One Tough Mama
Young Parents Singapore|August 2018

Celebrity mum Lina Ng risked her health and life to deliver her three sons, but she tells us it was all worth it.

Lina Ng’s life seems like a fairytale come true. She got her start as an actress after clinching the first runner-up spot during Star Search in 1993, when she was only 19 years old. Twenty-five years later, she’s now a respected veteran in the business.

She is also a mum to three adorable boys – Jeriel, 14, Joel, 12, and Samuel, seven. But few know about how she put her life on the line to become a mother.

Jeriel: the miracle baby Lina had been married to former national bowler, Mike Lam, now 48, for four years before conceiving their first child at age 30.

But her elation soon turned to trepidation when a routine check-up at the gynaecologist showed that her unborn baby had swallowed meconium, which is greenish black stool that a newborn first passes after birth.

The emergency C-section that ensued dashed all her hopes of a natural delivery. Worse still, her baby was born with his umbilical cord wound twice around his neck. Jeriel was ultimately saved, a miracle she held in her arms.

During her confinement, Lina fell very sick and coughed so badly that her stitches came loose. She had to return to the hospital to get them re-done.

She recalls: “The traditional Chinese medicine physician told me my body was not ‘receptive’. I drank only water – not even red date tea – so my body didn’t get much nourishment during confinement.

“I tried to breastfeed, but what I expressed was not milky but murky like barley water. My eldest was breastfed for only three months…”

Lina signed Jeriel up for swimming lessons when he was four years old, but the boy remained scrawny. In primary school, he finally put on weight and his body mass index shot up so much that he weighed 60kg in Primary 3 – his waist hovered between 32 and 34 inches.

“We enrolled him for water polo but he was so big, he couldn’t swim fast,” she says. “When he went to Secondary 1, however, training intensified, and his weight dropped within a year,” she says. Now, he plays water polo for his school.

Joel: breastfed with a spoon

Lina transferred hopes of a natural delivery onto her second baby, Joel. She also wanted to take the opportunity to restore her body to good health during confinement.

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