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Planning a baby? Here are some not-to-dos



Play the glad game: It is important for a pregnant woman to avoid undue stress. Her body releases hormones or chemicals connected with stress when she is stressed, and hormones connected with happiness when she is happy. The baby is directly influenced by the environment in her body. Therefore, it’s important that she strives to be happy.

Good food: A pregnant woman should concentrate on eating fresh foods; packaged food and water should be avoided at all costs! These foods are laced with preservatives and synthetic flavours, extra salt and sugar. All of these have a detrimental effect on health. Ideally, she should eat fresh foods, fruits and nuts, etc. Foods with monosodium glutamate like Chinese cuisine, chips, packaged namkeen and soups are risky.

No smoke zones: Steer clear of smoky atmosphere and exhaust from vehicles. Breathe in fresh air, for example, in the morning, in the park or near flower pots. Morning air is cleaner, since at night there is no activity, so the air has less dust and exhaust from cars, in it. The morning sun is beneficial too. Exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the morning sun, up to 10 am provides vitamin D and aids in the absorption of calcium. Also, avoid going to crowded places because such places have less oxygen and could be a breeding ground of infection.

Miscellaneous: The indiscriminate use of medicines, even if it’s only an aspirin can be lethal; stick to the list of permissible medicines prescribed by your doctor. Also, don’t do any heavy lifting!


Things to avoid during pregnancy!




  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and indiscriminate use of medicines. Use of tobacco by the mother reduces the baby’s birth weight and length and has been associated with increased loss of the male foetus.


  • Alcohol damages the mother’s liver and uses up vitamin B 12 in her body. Mothers who drink alcohol regularly can give birth to babies who suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome, that is, babies are born with jitters, irritability, lethargy and weak sucking reflex. Even a single heavy drinking session can impair the growth of a particular organ of the foetus, depending on the stage of development reached at that time. Since social drinking is common, alcohol does not seem dangerous, but remember, it is as potent as any drug or medicine taken.


  • If you are trying to conceive or if you have discovered that you are pregnant, cut out alcohol for sure.


  • Excessive amounts of tea, coffee and cola drinks and chocolates should be avoided. They contain caffeine and other related substances like tannic acid, which impair and upset digestion. Caffeine is a diuretic; it causes more urine to be passed. Frequent urination washes away essential salts and the water-soluble vitamins. Further, it blocks absorption of iron and calcium. It can also cause sleep disturbances, anxiety and heartburn.


  • The amount of caffeine present in a cup of tea or coffee depends on the quality used and amount of time taken to brew it. The bitter it is the more caffeine it contains!


Pregnany prep!




It’s important to gain knowledge about pregnancy, labour and childbirth expecting. Read about how the body functions naturally; do not read about complications. There is a lot of discomfort during pregnancy but it’s normal and you don’t require medical help; reading about it will calm your frayed nerves.

If you are afraid of the pain of labour, read the chapter, “Birth Without Fear” from “The Complete Childbirth Book” by me. Here’s an excerpt from it:

“A woman generally has a vague notion that childbirth is unbearable pain and danger.  This notion is formed as a result of the distorted tales heard during adolescence or later.  What can be pieced together from gossip, movies or fiction draws a picture of passive pain, to which a woman has to submit in utter helplessness. A negative attitude during labour causes her entire body to tense up with fear. If one undergoes unendurable pain, one passes out as a rule, i.e. loses consciousness.  This is nature’s safety mechanism.  However, women in labour may be rendered unconscious by drugs, but never by pain.  Hence, what pain can be felt, can be endured.”


Change your perception of pain

“Pain and childbirth have been associated with each other for so long that normal uterine contractions are often referred to as pain. A woman is often told that pain is the signal of labour. In France, labour wards in many units are referred to as the “Hall of Pain”.  Women who have had babies also talk of “the pain” hence a temporary connection between words and nerve centers takes place. The uterine nerves signal the beginning of labour to the brain.  The brain translates it inevitably into pain, anticipating it.”

Expecting? Be happy & positive!




It is important for a pregnant woman to be happy. In many ancient cultures like the Indian, Japanese and Chinese, a great deal of stress is laid on the mood of a pregnant woman; she should be positive. It is believed that what the mother is exposed to during pregnancy affects the growing baby within her.


Indian mythology gives us a classic example through the story of Abhimanyu. When he was in his mother’s womb, his father narrated to his mother Subhadra the technique of getting into an army formation called the chakravyuh. But just when he started explaining the technique of getting out of the chakravyuh, his mother fell asleep. As the story goes, Abhimanyu grew up and went to battle where he was easily able to enter the chakravyuh but wasn’t able to get out of it!


According to legend, when Confucius’s mother became pregnant, she withdrew to the mountain to pray and gave birth to Confucius there. In ancient China,
a pregnant woman was told not to look at ugly things, not to listen to rude talk
or gossip.


Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, tells of his belief that a pregnant woman directly influences the baby she carries.


So, it’s important that pregnant woman maintains a happy life state. She should read good books; frivolous or horror books, movies or TV programme are a
no-no. She should meet people who make her happy and eat the food she likes; her husband and people around her should be sensitive and loving towards her. She should express to people around her what she wants or likes! If she has insensitive people around her, she has one best friend she can always rely on, herself! She should make her own happiness, if need be!


Blurb: “If she has insensitive people around her, she has one best friend she can always rely on – herself! She should make her own happiness, if need be!”