Cheryl’s Pregnancy Journey – The Essentials

This pregnancy has been a roller coaster ride for me and it’s a journey that requires adapating and relearning due to the constant changes to my body, especially in this final trimester. Often, just as I thought I’ve found my groove and routine back, a new wave of discomfort kicks in and the cycle to relearn and adapt to these new changes starts again. With the many changes and ups and downs I’ve been through during this 9 months, there are some things that have helped me tide over the crappy nauseating first trimester, and honeymoon second trimester (albeit the occasional bouts of tummy troubles), and the tiring third trimester. I’ll like to share these with you and hope they will come in handy for you too!

1. Gaviscon

Tummy troubles have been my number one nemesis throughout these 9 months so first on my list is definitely Gaviscon. I was recommended to this magic potion by a fellow mom-to-be when I was facing endless morning sickness and gastric pains during my first trimester. It helps relieve gastric pain especially after constantly emptying out my stomach. My second trimester has been smooth on the whole but there are times when I ate something that didn’t agree with the baby. This usually would result in a trip to the toilet with me wrapping my arms around the toilet bowl again but Gaviscon is always there to the rescue. When I was down with my unfortunate bouts of food poisoning and gastric fllu, the doctor’s best prescription was carbon charcoal pills and Gaviscon. The advice I was sent home with was to ALWAYS have Gaviscon in the medicine cabinet. So for all you moms-to-be, do consider storing a bottle in your fridge for emergencies. Fortunately I haven’t had heartburns in this third trimester, but indigestion remains a problem for me. Regardless, both conditions which are part and parcel of the third trimester can be easily alleviated by Gaviscon! And don’t worry, as long as you follow the prescribed dosage by the doctor, it’s completely safe for you and the baby.

2. Surround yourself with positivity

Pregnancy, especially if it’s your first like mine, is a whole new world of unknown things happening that makes you constantly question about the wellbeing of your baby. Googling every symptom is not a good idea as it causes undue anxiety and worrying. A good gynae who puts you at ease with just the right amount of information is all you need. I love my gynae Dr Paul Tseng at Thomson Medical Centre as he doesn’t overwhelm us with unnecessary details or put my body to unnecessary tests or screenings. His calm persona helps balance the gan cheong and overthinking me. If you must read up and research, here are my top 3 reads:

  1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway
  2. The Better Baby Book: How to Have a Healthier, Smarter, Happier Baby by Lana Asprey, David Asprey
  3. The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland

Needless to say, it’s vital to have a positive support network during this period. However, some well intentions might inadvertently inject too much fear and anxiety so I’ll recommend to surround yourself with positive people who give you encouragement and strength rather than those who dish out scary information or project undue concerns. If you have a family and a husband who hold your hair back while you’re puking, colleagues who help you lighten your workload during the difficult 1st and last trimesters, friends who check in on you every now and then – you’re in very good company. This pregnancy has strengthen my bonds with amazing people like these and made me so much more grateful for my blessings. And I’m sure the gratitude I feel has resonated with my baby inside too!

3. Stretch mark oils and lotions

Some say stretch marks are hereditary, some say no. Some say no matter how much oils or lotions you put, you’ll get them regardless while some say they didn’t put anything and still have baby smooth elastic skin. Whether it’s hereditary cos my mama has it, or not, I’ll choose to be safe and slather on. Even if it doesn’t help with stretch marks, it will help prevent itching as the skin stretches and this is especially helpful for me since I suffer from eczema. I choose to load up on moisturisers, body oils, stretch mark creams to prevent further dryness which can lead to itchiness. If you choose to slather on as well, just make sure to look at the ingredients and stay away from the baddies like parabens, SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate), Phthalates and artificial fragrance or colour. Some brands I’ve tried and tested that I really like are: Clarins Stretch Mark Control, Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter and frei öl Skincare Oil. If you are into DIY, you can simply use organic extra virgin cold compressed coconut oil for a simple yet effective (not to mention affordable) solution. Add organic essential oils to it for an extra perk me up. Use essential oils that are safe for pregnancy like lavender, chamomile, frankincense and ylang ylang, just to name a few. During this pregnancy, I’ve been very sensitive towards scents and have a strong aversion to certain smells and oils that I’ve used. If that sounds like you too, always try a tester before buying and pick the one that suits you best. Remember also to apply them on your sides and even your back. My final tip: I’ll like to put a layer of oil after the lotions to seal in the goodness. Try it!

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