Pregnancy supplements – iron, folic and a liberal dose of joy!

The moment you share the “good news”, advice starts to pour in from all quarters. Your family, friends, cousins, neighbours and even strangers start advising on what to eat and how to behave in pregnancy.

On the first visit to the gynaecologist, along with a confirmation of pregnancy you are given a list of supplements to start taking. While every doctor has a different style, my doctor decided to give me an additional prescription – “Stay happy and your child shall be a “Happy” child too”.  It is indeed a fact that only happy mothers can produce happy babies.

It is therefore not surprising that to-be-mothers are pampered all through their pregnancy. It’s in everyone’s interests for the mom-to-be to pay extra attention to her emotional well-being, making relaxation and stress reduction two of her top priorities. I think these are some key elements that play a major role in those 9 months and influence the outcome –

  1. Doctor – The first and foremost is to pick a doctor whom you trust. You can take recommendations from everyone around you but the ultimate decision lies with you and your partner. I met a few doctors and finally went with the one I trusted and was comfortable with. She was seasoned and very chilled out. She did not hold on to age-old traditions and had evolved with time. This fit my own ideology and thought process. She put me at ease. I ended up recommending her to many of my friends and family who went on to have similar experiences with her.
  2. Eating habits – Most of us know the usual drill for any pregnant mom – Eat healthy and eat frequently. But I do not find it necessary to alter your lifestyle just because you are carrying a baby. You can do what comes naturally to you. I did not like desi ghee and had always stayed away from it. Even during my pregnancy I did not start eating it. I did introduce a lot more fruits and milk into my diet. But more or less I continued to be what I was. If you don’t like the taste of bitter karelas you cannot start eating them just because you are carrying a child!
  3. Surround yourself with positivity – It is important to be surrounded by positive people and stay happy. The support of your husband is paramount. Give him the opportunity to be a part of the parenting journey by sharing details, going together for scans and doc appointments, telling him about your cravings, first kick etc. There is no greater help than a hands-on dad. In the initial days after childbirth, my husband changed more diapers than I did! My husband spoke often to the baby when he was inside my tummy and we felt our son recognized his voice and was instantly soothed by it.
  4. Office atmosphere – If you continue to work, ensure that the atmosphere is stress free. You can talk to your boss about it and get the support required. It is a magical time and you should relish it. Stay in an environment that respects this phase and appreciates that this is now a priority for you.
  5. Stay Active- It is very important to exercise and keep your body fit for the next phase. Regular exercise is known to help control weight gain, boost your mood, aid circulation and get you to sleep better. I got into a daily walk regime that helped me immensely, and I personally believe, that it facilitated my normal delivery. Evening walks of course came with a lot of unsolicited advice from people in the park waiting to pounce on pregnant mothers. But once pregnant, you will learn to ignore or filter many such remarks. Jokes apart, do check with your doctor if you are planning any intensive fitness programs.
  6. Invest in YOURSELF – You will be excited to shop for baby but while you do that make sure you take out time for yourself as well. It may get tough once the baby comes in. Try to do things that relax you – yoga, meditation, reading, listening to your favourite music, watching your favourite TV show, taking a long bath or a day of pampering at the salon. This may also be the ideal time to take up a hobby “you never found time for”! I bet you will never find time for it after the baby arrives.

While each of us has a unique pregnancy journey and bundle of joy, these tips can make the journey smooth and enjoyable.

I would love to hear from you what helped you in your nine month journey.

This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids).

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