Gorgeous Singapore maternity photos in Sassy Mama’s ‘The Bump’!
This month’s ‘The Bump’ is Malaysian mama Jinnee Lim, who gave birth to her first child – a beautiful baby girl! – the first week in March. An Executive Director at a global private bank, Jinnee not only takes a stunning photo, but shares her thoughts on how she takes lots of working mama inspiration from her own mother, who raised a brood of 5 kids!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
My husband and I were in Southern France when I first experienced nausea over coffee. I wasn’t 100% certain that I was pregnant; I thought it was probably the heat (it was a super hot summer) that made me unwell. Once I got back to Singapore, the first thing I bought was a pregnancy test kit. When the indicator showed a positive, I woke my husband up (it was 1am) and broke the good news to him. I was super excited, but nervous at the same time because starting a family is a big deal!
Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
I always look forward to my monthly check-up because I get to see my baby during the ultrasound. Once during the ultrasound, she turned her face and stuck out her tongue. I thought that was the cutest moment ever! My doctor managed to capture that moment. I think this baby is going to be a real cheeky monkey when she comes out!
Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
I am very blessed to be surrounded with many mothers who constantly share their stories and tips to help me prepare for motherhood – their experiences have enriched my learning and gave me a better idea what type of mother I aspire to be for my baby.
In terms of reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford were useful references throughout my pregnancy. I also love the Ovia Pregnancy app, which tracks daily development of my pregnancy and baby’s growth (including fruit of the week feature as indication of the size of my baby).
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Do not over think, over plan or over worry about the 9-month journey. Also, do not assume your life as it is will go for a toss just because you are going to be a parent.
Many people and online groups will give you conflicting views about every aspect of pregnancy and parenthood. Just stay positive and be open to all possibilities / unexpected surprises and you’ll have a positive experience.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
I’ve been lucky to have a smooth pregnancy with no typical symptoms such as severe morning sickness or lack of energy. As such, my regular activities were not materially affected in the 1st and 2nd trimester. I only gained 4 – 5 kg by the end of the trimester. The most difficult trimester has to be the third –I suffered bad constipation and it was harder to remain active due to a weaker pelvic muscles.
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
I believe it is crucial to remain active while pregnant, so I continued to exercise during my pregnancy. I had to stop my intensive personal training, so I switched to Pilates twice a week and have had other activities to keep me mobile on non-Pilates days (such as long walks, gym workouts, or gentle stretching in front of the TV).
I also participated in a 100-day step counting challenge as incentive to keep me active – especially on work days – and managed a daily average of 8,200 steps.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Being pregnant does not mean saying bye bye to looking good. As a matter of fact, you should look good and celebrate the cute bump and show it off!
I also don’t believe pregnancy equals baggy, frumpy maternity wear. As such, I bought normal (non-maternity) clothes in larger sizes and invested in a few staple maternity bottoms (jeans, shorts, skirts). That way, you can still mix and match your regular wardrobe with your maternity clothes. I have less than 10 pieces of “real” maternity clothes in my wardrobe, I think.
Have you had any weird and wonderful cravings?
Thankfully, I’ve had no special cravings throughout my pregnancy. I’ve had great appetite throughout my pregnancy and ate almost everything (except raw food, of course). I always reminded my husband how lucky he was that he did not have to do the late night runs to the convenience store / hawker centre to satisfy my cravings.
What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
One word – constipation! Even after upping my water intake to 2 litres a day and taking lots of fibres as well as prune juice before bed, the problem’s persisted throughout my pregnancy.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
Can I name two? My mom and my mom-in-law.
My mom: It is not easy being a mother to 5 rascals, but she persevered and has made so many sacrifices for my siblings and me. Despite being a busy businesswoman, she always seems to have time for her children. I hope I can juggle my career and being a mom as well as she did.
My mom-in-law: I am inspired by her patience, humility and efficiency. She is a superwoman with an endless supply of energy. I don’t know what is her secret, but I definitely need to find out now that I am going to be a mother.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
Do find out in advance!
Reason #1: It helps you and your partner to bond with your baby better when you can refer to your baby as a “he” or “she”.
Reason #2: There’s a lot of preparation required before your baby’s arrival and some of the activities are gender-dependent. You do not want to be stressed with these outstanding tasks only after the baby is born because you’ll be too tired and pre-occupied with the baby then.
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
We’re very lucky – It just happened 🙂
I think it is too stressful to track and follow a strict plan. Furthermore, with planning comes expectations, and you may be disappointed. So, my husband and I have decided much earlier that if it (pregnancy) happens, it happens.
What kind of birth did you have? (hospital, home, epidural, c-section, with a doula, etc.).
I had a natural birth without epidural. I heard a lot of horror stories about labour pain and read up the risks associated with epidural injections (albeit rare). I thought “Hey, if our mothers’ generation and generations before can do this without drugs, we the modern women definitely can do it too!”
Who was your OBGYN, and where did you give birth? How was your birth experience?
Dr. Adelina Wong at Thomson Medical Centre. Overall, I had a positive experience and everything went according to my birth plan (thanks to Dr. Wong and the amazing nursing staff at TMC). Thankfully my labour wasn’t too long (5 hours), and the hypnobirthing breathing techniques that I have been practicing helped tremendously to manage pain throughout the labour process.
One thing I would like to highlight is, husbands should never underestimate their value in the delivery room. My husband was the best breathing coach and cheerleader ever! He gave me so much strength to overcome the surges and to get to the finishing line.
Any local businesses (or websites) that have made your pregnancy journey easier?
My husband and I attended antenatal classes with Four Trimester Singapore, and found the course extremely helpful in guiding us to make decisions with regard to birth options and newborn care. Upon course completion, we felt more confident and prepared to face the parenthood journey that lies ahead of us.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
First of all, I hope for my baby to enter this world safely and healthily. Then, I would love for her to grow up into a happy and confident girl, someone who follows her passions and lives life to the fullest.
Thank you so much, Jinnee, and best of luck to you and your husband in the weeks to come! Many thanks to the super-talented Hart Tan of Tomato Photo for the gorgeous snaps!