updated 7 Jun 2013, 16:07
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Tue, May 14, 2013
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Mum at 18: The aftermath of giving birth
by Benita Aw Yeong

The aftermath

Pauline gave birth - without painkillers and after a gruelling 10 hours of labour - in early June last year, during her school holidays.

Her parents paid for the hospital bill, which she says came up to about $600.

The pain was like nothing she had ever felt, but there were no tears, only joy.

The traditional month-long confinement was cut short to three weeks as she had to go back to school.

"I broke the rules like not bathing. It was simply not practical, you can't go to school smelly," she says with a laugh.

While mothers go on about the benefits of breast milk, practical Pauline notes that her son has been fed on formula milk from birth. Breastfeeding and school simply do not mix.

From Mondays to Thursdays, the baby slept with his grandmother, because she had to wake up early for school in the mornings.The baby only came back to her room on Friday and Saturday nights. "I studied from 9pm, after he slept, until about midnight," she explains.

Breaks in between classes were spent calling home to find out how he was doing.

Her efforts paid off - she scored four As and will enrol in a local university later this year.


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