Here are 8 things parents who are expecting a newborn baby during this new normal need to know.
1. Getting Ready for Baby’s Arrival
- Make a list of all the essential items to get and gifts you have received.
- Save money by getting second-hand baby items from family and friends, especially a breast pump (do buy new accessories though).
- Consider shopping online for baby things to minimise risks for mother although physical shops can sometimes be cheaper.
- Don’t overbuy on things you may not require. Especially for clothes, babies grow very fast,
2. Gynaecologist Visits
- Choose a gynaecologist that you believe you will be comfortable with.
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask your gynaecologist and to address your concerns.
- Due to the pandemic, many gynaecologist visits will only allow the mother in.
- You have time to decide between a normal or caesarean delivery even there are no complications. Make a decision that’s best for you and don’t be pressured by others.
3. Choosing a Hospital
- Decide in advance whether to go to a public or private hospital.
- Consider your hospital options including location, distance, rates, accommodation, hospital rules and others experiences.
- For public hospitals, you also have the option of full paying patient services at selected hospitals.
- For private hospitals, your gynaecologist may be attached to a particular hospital that you will likely go to.
4. Preparing for D-Day (Delivery Day)
- Consider attending a childbirth course which may be online during the current pandemic.
- The father should be involved, supportive and work together on the birth plan.
- Pack a mother and baby bag ready to go anytime required. Bring change of clothes, milk bottles and a baby swaddle.
- Be relaxed, don’t panic if the baby comes early and avoid negativity from any sources.
- Due to the pandemic, many hospitals will not allow the father in for the delivery or even limit the amount of time the father can be in the hospital. Visitors are also not allowed.
5. Baby Registration
- Malaysian mothers can register (even while pregnant) for ‘Buku Pink’ at your nearest Klinik Kesihatan for checkups before and after delivery. There’s no fee for registering and you can still go to public or private hospitals.
- Baby registration after birth needs to be done at National Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara).
- Required documents:
- Birth registration form JPN.LM01 that is completed
- Confirmation of birth form from the hospital or certification of home birth from the midwife/doctor (original)
- Prenatal card (maternity examination book) (original and copy)
- Identity cards or entry permits or passports of the parents and the person reporting the birth (originals and copies)
- Normally registration needs to be done 60 days from birth of child.
- During the MCO, registration has been extended to 90 days after MCO is lifted.
6. Caring for Baby Together
- Decide in advance for confinement whether will be at a confinement centre or at home.
- For a confinement centre or if engaging a confinement lady, you will need to book early suggested at least 6 months earlier.
- Get both parents and any willing able family members involved in the process.
- Do make sure both baby and mother get sufficient rest and nutrients.
- Join support groups such as Facebook groups i.e. The Breastfeeding Advocates Network (English), Happy Breastfeeding Malaysia (mostly BM).
7. Baby Medical Care
- Get medical coverage for baby anytime 30 days after baby’s birth.
- A few insurance companies including AIA, Great Eastern and Prudential offer maternity insurance.
- For vaccination, decide if you will have vaccinations at a private hospital or klinik kesihatan. Even if you delivered at a private hospital and do not have a ‘buku pink/blue’ you and baby can go to the klinik kesihatan.
- Have a thermometer at home and keep medical records for your baby including growth, immunisations and any illnesses.
8. Full Moon and Beyond
- Congratulations on baby reaching his or her 1st month. A social gathering may not be allowed but you can still celebrate virtually online with family and friends.
- Setup an education fund for your child starting from SSPN-i to enjoy tax relief and National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) benefits.
- Put any cash gifts baby receives into boosting baby’s education fund.
- Continue breastfeeding as it’s the best food for baby and it saves you money estimated up to RM3,000 a year!
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