However, for some women, becoming a mother brings with it emotional turmoil leading to post partum depression. One of the reasons for this is the hormonal imbalance that takes place in the body post child-birth.
Post-partum depression can begin in a woman after 1 to 2 weeks of child birth and can linger for a few months. She might be suddenly very happy and become tearful right the next moment.
She might feel extremely sad and lonely and lose her appetite. Sometimes the depression can continue for long and it becomes important to seek proper medical attention if things go out of hand.
Apart from seeking help from a medical professional, new moms can try these tips to help deal with post-partum depression, to some extent:
• Cry when you feel like it
Hormone levels remain at an all time high during pregnancy. After the child birth, all the hormones fall back to their normal levels. Experts believe that hormone secretion takes place through tears. So if you cry, it is a natural way of getting rid of those hormones, and also of the stress of being a new mom. In fact, you could feel much better after crying.
• Re-evaluate your balance
When you become a mother for the first time, there will only be one thing on your mind and that is your baby. However, there are many things that need attention along with your baby. Try and carry out a re-evaluation of the time required for everything, so that it will not stress you and let you handle your life while retaining your balance.
• Sleep as much as possible
When you become a new mum, you will sorely miss those peaceful sleeping hours at night. You will have to wake up to feed the baby, to see if it is dry and so on. But getting adequate sleep is also very important. If there is no one else to take care of the baby when you are asleep, catch up on your own sleep when the baby sleeps.
• Eat healthy and get some exercise
Regular exercise works to boost the levels of good hormones in the body and helps you fight depression. With increasing levels of endorphin due to exercising, your depression will reduce. Also eat a balanced and healthy diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Following these tips, along with proper medical counseling, will definitely help combat the phase of postpartum blues that so many new moms go through.
Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Prenatal care is the care that is received during pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy and can be provided by an obstetrician. Pregnant women must schedule a visit to their health care provider as soon as they learn they are pregnant.
The first stage of prenatal care is the preconception stage care, which is an early stage of prenatal care. This is the stage at which you are planning a baby, and starts much before you actually conceive.
The first examination after you conceive would include a physical exam, urine test, an optional blood test and weight checks. Depending upon the stage of pregnancy, some imaging or ultrasound tests may be done.
Your prenatal visits will also allow you to discuss your health, healthy dos and don’ts, preparing for the baby’s birth and any other questions you may have regarding the pregnancy or newborn’s arrival.
A good prenatal care routine can prevent many complications that may arise during the pregnancy and will prepare women for the next stage of life. With a healthy diet, exercise and medication, as advised by your health experts, chances of complications decline significantly.
Regular prenatal care can reduce the risks of complications in pregnancy. Moreover, health experts know how to control existing conditions like blood pressure, thyroid or diabetes, which could cause serious pregnancy complications if kept untreated.
Your doctor will also be able to guide you on the medications you are already taking. For example, chances are your anti-acne medication might have a composition that is harmful to the developing fetus. It is imperative to have a thorough discussion about all health conditions that you may currently have or have had in the past.
Prenatal care can also reduce the risk of infant birth complications. Health care experts will warn you against the intake of tobacco, smoke, alcohol and certain medications during pregnancy.
With prenatal counseling, you will learn to balance your diet with appropriate protein, calcium, iron, mineral and vitamin substitutes. It is very important to consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid to reduce neural tube defects in infants.
In addition to this, many other vitamins and minerals are required by pregnant women to develop their fetus. Your health expert will be helpful in prescribing a prenatal supplement as per your daily diet requirements in your prenatal care checkup.
The expert at the prenatal care session may ask you to take some prenatal tests like chronic villus sampling, cystic fibrosis carrier screening or amniocentesis to ensure your baby is growing well.
Many prenatal care centers also provide educational classes to help understand what to expect and get ready for the baby’s arrival. The classes include, understanding your baby’s growth in the womb, what to expect during labor, caring for self and baby post-birth, breastfeeding, etc.
How Often Should You Go for Prenatal Checkups?
In the first trimester, aim to meet the expert at least once a month to discuss weight gain, blood pressure, pulse rates and for some basic scans.
In the second trimester, you may continue with the same frequency unless the heath care professional feels she needs to see you more often. At this time, there may be a requirement for advanced ultrasound testing.
For the third trimester, plan to meet your doctor once every week. Regular prenatal visits will help you bond with the doctor and make the labor and delivery process less stressful.
Image courtesy of patrisyu / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This week, Namrata, mum to a 09-month-old baby girl, wrote in to us with a problem that you can easily connect with – already having a pet at home when baby arrives.She said – ‘Since the time I shifted with my in-laws, my daughter kept getting cold and congestion. Initially we thought its here resistance problem, but soon realised it can be an allergy to pet hair. We did a small experiment by staying at my mum’s place for a month. Not only did my baby’s congestion vanish within a week, she also became quite active. I have to go back to my in-laws’ place now, and I can’t ask them to give away the pet. Please help me as to what I can do!’
For those who have a pet at home, its easy to say that the pet almost always becomes a part of the family, a family member itself. So what happens when a little one arrives and things change? How do you make sure that your baby’s health is not affected by the pet’s presence? Most pet owners who have a baby at home will agree that pets, especially dogs, are immensely fond of small babies and love to be around them, and as much as some people are fine with it and in fact love this whole bonding thing, most are not comfortable with the pet sniffing around the little one.
So how do you really manage? Here are a few most common and practical answers that have been shared by other mums who have faced a similar situation themselves. Have a look:
#1 Try and keep the pet away from the child. If the little one is a newborn, make sure the pet does not enter the baby’s room.
#2 If your baby is a toddler now and of a playing stage, try and get your baby in the habit of wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth while playing with the pet. Babies and children love playing with pets and vice versa, so let them bond, but be careful. Also, keep playtime regulated. Once playtime is over, make sure the pet is kept in a different part of the house. Let your pet loose when baby sleeps, but make sure the pet does not crawl up in the bed.
#3 For the initial few months, keep your pet away from the baby. Let your pet see the baby from a distance and get familiar with. Once baby crosses the first few months and is more strong and immune to surroundings, you can slowly let baby and pet be together for some time.
#4 Maintain hygiene in the house. Regularly brush off all furniture for traces of pet hair, sweep the floors and use a disinfectant to mop the floors. Make sure everyone washes their hands after touching the pet and before touching baby.
#5 If a family member of friend is willing, try and send your pet to them for a few months. But make sure you visit your pet at frequent intervals. Once your baby’s immunity is stronger, you can bring the pet back home.
#6 To be sure, try and get baby checked for dust allergies. Sometimes, what is initially seen as pet-hair allergy, may actually be dust-allergy.
#7 You may contact a local pet-care place and let your pet be at a pet-day-care, bringing the pet back home at night. If your baby is suffering from allergies, do this for some months and then see if you can slowly manage a routine where both baby and pet can be at home at all times.
#8 Giving up a pet should be the last resort, as a pet not only teaches a child basic character traits of unconditional love and bonding, but also helps children grow into more affectionate, emotional, responsible and caring adults.
#9 Make sure that your pet is well-cared for and clean. Get your pet regularly treated, cut the hair and always look for ticks and lice. Bathe your pet often and dry out properly. Keep your pet vaccinated and make sure you follow proper eating habits for your pet and also teach your pet to relieve outside the house.
#10 Proper dusting, vaccuming, cleaning, will ensure your house is clean of germs. If your pet loves getting up on your couch/sofa, keep it covered with old sheets and when you sit on them, remove the sheets. Keep the house, especially, baby’s room and pet’s room, clean at all times.
It’s true that there can be no more loving companion for your baby than a pet. Not only does a pet love your baby for life, it also teaches your little one the most important lessons of love, compassion and companionship. Of course, if nothing works, then you don’t have a choice. But make sure you try every other option first.
All the best!
* Our special mommy contributors: Neelam Bhandari, Renuka Suradeep Nath, Neha Sharma, Harini Santhosh, Shraddha Majalkar, Richa Vivek Gupta, Jyoti Sharma, Nina Nair, Minu Sharma, Saumya Tandon, Bijit Baruah, Bantu Nagalakshmi
As young parents, there are many questions that will come up million times as you begin the new phase of life with your little one. Sometimes, you may have family and friends around who can help with practical and real advice, but most of the times, you’re pretty much on your own.
While it’s true that parenting doesn’t come from a book, it’s also true that these days, you can read about and understand almost everything related to babies and parenting. We decided to tell you about a few books that we feel might help you and your partner as a parent:
1. What To Expect Before You’re Expecting: If you are still a couple who is looking forward to begin a family, it’s a good idea to read this one together. From the author of the world’s bible in pregnancy and childcare, this books helps you plan a healthy pregnancy for a healthy baby, with advice on how to conceive, practical tips and reassuring advice – a must-have guide for all parents-to-be.
2. What To Expect BabySitter and Nanny Handbook:If you are trying to make time as a couple while having a little one at home, chances are, you may be taking the help of a babysitter or a carer. The book provides information for anyone who is looking after a baby/child, from birth till 6 years of age. With information from why babies cry, how to talk to a baby and how and what to do for baby in an emergency, this is one book that every baby home should have.
3. 101 Most Important Things You Need To Know Before You Have A Baby:Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Then read this book together with your partner to read about topics like time management, patience, faith, memories, laughter, hope and gives you simple tips and tricks that help you create a balance in life.
4. 365 Days of Baby Love:Wonderful ways to help parents and babies enrich each others’ lives – playing, growing and exploring with babies from birth till 2 years of age.
6. Smile Baby Smile:A cute book that gives you useful thoughts and ideas to stop baby crying and bring back those smiles, for your little one and you!
7. Trouble-Free Travel With Children:Packed with over 700 helpful hints for parents on the go.From fussy newborns to demanding toddlers, this book gives ideas to make your family trip a fun and memorable one!
8. Siblings Without Rivalry:Not a new parent but concerned about how the new baby will affect your older one! This book offers practical and sensitive advice on how to make your siblings grow together with love, making you smile each day.
9. Games Babies Play From Birth To Twelve Months:Tells you about games and structured activities designed to stimulate the intellectual development and motor skills of infants.
10. Juggling Twins:Practical advice and a healthy dose of humour – this book has exactly what parents need to help them survive and thrive with multiples.
It’s sunny again, and most of us are already getting into our shades and umbrellas. So mommies, while we take care to keep that complexion sun-safe and protected, here are a few must-use products to help your little one beat the sun…..
1. Sun-Screen: We’ve been told over and over again that using a good sunscreen regularly should be a habit, rather than a routine, and this habit should be applied in case of our little ones too. Get a baby-suitable sunscreen that will help keep out the harmful effects of the sun, while being soft and caring on baby’s skin.
2. After-Sun Lotion: These are recommended for newborn babies if they are exposed to the sun, or even for a little older babies who have extremely sensitive skin. The after-sun lotion/milk helps moisturise baby’s skin.
3. Bath Toys And Books: Summer times are fun times, as long as you get a splash in the water. Make the sunny days fun for your little one by filling up the tub/bucket with bath-toys and see your baby enjoy! Get a bath-book and read along while splashing with baby…
4. Swimming Costumes:Summer times are swimming times, and what better way to let your little one get into the pool than by wearing a colourful, cute and comfortable swimming costume.
5. Flip Flops: Colourful strappy flip flops are a must-have in the summers. Get some fun strappies for your little ones in bright and vibrant colours.
6. Caps and Hats:Let your little one make a style statement while protecting them from the sun.
7. Umbrellas: Your little one will love taking a walk in the outdoors with these cute, colourful and favourite character umbrellas.
8. Sunglasses: Protect those little eyes with some stylish, funky and trendy sunshades.
9. Water Bottle: Encourage your little one to be outdoors, but make sure they are properly hydrated by having adequate amounts of water.
10.Body Wash and Shampoo: Summer times will mean that your little one spends lots of time outdoors, so make sure you wash off the dirt and sweat at the end of the day with some soothing and refreshing body-washes, shampoos and soaps.
Yes, we are talking to YOU! Still busy with that school homework while running off to stir the food on the gas and taking that call from the boss? Uh! Really mums, whatever happened to the new-but-very-important mantra of ‘getting some time to yourself’?
We know you are the do-all and can-do-all of the house, that YOU ARE the Super-Human Mum, but sometimes, it’s really fine to be a human mum, one who needs rest and loving and leisure and looking after as much as the other lovely members of your family.
Monday is already over, and we didn’t want to break you away from your routine the very first day. But now, here’s a little helping list to be followed from today (Tuesday) till Friday. The first thing you will need to follow this list is to ask your hubby dear to help you. Yes, its really okay to ask him to help – for all you know he may enjoy it, else you always can still make him do it, we know 😉 And yes, do try and trust him around the house a bit, let him do it his way. At least let’s try it out for this week and see? Fine? Well, then here goes:
TUESDAY: PLAY TIME: Since it’s the first day of the week today, let’s begin with something manageable, something that daddy would any way love to do. Let your husband take on the activity of taking your child out for playtime (or even doing some fun activity at home), while you sit and watch TV, read a mag, sip on some juice, or simply do nothing.
WEDNESDAY: HELPING IN THE KITCHEN: Now this one we leave for you and hubby to decide, whether you want help at breakfast or dinner. Your partner could help you in the kitchen in a lot of ways – chopping, cooking, mixing, kneading, setting the table, help serve the food. There is so much to be done at meal times that many times we don’t realise how many little steps go into completing a meal experience. So ask for help and let your hubby handle some of it. For all you know, he may end up surprising you with a special recipe!
THURSDAY:PREPARING THE HOME GROCERY LIST: This is quite a complicated task and as most mums know, there’s a lot of checking and re-checking involved, and even then there’s chance of missing out something important. Since the week is more than halfway through, you may be running out of supplies, so ask hubby to prepare a list of all the shopping items needed (kitchen, grocery, stationery, school, office and anything else you may need.) Let him do it, and resist the urge to go and check around the house for what you need 🙂
FRIDAY: MAKING LITTLE ONE FINISH DINNER AND SLEEP: Wow! If your hubby can successfully do this then Mum, YOU are really lucky! (of course we mentioned this is just a trial for this week, but there’s scope to cheat, so you can actually ask for this favour many times in the near future). The reason to try this on a Friday is to keep space for some extra time that dad might need at this (if your child is of school-going age then this is a good day to give over sleep duty to dad). Feeding, burping, cleaning up, patting, putting to sleep – takes quite an effort doesn’t it? Relax..he can do it 🙂
Okay, so that was the beginning of trying and giving yourself some ‘me’ time. Try out these few simple ideas, let us know about more ideas by commenting on our FaceBook page and for a change, sit back and relax!
And mums, while you take that much-needed ‘me’ time off from home and work, make sure you let daddy know how much help and support he’s been 🙂
If you thought sleepless nights were there only after the baby is born, you are mistaken. Some women experience disturbed sleeping pattern during the course of their pregnancy. This is because your growing uterus puts pressure on your bladder causing you to make umpteen visits to the bathroom at all odd times in the night (and day). I was expecting twins and I had issues sleeping while pregnant and of course post pregnancy too! In this post I have attempted to capture my experiences as well as of those I read on the internet.
Some other types of sleep disturbances faced by pregnant women include heartburn, snoring, the restless leg syndrome and the ever-present nausea. While these symptoms are sometimes unavoidable, these problems could be aggravated if you have a bad sleeping pattern that has been established before pregnancy. Luckily for me, I was never faced with the nausea attacks. I did have constant nose bleeds though.
Follow these guidelines to get a better night’s sleep, during pregnancy and beyond.
Give up the bad habits
If you are a smoker, its still not late to quit your smoking. Smoking and consuming alcohol can have adverse effects on your unborn baby. It can also affect your sleep pattern by causing you to sleep less.
Reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee and cola drinks in general, and avoid them completely before your sleep time.
Make your bedroom comfortable
Since you are going to spend maximum time in your bedroom, make it as relaxing as possible. It will help you sleep better. Keep your room cool as pregnant women feel warmer than usual. Use thick curtains to ward off outside light and look for options to reduce noise levels in your room so that you can sleep better. I would need my favourite pillow and quilt to get a nice sleep!
Don’t take worries to the bed
Stop ticking off the done things mentally in your ‘To Do’ list, while you are lying on the bed trying to get some sleep. If you do have a list, make it by dinner time and assign yourself time to complete the chores the next day. Ensure that you have the time to before you head to the bed. Keep a notebook next to your bed just in case you wake up in the middle of the night remembering a task to complete! Jot it don and go back to sleep. I used to do this, rather type the reminders in my phone!
If you exercise, finish exercising at least three or four hours before you sleep. Some studies show that exercising close to your bedtime can cut down on deep sleep.
Take regular naps
You’ve heard it before, but we’re telling you again! Short naps in the day are known to improve alertness, decrease fatigue and sharpen your memory. Of course, it is good to catch up on as much sleep as you can, because with the baby’s arrival, your sleeping routine is likely to change to a great extent. However, do remember that sleeping in the daytime can cause some women to be up at nights, so if you are one of them, avoid sleeping in the mornings, instead relax by doing an activity you like.
Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine
If you are a working professional, relax when you get back home. Enjoy your dinner at a leisurely pace and don’t just gobble it up! After your dinner, indulge in something that relaxes you, listen to music, read a book or just have a warm bath. A warm bath will reduce your fatigue. Also try to go to bed at the same time so that you can establish a sleeping pattern.
If you are awake at nights for what seems like an eternity (check your watch, its possible that you have been awake for just a couple of minutes!), get up and take a small walk around the house. Listen to music pr read a magazine, and when you feel drowsy go back to bed.
Practice relaxation techniques
There are a number of self-help techniques you can try that should encourage sleep, such as guided imagery, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Avoid deep fried, oily, and spicy foods; these are likely to cause an indigestion triggering nausea. Drink plenty of water and any other fluids. This will help you battle dehydration. Also drink lesser fluids just before you go to sleep to avoid the frequent trips to the bathroom.
Eat small portions at regular intervals through out the day. Give yourself at least two hours after dinner time to digest the food. If you’re troubled by nausea, avoid spicy and oily food. Instead eat light and bland snacks to avoid indigestion that can trigger your nausea.
Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy helps blood and nutrients flow to the foetus and the uterus. It also helps the kidneys eliminate waste and fluids.
Don’t get stressed out if you can’t sleep
If you wake up umpteen numbers of times at night, don’t fret. Disturbed sleep is common during pregnancy is perfectly natural. At the start, you may wonder how you will cope up with the disturbed sleep, but relax, once you establish a sleep routine that works for you, it will be easier to get a good nights sleep.
To wrap it up, a glass of warm milk is a good remedy for inducing sleep. All through my pregnancy I was advised to drink a glass of warm milk with a pinch of grated nutmeg. This was quite a life saver for me!
If it has taken you around nine months for your body to put on the weight that you gained during your pregnancy, you may need the same period of time or probably more to lose the weight you gained post pregnancy. What you need to do is be patient and not stress yourself out on the weight issue. Here are some tips that you can use to reduce weight.
The first thing that you need to do is start out slowly. You will also need the energy to recover from post birth. As we said, don’t fret and stress over the weight issue. If you have had a caesarean, please consult the doctor as you may have had specific guidelines to follow post-delivery. And even with a normal delivery, most doctors recommend a 6 weeks ( 40 days) break before you start the exercise routine.
At the start
If you really want to start early, then what you can do in the first six weeks is to start with basic walking to increase your circulation and also indulge in basic general exercise. It is important that you do only what you can handle. Start with about 10 minutes of exercise thrice a week and increase the duration slowly, when you feel stronger. Do a couple of warm up exercises such as shoulder rolls, swinging your arms in circles or marching in one spot. Remember to do your pelvic floor exercises as you walk to avoid developing postnatal urinary incontinence.
Post the six weeks, after you have had the postnatal check-up and consulted your doctor, you can increase the duration of your exercise. Over a period of a month or two and depending on your energy, increase the duration of your exercise period to four to five days a week. Go for a walk with your baby in tow. Increase the duration of walks depending on the comfort factor that you have. Do not push yourself to do things that you cannot. Gradually increase the duration of your walks.
Doing things that you enjoy
Yes, we know that getting even 30 minutes at a stretch with a new born baby can sometimes be a luxury! So when you exercise and you feel that the time you have in inadequate, try to split your exercises into two or three sessions through the day. Have two 15 minute sessions or three ten minute sessions. And don’t look at exercise like it is a chore. Enjoy it. With a new baby around, finding the time to fit exercise into your daily life is difficult but not impossible, as long as you make it a priority. Try to do three 10-minute sessions throughout the day if you can’t fit in a full 30 minutes with a newborn. And be sure to find an activity that you enjoy and look forward to so exercise isn’t a chore.
If you like dancing, join a dancing class to burn away the calories!
Do not Diet
As tempting it may sound, dieting is not the solution for weight loss post pregnancy for at least a couple of months. For mothers who are breastfeeding their child, milk production is largely dependent on nutritional intake during the first few months of post pregnancy. If you have an inadequate diet you could be tired and cranky! Most of us have been through the 40 day confinement where we were fed with food that was supposed to be good for our body.
Things to keep in mind
- Chances are that you will not lose all that gained weight overnight. So weigh yourself only once per week. It is safe to lose about half a kilo every week. This is applicable in the initial stages
- Once you have the go ahead from your doctor you could start with simple aerobics and exercises like swimming, jogging or using the stationary cycle. These forms of exercises aid in the weight reduction process.
- Start slowly and increase your intensity and duration over time.
- If you’re breastfeeding, exercise when your breasts aren’t full of milk. For comfort and extra support, wear a sports bra over your nursing bra.
- Try to meditate. Not only does it calm you down it also can help you with a positive outlook towards your body. It could also help you reduce some of the stress associated with new motherhood.
It is going to take you some time to get your pre-pregnancy body back, don’t worry about it. While you’re at it, take pride in your healthy lifestyle and your role as a mother.
Pics have been taken from the internet.