Workshops with top O&Gs and heart-to-heart talks: Theodora Lai previews the WW Mother’s Day Celebrations 2024


“WHEN WE were young, it’s like ‘My future is just mine’. But as we get older, we gain more responsibilities as pillars of support for others. And that’s why it’s particularly important to raise these health and wellness issues on Mother’s Day,” said PAP Women’s Wing (WW) Executive Committee Member Theodora Lai when caught up with her for an exclusive preview of the WW Mother’s Day Celebrations 2024. 

So look forward to workshops about motherhood and pelvic floor fitness by the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS) as well as artisan soap-making by Soaprise at the Celebrations this coming Saturday (May 11). Herbal tea-making and time-tested mindfulness techniques by a clinical psychologist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) duo at the Celebrations feature too.

Additionally on the programme: Heart-to-heart conversations with women thought leaders like veteran actress Lina Ng, National Arts Council-award-winning visual artist Dr Chen Yanyun and Lactation Bakes founder Joanna Goy. Ms Lai curated them as ways to help Singapore’s mums thrive. She organised the Celebrations too, spending the previous few months gathering these diverse partners together. 

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“Before having kids, our priorities are different both in terms of our energy, sleep times, and how we might enjoy different things. The purpose of this event is for women who have chosen to have kids, to allow ourselves to take time and do broader-picture planning,” said Ms Lai. “It’s to flesh out ideas. Share stories that our audiences and comrades can take away and apply to their lives and relationships, building empathy, resilience and well-being.”

“And to know that difficulties are common; tiredness, setbacks, fatigue — but here are some ways you can bring yourself out of them,” she added. 

Partners of influence and good repute

Look forward also to the OGSS announcing a stronger partnership with our Party’s women at the Celebrations. A Signing Ceremony is scheduled. This means more public education for women’s health going forward.  

“[WW Chairwoman] Sim Ann and the Women’s Wing will work with OGSS on a multi-year engagement to support women’s health in the community,” said Ms Lai. 

Our Party also knows that there are different pathways towards realising one’s dreams. That is another underlying reason for the Celebrations’s diverse workshop convenors and conversation partners. Ideas about success in Singapore just being about big business bucks do not add up for us.  

Hence Ms Lai gathering guests from the arts, the non-profit sector and the grassroots to share personal stories as mums and daughters at the Celebrations. 

“I thought about what would be important to us as Party members on the ground, to be able to relate better with what our neighbours go through. Ways to help unpack the mental load when someone or someone’s loved one suffers from sickness, to better relate to and also help the people around us,” said Ms Lai. “It’s important that conversations and sessions like this bring up stories that may not even be covered in the media.” 

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Meanwhile, over a thousand households in Sengkang now have first aid packs easily on hand, thanks to Ms Lai. She had noticed during her door-to-door visits that these packs would be useful for the many children and elderly folk in the ward. Her breast pump giveaway (co-sponsored with Phillips and Motherswork) for moms remains ongoing. It is a high-touch campaign and her successes with it — like helping a teen mum properly prepare for the motherhood journey — are making a positive difference for Sengkangites. 

We are excited, then, for the spotlight to shine on tomorrow’s WW’s Mother’s Day Celebrations. It unites partners of good repute with the WW, as well as with leaders acutely aware of — and who act decisively for — the different challenges facing Singapore’s mothers. Life is never a smooth, straight line, and that is why our WW has been there since 1989: to help mums thrive.