Bump Blog

Week 12 : Green Lights

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 12 : Green Lights

Last week I mentioned that baby still doesn’t feel fully real, and an ingredient in this is OSCAR.  Who?!

Better known as the Down Syndrome’s test.  I guess I didn’t want to get too attached to baby, in case …

I have been chatting to baby, saying that if baby would like to stay, mummy would love to have baby in her life, and that baby would grow and develop strongly, normally and healthily.

So, I had the test.  Nothing to be concerned about!  Baby looks like a model of development :).  The Obstetrician did ask if I would like to know the sex.  Wow, so early?!  We said ‘no’.

We now have the green light for us to make public baby’s existence :).  I communicated it to a dear friend who was visiting, as well as the Prenatal Yoga and Baby Yoga Teacher Training that I’m doing this week.

It looks like baby’s entrance into my life is well-timed, given the children’s (yoga) education that I’ve been involved in over the last few months, launching me into an entirely different world, preparing me for mamma-hood.  Thank you baby :).

This week, I met up with another maternity support provider as prospective birth / labour support.  We’ve been attempting to connect for about a month now, and as luck would have it, she was in the same training!  I learnt more about my birthing options, and  at long last, I’ve settled on my antenatal and birthing plan!  This is actually somewhat ‘behind schedule’ for Hong Kong mums-to-be, who know what they want to do as soon as they conceive (!), but I didn’t wish to decide before I was sure, which provided the Obstetrician I’d been seeing some bewilderment.

I’m blending it up!  I’m going private for my antenatal assessments and birthing at a public hospital.  This result has been reached after much thought and research, and even with repeatedly ambiguous answers from providers!  Anyway, my decision is what is appropriate for us – time-wise, price-wise, and birth-option-wise.  If you’re even thinking of having a baby … even if its sometime in the future, I would very much recommend that you take a look at what your insurance covers you NOW … or if you don’t have any, what insurance cover is appropriate for you, and think about whether the cover is adequate for the type of birth experience you wish to have.  I had looked into it a while ago briefly, believing that it was adequate, but ha ha … no way approaching near!

As it seems many expat parents-to-be have the same questions about their birthing options in Hong Kong, I have put together a report on your options from my experience, including approximate costs.  This report is available to members of the FLOW Wellness community, and shall be out in the coming weeks.  Sign up in advance so you don’t miss out!

This week, I chat to a maternity support provider in Hong Kong, and why you would consider employing their maternity (labour and / or birthing) support services.  As a member of the FLOW Wellness community, you get access to the chat.  If you’re not already a member, become a member to access the report :).

Here is week 12′s anatomy of pregnancy and what your baby looks like!


Take care 🙂


© FLOW Wellness 2012


Week 11 : Relaxin’

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 11 : Relaxin’

Last week, I mentioned of the ache in my left lower back & glutes!  Given that I had a week of yoga, from the Kids Yoga Teacher Training, I was mystified as to why the niggle!  It began to become more intense, so much so that I started feeling like an old woman moving and hobbling around.  I hoped & hoped this wasn’t an ongoing inclusion of my pregnancy … and I’m only at 11 weeks!  I promptly made an appointment with my Osteopath.  (To find out more about what an Osteopath does, sign up here to access the conversation with my Osteopath about how Osteopathy can support you to achieve wholistic wellness, including in pregnancy.)

Luckily, it wasn’t sciatica (breathe massive sigh of relief!) … and more due to the hormone relaxin (no ‘g’!), which is ever more present during pregnancy.  (In females, relaxin is constantly produced, however declines in the absence of pregnancy in menstruation.)   During pregnancy, the busy placenta produces relaxin that helps your whole body physically become a bit looser, to help with the general physical expansion of being pregnant – during and in birth.  Generally speaking, relaxin … er … relaxes:

  •  your musculoskeletal system, giving you more limber joints, particularly in the lower back and pelvis.  The lower back to give you more curvature to allow for the extra belly weight; in the pelvis and its joints, allowing them to stretch to get ready for and during delivery.  This is when mamas-to-be can experience the discomforting pubic symphysis ‘disorder’.  Yes, it is normally mentioned as Symphysis Pubic Disorder (SPD).  (Yoga can help to inhibit its inception and / or help lighten the ache :))
  • the intrauterine ligaments, allowing the uterus to expand.  Your uterus grows from about the size of a tennis ball to the size of a beach ball, to accommodate your new belly inhabitant and also help in expelling your inhabitant when baby gets too huge for its residence … 9 months later.
  • your arteries, to accommodate a much higher blood volume without sending your blood pressure through the roof.

With the increased relaxin in your body, this is when:

  •  you don’t want to begin any new form of exercise, as your body does not have the memory for its  limits, given your extra flexibility of muscles, ligaments and joints.
  • even with exercise that you have normally been doing, you need to be cautious with the level you exert yourself to, including over stretching.

To find out more about what an Osteopath does, sign up here to access the conversation with my Osteopath about how Osteopathy can support you to achieve wholistic wellness (other than yoga!), including in pregnancy (pre and post).

Here is week 11′s anatomy of pregnancy.


Namaste :).


© FLOW Wellness 2012

Week 10 : Ohm

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 10 : Ohm

We have moved into double digits now!

To be honest, baby still doesn’t feel fully real, given the probability of miscarriage is higher in the 1st trimester, and also I’ve got the Down’s Syndrome screening in week 12.  Baby is still my little hush-hush, however I have informed my immediate family, manager, my health consultants (physical instructors, physical therapists, medical advisors).

I have, however, definitely been feeling the effects of pregnancy!  The tiredness has become a daily feature.  All I can manage is yoga instruction, going to work … & sleeping!  In fact, the yoga instruction provides me with liberation, feeling more energised after a lesson :).  As mentioned last week, the massages are also helping, so I have been getting more than normal!

I have also been longing for carbs, & wouldn’t you know it, the less healthier options – pasta, noodles, bread.  I am also observing my tastebuds changing.  A feature of my pre pregnancy diet was beans for protein, with meat 2 – 3 times, and I felt more in control of my diet.  However, I can’t endure beans any longer, & favour meat!  I have heard that the leaning towards meat is an ordinary occurrence for mummies-to-be.

Also, ‘feeling’ fat :(.  It’s not obvious that I’m pregnant, except maybe appearing to have gained a few extra kilos!  Another physical feature I have gained, is an ache in the left side of my lower back and glutes!  I have heard that sciatica can be an occurrence of pregnancy, & I’m hoping that it isn’t, especially this early on!

This week, I have also been attending a Kids Yoga Teacher Training, which has been pleasant  experience, especially given my current condition.  I am feeling more and more linked to the world of kids :).

Here is this week 10’s anatomy of pregnancy.

Btw, if you haven’t already signed up to get a copy of the chat with my Naturopath to find out what a mama-in-planning  can do to groom her body into an ideal space to conceive and house baby – including possibly avoiding morning sickness – its still not too late!  The conversation is only available for a limited time, and only to subscribers :).



© FLOW Wellness 2012

Week 9 : Decisions

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 9 : Decisions

For the choice of delivery options, I’m leaning towards private visits – with an Obstetrician and the maternity support service (where my checkups would be with a mid-wife for half hour … vs. 5 – 10 minutes at the Obstetrician), and delivery at a public hospital, also with midwife support.  I’m also finding it a challenge to make decisions, so I still haven’t completely made up my mind yet!

I’ve also become more aware that baby and my body advices me what’s right for us and so I’m paying attention to this instead of everyone else – books and Drs included.  For example, without being aware, I’ve been taking a particular protein powder for a few years now, but have not felt right when I’ve had it lately.  I had a look at the ingredients and noticed that they are generally not recommended when pregnant, such as Vitamin A.

I’m also finding being pampered – facials and massages – aid the discomfort in my body.  As I’ve been listening to my body, I’ve been getting more massages in the last few weeks :).

To ensure that my body can support baby, a couple of weeks ago, I checked in with my Naturopath (based in Australia) to ensure that I’m getting the appropriate supplements.  Fortunately, I had the foresight 2 years ago (yes, 2 years ago!) – post getting married where baby appeared to be the next natural progression – to have a conversation with my Naturopath about what I should consider.  It’s taken me 2 years to get mentally prepared for the change in life … and even so, I don’t currently feel even near prepared for the changes ahead of me!

So, 2 years ago, my Naturopath informed me then of the supplements that I am likely to need to groom my body for a healthy baby and began taking them then.  I am so grateful I did, as surprise surprise, none of the professionals I have counselled since having conceived have advised on appropriate supplements.  I believe it’s beneficial and better for you to prepare your body in advance so baby has the best possible chance of surviving through the 1st trimester and developing healthily.  Also, you may be able to avoid all or some of the 1st trimester terrible symptoms, which most mamas-to-be can attest to that they would favour not having!  So, I asked my Naturopath if I could share with you her general thoughts on what a mama-in-planning  can do to groom her body into an ideal space to conceive and house baby.  To access our conversation, sign up here.

Alas, I’m becoming more aware of the 1st trimester tiredness taking over … but fortunately, so far, I haven’t had the experience of morning sickness.  I don’t know how women – mamas with young children & / or working women (or both!), cope with having morning sickness and the tiredness.  Sign up here to find out how you may be able to avoid morning sickness!

I’ve become fascinated with the anatomy of pregnancy – how baby’s development affects our internal body.  I’ve found an awesome site, depicting baby and mama’s advancement week by week.  Here’s week 9.

Till next week … 🙂


© FLOW Wellness 2012

Week 8 : Changes

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Bump Blog | 0 comments

Week 8 : Changes

Apart from the bewilderment of choosing an Obstetrician, there are the changes in my body!

When I first found out I was with baby, I was feeling fairly ‘blah’ with my body.  Even as much as I was making a concerted effort to choose healthy options, it didn’t seem to make a difference.  That is, until I found out that I was with baby.  It made a lot more sense.

For us women, the thing most of us are concerned with is our physical appearance.  Especially being a yoga teacher, I felt I ‘had to’ look the part.  I think for the most part, I was, but now being with baby, there’s no way to move the ‘fat’ feeling, as my body begins to get ready to board another being.  It did ‘help’ that I lost my appetite!  In a time when I thought I would be eating more, my desire for food contracted.  I have heard of friends saying that they ‘lose’ weight in their first trimester due to morning sickness and / or nausea, and not being able to keep anything down.

I have also begun to notice my hair seems thinner!  My face is breaking out!  I itch all over my body, as though there are ants swarming all over!  I have aches, so much so that I have trouble getting a comfortable sleeping position (and I normally ease into sleep effortlessly)!  I am generally feeling ill at ease in my body :(.

What happened to my ‘glow’?!  What happened to my ‘excitement’?!  I feel like a black sheep of pregnancy :(.

On the plus side, gratefully, so far, no morning sickness.  Actually, apart from ‘feeling’ fat (or more bloated), I think I’m healthier than ever!  I’m eating less, and what I am eating, I’m wishing for healthy options, and I seem to have booted my coffee habit, which I had been trying to do so for a while.  I’ve just lost the desire for coffee – it tastes disgusting, and certainly, there has been no alcohol (but this is fine – by some Drs and not by some (!) – if you fancy some).

As for the choice of delivery options – Obstetricians, hospitals – I’ve opted to take my time, and unmask what truly is the span of my options.  I’ll decide when I’m ready!  In the same vein, I’ve also decided stuff with the ‘dos’ & ‘don’ts’!  Well, at least, the majority of them.  I’ve noticed my body is telling me what is right for ME, even when I wasn’t aware, so I’m paying more attention to what baby is telling me!  More on this in a later blog.

My saving graces have still been the Bach Herbal Remedies, continuing to teach, and exercising.

Having said all of the above, I am grateful to be with baby.  Especially being at a point in the pregnancy where people don’t normally communicate their news, I feel like I’m carrying a cherished secret … and I am :).


© FLOW Wellness 2012

Week 7 : Deliver Me?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 7 : Deliver Me?

I visited a couple of Obstetricians.

The first visit provided me with a deflated sense again.  He appeared to be a capable Obstetrician, though I thought he was a bit ‘old fashioned’.

  • No sex’, he said with a boyish smirk, ‘in the first trimester … in case you bleed, then you would feel guilty!’;
  • I can only walk on a treadmill, and only on any other equipment / exercise I won’t fall of!

I could fall walking down the street, particularly the shape of the pathways in Hong Kong!  Also, he kept stressing several times in my 10 minute visit that I had to select my hospital ASAP … but did he help to explain what my choices were and why?!!!  NO … as he was endorsing his favoured hospital.

I’m only in Week 7!  This is my first Obstetrician visit!  I don’t even know what hospitals are available to me – the cost, the differences, and even what the difference is between Private and Public in Hong Kong!

I had to do more shopping around, which as it ends out, is an expensive exercise!

I visited another Obstetrician.  I liked him.  He was more thorough than the first and more sociable.  He also provided several hospital options.  I may not even be able to get into a private hospital, in which case I’d have to deliver at a public hospital, of which he wouldn’t be able to support me in my birth.  The Dr though said he would submit my application to all private hospitals, and we would pray to be accepted to one.  Optimism slinked in … until I paid the bill!  Oh my goddesses!

I also visited a maternity support service.  Post the appointment, I realised what was amiss from the Drs I’ve seen.  A nurturing bedside manner.  They were remote and medical.  Perhaps the difference was that the maternity support service appointment was with a woman, who had undergone childbirth and the whole process, rather than simply seeing their patient for 10 minutes a month and focussing on the birth process.  Then again, some of them don’t even do that – a midwife supports the birthing process even though you’re paying for the Obstetrician.  I felt much nurtured and supported from this visit, being provided with a view of the whole process of giving birth in Hong Kong, including options … and it was a complimentary consultation!  Post this visit, I felt more optimistic :).  This is how I ‘expected’ to feel!

(An aside … I hear some of you asking … ‘What is a maternity support service?  Why would I need their service if I’ve got an Obstetrician?‘  In Hong Kong, maternity support services support a mama-to-be throughout her pregnancy and post, with her prenatal (antenatal) classes, and some, also bump and mama’s regular check-ups that an Obstetrician would do … and I hear, you get longer appointments – 30 minutes (vs the 5 – 10 minutes at the Obstetrician) – and more committed focus on YOU!.  Maternity support services can help in birthing, but alas, in Hong Kong, this service is very limited.  Most importantly for mamas-to-be in Hong Kong, maternity support services help you to have the birth YOU desire!  More on this in future posts ;))

In both Obstetrician visits, I got to see my baby for the first time, which made the pregnancy seem more real … even though baby is only 2cm big!

I feel more positive :).


© FLOW Wellness 2012

Week 6 : Do Not …

Posted by on Aug 20, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 0 comments

Week 6 : Do Not …


I started reading websites and forums on what TO DO when pregnant.  All I read was what NOT TO DO.

  • Don’t eat chocolate. (Telling a woman not to eat chocolate?!!!)
  • Don’t drink coffee. (A regular necessity.)
  • Exercise only lightly (i.e., walking).  (From boxing, circuit training, swimming, yoga that I do weekly, and do some form of exercise daily!)
  • Don’t drink fresh juice. (I LOVE freshly squeezed juices!)
  • Don’t eat salads.  (My staple summer food!)
  • Don’t drink tea. (A regular necessity.)

… And there are even MORE specific drinks / foods / things NOT TO DO!  This is on top of the ‘usual’ NO NOs that I’ve heard about and am aware of from all my numerous previously pregnant mates (seafood, soft cheeses, alcohol etc).

I had to stop researching / reading.

I thought this is supposed to be a pleasant time!  I’m primarily feeling a massive weight of restriction – literally like the wide world that I know is swiftly toppling in and shrinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ever so thankful that I am pregnant, and have been able to get pregnant.  I’m just presently feeling unsupported and lost everywhere I turn regarding pregnancy – websites, doctors – which is not what I expected to feel.  I thought I’d be cocooned in joy and nurturing.

I am ever mindful of how my emotions are probably influencing … and maybe even shaping … baby :(.  I’m sorry that baby has had to come into a space that hasn’t been particularly positive.

My one saviour in the last couple weeks has been the Bach Herbal Remedies.


Week 5 : The Test

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Bump Blog, FLOW Queens | 1 comment

Week 5 : The Test

What a week!  I just found out I’m pregnant.

I thought I was just putting on weight! I’ve been feeling bloated for the last month, and as I’d just spent a week at home with my family, I thought it was a result of overindulging!  Emotionally, I’d also been feeling off, though I put it to other things.  Not in any way did I think I’d be pregnant!  The reason I found out was that my period was overdue a week.  Anytime my period is overdue a week, I do a pregnancy test, just to be sure.  I didn’t think much of it and had also ‘checked in’ with myself ‘asking’ if I was pregnant, and the answer was a clear ‘no’!  Well, was I wrong!

Saturday morning, I woke up, and did the test.  I had to stare at the result over and over to ensure that I wasn’t still half asleep and my eyes were playing tricks on me.  I thought perhaps if I left it for a few hours … maybe even a day, the result would change?

Several hours later, and the result was still the same.


Even though my husband and I had spoken about having children, the reality of it was unfathomable!  I hadn’t thought it would occur so soon (and I know when it did transpire)!  That one time!

I was also shocked at my reaction.  It wasn’t the reaction I ‘expected’.  You always hear of people being overjoyed when they find out.  I can’t say I was.  I was … and still am … shocked.

I broke the news to my husband later in the afternoon.  A slight smile popped onto his face, until he saw how shocked I was.

I thought, just to be sure, I’ll go to the Dr to have it confirm.  Perhaps the test is wrong.  After all, it’s a cheap pregnancy test.

Tuesday, I went to the Dr.  The first thing the Dr asked me was ‘do you want to keep it?’  What kind of question is that?!!!  No congratulations?!!!  He asked me how I found out.  I told him I did a pregnancy test.  He said wryly, ‘they are normally right’.  Nice start.

As he said, the pregnancy test was right.  I am 5.5 weeks pregnant.

The Dr’s appointment did not progress any better.  I asked him if he had any recommendations.  ‘No.

I left the Dr feeling deflated.  The shock returned, to the point of tears.  I felt alone.

© FLOW Wellness 2012