Baby no. 2 for Joanne Peh? "Maybe we'll try next year"

In her first video interview since giving birth, the new mother gushes about her and Qi Yuwu's "happy" little girl (but would only go so far as to reveal her nickname: "Little Bread") 

Baby no. 2 for Joanne Peh?
Baby no. 2 for Joanne Peh? "Maybe we'll try next year"
29 Oct 2015

Baby no. 2 for Joanne Peh? "Maybe we'll try next year"

Video: Vina Chia

The world hasn't even gotten a proper glimpse at "Baby Qi's" face or learned her name (we find out the reason for this later), but her mother Joanne Peh is already excitedly thinking about giving her a little brother or sister.

"I miss having my baby in my belly very much! And I miss the anticipation of the arrival, holding her in my hands and watching her look around, just moments like that," gushed the glowing - and enviously svelte - new mum in her first video interview since giving birth in August, during a photo shoot for The Celebrity Agency yesterday. "We've been advised that the best age gap between siblings is about a year and a half, so maybe we'll try next year."

The fact that her husband, fellow MediaCorp actor Qi Yuwu, is an extremely helpful and hands-on dad probably reassured her that any new arrivals would be well taken care of. "I believe he belongs in the group of new age fathers who do what the mothers traditionally do, such as changing diapers and bathing the baby," she said. "And not only is he willing to do it, he enjoys it very much!"

As with any first-time parent, the 32-year-old had her share of struggles while adjusting to this chapter of her life. "In the beginning I really felt like I had no time for myself, not even to shower or finish my breakfast, because she would suddenly cry for food or attention," Joanne recalled. "Breastfeeding was challenging too because I would worry about her not drinking enough or choking on too much, but now we've settled into a much better routine. All mums-to-be can rest assured that it's a phase that will pass!"  

The happy little Qi family (photos from Joanne's Instagram)
The happy little Qi family (photos from Joanne's Instagram)
29 Oct 2015

The happy little Qi family (photos from Joanne's Instagram)

That wasn't the only piece of advice new mums and dads can learn from her. On Channel 8 variety programme Baby Steps, which premiered last week, Joanne offers viewers an intimate look at her journey from expectancy to post-pregnancy, while picking up and sharing helpful tips from experts and fellow parents. In yesterday's episode, she even showed never-before-seen footage of her blazing through her painkiller-free birth in the delivery suite, after a whopping 16 hours in labour.

"The birth video was something I chose to share with the audience because I wanted to inspire and motivate mums who want to have a natural birth, but are afraid of what it's going to be like," she told us.

When we asked how she dealt with the physical agony, Joanne said she "just kept staring" at a poster on the wall directly opposite her to take her mind off the pain. She would also imagine herself "standing up on a mountain" watching herself from above to try and "detach" herself from the experience.

Counting helped too. "There's actually a technique to pushing (and counting), which I thought would be useful to share."

Baby Steps airs Tuesdays, 8pm on Channel 8. Watch past episodes on Toggle here, and continue reading as Joanne opens up about life after motherhood, her future work plans and why she hasn’t revealed too many details about her bundle of joy:  

Joanne and the most we've seen of Baby Qi's face (photos from Joanne's Instagram)
Joanne and the most we've seen of Baby Qi's face (photos from Joanne's Instagram)
29 Oct 2015

Joanne and the most we've seen of Baby Qi's face (photos from Joanne's Instagram)

Toggle: How is motherhood for you so far?
Joanne: It's very fulfilling! There are good days and bad days - sometimes my daughter would sleep through the day and sometimes she's a little extra fussy, but it's all part of her trying to make sense of the world, and I look forward to the changes every day.

Is she easy to take care of?
Yes, she's a very happy baby. She smiles a lot and is beginning to laugh and make gurgling sounds. Seeing her smile always makes our day.

Who is your daughter more like: mum or dad?
In terms of features, I think she looks more like my husband, but in terms of character, he says she's a bit more like me because she's very happy. She also likes to stretch a lot, which is what I used to do when I was pregnant.

Is there a reason you're keeping her full face and name under wraps?
I want to give her the chance to decide if she wants to participate in social media. As for her name, I don't withhold it from people around me who ask, but I don't see a need to announce it. I tend to have this fear of people knowing too much, especially with kids - I feel more protective over their identities and I'd rather not reveal too much about them.

Can you at least give us her initial, or a nickname?
(Coy smile) We used to call her "Xiao Mian Bao" ("Little Bread") because I loved to eat bread during that time, so we've thought of giving her the nickname "Baguette" but... I don't know. (laughs)

A stylist checks Joanne's jumpsuit before the photo shoot
A stylist checks Joanne's jumpsuit before the photo shoot
29 Oct 2015

A stylist checks Joanne's jumpsuit before the photo shoot

Who looks after her when both you and Yuwu are busy?
I have good friends to help me babysit, and she has a godmother who spoils her rotten! I don't think I'll be one to spoil her - I haven't bought her any toys (most of her toys were passed down from me), but my husband got her a lot of clothes from Australia (Ed's note: Yuwu was recently in Melbourne to film The Dream Makers 2). I just buy her books!

How did you cope while Yuwu was away in Australia?
It was tough, really! Because it so happened that while he was there, our daughter refused to go to bed and was quite difficult for those few days, and I was crying because I was thinking, "Why wouldn't she sleep!? What should I do!?" And Yuwu felt bad because he wasn't around. But it came and it went, so it's not so bad.

Do you think she was being like that because she knew her dad wasn't there?
I don't know, but I guess babies can be very sensitive. Her brain is developing and maybe she was feeling insecure because of the new environment around her.

Is that why you've decided to temporarily relocate to Beijing later this year when Yuwu is there for work?
We're not really moving or relocating there. It's more like, if there's nothing going on for me here then we will go over and spend time with him. I don't want my daughter to not recognise her father, because at a certain age (I think at around eight months), they start recognising faces and being afraid of strangers, and I don't want that to happen with him. We'll see how it goes - after I finish filming Baby Steps, I'll probably head there with her and go back and forth if necessary because there might be work for me in Singapore. 

Joanne strikes a confident pose in the studio
Joanne strikes a confident pose in the studio
29 Oct 2015

Joanne strikes a confident pose in the studio

Speaking of which, what's next for you?
I'm still waiting for the right project to come along. I want to be able to spend as much time with my baby as possible, but if a role is convincing then I want to be acting again.

Is there a role you wouldn't take, now that you're a mother?
Anything that's too dangerous or puts my life at risk. I think we value our lives a lot more as parents because we don't want anything to happen to us - we want to be there for our child and watch her grow up!

You've also changed the terms of your contract to film only one drama a year after you gave birth.
The new contract is more about opening doors to try different things and giving me more flexibility to decide, rather than just doing one drama after another. It was okay back then but now, with a baby, it doesn't seem so suitable.

What are your plans for Baby Qi's first Christmas?
I hope it'll be a cold and snowy one. (smiles) (Ed's note: She's trying to hint that they may be spending the holidays in Beijing) 

Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras
Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras
29 Oct 2015

Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras

Some more last-minute prepping before the flashes go off
Some more last-minute prepping before the flashes go off
29 Oct 2015

Some more last-minute prepping before the flashes go off

Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras
Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras
29 Oct 2015

Makeup artists ensure Joanne looks picture perfect for the cameras

We can't believe this woman just gave birth less than three months ago
We can't believe this woman just gave birth less than three months ago
29 Oct 2015

We can't believe this woman just gave birth less than three months ago

The photo shoot team gets together for a fun group shot
The photo shoot team gets together for a fun group shot
29 Oct 2015

The photo shoot team gets together for a fun group shot

If we heard correctly, this pose was meant to signify
If we heard correctly, this pose was meant to signify "hanging in there"
29 Oct 2015

If we heard correctly, this pose was meant to signify "hanging in there"

WATCH: Does the baby resemble Joanne Peh or Qi Yuwu?

Related:

Joanne Peh’s pregnancy bans: raising hands, washing dishes, sashimi
Qi Yuwu & Joanne Peh secretly shopped for baby's clothes
Joanne Peh’s favourite dish by Qi Yuwu: oxtail stew
8 struggles faced by new parents, as told by celebs

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