pregnancy

PARENTING

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am mom2 and this is a place for me to discuss my life as the parent to two angelic (and sometimes not so angelic) kids. I hope that you enjoy it.

Parenting… is an adventure that I am lucky to be part of. It’s extremely rewarding and full of surprises. To see your little one slowly grow up to be tiny human, is something indescribable. But, it also has it’s not so great and extremely frustrating moments.

When I was expecting baby1, I thought I knew all about what parenting would entail. After all, I had all the experience that I could need with toddler2, right? Wrong. So wrong.

What I learned is that parenting is different each time. Even during the stage where they are just squirmy little things. The differences in their personalities are apparent even at an early stage. Handling a toddler and newborn can be challenging sometimes (like dealing with an infant and the terrible twos both at the same time), but it does have its good moments. My day is usually filled with a lot of screaming, a million cups of coffee, chores, laughter and trying to think of different ways to keep my toddler engaged while dealing with the little one’s demands. It’s tricky. Hopefully, through this blog and people that I meet here, I will figure out the perfect formula eventually.

This blog is mostly going to be filled with activities to keep boredom away, baby stories, and other tidbits of parenting that I have discovered, which you will hopefully appreciate. Through this blog, I hope to share as well as discover and improve my parenting skills. This is a place where I can complain about my parenting woes (not often, I hope) and not be judged immediately.

POST-PARTUM BODY SURPRISES

When you’re expecting your first baby, you have no idea what you’re in for. It is an unchartered territory and you couldn’t be more scared. So, to prepare for it, you dive deep into the depths of the internet and read up on every health blog, mom blogs, parenting blogs and what not.

Or at least that’s what I did. I read innumerable blog posts about pregnancy, what was normal, what wasn’t, how to help morning sickness, how to eat better, what to buy in order to prepare for the baby and what not. Naively, I really did not read much about what to do after the baby was here.

I mean, sure I read up on how to deal with colic, spit-up diaper rashes and all the common stuff. But I just ignored everything that was related to a mum’s body after post-partum. Hence, I wasn’t adequately prepared for it. I mean, my body should just bounce back to its good old self, right?

Wrong, so wrong.

  1. Post-partum Belly: Look, obviously, it’s not expected that your belly will go back to its smooth and flawless self, right after delivery. That’s absurd. But what I did not expect is to look as if I was still eight months pregnant. My belly button was beyond disfigured looking. The belly was sagging and even after seven to eight weeks, it still looked bloated. Lovely.
  2. Nausea: This was honestly the worst part. If you thought your “morning” sickness was over, you are so wrong. At first, I thought it was because of some horrible bug. But, one Google session later, I was enlightened with the knowledge that it was due to hormonal reasons related to milk let down.
  3. Forceful milk eruptions: I know that breasts produce milk. Who is not aware of that? But the fact that they could squirt milk completely unprompted?! No idea. Nada. I was so surprised the first time it happened. If you don’t have your breast pads on or forget about them, be prepared. You will wake up to completely soaked sheets. It’s crazy.
  4. Crazy amounts of blood: If you think, like I did, that you won’t have any bleeding because you had a C-section, you would be wrong. The first three weeks were horrendous. I felt like I went through a thousand pads a day and that still wasn’t enough. I do not know how the doctor’s expected me to air my C-section scar, or how they expect mommies too keep perineal stitches dry, honestly. I was massively annoying as well as inconvenient.
  5. Hair loss: This is the one which bummed me out the most. I am told that a lot of mothers don’t experience this (well, lucky you, if you’re one of them) but I was losing hair like crazy. It is normal though as, the full luscious volume of hair you were sporting during pregnancy, well that was because of some hormonal changes which temporarily stopped hair fall. Now that you have your wailing baby with you, you can enjoy the perks of your body crazily trying to make up for it. You can never have nice things.

TIPS FOR A SUMMER PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is time during which your body undergoes a lot of changes. These changes have many outward symptoms, most of which are quite uncomfortable. Your hormone levels are going haywire as well; coping with these changes can be quite stressful. But, the added heat and discomfort of summer can really take a toll on your physical as well as mental health. Hence, it’s important for you to take a break every once in a while.

Summer heat is excruciating for each one of us, but a summer pregnancy can be extra taxing on you. Here are a few simple tips that you can employ to have a relatively more comfortable summer pregnancy:

Stay Hydrated: Of course, this seems pretty obvious. But, it is so easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. One glass of water in the morning won’t keep you sufficiently hydrated! Now that you are pregnant, your body needs more water than usual; make sure to provide your body with sufficient water. It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.

Loose fitting clothing: Wearing body hugging clothes during the summer is a complete disaster even if you aren’t pregnant. It’s hot and makes you extremely sweaty. It adds another layer of discomfort which you definitely do not need. Loose fitting clothes that are breezy and light are super comfortable and summer friendly. In fact, loose fitting maternity clothes are extremely easy to find, so you won’t run into any problems there!

Cold compressors or Ice Packs: It is a good idea to keep ice packs or cold compressors in the fridge so you can use it whenever you please. Even plastic baggies filled with ice cubes work well for this. These are especially good, as you can use them in a more localized manner (like the back of your neck which, for me at least, gets really hot throughout the day) which is quite helpful. They are also pretty easy to procure.

Lukewarm Showers:Cold showers might be a little too much for your body right now, but lukewarm showers (or baths, if you can handle it) work wonders too cool you down as well as relax you. It’s good for the skin as well, as hot water generally dulls your skin over time; you will be relaxed and have extra glowing skin (wow!).

Avoid the sun during peak hours: Of course, most of us should already be employing this tip in general. If you must go out during these peak hours (usually noon/afternoon time), make sure you are heavily guarded against the sun. Wear floppy hats, sunglasses, and a lot of sunscreen to protect yourself, Even if you feel it’s silly, a little too much protection doesn’t hurt!

Cold Beverages: As you know our body needs plenty of liquid during the summer. Water is the best (and easiest) way to supplement our bodies, but there are other fun ways to drink it as well! This is a good time to experiment with other cool beverages that you’ve had your eyes on. They’re fun to make, look fancy and are, of course, delicious!

STAGES OF PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is different for every woman. During pregnancy, your body changes to protect you and your baby. These changes can be observed via different symptoms. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or even months, and other discomforts are only temporary and don’t have the same effects on every woman.

A normal pregnancy last for almost 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual period, which is also typically around two weeks before conception occurs. The duration of pregnancy is divided into stages and these stages of pregnancy are described in three month periods, known as trimesters. Each trimester lasts for about 12-13 weeks. During each of the trimesters, several changes take place in the body as well as in the development of the foetus.

During the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) the body undergoes several changes. Most importantly, hormonal changes that affect all the organ systems in your body. Extreme tiredness, morning sickness, tender or swollen breasts, mood swings, cravings, headache, need to urinate more often, heartburn are some of the symptoms of the first trimester. These symptoms or discomforts will gradually go away as your pregnancy progresses, or you might not feel any discomforts at all.

By second trimester (week 12 – week 28) some of the earlier symptoms lessen or disappear. Most women notice that the second trimester is easier than the first. In the second trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue will start to wither away but you will begin to notice other symptoms, since your baby starts to grow, the abdomen will expand. Your body changes to in a way to let the baby grow, during this trimester, therefore you are likely to have symptoms like body ache which includes back, abdomen, high pain and also groin pain. You will also notice the skin around your nipple grow darker and also patches of skin usually over the cheeks , forehead, nose, or upper lip grow darker. Stretch marks also begin to appear during this time. Numbing of hands and itching of hands, abdomen, palms and soles of feet are also common. You will also see a line running down from your belly button. And you will also feel your baby beginning to move before the trimester is over.

Lastly, there is the third trimester which includes the final few weeks until your due date. The third trimester starts from week 29 and last till the 40th week. During this trimester, some of the symptoms you had in your second trimester is likely to persisted even in this trimester. You can already feel your baby move and possibly kick in this trimester. Some of the new body changes that you are likely to experience are shortness of breath, swelling of ankle, fingers and face, tender breast(which may also leak a watery yellowish pre-milk called colostrum), heartburn, haemorrhoids, your belly button may stick out, you can experience trouble sleeping, you can feel the baby dropping or moving in your lower abdomen and lastly contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labour.

GUIDE TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY

When you’re pregnant, you’re not just taking care of yourself but you’re precious baby as well. What you put into your body directly affects your baby; this is a time for you to be at your healthiest. Moreover, it helps inculcate some good habits that you can carry on to stay healthy!

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife:Obviously, this goes without saying. Make sure to register yourself for prenatal care as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that you receive advice for a healthy pregnancy from the very beginning. Though the visits are short and often seem pointless, they’re scheduled for a reason. These visits are important as the doctors need to make sure that you’re gaining enough weight, your pressure is okay, and that the baby’s measure is on track.
  2. Stay Hydrated:It’s important for both you and your baby that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your uterus is a muscle, and like any of the other ones, it needs water. During pregnancy your body requires some extra hydration; make sure to drink enough liquids to avoid cramps!
  3. Keep a healthy diet:This goes without saying. You will need to make sure you’re getting the important nutrients in your body to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s okay to give in to the junk food cravings every once in a while (being pregnant doesn’t have to be a punishment!) but make sure it is balanced by a healthy diet. You will only need an extra 200 calories a day during the last three months of your pregnancy; you can maintain your normal (healthy) diet for the first six months. Make sure to check with your daily required nutrient count and prepare a diet plan.
  4. Stay active: Your immune system will benefit from exercising regularly, and therefore, so does your baby. If you play sports, you can continue to do so if it doesn’t involve the risk of falling, being knocked down or put extra stress on your joints. Some exercises that are good for pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. Make sure your instructor knows your pregnant or join classes that are tailored for pregnant women. Exercise may also help in relieving sleep problems (as long as you’re not exercising too close to bedtime) and backache.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine and smoking:Many experts’ advice on avoiding alcohol completely as there is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is advised that you avoid alcohol completely, and stick to one or two (at most) units of alcohol once or twice a week at a later stage. Cola, tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine. According to current guidelines, up to 200mg of coffee a day won’t harm your developing baby, though it is best to avoid it altogether.  If you smoke it’s better to stop for your baby’s health as well as your own. It’s better to stop sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late.