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Divya Venkatesh

Preparing for the stranger : A new mom’s pregnancy advice

Pregnancy is a new and very different phase of a girl’s life and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that nothing can prepare her for the jolts and changes that it can bring along. I’ve heard people say that mothers are selfless and what they go through to give birth to a child, only a mother knows!

 

This is completely true and as I’ve progressed in my pregnancy, I’ve come to believe that all the things people say related to a woman and her baby or pregnancy are absolutely, 100% true. Be it the body changes she goes through, or that she suddenly starts feeling this very strong maternal/protective instinct towards something she’s not even seen or met, or that she actually takes a re-birth when she gives birth to a child! And why I can say all of this with utmost surety is because I’ve just gone through this phase.

 

Divya Venkatesh

 

Nothing, and I mean nothing in the world can prepare you for those days when you’re going to be sick, throwing up from morning to night, or writhing with back-pain, as your back needs to work that much harder to support your growing belly, or those sleepless nights when you’re not allowed to sleep on your back but cannot sleep on your sides because it’s so darn uncomfortable. And not to forget – LABOR! Yikes!

 

Oh, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to freak you out here! In fact, nothing in the world can compare to that feeling either, that you get when you see the little life growing inside you, moving with its tiny feet and hands, having heartbeats! The first time I “realized” I had an actual baby growing inside me was during my 3rd month scan when I could actually see the baby’s hands and legs, its tiny little nose and hear its heartbeats – loud and clear. The last thing I expected during the scan was getting emotional! I thought that’s just something they show in movies. But the minute I saw that little thing, full of life, moving inside me, I wept and wept out of pure joy! I cannot really think back to any other experience in my life, till date, that has moved me to this extent! In fact, the memories of that scan still give me goosebumps! That’s how magical the entire experience is! Oh, and not to forget the baby kicks – Gentle reminders through the day of that little rascal inside you.

 

Many a times, during my pregnancy, I’ve been confused or scared or unsure about doing something v/s not doing something. So, I basically spent a lot of time reading-up stuff.

 

One can never have enough information when it comes to having a baby, but these were a few things I found useful and would like to share with you all. However, do remember that this is just my personal opinion and things that worked for me( having consulted priorly with my OB-GYN, of course) and it would be best for you to consult with your healthcare provider, before adopting certain stuff.

 

Eat right

 

Pregnancy is a time when a lot of people would stress to you about eating the right food. However, it’s not about eating for two, rather, it’s about eating more in terms of calories(about 300 – 400 more) on a daily basis, according to how far along you are. I would also like to add, eat whatever you feel comfortable eating, as long as it’s healthy. Craving junk food is almost a given during pregnancy but we’re talking about the healthy food that has to be eaten too..Sigh!

 

For example, a lot of foods made me sick. And the more I tried to force-feed myself, the more sick I got. So I found alternatives. I made sure I fine-tuned stuff so as to get the maximum nutrition but in a way that comforted me. For example, eating lentils made me feel sick to my stomach, and being a vegetarian I needed to make up for my protein intake. I did this with greek yogurts, tofu and soy chunks, broccoli etc. I also had Nutrilite protein powder with my milkshakes and also mixed it in with chapatti atta. Being free of odour and any strong flavours, it was the best fit for the nauseated-me! And not to add the threptin biscuits that were available.

 

I agree that the natural sources of proteins are the best, and I tried to have them whenever I could, but when my pregnancy hormones just wouldn’t allow it, I had to make do with these stuff. Also, fruits and dry fruits were my biggest friends in those 9 months. FYI, the best advice I got was to eat a banana a day – That really does keep the constipation at bay!

 

Adopt an exercising routine

 

Exercise is something else that a lot of people would stress upon. A daily walk of 15-20 minutes not only helped me deal with my crazy mood-swings but also aided better digestion. And what better way to spend some extra time with your spouse!

 

I also tried doing a little yoga(which did not involve a lot of stretching or bending) and breathing exercises. Just light exercises to keep my muscles flexible and ache-free(if there even was such a thing!). Another very important set of exercises I discovered were pelvic-floor exercises. These are great for not only helping with NVD but also for the recovery process, post delivery.

 

It’s better to read up on stuff related to the baby, like if you want to try cloth diapering v/s disposables, or if you want to take a look at baby-wearing etc. Getting an idea beforehand helps you research and know your options rather than settling for the first option you get after the baby is born. Shopping and prepping the baby clothes, as well as buying baby products are things you’ll want to do too, sometime in your third trimester.

 

Get your hospital bag ready

 

Another thing to do in the third trimester is to keep the hospital bags packed – one for you and one for the little one. Keeping all the essentials, like insurance card, clothes required in the hospital, coming-home clothes, mittens for the baby(especially important as the baby would have nails and may scratch himself in the face), maternity bra, nursing pads, sanitary napkins, newborn diapers etc. You may also want to keep receiving/swaddling blankets, face/body towels for you and the baby and of course, toiletries.

 

These are things you can buy at the hospital or get from home later, but it’s always good to keep it packed, as that would be one less thing to worry about later on. Plus, if you’re someone who would want to read about the products and buy a particular brand only, purchasing and keeping them ready, in advance, works better.

 

It’s good to also look up on stuff like breast pumps, nipple shields, nursing pads, nipple creams etc. These are things you may need immediately after the baby is born. So this is the time you can research on them,the brand you want to buy, their purpose etc, so that when time comes, you’ve to just buy them, because frankly, the little one will need all your attention, once he/she arrives, leaving you little time to look at these stuff then.

 

HERE’S THE CHECKLIST ALL NEW PARENTS NEED

 

Prep for a Maternity Photoshoot

 

The third trimester again is the best time for pregnancy photoshoots, if you’re interested in them, that is.This would also be a good time to talk and book a photographer if you’re planning on doing a newborn shoot!

 

Plan your Babymoon

 

Babymoon is a time when you and dad-to-be can take some time off, go for a vacay, put your legs up and relax. This may also probably be one of the last holidays just the two of you take, as a couple that is, so might as well make the most of it!

 

The best time, according to me for this would be the second trimester. It is during the second trimester when most of us are rid of the morning sickness etc and feel more energetic. By the third trimester we would be too tired of tugging around the huge belly anyways!

 

Lastly, and this is purely my opinion, but I wanted to be prepared for what was to come when labor hits.I didn’t want any surprises in the delivery room. So I read about how labor pains would start or how and when they’re induced, what is an epidural, how it’s administered, what are the different stages in labor, how to relax better when labor starts etc. Just stuff I thought I should know!

 

I’m not the most courageous person when it comes to enduring pain or seeing graphic stuff but there was no getting out of this one, so I figured I had better be prepared beforehand! I couldn’t get myself to see videos though, so instead, I read it all. It was hard at first but it sure did help in painting a picture about what was to come, and I don’t regret it! There are others who may think otherwise, and that’s fine. To each, his own.

 

Oh, by the way, I know of a friend who started off seeing cartoons of labor, just to ease herself into watching the actually videos! Heh.

 

I’d like to sign off saying – Pregnancy is a process, the nice things you carry along as fond memories and the not so nice things…ah, you learn to forget! But through it all, remember to get pampered, go get a massage even.. and enjoy all the attention you’re getting now, ‘cause soon,you ain’t gonna get much!

 

P.S: My husband and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl a couple of months back!

 

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By Divya Venkatesh
A new mommy in the making. Loves to travel and explore the world and has a huge bucket-list of places she wants to go to! When not traveling, she adores animals, shopping, baking and experiencing new things. Follow her personal blog here

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