Being a new mum in 2015 vs 2022
If you had a baby in 2015, Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, you can proudly refer to your child as an “SG50 baby”. New mums now, well…”Covid baby” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Regardless, we can all agree that so much has changed in just a few short years. So, for all you curious souls, here’s a snippet of life as a new mum back then vs now.
Note: All images for illustrative purposes only.
Phone features & sharing pics on social media
Image credit: Kimberly Lauren Wong
What’s a new mum without an archive of baby photos in your camera roll? Simply staring at our baby 24/7 in real life isn’t enough, we absolutely have to marvel at their pictures. Except, I had an iphone 6. Its 8-megapixel camera couldn’t capture my son’s freckle if it wanted to.
Fast forward to today, “better, faster, stronger” sums up the technology we have now. Our iphones have progressed to 12-megapixel cameras, praise the lord! Different camera modes like Live Photos, filters, and cloud sharing make taking good-quality photos a breeze.
I won’t lie, I get a little jealous after seeing my new mum friends posting albums of their babies – all taken with their own phones! The quality! The clarity! And the audacity for not having this technology back in 2015!
Who needs a professional photographer, amirite?
Then we had limited options on where to post these photos back in 2015. Mind you, the Instagram Stories function wasn’t introduced yet, so I had to resort to posting multiple Instagram posts and prayed my 35 followers didn’t find it annoying.
With the myriad of filters and GIFS today, journaling our bubs’ milestones on social media has become fun and interactive. Since it disappears after 24 hours, it doesn’t get too in your face.
High-tech apps & gadgets
While we’re at it, let’s bring in the pregnancy and baby tracking apps. Most of them had essential but basic functions like tips and monitoring pregnancy stages. I, for one, used Baby Center and remember getting really excited discovering my son Lucien was the size of an avocado.
Baby Center has resources on everything baby-related, for you to read up and figure out parenthood on the go.
Image credit: Baby Center
And that’s the most I could say, really. Perhaps baby tracking apps weren’t all that jazz in 2015, so when it came to Lucien’s feeding and sleeping schedules, my knackered brain was the app. Nope, no fancy tech to help me out.
A girlfriend who recently gave birth asked me for tips. After I told her I used the good old pen and paper, she proceeded to give me tips instead for my next kid! She, and a couple of other friends, recommended Ovia Parenting.
Ovia Parenting allows you to track your baby’s feeds, sleeping, and diaper changes.
Image credit: Ovia Parenting
It’s a highly-rated app that not only tracks her baby’s schedules and milestones, it also allows shared access to pictures and videos of her motherhood journey with family and friends. She swears the app is a life-changer, and once again I watched with envy at how easy it was for her to access parenting resources.
These days, my 2022 mum friends rave about a newfangled Haenim 4th Gen Plus UV Steriliser that has drying, sterilising and storage mode functions. “I can even control the settings from my phone when I’m in bed!” my friend gushed like she was reminiscing about a hot date.
Postpartum mental health awareness
After birth, the sleepless nights and breastfeeding struggles really took a toll on me. I started to spiral, but had no idea why or what I was feeling. Nobody around me seemed to know either.
It was a numbing feeling where I believed everything was going to go wrong. Throw in friction with my then partner and boom, I had a full-blown mental breakdown. Welcome to pregnancy anxiety 101, people.
What I found out years later was that I had experienced postpartum anxiety (PPA), a cousin of the common postpartum depression (PPD). According to an article on Parents.com, with PPA, you constantly feel worried and on edge while PPD manifests into extreme sadness and disinterest in your baby.
I had the “she’s depressed” statement directed at me many times, yet there was no channel for help. My well-meaning folks who took care of me couldn’t even recognise I had an issue, let alone offer help. I don’t blame them. Mental health then was somewhat of an unchartered territory. There was little awareness but plenty of stigma.
These days, pregnant and new mums still go through mental health issues. But thanks to digitalisation, more people are advocating for mental health support. With society becoming increasingly aware as a whole, mums from all walks of life can now seek help for their mental health conveniently at the comfort of their own homes.
Online consultations are commonplace today.
Local start-up Safe Space offers virtual counselling with a team of licensed clinical therapists at affordable rates. SACAC, a mental health care practice, one of the oldest in Singapore, also has a panel of qualified therapists where sessions can be conducted in different languages.
Baby fairs & doorstep delivery
I winged parenting mostly with trial and error, and of course, baby fairs. Ahh, you know, the one where every parent-to-be sacrifices their comfort to loot baby items and stand in line for 30 minutes to pay? Yeah that’s the one.
It was difficult to find online deliveries for bulky nursery items.
Almost every baby-related thing was bulky. My bottle steriliser, which I so proudly purchased from said fair, came with an extra drying tray. On a lighter note, Mothercare and Kiddy Palace were like the homecoming queens of baby retail. They were the to-go-list for almost every mum-to-be. We stocked up, came home with whatever we could fit in the car, and then went back for more.
But aren’t we all spoiled for choice these days? In 2022, online shopping platforms mean endless and fuss-free shopping sprees. We can now easily import a custom-made crib, or get baby bath gels at a bundle steal.
Doorstep delivery is the norm these days.
Today, “I just buy online la,” is a common remark I hear from many mum friends. You can find various brands, discounts and even live sales at one-stop solution Mummys Market. They offer all things mummy and baby related, from breast pumps to outfits for your baby bumps. Not only can you shop online, they also have a physical store for mums who prefer to “feel” the real deal.
Many local home-based businesses have also sprung up, offering handmade items tailored for mums and their tots. These days one can scour the online market and find essential oils, breastfeeding cookies, confinement Tingkat delivery… you name it, delivered right to your doorstep.
Motherhood – Then vs now
I remember the first time I held Lucien in my arms. I was shaking uncontrollably, possibly from the epidural, though I’m not sure until today. But what I’m certain of is that my journey – or our journey – as a new mother, is never easy.
To aptly summarise the half a decade shift in motherhood trends:
2015: Bad mum fashion, questionable cameras, mental health stigma.
Now: Tres Instagram chic, legit cameras, woke crowd. Oh, and, who can forget, Covid.
But seriously though, who cares? As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”, and I wholly agree. As I sum up my thoughts, I realise there really isn’t a “better” year to be a mother. Being a mother requires no comparison.
Sure, technology may have helped the process of motherhood, and while the quality of our phones continue to change, one thing remains unwavering – the love we have for our children.
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