Celeb mum Le Yao: My friends asked why I was ‘so fat’

The former MediaCorp actress comes clean on how she lost her baby weight after getting flak from her pals.

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You might have seen former MediaCorp actress Le Yao, 34, in several popular Channel 8 dramas in recent years, but the 2001 Star Search runner-up is also busy handling several projects at a go ― most importantly, being mum to her two cuties, Lucas, 3, and Ethan, 15 months.

The cheerful Shanghai-born lass also has quite the following in China, where she records programmes like her web series, Le Yao’s Baby Diary, for iQiyi, a China-based online video platform.

In 2010, Le Yao wed Ezra Tan, 35, who runs his own property company, and also helps Le Yao out at her enrichment centre A* Speech, where she coaches kids in speech and drama, as well as yoga.

Le Yao shares the ins and outs of her life as a mum with SmartParents.

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Hi Le Yao, thanks for talking to us! You have two boys now how different are they in personality?

Lucas is now 3½! He has always been a more careful person ― whenever he walks or goes down the stairs, he always makes sure he is safe and has something to hold on to. Ethan, now 15 months, on the other hand, is very daring. He’ll want to jump down, even when there’s no one to catch him! It’s really quite dangerous. He’s so young but he’s quite muscular… I know it’s strange to describe a baby this way, but he is really quite muscular! Lucas is also very talkative. Even at 6 months, he was able to differentiate the buses, cars, and so on. But Ethan is not as vocal, but he started crawling very fast and walked earlier.

I remember going to the wardrobe and trying on the clothes, and they were all so tight.”

Does Lucas dote on his di di?
They are very close. They fight, and even kick each other at times, but I think that’s normal. Lucas is now bigger, so he tries to sayang Ethan at one moment, then tries to bully him a bit. But I think soon, Ethan won’t let himself be bullied anymore. And I think if Ethan decides to push Lucas next time, Lucas will just fall down! [chuckles]

We understand that Ethan was unplanned how surprised were you when you found you were pregnant again?
Yes! I was filming a drama for Channel 8 back then, where I was playing the role of a Tiger mum. We were filming at Thomson Plaza, and I remember thinking, ‘Eh? How come my menses didn’t come?’ My period was late for three days, but I just felt so bloated. I remember going to the wardrobe and trying on the clothes, and they were all so tight. Then, I had the thought – am I pregnant again? I thought it was impossible, but I went to Watsons to buy the pregnancy test anyway.

So, you and your husband were pleased?
We were surprised, of course, but really happy. We had initially planned to have number 2, only after Lucas turned 2, so it was a bit soon, but it’s all good. Ethan is such a loving boy.

Before I found out that I was pregnant again, my mum (who is from Shanghai) was commenting that she was already so busy looking after Lucas. She said that if I had another baby, she would need to bring him to Shanghai. After I tested positive, I told her, I think you really need to bring one back to Shanghai! [laughs]

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Were both your pregnancies smooth?
I didn’t have morning sickness for either of my pregnancies, but I craved sour and spicy foods. Since I felt the same way the second time, I felt that it was probably a boy again. With Lucas, I was spotting for the first three months. I was told to lie down for one to two weeks, and I had to take some medication for the safety of the pregnancy. For Ethan, I had no spotting, so I was very happy, and could even exercise a little. But after four or five months, they told me that his position was a bit low, so I couldn’t really exercise and I was told not to work for too long as well.