It wasn’t long ago that I was on the Beijinger beat, covering bars, clubs, and restaurants to help inform the frivolous youth about all the fun that was to be had in this glorious city. I held the position of nightlife editor at our sibling magazine for about three years and gained a following for my somewhat zany editorial tone. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun while it lasted.
About a year ago my life turned completely around when my wife and I began getting ready for our first child. Ultimately this led to fewer late nights, and a very drastic, though much-desired lifestyle change. Going out night after night undoubtedly takes its toll on a person, and there’s nothing more motivating than a rapidly growing embryo and love from your soulmate to help focus your attentions on the future.
When I was asked to join the beijingkids team, I was more than ecstatic because I knew that being a respectable parent would now be a major focus of my life. Though my understanding of much of the content covered in beijingkids was basic at best, I was also running out of words to describe what a DJ could do to a dance floor. But, if my skills at reporting about Beijing’s music and F&B scene are of any indication to my ability and drive to reach a level of expertise at something, then I am certain the content reported on in beijingkids will quickly become a part of my vernacular.
This being my first issue at the helm is a key reason why we chose to bring back the topic of maternity in Beijing, as it had been a while since we last covered this in full, and the entire process was still very fresh in my mind. So, in this issue, you’ll find articles including a detailed look at what both expat and mixed couples need to know about giving birth in Beijing, valuable advice from lactation specialists on breastfeeding, and resources on how to cope with common forms of postnatal depression. We even went a little beyond the maternity scope in Schooled where we asked popular institutions for early learning about the best ways to prepare your little ones for their journey into academia. It’s never too soon to start thinking about it!
We hope that you find the variety of content here about giving birth and raising an infant in Beijing enlightening but above all helpful. It pleases me beyond words to be joining the beijingkids team, and I’m looking forward to contributing and helping families live their lives to the fullest, for however long you decide to call this beautiful city home.
Imogen Kandel was with beijingkids from 2008-2011, working her way up from intern to managing editor. Throughout her tenure, she covered a variety of topics in her My Life in Beijing column. She was here in Beijing during everything from the melamine scandal to casting calls for the reboot of Karate Kid, but putting the pregnancy issue of the magazine to bed each year always felt like her biggest accomplishment, she said. Now that she has a kid of her own, we can only hope that these yearly attempts at informing expats at a time when info was scarce have helped to prepare her and her husband Qiao for the arrival of their little one Kit. Imogen has since shifted professionally from editor to publicist and now works for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, back in her native Melbourne, Australia. We’ll try to hit her up for a flick and a bucket of popcorn next time we’re Down Under.
Photo: Uni You, Imogen Kandel