My gynae broke the news to me on February 2018 that I was pregnant. I was elated and was counting down the weeks till I could disclose this news to my family and friends. As I started to prepare myself emotionally, mentally and physically for the little one growing inside me, I had all these questions about my new baby…”How could I love a new baby as much as I love my first”, “How will I manage with another baby, and still find time for my child”, “How do I ensure that I stay in shape, be in good health, and find time for work, and family” and the list goes on.
Full disclosure- I gained 20 kilos during my first pregnancy and keeping pace with my weight gain this time round was top on my list. As baby grew, and so did my appetite, I knew I had to make all the mindfulness and calories count. I told myself that I have to start on my “Wellness Baby moon Journey” pronto.
These were my guidelines:
- My wellness routine has to be simple and stress free.
- I had to find activities to connect with my partner.
- I want to relax and pamper myself.
I stepped foot in Como Shambhala Singapore in April this year and was determined to stay in shape with twice a week pre-natal yoga classes. I got acquainted with my prenatal yoga instructor, Lay Peng. Lay Peng is a petite pint size fire cracker, she stood only slightly above my shoulder but her hearty laughter would fill up our studio as she helps me get out of my awkward looking yoga poses. The practice I had with her was unique. In my personal opinion she was not just a yoga instructor, she was my spirit animal. I felt that with her guidance or “protection” I was able to ease into this second pregnancy with a lot less anxiety. In fact she taught me so much that just narrating all I’ve learnt from her would easily fill up a few pages of this editorial, but for your sake, these are the valuable tips that I learnt throughout my pregnancy wellness journey.
- When a woman is pregnant, she is in a state of yoga, a union with herself and her growing baby. Every thought you have and every action you make impacts how baby grows, thinks, and feels inside you.
- Foster a deeper relationship with your growing baby. Through mindfulness and breath-work, you can begin to cherish and appreciate the growing life inside of you.
- Tone your pelvic floor. For a more controlled birth and reduction in complication during labor and for a speedy recovery post birth.
- Discover the wisdom of your body. Learn to trust in your instincts during the process of birth and motherhood as part of your body’s natural rhythms.
- Gain mental strength and confidence to know what is good or not good for you and your baby.
- Release fear and anxiety associate with labor and pending motherhood.
- Gain motivation to continue a lifelong journey of wellness.
- Move with your partner and get him involved in your fitness and wellness journey.
As I go through my weekly routine with Lay Peng, she sparked my interest in eating and living well. I learnt from her about the foods I should be eating to nourish baby and myself. I started to prepare my own low calorie meals, of which some of them I’ve shared on Om & Away’s Instastories. In fact this pregnancy diet was so high in fiber and nutrition that I didn’t have any constipation or body ache symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy. This is quite a feat considering that I am years older after the birth of my first child. This pregnancy I gained only a mere 13 kilos, and my baby was at an ideal weight of 3 kilos. In fact, I used to joke that despite being pregnant, I could still float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. All because finding a balance through exercise and the right diet made the difference.
Here are some of the super foods that I’ve added to my diet that I would highly recommend anyone to consume, even if you are not pregnant. If you need to learn about the recipes for any of theses foods, please feel free to write to us and I will be happy to share them with you.
- Cocoa powder
- Home made almond milk
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
- Turmeric powder
- Rasberry tea leaf
- Green tea
- Fermented foods
As my pregnancy entered the third trimester, I took the opportunity to attend a weekend long get-away at the Four Seasons Hong Kong. I know most of you would be curious as to why I picked Four Seasons Hong Kong for my baby moon despite having an entire list of retreat options at Om & Away. I made this choice because I wanted to find activities to connect with my husband, and still find time to spend with my toddler. I brought my husband and toddler along on the trip so that I could fit in a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland after the retreat. The customized wellness baby moon included gym work with a personal trainer (my husband joined me in this workout), yoga, a pampering massage, and journaling exercise with a life coach.
This baby moon gave me the chance to pause, refill and reset and take in all that has happened at home, at work and during my pregnancy. It was a much-needed break, as I experienced spiritual healing and new state of mindfulness after those sessions. Since this baby moon was a customized one-on-one session with various mentors and health practioners, I felt a little isolated, as I could not meet with other mothers. I would highly recommend participants who want to embark on a baby moon to bring a friend along or make new friends during the retreat to sweeten the deal. Attending a baby moon will also be a great opportunity to grow existing friendships and new support groups outside of your home environment.
Hand to heart, this wellness journey that I’ve embarked throughout my pregnancy was incredible as I opened my heart, mind and soul to explore new things. I tapped into what I’ve learnt to provide a conducive environment for myself and my baby to grow and learn alongside with me. I could feel the strong bond with my baby as she grew with me along this journey.
All women go through different journeys when they are pregnant. No belly the same, and no baby the same. But the end goal is the same; to have a happy healthy baby; and a big hear full of love. If you are a mum-to-be, I urge you to try embark on your wellness journey or consider going on a baby moon as you will receive both short and long term benefits like I did. Once you have done this and given your best, then you can surrender yourself to the outcome and birth with love. I wish you all the very best.
Be Good To Yourself
Om & Away’s Co Founder, Elaine Soh