Pregnant And Hungry??

First of all Many Congratulations for entering a realm which is full of myriad emotions!! I can vouch that the chaos, confusion, excitement, happiness, bliss all the feelings bombing inside your hearts will make this journey worth remembering!!

Now, since you’ve landed upon this article, it certainly means you are baffled about what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy. Is your mom’s, aunt’s or neighbor’s differing advice for the best pregnancy foods making you all the more perplexed? If this sounds like you, then this post my friend, is dedicated to you!

What you eat during pregnancy will play a crucial role in your unborn baby’s growth, development and health. It is important to eat right in these special months, and it can be difficult to keep a track of what you should eat so that your baby gets the right nutrition.

Eating right and healthy is always important but it’s only during pregnancy that we realize it’s worth. No one food group can provide your unborn baby and you with the nutrition that you need during these months. If you have been eating well till now, you are most likely on the right path already. However, if your diet was poor till now, or you were not including all nutrition groups in your everyday diet, you will have to make some changes.

The beauty of Indian diet is that it is rich in all the nutritional requirements that both you and your baby need during the pregnancy months. It will help you gain the right amount of weight and will also provide your body the energy it needs to help support your baby as well as keep you healthy and fit and in good shape for the delivery.

Here’s a look at some easy Peasy dishes that should constitute your diet chart.

How To Spread Out Your Diet Through The Day:

To make sure that what you eat helps your body and also helps you stay interested, spread out your food through the day by following different food ideas.

While you are pregnant, it is important to make sure that you first check about anything that you eat or drink with your doctor. Even though the suggested foods are considered healthy, your doctor will be the best person to assess your overall health and give you the go-ahead. Once you have a confirmation, here is how you can spread out the meal plan through the day:

1. Early morning Snack:

A glass of plain cow’s milk

Almond milk

Milkshake

Apple juice

Tomato juice

Dry fruits

 

2. Breakfast:

Bowl of fruits

Wheat rava upma with lots of vegetables

Poha with lots of vegetables

Oats porridge

Whole wheat toast with butter and omelet

Vegetable omelet

Paranthas with fillings of spinach, dal, potatoes, carrots, beans, cottage cheese, cheese with curd

Mixed bean cutlet or patties

Some fruits to go along with the breakfast such as apricots, dates, sweet fig, banana, oranges

Cheese toast or cheese and vegetable sandwich

Rice sevai with lots of vegetables

Besan /Ragi /Rava Chilla with veggies

Broken wheat porridge

Vegetable idlis

 

3. Mid-Morning Snack:

Tomato soup

Spinach soup

Creamy spinach soup

Carrot and beet soup

Chicken soup

 

4. Lunch:

Roti with choice of dal, vegetable and a bowl of curd

Parantha with dal and a bowl of curd

Carrot and peas parantha with a bowl of curd and some butter

Jeera or pea rice with raita

Rice, dal and vegetable with vegetable salad

Lemon rice with peas and some vegetable salad

Vegetable khichdi

Chicken salad with lots of fresh vegetables or vegetable soup

Chicken curry with rice

Grilled chicken with a bowl of curd

Rice, dal, mint raita and a fruit

Kofta curry with rice

Cottage cheese parantha with butter and vegetable salad

Curd rice

Parantha with sprouted beans salad

 

5. Evening Snack:

Cheese and corn sandwich

Vegetable idli

Spinach and tomato idli

Sevaiya with lots of vegetables

Carrot or lauki halwa

Fruit smoothie with fresh fruits such as banana or strawberry

Roasted peanut mixture with vegetables

Bread -veggies cutlet

Chicken cutlet

Chicken sandwich

Chicken soup

A bowl of dried dates or dry fruits

A cup of green tea

Milk porridge with oats, sevai or daliya

Vegetable daliya

Mixed vegetable uttapam

 

6. Dinner:

Rice with dal, spinach vegetable, and some green salad

Roti with a bowl of dal, a vegetable of choice and a glass of buttermilk

Mixed dal khichdi with a vegetable curry and a bowl of curd

Vegetable pulaoor chicken rice with a bowl of yogurt

Plain parantha with a glass of buttermilk

 

Is It Important To Add Any Supplements To Your Indian Pregnancy Diet?

Your doctor will tell you whether or not you need to add any supplements to your diet while you are pregnant. Here are a few conditions in which your doctor may feel you would need a supplement, so make sure that you discuss it with your doctor:

If you are too nauseous, it can be difficult for you to eat properly, especially in the first trimester. Your doctor may suggest that you go for a mineral and vitamin supplement along with your regular food, as it will help to give you the minerals and vitamins that are important during pregnancy.

If you are a vegetarian or follow any other dietary restrictions due to religious or other reasons, you may be at the risk of contracting some nutritional deficiency. Speak to your doctor about the same to see if you need some supplements.

One supplement that you will be asked to take while you are pregnant is folic acid. Taking a folic acid supplement while you are pregnant will help prevent various birth defects in your unborn baby, especially neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Your doctor will most likely prescribe you a folic acid supplement only after you are 12 weeks pregnant.

In addition to folic acid supplements, your doctor will also prescribe you some iron supplements. Taking an iron supplement will make sure that your body gets the right amount of blood, and you are not deficient in your energy levels. Your doctor will regularly check your iron levels at each appointment to check the dosage of iron supplements that you need.

Your doctor may also advise you about supplements depending on your medical condition, such as if you are suffering from diabetes, have anemia or have a history of pregnancy complications from earlier pregnancies.

 

A Few Tips To Remember While Eating During Your Pregnancy:

Keeping a check on what you eat while you are pregnant is as important as understanding how you should eat it.

Here are a few tips that will be of help, especially while you are pregnant:

No matter what you want to eat, ensure you consult your doctor first. Something that is healthy for someone else who is pregnant may not be as safe or healthy for you. Your doctor will assess your medical condition and advise you accordingly.

If you feel uncomfortable after eating something, or notice any rashes or redness on your face or skin, make a note of what you ate and keep it with you. Avoid eating it again and speak to your doctor about it.

Do not give up on oil, ghee or butter for the fear of gaining excess weight. A little amount of fat is important for both you and your baby and you should have some each day while you are pregnant. If you are overweight, speak to your doctor about how much fat you can safely include in your diet.

Make sure to have some amount of dry fruits in your everyday diet.

Use salt in moderation, as having too much salt will make your body retain more water, which can further increase your swelling while you are pregnant.

Add fruits to your everyday diet as your body will need the natural sugars that are present in fruits. Avoid eating too much sugar otherwise.

Try to eat at home as much as you can and have fresh homemade food to avoid the risk of infection.

Avoid eating pre-packaged heat-and-eat meals as these are heavily processed and are not a good food choice while you are pregnant.

If you are going to eat outside, check the ingredients that will be used in whatever meal you are ordering. It will help you identify food items that you are allergic to or that your doctor has asked you to avoid eating while you are pregnant.

Make sure that while you are eating out, you choose a place that is clean and hygienic and you have food there before. If you want to eat out at a new place, avoid ordering anything exotic, especially if you are not sure about their kitchen and their overall food quality.

Do not stay hungry and make sure to eat something or the other after every two hours or so, even if you do not feel hungry. While you are pregnant, you will tend to feel nauseous and may not want to eat at all. However, it is important that you keep eating something, especially if you have vomited, as otherwise you have the risk of getting dehydrated. Keep replenishing your body with liquids such as soups, fresh fruit juices or milkshakes.

To avoid feeling bloated or too full and avoid any nausea attacks, space out your meals to six or seven meal times in the day. Keep the food portions to small portions at each meal time instead of having very big ones.

Do not try to cut down on food while you are pregnant, thinking that it will help you lose weight later. If you eat right and include the right balance of nutrients in your daily diet while you are pregnant, it will help you reduce the baby fat later with much ease.

An Indian diet for pregnant women is rich in all the food groups that will help you be healthy and fat and will also provide your unborn baby with the right amount of nutrition. Make sure you speak to your doctor and plan accordingly.

Hoping this guide will help you enjoy this beautiful journey without staying hungry! 😝😝

If you found this post to be of help do share it with your preggy-gang.

Happy Eating 😊

THE DARK ALLY

SHE came into my life when as a child I developed an aversion for all things white… White dress, white skin tone, white MILK. May be because in India, the Whites tend to overshadow the Darks in every walk of life, so much and so, that the very beauty of dark fades into oblivion.

SHE was also dark with a hint of bitterness and so was I (I still am). Everyone forbade me as a child not to have her company citing that SHE would make me darker. May be this was the reason I was drawn more towards her. There is some sort of ecstasy in exploring the forbidden…Isn’t it? 

As I grew older, the proscriptions ruled out slowly and my family (who by now accepted my darkness) were less bothered about me getting darker.  I have seen my father waking up early in the morning and bringing HER to stir us up! My father is the man who taught me the ways to spice up  HER grandeur.

By the time I treaded life and entered college, the love for her turned into addiction. I needed her all the time…Sometimes there were reasons like completing assignments, survive boring lectures, late night studies and sometimes there was no reason at all. SHE was just an urge away for me.

Also on some solitary nights when life gave reasons to mull over it’s depth, SHE was there with me in my musings….Her aroma was enough to unlock the deep thoughts and together we devised our own philosophies of life.

homecoming-to-coziness

SHE reigned in winters. SHE was indispensable. SHE was there for me with her warmth and I never needed a room heater. I have the most beautiful memories in life  from the times when I used to stay alone in Delhi at my apartment. My childhood BEStie moved in with me during winters and one more very dear friend of mine used to come for staycation from Karnal every other weekend. We had a gusto, relishing  our midnight chat-sessions, late night Netflix and SHE was definitely there adding to the bliss!!

That rafting-trip to Rishikesh, those aimless conversation turning into deep debates, those visits to roadside tapri near college, that night under the stars, those snuggles with my better half…. all alluring moments that are etched in my heart forever have one thing in common- SHE!

Such is her aura, that once a lover will always be her lover. Thankfully, my family and friends all drooled over her and no one ever interfered in our blissful togetherness. Sometimes even they offered to hop on and relish the times together. Those are some beautiful times to cherish!!

And then the time came when I was married off to the most wonderful man I could ever meet. SHE , however, was still there… That inexplicable feeling when in early mornings both my loves entered the room and both of them lent their warmth on my lips and woke me up to a reality more dreamy than the dream itself.

Aah! How I miss those times…When no reasons, no logic, no constraints blocked my way in being with her.

And now, when I am shackled in regimes…when I am donning the roles of mother, wife and daughter-in-law…I barely get time to sit in peace with her…indulge with her..have my soliloquy!!

Still, SHE never fails to give me that instant kick when I need it the most. SHE has been such a loyal soul that no matter how less time I get to bask in her glory, still SHE never disappoints me with her magical dark hue, her tantalizing taste and her exotic aroma!! The dark elixir of my life- my CHAI!!

My dark twin soul,

My ally when life seems a lie, 

My chum for gloom and joy,

It’s none other, but, MY CUPPA CHAI !!

Tea Glasses

This blog is a part of the Chai-a-thon blog train organized by ‘The Momsteins’

I would like to thank Sweety Patelia – https://chinkslounge.wordpress.comfor introducing me.

I would also recommend you to check out my fellow blogger and friend, Jasmeet’s blog- http://jazzharman1508.blogspot.in  and read about her wonderful tea memory.

Hosted By :

#MyLittleMuffin

#TheMomSagas

#Mummasaurus

Preparing for Baby’s Arrival? 

 

It seems as if yesterday that I used to surf blogs and articles about how-to, what-to and what-not-to during and after pregnancy. The bouts of emotions and anxiety leaves the moms-to-be in stress all the more when they are advised to abstain from it. There are a million things that need attention as soon as you discover that you’re about to bring a new life on this planet. You want to leave no stone unturned in this journey and arrange the best of the things for your soon-to-arrive little angel.

As a first time mother, it was very overwhelming when we realized that a baby needs so many things. But when we saw the many, many lists out there we realized that we don’t need to buy ALL of those things before the baby comes. If we just bought the most essential items, we could get every thing else as and when we need it. Most of the families believe in NOT buying baby essentials before the baby actually comes due to traditional beliefs. Same was the case with my family but with my personal experience I would suggest to be prepared with some basic important items that are needed in the first few days of baby arrival because you should not expect your relatives to give you those items and also you will not be in a state to do away with those essentials as well !

In the last four weeks of my pregnancy, my husband and I got our house baby-ready (coming soon) and stocked up on some of the essential supplies we would need when the baby arrived.

As a pro tip now, I would definitely recommend the moms-to-be to go for online shopping to save you the hassle of visiting umpteen stores for that perfect deal. You surely have variety of things to choose from with fine quality and the best thing is that all the goodies are delivered at your doorstep. If still in any case you want to explore the market streets yourself, there’s no stopping you!!

So here’s a list of things we bought (and some I think you should add to your list) before the baby came. The items listed here are embedded with a link which would redirect you to e-commerce website for ease in your shopping spree. If you’re lucky you might end up in getting some awesome online deals as festive season is round the corner and e-retailers do offer some attractive offers!! So, let’s get started-:

FOR THE BABY

  1. Clothes

We got a lot of hand-me-downs from friends and family and that saved us a lot of money on baby clothes. But when you buy clothes, list out what the weather in your city be like and baby’s age. Buy newborn clothes accordingly and don’t be tempted to stock on a lot coz babies tend to outgrow the clothes superquick.

In most of the families, people end up getting many clothes as gifts also so you basically might be needing baby nappies  to buy yourself and your relatives will take care of the most of the things.

You can never go wrong with onesies, so stock up on 6-8 of them at least. In addition, you can get pyjama sets (top & bottom), sleep suits (covered feet and hands for when it’s cold at night), caps, socks.

We bought mittens too but could not make baby keep them on for more than a few minutes so I recommend that you don’t waste money on them. Plus I read that mittens actually hinder sensory development, and it is better to let babies get to feel their face and other things with their hands without the mittens blocking them.

  1. Diapers and diaper bag 

We stocked up on at least a month’s supply of diapers and baby wipes. However, if you want to go traditional way of using cloth nappies you should be prepared to change baby’s clothes and the sheet under her every time she pees or poops (which is very often during those first few days because newborns pee and poop round the clock.) If you plan to cloth diaper or use nappies, you may need at least 8-10 each day.  So depending on your laundry schedule, buy nappies/cloth diapers accordingly. Also, if you plan to use nappies, consider getting more blankets and onesies and other clothing too. Also a diaper bag which is a quintessential item, needs to be prepared before the baby arrives because after discharging from hospital you will need to revisit your gyane within a week or so for baby’s progress n yours too. Diaper bag becomes handy with all the baby essentials in it.

  1. Bedding
  • If you plan to co-sleep, you won’t need more than 2-3 blankets, quick dry sheet, baby foldable bed with a net (if there are mosquitoes where you live.)
  • If you plan to use a baby crib, you will need, in addition to the above, crib, crib sheets, net.

You can skip pillows, bolsters, crib bumpers, and decorative pillows because it is usually advised to keep the baby’s crib clutter-free. If you want a pillow, consider getting one filled with mustard seeds as that usually takes the shape of baby’s head. I also used that horse-shoe shaped pillow or some 10-15days but kept it away as soon as I came to know about its ill-effects. 

  1. Toys & other items – To keep newborns engaged and entertained you can get

*Babies can entertain themselves with the other toys but you will have to shake the rattle before them.

5. One pack of Formula Milk and feeding bottles– 

Though every mother wants to breastfeed her baby right from the time of delivery till as long as she can but there may be times when you are unable to do so. Especially when mothers who undergo C-section quite often complain of not lactating properly, Formula milk comes handy as an SOS. You can talk to your gynae before hand about the brand you wish to buy (I used Nan Pro1). Buy a feeding bottle as well for this purpose.

6. Other Utilities –

Other things we got were: burp cloths, hooded towels, swaddle cloths (however, swaddling didn’t work for my wriggly baby) , baby oil, shampoo, baby wash (I used Mama Earth products and still continuing it), moisturiser, detergent, nappy cream, nail clippers, hair brush, hand sanitizer. 

Things to keep in mind:

  •  It’s always a good idea to let older family members like your mother or grandmother or mother-in-law to massage the baby if you aren’t up for it yet.
  • Watch videos on how to breastfeed and how to ensure deep latch. This will save you a lot of pain and confusion later on.
  • BONUS TIP: Many families have a tradition where the parents of mom-to-be gift the baby essentials including clothes, toys etc.  In that case you can ask your parents/relatives to check the stuff online and get it with no hassle. Also, if they live in a different city than yours, they can get the stuff delivered to you directly! Isn’t that a win-win for all of us? 🙂 

FOR MOMS-TO-BE

  • Post Partum Essentials – Sanitary Pads, comfy pillow, a cook, cleaner, and a 24-hour personal attendant for the first 18 years. 😜
  • Nursing Essentials – nursing bras, nursing-friendly dresses/tops, nursing pads, nursing pillow, breast pump (if you may need)
  • Sanity Essentials – Baby Carrier. I wish I had known about it earlier. It is a life saver! Especially during days when baby will only sleep in your arms. I did not get a chance to babywear but in my recent researches about it I found that baby-carriers provide support for a tiny new born’s neck too. This would really come in handy during sleep regressions of baby.

FOR MEMORY KEEPING 

This journey you are embarking upon is going to be the most wonderful one and you would definitely want to document your life. So if you plan to do that, you might consider looking for and sourcing milestone cards and/or stickers, cute photo props that you can use in your pictures, a baby book where you can stick pictures and make notes, etc.

INTERNET RESOURCES THAT YOU MAY FIND USEFUL

Here are a few Facebook Groups that helped me in those early days. Its not necessary to ask questions but you can learn a lot by going through posts and discussions.

    • Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mother
    • Apps like BabyCenter, The Bump, and What to Expect not only give you weekly pregnancy updates, but also give you weekly baby updates. You will also find relevant articles shared with you on a weekly basis depending on the age of your baby.

That’s all for now. It is important to remember that this is a list of the bare minimum essentials you may need before baby arrives. Depending on your budget and lifestyle you may want to purchase fewer or more items. All the Best!

Wish you the most blissful times ahead! ☺️

 

Guilty Gene in a Mom’s DNA

Motherhood is a mystical experience. You have bouts of joy one second and in the other you will find yourself recluse! One day you are bright as a sunshine while on other you may be gloomy as a dark cloud.  And who else than female hormones are to be blamed for it? Yes, most of our sanity is lost during the journey of motherhood coz of these damn hormones! The boss of these emotional bouts being GUILT! 

I think as soon as a woman delivers a baby, a guilty gene gets embedded in her DNA which expresses itself time and again. The mommas are epitome of guilt. Guilt of not doing enough for the baby. Guilt of being selfish at times by taking a 10minute nap. Guilt of forgetting to give almonds to baby in the morning. Guilt of not being able to play with him due to household chores. And to top it Guilt when the baby hurts himself accidentally. It’s a guilty world and we have to thrive in it.

Day before yesterday, I put my wriggly baby on the bed and turned to the closet to take out his nappy. In a jiffy, I turned back with a loud shriek only to find him wailing on the floor! Yes, he fell from the bed again.. it was the third time in last 6months. Why does it happen only when I am around? Why can’t I keep an eye on him? Why didn’t I cling him upon me while taking out the nappy? Why am I so careless? All these umpteen whys flashed across my mind while I quickly bent to take him into my lap. I tried to console him ,kiss him but all in vain. My husband, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law all came into room hearing to my shriek.

My baby is a sensitive child as in whenever he hurts himself, he turns his face away from the person in whose presence the accident happened as if he is blaming the person for not taking care of him. He is only 7months old and I don’t know how to teach him that he should not blame the person or circumstances in which the accident occurred. May be I will figure it out with time! On seeing rest of the family members, my baby just wanted to leave me and jumped towards his Dadi (GrandMom). She took him away and tried to soothe him. I wanted to breastfeed him so that may be it will soothe him and I can be close to him but my MIL suggested to prepare the formula instead, citing the reason “wo abhi tumhare pas bilkul nahi aaega” (he won’t come to you at all right now). I was holding myself till then but now just burst into tears. I blamed myself, cursed myself. I cried in agony with an unknown fear that one day my child will no longer want me. His needs are catered to by his Dadi well and thus one day I will be nowhere in his life.

I am currently on child care leave and in two months I have to resume my office. Just the thought of leaving him and going to office gave me shivers. Guilt just wreaked havoc in my heart!

All this while my husband sat near me holding my hand consoling me and I cried my heart out in front of him. After half an hour he brought the baby into my room. I was scared to hold him and looked at him with my wet guilty eyes. My baby had forgotten his pain and he just jumped towards me. He smiled at me and I burst into tears out of joy. Oh! these tears…They have to come out every time whether I am angry or sad or happy… They are the only means of conveying my thoughts.

As a mother I wonder what is the best way to overcome this guilt phenomenon which we encounter on daily basis. How can we convince ourselves that we are doing a great job and a bit of imperfection just adds to the beauty of motherhood? Our babies love us as much as we do then why do we become unsure at times?

Time is a great teacher and motherhood is all about learning! I just hope that I muster courage to overcome my guilty gene and give my baby all that is good for him. I wish I, together with my baby, learn these life lessons of rising and falling, winning and losing, laughing and crying and learn to gracefully accept all that life has to offer!

Do share your guilt moments and how did you overcome them.

#FreedomFromBias- Looking from a Man’s View

Prejudice is the child of ignorance and it is one of the dangerous obstacles in progress too. Be it the progress of oneself, a family or in a larger picture a nation. It's been 70 years of our country's freedom from the slavery of British but sadly our minds and souls are still a slave to numerous kinds of irrational thoughts and biases. 

 Right from a child is born our society pushes him into a dark well of prejudice and ignorance. Right from its birth he is immersed in the biased ideologies based on gender, colour, caste and what not. The most deteriorating among them all being the one based on gender. The word Gender Inequality makes us think of the poor women facing atrocities however this inequality derogates all genders-males, females or transgender. From ages women have been subjugated by the deeply rooted patriarchal system of the society. But more often than not the Masculine Human is also thrashed with biasness in everyday life which goes sheerly unnoticed and knowingly or unknowingly paves way for an unjust society.

Our day to day life gestures and inculcated thoughts give way to bias against men too and I think  this is also to a great extent responsible towards the unwarranted behaviour done towards women of our society. Let's have a look how we discriminate boys against girls- 

1.  Bias against "Gender-specific" professions – dancers, nurses etc.

A lot of men who get into professions like dancing, nursing etc. face ridicule. Men are expected to take up more 'manly' professions like engineering , medical, law etc. Our society has already prescribed gender to many occupations – which can result in a bias for those that break this norm. Rarely we see parents encouraging their sons to pursue dance, music or arts as their career. Even Chetan Bhagat- a renowned writer has shared his woes on the same.

2 . Stigma for stay-at-home dads

India is still hugely orthodox when it comes to men staying at home looking after the children. If mothers immediately quit their jobs when a baby is due, then why can't the father? Why isn't the father allotted a paternity leave? It's time we let go of this bias against dads and grant them the time they deserve with their children. I guess if the men are given freedom from this bias then the huge discomfort faced by working women in managing home affairs can also be taken care of. 

3. "Men don't cry – Be a Man! Be Tough!"

Men who cry are supposed to be 'weak'. 'Ladki jaise rota hai'. How can a man cry after all " Mard ko dard nahi hota". Being weak is considered to be feminine. Why do we deny men the right to be emotional? Besides, being a 'man' inadvertently means being aggressive, tough and strong. Fighting with men is supposed to be 'a guy thing' and we can all see that's plain wrong. Men have feelings, men can feel fear and pain. If a man doesn't want to fight he doesn't have to be ridiculed. Let's break away from distorted and in fact, violent ideas about masculinity.

 

Husband earning less than his wife feels 'let down'

In our society, if a wife earns more than her husband, it's considered to be insulting for the man. This is because we ascribe power to the man's salary. With a higher earning partner, a man faces an ego battle with her and within himself. We have to let go of these antiquated ideas. A man need not feel ashamed of himself if the wife is earning more than him. 

'The Man of the house' syndrome

'Man of the house' often means being the breadwinner of the family. Men are also supposed to be the head of the finances and furthermore, expected to fix the bulb! Women can share these responsibilities and its undue pressure on men to be expected to provide for the whole family. 

Always the 'protector' and never the 'protected'

A man is always supposed to stand up for his sister, girlfriend, wife, mother etc. He is supposed to beat up a man who insults his family, particularly the 'woman'. Why is he always supposed to be the 'protector'? Today a lot of women are learning not to depend on the 'man' and learning how to take care of themselves at all times they can. Furthermore, a man has to let his guard down and sometimes let a 'woman' stand up for him. Why can't we train our sons and daughters equally to protect themselves and others?

Bias/ridicule against anything 'girly' or even 'gay'.

It's wise to note how a lot of traits considered to be girly are shunned by the 'real man'. "I'm not weak! I'm physically strong! I'm not small!" Yes, unlike a 'woman'.

There is a lot of sexist bias women, and even homosexuals or transgenders face. The same sexism is faced by men as well. Sexism and gender bias can hurt all people – and it's time we come together to nip this in the bud.

Sexism/Gender bias Hurts Everyone

We have to face that gender bias hurts not only one gender, but all genders and all kinds of people. We have to work towards ridding our society of it. Gender-based crimes are a direct result of gender bias and sexism. Even our top-most politicians, police, law-makers, educationists and people in positions of authority have often made sexist comments. We have to free our culture of sexism.

We all have a combination of feminine and masculine traits. Emotions are human and there's nothing wrong with them. We have to learn to manage them in healthy ways and it has to be taught from a young age. 

Let's pledge to have freedom from bias of all sorts!!

The Grandeur of Grandparents

Sunday, the 10th September 2017 happens to be the International Grandparents Day and honestly speaking I didn’t have any idea that such a day exists. Despite a lot of debate revolving around the celebration of days marked for fathers, mothers, siblings etc I confess that I believe in celebrating these days because I think on such special occasions we get an opportunity to voice our tender emotions which are otherwise left buried deep in hearts due to our never ending hectic schedules. 

So, I came across this instagram post of Blogadda where in I got to know about the Grandparents’ Day! They had asked us about the ways we would like to spend this day with our grandparents. This left me thinking about them.
Grandparents are probably called so because of the grandeur they add to the family. With the silver in their hair and gold in their hearts they make our lives nothing less than a treasure. Their wisdom, faith and the will to closely knit the family is what makes the world a better place to live!

As I sit down to write this, I am reminiscent of the good old days of innocence and mischiefs at my Nani’s place. The sad state of the institution of marriage is that girls ought to leave their families to move in with their husbands. And when we girls enter motherhood it becomes all the more difficult to give way to our whims and fancies of doing what we want in  blink of an eye. How I wish I could surprise my Nani ji by meeting her in person and since she has become “Great Grand Mother” she surely deserves some more mischief by her great-grandkid.  Due to her ill health it is not possible for her to travel and I have a 7month old baby to provide for, which makes both of us helpless to meet more often. 

But if a Jeanie grants me my wish and lets me spend this special day with her that would be the best thing ever! Although, just one day would never be sufficient to live all those wonderful memories yet I would make full efforts to reap it to its maximum. As I take an imaginative joy-ride with my Nani, I can see myself reaching to her place and first of all give a tight bear hug to my 4 feet tall Nani. We would then sit down together in mandir (temple at home), her favorite place and chat our hearts out while she spins her cotton threads to make the wicks for diyas (earthen lamps). She would also sing to me her latest self-composed hymns and would urge me to hum along. After that we would cook together our meal which would definitely be her signature dish i.e.aaloo ka rasa sans garlic-onion with poori. She would ofcourse not eat pooris so I would make her chapatis. As soon as the lunch would be done, we would again be sitting down for our next round of tell-tales about the golden era to which Nani belongs. Our chats have so much variety and it ranges from mythology, cookery tips and making homemade pickles to politics, general knowledge, films and diy crafts. 

Oh! And how can I forget to convince Nani to open up that old treasure box which has so many goodies like an antique deck of cards, various colorful konch shells, knitted sweaters, crochet table- cloths and those lac bangles which I have always eyed upon! Whenever that box opens another round of nostalgic conversation unfolds about the times when Nani and Nanaji used to play cards every evening and how he lost intentionally just to make Nani happy. It is a mandate thereafter, that whenever this box opens we play cards and ashtachamma (Indian ludo) with those conch shells.

After the game we would watch Jai Santoshi Maa movie or Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan which are an absolute favorite of my Nani. What fun!!

And all this dreamy day cannot end without a champi of warm coconut hair oil but this time I would definitely want to reverse role play. This time I would love to give a head champi to Nani paving way for a cozy snuggly sleep in Nani’s lap.

Gosh! I just realized my reverie and I guess I have to get my tickets booked very soon to visit my Nani to #LoveJatao ! This #LoveJatao campaign has surely rekindled the fire within to spread love and share joy with the most significant yet most ignored people of our lives!

Do watch this video of Parachute Advanced specially for our grandparents -:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSgbmaFKWIU 
I would look forward to hear from you how would you  celebrate Grandparents Day

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Breastfeeding Simplified!

On January 31st 2017, I got to feel the bliss of motherhood for the first time in life. Motherhood comes with its own set of wows and woes. The biggest and most common woes is not being able to breastfeed your baby !! I did not suffer from any medical condition but I was not lactating. After the second day of my baby boy’s birth, he was given to me for breastfeeding. Being a first time mom I did not know how to take the baby in my arms properly, or how to latch him on my nipples. Breastfeeding our baby is the most beautiful feeling. The moment the baby latches on our breast and starts suckling milk gives us immense satisfaction. But sometimes because of some medical conditions or lack of knowledge, new moms delay breastfeeding, reducing milk supply.

Well, I was one of those moms. I had a c-section and after operation, the doctor came once or twice and told me how to breastfeed and instructed the nurses to help me. I was waiting eagerly for my baby to wake up so that I could breastfeed him. After a few hours, he started crying for milk and I took him in my arms and tried to feed him. But he was not latching. I tried hard and called the nurse for help. She came and held the baby in a way so that he can latch and start suckling. My son tried but started crying. So the nurse gave him formula milk. After a few hours I tried feeding my baby again, but I couldn’t. Again I called nurse for help and she said angrily, “Madam apke nipples hi nahi bane hain, baby suck nahi kar pa raha (Your nipples have not been formed well and hence baby can’t suck).” My mother-in-law insisted to give my baby formula and seeing him cry I also gave in. After sometime I again tried to feed my baby but in vain. I again called the sister. She then checked my breasts and pressed them hard and told me, “Doodh nahi aa raha aapko (You are not lactating).” After that she came with a blunt-end syringe and tried expressing milk with it but the result was extremely painful and yielded only a few drops of milk(colostrum). Whenever my baby was crying I myself was trying to express milk through the syringe. In spite of extreme pain I was trying again and again but there was no milk and the result was sore nipples and fever. I tried everything from moong ke dal, dalia to oxytocin injection but nothing worked. I used to cry at night seeing my baby cry for milk and the torturous thought of not producing milk for my baby. Relatives were coming to see me and my baby and were sharing their story of having huge amount of milk for their baby flowing out of their clothes every time. After every visit, I used to feel as if I have committed a big crime by not producing milk and by feeding my baby formula milk.

Advice That Changed Everything

By third day my baby boy was diagnosed with jaundice and hence he was shifted to NICU for phototherapy. After some hours the nurse called me to that phototherapy ward as my baby was hungry.

I told the nurse that I was not lactating and was unable to feed my baby. I asked her to go with the formula instead. I believe Goddess Shakti came in the disguise of this young 20 something nurse as her gestures, advice and efforts changed everything. This nurse  kept her hand lovingly on my shoulder and asked me, “Why do you think you can’t produce milk?”

I just started crying not because I was not producing milk but because of the love and care I was getting which I had been craving for so long.

I narrated to her the whole story of my efforts and the zero result. She looked at me with a divine smile, held my hand and said, “Mam, there is nothing like non-lactating. Every mother can lactate. This is a gift given by God to all mothers. Some mothers may take time because of some reasons but they lactate. The most important thing for a new mother is good food with relaxed, stress-free mind.

You just take this negative thought out of your mind that you can’t produce milk for your baby because it will only affect your milk supply. Just continue feeding your baby. The more the baby suckles, the more will be the milk-production. Trust me and you will see the result by your own”.

After that she first tried extracting some colostrum with a blunt syringe and kept motivating me..with our efforts 4 5 spoonful of milk came out. She went and gave it to my baby in NICU. She then came back and took me in wheelchair to my baby. Nurses were very cooperative and stood beside me till the time I was breastfeeding my baby. I allowed my baby to suck my nipples as long as he wanted.

 The very next day I found the milk coming! I was discharged after two days from the hospital too as my baby had recovered from jaundice.

That nurse instructed me to continue breastfeeding and waved me a loving goodbye.

After this I continued breastfeeding. Though the supply was still less, but I WAS lactating.

My boy is 6 months now and we have become a pro at it. Sometimes I feel if that nurse had not been there to guide me and motivate me, I would have resorted to formula and would never have the blissful feeling breastfeeding gives. My Message To New Mothers, Doctors & All Other Women I want to tell all new mothers – be positive when starting to breastfeed your baby. Try different positions to latch baby but don’t give up hope. Remember that you are bestowed with all the essentials of a mother that’s why God has gifted you this motherhood.  #Happyfeeding #breastfeedingweek

Relishing the flavors life has to offer

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