Our Bump feature highlights beautiful, inspiring soon-to-be mothers around town, and we can’t think of anyone better for our next Bump than Ifat Kafry Hindes. A health food aficionado and amazing mum-preneur, she opened Hong Kong’s first gluten-free restaurant & bakery Choice Cooperative back in 2013, and now offers private cooking classes, healthy home makeovers, and event consulting services through Here In a Nutshell. Her enthusiasm for healthy and delicious food is infectious, and now at 8 month’s pregnant, we can’t wait to see her family grow…
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
This is my third pregnancy and every time I burst into tears thanking my lucky stars for such a wonderful blessing.
Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
Well, because my hormones are all over the place, when I start laughing I can’t seem to stop. Then it just continues until I hit a moment of turning the laughter into tears and they just aren’t controllable. It’s a laugh-cry kinda thing!
Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
For my first pregnancy I bought so many books, as I wanted to soak up as much knowledge from as many different sources as possible. They were great in feeding me knowledge and information I didn’t know about. However, the best resources have to be family and friends that have gone through the ride of being pregnant and hearing their stories, both good and bad.
Although, I have to say, nothing can ever prepare you for the arrival of your own baby! What I have learned is that each of us have motherly instincts and the best thing we can do is block out the noise of what we should and shouldn’t do, and ultimately do what we instinctively know is best for us, our baby and family.
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
It’s different for everyone. For me, I decided to quit my fast-paced lifestyle of working in the PR industry back in 2008 and took one year to get my body healthy. That meant giving up smoking and drinking and working hard on my body, mind and spirit. I wanted to have a safe healthy environment for both myself and my baby when I eventually got pregnant. In hindsight, it was the best decision I made as it led to where I am now with how I view living a healthy lifestyle. In the end, we can try to prepare as much as we can, but nothing will prepare you fully for the amazing journey of being pregnant. Those 9 months are precious and magical.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
The easiest for all my pregnancies was the second trimester – I gained my energy back, and wasn’t lethargic or nauseated. It’s also the trimester that I gained most of my weight!
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Generally speaking, I don’t follow any fitness program. I believe in eating healthy and getting healthy exercise at least 20 minutes a day, whether it’s walking or doing yoga. With my first two pregnancies, no matter how healthy I was and how much exercise I did, I still gained a lot of weight. My first pregnancy I gained 38kg, and this was while walking 3km daily and having a personal trainer 5 days a week, as well as eating super healthy! My second, I gained 21kg and was also exercising, just not as much as I didn’t have the time with a toddler running around. Now in my third pregnancy, I’m at 35 weeks and have only gained 13kg, but through most of it I’ve been unable to do anything other than walk due to health issues.
What does this say? Well, each pregnancy is different – just live healthily, try to stay stress-free, and aim for the ultimate goal of having a healthy, happy baby. The rest will sort itself out as long as you stay on a good regime. There are so many resources in HK to help guide women with a good program for their pregnancy: Flex, Pure, EPT, Barre to Barre and then there is the Tracy Anderson 9-month fitness DVD that’s also awesome!
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
I tend to try and buy clothes which I think I can wear long after having the baby as well. That way I don’t have to rush out and buy clothes again after the birth! There are a couple of weeks while my body is loosing weight that my normal clothes don’t fit. This rang true especially with my first! So I bought a lot of affordable clothes from H&M and was able to use them both during and after.
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
Being patient about getting myself back to a place where I’m comfortable. I never thought that I’d love myself more after having babies but I find that I do and I’m more confident than ever in my body, my thoughts and how I generally am. However, the thing I struggle with most is patience about getting back to a place of comfort. I try not to be too hard on myself; after all, we are only human.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
The same as with all my children – that they will be happy, healthy and surrounded by unconditional love. My wish for them is that this life becomes all that they want it to become.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
One mama is my grandma on my father’s side, who was a survivor of WW2. What she went through was phenomenal, and her story of survival is both courageous and romantic. She managed after all to have a beautiful family, grow a textiles business and live long enough to see her great grandchildren. My other grandmother at the age of 13 lost her mother and had to take on the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the farm, and looking after her siblings and father as well as going to school. She would wake up hours before anyone else and go to sleep hours after. Their stories aren’t as simple as that but there is too much to write about. I draw inspiration from all these mamas – they are truly inspiring in so many ways. I read recently we should all be more supportive of each other as mothers no matter how different we are in our decisions and lifestyles. We are all doing our best and should embrace that regardless of life choices.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I LOVE to plan ahead, so I wanted to know the baby’s sex in advance for sure! I could then buy all I need in advance. It sounds crazy I know, but I grew up looking after my little sisters and never really purchased month to month. What I have done is buy enough clothes for 0-3 , 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 months whilst taking into consideration the seasonal changes in the weather. I saw so many mummy friends of mine rush out and buy clothes when they got too small overnight, and I didn’t want the stress of running around at the last minute.
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
We really wanted to start a family the second we got married and we planned and read every book on how and what to do. Four months later, we had the best news ever! The next two pregnancies we didn’t exactly try too hard to get pregnant. It just happened.
What kind of birth did you have?
I had a C-Section for the first two times and will again the third time. There is a lot of controversy about this, and looking back I would have probably tried to see if I could have had a natural birth first time round but there are many reasons for why a C-Section was right for me. However, now that I’ve had two C-Sections it’s much harder to have a 2VBAC even though I wanted to try, but after many checks we learned it’s probably not the best option for me.
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
If anyone knows anything about me it is that when it comes to food, I try to only consume nutrient dense foods. So with that and the fact that I’m a huge advocate of baby wearing and love to walk EVERYWHERE, the groove comes naturally! Well, that and waking up every morning hearing the crazy little ones laugh, scream, play, cry, and just BE.
Any local businesses that made your pregnancy journey easier?
I love to cook and create and play in the kitchen but this pregnancy, I haven’t had the chance to do it as much as I’d like. I love Green Vitamin, where I get my raw goodness from (Coconut Yogurt, Kale Kraut, Raw Granola, Raw Pesto and a variety of Kombucha and Kefir), filled with the best probiotics and nutrition for me and baby. I love the ethics of this company and trust their production. My other favourite is Raiz The Bar by my dearest friend Chef Priscilla Sologio, who creates THE best Raw Chocolate ever! She personally sources the cacao beans and makes her own cacao and butter. She also tempers the raw chocolate for days before she makes her bars. The taste is impeccable and knowing that it comes from a sustained source is even better! The third that has kept me going is Peggy Chan’s Grassroots Pantry. My favourites are the Palak Paneer and the Burger at Prune! Her desserts are also so delish!
Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
For all pregnancies I’ve had no weird cravings (which I feel is something strange). My hubby on the other hand seemed to have suffered sympathy cravings! He never liked curry or any food with spices before, but with all the pregnancies, it’s been his favourite dish! It’s a strange phenomenon. I do think the baby craves what it needs so whilst I eat like a vegan 70% of the time, the other 30% my baby is saying it needs meat, chicken or fish and I pretty much eat what baby needs when it needs it. Like I said, it’s all about keeping the baby happy and healthy!