Charlyn Lin films Rites of Motherhood while carrying her second child

Celebrity host treks through Asia for the new programme, and didn’t tell the crew she was pregnant

Charlyn Lin 1

Photos: Dion Tang, Charlyn Lin

Charlyn Lin is one gutsy mum.

Known for hosting the celebrity travel programme Going Home, Charlyn recently took things up a notch with Channel U’s Rites of Motherhood, a new show exploring childbirth practices in Taiwan, Cambodia, Bali in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Japan. And what’s more, she covered the various locations while pregnant with her second child.

Despite the bumpy and muddy roads the team covered for the programme, “I didn’t want the crew to worry, so I only told them I was pregnant when filming was about to end,” she said.

“When we weren’t filming, I’d switch off my lapel microphone and talk to the baby in my belly. I’d tell it where we are and to behave.”

Charlyn Lin 3

In an exclusive interview with Toggle, the 37-year-old chatted about her pregnancy and her recent work on Rites of Motherhood. For the Japan leg of filming, the soon-to-be mother-of-two prepared fresh lemons to give her a daily dose of vitamin C and protect her from radiation. And while in India, Charlyn drank only bottled water and ate canned food and MSG-free instant noodles to guard against food poisoning.

The process of filming the programme was a journey of learning for the second-time mum, Charlyn said. While in a Cambodian village on the Laotian border with no electricity or running water, she was introduced to the local custom of placing women who have just given birth upon a hot oven for days.

Charlyn Lin 4

“The climate is so warm, many women can’t handle it and die during their confinement,” Charlyn said. The experience taught her to appreciate what she had. “We may not live in large houses here, but pregnancy and childbirth are happy occasions. But to these Cambodian women, it’s a battle between life and death.”

Report a problem