Ramblings of the day

Glucose tolerance test
During my last visit to see my gynae, Loh, I brought up the test since I read about it in WebMD and Baby Center that it’s recommended between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Loh commented that so far my urine test for glucose and protein has been negative. But he also asked for my family history and, unfortunately, my dad is pre-diabetic. So he arranged for me to go for the test in the morning of my next visit. It was during payment at the clinic counter that I found out I had to have my blood drawn twice for this test. I baulked and wondered if I should go for it. I also found out from my friend that she didn’t have to do it, even though she has a family history of diabetes but her urine tests have also been negative. The difference is she didn’t bring it up to Loh. Grr…

My husband thinks I’ve been reading too much WebMD and Baby Center, and basically asking for it when I brought up the test. In fact Baby Center even states that at each prenatal visit, the preggie lady will be asked to provide urine sample for testing of urinary tract infection. This is not done for me, at least not by Loh whether at KKH or his current clinic. My husband said that the reason for the bloated healthcare cost in the US is because of a lot of redundant tests being carried out. Even if it’s just a cold, you can go for a MRI scan. A fixed insurance premium gives you a platinum plan which is just not sustainable. In fact I was told that insurance can pay for IVF treatment in the US, which is unheard of in Singapore.

Loh is the sort who seldom prescribes tests. In fact he didn’t mention anything on fish oil or prenatal vitamins during my 1st trimester (though folic acid was prescribed), and it was Lady Marianne who did. It was only during my 1st visit at his new clinic that he asked me if I was taking them. When he heard of the brands I was taking, he gave me a dismissive look, and actually checked up on the Kordel brand of fish oil online. Told us that DHA content has to be higher than EPA. So my husband and I returned to KKH to get the brands Lady M had earlier prescribed to me. When Loh found out, this led him telling us 2 Fridays ago his prescriptions are cheaper.

Anyway I emailed Loh that I didn’t want to go for the test and if I could have the test fee (pre-paid at his clinic) offset against the next consultation charges. He’s ok with the offset but recommended that I should go for the test since I’ve a higher risk. I thought this is unfair since my friend didn’t have to do it. I asked him if it was because she didn’t bring up the test to his attention. Loh listed out a litany of risk factors among which are age, family history, baby size, glucose in urine etc, and I know that age and family history are against me. He also said that some might even argue for routine screening though ultimately it was my decision. I suspect he’s using reverse psychology to make me do the test. Even my husband now told me to go for it since there’s no harm, and to make sure I’m truly ok. Sigh, poor me now have to be ‘tortured’ with ‘blood donation’, empty stomach and the horrible sweet drink. And worst of all, another round of needling from Loh at the next visit, after being subjected to the 1st round from my husband.

Shopping frenzy
Last Friday, my husband and I went to Johor Bahru, which is just across the causeway from Singapore, to shop for more baby stuff. He had asked his mom to check out the stores on the available selection and to get cloth diapers for us. Turned out Jusco has the widest choices and offers better quality. We bought quite a lot of stuff for baby Alex including sleep wear, mittens, towels (hooded and non-hooded), caps, more bibs and even pillow and bolster sets. Basically we have bought all required baby wear. My father-in-law paid for the stuff as a present for the baby and they came up to S$165. Even though these are cheaper in JB, but most of these baby clothes are only to be used for up to 6 months. My husband is amazed at how much expenses a baby incurs. Imagine those parents who bought the branded products? That, to us, is absolutely idiotic, particularly since the baby outgrows the clothes so quickly. You might as well flush money down the toilet. So my husband said these clothes will be kept for the next baby, if any, even if baby is a girl. Well, the color selection of the clothes are either neutral or brown or blue, since we’re getting them for Alex. The lucky boy has the new stuff.

Anyway my husband was taken in by the cheaper disposable diapers available in the supermarket and bought 2 bags of Mamypoko diapers at 54 pieces each. I tried to dissuade him that we should do some research on what’s the better brand, but he said it’s the most popular. Oh well! So now we’ve left with the toiletries, the feeding bottles and sterilizing equipment to buy. We’ll check out the Baby Fair at Takashimaya which starts on 4 March.

Caring for baby
During CBE class last Friday, we learned how to take care of baby from the basic task of holding the newborn to bathing, burping, and comforting the little one. We were shown this video on bathing the baby, and initially the baby cried when her toes touched the water. But the instructor showed how she slowly and gently lowered the baby into the water, and the little one started to relax. In fact when the instructor showed the dad how to massage the fingers and toes, the baby had a look of bliss on her face. I wouldn’t mind swopping places with her.

Our instructor advised us to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones as the former is more breathable and the latter is polluting. To reduce the hassle of washing the diapers, she suggested using napkin liner which helps to absorb the pee and poo. I told my mom, who has experience taking care of both my nieces since birth, and she disagrees. She revealed my elder niece developed skin rash after using the liner. In fact she actually said it can’t be help that the disposable diaper is polluting ‘cuz it’s more absorbent than any cloth/liner, and helps to keep the baby skin dry. Not only that, the diaper cloth has to be washed and dried thoroughly. So instead of saving the environment or cost, it’s better to save on doctor’s fees and medicine. That’s an interesting perspective. Some may suggest using powder or lotion to reduce the risk of diaper rash, but the instructor told us that if possible, try not to use those products on baby unnecessarily.

The instructor also told us not to place any pillows or bolsters in the cot of a newborn, to prevent the objects from suffocating the baby who can’t move once she/he is swaddled. However my mom said my nieces slept with two bolsters by their sides to make them think they were being held. Since babies can’t move around for first couple of months, neither can the bolsters. Both did caution against laying baby to sleep on the tummy.

My husband bought a book on dealing with medical conditions that afflict a baby or young child during class last week. It’s a good buy, providing valuable advice on how to handle the different medical situation such as choking, fever, measles or sore eyes etc. The instructor also gave us advice on how to deal with colic which happens to some babies during the first few months. Most importantly is to comfort the baby and gives the little one a sense of security. In fact she kept emphasizing the need for human interaction for the baby in order to develop an even keel emotionally. There’re some who think that the baby shouldn’t be spoilt by too much attention. But the instructor disagrees, telling us that the time when we can cuddle our babies is very short, over a year or so, and we should use every chance to do it since they love to be cuddled.

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