How to navigate your pregnancy with the ease and comfort of a seasoned pro? Here is the A to Z guide for rocking’ it out this pregnancy.
You will always need a support group for your gizillion questions. And what better source is there than joining an online community of mom’s? Shanghai Mamas (www.shanghaimamas.org) is the platform to ask questions and find out more about the parenting scene in Shanghai.
Hit up Garden Books (325 Changle Lu, Tel: 5404 8709) and browse through their parenthood and child raising section. You can get the most up to date parenting books and also children’s books. You can also try ordering from Amazon (www.amazon.cn) not only is there a great selection, it offers a lot of books at low prices.
You may still fit into your regular clothes, but when your bump begins to grow you should begin to look at clothing to make you and your growing baby more comfortable. For essential day to day items, check out H&M (Flagship store: 645-649 Huai Hai Zhong Rd near Sinan Rd). Maternity bra’s and underwear, MUJI (755 Huai Hai Zhong Rd (near Ruijin Rd) can provide the basics.
If you want fashion forward while you strut that bump, check out Asos(www.asos.com) or Mayarya (www.mayarya.com). They both ship to China. Just remember, nothing too tight to constrict the babe’s growth.
Having the comforts of western standard clinics will be the splurge you will want during this period. Here are the five hospitals to consider when delivering in Shanghai, and be sure they provide pediatric services to your newborn.
American-Sino Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Ferguson Women’s Health
United Family Shanghai
Shanghai East International Medical
And, never hesitate to change your doctor if you are uncomfortable with their treatment.
Having a child away from your native country’s can be hard in processing the paperwork. Check with your embassy at the soonest to determine the steps in securing your child’s identity. There maybe certain issues if you and your partner are different nationalities.
Begin the early moments of bonding with a fun class. Belly painting? Bring it on! Dragon Space (Address: 516 Julu Rd, No.5 near South Shaanxi Rd) offers prenatal yoga classes and every month, a special belly painting class.
Or, enjoy a great prenatal workout with some water exercises (WeChat: Mommybow). There are even postnatal exercises for moms while daddies and babies can hang out and meet each other in a separate area!
Girls will be Girls
There are plenty of things expectant mom’s like myself need to watch out for, including hair dye that contains harmful substances, facials or hair removal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t let your inner glamour girl out.
Spend a day in a lapse of luxury with GlamourLab (WeChat ID: GlamourLab) with style and makeup consultants,
Investing in a high-tech gadget like a nanny cam is a cheap and effective option to check that everything is safe on the home front.
Check out the camera from Xiao Mi or HKID. It requires a simple sync to your mobile and you are all set. You can even buy it on Taobao and get some great deals.
Insurance & Immunizations
Check on your insurance plan to ensure coverage for your child. Medical can be expensive in Shanghai, especially for your newborn. Be sure your little one has his/her immunizations covered and plan interactive activities only after receiving the shot!
Try and get out there and join birth clubs or, take classes via your hospital provider. This will be great to establish early bonds with other moms and babies near your child’s age.
Kid Friendly places
photo source: CNN.com
Are you trying to find a happy balance from your single married life to a parent life? If you want to dine, but not listen to your kids whine then hit up Ginger. Or, if you want to drink without worrying about entertaining your kid, Wonderland is a good choice. Their beach inspired terrace is just the sandbox to distract your kid.
Enjoying your baby during their first months is one of the greatest pleasures of being a parent. And it’s also important they have the right exercises to help their growth. When they are ready here are some classes to maximize their motor skills (5 months and over):
Jitterbugs Shanghai, Ages 0-4, WeChat ID: JitterbugsShanghai
Wonder Parent and Child Swimming, Ages 6 to 36 months, WeChat ID: sportsworldofficial
Toddler Ballet, 18 months to 3.5 years, WeChat ID: ximenaazaro
Mocktails are your new best friend; Funkadeli and Cobra Lily have a specialized alcohol free menu. Just be sure to avoid egg whites when ordering your drink.
If you plan on being a working mom, it’s time to begin looking. Here are two places you can try to begin your Ayi hunting.
Cheng Yue Ayi Home Services Co. Ltd
Contact: Lina Liu 185-1600-6552
Contact: 021 5298 6602
Essential oils at this time is good for improving rest, but also can be massaged to help with breast feeding. Doterra offers a range of essential oils to provide the best for future moms.
Plan that photo shoot of your bump! Schedule a time and pick the right outfit. No day like today to begin a new chapter of you and your baby’s life together.
Barefoot Portaits (www.barefootportraits.org) is one of the premier photo studios in Shanghai specializing in maternity, newborn, family portraits. They are also pet-friendly.
Begin to plan a quick getaway for the remaining few quiet times. Whether it is a baby moon or a quiet weekend away, it is about planning a special trip with your partner.
Relax & pamper the belly
Nothing is more soothing than a pre natal massage to ease the strain from your growing bump.
Here are some spas in town offering prenatal massages:
Until 7months: RMB 580/hour
Tel: 021 5403 9982
Until 6 months: RMB 498/hour; RMB 738/70mins
Tel: 6289 7776
4 months and up
Tel: 021 5403 9931
Shopping for the baby can be an arduous task. For example, what kind of crib, the type of bassinette, stroller, baby bottles…glass or plastic? Now that you have figured out your list, it is time to shop, and Baby International (http://www.baby-international.com/en) has it all. There is no need for the aimless wandering on Taobao. The site is in English so it’s easy to maneuver around.
Tips for Parenting with Classes
Even if you are not a first time parent, it is always a good idea to take refresher classes since every baby and birth is a different experience. The Midwifery Center (http://themidwiferycenter.com or WeChat ID: TMC_Shanghai offers abundant classes, from infant CPR to birthing classes. Of course, if you are a registered patient at FWH or ASOG, you are also entitled for their classes.
Used and Second Hand Groups
Baby items can run expensive, if you can get invited to a used second hand group specializing in all things baby. Nothing is ever wrong with hand-me-downs and no one will look down on you for asking.
Nothing is more important than your prenatal vitamins and also your folic acid. If you are looking for the same variety as your overseas convenience store, you will be disappointed. However, try the pharmacy that is available next to Parkway Health at the Shanghai Center, or United Family has their own pharmacy where you can buy over the counter.
Shanghai is a great city for walking and exploring. Use the time while you are pregnant to squeeze in as many walks as you can and get that body movin’! Whether you are exploring the markets or going on an off-the-beaten path tour, see the city with fresh eyes. Just be sure to wear a facemask on heavily polluted days.
Yawn and Zzzz
And yes, take plenty of rest while you can. Coz when baby is here, you will be saying ‘zai jian’ to the long and peaceful sleep ins.
Do you have anything to add? Please do so in the comment section!