go into labour in the day, consider staying active, going for short walks for a smoother labour process.

Hence to summarise for you, here are 3 things you need to do:

  1. Identify the sign of labour

  2. Decide if you need to head to the hospital

  3. Practice the above techniques in the preparation of labour!

Trust your body to do what it is made to do. All the best!

  • Writer's pictureCJ

Updated: May 22, 2020

' The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.' -- Osho

It’s Week 5 of the circuit breaker. It’s Mother’s day. It’s been difficult staying home with a toddler and a 8-month old. It’s tough juggling chores, work, infant and toddler needs while staying home (I’m not even working full time right now, my heart goes out to the full time working Mums at this period). I couldn’t wait to go back to normalcy, get back some of the peace and slow breathing without my toddler. I can’t wait for my 8-month old and toddler to continue exploring the world, challenging their senses as they learn about their world. Don’t get me wrong. I adore my kids, but I need respite.

Work has been unproductive, inspiration low. Energy in the day is mostly spent on ‘dealing’ with my toddler, until I learnt to support her needs. Motherhood is not instinctive, it’s learnt. I feel bad leaving my work behind as I run through the daily grinds. But I feel bad feeling bad about not doing work, because I was ‘supposed’ to enjoy being a mother!

As the weeks pass, I would feel like I'm stuck in a cycle of frustration, helplessness and impatience. And then i get angry, and I feel like I have no resources left to get by the day with my kids. I found this article very timely and helpful, as it just describes ME!! Thank you Janet Lansbury..

Some days are really tough.

I don’t want to change another diaper, read another story, sing another song, dance another dance.

Some days I wished my mum was here to cook up some meals so that I don’t have to deal with kitchen and kids.

Some days I miss having some time to read. Many times, I feel my will-power running low, only to tap on motivation from mother-friends and encouragement from my siblings and mummy.

Sometimes I miss my husband too.

Some moments I feel really tickled by my toddler, in awe of the immense change of her perception, sense of humour and presence in the house.

Some moments my baby boy whines to get my attention, and it melts my heart -- only if I was being at peace with wholeheartedly being present with my kids.

I am forced to stay home and observe my kids grow, create opportunities for her and her new brother to play, communicate and interact. I am given a chance to feel what motherhood feels like, in full force. I am privileged to have breakfast with 2 kids while my husband hustles for endless work, serving the nation to make COVID-19 easier to deal with. What a powerful effect of staying home with my family. ‘How tough can that be?’ I thought to myself at the start, until I learnt about "Cabin Fever'.

Before I know it, circuit breaker is going to end. We are all going to return to the pace we used to, seeing each other much less than 2 hours a day before bedtime comes. Circuit Breaker (CB) has been kind to us, keeping us safe, and giving us the rare opportunity to live and grow as a family. I have learnt 1 thing: If it is tough for me, it must have been tough for my toddler, baby (okay, maybe not so much the baby) and husband, too. Live in the moment, embrace the challenges, seek out to look for ‘teachable moments’ for myself and my kids. There will never be another time like this (hopefully not another pandemic), and I will keep the best and worst moments in pictures and in emotions. I already miss the Circuit Breaker, it will be a significant event in history that has occurred across the globe, and deeply in our hearts as well. Perhaps the world needs to go through an evolution with Covid-19, where empathy, cohesion, deep relationships and humanity are restored again.

3 more weeks to go, treasure every moment and emotion before the hustle begins again! To all mummies, the days don’t get easier, we get stronger. We are getting through a pandemic, one we will never forget. Stay safe, seek help when you need, wash hands and keep moving!

Love, Mummy Physio


As much as C-section is a normalized surgery in mothers, it is, after all, an abdominal surgery. You might have undergone a C-section delivery by choice or taken by surprise when you required an emergency C-section. When the epidural wears off and the recovering pains start, moving out of bed can be a daunting task. Knowing how to take care of your wound and how to reduce pain more quickly can make all the difference to how you start your journey into motherhood.

1. Give it lots of support Immediately after delivery, it is normal that the skin around the wound becomes very sensitive. This is the body’s natural way of protecting itself, by making sure you are aware of the "injury" so you will rest and protect it. Because of this increased sensitivity, even slight movement of the wound can cause great discomfort. A quick way to reduce wound discomfort is to use a folded towel or a small cushion to gently hold your wound up and in towards your belly button. Doing this for the first few days when you need to move and especially when you sneeze, and cough can be very helpful. After your bandages are removed, wearing supportive underwear/shorts will be comfortable. A soft abdominal binder can help to provide much needed support for you to take care of baby and yourself with greater ease. 2. Roll to get out of bed Getting in and out of bed after a C-section is most dreaded by mums. To make your life better, try this sequence: ⁃ Roll fully to your side ⁃ Lower your legs ⁃ Push yourself up on your elbows to sit up

We found a good video here:

This method reduces the amount of effort from your tummy to get out of bed. This means less pain and less stress on the wound! Simply reverse the movement for a more comfortable way of getting back into bed. 3. Touch it – yes, touch it! If you’re feeling a little nervous about touching your wound, you are not alone! Gently stroking over the bandages in the first few days can reduce the sensitivity of the skin around the area. It also reassures you that there isn’t a gaping wound on your belly. This helps your body and mind to relax, activating the pain blocking abilities of the brain so you feel less pain later. This powerful ability of the brain is known as down regulation of pain. When all the scabs over the wound have fallen off, you can gently massage the scar. Place clean fingertips (not the nails!) directly over the scar, gently roll your finger tips up and down perpendicular to the direction of the scar along its entire length. This helps the healing layers to glide nicely over one another to reduce tightness that can make it uncomfortable to move. 4. Adopt good posture and move! The wound can feel quite tight and painful in the first few days after a c-section. This makes most ladies want to walk around hunched. The fear that the wound may split open is real. But try to remind yourself that your Doctor stitched you up while you were lying flat, this means that standing straight will not add additional tension to the wound. Phew! It is important that you keep trying to stand up straight from the beginning so that wound will not feel so tight when you eventually straighten up. Having good posture also prevent aches and pains in your neck and lower back. We hope you’ll have a smoother start to Motherhood with your birth experience. Help spread the word to help Mums learn how to care for herself after a Cesarean Section surgery! Dads, also be empowered with this knowledge to support your wives, and be involved in the early days of parenting, together.

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