Feels so good to be back to blogging after a break. As we are expecting our Little Bub in few weeks this whole journey has been joyful,overwhelming, emotional and at times a bit stressful due to personal reasons. However here we are at the last leg of this journey. In the meantime am so glad that my blog finally had a much needed makeover. From Blogger to Cucumbertown to now WordPress the last 7 years of blogging has been incredible. The first post on this new space I wanted to write about the pregnancy journey so far. Considering this post as a note to myself and hopefully after few years when I read this, it will definitely stir some wonderful memories.
Disclaimer : The experiences which I mention here are purely PERSONAL and based on how my body reacted to certain phases of pregnancy, how I overcame them. Few might relate to it and few might not even have experienced any of this. The idea of sharing is to just create awareness that each & every Mum-to-be is different.
First Trimester :
My first pregnancy ended up in a miscarriage and after nearly 7 year wait this precious Little Dumpling started growing in my womb. We were extremely happy and at the same time I was very very cautious this time. Until I crossed 12-week mark, there was a mild panic within me that everything should go well. Hence the first 12 weeks I completely avoided strenuous activities, avoided eating out, didn’t do much of physical exercise during this period. We felt slightly relieved after our first trimester scan. The best day in my life was to see that tiny little heart beating during ultrasound.
Nausea & Morning Sickness :
It started around 7th week and only by 17th week it started reducing and finally by 20th week I was completely normal without any vomiting or anything . I couldn’t even drink a glass of water without throwing up. On top of it what I hated the most was throwing up bile early in the morning. Even the smell of washing powder & liquid used to trigger sickness. All I did was cook something for the husband and sleep for at least 2-3 hours a day. Irrespective of vomiting a lot, I tried to keep my body hydrated. Midwife here suggested to take flavored water or coconut water instead of plain water. Since not drinking water will lead to several other complications. Coconut Water actually helped me. Also if you have severe vomiting please avoid eating spicy & oily foods since the burning sensation will be more when you throw up and it will take hours to feel normal again. Am just listing foods which I took during this Morning Sickness and the foods I avoided. Hope it helps.
What I ate in this phase :
- Digestive Biscuit (first thing I ate in the morning)
- Idli, Dosai
- Curd Rice & Angaya Podi
- Plain Rice with Sundakkai Vathal/Manathakali Vathal/Paruppu Podi
- Idiappam, Appam
- Clementines (these were my savior)
- Coconut water
- Lemon juice with ginger & mint
- Roti & Jam
- Bland Wheat Rava Upma
- Less spicy Rasam & sautéed veggies
- Boiled Pasta with broccoli and tomato
Foods I avoided since these triggered vomiting
- Caffeine (I don’t take Coffee & Aerated drinks even now)
- Protein rich foods like Channa,Green Peas,Tofu,Paneer
- Spicy Sambar
- Coconut Chutney, Koottu, Veg Kuruma
- Deep fried foods like Fries, Vadai, Bajji
This issue is still a nightmare for many Mums-to-be. Since the body is undergoing lots of hormonal changes & physical changes too hence minor problems like these are unavoidable. If you don’t take care of this it might lead to other complications like Piles. A family friend of mine underwent Piles surgery when she was pregnant and it took few weeks to completely recover from the pain.
In my experience making few changes in our diet, including physical exercise in our daily routine definitely helps in reducing Constipation related issues.
Include the following in your diet :
- Fully Ripe Bananas (eat 1 a day)
- A tbsp. of raisins soaked in warm water
- Ajwain in a glass of warm water
- Spinach and fiber rich fruits, veggies
- Beans & Pulses
Also lots of walking / basic pelvic floor exercises/ little bit of Yoga can help our bowels moving.
This is one of the major concerns for many during first trimester and for some women they might experience it throughout pregnancy too. I started spotting around 6 weeks and it continued until 10th week. In that 4 weeks span only one day I had a severe discharge, we rushed immediately to A & E department nearby. The duty doctor suggested that it might be old blood and advised me to be on bed rest for 24 hours. They didn’t perform ultrasound or anything however assured me that since there is no flow of regular fresh blood, I don’t have to worry about it. So my advice to expectant mums would be, if the discharge is black/pink/mild brownish color you need not panic. However if the discharge is heavy, if you think it could be fresh blood then please don’t hesitate to contact your Gynac immediately. It is always best to get expert opinion rather than surfing about the causes in BabyCenter and in other websites
Cold,Cough & Urinary Infection :
Being a Mum-to-be we are prone to these. On top of it living in a country like UK, the weather is unpredictable.I used to keep my feet warm all the time by wearing socks. Used to take a glass of warm milk + turmeric at nights. Also we had vaccinations for Flu,Cold & Whooping cough during 12th week & 16th week. All these preventive measures helped me a lot.
Urinary infection can be avoided by
- Keeping yourself hydrated all the time
- Make sure when you use public toilet wipe off the seat with a tissue
- Drink warm water with a tsp of turmeric
- Drink at least one or two glasses of butter milk with lots of mint leaves, methi seeds & ginger
- Soak 2tbsp of methi seeds in water overnight and drink that water first thing in the morning
This is a nightmare 😉 I thought I might go bald in few weeks.. Don’t panic I guess the hairfall might reduce by itself. I tried different shampoos & oils, nothing worked. Finally after trial & error, Almond Oil & Aussie Miracle Moist shampoo seems to be working. Hairfall has considerably reduced *touchwood*
I was warned by my friends that there may be lots of itching especially in the tummy area since its stretching. Apply Coconut oil, moisturize immediately after shower and also before going to bed. This will definitely prevent rashes and control itching sensation.
Also hormonal changes can cause darkening of skin around neck region for expectant mothers. I have been using coconut oil & Body Shop’s Vitamin E cream for face & neck. So far they seem to be helping.
Baby Movements :
At around 21st week I started feeling the baby movements. Though they were not severe I could just feel mild kicks at regular intervals. The only thing to keep in mind is to not obsess over baby movements at the same time just keep in track, observe their pattern first. At later stages (especially after 30 weeks) you need to be extra careful in case if you couldn’t feel the movements. Our Midwife here suggested that if you don’t feel any movement at all in16-24 hours time it is better to call clinic immediately. So sharing the same suggestion with you all. Call your Gynac immediately and make sure everything is alright.
Foods to avoid, Weight Gain, & Physical Activity :
Eating healthy is what we often keep hearing from our friends, peers, parents when they find out that we are expecting. As a human nature it is difficult to eat healthily for 40 weeks. Occasional indulgence is fine and unavoidable too. But apart from that it is better to follow a reasonably healthy diet by including lots of fresh fruits & veggies, at the same time avoid some of the Foods mentioned below to avoid gaining unnecessary weight throughout pregnancy & for health reasons as well :
- Refined white sugar
- Caffeine, Aerated drinks
- Unpasteurized Milk
- Refined white Flour
- Deep Fried foods
- Trans fats
- Sodium rich sauces, ready to eat meals
- Frozen, uncooked food
- Raw Eggs, Soft Cheese like Brie, Camembert, Feta (mainly to prevent Listeria)
- Eating out in chain restaurants or unhygienic places (avoiding this can prevent us from unnecessary infections/stomach bugs)
Weight gain is very common in pregnancy. If you are healthy and your BMI is way less than 24 you don’t have to worry much about weight gain. However if you are over 24 and don’t control your cravings then it is difficult to manage weight gain. Also weight gain makes breathing tougher especially in the later stages of pregnancy we run out of breath easily.
Being active not only controls weight gain at the same time it strengthens our body, keeps our Blood Pressure & Sugar levels normal too.
Basic stretches, walking (20-25 mins a day), practicing few breathing techniques every day can help us during labor. With few more weeks left am hoping that the physical activities I did so far would help me get through the labor with ease. Lets see J
How to handle stress?
Whether you are pregnant or not, stress does no good to our body. And if you are a Mum-to-be then it is necessary to handle stress wisely in a way which doesn’t affect the baby in womb. A Mum is completely responsible for its growth and can never ever take chances. Last month unexpectedly my father was ill and those 4 weeks were really tough for me to handle. Then considering the well being of my child I diverted myself by keeping me busy. Music ,Meditation,Netflix helped a lot in coping up the stress. Instead of trying to keep everything to yourselves share your emotions or feelings with someone you are very close to. It could be your mom or husband or friends. Just let everything out so that stress doesn’t affect the growing child.
Moments where I really wanted to say “Just Shut up” loudly but instead controlled my emotions & let it Go :
When you are pregnant you are automatically prone to listening to lot of lectures/advice from everyone in this planet. Unfortunately people never know when& where to draw the line. Listed below are few instances where I decided to IGNORE rather than arguing with the person who started the conversation J
- Sudden urge for certain people(who are not even closer to you until few months back) to know everything about our pregnancy. Right from child’s heartbeat,BP count to Glucose Tolerance Test reports to thyroid levels etc etc.
- People who start their conversation with ‘Baby Girl is a blessing because…’ , ‘Baby Boy is a blessing because..’.. [ According to me each and every child/living being is a blessing by God. There is no discrimination or whatsoever.]
- If you want to have a normal delivery then do this, eat that….
- ‘I had Gestational diabetes, thyroid problems, BP issues etc etc but you look very normal and you are not complaining about BP,Gestational diabetes or back pain or anything? How?’ [Seriously if people can’t talk positively it is better to not even respond to them. So don’t waste your time fellow Mums-to-be with these ppl]
- ‘When I was pregnant, I used to do this, do that, work a lot’ etc etc [See no one is giving medal/championship on who did well during their pregnancy. So don’t react to such persons let them brag till they are out of energy]
- ‘You don’t look like Pregnant at all’, ‘why is your tummy so small’, ‘How many weeks are you now?’
These are just few instances and there are many untold ones 😉 With this am ending my rant on my Pregnancy Journey so far. Hope you enjoyed reading this J J First post from the new interface. Hoping to share more recipe posts & other random stuffs too. Goodluck to all the fellow Mums-to-be who are reading the post and also to those who are waiting for a baby. Sending lots of positive vibes to you all.
For now <3 <3