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‘The Bump’: Jo Rider-Bray

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily LifePregnancyPost Category - PregnancyPregnancy

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

This month’s ‘The Bump’ is mama of two Jo Rider-Bray, who gave birth to her second daughter, Everly, this past August (daughter Ada was born in 2013). A former in-flight manager from Australia who spent over a decade flying all over the world, Jo is now enjoying being grounded in Singapore and doles out some great tips for staying healthy, happy and fit with two young bubs underfoot!

What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
My first baby news came while on honeymoon in Vanuatu. As the excitement of the news sank in, we spent the day sailing a little boat and watching dolphins chase us. Incredible.

I was excited to discover I was expecting a second time and surprised my husband with the news in his Christmas card. We were heading to Australia shortly afterwards which meant we could break the happy news to family and friends in person.

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Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
I was constantly underestimating the size of my baby bump. I parked in too-narrow car spaces and couldn’t get out, kept spilling food down my belly and bumping into people, especially my husband in the kitchen. I was a total klutz.

Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
What to Expect When You’re Expecting was great, as were good friends. Internet searches were not always a good idea!

What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
1) So many random areas of our bodies are affected by pregnancy hormones, like bleeding gums and restless leg syndrome. It’s a roller coaster of symptoms.

2) Birth is just the beginning! Do think about what you’ll be doing once you bring your baby home.

3) Stock your freezer with wholesome meals. Then double it.

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What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
The middle trimester was my favourite. Nausea & loo runs have subsided somewhat, you’re showing nicely without feeling like a cruise liner, and energy seems to be up momentarily.

Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
I love feeling fit and healthy so I continued my Strolltastic classes with Bloom ‘n’ Fit, but modified the exercises as my pregnancy progressed.

It’s fantastic for mind and body, and the girls are supportive and fun.

Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Pace your purchases, depending on how quickly/slowly your bump comes along. And it’s a good idea to get used to operating the clips on nursing bras with one hand early on!

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Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
Gelato, big time for both my pregnancies.

And I loved peanut butter spread on celery. Crunchy, salty and refreshing somehow. Yum.

What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
Hands-down the Singapore humidity. Up to three showers a day still didn’t help. The ‘haze’ is also an ongoing health concern.

Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My own mother had a challenging time when my sister and I were just 4 and 2 years old, respectively and my parents moved to Sweden.

During the winters she dealt with freezing cold, short days, no TV till 3pm and being unable to speak Swedish, which would have been very isolating with 2 young children. Throughout our lives she has been loving, fun, enthusiastic and supportive. I hope to be the same.

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What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
Like so many things, it’s personal preference. I found out each time I was expecting a girl and it was really fun. I liked being able to say ‘she’ and felt a little closer to each daughter as a result.

It’s easier to plan as most items seem to be gender specific and I’m not mad on green or orange so was grateful for the knowledge!

Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
We were very lucky both times as I became pregnant quickly. I wasn’t sure how 13 years of long-haul flying would affect my fertility and I’m grateful for both pregnancies. 

What kind of birth did you have? (hospital, home, epidural, etc.)
Ada was born in Sydney, normal delivery with epidural and Everly was born in Singapore, also normal delivery with epidural. Both were great experiences.

Which hospital did you give birth at? Who was your doctor?
I delivered at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. It was more like a hotel than a hospital and it was a very positive experience. Nice and quiet, a large room and friendly staff.

My obstetrician was T.C. Chang who I would highly recommend. Professional and approachable, Dr Chang addressed my concerns both leading up to the birth and postpartum, and I always felt well looked-after.

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What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
Taking the time to recover fully and then gently introducing appropriate exercise is important. Having a supportive husband, regular contact with friends and play dates also makes me happy and keeps potential blues away.

Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby? Why?
The Botanic Gardens are beautiful, stroller-friendly and combines coffee with a playground – perfect.

Limoncello Pizza & Grill are always accommodating and friendly when we enjoy a family dinner.

Robertson Quay is terrific for walks along the river and to stop for a bite, and we are regulars at PS Cafe Petit on Martin Road.

Any local businesses (or websites) that made your pregnancy journey easier?
Mel and the gang at Bloom ‘n’ Fit are terrific and I’ll be returning to Strolltastic soon! I love the support, friendships and fitness I gained by attending the classes.

And the ladies at Buff & Rubz at Roberston Quay kept my tootsies pretty and made me feel pampered.

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What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
Ultimately I would love both my girls to feel happy and loved. I hope they are kind, clever and true to themselves. My husband and I are very proud of them already!

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Thanks Jo! And thank you to Julia Whale Photography for providing the gorgeous photos! If you’re a mama or photographer who’d like to share some beautiful maternity photos in ‘The Bump’, let us know!

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