11 Months Old

 
I can’t believe that Theo’s 11 months old today. I know it’s cliché to ask “Where did the time go?”, but seriously, time flew by very quickly. 

As a stay-at-home-mum, I am fortunate to witness every smile, wave, babble and milestone Theo has achieved. Our baby is growing ever so quickly. There are times when I think he’s more like a toddler than baby. It seems like he already has a mind of his own and knows what he wants (although it’s usually what I DON’T want him to do!). 

In the past three weeks in Singapore, it feels as though he has learned so much. Waving hello and goodbye, understanding certain words, giving hi-5s, leaning in for kisses, being more affectionate by crawling up to people for hugs, tapping his head to say “Ai yah” (translates to “Oh no” in English), stacking cups with help, calling Ah Kong and Ah Ma in his own unique way and so much more! It’s amazing how a little human being born helpless and dependent can turn out to be so brilliant in 11 months! 

  
I’ve lost count of the number of times in the past 11 months when Theo has driven me up the wall. However, this boy is just so fun to be with. He’s ever so cheery (given that he’s had enough sleep, fed and changed). Everyday we discover more of his personality. I’m beginning to think that he’s probably a little insane – just like his parents.   

Happy 11 Months old, my little man. Mama and Papa are so proud of you for being who you are. We just want you to be healthy, happy and be filled with lots of love. 
  

 

Water Play at The Singapore Zoo

Last week, we brought Theo to the zoo for the first time. I’m not exactly sure if being splashed with water in the face by a sea lion was a good experience for a 10.5 months old baby. I’m sure he doesn’t remember it. 

It was our first week back in Singapore and we were all getting used to the humid weather. Theo was cranky and sticky all over from sweating a lot. We decided not to tire him out by showing him every animal. Instead, we brought him to the water play area in the zoo for a splash.

 

It was my first time at the water play area. I loved it! It was so so much fun! 

 

 He loved going through this water tunnel. My boy isn’t afraid of water splashing his face or going under water (let’s not jinx it!). 

 

He was also happy just splashing about. 

  

Ippudo in Singapore

Famous for its tonkotsu-based ramen, Ippudo originated in Hakata, Japan, in 1985 and has ever since been expanding world wide. I first tried it in Fukuoka in 2004 when I was an exchange student. I love the thickness of the flavoursome broth. 

On this trip back in Singapore, Ippudo was on my must-eat list. I was excited to know that it has a restaurant at Westgate and I don’t have to take the train all the way to town for it! 

I ordered mum and myself a bowl of Shiromaru Tamago Ramen and Dan had Shiromaru Chashu. At Ippudo, you can select the hardness of the noodles too. We chose medium which was just right for us.

   

 

Pak Kung Cafe & Bakery in Singapore

  

Singapore is ever changing. I do wonder if I can ever keep up with all the exciting changes at times since we only visit every 2 years. It’s not only the city center that’s changing; the suburbs, the heartlands are evolving too. I live in what my friends called the “rural” part of Singapore (in the West). However with these changes, I feel as if the city center is brought to me. 

This afternoon, we took the bus to Jurong Point, our heartland mall. It was first built in 1995 when I was 11. Over the years, the mall has been extended to what it is today. We went to “Hong Kong Street” in the mall for tea break. Neon signboards were hanging over our heads as we walked through the “street” with Cantonese songs played in the background. Restaurants and cafes served dim sum and Chinese cuisine. It did feel as though we’ve gone to Hong Kong! 

We went to Pak Kung Cafe and Bakery for a short break. I ordered Daniel HK Style French Toast (his first!) while mum and I had egg tarts and HK Style Tea Coffee.  

The toasts were dipped in egg, deep fried and then served with a slab of butter and golden syrup. It’s one of the most delicious variation of French toasts. 

  

Egg tarts are egg custard filled in pastry. These were so crumbly. Loved them!

  

Hmmm… I’m not quite sure what to make of HK Style Tea Coffee. It is apparently made up of 3 parts coffee and 7 parts HK milk tea. I thought it left a bitter after-taste which I didn’t quite fancy. 

It was a good experience though. I really liked the HK Style French Toasts – probably enough for me to make a trip back there one more time before we head back to FFM. 

 

Takeaway Burgers in Frankfurt

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However all opinions expressed are mine.

I’ve used the yellow pages of restaurants and Imbiss in Frankfurt, Pizza.de, on three separate occasions to determine the quality of the burgers and service. (I’ve blogged about Pizza.de here. Follow them on Facebook for updates and promotions here.)

1. Burger You 

 

Location: Im Mainfeld 42, 60528 Frankfurt am Main

Rating: 4.667 Stars (as of 3rd April 2015)

Packaging: Clean and fresh appearance as the boxes were smartly coloured in white and green.  The food arrived warm and nice.

 

Taste: The BBQ Bacon Burger was palatable and fresh. 

   

We also tried the Crunchy Chicken Burger which was very juicy. 

  

The onion rings were crispy and most importantly, delivered hot.

To be honest, I was skeptical about the quality of takeaway food as I was afraid that they might turn up soggy and lose their freshness. However, Burger You did a great job in ensuring that they didn’t compromise the quality of the food. 

 

Delivery: The delivery man was ever so friendly. He also made sure I was aware of the 10% discount printed on the boxes for future purchases. Delivery was pretty quick too even though I placed my order at 6:30pm on a Thursday. The food took 30 minutes to arrive. 

2. Food Rockers 

 

Location: Daimlerstr. 27, 60314 Frankfurt am Main 

Rating: 4.267 Stars (as of 3rd April 2015)

Packaging: The burgers, chicken wings and noodles came in foam boxes to keep them warm. Nothing spectacular about the packaging as compared to Burger You but that didn’t bother me as the food was warm when delivered. 

  

Taste: Chicken wings are one of my favourite comfort food. They aren’t difficult to cook but as Dan has been working late, I haven’t had the opportunity to cook chicken wings AND look after Theo. Therefore, I was glad to indulge in those finger-licking good wings. Craving satisfied! 

We also ordered the Delux Hawaii Burger, Bacon Burger and Chilli-Cheese Burger. 

The Hawaii burger was rather interesting as it had pineapples and ham in it. On hindsight, what did I expect? Some sort of exotic Hawaiian sauce? 

The Bacon Burger was neither impressive nor mind-blowing. It was basically a beef burger with just one slice of bacon. I was expecting a little more bacon. 

The Chilli-Cheese Burger isn’t for the faint-hearted. It will literally set your lips on fire! There were tiny red chilli slices with seeds in it. I’m a BIG chilli eater but the spiciness of this burger was just too much for me to handle.  

    

We also gave the Stir-fried Duck Noodles a go. Dan was so happy that they used thicker yellow noodles, just like what Chinese takeaway shops in the UK would use for Chow Mein. The portion of duck was generous and it was rather savoury. I enjoyed this dish a lot. 

 

Delivery: It took around 30 minutes for the food to arrive which was great. The delivery man was friendly enough and cautioned me that the food was hot and to be careful. 

3. Casa Italia

  

Location: Ronneburgstr. 5, 60435 Frankfurt am Main

Rating: 4.333 Stars (as of 3rd April 2015)

Packaging: I have no idea why the burgers were first wrapped in foil and then placed in foam boxes. It was a bad idea. No doubt they were warm, but the hot air condensed into water droplets and made the burgers soggy. As you can see from the picture, they look flattened too. Definitely didn’t look appetising to me. 

 

Taste: We ordered some BBQ ribs which was quite tough. 

The baked potatoes with bacon and cheese actually turned out pretty decent.   

The fries were a disappointment, unfortunately. They were cold when they arrived and were soggy. They are what I call “cardboard chips”.   

Delivery: The restaurant is approximately 20 minutes car-ride away from my place, so it’s not exactly near. However I thought I would try it out to see the quality of food as the restaurant delivers to my neighbourhood. I’m rather disappointed with my experience with Casa Italia. 

An average of 4.333 is a reasonably high rating. I reckon the long journey from shop to home jeopardised the food quality. It took 1hr 15mins from ordering my food online to getting it delivered to my home. That’s a pretty long time to wait. 

Overall Experience 

I did enjoy using Pizza.de as it was really convenient and easy for me to place orders. I love its filter and search functions that allow me to choose a particular cuisine that I like. I’ve only tried 3 places out and I’m satisfied with 2 out of 3 of them. 

Will I be using Pizza.de again?

Yes! It offers me so many options to choose from at the comfort of my living room. I don’t have to “just grab a burger and go”. It’s nice to be able to sit down at my dining table to enjoy delicious food with my family.

Don’t forget to follow Pizza.de on Facebook for regular updates and promotions! To check out other restaurants and Imbiss, go to Pizza.de

 

  


Pizza.de – Your one-stop takeaway service

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all opinions expressed are my own. 

When we moved to Frankfurt, I wondered why so many places don’t offer home delivery services. Sometimes work gets in the way and we’re too exhausted to cook. Unlike in the UK where Chinese and Indian takeaways are a phone call away, I was under the impression that the Germans (1) love to cook or (2) simply ate out.

So can you imagine how excited I was when I was approached to write a review about Pizza.de! (Click on the image below to visit Pizza.de website

 

It’s as though I’ve discovered a huge database of restaurants and Imbiss in Frankfurt that deliver food to our home. Here’s why I think Pizza.de is amazing.

1. One-stop shop for food

If you’re not too familiar with restaurants that deliver, Pizza.de is the best site to rely on. Firstly, it a huge online booking system of all places that deliver food to homes. Enter your postcode on the site and it shortlists restaurants near you. There’s no need to ponder over what Google search terms to use to shortlist takeaway restaurants. 

Each listed restaurant has a rating and reviews for you to make an informed decision. The menus are available online and are very straight forward even for those who aren’t familiar with the German language.

2. Huge variety of cuisine

Don’t be fooled by Pizza.de. The listed restaurants don’t just sell pizzas. You’ll be surprised to find Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Turkish and American cuisine too. You’ll easily be spoilt for choice!

3. Easy Payment

Cash, PayPal, Visa, Masercard or Giropay – there are so many convenient and safe ways to pay for your order. You can set up an account so that you don’t have to always enter your delivery address. After each order, you will receive an email confirmation within 10minutes. 

4. Affordable and delicious

Yes! At the comfort of your own home. Perhaps you have a few friends going over to yours to watch football, or a ladies’ night, Pizza.de has such a huge variety of affordable food for your mini home party that it won’t break your bank. 

If you’re looking for an online directory of food delivery services, Pizza.de is the place to visit. 

Follow Pizza.de Facebook Page for regular updates and promotions. 

How to Cope with Homesickness

Neither of us is German. If we stay on long enough and be good at German, we may become “semi-locals”. If we DO stay long enough, Theo might be the most German person in our household. Germany might just very well be home for him even though he has a British passport.

Well, for us adults who grew up in a different country, living away from home can be fun and exciting. It’s thrilling to be thrown in a different culture (if you appreciate different cultures and way of life). However, every expat will at some point get homesick regardless of how fulfilling, rewarding and exciting their expatriate lifestyle is. So here are some ways to cope with homesickness.

1. Get on social media

Facebook will be a good one to start. There are so many groups initiated by fellow expats who were lonely individuals. In Frankfurt, here are a few common ones –

  1. Frankfurt English Speakers
  2. ExpatBabies.com in Frankfurt
  3. Singaporeans in Frankfurt
  4. Singaporeans in Germany

I can’t guarantee that your new friends will be fabulous, but it’s so important to put yourself out there to meet new people. These people were once new so they know exactly how being new and foreign in a country feels like.

2. Technology IS your friend

I was a little slow to accept the iPhone (or any smart phone) when I was living in the UK. That meant not being able to Whatsapp or FaceTime anyone. There was good old Skype but the call quality was often rubbish for me. Whatsapp just changed the way I communicate with family and friends back home. The best of course is FaceTime. I know it’s not the same as having the physical person in front of you, but being able to see faces is great. 

3. Stop comparing everything to home

Every so often we compare (and complain) about how stupid something is done in Frankfurt. How does that help apart from making you miss home even more?

I’m not saying we worship all practices and norms in Germany. However if we try NOT to see everything back home as superior to what’s in our host countries, we’re doing ourselves a big favour. Life will be easier. 

4. Give local culture a chance

Hence I started this blog! I wanted to make sure that I visit local markets, cities, fairs etc. I wanted to learn more about Germany. 

If you’re in Frankfurt and you want to know what the upcoming events are, follow Feste and Events in Frankfurt on Facebook.

5. Seek comfort in home food

Fortunately for me, Singaporean food and Malaysian food are similar. Therefore Frankfurt has a lot to offer in terms of food that reminds me of home. 

Usually at these restaurants, you’ll get to meet a fellow countryman and get to speak your local language to the waitresses. Every time I visit a Chinese restaurant, it feels like I’ve left Germamy temporarily. 

If your local cuisine is too exotic for your host country, you might want to learn to cook and invite some friends over for a small party. 

I think the best way to cope with homesickness is to put yourself out there and make friends. It will not be easy if you’re a little shy but don’t give up trying to network. There were people I just can’t seem to carry a conversation with (so we stopped wasting each other’s time); but I’ve found friends in Frankfurt to just be silly with and share a few good laughs. 

How did you cope with homesickness and loneliness when you moved abroad? 

Thai Lao Restaurant, Frankfurt

I’m super excited to share another hidden gem in Frankfurt – Thai Lao restaurant. A couple of friends recommended the place to me so we tried it out (finally!!!) after storytime. 

The interior deco may look unimpressive but any foodie should know that it’s the quality of the dishes that count. The lady boss (who’s from Hong Kong) was ever so friendly and pleasant. 

We ordered a good selection of mouth-watering dishes to share.

Thai Morning Glory

  

Fried fish with vegetables – A fish with its head still attached!!! It has been a long time since I last dig into something like this! I know this will sound disgusting to some people, but I helped myself to the head. YUMMY! 

  

Fried rice – This plate of rice didn’t have msg in it. It tasted just like homecooked fried rice. Usually I’ll be super thirsty after eating fried rice elsewhere (even if they’re super tasty), but not this time. 

  

As we were out with 3 tired kids (yup, we were really pushing our luck this evening), we had to be quick. I wasn’t going to be evil and stop a kid from having his noodles just so I could blog about it. We actually had a wider spread than what’s actually shown here.

Thai Lao does dim sum too and I heard that the chef makes them. I’ll be up for trying it out soon and I’ll let you know if it’s any good. 

Cappuccino and Pear Cake

It was bitterly cold on Friday compared to Wednesday’s summer-like afternoon. I felt the wind in my bones and wished I could hide under my snug duvet forever. But of course, Theo had other plans. 

To help me feel like the weekend wasn’t too far off, I met up with a couple of friends at the park with our babies. Meeting friends during the week has helped me maintain my sanity.

After my calorie-burning session at the park (because pushing Theo on the swing requires gazillion effort!), I went to Schiffer Cafe for a slice of cake. 

 

It was exactly what I needed after a tiring week! Don’t be put off by the cream because it was light, and not too sweet. It’s not very often that I find pears in cakes (apples are more commonly used?). And this was with cappuccino. I thought it was rather unique. The cake turned out really delicious. 

Sushimoto – Chirashi Don

 

It has been a year since I went to Sushimoto in Frankfurt.  I was pregnant with Theo so I stayed away from sashimi and ordered the Yakiniku set instead. I remember being envious of those around me who were digging into their sashimi sets and Chirashi Don. 

A year on, a friend suggested meeting up for lunch at Sushimoto and recommended their Chirashi Don. I did have second thoughts about ordering it as it was €20, but decided to satisfy my craving. It’s not everyday that I get to eat a proper lunch and I figured that I need whatever Omega-3 I can get from the sashimi! 

I was the happiest person in the restaurant I bet. What have I been missing out? Great, fresh sashimi in Frankfurt! It’s a shame that it’s NOT what I can have regularly since it comes with a rather extravagant price tag. 

Storytime in Frankfurt

Looking for something to do on Saturday afternoon for the kids? Come join Amy of The London Assembly and myself for an afternoon of storytelling and play! 



Venue: The London Assembly

               Kirchnerstrasse 6-8, Frankfurt

Here’s how to book yourself a place:

1. RSVP here OR

2. Sign up for the event via Facebook here

Looking forward to seeing you there! 





Schnitzel Please

Without fail, we’re woken up between 6.30 and 7am everyday. It’s as though I’ve set Theo to go off just like an alarm clock. He’s a pretty reliable one. 

Our Saturday mornings are spent at music class. It’s a class for babies and young children to sing songs, play instruments and dance around. Very fun but I’ll blog about it another time for parents in Frankfurt looking for music activities to attend with their children. So anyway, we were famished from the dancing and singing. Dan couldn’t wait to get home for lunch and I really couldn’t be bothered to cook after throwing my son in the air during class time and bouncing him on my legs. So we headed to Textor Cafe for lunch.

After the calorie-burning workout at music class, we needed a substantial lunch. We weren’t let down.

American Style Schnitzel – comes with bacon and onions.



Schwarzwald Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce



You know what?  Blogging about this is making me very hungry. The portion size is quite generous by my standards but it’s considered NORMAL in Germany. I’ve not been to a restaurant in Germany that serves a pathetic portion of Schnitzel. 

The pan-fried potatoes were perfect – crisp on the outside, creamy within. They weren’t too salty or oily either. The Schnitzels were amazing! 

I prefer the mushroom sauce at Textor Cafe to the one at Paulaner am Dom. The fact that it was lighter and not as salty won my vote. 



It wasn’t all meat for us. The meal came with a plate of mixed salad which was a meal by itself. 

Service was excellent too! I was feeding Theo some mashed banana I brought from home and bread. The chef came out with some sliced melon and grapes for Theo as snacks. Free! When a lady at the opposite dropped her cutlery, the chef immediately brought her clean cutlery before she even asked for it. How attentive is he, right? 

Here’s the challenge – how do I stop Dan from wanting to have a Schnitzel every Saturday afternoon?! 



Iimori Restaurant, Frankfurt

Iimori is popular for its French-Japanese fusion cafe in Frankfurt. Its cakes are delicate, beautiful and scrumptious. The atmosphere is top notch given its stylish furniture. You can read more about the cafe here

On Friday, I craved for some interaction with an adult so I met up with a friend at Iimori Restaurant for lunch. Fortunately we arrived before 12 as the place got packed rather quickly at lunch time. 

Iimori has a good selection of lunch-time bentos which range between €15 to €29. The Special Lunch sets include miso soup, green tea, salad, dessert and coffee. 

I ordered Katsu (Pork) Don for myself.



Here’s the great thing – the waitress offered to upgrade it to a set lunch that included miso soup, green tea, salad and dessert for an additional €5,50. Therefore the entire meal costs €16,50.

The Katsu Don actually tasted quite good. I wasn’t too sure about Iimori Restaurant initially as I was rather disappointed with their buffet a couple of years ago. I’m glad the ala carte dish turned out delicious.



Storytelling Time in Frankfurt



I’ll be co-hosting with Amy of The London Assembly an afternoon of storytime and play. It will take place on 10th March (Tuesday) from 2 to 3.30pm. 

There will be fun songs for the kids to boogie away, healthy snacks for them too and for mums, there’ll be wine for you! Amy has also put in lots of effort to make her cosy little boutique baby-friendly.

The London Assembly is currently expanding their kids’ range so be sure to check out the colourful and excellent quality clothes and toys that Amy has selected! 

If you’re in Frankfurt or live nearby and want an afternoon of fun and to make new friends, do join us. 

How to join us?

  1. You could RSVP a here
  2. Comment below this post and let me know OR
  3. Visit my Facebook Page and let me know

Storytelling Time in Frankfurt



Join me for an afternoon of Barefoot Books stories and songs on 10th March 2015! There will be healthy snacks for kids and The London Assembly (tLA) boutique is baby-friendly so  you don’t have to worry about where to change those dirty nappies.

I can’t wait to put on my storytelling hat to entertain the little ones!

As this is a joint event with Amy of tLA, you’ll also get the chance to see her expanding children’s section. She has such great taste so rest assured that you’ll find really cool outfits and toys on site too. 

Looking forward to see you there!

A Little DIY Fun For Babies

Theo is a very fortunate child. He is not short of toys. I’m really happy that he has plenty to play with. As he has so many toys, I find that he goes through them really quickly – like 30 seconds with a toy before moving on to another. Therefore I do try to create opportunities for him to sit down and “focus” on one activity.

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On Sunday, I put him in a cardboard box. To ensure that he doesn’t cut himself, I used masking tape to cover all the edges. I also placed a blanket in the box before putting him in. I then used a knife to cut three squares on a flap (of course this step was done before I put him in the box!). Theo had so much fun (thank you Amazon!!!). He enjoyed opening and closing the flaps, and pulling part of the blanket through the square holes.

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On Monday, I mixed flour, water and food dye to create “paint”. It’s not so much art and craft time, but rather just for him to feel the bag and see what happens when he uses his fingers to press on it etc.

I don’t expect him to sit still for 30 minutes to concentrate of the “task” but I think it’s fun for him to explore new materials. It’s also handy that the bag is taped to the table. I don’t have to bend over a million times to pick up a toy! Yay! Hopefully when he learns to stop putting everything in his mouth, we can then move on to crayons. 

Homemade Kaya (Coconut Jam)

It’s Chinese New Year but somehow it feels a little ordinary. Two years ago, I’ve experimented with homemade Bak Kwa and Pineapple Tarts. Last year I even steamed a fish for the very first time in my life. Due to my lack of planning, I didn’t organise anything special. Thankfully, there are 15 days of Chinese New Year to celebrate! Better get my act together!

The first thing I did was Homemade Kaya (Coconut Jam). It’s not exactly a Chinese New Year must-have, but it reminds me of home so I went ahead with it. It’s a popular spread in Singapore and Malaysia that’s made of coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan juice. Whenever I’m home, I’ll order Kaya Toast at a coffeeshop for breakfast with two half-boiled eggs. That’s good old breakfast for me.

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Thankfully, I discovered Grace from Nyonya Cooking last Saturday at Markt im Hof. Using her simple Kaya recipe as a guide, I made my own coconutty Kaya! Wondering why the Kaya isn’t brown? That’s because this is typical Nyonya Kaya.

So, to have a taste of home, I had Kaya Toast for dinner on Chinese New Year. Probably sounds pathetic to those who have had a feast back home. However, it’s amazing how the familiar taste of Kaya brings back fond memories.

Oh yes, I had to dig in first before Daniel does as he apparently LOVES Kaya!

Markt im Hof

It’s the third time I’ve succumbed to whatever virus that’s spreading since we got back to Frankfurt in January. Being sick with a child isn’t fun at all because there’s just no rest time until Dan gets back from work. It’s definitely not fun when the child falls ill too thanks to his Mama!

Oh well, but we try to make the weekends filled with fun. After all, it’s the highly sought after family time together!

A friend recommended me to visit Markt im Hof which is at Wallstrasse 11 in Sachsenhausen. It’s a lot less crowded than the Bauernmarkt in town but very welcoming.

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The main reason for visiting Markt im Hof was to support Grace from Nyonya Cooking. She is actively trying to raise awareness of Malaysian food by making YouTube videos. On Saturday, she was selling chicken satays, teh tarik and Kaya toasts! Definitely comfort food for me.

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She’s such a lovely person to chat with – very warm, cheerful and sweet. And her food was yummilicious too! Hopefully she received lots of compliments from Saturday and will be motivated to sell more often in Frankfurt.

I also tried some deep-fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Minced Meat from another stall.

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Thumbs up too! Crispy on the outside and really juicy fillings. So many people were queuing for them. As it was my first visit, I wonder if the stall sellers are regulars there or if they change each week.

It only shows that I still have a lot to learn about Frankfurt!

5 Things To Know About Giving Birth In Germany

As if having your first child isn’t nerve-wrecking enough, giving birth in a foreign land without sufficient knowledge of the local language can only add on to the stress. Occasionally I receive a couple of emails from readers in Singapore who chance upon this blog asking me about what it’s like to have a baby in Germany. I thought it would be thus useful to summarise the main things we should know about giving birth here. Of course, if you have any more questions, do contact me and I’ll try my best to answer.

1. Gynaecologists don’t deliver babies
Once you see that positive sign on the stick, make an appointment with your gynaecologist. If you live in the city (I live in Frankfurt, thank goodness!), there are many who speak English. I know many people who are conversational in German but when it comes to medical issues, they’d still prefer to speak their native language.

Unlike in Singapore, your gynaecologist (Frauenartz) in Germany won’t be the one delivering your baby. He/she is responsible for the routine checks throughout your pregnancy, but no way is he/she be the one encouraging you to push when the time comes. Once labour starts, the OB/GYN and midwives at the hospital take over.

Usually, midwives (Hebamme)are the ones who deliver babies in hospitals. You can choose your midwife if you’d like to and she’ll work with you during your pregnancy till childbirth. When choosing a hospital, make sure your midwife is authorised to work there if you’d like her to be the one delivering the baby.

2. The Mutterpass is your best friend
You’ll be given a pregnancy health booklet at your gynaecologist clinic. It’s a book that has all the details of each tests and check up. Bring it everywhere you go! It was very helpful as I had to see my own gynaecologist and the ones at the hospital too.

It kind of ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding your wellbeing and the baby’s.

3. Book an after-birth midwife ASAP
This midwife is responsible for visiting you and your baby at your home for the first 8 weeks. German Health Insurance covers this service which I think I couldn’t have done without. I can’t praise this system enough – I had so much support from my midwife, and I needed it. You could ask for recommendations online (Facebook or Google) as to which midwives to choose. If you’re breastfeeding, you can have access to your midwife for the first year as long as you have a doctor’s note. From my experience, it’s not difficult at all to get either your gynaecologist or padeatrician to prescribe you more midwife visits.

Those who have summer babies tend to be a little more stressed out over unavailability of midwives. Many of us love going on summer vacations, so do midwives. I booked mine when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I thought I was early, but apparently not.

4. Al Natura
As much as possible, the Germans love to go all natural. Unless necessary, there’s a lot of encouragement to have a natural birth. Not to scare anyone, but so many other mums have mentioned how slow/reluctant midwives are to give an epidural.

When I visited the hospital (in case I needed an epidural), I freaked out. For legal reasons, the anaesthetist had to explain to me everything that could go wrong if I had an epidural before I signed the papers. What would they do if I refused to sign?!?! It gave me nightmares!

So yes, you’ll be given lots of herbal tea to help with milk production and perhaps be recommended to even try hypnobirthing! I’ve had quark and cheese slapped on my boobs to help with engorgement!

5. Hospital Stay
Unlike hospitals in Singapore, do NOT expect 5 Stars hotel service in hospitals here. You don’t actually fork out a single cent here for the birth, so just make do with it. Depending on where you go, the service and experience will vary. I had Theo at Uniklinik in Frankfurt and was pleased with the ward I stayed at. They tend to not have more than 2 women in a room, unless it’s a busy period then they might have 3 in a room.

For natural births, you can expect to stay for 3 days and 5 days for C-section deliveries. It’s of course more comfortable at home, but staying put in the hospital means the doctors can conduct the U1 and U2 health checks on your baby. You don’t have to then rush to book a paediatrician to get U2 done when you’re still feeling sore and exhausted.

Before you leave the hospital, make sure you’re given the baby’s health booklet – Kinder-Untersuchungsheft.

A blog on my three greatest loves – family, food & travels

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