Singaporebrides | Beauty

November 2011

Top 5 Pre Wedding Health Tips

Planning the perfect wedding is no mean feat (even if you’ve engaged a top wedding planner like Marion St. Claire in Bride Wars). With seemingly endless gown fittings, the chore of collecting RSVPs and managing parents’ expectations, it can get physically and psychologically exhausting. Well, don’t fret. SingaporeBrides shows you how to stay healthy and happy during these crucial months.

#1: Eat well, drink well (no crash diets, please!)

Grabbing quick bites in between running bridal errands and attending pre-wedding celebratory luncheons can be bad for you. You have to keep your energy up, so eat enough, and eat well. Make healthy food choices, such as including plenty of whole-grains, fruits and vegetables in your meals while avoiding sugar, fried and fatty foods. In other words, choose yong tau foo over that fried chicken and fries meal. Also drink lots of water (not coffee, alcohol or fizzy drinks) and cut the ciggies out of your life.

Dr Ivy Lim, registrar at Changi Sports Medicine Centre, advises: “Your daily diet should consist of carbohydrates (55-60% of total energy intake), proteins (10-15%) and fat (25-30%).” Stick to this even if you’re trying to lose weight to fit into your gown. Dr Lim adds: “Many brides-to-be crash diet without realising that the weight they lose is actually from water, not fat. That means the metabolic rate go down and the fat-free mass reduces because the body is conserving energy. But when they stop the diet, the body ends up burning fewer calories than it did before, and they will end up gaining weight.” Plus, such crash diets only stresses your body. It affects your mood and energy levels so you end up being tired, depressed and grumpy!

Do this:

Planning to start a family soon after your wedding? Dr Chee Jing Jye, medical director of The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre at Singapore Medical Group, advises: “Start taking folate (or folic acid) supplements, which has been proven to reduce brain and spinal cord abnormalities in the baby. It’s recommended for mothers-to-be to start taking it at least three months before conception.”

#2: Work out!

If you want to lose a dress size or two, don’t just think about quick fixes like that slimming package. Go for the natural approach (read: exercise, exercise, exercise). Dr Lim advises 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise to keep fit (or 300 minutes per week to lose weight). She says: “Brides-to-be might not have time to hit the gym or go for long runs. Actually, any exercise session that lasts at least 10 minutes can count towards your weekly target. So you can keep fit by making small changes to your daily activities.”

While doing so, keep in mind that you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. “That can result in injuries,” warns Dr Lim. “Pick a few types of exercises you enjoy – like badminton, stair-climbing and swimming – and switch between them through the week. That helps you to break your exercise routine into smaller, regular bouts so you can achieve them through the week (don’t be a weekend warrior!).”

Do this:

Brisk walk: Stop one to two bus stops before your destination and brisk walk there instead. If you drive, park at a parking lot further away from your destination and let your feet do the work.

Climb stairs: Instead of using the elevator or escalator, use the staircase when you’re leaving or going home or running errands in a shopping centre.

#3: Get forty winks (and more)

Brides-to-be have lots to prepare for a wedding. Yet, they’re often expected to keep up with their usual daily activities like a 9-to-5 job. That’s why it’s inevitable that they are deprived of sleep in the months leading up to the wedding day. But a lack of quality sleep can seriously compromise your health – you run a higher risk of catching a cold. It can also affect your mood and ability to cope with the additional stress during this time.

Dr Chee Jing Jye, medical director of The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre at Singapore Medical Group, advises: “Have at least six to an ideal eight hours of sleep daily. Adequate rest not only ensures that you look radiant, it also boosts your immune system.” So if you have been staying up till wee hours of the night preparing for your wedding, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Pre-Wedding Health Tips

Do this:

Start a bedtime ritual: It could be warm milk. Or one chapter of a bestselling novel. Engaging in these relaxing activities will take your mind off those pre-wedding tasks.

Cut the caffeine and alcohol: Having lots of lattes will not help in your quest for quality sleep. Neither will beer – alcohol might shorten the time it takes for you to fall asleep, but it increases arousals during the night so you end up even sleepier!

#4: Consider a pre-wedding check-up

Not many couples in Singapore actually consider the possibility of going for a pre-wedding health screening, but it is actually good practice. By doing so, both parties will know if they are healthy and clear of infectious, life-threatening diseases like HIV and hepatitis. It also allows the couple to check if they are able to conceive, or have genetic disorders or congenital diseases that might affect their children later down the road.

According to Dr Chee, a pre-wedding checkup typically includes:

Health history: Your doctor will ask you about your general well-being, with specific emphasis on your gynaecological health, past medical history and family history of major illnesses. Dr Chee explains: “By doing so, the doctor can identify if there could be possible gynaecological conditions that can be treated before wedding; or potential problems that may result in complications to the pregnancy, and take active steps to eliminate or reduce that risk.”

Take tests: Your doctor will recommend a series of blood tests to assess the general health condition, as well as screen for conditions that may have a negative impact on pregnancy. One example would be sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B.

#5: Keep a positive outlook

This is the true key to a happy, healthy bride. After all, your wedding – even if the planning can get overwhelming – should be a joyous event. It shouldn’t become a chore or a form of stress for you. Ms Chaw Yen Fern, clinical psychologist at Changi General Hospital (Psychological Medicine), observes: “Perfectionism about wedding arrangements can be a big source of stress. High expectations lead to greater stress, both in the preparation process and the wedding day itself.”

That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind and accept that there are limits to the amount of control you have over the wedding. “Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. Besides, any event involving so many people is bound to have a few imperfections. What doesn’t go exactly according to plan may be the most amusing or memorable detail to reminisce about in years to come.”

Pre-Wedding Health Tips

Do this:

Make time for some fun: Listen to music, go for a walk, watch a movie or get a spa massage! These can be mini-breaks that help you recharge amidst the stressful wedding planning.

Connect: Spend positive and enjoyable time with your fiancé. Schedule a “no wedding night” once a week, whereby neither of you should mention nor do anything wedding-related. Make this a date night and focus on each other’s company.

Get some support: Those with strong social support perceive and experience less stress, and are better able to cope with the stress that they do face. Ms Chaw adds: “Family and friends can help you to brainstorm ideas, talk over the problems you encounter and help you keep your perspective.”

Simply, stay positive. Ms Chaw advises: “Know that whatever happens, you will still be married at the end of the ceremony. The wedding day, while important, is only one of the many experiences and memories you will share with your spouse in your lifelong journey together.”