Tuesday, 12 June 2018

DIAPERS FOR TWO PLEASE


The fun has just started! You’re finally going home with your little bundle of joy! The feeling can be both surreal and nerve-wracking as well. But mommies make sure you are equipped with all the baby and lady-essentials as well!

We all know how much babies can poop and pee in the initial few days. Just when you change a diaper, you hear a pattttarrrr sound and look at the sheepish expression on your baby’s face. Diaper duty begins again. Lo & behold! You’ve just changed the diaper, but the baby decided there was still some poo left, and there you go again! As if this wasn’t enough, just when you change for the third time, the baby decides to pee mid-action. Umm…so the diaper is wet in parts even before the baby wore it…Should you or shouldn’t you still make him wear it? Hahahah! True story!

As if the comedy wasn’t enough, you realize the joke is on you. After vaginal delivery, most women experience heavy flow for a few weeks. This may be slightly reduced for women who have a C-sec delivery. Bleeding goes from heavy to light, and mostly goes on for 2-3 weeks.
So while you may have stocked up on new-born size diapers in plenty, with each wave of hand bringing a fresh diaper magically in your hands, we often forget how many sanitary napkins we require for ourselves.

How I planned it out:
  • For the first week I bought XXL Sanitary Napkins to manage the heavy flow
  • The second week I used my regular XL Sanitary Napkins
  • In the third week which only saw very little spotting, I used small napkins and then eventually moved to panty liners


Your regular periods will resume in 3-6 months post delivery. And the first period will be just like the usual one.








Thursday, 7 June 2018

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORKING MOM


It’s been 6 months into my new job (not so new anymore) and now I finally feel equipped to write on it. This blog is for all the moms who are looking at getting back to work after a break, especially ones who don’t have support at home to look after the baby. Nuclear families- pin this one up! 

First of all, being a working mom is exhausting, but empowering. It’s all about planning, scheduling and manoeuvring. Life isn’t the same anymore. But hey, no surprises there! 
I love my job, and I’m proud of building a foundation for my child to look up to; that while he is the centre of my universe, I don’t necessarily rotate around him all day. Much to the chagrin of many aunties who feel “hawww, she has left her child at day care to have fun by herself”. This post isn’t for them. 
In the past 6 months both of us as parents have made adjustments in our life(&lifestyle). Here are few things that really work for us, and it’s still WIP:
  1. Prioritise and plan ahead
I usually already know in the night what I’m going to pack in my son’s daycare bag next day. From the clothes to the food items. It’s already thought through. What I don’t bother about on weekdays is folding laundry. I focus on putting things in their right place every night after the kid is asleep. That way I maintain my sanity on seeing a clean house when I wake up. :-) Win-win situation. 
  1. Get additional pair of hands
Mornings are a relay race for us. From making breakfast for the family, to massaging my son, bathing and playing with him, I also love to dress up well for work. So how do I do it all? I got a house help whose job it is to just play with my son while I get ready. That way we don’t get worked up if he is not letting go of us. Over a course of time he has understood that mommy will play with me soon. 
  1. Fill-in for each other 
While one of the partners may have a more challenging work-life than the other, it’s important to offer help. Just the gesture itself works magic in an otherwise uninspired day. But also be the first one to take over. Don’t wait for the other person to ask for help. Seeing you they will also understand your need for space and time. 
  1. Don’t carry work-stress home 
The first glimpse of my child vanishes away all my work-related worries. I ensure that I don’t talk irritably at home after a hectic day. That lowers the spirit of everyone at home. While work is always revolving in my mind, when I’m at home I only attend to work that is absolutely necessary. This way the child doesn’t feel left out or insecure.
  1. Forget the guilt 
I continued breastfeeding my child even when he is 16months old to ditch the guilt. But it’s exhausting to not have slept through the night since more than a year. Mommies, in the end you gotta do what you gotta do. 
Honestly I feel the daycare does a better job of keeping my child mentally occupied than I can do all day by myself. They have many set of hands and professionals who know what is age-appropriate. Monkey-see-monkey-do: it’s amazing how much children can learn from other kids. 
As for what others think about you and your career aspirations- that’s not for you to ponder. They’ll keep busy thinking of you and how you manage your life. Surprise them by your confidence and happiness in following your dreams. 
  1. Make friends who understand you 
Positive people add sparkle to your life. Having a group of girls who can help out and pitch in when needed is very important. They may or may not be working. But if they don’t help out when you need them to then maybe you need to do a reality-check of your friend-circle. Luckily I have a group of girls who are like family to me. They have always understood my challenges and help out even without asking. That’s the power of positivity. 
  1. Do things you love 
No need to change your entire life after having a child. Apart from work, you still need to focus on things that you love to do. For example, I love baking randomly. I paint when I feel an outburst of emotions. And I’m also busy writing a book these days (this might take longer than I think it would). 
  1. Appreciate your partner 
You have no idea how much this changes our attitude in life. From being a wife who is constantly complaining about what the husband isn’t doing right, I started seeing the positives in what he is doing. Just by changing my outlook, and expressing my appreciation in words, I started feeling happier and more empowered to balance work, life and baby. 


In the end it’s all about teamwork! Plan holidays with family, dining out and chilling together on weekends. Not only will it have a great impact on your personal-life but also give you more impetus to perform better at work. 


Monday, 26 March 2018

FITNESS FOR NEW MOMMIES

A lot of new moms worry about when they will get back “in-shape” after having a baby. Some as early as one-week into post-partum phase. The body still looks 5-6 months pregnant, as one mostly loses only 5-7kgs of weight in delivery. The fatigued mind starts despising the body which is now a life-giving form. The belly fat is jiggly, the firm breasts are now sagging and big. The face has lost all the beautiful glow. The long luxurious showers are now a 2 minute affair while you can hear the baby screeching in the background. 
The first few days are nothing short of a marathon. The constant needs of the baby start tiring one out, as day-after-day one is nurturing the new human and focussing lesser on one’s own mental & physical fitness. 
When Baby V was a month, people would tell me “you don’t look as tired as a one-month’s mom should look like”. There is no big secret, but just a lot of clarity that went behind it. When Baby V was 6 months old, I started receiving compliments that I have lost all my pre-pregnancy weight, but not the glow. Followed by questions on how I managed that. 
So sharing the learnings from the post-partum phase, which I found extremely helpful. 
If you had a c-section, check with your Ob-Gyn first, even though walking at an easy pace is encouraged as it helps the muscles to heal. 
1. Myth- During pregnancy eat what you like. The myth needs to be busted. You may eat what you like, but it needs to be healthy. One cheat-day of instant-noodles and pizza is no big deal, but it does set you back on your baby’s nutritional goals. A good diet of 4-5 types of fruits a day, with good consumption of proteins, good fats, and lots of liquids is what our body requires during these 9 months. This is the kind of healthy weight you need to put on, and this is also easy to shed after delivery. 

2. When is the right time to start walks? As soon as you feel your body is ready (which is mostly 2-3 weeks after giving birth), and the stiches of C-sec or episiotomy have healed, one can start with slow walks. I found that the best way to get back into morning or an evening walk routine was with the baby in the stroller. This way one gets to enjoy the time out of home, and also bond with other new mommies. This way I made friends with other new moms like me, who have played a critical role in my journey of motherhood. The positivity exuded by new mommies if contagious and gives a great feel-good factor. 

3. Exercise: If you exercised throughout your pregnancy and had an uneventful vaginal delivery, you can safely start with light exercises – walking and stretching – within just a few days of giving birth as long as you don’t experience any muscle pull or pain. Avoid sit-ups, tummy-crunches, and skipping for atleast 4-5months. If you are a gym enthusiast, then start with light cardio, and slowly proceed with weights after 5-6 months of post-partum. 

4. Swimming: It is safe to start swimming within a month of giving birth as water-therapy helps to heal the body and tones it overall. I found that swimming not only helped me tone ny body, flex those lazy muscles, but even the sun gave me ample dose of Vitamin D, that I did not require supplements throughout. 

5. Kegels: The most important exercise is kegels, and one cannot stress enough on the critical role it plays. After a vaginal delivery, the muscles have stretched to their maximum limit, and to gain back control on those muscles, start with kegels within a day of giving birth. 
Imagine you have had too much water, and try holding your pee while looking for a loo. Well, that’s what kegelis all about. Contracting and releasing the vaginal muscles. I found myself doing kegels in the shower, during my sitz-bath, evening walks, breastfeeding and sunbathing time. 

Kegel exercises help bring the muscles to pre-pregnancy form, but is also great for your sex life. Not paying attention to the muscles in your vaginal area leads to difficulty in holding urine, and may also lead to greater chances of catching UTIs. 

6. Yoga: Yoga works wonders on a post-partum body. Ithelps loosen tight muscles, brings calm to the tired brain, releases tension, and helps rebuild the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles that have stretched over the months to support the baby. However, all the mentioned yoga aasanas must be done only under the guidance of a trainer instructor. Yoga injuries are extremely common when yoga-enthusiasts start giving unclear knowledge on the subject. I preferred going to a yoga centre to follow the exercises even on a daily basis, rather than doing it with a group of people not trained to impart the knowledge. 

Yoga aasanas to follow:
A) Modified Navasana
B) Warrior I with Shoulder Bind
C) Rabbit Pose
D) Camel Pose
E) Locust with Shoulder Bind
F) Bridge Pose

7. Great diet: Since I consciously decided to exclusively breastfeed my munchkin, eating well was my main priority. This means no MSG, no soft-drinks, and least caffeine. I did not follow any fad diets to lose weight, whether it meant a no-carb diet, or a keto diet. My main focus was to produce nutrient-rich diet that would be healthy for the baby’s development. Starting a diet too soon after giving birth can affect your mood and energy level as well as your milk supply. You’ll be surprised to know how much weight you can lose naturally by just breastfeeding, and eating right. So hide those cookies and chips. Focus on summery cucumbers and melons. 
So mommies, take time out for your fitness goals. Just don’t go overboard. If you were not very active during thepregnancy, check with your doctor before you start with serious exercising.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

What Are Symptoms of Chikungunya Fever?

Monday morning rush. Traffic jam. Sleepy baby. Late to work. In one line, a combustible combination!

On top of it, we needed to visit my kid’s paediatrician for his 11months’ vaccination. We were so chuffed about reaching the doc’s clinic at 8:30am, just in time for the appointment, hoping that the clinic would anyway be empty so 5 minutes here or there doesn’t make a difference. Lo & behold! The clinic was so full that people were spilling out. Don’t forget it is still 8:30a.m. On a Monday morning! Luckily we had an appointment so managed to get a wait time of just 10 minutes.  

I couldn’t help but ask the receptionist why there was this unimaginable crowd so early, and that’s when I realized that the menace is bigger than I imagined. 50% of the cases were of Chikungunya! How is this spreading so rapidly and what are we doing to protect our little ones from it? Do we know what are the symptoms of Chikungunya fever to be able to protect our children?

What are the Symptoms of Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  • The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue hence getting the right diagnosis is important.
  • If you feel there is an abrupt onset of fever, but also accompanied by joint pain. Most likely it is Chikungunya.
Other symptoms of Chikungunya are:
  • Muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • Joint pain is extremely draining and can vary in duration from person to person.








Chikungunya Treatment

Medicines do not really cure the disease; hence the treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

Preventing Chikungunya

The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes.
The mosquitoes that spread chikungunya bite during the daytime, hence ensure that you wear long-sleeve shirts, full length pants especially when you are outdoors.
  • Use a good mosquito repellent. I found the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On very effective as it has to be applied in little quality (just 4 dots), that too on fabric, and not directly on the skin. This is hence safe for children as well. The fragrance is also mild, hence does not irritate. 
  • Air Conditioned rooms usually have lesser mosquitoes.
  • Use a bed net even if you are using a mosquito repellent.
  • Be vary of stagnant water in homes as mosquitoes find this a good breeding ground. If you are wondering where could there be water accumulated in your home, think twice. If any washroom is less used, the water in the WC becomes a breeding ground. Keeping the lid closed is a good way to avoid mosquitoes from breeding there. The kitchen is another favourite area for mosquitoes to breed. The fridge tray or the AC tray are also areas which accumulate water.
  • If you take your baby out for walks in a stroller, ensure that the pram is covered with a net.

Lot of people use mosquito repellents only when they step out in the evening. The mosquito that carries chikungunya virus bites primarily during the daytime, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas. This is the reason why I use Goodknight’s Mosquito repellent on Baby V even when we step out during the day for our dose of Vitamin D. 


Sunday, 7 January 2018

HEALTHY POST-PARTUM RECOVERY

The months after delivery are very critical for new moms as well as for the baby. While we focus most of our energies on understanding the newcomer in our life, adjusting our life around her time and needs, we almost overlook our own mental and physical requirements.

A good caretaker helps the new mother overcome emotional stress by offering to take care of the infant while she gets some rest. They also assure the mother that she is doing a great job of taking care of the baby, and shares valuable advice, and tips. For this its important for the caretaker to be experienced themselves, or to have read or researched enough at their end. I have seen most fathers in western countries take on this role of caretaker and do a fabulous job of it. Birth-prep classes are something that helps the parents in advance. While in India, going for birth-prep classes is not common, I do feel they are absolutely necessary. I wish more and more OBGYN’s would recommend the need for parents to be aware about the challenges, but also how to overcome those challenges, which are taught through these birth prep-classes. 

While the body goes through various physical changes on the outside, have you wondered what’s really happening on the inside? We all know that the body feels tired and burnt out post-delivery. The postpartum recovery doesn’t happen in just a few days. It can actually take months, even for the most fit women. While many women feel they have recovered substantially by 6-8 weeks (that’s when the stiches stop hurting), it may take longer for the others. One almost feels as if the body has turned against them. It took me almost 4-5 months to recover from the aftermath of delivery where I could say that yes I feel my body is now back to what it was! The body is busy repairing the muscles that stretched to make way for the baby and for you to go through labour. 
Here are some simple ways to help your body recover post-parting: 

1. Rest! Yes, get some rest please. Even though the baby may not be so demanding in the first week, they can start to require more of your time second week onwards. So try and get as much sleep as possible to cope with all the tiredness and physical exertion. 
2. Get a caretaker! Let your family know who is needed and who isn’t. This is not the time to take on emotional stress. Your body needs to heal, and practical help around managing the home, baby and you can help you get some stress off your back. 
3. Eating right! This is one of the most important points of post-partum recovery. Whether you are a breastfeeding mom or not, you need to eat healthy meals which include whole grains, fruits & veggies, and protein. I would consume protein in the form of eggs, paneer, and soya. However if you are tired of eating the same things every day, then here’s a healthy cheat-code for you. I recently came across a very healthy way of increasing protein intake through EPIGAMIA’s greek yogurt. While most yogurt brands promise to be a great source of protein, they are also extremely high on sugar!
Increase your daily fluid intake especially if you are breast-feeding. This is simple if you take coconut water daily, buttermilk and carom water. 

Why Epigamia?
1.       Epigamia’s Greek Yogurt is made from cow’s milk which is extremely healthy
2.       Great for weight loss and muscle gain! Exactly what we need post delivery. 
3.       Contains probiotics which help digestion
4.       Low on fat and carbs
5.       Epigamia follows the purest way of making greek yogurt 
Epigamia is available on all leading outlets and online. Check out more on www.epigamia.com

4. Exercise! A short walk with your baby on a daily basis can help you get some fresh air and also feel uplifted!
Stay Calm and Heal On!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

PRODUCT REVIEW | MAMAEARTH WIPES

The baby personal care industry is booming in India. Whether it is diapers, toiletries, clothes, or toys, India has become a large battleground for most brands competing for their fair share of voice. However in our growing up years there were no diapers, and barely any toiletries. How did our parents manage us in cloth nappies all through the day, or take us outside home when there were no wipes, or cerelac to fall back on? 

The daily maalish used to be done with Dabur Lal Tel, or just coconut oil. No special bath tub or toiletries. No sippy cups and fancy spoons for the baby to drink and eat from.

So much has changed now. These days we have easy access to diapers, wipes and tons of toiletries for the babies. A separate bath wash for the morning and a different one for the evening bath. Fancy towels and bath toys. It's our generation's way of pampering our little ones before we get back to our corporate lives. 

Things work a little bit different for Baby V and I. Many people give me a look of alarm when they hear that my little one has been on cloth nappies majority of the day since the age of 2 months. He is almost 10 months old now and wearing nappies for part of the night as well. He is learning to use the potty seat. He has never tasted Cerelac, or any other processed food. 

We don't use many creams or lotions. We have a simple bath routine, and no fancy tubs for engagement sake. We sing, dance, talk, play and enjoy each other's company all day. We love reading, jumping around, exploring every object in the house and evening walks with our friends. 

However, travelling outside brings about some changes to the routine. We move to diapers when we are out for long, and use wet wipes in case water isn't handy. Especially during diaper changes and wiping the baby's face after a messy meal. I had tried almost every wet wipe available in the market and was so apprehensive of using something polyester based on my baby's skin. I shudder to imagine people using wipes at home on their baby's delicate skin every time they clean the baby's skin and private areas.  All wipes have polyester as their base, which is not recommended to be used on babies. 
Recently I was introduced to Mamaearth's Wipes and hence I thought of sharing this review with you.   These wipes have been the best find for me in a long long time. 

- Mamaearth's wipes are India's 1st Organic Bamboo based wipes. What does that mean? Bamboo is biodegradable and environment friendly, hence it does not give rashes. 
- Because of their composition they are safe to be used on the baby's private parts as well.
- These wipes are enriched with Vit E, Shea Butter, Almond Oil and Aloe Vera, which means don't cause drying of skin
- They are thicker than the polyester wipes, so a single wipe can clean much more area and mess.
- They have a soothing natural fragrance which does not irritate the baby.
- Mamaearths wipes are Ph balanced and hypoallergenic. 

All in all, a great product at a reasonable price!
Baby V giving his nod of approval on Mamaearth Wipes :D


#saynotopolyester #mamaearth

PRODUCT REVIEW | ANCIENT BEAUTY

I promised a detailed review of the skin care range by Ancient Beauty curated especially for my skin type. Now that I have used all the products for a few weeks I’m extremely thrilled to share the review with the readers. And my reviews are absolutely unbiased and un-influenced J

At the onset, most of you know by now that I’m all for natural products and simple ways of living. I believe in keeping it natural and easy. With the arrival of Baby V, a lot of my skin care routine went for a toss. Not only that I was pressed for time, but some of these de-tanning processes required a step-by-step process, and I could barely commit to any of that.
I have a normal skin type, with a bit of dryness in winters. In addition, my face had faced a sheer bit of distress due to my crazy swimming schedule in the past few weeks. I swim from 11am to 12 noon on most days. Isn’t that the worst time to subject your skin to maximum tan? So I needed something that would be gentle and yet effective, with long lasting benefits.
 
I used the following products from Ancient Beauty

1. The Ancient Japanese Scrub – Ah, the aroma of nature. Beginning the day with this scrub was a sheer delight. Its granular nature gently exfoliates the skin even on simple massage. I used to keep it applied as a face-pack for just 30 seconds daily, or sometimes a quick massage would do. It is a multi-purpose scrub that not just exfoliates but also nourishes skin with its good oils and minerals.

2. The Ancient Face Wash – My post-swim go-to face wash. Its creamy texture leaves the skin soft and supple. It can even be used 2-3 times a day as needed, and yes it even helps remove the stubborn make up at the end of the day. I used it typically on my face and neck as those areas would require the gentle soothing of this product. The only drawback was that it’s a little messy to use, as the mixture would not stay on the face for too long. But even then I would highly recommend it. More for the body coming up next. ;-)

3. The Ancient Fairness – This is not the typical bleachy fairness product that we come across in the market. It can be used in a relaxed state in the evening (I used it before the evening walk). For this product one can actually add milk to the powder and apply it on the face for 10-15 minutes. Since I have lot of freckles it helped me reduce them as well as it contains natural citric elements that help fade away blemishes. I saw the results in just a week.

4. The Ancient Illuminator – This product smells heavenly and brings a glow on the face instantly. I would recommend the powder with milk as it contains certain stimulating herbs and spices that help enhance the blood circulation under skin's surface due to which the radiance appears from within. I have used it before every outing for that fresh-lily look and received compliments starting from the elevator itself :D (not kidding!).

5. The Ancient Massage Powder – The product I so so needed as I have no time to head to the parlour at all. Unless the parlour comes home ;-) And this product is exactly that! It’s ideal for a home facial spa to be used along with other Ancient Beauty products in sequence for home based facial. Give it a try! All you need to for a simple home facial spa is:

Cleanse your face with 'The Ancient Face Wash' -> Scrub gently with 'The Ancient Scrub' -> Massage with 'The Ancient Massage Powder' -> Apply 'The Ancient Fairness' or 'The Ancient Illuminator as a face pack. Voila! Soft and supply skin ready in no time!



6. The Ancient Satin Body Scrub – Who minds a Balinese spa experience at home? Use everyday as a body scrub and don’t use any other soap/body wash. Add a little coconut oil (or if you don’t mind using mustard oil) and you have soft skin from top to bottom. This also helps burn cellulite with regular use. This works wonders for my dry skin.



Verdict:
1.     The products that I used started to show a difference on my skin within a week itself. Woot! Even when I did not use them for 4-5 days in between the effects were still there. Now that’s amazing, because most of the times the chemical-heavy creams/face washes etc that we use stop showing effects immediately when we discontinue them.
2.     The products have a soothing fragrance as they are all natural. Its therapeutic and rejuvenating.
3.     Not only do the products have a visible glow on the skin, but you can actually make out that they are organic and natural. No chemicals.
4.     All the products are for self-care and safe to use.



#ancientbeauty #naturalproducts #organic #natural #ayurveda #selfcare #ancient #natureisbest #mumbaimoms #momsofmumbai #productreview #blogger #momswhoblog #skincare 

DIAPERS FOR TWO PLEASE

The fun has just started! You’re finally going home with your little bundle of joy! The feeling can be both surreal and nerve-wracking as...