Secrets of a Yummy Mummy

Relief for Common Pregnancy Complaints

I spent both my pregnancies looking for relief from various side-effects of pregnancy.  Here are some things that worked for me:

1.  Morning sickness – I never had “morning sickness”.  I was nauseous from morning until night without fail.  Not enough to throw up but enough to make even the simplest activities a challenge.  I found relief from ginger candies and eating small meals throughout the day that were carb heavy.  I also kept a stash of saltine crackers in my purse for emergencies.  Also worth trying is the Spoiled Mama’s Happy Mornings Sippin’ Tea a 100% organic blend of stomach settling herbs.

2.  Heartburn –  This was a real problem during my first pregnancy.  Apparently higher levels of progesterone in your body causes the valve at the top of your stomach to relax which allows stomach acids to enter your esophagus.  Combine this with a baby that is competing with your organs for room in your abdomen and you get a bad case of heartburn.  The usual advice is to eat small meals and avoid spicy and fatty foods but this wasn’t enough for me.  I had to turn to Gaviscon which contains an acid neutralizer and also forms a foam that floats on the top of your stomach contents thus blocking acid from reaching your esophagus.

3.  Leg Cramps – A sudden cramp in my calf woke me up from numerous nights sleep and I have to admit I didn’t handle them well.  I’d be surprised if my screams weren’t heard by our neighbours at the time.  Leg cramps are caused by low levels of calcium and magnesium so taking a supplement should help.  I would also make time for a foot massage the next day at my favourite place Gao’s.

4. Sciatica – Literally a pain in the butt.  By the end of the second semester and into the third your baby’s weight is resting on your pelvis and can compress your sciatic nerve.  It’s difficult to find something that will relieve the pain all together but I found I felt better after Pilates class (I love Flex in Wong Chuk Hang.  They have prenatal Pilates classes every week).  Not staying in 1 position for too long whether it was sitting or standing and sleeping with a pillow between my knees also helped.


Big News HK: Sassy Mama & Yummy Mummy Asia Join Forces
June 20, 2012, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Kids Stuff, Other Stuff | Tags: ,

This just in: Sassy Mama and Yummy Mummy Asia, two of Hong Kong’s go-to websites for in-the-know mamas, are taking their combined expertise, passion and multitude of tips and tricks, and joining forces to become a brand spankin’ new version of Sassy Mama, the ultimate website for Hong Kong mamas.

The new and improved super site has you covered, providing you with inspiring local content and loads of insider know-how to help you navigate and keep pace with the modern, ever-changing world of parenting in one of the most dynamic cities in the world – Hong Kong. You’ll find informative articles on things to do with kids, an essential Mama’s directory for everything an HK mum needs to know, expert tips and on the pulse reviews for family friendly shops, activities and restaurants. In addition to keep you up-to-speed on the latest family-related additions to the HK scene, the new Sassy Mama also offers informative travel and activity guides, and inspirational That Mama interviews. (Psst: Keep an eye out for an upcoming interview with Nine Month’s very own Super Mama).

To celebrate this exciting news, Sassy Mama has organised the Mama of all Summer Giveaways featuring a prize hamper loaded with all sorts of sweet treats for you and the kiddies – including pampering at The Intercontinental’s I-Spa, a platinum pilates package from Flex Studio, an ‘it’ bag from Kotur, a family day at Play, and lots more. To be in with a chance of winning and to check out our new and improved site just click here.

Sassy Mama tip: For every friend you enter into the competition, you receive an extra entry so spread the news!

Must-have Basics for Breastfeeding

I wish someone would have told me how difficult breastfeeding can be when I was having my first baby.  I thought it would be a walk in the park and it was anything but.  The sad truth is that some women find it incredibly difficult and I was one of them.  I’m not sure anything really helps except a huge amount of patience and persistance but here are a few must-have’s to help you along.

1.   Herbal Tea – The jury is still out on milk stimulating herbal teas but it’s one of those things that can’t hurt to try if you’re having difficulties.  There are a number of different herbs that are said to help your breasts produce milk but Fenugreek seems to be the most effective and should be the main ingredient.  The Spoiled Mama‘s More Milk Please Sippin’ Tea is made from 100% organic ingredients and is said to increase breast milk supply within hours of use.

2.   Nursing Cover – One of the most useful items to purchase is a nursing cover.  I sometimes see women struggling with a scarf or something similar when a nursing cover would make life so much easier at minimum cost.  The best ones are made from thin cotton maternial with an adjustable strap to go around your neck and a  stiff front neckline that gives you a full view of your nursing baby.  Udder Covers makes super stylish ones in 6 different patterns that won’t hurt the pocketbook.

3.   Glamourmom Tank – The Glamourmom tank is a must-have for all mums who have established a good breastfeeding routine with their baby.  Glamoumom tanks offer full support with easy breast access all while keeping the belly fully covered.  Perfect on their own or under a sweater or flowing top.

4.   Nursing Bras & Nightwear – Gone are the days of plain Jane nursing bras and underwear and not a moment too soon.  Just because you might not feel your sexiest doesn’t mean you should go the route of frumpy undergarments.  Belabumbum is loved by many celebrities mums and with good reason and the nursing bras are so comfortable you can wear them during pregnancy.

All available at
NineMonths Maternity Boutique
5/F Tung Yiu Commercial Building
31A Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong
P: 2868.5988

Pregnancy Etiquette 101
August 12, 2011, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Other Stuff | Tags: , ,

There is proper etiquette for most things in this world and interacting with a pregnant woman is no different.  I find that appropriate manners are sometimes overlooked so here’s a refresher.

  1. Don’t touch her belly – A pregnant woman already feels fat.  There is no need to rub her belly and make her feel like a walking Buddha.  If you feel compelled and can’t stop yourself always ask permission first.
  2. Don’t comment on how large she is – There is nothing worse than hearing “you must be having twins” when you aren’t.
  3. Don’t discuss an awful birth experience – We all know that not every birth is a walk in the park but the last thing she wants to hear is how awful it could be.  What’s worse is that the horrible story generally ends in “but I’m sure that won’t happen to you” which is true but that scenario will be running through her mind for the rest of the day.
  4. Don’t invite her out to a bar – She’s not drinking and hanging out in a place surrounded by people drinking is likely the last thing she wants to do.  Though the lure of yummy food will generally spark some genuine interest.

And now some tips for the pregnant ladies:

  1. Dress appropriately – Be proud of your body but don’t expose yourself unnecessarily.  Your clothes should always fit properly ie. the front of the garment should never be shorter than the back because of your growing tummy.  Invest in maternity clothes early so you don’t look like a person who is just trying to “make do” with what’s in your closet for 9 months.
  2. Don’t forget your manners – There’s a pretty high likelihood of you running into a “tummy rubber’ at least once during your pregnancy.  And with your hormones running wild you might feel compelled to put them in their place.  I’ve found that just taking a small step back is generally enough to correct the offensive behavior without looking like a crazy person.

Surviving A Summer Pregnancy
June 14, 2011, 1:26 pm
Filed under: Fitness & Nutrition, Other Stuff | Tags: , ,

The recent heatwave in Hong Kong has prompted me to write this post.  Last year at this time I was pregnant and not happy.  I remember walking up Wellington Street at a snails pace because of the heat and the fact that my body temperature was just a couple degrees higher than usual making it totally unbearable.  The only thing that made me happy was my daily popsicle or slurpee.  Not great for the sugar levels but a necessity none-the-less.  I vowed then never to be pregnant in the summer again.  Since we all know we’re not going to plan our pregnancy’s around the seasons here are my tips for staying cool…

  1. Visit a local swimming pool – luckily there are a lot of swimming pools in Hong Kong.  Many of us are blessed with one where we live or we belong to a club that has a pool.  If you aren’t one of the lucky ones you can find a listing of all the public pools in Hong Kong here.  Alternately, most hotels in Hong Kong will offer their pool to non-guests for a daily fee.
  2. Drink water – some people think that the more water you drink the more swollen you are going to get but the opposite is true.  Usually we are supposed to get 8-10 glasses a day but during the heat of summer it’s necessary to increase that.  I always had a water bottle with me and drank from it constantly. Remember dehydration is the number one cause of pre-term labour.
  3. Stay out of the sun and cover yourself with sunscreen – we all want to avoid the dreaded linea negra as much as possible and staying out of the sun is the best way to do this.  Of course most of us will see a faint line but if you lie in the sun without sunscreen it will make the line much darker.  I know this because during my first pregnancy I decided to take a trip to Bali mid-pregnancy.  I sat in the sun without thinking and ended up with the darkest linea negra that took months to disappear.  Second pregnancy, no sun and no linea negra.
  4. Treat yourself with fruit and other food items that contain a high concentration of water – watermelon was my favorite fruit last summer.  There is nothing better than a piece of cool watermelon when you are pregnant….well, maybe a popsicle or slurpee 🙂

Go Organic
May 19, 2011, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Other Stuff | Tags: , , ,

I never really made a point to eat organic food until I found I was pregnant.  We switched from store-bought US chicken to organic, free-range chicken from Australia and haven’t looked back since (I have always been a bit disturbed by the size of US chicken compared to other chicken).  Beef and eggs were added shortly after.  By choosing organic you avoid hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified ingredients that frankly aren’t great for you pregnant or not.  And studies have shown that beef that is organic contains less fat and 5 times more omega-3 oil than non-organic beef.  The only draw back to going organic is the cost.  Here are the top foods that are worth the added cost:

  1. Potatoes – this was a shocker for me.  I had no idea that potatoes have the highest level of pesticide contamination of all veggies.
  2. Beef – for the reasons outlined above, organic beef is better.  Additionally, a 2007 study examined women who ate conventionally raised beef while pregnant and found that their sons had 24% lower sperm count later in life and were 3 times more likely to be infertile than the sons of women who chose organic beef while pregnant.
  3. Milk – non-organic milk is full of the antibiotics and grown hormones that are fed to the cows to make them produce more milk accompanied by pesticide contamination from the grass that the cows eat.
  4. Apples – have the highest level of pesticide contamination of all fruit.

Foods that are safe to eat non-organic include bananas, avocado, pineapple, kiwi, mango and papaya because of the skin.  Brocolli, asparagus, cabbage and onions all face very little threat from pests so need less pesticides.

If you are looking for fish and organic meat to be delivered to your door try South Stream Seafoods who I have been using for 3 years now.  Organic veggies are easy to find in your local supermarket but if you would prefer home delivery try Homegrown Foods (although I think they are a bit on the expensive side).

Little Steps Launches in Hong Kong
October 8, 2010, 9:28 am
Filed under: Kids Stuff, Other Stuff | Tags:

Welcome Little Steps, the newest online resource for parents in Hong Kong. Launched by Shea and Amie, Little Steps brings you the inside scoop on what to do, buy and discover in Hong Kong with your kids.   Their website is packed full of useful information and you can also sign up for their weekly newsletter to have new tips sent straight to your mailbox. It couldn’t be more convenient!