Gorgeous Singapore maternity photos in Sassy Mama’s ‘The Bump’!
This month’s ‘The Bump’ features gorgeous maternity photos of Janice Leong, courtesy of Bambini Photography. Lifestyle writer Singaporean Janice had her sweet little boy Christoper, in March 2017. Janice talks to us about her two trimester pregnancy (she ‘skipped’ her first trimester as she only found out she was pregnant in trimester two), her newfound appreciation for her own mama and her words of wisdom on getting (and not getting) pregnant.
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
We weren’t even trying. When I was already one month pregnant unknowingly, three pregnancy kits showed up negative. So I found out about my pregnancy when the first trimester was almost over! We were all unprepared and surprised!
Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
My baby bump wasn’t so obvious until after 5 months. I went to a bar and people were wondering if I’m pregnant or just fat. I could see it on their faces – it was hilarious.
Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
I was recommended Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby book. And I get a lot of information on www.babycentre.co.uk
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Should you not intend on getting pregnant – beware, it happens in a flash! Should you intend on getting pregnant – be patient, it never happens in a flash.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
I was very blessed to make it through the first trimester without even a bout of vomiting. And that is why I thought I had put on a bit of weight (rather than because I was actually pregnant). So I worked out hardcore mode. Little did I know I was preggers. The last trimester was the most difficult as the baby bump was so heavy and I felt hot all the time. I kept myself cool and had some fun at pool parties.
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
No, I did not follow a fitness programme but I enjoy a good sweat any time of the day. I also love to dance so I danced throughout my pregnancy. I was afraid of labor pain because I did not know what to expect. Keeping fit builds stamina and improves endurance which can help with labor. The labor time of an active mother is 5 hours shorter than inactive one. Five hours is a lot of pain! That is one big push (pun intended) to keep fit throughout pregnancy. I have always been active in yoga, spinning and Muay Thai. This pregnancy did not stop me from what I love to do. In my final trimester, I did aqua workouts like aqua kickboxing, aqua yoga and swimming. It helped to keep me cool, buoyant in water and I still got the work out I craved. It also reduced pregnancy discomfort and helped me to sleep better. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles, which helped my body cope better with the aches and pains of pregnancy. I felt fitter during my pregnancy than at any other point in my life!
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
My number 1 fashion trick is choosing snug over bulky. Reaching for bigger clothes to hide your size sounds like a good idea, but it only contributes to a bulky look. Instead, slim down your silhouette and emphasize the features that aren’t expanding with snug-sleeved tops, skinnier pants, and button-down shirts or blazers (from your pre-pregnancy wardrobe) left unbuttoned. Try knits that stretch to fit your form – they’re sexy and feminine. If all else fails, break out a crisp men’s dress shirt and pair it with leggings or jeans and a fitted T-shirt or tank underneath. This look is the perfect mix of sexy, modern, and classic style. I had to attend a black tie event while 8 months pregnant and ordered a lovely evening cocktail dress from Seraphine Maternity.
Another tip is to go for colour! Don’t limit yourself to black and neutral tones – colour is an essential part of the modern maternity closet. You’ll feel happier when you’re wearing clothes that aren’t drab.
Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
Ahhh food. I have always been a grazer, even during pregnancy. I eat small meals throughout the day. Before pregnancy, I had about 4 – 5 small meals daily. During pregnancy, I got hungry every 2 – 3 hours during the first and second trimester. In my last trimester, it was rather outrageous. I hunted for food every 1 -2 hours. It can be quite a chore to hunt for food so often to be frank. Sometimes I think my baby forgets that we have eaten 30 mins ago and has the audacity to kick me. I practically ate everything throughout my pregnancy from the usual healthy food like fruits and vegetables to guilty indulgences like ice cream and crackers – all in moderation. I believe eating in moderation is crucial for a healthy diet. As for huge cravings, that would be beef. Beef prepared in any style – grilled steak, burger, stew. As long as it’s beef, I love it.
What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
Not much, I loved being pregnant. Since I had an active pregnancy, I had no issues with back pain and swollen legs during the final trimester.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My own mama! I appreciated her more during my pregnancy and now that I am a mother myself. It’s not easy being a single mother and my mother has been my pillar of support throughout pregnancy and beyond in the absence of my partner.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I insisted not to do that when my family wanted to know! Come on~ baby boy can wear pink and baby girl can wear blue. In fact, my baby looks good in pink.
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
For sure I got lucky. It was an accident. Haha!
What kind of birth did you have?
I had natural birth without epidural and the pain was excruciating. I felt every single push.
Who was your OBGYN, and where did you give birth? How was your birth experience?
I was contemplating between a team of gynaecologists or a private one. Eventually I had a team of gynaecologists in SGH which is as good as a private one if you’re not fussy. So basically during labor, I was in a delivery ward on my own with doctors and nurses I had never met before. Not a lot of people are fine with that and prefer a doctor they like and trust. I think I’m quite relaxed in choosing my doctor in this case considering this is my first pregnancy. I was very blessed my labor was quick – about 2 hours. I can’t imagine those who undergo 18 hours of labor without epidural.
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
With strong family support, I had a little bit of me time after being pregnant. I resumed yoga, pole dancing and muay thai. Keeping in shape is a secondary bonus. The true motivation is to be able to keep up with Christopher as he grows up. Before I resumed my fitness regime, I also did a photoshoot to celebrate my postpartum body. It felt really good.
Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby?
Singapore has a lot of mama and baby-friendly places. Suntec City Mall and Ion Orchard are good. Bove store is amazing as they have everything and a play area for children. It is very easy to find nursing rooms in Singapore and easy to manoeuvre a stroller on public transportation. You can board the bus with your stroller open now too! As I travel often, I can compare this aspect with other countries. My baby and I are truly blessed to be born and raised in Singapore. Singapore is built for the people.
Any local businesses (or websites) that made your pregnancy journey easier?
Bove have a store at Suntec City Mall and online too! They have a kids gym within the store too and conduct workshops for parents-to-be and mamas. I attended an intensive 6 hours lactation workshop by Mumsfairy in Bove. It was so informative.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
I have so much hope and dreams for my baby and I wrote him an open letter.
Thank you so much, Janice! And many thanks to the talented team at Bambini Photography for the gorgeous photos!