Tag Archives: pregnancy

Fitness during and post pregnancy

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Fitness has been something that has always been of importance to me, probably because I struggled a lot with it for a good part of my life and only in the past 5 years was able to maintain a good fitness regime. When I found out that I was pregnant one question that did cross my mind was, “how much weight will I gain?” I have a tendency to easily put on weight and had heard stories of people gain 40+ pounds and post delivery were struggling to lose the excess weight etc.; honestly, I did not want to end up in the same boat. I had worked really hard to achieve a personal fitness goal and I was determined to have a healthy and fit pregnancy.

Stroller Time!

Stroller Time!

It was my mental determination more than anything that allowed me to achieve a fit and healthy pregnancy. Trust me, it was not easy and required a lot of discipline, but again, I kept saying to myself this is something I want to do. Luckily, my doctor provided me with a good and balanced eating plan. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my night meals were consistently salads, soups and a glass of milk. I would indulge once in a while, but 90% of the time stuck to this regime. Yes, now it did get a little bit monotonous, but then I would try to add different dressings or something to my salad to change it up.

Post Delivery

Post partum fitness has been a similar story. I had a c-section and therefore I knew it would be a good 6 weeks or even longer before I could do any sort of exercise. Upon getting the green light from the doctor at my 6 week checkup, I have started going on walks with baby. Today’s wide range of baby carriers has made this a breeze:) My baby absolutely loves being in the ring sling and snoozes off almost instantaneously. Yes, a c-section does come with its own aches and pains, but my rule of thumb was just listening to my body. If I felt good after a 15 minute walk, the next day I added 5 more minutes and so on. Being able to go on these walks has helped me mentally as well. The first month I was going crazy being at home constantly. Taking care of a newborn is exhausting and can get frustrating as well; there have been many a times that I have broken down. These quick walks have provided me with the much “me time” that I was so used to; furthermore they automatically put me in a better mood which enables me to take better care of the baby.

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

It is easy to say that baby takes up 24/7 of my time (which it does) and give a workout a pass. Just based on my experience, I just urge one to listen to their body and have a strong mind to give it a try….take the baby along with you and make these walks a good bonding time that breaks the monotony of being stuck indoors. I also acknowledge that each pregnancy is different and not everyone is able to stick to such a schedule, but if everything has gone smoothly pre and post delivery, I would recommend not giving up on adding these simple walks to one’s schedule. You will enjoy it and so will your baby 🙂

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Styling while Pregnant

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Styling while Pregnant

Hello! Hello! If there is one thing I could say is slightly upsetting about pregnancy is the lack of wearing stylish or fashionable clothes. I am bored of wearing the Indian kurta and leggings and while I was browsing Instagram and the web, I came across this cute service called BumpStyleBox, which basically is a maternity boutique that delivers adorable outfits you can wear while you are pregnant! Oh how I wish a similar service was present in India. There are countless maternity clothing websites, but their selection is not quite flattering. Looking at this service, I thought of going back to my closet and putting together a few outfits that could be cute. However, let me warn you that I am no fashion stylist; I just randomly tried on clothes that I thought would break the wardrobe monotony.

So I am leaving you with two looks I tried out. Let me know what you think.

Look 1: Jeans & Jacket. One can never go wrong with jeans, a simple black cami and a jacket. One can even add some junk jewellery and bangles to glam up the look.

Front View

Front View

Look 2: Black & white dress from Express (two years old). So this dress was always a little too big on me, but fits well now and the strips accentuate the growing bump as well. A nice pair of red ballets or even a statement necklace could be added to complete the look. 

A little dress to spice up the wardrobe!

A little dress to spice up the wardrobe!

Joys of Today: Bump Update

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As my role as a teacher comes to an end in a few weeks, I am going to be starting the most challenging and exciting one of my life: being a mom (yes, it is a cliche). I know there are countless pregnancy blogs about what happens or what to expect, etc. so I am not going to go there. I do read books and blogs here and there but I also do want to just experience things as they come along. So I am in the final stretch of this journey and luckily it has been a good one so far. I wanted to take the time to share some of the most special and comforting moments so far.

I can spend hours or an entire day just laying in bed and waiting to feel the baby move. It is such a comforting feeling and I don’t think I am doing any just in describing the emotion and joy one feels. Most days, I am content doing just that and nothing else. In addition to just feeling the baby move, I have started reading and playing music for the baby. I usually end up reading the same Winnie the Pooh poems, my favorite one being “To the Market Square.” I enjoy reading these stories and poems just as much as for myself as for the baby.

Front Shot…spot the bump!

Front Shot…spot the bump!

Your first pregnancy is also a time that you get pampered the most, definitely in India. Everybody is ready to make any food you crave and satisfy any needs or urges you may have. Some are also willing to pick up household chores for you! A common question I get is whether I have any cravings or not and while I would like to believe that no, I have not really had any cravings that have driven me up the wall, the real reason behind is probably my husband. Even if I just mention, in passing, that I feel like eating this particular food, by that evening that food is in front of me 🙂 Now who cannot like this royal treatment?

7 months pregnant in the only pair of jeans that still fit.

7 months pregnant in the only pair of jeans that still fit.

The pregnancy has been a smooth one so far and I hope it continues this way 🙂 I am even more excited as we get closer to meeting our little one.

So Many Choices

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Being a parent is a tough job, and I don’t think most of us realize that until we are about to become one ourselves. Walking down the supermarket aisle, we are inundated with choices from shower gels to diapers. In the end it is never a simple choice to simply pick an item because there are the ingredients that need to be considered for a baby’s sensitive skin.

There is just so much material to read, and none that gives a direct answer or ‘this is good’, or ‘this is bad’. And I guess to some extent it makes sense because at the end of the day you need to pick a product or a parenting style that works best for your baby in her environment.

I thought since I have gained all this information from the blogs out there, maybe I should pass some along and hopefully help someone. Here are just some of the things that moms-to-be need to consider before birth:

Natural or Cesarean: I have finally come to the conclusion that our bodies were made to go through the natural birthing process, and barring any last minute complications this is the route I am going. Quicker recovery time as well. But definitely a cesarean or c-section makes sense if the mother or the baby’s life is at risk.

Cord Blood: we have decided to store our baby’s cord blood for future use for the baby or if the need arises for a family member. I have read so much on stem cell treatment in the last few weeks that I feel I can write a paper about it. At the current scenario, treatments using own cord blood are still relatively few and many in clinical trials, but we are banking on the hope that there will be more research and progress in the coming years.

Massage Oil: I had my mind set on Olive oil, until I read that since it is high in oleic acid it is not recommended for babies with extra sensitive skin. In those cases other vegetable oils such as sunflower are a better option. And you should always pick unscented, cold pressed, unrefined oils. I am thinking to alternate between almond oil and olive oil-in the hot weather coconut oil is a good recommendation but I just cannot stand the smell.

Baby Massage: essential to bonding

Baby Massage: essential to bonding

Bathe or Wash Cloth: this seems to depend on what part of the world you come from. In the US it is recommended to use a wash cloth on a baby until the umbilical stump has fallen off in order to keep it infection free. Whereas in Asia, the common practice seems to give the baby a daily bath and carefully dry the stump area to prevent infection. Definitely going the daily bath route, because you can’t massage a baby and then not give it a bath. Plus its more hygienic.

Shower Gel: of the numerous ‘learning to bathe a baby’ videos that I have watched, one thing is common, Johnsons Baby. That was easy!

Johnson's Baby Head to Toe

Johnson’s Baby Head to Toe

Diapers: this is really important, because for the first few months you go through a lot of these, and decided to go disposable or opting for cloth can mean savings in time or money. Disposable diapers are obviously easier to deal with since you simply bin the dirty diaper, but you really have to take into consideration the toll that the planet takes. Not to mention they can get expensive.

Disposable diapers

Disposable diapers

Cloth diapers on the other hand are better suited for a baby’s sensitive skin and they are a one- time initial investment. But you do have to change after every time the baby wets or soils the diaper and there is the cleaning. We have picked some animal print flat diapers for the first few weeks and a pocket diapers for the later months. Disposables are set aside for going out and traveling.

Flat (top) vs Pocket (bottom) diapers

Flat (top) vs Pocket (bottom) diapers

Once the baby is here, some of the decisions might change, depending on how the baby reacts. And not to forget all the new ones that we need to make from picking children’s books and toys to deciding when to start solids.

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, a big thank you to all the mothers (and fathers) for raising us well. We now know what a tough job this is.

Where is my Pregnancy Glow?

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When you read or hear people talk about being pregnant, 90% of it is all about how much fun it was, the glow and that it is a blessing. The not so fun side of it is something that you experience on your own, or hear about only after you are already pregnant. So, there is no time to prepare for it.

There is the constant nausea during the first trimester, which is also the time, your jeans stop fitting you. The rest of your wardrobe ceases to fit midway into the second trimester, and any new clothes you buy will be too tight within a couple of weeks. I am yet to find pregnancy jeans anywhere here in India, so have basically been living in loose kurtis and leggings.

My Pregnancy Attire

My Pregnancy Attire

And do you have any idea how difficult it is to apply or remove nail color! I mean you literally have to go into Yogic poses to reach your toes. Waxing is a strict no-no from the doctor, as the pain could trigger early labor. And all that squatting to pick anything from a lower shelf or something that you dropped kills your thigh muscles, if you did not include squatting in your pre-pregnancy exercise routine.

Sleeping on your side, while supporting your belly on a pillow makes it difficult to turn or find a comfortable position. Half the time the pillow ends up on the floor mostly with the cover somewhere else. And even the most simple acts of sitting and getting up from a couch can get troublesome towards the end of your second trimester.

A lot of these things you only find out about when you are reading the pregnancy books. I wish that articles covered more beside the glow, so that one is a little prepared. Also, people should be a little less judgmental if someone decides to say that the pregnancy was not all fun.

I am not saying it is all bad, looking at the sonogram and trying to predict a boy or a girl, and identifying body parts definitely has its moments. So is pressing your belly and waiting for a kicking response. Trust me it is so much fun and weird at the same time that someone that tiny already boasts of intelligence.

If you are pregnant and reading, or planning of trying for a baby, just know that there are others like you who are having trouble and it is not smooth sailing all the way for them either. Enjoy the parts that you do and cherish them, and ignore the people who judge.