The birth of a baby brings about much excitement to first-time parents and the same can be said for new grandparents. However, this transition of taking on new identities, roles and responsibilities can bring challenges as well as joy. How did Hegen Mum Kai Ting and her mum, Jennifer, share this excitement while being respectful of each other? What valuable support did Jennifer give as a grandmother and in doing so foster a beautiful relationship with her own daughter and grandchild?
Hello Kai Ting! Tell us a bit more about yourself
I am a 29-year-old first time mum to my four-month old baby boy, Kyzer. I am a real estate salesperson, and married for four years. As I married young, I was able to enjoy freedom for a good few years before a baby came along! Currently, I am the main caregiver for Kyzer, with my mum helping me by taking over some baby duties so that I can get some rest and work.
How did you share the news about your pregnancy with your mum?
I showed my mum the ultrasound scan of baby right after my first gynae visit! She was so happy!
Jennifer, what went through your mind when Kai Ting shared her pregnancy news with you?
I was so happy! At this age where I have already accomplished almost everything I need in life, there's nothing more I look forward to than having my own grandchildren to care for. Ah, the pure joy that babies bring!
Breastfeeding for any first time mum is not always easy. Kai Ting, how has your mum supported you during your pregnancy?
I can honestly say that I would not be able to handle my baby this well without my mum’s support! From the first day she knew I was pregnant and even until now, she has been preparing all the things that Kyzer and I need. She accompanied me to gynae visits whenever my husband couldn't make it, frequently prepared herbal soups for me during my pregnancy, prepared all my confinement necessities, and packed all of baby's clothes and products. She really makes my life so much easier and hassle-free, sometimes I don't think I can survive without her. Now, she supports me by taking over baby duties, making sure I have time to rest and take my meals on time, and even encourage me to head out sometimes for a break!
In what ways has your mum supported you in your breastfeeding journey ?
At the beginning, she found it difficult to support my breastfeeding journey because she saw I had no time to rest and always had to nurse or pump every 2-3 hours, even throughout the night. She told me to stop breastfeeding as she saw me struggling with my new responsibilities. However, I told her that I really wanted to do this and from then on she supported me wholeheartedly by taking over baby duties whenever I need to pump. I had to pump very frequently because Kyzer does not like to latch and prefers the bottle. Also, my supply was pretty low at the start and I had to really work on milk removal frequently to get my supply up to provide enough for Kyzer. I wouldn't have been able to reach my breastfeeding goals without my mum's support and help! Currently I don't have to pump so much anymore as my milk supply is regulated, but during the few times that I have to, she helps to look after Kyzer.
How did you introduce Hegen to your mum?
My mum and I were preparing for baby's arrival and naturally baby bottles came up in the necessity list. I then introduced Hegen to my mum by unboxing the gift sets with her, and letting her try out the unique Press-to-Close, Twist-to-Open™ (PCTO™) innovation. I also shared how a single bottle can be used to express, store and feed conveniently, which is great because it will help in my breastfeeding journey! She was impressed given that during her time, there was no such thing. And of course, who can resist the pretty PPSU bottles!
Jennifer, how has your experience been using Hegen given that the Press-to-Close, Twist-to-Open™ (PCTO™) innovation is something new for you?
Very good! It's very convenient to simply switch out the storage caps to the teats whenever it's time to feed Kyzer, and the sqround bottle is very easy to hold and wash. As I help out Kai Ting with the daily feeding of Kyzer, Hegen bottles really bring about a lot of convenience. I love that I can even use them as my own bottles for water or coffee when we are done with feeding baby!
Jennifer, can you share some ways for grandmothers to be a positive influence and support to their daughter’s pregnancy?
Feed your daughter well with nutritious food! Keep her happy and hydrated, plan for baby's arrival with her and offer to accompany her to doctor visits, or to shop for baby products if needed.
What are your 3 top tips for first time grandparents when helping out with a new baby?
Listen to the baby's parents, they are the parents, not you! Give advice whenever appropriate but do not force your opinion on them. I've also learnt that sometimes it may be better to keep some opinions to yourself if it doesn't help in the current situation. The internet has everything nowadays where information can be easily obtained, and times are really so different than what we went through in the past. Check in with them frequently and offer help with simple daily things like feeding, burping baby, or putting baby to sleep. Giving them a break can be very helpful even if it's just a short 15-20 minutes, to allow parents to take a quick shower or have a quick meal.