Sassy Mama Singapore proudly presents our favourite maternity photography and pregnancy wisdom collected from our ongoing Real Mama feature ‘The Bump’.
Earlier this year we launched our monthly feature ‘The Bump‘ to celebrate real Singapore mamas-to-be and their gorgeous maternity photos from talented photographers across the island. In honour of the launch of Sassy Pregnancy Club, and to give pregnant mamas out there a little inspiration, we wanted to share some of our favourite photos and bits of wisdom to date. And if YOU would like to be featured in The Bump, drop us a line, mama!
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Labour seems to be what everyone focuses on, when in my opinion, the first four weeks since my daughter was born have been the really tough part. It is magical being a mum, and I have many moments when I look at my daughter and just overflow with love for her, but boy are the first few weeks hard! I have been so lucky to have wonderful friends drop by to keep me company, offer moral support and encouragement (and keep me sane!), which I don’t think I could have managed without.
Breastfeeding can be soooo difficult. I guess I’m one of those unlucky ones that had difficulty producing milk. I thought I was prepared for it and that milk would just come in easily. I attended classes, read about breastfeeding and joined a breastfeeding group on Facebook. I thought I knew everything but it was still harder than expected. But I did not stop. Perseverance is key to keep one going. I’m still pumping and latching Francis. Flow is sufficient, but not enough for storage.
I was very sad in the beginning, wondering Why this is happening to me?! But I have accepted the fact that I’m just not a lucky mom with an overabundant milk supply. I still want to pump/latch up to 1 year, if I can.
I would definitely encourage breastfeeding but for some mums, it’s a matter of personal preference or medical problems that are out of your control, and that’s ok!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
I was shocked, scared and in tears – my pregnancy was unplanned. Being 44 I was aware of the health risks for myself and my baby and couldn’t think about anything else but his health. I also felt so privileged and blessed that I was going to be a mom.
What kind of birth did you have? (hospital, home, epidural, etc.)
I had a C-Section at Mount Elizabeth. It all well went smoothly and very fast. Deniz was born at 10:26am and weighed 3kg; I will never forget the moment I first heard his voice behind the curtain and the first time I saw and had him on my chest. It was amazing!
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Don’t try to hide your belly! Instead, I played around a lot around with accessories like a belt, ribbon, and fitted shirt. It’s your sexiest moment. Show it off!
My main advice would be to make sure to wear light materials as you tend to sweat quite easily. Cotton stretch leggings work best for your belly as they’re both comfy and supportive.
–Tricia Vu Dotta
For pregnancy wear, I love the fashion brand Buddha Wear. Super stretchy and comfortable, but stylish. Paperbag Pricesss at Cluny Court carries their stuff in Singapore. ASOS is also good for maternity wear.
Did you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
With the first pregnancy, I read as much I could online about working out during pregnancy and even consulted the trainers at my gym about what was safe and what wasn’t. What I realised was there is so much controversial documentation on fit pregnancy that it just deters you from even wanting to exercise! Plus, you’re just tired from the exhaustion and the pains and aches that come with pregnancy.
That said, I didn’t have much morning sickness so I exercised through all trimesters. The biggest battle for me was the lack of support in general; dear lord if my mother ever saw half my Instagram photos, I think she’d faint! Not to be dramatic, but it felt as if it was me against the world. But things are changing slowly as more research shows that a fit pregnancy is the best pregnancy for mother and baby.
I wish I’d had a role model to follow during my first pregnancy. I would search “pregnancy exercise” or “pregnancy workouts” in YouTube to create my own routines. In my second pregnancy, I was fortunate enough to have met a yoga teacher who believed I could continue my practice and even grow from it while I baked. By my third pregnancy, I had learned that we are stronger than we think and that our bodies are built for this, so just kept working hard at the gym or on the mat.
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
I found out I was pregnant the day before departing for a two week trip. My husband and I were cautiously ecstatic. I proceeded to buy pregnancy testing kits in 3 different countries on vacation — just to double check. Unsurprisingly, they all said the same thing thankfully!
Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby?
I love taking a long walk with my baby in Sentosa to enjoy the sea views, followed by all the restaurants at Quayside. There are plenty of toys and activities to entertain your baby when you want to have a meal.
Ion Orchard is a very kid-friendly mall with valet parking that helps you to unload your stroller; it’s also got great baby changing rooms and a lot of elevators for new moms like me who are scared of taking the stroller on an escalator!
-Tricia Vu Dotta
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
Definitely find out the sex! In our opinion, it’s a surprise regardless when you find out. We were so curious to find out, so we were pleasantly surprised and so happy when we found out. I loved setting up my baby’s nursery and buying things for her; I was able to take my time and I really enjoyed the process. I wouldn’t have been able to do so if we waited, as I was too busy and absorbed with her when she was arrived.
–Vicky Lee Ward
We found out the sex in advance because we didn’t feel we needed it to be a ‘surprise’, but in fact it was a slightly traumatic experience in that we were told we were having a boy at 16 weeks, only to then be told it was a girl at 21 weeks! As we had spent five weeks connecting to what we thought was a little boy, it was hard to readjust. We are so happy to have our beautiful little girl now, but I would advise anyone wanting to find out the sex that the doctors do sometimes get it wrong, so keep an open mind!
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
I got back to the gym doing my favourite group exercise classes, like body combat, step, and intermediate yoga. Having help in the house is definitely a big relief!
Date nights! Before we had babies, my husband and I agreed we would always come first to each other. When he walks through the door, the first person he greets is me, and vice versa. It’s not that kids come second, it’s that when you have kids, your life and schedule will automatically revolve around them. And because they are your flesh and blood, the love is automatically unconditional. Because of that, spouses tend to come second and you lose communication with each other. So every Friday, we make an effort to go out either for a meal or drink just to catch up on life in general.
I had postnatal massages everyday for two months and it really helped me not just physically, but also mentally. It was an hour of quiet and relaxation. Also, my mom was around to take care of me and made sure I ate healthy. I didn’t start any exercise until I was 6 months postnatal.
-Vicky Lee Ward
Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
Durians! I secretly drove myself to the durian stall along Sixth Avenue to buy the fruit (durians have high glycemic index, which I was advised against).
My cravings were banana smoothies and green apples. And the odd bacon sandwich.
Thank you so much to all of the amazing mamas who’ve contributed to ‘The Bump’ so far! And thank you to all of the talented photographers who captured their special moments: Sugarlight Photography, Red Bus Photography, Tomato Photo, Julia Whale Photography, and Littleones Photography.
Lead image via Julia Whale Photography; Image #1 courtesy of Sugarlight Photography; Image #2 and #8 courtesy of Red Bus Photography; Image #3 and #7 courtesy of Tomato Photo; Image #4 courtesy of Jennifer Iafolla; Image #5 courtesy of Julia Whale Photography; Image #6 courtesy of Littleones Photography.