Is it Safe to Exercise during Pregnancy?

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Image: flickr.com

In most cases, some exercises during pregnancy are safe. It is very important to stay fit and have a healthy lifestyle when you are pregnant. Doing some pregnancy exercises will help you maintain weight and prepare for childbirth. Moreover, if you were physically fit and active before pregnancy, it might be safe to stay physically active during pregnancy too. Exercising will also help you overcome mood-swings and sleep well. Here are the answers to some common exercise-related questions running through the minds of most pregnant women.

Will exercising harm my baby?

Contrary to the popular belief, exercising will neither harm your baby nor cause miscarriage. Although heavy exercise will not harm your baby, you will be quickly exhausted. This is because the amount of blood in your body increases by about 50 percent when you are pregnant, and your heart works harder to circulate blood all around, including to the placenta. Therefore the pressure on your heart will be 50 percent higher for the same exercise that you used to do before pregnancy.

What exercises should I avoid during pregnancy?

Not all exercises for pregnant women are safe. Some of the exercises and activities you should avoid during pregnancy are as follows:
• Activities in which you’re likely to fall, such as skiing
• Holding your breath during any activity
• Exercising in humid or hot weather
• Full sit-ups, deep knee bends, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches
• Twisting your waist while standing
• Playing sports, such as football, basketball, and volleyball.
• Any exercise that may lead to abdominal trauma, including activities that require speedy changes in direction
• Activities that involve extensive hopping, jumping, skipping, running, or bouncing
• Bouncing while stretching
• Heavy exercise followed by long duration of no activity

What are the advantages of exercising?

Here are the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
• Better sleep. Know more about best sleeping positions during pregnancy
• Lower the risk of some complications related to pregnancy
• Reduced discomfort
• Boost in energy and reduced stress
• Improved self-image
• Prepares you for childbirth
• Helps you quickly get in shape after delivery

You would be pleased to know that there are some pregnancy exercises for normal delivery. However, consult your doctor to know which exercise best suits your body.

When should I stop exercising during pregnancy?

It is advisable to stop exercising and consult your doctor if you go through the following symptoms while exercising:
• Abdominal cramping
• Severe nausea
• Vaginal bleeding
• Light-headedness
• Extreme headaches

From yoga to Pilates to swimming during pregnancy, exercising enhances your spirits and prepares you for labour. Pregnancy isn’t the time to your limits, and it’s important to be cautious while working out. Pampers India will be your best friend during and after pregnancy. Read through the expert tips and get answers to all your queries from Pampers India.

I Asked My Family’s Help With 4 Things Post Delivery, Without Any Shame

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All through my pregnancy, I promised myself that I would take care of my baby single-handedly. I didn’t want intervention of anyone. I would be the mother and the primary caretaker of my baby. It was a great resolution, but, as I found out later, an unachievable one…

As soon as I delivered my baby, I realized I wasn’t as self-sufficient (or a superwoman) as I had imagined myself to be! In the initial few days after my delivery, I didn’t even know how to handle my newborn – how to clean her, to swaddle her, to feed her. I was at a total loss. All my good intentions of taking solo care of my baby flew right out of the window. I realized I needed help, and desperately so. Once I accepted this fact, and accepted that there was no shame in seeking help, it was much better for me (as well as the people around me).

And then I started asking my family to help me with things after delivery – without any shame.

I. Baby Minding

This was the first and the foremost need of mine. After waking up at odd hours in the night to feed and change the baby, I realized I felt exhausted during the day. And sleeping when the baby sleeps didn’t work for me. So, I decided to hand over the baby to my parents in law or other members in law who were more than willing to take care of the baby while I took the much needed nap.

I even expressed my milk and explained them how to feed the baby in case the baby was hungry. I also put a stack of clothes and nappies if baby needed changing (which she always did). This is how I caught up on my sleep or took out time to read books – and trust me, it really made a world of difference.

II. Cooking Interesting Foods

The whole 9 months of my pregnancy, I didn’t eat much, thanks to the morning sickness that stayed with me all the way to the labour room. So, after delivery, when my appetite came back with a gusto, I wanted to eat a variety of things. Of course, being in the confinement for the first 30 days, I got a very limited choice of foods (that too bland and unappealing). Hence, I would ask my hubby dearest to sneak in some spicy vada pavs, bhel and achaar.

Once the restriction on food was lifted, ….read more at http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/i-asked-my-familys-help-with-4-things-post-delivery-without-any-shame/1294/2

9 Things No One Tells Us About How Hard Recovering From Childbirth Is Going To Be

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Pregnancy is all about eating right and how big your belly looks. But postpartum recovery poses serious challenges that no one ever talks about! Seriously, I am still pissed off with my mother and mother-in-law who didn’t say a word…NOT a word about this to me.

I am sharing with you things no one tells us about how hard recovering from childbirth is going to be:

1. Nether regions are messy and sore

A pain only a mother who has gone through a normal delivery will understand. The baby comes out of your ’vajayjay’ – that’s no little feat! Sometimes to facilitate easy delivery, the doctor makes a cut till your anus, and then stitches it up. This area, it goes without saying, hurts like nobody’s business. You can’t sit or lie down on your back. You need someone to apply anti-bacterial cream down there (don’t worry about shame…you will lose it somewhere during the childbirth and will never find it again), need to sit in hot tubs of salt or betadine, or sit on inflated rings to ease the pain.

2. Pooping is painful business

Peeing is still okay, but pooping is a nightmare, especially if you develop hemorroids. Once you sit to poop, you pray you never have to poop again in your lifetime. And, when you don’t feel like pooping, you wish you’d die than to have to poop the next time. It took me 4-5 months to recover from the episiotomy. Meanwhile, I visited a proctologist to know if I was the only one in this whole world who had this terrible pain, two different gynaecologists (I felt sure my OB/GYN was not giving me the complete picture) who didn’t tell me any different than what my OB/GYN had told me – that there was nothing wrong with me. And, of course, I had gulped down massive amounts of laxatives during this period.

3. Breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems

You might have fantasized about breastfeeding your little baby with all love and smiles. But, the reality is nowhere close to the fantasy. For let me tell you, a newborn might have latching problems, which means sore boobs for you. There were times in the initial one month, when I dreaded feeding my baby, and cried every time she cried for milk. It was such a painful business. As if feeding her wasn’t hard enough, my boobs would be hard and painful when she didn’t take a feed. I remember having expressed milk in the bathroom sink when once my daughter slept without taking a feed. It was so painful to see all that milk going down the drain, that I cried -which takes me to the next ill-effect of childbirth.

4. Hormones go for a toss

As if pregnancy isn’t hard enough, post pregnancy hormones are worse. You cry when there is something to cry about, but most times you cry for no reason at all. I remember crying for silly things that normally I wouldn’t even give two hoots about. My husband said I cried more than our baby did and started calling me a ‘cry baby’. To tell you frankly, I still haven’t recovered from my crying hormones completely, and can still cry at the drop of a hat.

Read more at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/9-Things-No-One-Tells-Us-About-How-Hard-Recovering-From-Childbirth-Is-Going-To-Be/1162/2

7 Heartless Comments People Make To Women Who Have Had a Miscarriage

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Miscarriage is a traumatic experience for a woman. And, it can be made worse by some insensitive comments that well-meaning friends and family sometimes unintentionally make…

When I first learnt I was pregnant, my joy knew no bounds. I was going to be a mother. My husband was equally happy too. Though my OB/GYN had advised me not to tell anyone about the news till 3 months, I just could not wait announcing it to the whole world that I was carrying a woman. We called our respective families and friends and gave them the good news. Everyone was so happy for us.

Then in the 10th Week, I found out that my baby had no heart beat. My baby had stopped growing inside. 

The doctor suggested a D&C. I could not digest the truth. I cried for days and wondered “Why me?!” Of course, it was not only me, thousands of women go through a miscarriage.

I felt useless and helpless as a woman; I could do nothing to save my baby. It was the worst period of my life. But, what made it more unbearable were some heartless comments people made when they learnt of the miscarriage!

1. At least you know you can get pregnant

What sort of a comment is that? Every woman who has a regular menstrual cycle assumes she can get pregnant. There is no doubt in her mind. Then, how does this knowledge that I gained at the cost of my baby help me?

2. At least you miscarried early in the pregnancy

Early or late, a miscarriage is very traumatic for a woman. She has lost her child, how does it matter whether it was early or late. I was attached to my baby in those few weeks of pregnancy, and to lose to my child like this was very painful.

3. It’s better to miscarry than have a baby with problems

For a mother, her baby is the most precious. I would have loved my baby equally had she been born with some development challenges. This remark always made me feel small, as if I had loved my baby any less if she would have had ‘problems’.

Keep on reading the blog at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/7-Heartless-Comments-People-Make-To-Women-Who-Have-Had-a-Miscarriage/1163/2

 

6 Ways You Can Still Get Pregnant After Taking Emergency Contraceptive

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I was quite young then, must have been 17, when I overheard a conversation between two of my cousins. The elder one had announced to the younger one that she was pregnant, yet again! The younger one exclaimed, “But, how is that possible! You had got a copper IUD put, right?” “Yes,” confirmed the elder cousin, “but the doctor says it can sometimes get displaced resulting in pregnancy!” That was the first time I came to know – contraception does NOT always work.

The second time I rediscovered this was while watching the famous American sitcom Friends. Rachel discovers to her shock that she is pregnant in spite of Ross having used a condom. Apparently, condoms are not 100% effective against pregnancy either!

And finally, a few years later, I got another news that shook me to the core. The morning after pill, that is supposed to be the liberated woman’s best friend, can fail too! Yes, the one thing that we thought is absolutely dependable is not, in fact, absolutely dependable.

One of my close friends, who had wanted to wait for a couple of years before having a child, discovered just a month into her wedding that she had conceived. This was even though she had taken the emergency contraceptive without any delay. Firstly, when I got the news, I could not believe it. So I immediately looked up Sir Google, and true as daylight, I found out that it was possible to get pregnant even after taking emergency contraceptive.

So how does this really happen? Here are a few situations that can lead to pregnancy, even if you took the morning after pill:

1. You throw up immediately after taking it

If you throw up within an hour of taking the morning-after pill, the pill gets removed from your system. If you do not take another pill soon after, you might get pregnant.

2. You fail to take it soon enough

Depending on your menstrual cycle, and which kind of morning-after pill you wish to consume, you might have anywhere between 3 to 5 days (from the day you had unprotected sex) to consume the morning-after pill for it to be effective. Having said that, it is best to pop the pill the very next day, or at least within 72 hours (i.e. 3 days) and no later. Chances of the pill working drop progressively after 72 hours.

3. You had ovulated or were ovulating when you had sex

To understand this, first get this: Morning after pills prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. So, if  you have already ovulated before (or are ovulating while) having unprotected sex, the pill is not going to help, even if you pop it the very next day.

Catch the rest of the post at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/6-ways-you-can-still-get-pregnant-after-taking-emergency-contraceptive/1173/2?ref=login_success_facebook

 

6 Times My Pregnancy Was Anything But The Happy and Emotional Time It is Supposed to Be

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For me, pregnancy was like riding on a ferris wheel – sometimes you are up, and sometimes you come down. And how down! There were several days when everything seemed bleak, and I felt drained. It was hard to, on those days, feel remotely emotional or happy about what was to happen!

I want to share six times my pregnancy was anything but the happy and emotional time it is supposed to be. I am hoping my experience will help you feel comforted and that you are not alone in feeling this way!

#1: When every evening became puking time for me (yes, I escaped ‘morning’ sickness in this sad irony of life)

Morning sickness is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Firstly, why it is called morning sickness beats me, because it can strike anytime of the day. Also, people who say that morning sickness lasts only for the first 3 months should be shot. I was puking all the way to the labour room! Retching my guts out, all the time holding my belly in the fear that it is going to hurt my baby – let me tell you, it was not fun!

#2: When I had no food cravings at all. So much for the excitement that Hindi movies had built up in me

Being a Bollywood junkie, I have watched numerous movies where the pregnant actress makes her partner run at midnight to fetch a particular brand of ice cream or is caught licking pickles in the middle of the night. I wanted to have such cravings too. Sadly, for me, none of this happened. NONE! In fact, I was totally put off by food.

The good part was that I hardly put on weight. In fact, I lose 5 kilos in the first trimester! My doctor even threatened to put me on a drip if I failed to eat. During pregnancy, it seems that a woman must pile up some fat as it helps her recover better from the side effects of childbirth. But as for me, I didn’t even eat pani-puri (can you imagine!) once in the entire 9 months.

#3: That morning when my baby failed to move and I almost lost my mind with fear

In the last trimester, the baby moves and kicks all the time. To tell you frankly, it was the only thing that made me endure my pregnancy – it made me excited! But, one morning, I woke up with no movement. I fretted. Having already lost a pregnancy in the past, I didn’t want to lose another, that too so close to the delivery date. I called up my gynaecologist and made my husband read through the Internet.

Read more of the crazy stuff at http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/6-times-my-pregnancy-was-anything-but-the-happy-and-emotional-time-it-is-supposed-to-be/1091/2

One and done. Two and through. Or three and free.

It’s raining babies. Seriously, I see pregnant ladies everywhere. What’s more! My daughter is coming home with sweets in her school bag every other day, because one of her classmates had a baby in their house. With so much baby talk happening around you, it certainly gives you ideas!

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After my daughter, I had vowed to myself, NEVER AGAIN. And day after day, I only renewed this vow. One child was enough. I could manage my emotions, career and finances just fine. And then something started changing when my daughter turned 4.

My motherly hormones, which I thought had quit my body for good, started resurfacing from whichever dark corners of my body they had been hiding so far. The idea of a teeny-weeny baby cradled in my arms, sucking at my breasts (so what if they are gravity-infected) and making me a mother all over again has suddenly started looking appealing. And the news of pregnant ladies and the babies being born in my close circle of friends and family isn’t helping matters much.

And thus started the inner conflict. Should I have another one? Isn’t one enough?

One more child translates to:

  • lesser time – I have a poor sense of time management and am already struggling with it when it comes to my daughter,
  • lesser finances – My hubby has recently quit her job. He is officially a Startup entrepreneur; I know it is admirable, but it also means there is no monthly checks coming our way now.
  • poorer health – It has taken me more than 2 years to get my body and health in shape. Another pregnancy at my age (I am on the wrong side of 30s) could be disastrous and could lead to diabetes and/or blood pressure.

Well, but the emotion of having a second child is so great, that I could not rule out the option. So I went to a gynecologist. He was very encouraging. Said – Being over 35 is not the end of the world. There are many women who get married at 35 and go on to have a child. However, if you are planning, do not dither now. But, he also told me the higher chances of conceiving a baby with Down’s Syndrome. Apparently, once you are 30, the chances of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome are 1 in 1000, it increases to 1 in 350 once you are over 35 and to 1 in 100 once you cross 40.

Whether I want a second child is secondary, what matter is that I do not want a SPECIAL child. The pain would be too much for me to handle. Secondly, if I am thinking of a companion for my daughter; I am not sure how she would feel about having a special child for a sibling.

If at all, such a syndrome is detected early on in the pregnancy, and we get the baby aborted, it would be so heartbreaking (I know, because I have gone through it once and have no intention of going through it EVER AGAIN). I AM SCARED.

One of my friends told me not to think much and just jump into it. HAVE FAITH, he said! May be that’s what I need. A little faith in myself and the super energy around me.