Celeb mum Siau Jiahui: I cried for 2 weeks

The YES 933 DJ reveals how she manages mummy guilt, plus, when we can expect to see baby #2?

You could say that YES 933 DJ Siau Jia Hui’s confinement was very trying. Determined to follow traditional Chinese confinement practices, Jiahui, who’s in her 30s, didn’t shower for 28 days. She couldn’t really walk because of pain from her episiotomy, or rest very well either. Every time she was about to, her newborn — a daughter nicknamed Little T, now 5½ months — needed to be fed. “During the first two weeks, I was crying very often to be honest.”

Says Jiahui, who only washed her hair twice during her confinement, “It takes up a lot of your mental energy because there’re so many things you need to cope with and you can’t control your emotions at all. I think a lot of women will become a totally different person during confinement, like the Hulk!”

Also, since her body is naturally heaty, the bubbly DJ laments that some of the herbs her confinement nanny prepared were hard to stomach. “At one point, I think it was one or two weeks after giving birth, one of the tonics was so bu (strong in Mandarin) that I felt very, very uncomfortable. I had a terrible headache, so my mother added some other herbs [to balance it out].”

“I think a lot of women will become a totally different person during confinement, like the Hulk!”

The affable DJ gives SmartParents the lowdown on her pregnancy, labour and motherhood experience to date…

What do you miss most about being pregnant?
I miss the little punches and kicks in my belly because that’s when you know your baby is connecting with you. Especially when I was reading the news, she’d definitely move. That’s when I know she was actually listening to me. Sometimes before I slept, I’d rub anti-stretch mark cream on my tummy while talking to her and I could feel her move sometimes. I would think to myself ― life is really amazing, that I had this new life in my tummy. It made me feel grateful and special at the same time.

Was your pregnancy and labour experience similar to what you’d read in the books?
I’m the kind who gets easily stressed ― the more I read, the more I get stressed. So, during my pregnancy, I just went with the flow, did my work, went home and ate the things my mum cooked. I made sure I was getting enough nutrition and kept myself happy. Delivery wise, I knew it would be really, really painful, so I had to have an epidural. My gynae told me that my threshold for pain isn’t very high [laughs]. One thing I didn’t expect was that I wouldn’t have much food to eat before giving birth. I was hungry for more than 10 hours, so, I didn’t have much strength to push the baby. In the end I had an assisted delivery ― the doctor had to use a vacuum to help get Little T out.

Your biggest challenge caring for Little T, so far?
The toughest part will have to be that one time when she was down with a cold. The first thing I did was to message my friends who were already mummies and asked them what I should do. I started getting paranoid, asking, “Should I get her to the paedi? Is there anything I can do?” Then they told me that the cold would go away on its own and to just make sure to use nasal spray to get the mucus out, then give her ample time to get well. They told me it might also take a toll on you and your helper because Little T might wake up more often than usual. So, I got a lot of assurance and help from my friends when stuff like this happens.

Read on to find out when to expect Jiahui’s baby #2!