FAQ : Pregnancy, Birth, Child-Care

When I found out I was pregnant, I started my search to find the best doctors in the area for me. I was very lucky to have found my amazing doctors, who I could openly talk to and ask questions. However, like so many of you, I had another full time doctor, that was available for all my questions. You guessed that right, it was the almighty ‘Google’. I researched quite a lot for all sorts of questions around pregnancy, child birth and postpartum. I would go through multiple blog posts and try to find an answer that fit my need the most. While it was great to see so many websites and blogs that contained volumes of answers, it was time consuming and frustrating (esp. during the early and later stages of pregnancy) to have to parse through all the information out there. I wanted a central place where women or men could go to have their common questions answered. So I thought why not do that for you guys and make your journey a bit easier. I have done the research so that hopefully you don’t have to do much.

Note : the following responses are based on my personal experiences only. You should consult your doctor for any medical advice. 
  1. Is is safe to workout when trying to conceive? Can I workout during pregnancy?
    • Yes, if you have been active all your life, then there’s no need to stop working out when trying to conceive or during pregnancy. You may not want to start something drastic like joining crossfit or running a marathon but staying active is recommended. You should also remember that, during pregnancy, there are a lot of hormonal changes. You may feel tired, nauseous and fatigued and as a result may not have the same amount of energy to exercise (at all). I want you to know, that it’s ok if you cannot workout. Don’t pressure yourself into being the ‘super fit’ pregnant woman/mom. If you can continue to exercise, great, if not, focus on what you eat. Walking daily (30-45 min) is one of the best exercises during pregnancy and postpartum. Listen to your body and do what feels right to you!
  2. Can I drink alcohol during pregnancy?
    • Simple answer, just don’t. My perspective is that if you’ve committed to bringing a happy, healthy baby into this world, do what you can to not introduce anything ‘risky’ to your pregnancy. You can never know a 100% the health of the baby but at least you can do your part to keeping the pregnancy healthy and safe. Different parts of the world has different believes when it comes to alcohol and there are ‘recommendations’ and ‘suggested limits’ but I’d rather just avoid the temptation all together.
  3. Can I drink coffee during pregnancy?
    • Similar to alcohol, if I can do without coffee that would probably be the best. I particularly don’t care much for coffee mostly because it gets me super hyper, jittery and I get palpitations so….safe to say I didn’t care much when I couldn’t drink coffee. Now, wine on the other hand…honestly, I missed it quite a bit but it wasn’t an essential for me 🙂
  4. Is it safe (ok) to have sex during pregnancy? Can you have sex during pregnancy
    • Yes! It is completely natural and safe to have sex during pregnancy. The baby in its mother’s womb is protected by the amniotic fluid and having sex will not impact the baby. The baby will not get poked (lol). However, if you have complications with the pregnancy then your doctor may advise against it. Have that conversation with your doctor. Especially, have this conversation with each other (spouse) to see what they are feeling about this particular matter. It is also normal to have as much of a sexual drive during and throughout the pregnancy and postpartum. Those hormones I tell you, so unpredictable but if the concern is safety, you’re in the safe zone! Just do what feels right and comfortable.
  5. Is eating Fenugreek during pregnancy bad?
    • There are a few misconceptions about eating Fenugreek during pregnancy. Yes, fenugreek is considered as a ‘uterine stimulant’ and it can/has been used to aid and induce labor during late stages of pregnancy. However, that is a medical dosage fenugreek and not what is used in general cooking for meals. In some cultures, Fenugreek is used in everyday cooking and I can see how that can arise some hesitation. Everything in moderation is ok but if you don’t feel comfortable consuming it, you can avoid it. Although, keep in mind that if you do go to Indian restaurants, you probably should check about Fenugreek usage in their food :). On the other hand, Fenugreek is considered very good for postpartum, especially to help with milk supply. You will notice that almost all of the lactation supplements contain fenugreek as the key ingredient.
  6. How do I start by baby registry? What do I need for a newborn?
    • Baby registry can be as easy as you want to make it or as complicated and time consuming if you wish to go that route. Each and every day there are new innovative products coming out in the market and it’s quite tempting to want to get your hands on them. However, sometimes simple is best, esp. during the newborn stage. All baby needs is to be fed, changed and put to sleep and a couple of onsies, diaper, wipes and burp towels :). For detailed baby registry visit Baby Shower Gift Registry.
  7. When can I start my baby on solid food? What kind of food do I start with?
    • Doctors recommend starting solid food after baby turns 6 months. If the baby is teething you can start giving teething wafers that readily available in the market. The melt as soon as you bite them so there’s no risk of chocking. However, always advised to be with your child when they are eating. In some cultures, babies get weaned into eating ‘solids’ between 4-6 months. Moong daal is what we started our LO on, it was the consistency of chicken stock. We then tried, pureed sweet potatoes, mashed avocado, rice and lentil puree, etc. for 2-3 months. It takes anywhere from 1-2 weeks for a flavor profile to be built so if you baby refuses a particular food on Day 1, don’t give up. We have not introduced spicy food to her but she has had food with spices i.e. everything we eat she now eats. That just makes everyone’s life easier. Some people try baby led weaning, if you have done your research and feel comfortable with it, def give it a try. It is so much easier than having to prep pureed food 🙂
  8. What are some good books to read for pregnancy?
    • The 2 books that we read were Cherish the First Six Weeks and Dude You’re Gonna be a DAD! I highly recommend Cherish the First Six Weeks because I didn’t read the other one 😉 My husband said he liked the second one. The first is a real good one if you know that you want to have a more structured and disciplined life (that’s the best way I could put it). I enjoy my sleep and sanity and while we didn’t necessarily practice the suggestions of this book within the first six weeks, we started after my daughter was 4 months old. It was a game changer! Since then she has been on a routine minus the growth spurt and sleep regression. More on these two topics on my next post.
  9. When should I start sleep training? What method should I use?
    • I don’t think there’s a right answer for this. In my experience, it all depends on when you think you are ready and your baby is ready. Definitely don’t recommend doing anything drastic until the baby is at least 4 months old. Sleep training is really difficult, emotionally on the parent. You end up feeling guilty and crying and giving up. But you just gotta push through it. I’ll repeat this again, I love my sanity and if getting enough sleep and being well rested will keep me sane then I will do anything for it. So, we tried sleep training when she was 6 months old then again after she was 10 months old because of sleep regression (which is ugh so tiring). We also did not necessarily follow any method. I’ll right more on sleep training in a longer post 🙂
  10. What are some good websites to reference for pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding, parenting, etc.
    • I really liked KellyMom.com because it really covers everything under the sun. However, this should only be used as a reference and not as the Bible ;). Each child is different and everyone has a different journey so I would say you are the best judge for your needs as well as your child’s needs. Go with your instincts, you’ll learn to trust each other (your partner) more this way.
  11. When do babies have growth spurts?
    • Most commonly, growth spurts occur during the first 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months. Again, it depends on your child and note that they don’t last for 2 weeks or months. You will notice that your baby wants to either nurse more, is extra cranky or crying excessively, these are signs of growth spurt. This is the timing of growth spurt. Also note that during toddler years as your baby continues their brain and other developments they will have growth spurts mostly resulting in sleep regression.
  12. How long does growth spurt last?
    • Growth spurt can last anywhere from 2-3 days to a week. I have personally witnessed this with my daughter through each of her growth spurts. It is frustrating and testing times for sure. The good thing is that you know it is only temporary but until it lasts you will have to sleep a little less and plan your days accordingly 😉

13 Must Haves for Postpartum

As mamas or to be mamas, we have so meticulously put together all the baby essentials well before (may be a day or two ago 🤣) baby’s arrival. In all the excitement preparing for the baby, we tend to forget about ourselves and what we need. I hope that this post will help at least one person prepare better for postpartum. This post contains a list of products I used during pregnancy and postpartum.

Note: for all the dads to be reading this post, 🥇 for you if you can get all of this sorted and organized for your baby mamas 😀

What are the essentials for postpartum?

Breastfeeding Essentials:

Bamboobies Nursing Pad whether you’re breastfeeding or pumping, these pads are a must for you to avoid leakage.

Breastpump: I used the Spectra Breast Pump which I really liked. It doesn’t make as much noise as some of the other so called ‘hospital grade’ pumps. Please check if your insurance covers breast pumps. You may want to read up on the instructions and set this up before the baby comes. The last thing you want to do, during zombie-mode, is learn how to use the pump. More on everything breastfeeding in the next post!

Bottles/Rack/Milk Storage: Doctors recommend introducing your baby to bottles in the first 6 weeks of life because apparently they won’t take the bottle, otherwise. We got Avent bottles and also used the bottles that come with Spectra Pump. Our LO (little one) was fine with either of the bottles. I know some babies can be picky so you may need to experiment. However, don’t give up! Especially if you’re going to be going back to work.

You’ll also need a drying rack for the bottles. Lastly, if you have good supply, milk it (pun intended)! Get freezer safe storage bags, a marker and dividers for your fridge to store milk.

Nursing Bras: Get at least 4 of these. You’re going to need them! Wearing under wire bras are going to be pretty rough in the beginning and you want easy access for the baby. Warning: you may never want to go back to normal bra lol

Self Care:

Extra Heavy Maxi Pads: if you have not heard this before, let me be the first to share the news, you bleed a lot after delivering a baby. For weeks! These along with some Depend will be your friends for a while!

Earth mama natural nipple butter I literally used this everyday, each time I breastfed, for about 7 months. The first few months of breastfeeding was brutal and I had cracked nipple. This butter helped me a ton. Breastfeeding post coming soon!

Wet Wipes: trust me, you don’t want toilet paper down there for a while 🙃

Peri Cleansing Bottle: I got a squirt bottle from the hospital and it was easy and simple. Remember anything postpartum should be convenient to use. I know a lot of people also get the Frida momwasher

Shea Butter: this really helped me during and after pregnancy. My belly was really dry throughout pregnancy so my husband would apply this on my belly everyday :). I can’t vouch for whether this helped with stretch marks though.

Massage Oil: before you do any kind of home massage be sure to check with your doctor. I really liked this Aroma Therapy massage oil as it helped relax my muscles. I used it during pregnancy as well as after baby. In some parts of the world, it is recommended to get oil massage everyday, postpartum, as it helps the body recover faster.

Postpartum Belly Wrap: if you had C-section, this is a must! In general the belly wrap is supposed to help get the belly back in place; however, it also helped me greatly with any lower back pains after numerous hours of breastfeeding and holding the baby.

Others:

Mattress Protector: I got a new mattress so decided to protect it. I had a number of ‘accidents’ so i was glad I bought this!

Beverage Storage: It’s important to drink lots of fluid (lentil soup, bone broth, fenugreek water, etc.) the first few months to maintain milk supply. It’ll be handy to keep one of these at home. Prepare the liquid of your choice in the morning and drink up all day!

Water Bottle: have a water bottle with spout always by your side. Remember you’ll need to stay hydrated because you’re now hydrating another life 🙂

List

1. Bamboobies

2. Spectra

3. Milk Storage

4. Bottles

5. Maxi Pad

6. Nipple Butter

7. Wet Wipes

8. Peri Cleansing Bottle

9. Shea Butter

10. Massage Oil

11. Mattress Protector

12. Beverage Storage

13. Water Bottle

Please feel free to add any other postpartum essentials in the comments below.

XO, Naya