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.


Packing A Hospital Bag

A properly packed hospital bag will make your labour and hospital stay more comfortable.  If you are having a c-section then you know your delivery date in advance.  If you are planning a natural birth you should have your hospital bag packed at 35 weeks.  Here’s my list for a private hospital stay:

Nursing PJ’s or Nightie – during labour and delivery you will wear a standard hospital gown but during your stay you will likely be receiving guests so you’ll need something that is nice enough but comfortable and enables you to nurse easily.  Nursing PJ’s by Olian Maternity include bottoms, nursing top, robe and matching baby onesie.

Comfortable Maternity/Nursing Clothes – if you don’t want to wear sleepwear then a comfortable maternity outfit will work.  LA Made’s Noah Pants are loose fitting cotton/lycra trousers with a foldover waist which are perfect if you’ve had a c-section.  Everly Grey’s Lizzie Nursing Top is made of comfortable fabric and is available in green or navy.  Save the Glamourmom Nursing Tanks for after you arrive home and have established a good breast feeding routine.

Milk Producing Tea – I have always spent the beginning days worrying about my milk coming in so I’ve sipped More Milk Please Sippin’ Tea from the Spoiled Mama.  It’s 100% organic and tastes yummy.

Nipple Balm – this is an absolute must!  There are some organic ones available like Earth Mama Angel Baby or you could go with the old favorite Lansinoh but I find it too sticky.

Tummy Butter or Oil – you should continue massaging oil and cream into your tummy for a month after birth to ensure you don’t get stretch marks.  The Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter and Bump Gloss are my favorites because they are organic and lightly fragranced with essential oil.

Socks & Sweaters – hospitals tend to keep the temperature quite low so I have always needed socks and a sweater even in the height of Hong Kong’s summer.  A cardi or wrap is more suitable than a pullover.

Lip Balm

Evian Spray – you might like a refreshing spray during labour.

Mobile Phone and charger – I spent a lot of time during my hospital stay texting with friends.

Magazines, DVD’s, IPad – anything to help you pass the time and relax.  I had a portable DVD player that was a lifesaver.  Don’t forget chargers.


Digital Camera with charger

Outfit to go home in – you’ll still be wearing your maternity clothes as it will take time for your tummy to go down.

Nursing bras – 2 should be enough.

Nursing pads

Toiletries – your stay will last anywhere from 3-5 days and it’s always nice to be using your own products rather than those provided by the hospital.

Not-so-nice undies – Don’t bother bringing your favorite pair because they will be ruined.  Think cotton, black and comfortable.

Eye masks & ear plugs – If you don’t have a private room you might be dealing with a noisy neighbour.

It’s not necessary to pack anything for baby as it’s usually all provided by the hospital but it is best to call in advance to confirm.  Just remember to arrange an infant car seat for the journey home.

Stretch Mark Products I Love

I’m 24 weeks now and my main focus is avoiding stretch marks.  I have a prevention routine from my last pregnancy which I am sticking to for this pregnancy.  I take a prenatal vitamin that contains selenium, and I apply a cream in the morning and an oil at night to the areas that are “growing”.  There are a few products that I love and I tend to use them all at the same time depending on my mood and the fragrance that I am into at that moment.  I try to avoid body products that have artificial ingredients and I focus on products free of preservatives, parabens and petroleum derivatives.

Here are my current favorites:

Glowology Elasticity Oil

Glowology Elasticity Oil by Noodle & Boo – This oil never feels heavy and has a light fragrance of candy.  Made with grape seed oil and calendula extract, it calms and soothes skin and relieves itchiness.  I use this every night because I really love the smell at the moment.  Available at Seibu Department Store, Pacific Place Mall, 88 Queensway, Admiralty 2971-3888.


Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm

Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous Stretch Mark Balm – This is my newest purchase and I’m hooked.  An intensive blend of shea butter, coconut oil and vitamin E with a very light fragrance of rosemary which I find refreshing.  Available at Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road 3695-3388.

Bella B Tummy Honey Butter

Bella B Tummy Honey Butter – This was my favorite for my last pregnancy but they have since changed the formulation slightly.  According to their website it’s supposed to smell like cocoa butter but it smells like roses to me which I’m not that keen on.  The consistency now is similar to Vaseline which isn’t ideal but I have to admit that this was my go-to product last pregnancy and I am stretch mark free.  Available at Eugene Club Centre, 4/F Lane Crawford House, 70 Queen’s Road 2628-3777.

Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter

Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter – Super creamy and moisturising, this Tummy Butter is free from all chemicals including artificial fragrance.  Made with cocoa butter, shea butter and a variety of different organic oils, it creates a protective shield which locks in moisture.  It’s totally non-greasy so you don’t have to worry about it getting on your clothes.  Available at Nine Months Maternity, 5/F Tung Yiu Commercial Building, 31A Wyndham Street 2868-5988.


How to Beat Morning Sickness
January 28, 2010, 11:10 am
Filed under: Other Stuff | Tags: , ,

Whoever coined the term “morning sickness” obviously was never pregnant.  Perhaps it was a mouthful to call it  “all day sickness”  or “morning and night sickness”.  Truth be told morning sickness can hit in the morning, afternoon, evening or you can be one of the lucky mums-to-be that is sick all day, everyday.  I have a friend that hugged the toilet bowl for her entire pregnancy which is the main reason why she still only has one child.  Here are my tried and true remedies for morning sickness that won’t eliminate it completely but will make it more bearable.  And remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel…the nausea should subside by the end of your first trimester.

  1. Saltine crackers -This is by far the most effective morning sickness remedy and it came to me from my mum.  The trick is to leave a few saltines on your bedside table and eat them immediately upon waking before sitting up or getting out of bed.  Dry as the Sahara desert so not the most appealing way to start your day but definitely effective in the fight against morning sickness.  Also, keep a stash in your purse for those sudden waves of nausea throughout the day.
  2. Ginger candies – These are particularly good if you have morning sickness in the afternoon or evening as you’ll likely get bored of the saltines as the day progresses.  I had a little tin of organic ginger candies from Three-Sixty that I carried around with me everywhere I went.  Every time I felt a wave of nausea I quickly popped one in my mouth and it seemed to make me feel slightly better.  I have since tried to find the same candies for a friend with no luck but you should get similar results with crystallized ginger also available at Three-Sixty.
  3. Eat small frequent meals – That is if you can eat a meal at all.  I’ll admit that most of the time I was nauseous I only consumed saltine crackers and ginger candies.  Obviously that isn’t ideal but you do what you have to do to get through it.
  4. Anti-nausea tea – The Spoiled Mama makes an anti-nausea tea called Happy Mornings Sippin’ Tea which is a blend of  known anti-nausea herbs such as peppermint, ginger, spearmint and raspberry leaf.  Don’t expect a miracle in one cup though.  This is something you should be sipping all day.

Happy Mornings Sippin' Tea


‘Tis the Season – Fabulous Gift Ideas for Mums-to-Be…

It’s the holiday season again which means buying gifts for loved ones.  Here are my top 5 gift ideas for mums-to-be:

Pregnancy massage – Mums-to-be generally feel tired and suffer from back aches, swollen legs and ankles and sometimes even sciatica.  A pregnancy massage can help alleviate all these nasties and also give a much needed hour of rest in the middle of the day.  The Sutherland-Chan Centre has gift certificates for all treatments and their expert therapists can also recommend special exercises that will help with the aches and pains of pregnancy.  If a full body massage is too much consider a foot massage which is also a great gift idea as long as mum-to-be is past her first trimester.

Pregnancy and baby books – You can never have too many points of reference when you are pregnant.  Books on pregnancy and baby books are a great gift idea especially for the first time mom.  My favourite was “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway.  If you’d prefer something with more humour “Dummies for Mummies” by Hong Kong’s own Sarah Brennan is a good choice.

Dummies for Mummies by Sarah Brennan

Pregnancy Journal – A pregnancy journal is a book that allows you to record your month to month pregnancy journey. Questions prompt mum-to-be to capture the most important moments of pregnancy. It provides room to record doctor visits, baby’s development, the physical changes and symptoms, and room for pictures.  Pregnancy Journals are also great keepsakes.  Notable ones include Tummy Talk and The Essential Organizer “40 weeks +” & “Birth to 1 Year” which helps keep track of baby’s development in the first year.

Tummy Talk Pregnancy Book

Cashmere Wrap – There is nothing like snuggling up during the Winter season and a cashmere wrap is the coziest item around.  This is a decadent gift but it’s a classic so it’s the gift that keeps on giving even after the baby is born.  Notable designs from Madeleine Thompson and  Eric Bompard.

Madeleine Thompson Cashmere Wrap

Organic Body Products – Nothing says love more than oils and creams that will stop stretch marks!  Mums-to-be should start applying twice a day from 4 months to 1 month after birth which means she will be going through a lot of product.  Look for organic brands free from synthetic additives such as parabens, phthalates, petroleum derivatives and synthetic fragrances.  Notable brands include The Spoiled Mama and Earth Mama.

The Spoiled Mama Ultimate Gift Set


Top Tips to Prevent Stretch Marks
September 3, 2009, 5:07 am
Filed under: Skincare | Tags: , , , ,

Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter

Spoiled Mama Tummy Butter

Ask any woman what their top concern is when they get pregnant and most will say stretch marks.  Although genetics play a role, there are steps you can take to minimize them.  Keep your ever expanding belly well-moisturized with products specially designed to prevent stretch marks. This will increase the elasticity of your skin which is key in keeping stretch marks at bay.  Start applying a good quality belly oil and cream twice daily at four months and continue until at least a month after giving birth. Concentrate on areas of your body that are expanding (ie. belly, bum, breasts & thighs) and alternate products morning and night. Massaging your skin increases circulation and the ingredients in the oil and cream will keep skin supple and enhance collagen production.  It is very important to use products that are free from all synthetic additives such as parabens, phthalates, petroleum derivatives and synthetic fragrances as it has been suggested that these can affect your baby.  Be sure to choose products that are organic, made from natural ingredients and fragranced with essential oils. Notable brands include:  Spoiled Mama, Bella B, & Earth Mama.