Cover Ksisters’ Jungmin Lee and Dawn of Daprayer Designs.

With her Bud to Blossom journal, Jungmin Lee introduces to mummies-to-be here the Korean practice of keeping a log of pregnancy memories

The journey of pregnancy is different for every mother, but no matter what it is like, every single pregnancy is unique and bound to be filled with experiences that will be etched in the memory. It’s not unusual for many women to have photos of themselves taken and to hold on to their ultrasound pictures as keepsakes of their pregnancy, but the latest trend, it seems, is to keep a pregnancy diary.

The concept works exactly like a diary, or rather, a journal in which a mother can detail all the thoughts, emotions and milestones through the progress of her pregnancy. At the end of it, what’s acquired is a physical treasure trove of precious memories for the family to keep and revisit.

Pregnancy journals may have only found popularity here in recent years, but actually are very widely used in South Korea all along, according to Ksisters’ founder, Jungmin Lee. The Korean entrepreneur is a mother of two and, naturally, is familiar with the practice of keeping a pregnancy diary. Thinking that it is a wonderful way to remember the journey leading to the birth of a baby, Lee has recently introduced her own version on her web store, which specialises in Korean beauty and lifestyle goods.

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She tells us more about the practice, as well as how she worked with friends who had expertise in design, baby care and pregnancy care in order to ensure that her Bud to Blossom journal covered every aspect of the pregnancy journey.

Tell us more about this Korean habit of keeping a pregnancy journal?

Jungmin Lee (JL): In Korea, on registering yourself for a gynaecologist appointment when you are pregnant, the first thing you’ll receive is a complimentary pregnancy diary. They all vary in terms of design, but all of them contain great guided sections to provide pregnant ladies with useful information and templates that they can use for collecting ultrasound photos and writing down memories. 

I love the idea of a pregnancy diary, as I can collect memories with it, and at the same time receive a lot of help from the information provided—such as how your baby is developing, the expected symptoms and things I should prepare for. With all the useful provided information, I didn’t have to worry much. 

What is your personal experience with such a diary? 

JL: I really love the moment when I first showed the diary to my kids. They were around six and five years old, and very excited to know that they each have their own diary, written by their mum and dad. 

It’s so precious hearing them go: “Oh mama, you thought of me this way, when you had me inside? Oh dad, did you call me this nickname?”. It was full of discoveries for them, and they could feel how much my husband and I deeply love them. You really should see that sparkle in their eyes.

Is the trend of keeping a pregnancy journal getting popular here?

JL: People here may be culturally a bit different [from Koreans], but at the end of the day, motherhood and the special emotion women feel during pregnancy is a very universal feeling. This is why I am very certain that there is a market for it in Singapore.

When I showed my diary to my close Singaporean friends, the response was amazing. Mummies can redeem the diary for free on our website—we prepared our first batch of around 400, and all were issued in five days. We are constantly receiving new requests to open the next batch soon! 

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In what ways do you think today’s new mothers are different from past generations of mothers?

JL: Things have really changed particularly for women who have become pregnant or new mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Physical meet-ups, mummy group gatherings and mega baby expos are great platforms to learn and find out more about parenting, but due to the current situation, all these platforms are not available any more. Everything is online now, and all these new mums are amazingly connected online regardless of age, nationality and time zone. 

Previously, I felt that maternity and baby-care product trends were more relative to each individual country, but now they have become global. If one trend is popular in Korea, it starts to boom in other countries the very next day. 

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You worked with Dr Jade Kua, Daprayer Designs and SG Supernanny on your Bud to Blossom pregnancy journal. What have they brought to the project in their own way? 

JL: It all started when Dawn (of Daprayer Designs) and I had a casual conversation, in which I mentioned how I wished there was a good baby diary in Singapore, after looking at all the struggles of my new mama friends. Dawn said she fully agreed and encouraged me to start this project! 

We started planning for it by referencing my Korean baby diary. But, I also wanted to make sure to capture all the needs that are relevant to local mothers too, so I reached out to experts to gather quality information. It was a non-profit project for the Singapore mama community, so I wasn’t sure if they would say yes—thankfully, they agreed and helped me in their own special way. 

Dawn designed the pregnancy diary from scratch—she was the first person who understood my dream and agreed to collaborate on this project, which I am really grateful for. She also introduced the best baby sleep-training expert, SG Supernanny to me, who also contributed to the project with her area of expertise.

Dr Jade Kua agreed to review all the information in the diary from the perspective of a paediatric emergency specialist. Her opinions also boosted my confidence in the contents of the diary. 

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What sets your Bud to Blossom pregnancy journal apart from other similar products? 

JL: The best part about the diary is that, in it, there are constant reminders to mothers about how important self-care is. I feel that many mothers tend to de-prioritise themselves while focusing on baby. But self-care is very crucial—a mother who knows how to love herself would be able to better instil self-esteem and self-confidence in her children.

The content in the diary also explains the changes in the mother’s body and baby’s development in weekly frames. It covers how they can care for themselves, along with recommended curated care sets for mothers available on Ksisters, so that they can easily address their concerns! I find that no one talks about self-care for women who are pregnant, so I wanted to make sure that our journal addresses this issue very well.

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Mums and mums-to-be who sign up for the Ksisters Mums Squad club membership on Ksisters’ website are eligible for a free copy of the Bud to Blossom pregnancy journal. Due to an overwhelming number of requests, the journal is also available for purchase here as well.