When I got pregnant, I was a slim, lithe 5 feet 6 and a half inches tall woman weighing 62 kgs. The perfect combination of height and weight, I must say! That was the last time too for me, because as goes a Bengali saying:
‘One wanders unknowingly under a bel tree only once.’
Because if the bel fruit (which is as large as an adult’s head and as hard as a rock) falls on the ignorant fool’s head who dared to enter its shade, he (in this case she) would know better the next time!
On a visit to the doctor a few weeks after the ‘good news’, the weighing scale showed me 2 kg lighter. A pregnant woman losing weight may give jitters to some people. My husband did not know what to do about it and was nervous -- and angry. ‘You got to take care of your diet,’ he shouted. ‘I can’t do that for you!’
However, my doctor was okay with my weight loss. So, in my first three months of pregnancy, I initially lost weight and then gained it rapidly. Growing a healthy baby requires about 300 extra calories per day for a woman, assuming that she is normally active. This would increase for women who regularly exercise.
In order to undergo a healthy pregnancy, it’s important not to gain more than 10 kg by the end of the third semester. But that is possible only if one maintains a strict health regimen. Taking regular walks to get the fresh air, light to moderate aerobic activity ranging from power walking to running, helps. Women who are more active may also lift weights and practice yoga.
While there’s no denying the enticement of good food at one’s baby shower, it is best to keep one’s appetite in control and avoid sweets -- and any food with MSG in it. Doctors don’t normally ban anything else -- not even papaya and pineapple. But be sure to ask your doctor about seafood in case you can’t do without it.
Towards the end of your pregnancy shop for specially designed night clothes and daily wear to make breast-feeding convenient. Masoor dal soup, fennel seeds crushed and mixed in water, and garlic, apart from Mother’s Horlicks to fortify your daily glass of milk augment the production of breast milk.
There will be many people telling you how to gain and lose weight before and after pregnancy respectively; and what to eat -- what not to eat when pregnant. But just take it easy and go by what your doctor says. Experience motherhood and parenting in a relaxed state. After all, it is also about personal development and spiritual growth.
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