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The Bump: Helen Pretorius

Post Category - Family LifeFamily Life
Post Category - PregnancyPregnancy

Gorgeous Singapore Maternity Photos in Sassy Mama’s ‘The Bump’

This month’s ‘The Bump‘ is Helen Pretorius, a South African mama of two who gave birth to her second daughter, Olivia-Mae Frankie, in 2014. Not only do we LOVE Helen’s playful waterfront photos, but equally refreshing are her candid answers about her completely unexpected pregnancy. Read on for more, mama!

What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
We were totally shocked as she was a little surprise baby – we only found out we were pregnant at 9.5 weeks.

Our first baby was a little IVF baby. It was our second IVF attempt. With baby number two, she was a total surprise! After a failed IVF, we decided to wait a little bit … and we were definitely not expecting to fall pregnant naturally.

Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
Actually finding out we were pregnant. It was totally unexpected having gone through IVF to conceive our first child. We had attempted another cycle to conceive a second child that was unsuccessful. We were gearing ourselves up for another cycle towards the end of the year. I’d missed a period (2 months late) but the test was negative, so the doctor said to wait a little bit as my cycles had always been a bit off. I went back a few months later as requested by the doctor, did a urine test at home (figuring it was cheaper than what the doctor would charge) and it was positive – the first positive we’ve ever had, so we didn’t believe it. I went for the appointment (Hubby didn’t join me as it was supposed to be to check me out, not expecting pregnancy news), and the scan showed a baby and a heartbeat and approximated about 9.5 weeks!

Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
She was baby number two, so I didn’t do too much reading, but What to Expect When You’re Expecting was my go to.

I also enjoyed The Diary of an Honest Mum by Jools Oliver and Baby Sense by Megan Faure and Ann Richardson when I was pregnant with my first.

What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?

  • That it all works out, and you are a great mum.
  • Breastfeeding isn’t always easy for everyone, it takes time and practice for you and baby.

What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
I was lucky in that I didn’t have any major issues in my pregnancy. I’d say the last trimester was hardest as I was uncomfortable, and didn’t sleep very well. And that’s when all the aches and pains start.

Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Not really. I had a 3-year-old to run around after. I did do a little Yoga in the last few months, though, which was really nice and relaxing and offered some quality me time!

Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Keep it cool and stretchy – maternity pants rock!

Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
Orange Juice. With both my girls I craved Oranges and orange juice

What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
The heat at the end (July babies are hard with the heat in Singapore!) and the sleeplessness at the end.

Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My sister-in-law. She seems to manage to get everything done without feeling flustered (or at least not showing so). She always has time for her son, manages to work, cook amazing dinners/deserts, and even finds time to get the important crafting done.

What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I think it’s each to their own. We didn’t find out for the first (she was IVF, so there was so much we did know, we thought it would be nice for a surprise). As the second was a surprise we thought it would be good to know the sex – did we have to get rid of all the girls’ clothes or not?


What kind of birth did you have (hospital, home, epidural, etc.)?
First was a hospital birth, with an epidural. I had contractions at home, but wasn’t sure whether it was the real deal or not. I wanted to finish up making a gift for my hubby, and insisted on finishing and tidying up before heading to the hospital (at midnight), where they said I was 5cm dilated and it was time to go into the maternity ward… Yikes

The second baby was an emergency C-section 10 days early, after an induced labour.

At which hospital did you give birth? Who was your doctor?
We used KKH for my first daughter with Dr Irene Chua (She has since moved to Gleneagles Private). We used Parkway East for my second with Dr Lubna.

What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
I think just getting stuck into life. With two kids you just have to get on with it. The older child brings you into the ‘real’ world.

I try to take some time out for me every now and then, and hubby and I go running – he’s a great motivator to get me out of bed when I don’t want to.

Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby? Why?
I love Café Beviamo at Tanglin – I just love their food. Ditto for Café Manuka in Paragon (looove their corn fritters with smoked salmon).

I recently found that Marche at Vivo has a new play area for kids (treehouse/slide) so that’s great for the older ones to run around and keep them occupied. Food For Thought at the Botanical Gardens has a great play space for the kids, and Tanjong Beach Club is awesome with the pool and beach, and bonus is you can take your dogs too!

Any local businesses (or websites) that made your pregnancy journey easier?
None specifically, but I think I was working like a mad person leading up to the birth, so didn’t have much time to look into much. I was on Stork’s Nest a lot, and was always reassured by people in the same boat!

What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
I would love my baby to be able to explore the world and find great friendship and love along the way.

Thanks so much to Helen, her husband Jason, and too-cute toddler Cameron! And thank you to super mama Julia of Julia Whale Photography for the gorgeous photos! 

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What’s your personal mama style? Having been part of a fashion business over the last 10 years (alongside my mum and sister) at @luxe_fashion_boutique, I have seen so many trends come and fade away. I love classic and timeless maxi dresses which defines my style and personality. I also prefer to invest in quality pieces that will last the test of time. ⠀
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After I get my kids to school, my days are packed managing my day job where I’m the country head for a professional accounting body where I organise and host events and assist members in building their networks within the business community. No two days are the same which makes work interesting! Check out IG stories to see what I’m up to. 
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