Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The second trimester

By now “being pregnant” feels a real deal! Slowly moving past the initial awkward days, slowly the belly begins to emerge, it’s still too early to jump into maternity clothes but yes those days are soon coming! :)
There are a few unexpected pieces of advice for this trimester too! :)
Firstly, stop wearing heels if you do wear them regularly. As glamorous it looks and feels otherwise or on pregnant celebrities, it does no good to your posture and legs muscles and overall body balance. Why is this important during pregnancy? Well slowly but surely the center of gravity of your body is shifting, due to the increasing baby weight. Be very careful about quick movements and think thrice before joining in any vigorous activity like rock climbing, bungee jumping or even rushing up or down a flight of stairs. The baby is still very fragile and so is your body in certain ways, so it’s better to be safe. That doesn’t mean you cannot exercise or move around at all. It just means that now on develop a sense of awareness regarding body movement and reflex actions and act likewise.
Secondly start paying closer attention to your fluid intake. As the baby begins to develop, it is living in and feeding on the amniotic fluid. The aim is to constantly maintain a healthy level of fluid for the baby’s regular nourishment and growth. Aim for more natural drinks, avoid carbonated or fizz drinks altogether during and after pregnancy as long as possible. Extra sugary, extra salty or sour drinks should be avoided. The best drink is natural coconut water. You can begin by drinking one serving of coconut water every alternate day, as the pregnancy progresses to the third trimester, you can increase it to one serving per day. Just remember, in case the season is cold or rainy, do not increase the intake of coconut water, it might not really help. Coconut water has high potassium content and contains antioxidants. It also contains cytokinins which promote plant cell division and growth. Other biologically active ingredients in coconut water include L-arginine, ascorbic acid, magnesium etc.
You can also consume home-made yogurt and buttermilk with a little black pepper and cumin powder and rock salt to taste. And instead of fruit juices, you can eat the fruit as it is.
Also H2O is your best friend from now on! Drink up all the water you can! If you are going to drink boiled water, plan to boil in advance and let it cool to room temperature. You can add cumin seeds, coriander seeds or dill seeds to the water while you boil it or even bits of dried amla (Indian gooseberry) so you have flavored water.  Later you can give such flavored water to your baby as well when she/he crosses the 6 month mark and is allowed to take sips of water. I used to drink flavored water, its good fun also I added a pure gold coin/ ring to it. If you intend to do that, keep aside a 24 carat or 22 carat gold coin or ring(which is not in use or worn by anybody) not more than 2gms in weight. Add it each day to the water container in which you will boil the water. After the water is boiling rapidly, continue to boil it for nearly 20 minutes and then remove from heat. This process ensures that the gold particles are released in water, such treated water is useful for the baby and your body, as gold helps your immune system and also its benefits are passed on to your baby. Another tongue in cheek benefit is, you yourself do that chore of boiling water and later keeping that gold coin/ring safely till the next use! ;) Another precious idea! Use pure silver glass or bowl to store or drink water. Not because you are a queen now! Haha! Just because silver has amazing anti-bacterial properties, which are passed on to the contents it holds. So even after you baby begins eating food, try feeding him/her in a silver bowl with a silver spoon! If you are reading this post on your laptop or desktop, am sure your kid is born with a proverbial silver spoon! So might as well use it! :P
Next important thing is clothing. As difficult as it is, I would like to tell you all that your body will undergo a massive change during these 18-20 months. After all how often in life do you gain nearly 15 kgs and lose them in a span of few months? Almost never! Hence the body will be changing its shape size and also utility. That rocking figure you earned till now, might not be around for a while but always aim and stubbornly do get back there! So girls! Do not throw away your clothes as you increase sizes! Just keep them boxed away! What you shed going up the scales, you shall use while coming down the scales too! So keep salting away all those jeans and fitting shirts, you will wear them again, after 2 years or so…or maybe later but we can always try!  Also instead of going in to buy all maternity clothing or confining yourself to tent like clothes, please keep the style meter upped! Stretch clothing is your best friend, so is your hubby’s closet! Borrow baggy shirts, tee-shirts and shorts and also warm jackets when you need them! It’s fun, romantic and economical too! 

 Also try and avoid pants which leave a mark on your belly or are very snug fitting, no your baby will not have a flattened nose because of that ;P, just that you will have difficulty breathing at times! :) Start buying maternity clothing after month 5 so that you can know if you are comfortable in it, because your maternity jeans will be your best buddy till your baby is nearly 5 months old! That long!! Yes so buy a sturdy pair or two! :) Also another idea you can use is, buying regular clothing but just a size or two over your normal size. For eg. If you wear size M, buy size L or XL, with shirts, tops and jackets it is immensely useful! Don’t buy for the baby yet! We need small doses of retail therapy throughout our term isn’t it girls? ;)
Practice your kegels! (go find out more about them! that is your homework! ha!) Okay! Your pelvic floor will be undergoing massive strain in the days to come, are you prepared? Your vaginal muscles need to be prepared for childbirth, even in case of a planned c-section, the pelvic muscles weaken after delivery. So for all those and more surprises springing on your pelvic floor, go ahead and give them a good exercise! If you are a yoga lover, you know your kegels by the name "Ashwini Mudra" Of course kegels are for you too! Ask your yoga teacher to explain it to you! This is something we can do simply in our free time, while we are sitting around watching TV or even reading a book! Its good to keep your pelvic floor in good shape! it will help you recover rapidly even after delivery! They are your great friends! Keep doing them!
Try and reach out friends and acquaintances those who are pregnant too! Not to discuss the baby’s weight or your last frightful bout of morning sickness! But to share reading material, new thoughts shaping in your mind and also joking about your changing contours! Laughter therapy is often such a good idea during these days! Also restrict your caffeine intake to just one cup per day, or skip it altogether better still replace it with milk! Full milk, with cream that is! Yikes! Is that what you said! Well I am a born milk hater! But let me tell you all, I just told myself this is a medicine prescribed by the doctor for me, so I have to have it! It works better that way! Why full cream? Well all the fat the good fat that goes into the system helps lubricate your system from within, which means lesser stretch marks, better healing and post partum recovery and brainy baby! Good fats are a blessing even for your tiny one’s brain! So gulp on! But do not over do anything, however good it is! Also, always verify facts and consult your doctor about your bodily requirement, it may vary from person to person!
That brings us to the topic of good fats! Consume cheese, clarified butter, and unsalted butter in sensible quantities during your entire term. Just as a well oiled machine would work longer and better, without any squeaks and sounds, your body which is currently manufacturing that lil nut, needs lubrication. Please don’t drink oil or ghee for that! Kidding! Just include small quantities in your meals! Add it to your rice, dals or your breads. That will be perfect! Also as much the body needs lubrication from inside; it needs it from outside as well! As the pregnancy progresses, some of you will have glowing face, long beautiful nails, thick hair and general beautiful feeling! Some might feel teenagers again, with pimples sprouting all over your face!
Well thank your genes in either case! J Also than thinking that stretch marks need to be cared for after delivery, start beforehand! Before they occur! Liberally use mustard oil or almond oil to massage into your entire body at least once a week now and nearly every day by the completion of term! Oil easily penetrates through your skin layers and helps the body stretch relatively easily and halts the damage or tear occurring in your dermis. And be informed that stretch marks appear on your breasts, stomach area and thighs as well. So better prepare in advance to avoid the damage! And after all this effort, when you still do see those reddish lines zigzagging around you, please don’t come berate me! But wear them as your badge of honor! Your mommyhood badge! J After all the bravest soldiers earn the most medals don’t they!
So enjoy this whole time, it’s your ‘golden mean’ time. One trimester behind you and one ahead of you! So work, be creative, laugh a lot and read loads, listen to super soothing music and smile often at your partner, finally it’s your cute secret that’s out! That you really love each other! :P Enjoy this phase!


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