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5 tips for post-delivery mums to maintain a balanced diet

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! You may have gained a few kilos from the pregnancy, and the post pregnancy body may not look pretty. Unless you have your doctor’s recommendation to do so, don’t be in a hurry to shed the weight gain just yet!

Fat gained in pregnancy on various parts of your body are actually stores of energy to help you through childbirth and the energy-sapping months that follow.

Although you were not exactly “eating for two” during pregnancy, you and your baby thrived on nutrients from your body and you need to maintain a healthy diet to restore important nutrients, so that you can be healthy and well to care for your newborn. Furthermore, if you choose to breastfeed, your body needs additional calories and nutrients everyday in order to produce quality milk.

Tips on eating healthy after having a baby

Don’t be surprised, good eating habits and a balanced diet can actually help you lose some of the weight you gained. Here’s a list of our tips for eating well to help you maintain a balanced diet after childbirth:

#1: Drink enough quality fluids

Soups are one of the most nutritious fluids that post-delivery mums can enjoy.

Your body needs a lot of fluids daily, particularly if you are breastfeeding your baby. We all have a preference in the type of fluids we enjoy having, but if you choose quality fluids like water or nutritious soups over bubble tea or sugary drinks, you would already be winning on fueling your body with the necessary nutrients.

#2: Nutrition over quantity

New mothers have high nutritional needs but are often exhausted – you may even find yourself opting to sleep instead of eat. It is good strategy to choose quality food that covers good carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins and trace minerals each time you eat, regardless of the frequency or quantity you eat. (Read: Essential nutrients for pregnant mums are also good for postpartum mothers)

This strategy ensures that you are packing in your needs at every meal. (Read: This recipe for Wholesome Baked Eggs in Avocado packs wholesome good and healthy fats that are good for mothers too.)

#3: Choose natural instead of processed

When you consciously make the decision to pick natural foods over processed food, half the battle is won. For example, rice is a carbohydrate and so is bread, but rice is a much better source of carbohydrate as compared to bread, because it is a natural, whole food that contributes to nutrition instead of empty calories. (Read: Vegetarian mothers can eat natural whole foods too!)

#4: Limit instead of omitting

Post-delivery mums, setting boundaries allows you to truly enjoy your snacks and cravings!

Snacking can be stress relieving for new mothers and it’s entirely normal for us to have cravings from time to time. Emotional or irrational eating is not encouraged, but it is okay to indulge once in a while as a little treat. In fact, telling yourself that “I can’t snack” could backfire and trigger episodes of binge eating. To overcome this, you can decide that “I don’t” eat beyond a certain quantity rather than “I can’t” eat this junk food. Making and honoring your personal decisions on snacking sets helpful boundaries, which empowers you to relax and truly enjoy your treat without guilt or affecting your commitment to a nourishing diet.

#5: Choose quality snacks

A snack of nuts and chocolates makes a satisfying treat of energy boost for new mummies too.

Choose nutritious snacks like nuts, fruits or even good quality dark chocolates when you are not particularly craving for something. These are good opportunities to pack in beneficial nutrients while enjoying a nibble. Breastfeeding mums need an additional 500 calories so making smart food choices help fuel the body too.

We hope you enjoyed these practical tips and that they truly help you in working towards a sustainable, balanced diet. Don’t be surprised; you may also lose some of the pregnancy weight by adopting these tips. Do you have any personal tips that worked for you? We’d love to hear, please share them with us in the comments!

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Pregnancy week 41 – 42: Going past baby’s due date

At week 41, if your expected delivery date has come and gone and your bun is still nestling comfortably in your oven, don’t worry just yet!

Pregnancy Week 41 – 42: Large watermelon

Your baby is now the size of a large watermelon! He may be 55cmto 70cm long and may weigh about 3.5kg to 3.9kg.

As your body gears up for labour, your baby’s endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production, gears upas well for him to send the necessary chemical signals to trigger the labor process.

During this time, your baby will produce more stress hormones than any other time in his life, but rest assure that this is good stress for your baby. These fetal stress hormones are the same ones our body produces in flight or fight response to a life-threatening situation or a stressful event. They help your baby to transition and adapt to their life outside of your uterus in the following ways by helping him breathe, increasing blood flow to your baby’s brain and kidneys, increasing your baby’s immunity and supplying energy to the baby after birth.

There may be changes in your baby’s movements in utero at this stage, because the space your uterus has become much smaller for your baby since he is at his full size and weight now. You should still feel his movements and do consult a doctor if there are any significant decreases in fetal activity.

Going past your estimated delivery date (EDD) – pregnant mum’s emotions

You can’t wait to have your baby and it can feel like the longest weeks of the pregnancy, although it seems like you have just entered the third trimester! On one hand, you may feel tense, restless, frustrated, apprehensive or anxious in one moment due to the uncertainty of labor, or the fear of impending labors pains. On the other hand, you may feel anxious, excitement and happiness on the impending arrival of your baby.

It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re baby is staying longer in your womb than it’s expected due date.

There are a whole lot of feelings going on inside you and you might find yourself having intense, realistic dreams about baby. Feeling tired even if you have had a lot of sleep, and, imagining all kinds of situations about the birth of your baby and your life afterwards is to be expected too.

During this time, telling yourself to relax and stop feeling or thinking is likely to be counterproductive. You are entitled to allow yourself to experience all of these feelings, so take time for it and give yourself the necessary space to do so. Often, acknowledging our own feelings leads to acceptance and even relaxation and better rest, after you’ve been taken care of emotionally.

Changes in your overdue pregnancy body

 From this week onwards, you may be asked to note down baby’s moments and any bodily discomforts or changes you notice. You could also be asked to check in with your gynae more often for assessments on how the baby and yourself are doing.

From week 41 to week 42, mums may be experiencing physical discomfort such as backache, strong pelvic pressure, cramps, frequent urination and the inability to rest well due to these discomforts.

The estimated delivery date, or EDD, given to you by your gynae is a working due date that has a five-day margin of error and is not necessarily the time nature decides to takes its course. In fact, fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, and you are actually not considered overdue until 42 weeks gestation.

There are several signs that help you know when you are going into labor. One sign of impending labor is a bloody show, which is a pink or brown tinged mucus discharge from the rupturing of blood vessels in your cervix in preparation for labor. You may have hemorrhoids, more commonly known as piles, because there is increased blood flow to your pelvic area and the pressure rests on your rectum. You could experience diarrhea too because the internal muscles are loosening in preparation for childbirth. One of the most obvious signs is, when you experience a constant fluid leak that is probably your water bag breaking.

Tips to induce labour when baby is past his due date or over 40 weeks

There are several ways to help “quicken” your baby’s arrival, the most common one of which is a “Stretch and Sweep”, where medical practitioner will separate membranes attached to the amniotic sac with a finger or two during internal examinations. This method will feel uncomfortable, but it is an effective method that can trigger the hormone that stimulates your uterus to begin contractions.

Other ways to speed up labour include eating spicy food, getting an induction massage from a credible therapist, going for walks, squats and having sexual intercourse.

Kudos on the pregnancy journey, and now it’s time to welcome your new baby into the family.

 

Waiting for the arrival of your baby in the final stages is an experience in itself. Now that your hospital bag is packed, your birth plan is ready and you have read our guide to preparing for a new baby, do try to indulge in enjoying the couple and me time available now. You’ll be glad you did!

Did your baby arrive past his or her due date too? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pregnancy Week 33 – 36 

Congratulations! You are in the eighth month of your pregnancy, which means there’s just one more month to go!   

Week 33: Pineapple

Your baby is now about the size of a pineapple! He is between 40 and 48cm long and weighs between 1.7 and 2.1kg.  

This week, your baby’s bones are hardened with the exception of the softer skull which needs to be malleable to fit through your birthing canal in a few weeks. His skin is losing its wrinkles and the immune system is being developed this week. Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one as he continues to develop his fetal immune system, which will come in handy once he’s outside the womb to fend off all sorts of germs. 

During this period of time, about 3 in 4 pregnant mums start to experience third trimester insomnia. With the hormonal changes, midnight bathroom runs, leg cramps, heartburn and your basketball-sized belly, it’s no wonder sleep becomes elusive. Try to make yourself as comfortable as you can – do something that soothes you before bedtime, such as reading a novel, listening to some soft music or drinking a cup of warm, comforting milk; or better yet, get your partner to give you a loving massage because you deserve it! 

 Week 34: Wongbok 

It’s week 34 but you may feel like you’ve been pregnant for longer. Your wongbok-sized darling is working hard on putting on the pounds this week, weighing about 1.9kg to 2.4kg, and is about 40-50cm long. Your little precious one is in a deep sleeping and waking routine now. This is a good time to start talking and singing to your baby as this helps with bonding. 

Pregnant mums, besides talking and singing to baby, you can also start reading to him.

 

This week, you might find yourself being unable to see as clearly as usual. But don’t rush off to get your prescription lenses changed yet because this blurry vision, as with the rest of the discomforts you’ve been experiencing, is another result of pregnancy hormones. While it may be slightly uncomfortable, it usually clears up after the baby is born. 

Week 35: Winter melon 

Intense brain growth is occurring for your baby this week! The neurons and early connections in their brain are developing more so that at birth, they will be able to receive stimulation. So, remember to eat foods rich in DHA and Omega 3 and continue to take in the essential nutrients for pregnancy to help support your baby’s brain growth. 

Your baby will still be gaining around 450g this week and laying down fat cells, which will help to insulate them when they are born. 

You may be a little weepy and prone to emotional meltdowns this week. With the increasing weight you have to bear and all the discomforts stacking up against you, that is perfectly understandable. Do something you enjoy before the baby arrives. Go easy on yourself and rest for a couple of days if you can. Everyone needs a little rest and tender loving care, and guess what? You deserve it now the most! 

Week 36: Celery  

One more week to a full-term baby! Your baby weighs about 2.7kg this week and is about 51cm long. With his pink skin and chubby legs, he’s looking more like an infant now. This week, your precious one’s hearing will become even sharper so don’t forget to continue talking, singing or reading to him! 

If you wake up one morning and find yourself fussing over the tiniest details in the house, and trying to clean every nook and cranny, or you become the newest Marie Kondo convert overnight, that would be the nesting instincts kicking in. Getting anxious about the arrival of a newborn is natural. To alleviate your anxiety, you can start by reading about the necessary preparation for baby’s arrival. Some mums also start buying more baby essentials at this stage or when there are baby fairs or online sales, whichever scores them a better deal. If you have family, friends or colleagues to bless you with hand-me-downs, that’d be even better!  

 Are you feeling ready for the last lap of your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments! 

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Pregnancy Week 29 – 32: Welcome to the Third Trimester

Welcome to the third trimester! In this last lap of pregnancy, one of the symptoms that may return is fatigue. This happens when your body grows larger and makes sleeping difficult. Losing balance and feeling clumsy is something many pregnant mums in their last trimester experience as well as the centre of gravity moves forward. Maintaining good health and continuing with a nutritious diet during pregnancy is important because immunity can be passed onto your baby.

Nesting instincts commonly kick in during the third trimester of pregnancy, and mummies start preparing for the arrival of your new baby.

Week 29: Cabbage

Your little one is about the size of a cabbage, measuring about 38cm in length and 1.1kg in weight. At this point, things are getting a little cramped inside, but you should be able to feel your baby’s movement. Your gynaecologist will also teach you how to count fetal movements such as jabs, kicks or hiccups so that you can monitor your baby’s well-being. If your baby has less than 10 movements per day for two consecutive days, alert your doctor immediately.

You could possibly experience exponential weight gain as your baby fattens up before meeting the world. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes,managing the condition is important to prevent pregnancy complications.

Week 30: Zucchini

At 30 weeks, your baby’s brain is growing rapidly, developing wrinkles and grooves on its smooth surface. The reason for the wrinkles is to increase the amount of brain tissue to allow your baby to prepare for life outside the womb.

Red blood cells that were once produced by the spleen and tissue groups are now being produced by your baby’s bone marrow. Your baby’s eyes can now open wide too!

Though you might feel bloated and exercising may be the last thing on your mind, keeping active throughout pregnancy could help your labour process as oxygen-rich blood courses through your body during exercise. You don’t even have to go to the gym to exercise!

During the third trimester of pregnancy, it’s also a good time to start planning for baby care after baby is here, or after your maternity leave is over.

Week 31: Asparagus

Your baby’s brain can be likened to a computer, and this computer is hard at work making billions of connections between individual nerve cells. His brain is able to process information and track light from his senses. He won’t be able to smell outside scents when he is still enclosed in the womb, but once he is out, he will be able to breathe and process the scents and stenches in this world.

Babies at this age have been seen making faces, hiccuping, swallowing and sucking their thumbs in the womb via ultrasound. Thumb sucking will remain a source of comfort for infants and young children.

Some common pains and aches at this late stage of pregnancy include water retention, swelling (edema) and leg cramps. As contradicting as it sounds, drinking more water actually helps to relieve water retention and flush out toxins.

 Week 32: Butternut Squash

Your baby’s toenails are now visible, 32 weeks into your pregnancy. The lanugo, or soft hairy skin covering, will start to shed off to reveal your baby’s smooth skin. His skin is now more opaque as fat builds up beneath it. Your baby is now practising how to breathe by inhaling amniotic fluid.

As your bump expands, you may experience more itching and stretch marks that can be managed by applying moisturiser liberally to soothe the skin. If you’re feeling miserable waiting out these last few weeks, why not pamper yourself with some retail therapy? Maternity wear has evolved to become chic, versatile pieces that can be worn throughout breastfeeding and even as normal casual and workwear.

How are you coping with being heavily pregnant during your third trimester? Let us know in the comments!

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Breastfeeding Mums, Remember to Care for Your Breasts too

Besides providing nutrition and comfort to your babies, your breasts are bosom buddies that are often neglected too, right breastfeeding mums?

During breastfeeding, you may find that the shape, size and lift of your breasts may change. Caring for your breasts not only makes you feel better but prevents painful problems like mastitis and nipple soreness.

Did you know that our breasts can have stretch marks too? Stretch marks are linked to genetics but can be lightened with moisturising cream.

#1: Moisturise your breasts to lighten stretch marks

 Stretch marks are genetically caused but the appearance of stretch marks can be lightened with over-the-counter creams, stretch mark oils and some mums, say, breastmilk too.

#2: Apply breastmilk to heal cracked nipples

 The best nipple cream is stored in your breasts – that’s right, breastmilk! Breastmilk has been shown to relieve and heal cracked nipples in a shorter time than commercially sold nipple creams containing lanolin. Besides using breastmilk, mums can easily buy nipple creams or balms from shops in Singapore or through online stores. To keep your breastmilk supply up, be sure to avoid these milk killers!

Breastmilk is an amazing liquid that not only helps to moisturise dry skin but can also be frozen to help with your baby’s sore gums when teething.

 #3: You do not need to clean your nipples before latching or pumping

It is a misconception that nipples have to be cleaned before nursing. There is no need to wash with soap and water before each feed, as soaps and shower gels strip off the natural oil produced by the Montgomery glands (those little bumps on your areola) that will cause dry skin and irritation and in worse cases, cracked, painful and bleeding nipples.

In fact, not cleaning your nipples before each feed helps your baby build up his natural gut flora, strengthening his immune system.

#4: Support your bosom buddies

Treat your ladies with care by choosing a nursing bra that supports them well without being too tight. Choose bras that are made from cotton for breathability and comfort. Your breasts should be encased in the bra cups without spilling over or having gaps in between. Ensuring the shoulder straps are at the right length keeps your breasts supported. Some nursing mums prefer to avoid underwire bras due to comfort reasons.

Breastfeeding mums, taking care of your breast is part of self-care too.

#5: Make sure your baby is latching correctly

Improper and infrequent latching can cause painful problems such as sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts and mastitis. A proper latch and frequent 2 to 3 hourly feeding can help to prevent engorgement.

#6: Change breast pads frequently

 At the beginning before your supply stabilises, you may encounter leakages that can be embarrassing if you are outside or at work. Changing breast pads frequently once they get wet can help to prevent cracked nipples. Reusable breast pads are friendlier to the environment but remember to use a fragrance-free detergent when washing to prevent skin irritation.

#7: Seek help from a lactation consultant

 Consulting a certified lactation consultant is a part of breast care as well. Lactation consultants can identify latching issues and the underlying causes such as tongue or lip ties, improper latching method, infrequent nursing and others.

What are some breast care tips you find most helpful for breastfeeding mums? Do share in your comments below!

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Pregnancy week 25 – 28: Baby Bump

It’s the last stage of the second trimester! If you are a pregnant mum in Singapore, and are between 24 to 28 week-long, you will be offered an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test to determine if you have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to tolerate glucose during pregnancy. If the results show that you have gestational diabetes, you will need to modify your diet according to the dietician’s advice and make changes to your lifestyle. Otherwise, read on to see what you can expect during this pregnancy phase!

Week 25: Cauliflower

At Week 25, your baby is the size of a cauliflower. Most of your baby’s vital organs have been formed and your baby’s skin is becoming less translucent. Your baby is active, vigorous and responds to touch and sound. At this stage, you will be able to feel it when your baby is startled.

You may be experiencing a hardening or tightening of the uterus. This is known as Braxton Hicks contractions, and it usually does not cause any pain. It lasts between 30 seconds to 2 minutes and it serves its purpose as “practice contractions”.

Week 26: Kale

Baby is starting to take breaths of amniotic fluid in preparation for life outside the womb. Your baby has already begun to grow eyelashes and his or her pretty eyes will start to open soon. Isn’t that amazing?

Your baby will be going through a major growth spurt, so you have to ensure that you take in enough nutrients to keep your little one growing healthily. Staying hydrated is key in Singapore’s warm and humid climate too. One of the common issues expectant mothers experience at this stage is swelling in feet, legs and hands, which is normal. However, as severe or sudden swelling is a sign of preeclampsia, inform your gynaecologist if this happens to you.

During pregnancy, dads can talk to your baby too!

 Week 27: Lettuce

 Week 27 of the pregnancy is often defined as the last week of the second trimester! Your baby’s lungs have developed but are still immature. Premature babies at this stage have a great chance of survival with modern clinical healthcare advancements, but not to worry, as most mothers will be able to carry their babies to full term. If your baby takes in amniotic fluid and hiccups, you will be able to feel this too! Some mothers have described this feeling as “bubbly”.

At Week 27, your baby bump could be too big for your normal clothes to accommodate. You can consider choosing maternity clothes that flatters your bump and also doubles up as nursing wear!

Along with comfortable maternity wear, consider switching your shoes to a pair of support shoes to prevent accidental ankle sprains, which can be inconvenient during pregnancy. Leg or feet cramps and swollen ankles are common too, so having comfortable support for your new body weight during pregnancy helps make it a more enjoyable journey for you, mummy.

Baby is the size of an eggplant at around week 28 of your pregnancy – wow!

Week 28: Eggplant

In this week, expect your baby to open his or her eyes for the first time in utero! You won’t be able to see it, but you can ask for a 4D ultrasound scan, if your obstetrician provides one. Now the size of an eggplant, your baby continues piling on the kilos to smooth out wrinkles on his or her body.

You may experience shortness of breath as your baby grows bigger and seems to push your lungs and diaphragm. Be sure to take frequent rests if you experience discomfort or any pain. Staying active throughout the pregnancy by doing simple prenatal exercises can help you cope better with the labour process. Try out these simple exercises that you can attempt even at home!

What was the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptom you’ve experienced? Let us know in the comments!

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Pregnancy week 21 – 24: Tips for Pregnant Mums

Now that you are almost at the last leg of your second trimester of this pregnancy, the next few weeks are going to be exciting as a Fetal Anomaly scan is usually conducted on Week 22 of pregnancy.

This scan is done to check if your baby’s organs are developing normally. The sonographer will use an advanced ultrasound machine to scan your baby to detect anyanomalies. During this scan,you will also know the gender of your baby, if you haven’t already found out during prior chromosome tests.

Want to inject some fun during pregnancy? Hold a gender reveal party and have friends and family guess the gender of your baby!

Week 21: Carrot

At this stage, the length of your baby is almost as long as a carrot, as it gains fat to keep warm for life outside the womb. In these few weeks, they will be developing their organs. Buds for permanent teeth are forming. Your baby’s skin is transparent and turning from pink to red as blood vessels form underneath.

At 21 weeks, your bump will change your centre of gravity and could make you feel clumsy. Slowing down your pace may help with establishing balance.

It is essential that you continue with a nutritious diet suitable for pregnant women. If you are vegetarian, fret not, as we have vegetarian meal ideas for mothers-to-be too.

 Week 22: Coconut

In some hospitals, week 22 is when the Fetal Anomaly Scan is conducted. Your baby will be carefully scanned via ultrasound to see if its organs are intact and normal. The sonographer will be able to tell you your baby’s gender. Your baby’s eyes have formed but the irises are still devoid of pigment. If your baby is a girl, mammary glands will start forming from this week. If your baby is a boy, his testes will start lowering into the scrotum.

A gender reveal party can be a fun event where your families and friends gather to guess your baby’s gender!

Do you find that your skin is glowing and your hair is shining? This is due to the extra moisture that your body is absorbing. The increased blood that is pumping in your pregnant body contributes to making your skin glow too.

Pregnant mums need a healthy diet to ensure both mum and baby gets sufficient nutrients for healthy development.

Week 23: Grapefruit

Your baby’s hearing is becoming sharper. The sounds that were muffled are now becoming clearer. Apart from your heartbeat and voice, your baby will start to hear sounds that are further away, like the sound of construction or an ambulance siren. Your baby may respond to sounds in-utero, so continue talking, reading and even singing to your baby!

Constipation or lethargy may hit you due to progesterone, a pregnancy hormone. Bowel movement may become irregular as your baby places pressure on your rectum and slows your system down. Constipation is a symptom that affects about half of all pregnant women. Consuming more fibre can alleviate this problem. If you encounter bleeding from your bottom, let your gynaecologist know.

 Week 24: Cantaloupe

Your baby at 24 weeks is considered to be “viable”, which means that if he or she were to be born unexpectedly, his or her lungs may have developed sufficiently to allow her a chance at survival, with close treatment and monitoring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Extreme prematurity is uncommon and if your pregnancy has been smooth, it is likely that your baby will be born at full term. Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly and he or she is practising various facial expressions in the womb.

If you’re intending to travel, it’s good to note that you will require a medical certificate from your gynaecologist approving travel between Week 29 and Week 36 (uncomplicated single pregnancy) and Week 29 and Week 32 (uncomplicated multiple pregnancy).

To accommodate your new body shape, did you also start buying maternity clothing or breastfeeding apparel during your second trimester?

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Pregnancy week 17 – 20: the start of second trimester

Congratulations and welcome to the second trimester -you’re almost at the halfway mark!

Many pregnant mums call this the “honeymoon period” as their energy levels seem to bounce back during this time. Also, your dresses from pre-pregnancy days might start to feel tighter, so you might want to swap them out for dresses with an elastic waistband or opt for maternity wearto accommodate your growing bump. Many maternity dresses double up as nursing dresses for convenient access when breastfeeding or pumping.

Your baby’s growth will be measured during gynae visits to ensure that your baby’s size is healthy during the second trimester.

Week 17: Pear

Your baby is now the size of a pear! His heart is now beating at a regulated pace of 140 to 150 beats per minute, twice the speed of an adult’s. What’s your week 17 baby doing in the womb? Certainly not slacking off, for sure. Your baby is practising essential movements to prepare for life outside the womb, such as sucking and swallowing.

Their identity will start to be more prominent as swirls and creases start to form on their fingers and toes – yes, those are fingerprints and toe prints!

 As your baby grows bigger and heavier, you’ll feel hungrier and hungrier, like you could really eat a cow! To prevent massive weight gain, try this instead of binging – have more frequent snacks of healthy food in smaller quantities. When planning your meals, make sure that your meals contain the essential nutrients for pregnancy and take note of the foods to avoid. You might also feel your back achingas the second trimester of pregnancy also marks more obvious weight gain. Get a cushion to support your back if your job is deskbound.

During the second trimester, pregnant mums should continue staying active, and consider prenatal exercises when given the green light by their doctors.

 Week 18: Sweet Potato

Your little one at week 18 is now big enough for you to feel most movements he makes. All those twists, rolls, kicks and punches could be strong enough to take you by surprise. You may even feel your baby’s hiccups. Other mummies have described baby hiccups as “bubbles” or a fluttering feeling.

Inside, your baby’s reproductive system is forming and the fallopian tubes and uterus are in proper position for girls and for boys, his genitals will be visible from the next visit.

Some pregnant mums’ feet and ankles start to swell during the second trimester. This is a sign of water retention as your body needs more fluid to support you and your growing baby. To alleviate the effects, keep your legs elevated and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Lines that start appearing on your belly are stretchmarks and while they are mostly genetic, you can use stretch mark creams to keep the skin moisturised as much as possible to minimise the effects.

 Week 19: Mango

Vernix caseosa, a protective covering that prevents your baby from coming out wrinkly at birth, starts to form. A mix of dead skin cells, lanugo and oil, it is your baby’s first anti-wrinkle cream. Your baby’s lungs are developing and the main airways are forming this week.

You could be suffering from constipation due to the pregnancy hormones and iron supplements. Increasing your intake of fluids and fibre may help your condition. Feeling dizzy at times? That’s due to the growing pressure on your blood vessels from your uterus that reduces blood flow and causes you to feel faint. Once you experience such symptoms, sit or lie down immediately to prevent yourself from getting hurt.

Week 20: Banana

Welcome to Month 5! One of the cute things your baby can now do in-utero is sucking her thumb. This sucking reflex is useful for her to self-soothe when she enters the world.

You may be feeling out of breath at times due to your uterus pushing up against your lungs. However, you can still attempt simple exercises at home to keep fit and stay healthy.

Is your husband feeling left out? He doesn’t have to be, as there are many ways that he can help you with the pregnancy.

Are you enjoying your second trimester too, mummies? Do share how different it was from your first trimester!

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Breastfeeding Mums share: 5 Foods that Boost Milk Supply

During the first six months of a baby’s life, breast milk is the perfect food as it is tailored towards the baby’s requirements for healthy development. In addition, breast milk also strengthens the baby’s gut and provides lifelong benefitsfor both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding mums require an extra 300 to 500 calories on top of their daily nutritional requirements. There are certain types of foods which are known to boost breast milk supply. These are known as “milk boosters” and some of which are listed below. However, not all mums have the same reaction, and a milk booster for one mum may be a milk killer for another.

Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated is essential when it comes to breast milk production. 88% of breast milk is water, so be sure to drink at least six to eight glasses of non-caffeinated water.

  1. Dark Leafy Green vegetables

Dark leafy green vegetables are a good source of calcium, iron, folate, Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Incorporate them into your diet by simply blanching these vegetables to retain the maximum amount of nutrients. Examples of dark leafy green vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli and kale, among others. Chock full of fibre to aid digestion, dark leafy green vegetables also contain phytoestrogens that positively affects breast milk production.


2. Avocado

Over 75% of the fatin avocados are good, unsaturated fats. These good fats help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Creamy and mild, avocados can be used to make guacamole, milkshakes and can even be shared with your baby if he or she has started weaning!

Avocados are heart-healthy and help you to keep satiated. Some breastfeeding mums have reported that regular consumption of avocados have resulted in their breast milk becoming creamier!

3. Salmon

Salmon is regarded as a galactagogue as it contains a rich amount of Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. It is one of the few foods that contain natural Vitamin D. Both Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 may help in fending off postpartum depression.

More importantly, salmon contains a large amount of DHA which is important for the development of your baby’s nervous system. DHA is often added to formula milkfor the same reason, in addition to supporting healthy eye and brain development. If you’ve held off eating salmon sashimi during your pregnancy, now’s the time to pamper yourself and boost your breastmilk supply at the same time!

4. Oatmeal

Low iron levels may result in a decreased breast milk supply. Oatmeal is the main ingredient in lactation cookies. Full of nutrition, oats contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, zinc, manganese and calcium.

An excellent source of soluble fibre, oats contain vitamin B that increases energy, regulates your mood and reduces your stress levels! Oatmeal can be eaten as porridge or left in a mug with fresh milk overnight to make overnight oats – a healthy breakfast for breastfeeding mum!


5. Sweet Potatoes

In just one sweet potato, you get all the Vitamin A you need for the day. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision, bone growth, immunity and cell growth. Breastfed babies rely on your diet to absorb the Vitamin A that they require.

High in fibre and potassium, sweet potatoes contain more grams of natural sugars but with more nutrients and fewer calories than a normal potato, making it the healthier choice for breastfeeding mums.

Naturally sweet, sweet potatoes can be served in a multitude of ways in various types of cuisine. Mashed, baked, as chips, the possibilities are endless!

Breastfeeding mums, which foods are your milk boosters? Have you consumed a milk booster that turned out to be a milk killer for you? Let us know in the comments!

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For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 13 – 16: The Start of Second Trimester

Of the three trimesters, the second trimester is said to be the most comfortable and easiest as most nasty symptoms such as nausea and fatigue begin to ease off.

If that doesn’t happen to you, unfortunately you could be one of the few women whose symptoms continue through the fourth and fifth months, or even until delivery.

Let’s see what lies ahead in the second trimester!

The second trimester is when most pregnancy symptoms from the first trimester disappear and the pregnancy is considered stable.

Week 13: Peach

At around the 13th week of pregnancy, your baby’s intestines and vocal cords are developing. From a space in the umbilical cord, the intestines are now making their way into the abdomen. At this young developing stage, some foetuses can even bring their thumb to their mouths!

In the second trimester, you may experience an increase in sex drive and we encourage you to embrace it – sex is a healthy way for couples to maintain intimacy and bond and it will not harm the foetus which is safe in the womb.

To support your growing placenta and foetus, it is imperative that you tweak your diet to include essential nutrients for pregnant mothers. Including more colours in your meal is one way to absorb a wide variety of nutrients.

Week 14: Lemon

 By around week 14, your baby’s intestines start to produce meconium, the black, sticky substance that will be your baby’s first poo. Baby’s digestive system is beginning to develop as well.

Hair starts to sprout on your baby’s body. His or her body will be covered with lanugo, a coating of hair that provides warmth to your baby. This lanugo will shed over time as your baby accumulates fat that will take over this function. Some babies, especially premature ones, are delivered with lanugo that will disappear soon after birth.

At week 14, the baby bump won’t be too big that it obstructs physical activity. In fact, with the increased energy, you can safely continue whatever exercise that you used to do before pregnancy. You could also start some simple exercises at home to stay fit and active even when you are pregnant. Just be sure not to overexert yourself. Your immune system will be weakened as your body does so to prevent your foetus from being rejected by your body. Be sure to load up on vitamins and maintain proper hygiene.

Keeping yourself active during pregnancy helps to increase blood flow and keeps you active with your baby bump


Week 15: Apple

 A foetus at week 15 looks a lot like an actual baby rather than an embryo. Your baby’s ears are now at the sides and the eyes are gradually moving towards the centre. While you might not be able to feel it yet, your foetus is busy practising for life in the world after birth. Your baby is working on the required skills in the comfy confines of your womb, such as breathing, sucking and swallowing, kicking and moving about.

For yourself, the disappearance of morning sickness and increased appetite could result in heartburn or indigestion, which is what happens when too much food is consumed at one time. If this happens to you, try having smaller, frequent snacks about five to six times a day instead of three large meals. This could alleviate pregnancy heartburn.

Do you find yourself becoming more and more forgetful? Thanks to “pregnancy brain”, the loss of brain cells during pregnancy which makes you forget details. Make use of your smartphone to record important information and alerts.

Week 16: Avocado

By week 16, your gynaecologist should be able to distinguish your baby’s gender, but depending on who your gynaecologist is, you may not be able to know until the 22nd week scan, unless you’ve taken the Harmony test in the first trimester.

At 16 weeks, you could be experiencing backaches, larger breasts, constipation and dry or itchy eyes. There is one positive symptom though – your skin starts glowing, and that’s the “pregnancy glow” that everyone talks about!

The tiny bones in your foetus’s ears have started to form and this is when your foetus can hear your voice from inside the womb. Studies have shown that babies after birth recognise sounds and songs that were sung to them in the womb!

What were some of the pregnancy symptoms you encountered during weeks 13 to 16? Let us know in the comments!