Baby Talk: Seminar on Pregnancy and Raising a Healthy Baby

Thought I’ll switch gears a bit and talk about the recent baby seminar I went to which was held on 20 June 2015 at the Raffles Convention Centre. It was organised by Thomson Medical and supported by Cordlife and Nestle.

I do a lot of my own research online and ask my mummy friends a lot for information, but I believe that there is always something out there that you don’t know yet. So, being the kiasu mum-to-be, I just had to register for this seminar. One can never gain enough information on motherhood! Moreover, the seminar was free for mum-to-bes with their gynae appointment card.

Image credit: Thomson Medical Centre

My comments on each programme highlight:

Bonding Through Music and Movement for the Growing Baby
Mrs Wong Boh Boi is a ParentCraft educator at Thomson Medical Centre. She’s touted by many as the baby whisperer. I’ve read many glowing testimonials by mummies who have sought her help, including one by a famous blogger who went to her for breastfeeding help. Was pretty excited that she was one of the speakers and all ready to gain some important tips from her.

Important points I learnt from her talk: 1) Never use baby talk when speaking to your child. While your baby may not have developed his speech yet, his brain is already absorbing and learning. Your baby is actually trying to communicate with you when he makes sounds, just that he can’t form words yet. You making the same sounds will just confuse him. Instead, respond with proper sentences. It will help your baby learn a lot faster. 2) Never breastfeed your baby till he falls asleep or use breastfeeding as a tool to put your child to sleep. Your baby should be awake (even if drowsy) when you put him into the cot. This way, your baby understands that the cot is a place for sleep and he will not panic when he wakes up. Mrs Wong used a simple analogy to prove her point. If you fell asleep in the hotel room, but found yourself at the swimming pool when you woke up, wouldn’t you feel alarmed? 3) Sing to your baby even if he is still in the womb. It allows you to bond with your baby. When the baby is out, use music as stimulation for brain development. Allow your child to explore his creativity and build his confidence through song and dance.

Mrs Wong also got some volunteers from her ParentCraft classes to do a live demo of how a baby reacts when you speak to him and also how a two-year-old child is able to understand simple instructions. Children indeed pick things up very fast, so never underestimate their ability to learn and understand things even at a very young age.

Lifesaving Benefits of Storing Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord and Cord Blood
Since the seminar is supported by Cordlife, of course there was a talk by a representative from the company on cord blood and cord tissue banking. I already knew before the talk that the use of cord blood is basically to use the healthy stem calls in it to replace unhealthy cells in a sick child, but the talk gave further information on what type of diseases could be treated and disability symptoms could be eased with cord blood and cells from cord tissue.

While I understand that banking your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue is like insurance in case your baby develops a disease or disability, I’ve always held the view that it is not the most important insurance in the world. Cord blood and cord tissue banking doesn’t come cheap, and I would like to believe that whatever happens, happens. I was all ready to donate the cord blood so that it might save other little lives, but it seems like my hubby is interested in this. We’ll discuss it further and perhaps make our decision later.

PS: I’ll talk about cord blood and cord tissue banking in detail in another post.

Pain Relief Options in the Birth Room
Dr Phyllis Liauw was the most entertaining speaker for the whole seminar. She shared on pain relief options during labour. If you’ve had the chance to talk to mummies who have given birth before, you’ll know of the jab administered at the thigh and the “laughing” gas. And of course, everyone knows the most effective method of all — epidural.

Not much new information gained from this talk.

Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy with TCM
I know that there are people who believe in traditional chinese medicine a lot more than in western medicine. So if anyone is interested, Thomson Medical Centre has a TCM clinic where pregnant ladies can get massages or acupuncture treatments, or just general information on the use of chinese medicine to maintain their well-being during their pregnancy. Physician Ms Seah Ai Wei also dispelled the myth of not being able to bathe during the confinement period. YES! I mean, I really can’t understand how can someone not bathe or wash her hair for a month in Singapore’s climate?

She also shared some recipes with the use of chinese herbs to alleviate common symptoms such as nausea. I quickly noted the information and sent it to a friend who is having a tough time with morning sickness. Hope it helps her.

Adjusting Dietary Needs for Allergy Prevention
Allergy prevention was one of the key points at the seminar. There was not only this talk on the topic, Nestle also held a survey at the venue and disseminated information on allergy prevention.

Important points I learnt from her talk: 1) If one or both parents have allergies (e.g. asthma, eczema), your child has a higher chance of developing the allergy as well. 2) Doctors recommend breastfeeding your child for at least six months as breastmilk is hypoallergenic. 3) Babies who are severely allergic (not just mild lactose intolerant, but we’re talking about bleeding here) to normal formula milk can take special formula milk (think it was HA milk) where the protein molecules are much smaller and easily assimilated by the body. Contrary to popular belief, switching to goat’s milk or soy milk is not really the answer to the problem. Perhaps soy milk is a remedy for lactose intolerant kids, but what we’re dealing with here is that the body is unable to break down large protein molecules.


There were booths set up by the organising companies to disseminate information on various services. There was also a mini bazaar going on where things like maternity pillows, cot bumpers, milk bottles, etc. could be purchased.

Now for the part every participant at the seminar was waiting for — the free goodies.

Upon registering your attendance at the seminar, participants received a goodie bag from Nestle.

Inside it were just some pamphlets, booklets and newsletters from the participating companies. There was also this cool car label that read “Baby on Board” on one side and “Mum-to-Be on Board” on the other side.

Nestle was giving out free milk samples of their Mom & Me milk, as well as a cooler bag for completing their allergy prevention survey. I skipped out on the milk sample as I hate milk. Was happy with receiving the cooler bag though. I was asking my mummy friends earlier whether a cooler bag is a necessity (was deciding then whether to get a breast pump set with the cooler bag and accessories or save some money and just get the breast pump alone). Went with the latter, but couldn’t help feeling that I may need a cooler bag somewhere down the road. I’m a stay-at-home mum so my likelihood of using it is almost nil, unlike working mums who need to keep their breast milk cool until they reach home at the end of the day. However, there can be certain occasions where a cooler bag comes in handy. Like what if I’m spending the night at a hotel and there’s no mini fridge to keep the milk chilled? In case you’re curious why I would be spending a night at a hotel, my friends and I have done that before for friends’ hen party.

The biggest goodie bag of all (said to be worth $250) came right at the end of the seminar.

It’s really hard to list every single item included in the bag, but there were tins of beverages, product samples, baby products, etc. All really useful items.


Apart from the thrill of receiving all these goodies, I would encourage mums-to-be (especially first time mothers) to attend such seminars. You can get quite a bit of information from the talks. Just keep a look out for such seminars on hospital Facebook accounts, at baby fairs or popular companies like Cordlife. Yea, Cordlife seems to be pretty aggressive in the marketing aspect. They are like everywhere. Seminars, baby fairs, etc.

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