Crossing over into a new year is always exciting. After glitzy Christmas celebrations and crazy countdown parties, it’s time to prepare for the Chinese New Year (CNY). If you’re pregnant at this time, the festivities are even more memorable.
Having celebrated Christmas 2015 pregnant and now stepping into 2016 with an even bigger belly, I am bent on making the most out of this Lunar New Year — my expected due date will be right after that, and that means that my life will be changed forever with the arrival of the little one!
We shared an article on safe Christmas feasting for pregnant ladies last month, with tips on how you can enjoy the Christmas spirit while eating healthily. With the Lunar New Year (and another opportunity for snacking, munching and feasting on yummy goodies) approaching, we’re bringing you another cheat sheet to make the most out of your CNY while preggers!
1. Snack (even) more Healthily
You may be snacking for two while pregnant, but you still have to snack smart! Image: The Pine Garden
You’ve probably been stocking your larder with CNY fare — bak kwa, pineapple tarts, love letters, shrimp rolls, peanut candy and so on. These foods, while drool-inducing, are high in sugar, carbohydrates and calories. To avoid overeating, apply some of these smart dieting tips.
Have a cup of water handy and take a sip with every bite of a CNY snack. Doing this will fill you up faster and ensure you don’t get — as the traditional Chinese medicine people say — ‘heaty’. In addition, you will take a longer time to chew and savour the taste, making the most out of the calories you consume.
What I intend to do is to reserve my calorie count for only my favourite CNY goodies. After so many years of celebrating CNY, we should already know what we like and what we can go without having, yes? My favourites are (in sequential order) spicy dried shrimp rolls and pineapple tarts, so those will be the ones getting snacking priority!
Snack only when Full
Another thing you can do is to snack only when you’re full. While pregnant, the enlarging womb can press onto the stomach. This means that the amount of food we preggies can eat at every meal gets smaller. We’re more prone to getting heartburn as well.
Minimise your snack intake by having them only at the end of each meal. The sense of fullness will prevent you from consuming too much! If you have gestational diabetes, it’s even more important to watch your diet. CNY goodies are high-calorie foods that can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
2. Dress Savvily for the Bump
Part of the joy of being pregnant is that you can stop worrying about your figure or having to suck in your belly in. You can strut your stuff as a glowing, expectant mama in stylish maternity wear.
If you have not bought CNY clothes to flatter your blooming figure yet, pop into Maternity Exchange, where you can browse plenty of fashionable options from different brands, and take advantage of their CNY promotions: From 8 Jan to 8 Feb 2016, customers enjoy $10 off with orders above $188, and $20 off with orders above $288.
Shopping Tips for your:
If you’re in the early stages of your pregnancy and wish to keep your pregnancy under wraps for the moment, stick to outfits that trim in under the bust and flare out at the belly, such as baby doll or empire cut tops. These avoid drawing too much attention to any small bump you may have going on now.
For second-trimester moms, ruching at the waist flatter the growing bump. Avoid dresses or tops that are too billowy as these make you look bigger than you are, and look for pieces that sufficiently accentuate your bump while skimming over other areas.
As for moms in their third trimester, when the belly is at its biggest, comfort is key. You may not want pieces that are too tight at the belly area as it can constrict movement and feel uncomfortable. Especially if you’re house visiting and have to do some travelling, be sure to select pieces that are breathable and provide enough room for movement.
For more fashion tips, check out this article on Lunar New Year style for pregnant women.
3. Get Comfortable Footwear for those Pregnant Feet
As we tend to arch our backs during pregnancy, it’s not advisable to put extra strain on your back by wearing high heels, as gorgeous as they are. High heels put additional pressure on your joints, causing pain. The shifting centre of gravity while pregnant makes you prone to falling as well, which is certainly not a good idea for both Mama and Baby!
I have been wearing my beloved Superga sneakers. They are good quality — expensive but non-slip, don’t give blisters, and durable. For work or more formal occasions, I use Hush Puppies ballet flats. They have arch support and the leather is supposed to be more comfortable, but they do cause blisters the first few times of wearing and need breaking in.
However, while I did not have to deal with swelling feet and fluctuating shoe sizes, footwear that’s easy to slip on and slip off is something I really appreciate. It’s not so easy to bend over when you have a bump in front of you.
So look for footwear that’s flat, that provides adequate arch and sole support, and that offers a little extra room for any pregnancy swelling. Shoes that are a cinch to put on and take off will also make your life much easier when you’re making your visiting rounds!