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The first thing that I did when I found out about our pregnancy was to Google the Do’s & Don’ts during a pregnancy. Here’s a list that I’ve complied to share with all you mums-to-be. I’ve also included the list given to me by my gynaecologist.

Do’s

  1. Find a good gynaecologist that you are comfortable with. I find that it’s very important to be comfortable and happy with your interactions with your gynaecologist as you will be chatting with him/her for the next 9 months. I never had a regular gynaecologist, so I had to scour the internet, Geoexpat and Asiaexpat forums to read reviews for a good female gynaecologist in Hong Kong. After doing much research, I decided to try out Dr Grace Cheung from Central Health located in HK Central area. After our first visit with her, we were both highly satisfied with her as she is very meticulous, friendly, doesn’t rush through consultations (apparently a lot of gynaecologists in HK are impatient and rush through the consultations with a time cap of 10 minutes per person). The midwives in the clinic are all very friendly, truly concerned for your well-being, and happy. Perfect environment for a hormonal mommy-to-be. A happy mommy makes a happy baby right?
  2. Start on folic acid, maternity supplements and omega 3 supplements, if you haven’t already started. I wasn’t on any supplements before getting pregnant, so I had to immediately get some. Folic acid supplements are important for the first 13 weeks of the baby’s development. Omega 3 supplements should be taken until 34 weeks of pregnancy and continued after delivery during breastfeeding.
  3. Continue your regular exercise. Exercising throughout your pregnancy is important . Do seek your doctor’s approval first though to ensure both mother and baby is healthy enough to keep up with the exercise regime. However, do not start on anything vigorous if you haven’t been active before the pregnancy. For myself, I maintained my regular 5-8km runs at a much slower pace.
  4. Wash all salads, vegetables and fruit thoroughly. Ensure that anything fresh you eat is washed with fruit and vegetable wash to remove all fertilisers, possible bacteria contaminations and soil.
  5. Only eat homemade salads and fresh fruit. 
  6. Eat more high calcium foods like yoghurt, milk, pasteurised cheese. Your baby will require a lot of calcium to build its bones, and if your calcium intake is not sufficient, your baby will start drawing calcium from your own bones which will affect you later in life.
  7. Ensure that reheated food is piping hot to kill off any bacteria.
  8. Regrigerate and use pre-cooked, perishable foods ASAP.
  9. Wash all surfaces and utensils which has touched raw food thoroughly.
  10. Only eat fully cooked eggs. No more runny, half-boiled eggs. Avoid homemade mayonnaise, foods that contains raw eggs like Tiramisu, mousse, ramen egg and non-baked cheesecakes. This is to avoid contracting Salmonella (read more about this below)
  11. Limit your caffeine intake to ONE cup of coffee/tea per day. Herbal teas are ok to drink but ensure that they are not Made in China as those may contain biologically active compounds.
  12. Stay positive and happy. Take things easy and reduce environmental stress.

From my doctor:

  1. Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet.
  2. Remember to inform your doctors and dentist that you are pregnant. This information is needed for them to prescribe medications and decide if you’re fit for an x-ray or medical procedures.

Don’ts

  1. Stop drinking alcohol. I’ve been quite a party pooper since the pregnancy and can’t enjoy an alcoholic drink with friends. The sacrifices we have to make as a mother.
  2. Stop smoking and the use of recreational drugs. I’ve personally have been avoiding standing beside smokers as well because I feel that inhaling second hand smoke is even worse. Smoking during pregnancy has been proven to increase the risk of premature birth, lower birth weight and sudden infant deaths.
  3. Do not change kitty litter. Get someone to do it for you or if you really have to, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after. Kitty litter is known to contain toxoplasmosis bacteria(read more about this below) which once contracted will show no symptoms.
  4. Stop using products that contain salicylic acid and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS). Check if your shampoos, skincare and soaps contain them and change them. Stop going for any chemical skin peels as well.
  5. Do not use Botox. If you have been a constant user of Botox, stop it when you are pregnant.
  6. Stop eating raw or undercooked food like sashimi , Carpaccio and half-cooked steaks. This is to avoid any food poisoning from listeria and salmonella bacteria (details below) which can cause severe dehydration to the mum and baby.
  7. Do not increase your exercise regime. Being pregnant is not the time to take on a new intense workout. If you have been running, dancing, highly active before pregnancy, you can keep it up. However, if you have been inactive, recommended exercises for pregnant mums are yoga and pilates.
  8. Avoid raising your body temperature and overheating. Saunas, hot tub jacuzzis and steam baths are not recommended and the increased body heat will cut off blood circulation to the foetus. Affecting your baby’s development.
  9. Don’t move heavy furniture and do any heavy lifting. 
  10. Avoid eating fish that are high in mercury. Fish meat like shark, tuna, swordfish are known to contain high levels of mercury. Check out the safe list of fish to eat here.
  11. Stop eating unpasteurised cheeses. Avoid soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheese, Buffalo Mozzarella, feta, goat cheese. There’s a chance that these cheese contains listeria which can cause miscarriages.
  12. Avoid eating unsealed food from salad bars, buffets and fast food outlets.
  13. Do not eat expired food.

From my doctor:

  1. Do not take Ibuprofen or over the counter drugs. There are many cold and flu remedies that shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy which includes Nurofen and Advil. Paracetamol is ok, however it is best to consult a doctor whenever you are sick and not self medicate.
  2. Do not consume large amounts of sot and flaxseed. These products contain phytoestrogens which have estrogenic properties. It is only safe to consume less than 30g per day.
  3. Do not eat excessive liver products. These foods present a risk of Vitamin A toxicity. Cod liver oil or supplements containing Vitamin A should be avoided unless approved by your doctor. Liver can be eaten but not more than once a week.
  4. Do not increase your exercise regime. 
  5. Do not let your body overheat – avoid jacuzzis, saunas, and steam rooms.
  6. Avoid contact with Lamb & Sheep. They can be the source of an organism  called Chlamydia psittaci which is known to cause miscarriage in ewes. They are also know to carry Toxoplasma. If you experience flu symptoms after contact with sheep, immediately consult your doctor.

Listeria

This type of bacteria can cause serious food poisoning if contracted during pregnancy. It generally has no symptoms but can cause fever, headache, backspin and sore throats. It can be passed through the placenta and possibly lead to miscarriage, premature or still birth. It is important for pregnant women to avoid foods that may contain listeria like unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses, smoked fish products, refrigerated pates and foods from deli counters like sliced meats, hams, and poultry products.

Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria causes one of the most common types of food poisoning. It can be very nasty with severe vomiting, diarrhoea, high fever and headaches. The greatest risk to the mum and baby is severe dehydration and many sufferers need hospital admission for treatment.

Toxoplasmosis

Cat faeces and soil may contain the organism which causes this. A woman who is newly infected with Toxoplasma during pregnancy can pass the infection to her unborn child. There may be no symptoms, but can have severe consequences for the unborn child.

I know there’s a lot of sacrifices and changes in lifestyle that all mums-to-be have to go through for the next 9 months, but it is all worth it when you give birth to a healthy, happy baby to hold in your arms. For me, I’ve been craving for an occasional glass of wine with a slab of rare steak, but it is a big NO-NO now until the baby is born. You are not alone! I hope this list helps those new-found mummies out there and congratulations on your pregnancy!

XOXO

Jessica

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Hello peeps!

Since I’ve made my baby announcement, I can finally start blogging about my first trimester experiences while the memories are still fresh.

11 August 2017, Friday – The Discovery

We first discovered about this little development in my womb on 11 August 2017, Friday. I remember testing myself at home because my period was a little late and we were going to meet friends for dinner and drinks that weekend. So, I got myself tested to just in case I’m pregnant and I should immediately stop my alcohol intake. To my surprise, the test came out positive! I didn’t really think it would turn positive as I didn’t experience any obvious symptoms other than my usual PMS ones like swollen boobs, water retention and a thicker belly from the thickening of the uterus wall before every period. I was 5 weeks pregnant. This is me at 5 weeks: 

5 weeks pregnant

I immediately sent a text to my hubby who was extremely busy at work (he was in printers for an IPO submission that very day), and I got an immediately response from him! Usually when he is in printers, he doesn’t reply my texts till much later when he takes a breather. Guess he was so happy and excited about the unexpected news that he had to reply. That very day marks a big change in our lives – we are going to be parents! And yes, from that day onwards I am going to be a real party pooper and can’t drink with friends… hahaha!

Our first meeting with Baby…

After I found out about our pregnancy, I immediately went to read up about pregnancy Do’s & Don’ts (read more about this my next post). We also quickly made our appointment with a gynaecologist to confirm the pregnancy. Though pee sticks are 99% accurate, we had to be 100% certain and also to ensure the baby and I are both healthy. Our first appointment was on 23 August, but our baby was so shy that it coincided with Typhoon Hato and we had to reschedule our meeting. We finally get to see our baby on the ultrasound screen for the very first time on 31 August!

8 week ultrasound photo

Seeing our little one for the very first time felt surreal… at 8 weeks he/she is the size of a kidney bean as you can see in the ultrasound image. Confirming the pregnancy! Up until the scan it still felt like the pregnancy wasn’t real as I didn’t have morning sickness which was a main telltale sign of pregnancy. I guess I’m one of those lucky few! Yay!

Bumpies

Like every first time mums, experiencing pregnancy for the first time is really exciting and I really wanted to document every moment of it. Hence, I took weekly bumpie pics to see the slow changes in my body as the weeks go by:

My Personal Symptoms

The main big difference to me was my boobs are perpetually sore and my sense of smell became extra sensitive (I already had a keen sense of smell, but now, the faintest smell from far away affects me). It was so sensitive that I couldn’t cook at home anymore, as the smell from oils, garlic, spices, seafood etc just made me sick.

As the weeks passed, I noticed changes in my appetite too. It was insatiable but yet I felt full from bloatedness all the time. So it was very confusing. There was a constant struggle of wanting to eat but not being able to swallow anything in. I’ve also lost my usual cravings for snacks and sweets which was a first for me, my favourite foods like salted egg yolk crispy fish skin, chocolates, tom yam seaweed, all suddenly didn’t appeal to me anymore. It’s not like the sight of these foods made me nauseous, it just that I stopped wanting to eat them. I can eat maybe a piece or two and I’m done. Previously, I could easily chow down a whole packet on my own.

Fatigue did set in too. However, my solution to it was to go for a nice slow run. As after every run, I felt great and energised and back to my normal self again. Guess all the serotonin and endorphins that kicks in helps a lot. Of course, I did get my doctor’s approval to continue my regular runs as long as I felt great after each run and not like its torture. I know in most Asian cultures that running and exercising during your pregnancy especially the first trimester is a BIG NO-NO! I did receive a lot of comments from others that I should stop running, but I know my body the best. If I felt any pains, bleeding, discomfort during my runs I would have obviously stopped and discontinue the exercise. On the contrary, exercise did make my first trimester a lot more enjoyable.

My body also didn’t agree with the pregnancy supplements brand Materna – this made me real gassy and stomach constantly felt acidic like I was having gastric all the time. I informed my doctor about this and she changed my prescription to another supplement brand Elevit. After switching brands, I felt a whole lot better. The suitability of supplements depends from person to person as the hormones are going crazy inside making changes to your body to grow this baby.

Looking back, I had a rather smooth sailing first trimester as compared to what others experience. I really have to thank my lucky stars for that and my mother’s good genes as she didn’t experience morning sickness for all 3 kids!

Signing off for now. My next write-up will be on Pregnancy Do’s & Don’ts. Watch out for it!

XOXO

Jessica

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Hello everyone!

Online Shopping

I’m no stranger to online shopping which made me way more lazy to go out and shop for clothes/groceries/household items/make-up etc. but I love it! As it made finding deals and comparing prices much easier.

I was recently made aware of another online shopping portal ShopBack which is trending now. This site is offering us consumers even better deals by giving us cold hard cash returns when we shop through that website (cashback)! Offering us even more savings on top of what the original websites are offering.

ShopBack works with most of our beloved shopping websites like Zalora, Taobao, Reebonz, Sephora, Groupon, ASOS and even Food Panda! So the cashback savings are so easily attainable as these are my everyday website that I frequently shop from.

Deals

On top of  obtaining a percentage cashback while shopping on various online sites through this portal, ShopBack can help consumers find a Zalora discount code for further discounts or learn about a Sephora sale through constant updates on their webpage.

As most of us know that the annual major sale on Asian websites occurs on Single’s Day or 11.11 (双十一) made popular by Taobao, ShopBack also partakes in major sales like these. If you missed out on that, not to fret, there’s a make up sale equally as crazy happening on 12.12. So keep a lookout for the best deals at the upcoming ShopBack 12.12 sales. I know I will be noting that date down in my calender!

How Does ShopBack Work?

Initially, it took me some time to understand how this cashback system works. Most of us know about cashback received from credit card spending and it’s always done automatically to your credit card account so you don’t really bother how it works but this is the first time a website is offering such a deal.

Basically, ShopBack is sharing their income from merchant referrals with the consumers. So it’s a win-win for everyone.

Say for example, the merchant pays ShopBack 10% of the amount spent for items purchased for every consumer referred from their website, ShopBack will keep 4% as income, and return the remaining 6% to you as cash.

 

Check out this video to further elaborate how this works.

And there’s a referral promotion from now till 9 December that if you successfully refer 3 friends to sign up and shop from their website you can earn an additional $100! Do use my referral link https://www.shopback.sg/?raf=a50uRM to help me earn some extra cash! 😉

It’s simple, easy and gives us more savings. Who doesn’t like a good deal?

XOXO,

Jessica

 

 

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Hello all,

As you all know I’m quite the make-up junkie and love experimenting with new make up and skincare all the time.

I was recently introduced to the Burberry’s contour & highlight pen and the simplicity of using it to sculpt your face without looking too drag like. It’s special cream to powder formula makes it real easy to draw on the face and spread it with your fingertips. Pretty much idiot-proof.

So I got the Face Contour pen in Medium No.1 & Fresh Glow pen in Nude Radiance No.1.

I must say after trying it out, it helps with the shading which is not overly dramatic and adds some oomph to the face shape. It doesn’t add much time to my make-up regime (usually 30min for daily make-up)

Here’s a video clip on how I used it.
And this is the look that was achieved (without any phot editing of course) after I used it:

For those of you who are newbies to shading and highlighting your face, I do highly recommend this as the formula is lightweight, easy to use and pretty much foolproof.

XOXO

Jessica T.

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It’s about 2 months and counting to my big day and I have started to become a lot more hardworking with my home facials and nightly masks. 

Who doesn’t want to look like the most radiant and beautiful bride on your special day?

I was recently introduced to and began to  use Philips Visacare – a dual action air lift & exfoliation system – twice a week. Visacare is a skin resurfacing tool that helps remove dead skin cells, clear clogged pores, leaving you with a firmer and more radiant looking skin. Ever since I started on this home tool,  I’ve been addicted! It especially helps my problem clogged chin and nose areas rid of white heads. 

If you’re a daily user of make-up and sunblock. It is very important to do a deep cleansing of your skin to prevent clogged pores which includes adding microdermabrasion to your weekly routine. 

Here’s a video about the product review and how it works on ridding your skin of unwanted dead skin cells and clogged pores:

Philips Visacare

And after using the micro-dermabrasion device, I checked out the head of the tool and gleefully saw loads of dead skin cells and even some white heads sucked out of my face! (A grossly gratifying feeling) 


It is important to immediately use a facial mask after using Visacare as your skin is fresh and raw, so it will thirstily absorb all mask serums in an instant. Also this will aid in the formation of new and healthy youthful skin. Whilst my mask is on, I will also add an extra step of using Philips Visaboost to help enhance the absorption of the benefits of the facial mask. This tool can also be used daily with your moisturizers. 


I simply love home facials and with the aid of numerous beauty tools available in the market nowadays, it makes it all the more easier. 

Ok, back to my wedding planning on my MacBook! 💕

XOXO

Jessica

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IMG_8060I spent the whole of yesterday in the hot sweltering sun at West Kowloon Promenade participating in the very first Run For Your Lives Asia event in Hong Kong with my friends from Starz People.

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It was exhilarating playing this Walking Dead inspired run with obstacles and zombies to overcome. You can either opt to be a zombie or a survivor. We chose the survivor side as it was much more fun to go through the entire 5km route of zombies and obstacle course (better workout too!).

IMG_8076Our run was right smack in the afternoon sun at 1pm when the sun was up and clouds were no where to be seen. Great if you wanna get a tan, but not so great for my work nature & hair. What you won’t realise is that the UV rays are pretty harmful to our hair too. It damages and dehydrates our hair unknowingly. In addition, for the past 2 weeks I have been working in the sun filming a commercial for HK Disney filled with hairspray as well. So my hair condition wasn’t in good shape after the run yesterday.

Decided to give my hair a treat with Aussie Miracle Moist shampoo and the 3 Minute Miracle deep conditioner.IMG_8040The shampoo was heavenly with a tinge of natural sweet smelling goodness which doesn’t overwhelm you with artificial scents that certain shampoo brands use. It uses Australian Macadamia Nut Oil to infuse moisture back into my hair. After shampooing my hair texture felt slightly better but not satisfactory. So I added on the 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner after washing off the shampoo and squeezing out excess water from my hair. I applied a generous amount and left it on for 5 minutes (yes, I was being greedy as my hair was really really damaged!). The Australian Balm Mint added extra moisture and life back to my hair. When I applied the 3 Minute Miracle, the texture was thick and greasy like some conditioners and I was wondering if it will really make my hair silky smooth like some other richer conditioners. So after about 5 minutes, I rinsed it off and miraculously I could run my fingers through my hair again! After just 1 use, my hair feels very different, and I’m definitely one happy camper with this product. Brushing my hair last night was much easier and I had lesser hair fall from tugging. I’m gonna use it again tonight to further improve my hair condition. 🙂

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

Texture: 5 out of 5

Scent: 5 out of 5

For those of you who have trouble finding a good shampoo & conditioner for severely damaged hair, maybe you can give Aussie a try! I am definitely a new fan of theirs!

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XOXO

Jessica

 

 

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I’ve not been sleeping too well lately and been having the worse neck pains when I wake up in the mornings. Really hate having stiff neck, restricts movement & I can’t carry out my daily activities in peace. So when MyVisitDay.com asked if I was interested in attending a trial 60 minute facial or a 30 minute massage session at Spa Collection, I chose massage without thinking!

When I first stepped into Spa Collection at Causeway Bay Plaza 1, I was promptly greeted by friendly staff and they immediately signed me in. Thereafter, a lady showed me around the spa & I was amazed how huge the place was! It’s about 3700 sq. feet in total. It has numerous private massage rooms, 2 toilets, make-up corner, lockers & even a resting area for guests after their treatments.

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IMG_2007I find this make up area a great idea as we always have our hair messed up, make-up smudged after a massage. Or even after a facial, you normally want to freshen up a little before leaving the spa. *thumbs-up*

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I was showed into my own private massage room and it looked calming and peaceful with dim lighting & soft coloured wall paper.

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I quickly changed out of my clothes and snuck a selfie before the treatment started. (who isn’t guilty of Selfies raise your hand!)

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Now… I am all ready to start my massage! Before the massage started, the therapist asked which parts of my back hurts the most so that she can concentrate more on those parts. And I told her my neck and shoulder areas hurt the most from my late nights and bad sleep. I lay down on the massage table and the therapist started applying Lanius massage essential oils imported from England. This oil is supposed to help rid your body of water retention and expel toxins deep in your body. After, she used this very interesting looking massage rod called 排酸棒. (See picture below) She explained that this rod creates vibrations while rolling against your tight muscles which gives you a deeper tissue massage as compared to using your hands. It felt really good! Personally I enjoy strong and firm massages because my muscles are always tight and knotted. So this massage rod really did it for me as I could feel my knots loosening.

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After 15 minutes, they took a photo of my back which only the left half was given the treatment. Visually, you can tell that the left side already looks slightly smaller and tighter – effects from the Lanius oil & massage rod ridding of toxins through my lymph-nodes. If you’re worried that the red marks caused by the massage rod won’t go away, don’t fret! They disappeared after a few hours for me.

IMG_2020I was happy to see it working so quickly & I could really feel my muscles relaxing. Now I really wished the massage lasted longer than 30 minutes as I could lay there forever and it felt so good! I left the place feeling happy and refreshed and wanting more. (it’s pretty addictive & I love massages!)

MyVisitDay is having an exclusive promotion from now till 31st May 2014 for Spa Collection. Those of you who want to give this treatment a try, do visit MyVisitDay.com and check out the latest promotions in Hong Kong! (remember to follow the steps on the webpage to redeem the offer!)

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Spa Collection Booking Hotline: 31073102

Promotion is only valid at these locations:

  • 11/F, Siu Ying Commercial Building, 151-155 Queen’s Road Central
  • Unit B-D, 22/F, Prosperous Coml. Bldg, 54-58 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay
  • Room 1601, 16/F, Causeway Bay Plaza Phase 1, 489 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday : 12:00 to 9:00pm, Saturday+ Sunday+ PH: 10:00 to 7:00pm

Website: http://www.spacollection.hk

Remember to like their Facebook page too!

Treatment arranged by MyVisitDay & sponsored by Spa Collection

My Visit Day FB MyVisitDay Logo

 

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