My life took an unexpected turn six months ago when I found out I was pregnant. Fast-forward six months later, I have just a few weeks to go until this baby pops and my head is spinning, trying so hard to wrap my head around the idea of this little person who dear hubby and I will be responsible for. But today I don’t want to talk about that because I really have no idea what to expect and there’s no point in dwelling on the unknown. What I do want to share are some tips and tricks that helped me through this unexpected yet totally wonderful journey called pregnancy. Especially for mommies-to-be located in Bangkok, I hope you’ll find something of interest and value.
1. Prenatal yoga: I kid you not — it will the best thing you do for yourself while expecting. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t like yoga because I find it too slow. It’s just about finding the right pace of exercise for yourself. If (like me) you like something a little more active and fast-paced, then I highly recommend the Prenatal Workout by Power 20 app. All you need is a yoga mat and a sturdy chair and you’re all set to do the self-guided 20-minute workouts. Workouts are tailored by trimesters, so it’s a great investment for your whole pregnancy. Following the easy 20-minute workouts 4-5 times a week has helped me in so many ways:
- Stress-relief and mood-lifter
- Stronger lower back means less pain and discomfort carrying around a watermelon
- Weight-gain is under control
- Body remains lean and feels strong
- Feel more energetic and active
- Body gets prepared for natural delivery
2. Stability ball: Again, you might think I’m crazy but I invested in not one, but two stability balls. One is at home and another is at work and I sit on it whenever I want to relieve lower back pain and pelvic floor pain. A simple YouTube or Google search will reveal some simple exercises you can do at home or at work. Additional benefits of the stability ball include working out your core and also preparing your body for natural delivery if that’s something you are considering. I particularly like this workout video:
3. Massage or tennis ball: I use this ball (similar to a foam roller) to relieve lower back, tailbone and pelvic floor pain. Simply place the ball in the area that you’re experiencing discomfort and use your body’s weight to lean into the ball and then slowly move around to massage yourself. Or you can massage yourself by rolling the ball on your pain areas. Again, a simple YouTube or Google search will reveal some simple exercises you can do at home or at work.
4. Prenatal massages: Let’s be real, being pregnant can be tough on the mind, body and soul, so once in a while…treat yo self! Since hitting the 20-week (4-5 month mark), I’m a regular at The Hive Spa in Sukhumvit Soi 49. I make it a point to go once a week or once in two weeks for the Aroma Prenatal Massage and it leaves me relaxed, refreshed and happy like Aziz Ansari below! There are other spas around Bangkok that do prenatal massages too, here’s a list to explore:
5. Home-cooked meals: Since getting pregnant, I haven’t enjoyed eating out much mainly because I get hungry more frequently and the thought of having to run out of the office to buy snacks is cumbersome and eating out frequently is unhealthy anyways. Not to mention the difficulty of finding healthy, low-calorie options at stores nearby pushed me to start taking food and snacks from home. So like a little kid off to school, here’s what’s in my lunchbox every day:
- Lunch: Pasta with veggies, fried rice, homemade veggie burger, sauteed veggies & brown rice, sandwiches, wraps, salads, baked sweet potato fries, hummus etc
- Snacks: Mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios), saltine crackers (I like the Haitai brand available at all local super markets), box of fruits and a yogurt.
6. Wake up & make up: Let’s face it – right now I look like I’m smuggling around a watermelon and it’s not the most glamorous or confidence-boosting feeling. So I made a routine of spending about 10-15 minutes every day doing my makeup. Even if I’m just running errands, I’ll pop on some lipstick, mascara and brush my cheeks with blush and highlighter. Plus, radiant and clear pregnancy skin is like a wonderful gift (especially as a base to put makeup to maximise that glow!) that may only last 9 months for some of us. So enjoy it while you can!
7. Traveling / Babymoon: I feel like this one really depends on the individual and how your pregnancy is going. Of course, check with your doctor before you decide NOW is the time you want to try skydiving (ha!). During my second trimester when I was about 23-25 weeks along, I spent 2 weeks in Europe and it was just the leisurely, refreshing break / treat I needed to unwind, spend quality time with the hubs and enjoy being “us” for the last time before we grow our brood.
8. Be happy!: This might sound like trivial advice but it’s what I’ve heard time and again. Don’t get bogged down by stress or fear, especially over stuff you have no control over, because it will just make you feel more anxious. Trust and know that your body is built to procreate and enjoy the quirks and joys of being pregnant. Personally, I have loved feeling my baby’s kicks and punches and the way it tickles me so much that I’m giggling at the most random moments and hours of the day! Or that I’m convinced baby kicks me when hungry and I don’t listen! Do the things that you enjoy, listen to music you like or indulge in a cup of coffee if that makes you happy, just remember to stay positive and be normal. Pregnancy is not a sickness.