Getting pregnant and being a mother is the most blissful experience in a woman’s life. It is often said that motherhood completes a woman. This is why every woman dreams of the day when she gets to share the news of carrying a new life within her. Are you also going through the happiest phase of your life? If yes, I am sure you must be burdened with various questions about the safety and well-being of your child. Your relatives and friends also must be giving you different advices and you must be confused about what’s safe and what isn’t for you and your baby. It is very normal of you to be extra conscious about everything during your pregnancy. Don’t worry about that. You are not going insane. Every mother does that!! After all a mother can do anything to keep her child protected. However, there are many popular beliefs and myths related to pregnancy that you need to know and break. Let me share with you some common questions that arise in themind of a soon to be mother.
Is it safe to make love during pregnancy?
Yes, absolutely. If you are having a normal pregnancy and unless your doctor has advised you not to make love for any particular reason, it is safe. Most of the couples worry a lot about this. The strong muscles of the womb and the amniotic sac are designed to keep your baby safe when you make love during pregnancy. The thick mucus plug also protects your baby from any type of infection. However, always talk to your doctor to find out, if your pregnancy is healthy. If the doctor finds any problem with your pregnancy, he will advise you accordingly.
Can I use an Indian style (Squat toilet)?
Yes, these are considered more hygienic as compared to the western style toilets. If you have a habit of using the Indian style toilet, there is nothing to worry about. You can keep using it during your pregnancy too. Squatting may also increase the strength of your abdominal muscles and thigh muscles, so that your body is prepared for natural labour. It also helps to pass the stools easily and prevent constipation. However, try not to strain during passing stool when you are pregnant no matter which type of toilet you use. Also always keep the toilet clean.
- Can I use a two or three wheeler?
It is advised not to use a two-wheeler or three-wheeler as they don’t have seat belts or air bags that can lessen the impact of an accident, if it happens. Heavy traffic and bumpy roads have greater effect on the foetus when you use a two or three wheeler as compared to car, bus or train. If possible, avoid two-wheelers and three-wheelers altogether. If you can’t avoid using these, follow some safety rules such as ask your spouse, a relative or a colleague to drop and pick you up, wear a helmet, ride on a slow speed, do not travel during peak hours, choose the roads that have less bumps, do not travel in high heat or extreme cold, rains can make the roads slippery so be very careful, ask for help to kick-start the scooter and learn about the hospitals that fall in your way so that you can reach them, if you feel unwell.
Can I go outdoors or eat during an eclipse?
Most of the Indian families believe that a pregnant woman should not go out or eat during an eclipse. It is believed that doing so can result in various diseases in the child such as cleft lip or birthmarks. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove this. Not eating during an eclipse for long hours can result in acidity and aggravate problems like vomiting, dizziness and weakness. It can harm your baby. If your family believes in these superstitions too, you can be indoors, if possible but it is not advised to be hungry for longer hours. There are many other countries where eclipse is viewed as a natural phenomenon and the pregnant women do not stay indoors or stay away from food, yet the babies turn out to be perfectly fine.
Can I eat papaya?
Yes, a moderate amount of ripe papaya (very well-ripened) is safe to eat during pregnancy. It contains Vitamin A and C that is beneficial for a pregnant lady however, unripe papaya is not safe to eat during pregnancy. Unripe papaya contains latex that may cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. Never eat an unripe papaya, papaya skin or papaya seeds during pregnancy.
Is it safe to drink coffee?
Yes, a moderate amount of caffeine is not harmful for the baby. The safe dose would be not more than 200mg of caffeine per day. This is equal to two cups of coffee and four cups of tea. Remember that cola drinks, energy drinks, chocolates etc. also contains some caffeine. Taking greater amounts regularly can risk your pregnancy.
Is tulsi (basil) safe during pregnancy?
Though there has been very less research on this, it is advised not to take tulsi when you are pregnant. Tulsi may increase the flow of blood to the pelvic area and uterus which may lead to bleeding or miscarriage.
Is it safe to drink saffron milk?
Indian woman are often advised to drink saffron milk during pregnancy for having a fair complexioned baby. Though, it may not help you to have a baby, who has a fair complexion, it can surely increase the health of you and your baby. The complexion of the baby depends entirely on the genes of the parents. You can consume saffron in moderate amounts with milk to increase the taste of milk and boost your appetite by adding it to kheer, lassi etc. However, a greater amount of saffron is also not advised during pregnancy. Just a few strands are sufficient. Also take care that your saffron is not adulterated.
Can I colour my hair?
Some chemical compounds present in the hair colours can cause birth defects. However, if you colour your hair once in a while, such as once in a month, it may be safe. The most important thing to remember is to avoid the contact of the dyes with your skin. If possible, try not to colour the hair during the first trimester. While colouring, use gloves, be careful not to make your scalp come in contact with the dye, use vegetable dyes such as pure henna as alternatives, if you have only a few grey strands, colour only those, apply colour in a well-ventilated room.
Can I use hair-removal creams?
Yes, the hair removal creams work only on the keratin (hair’s structural ingredient). This separates the hair from the skin by breaking. However, during pregnancy your skin may become very sensitive and the chemicals present in these creams and the strong fragrances can irritate your skin. Even, if you have been using a particular cream for long, do a patch test to find out, if it is creating any issues for you during pregnancy. If, it passes the test, you can use it without any worries.
These common questions disturb most of the expecting mothers and, if you are one of them, I hope to have made your journey a little stress free. This information is based on the assumption that you have a healthy and normal pregnancy. The expecting mothers are requested to check once with their doctors before following any advice from the above. Your doctors know your pregnancy well and they can point out any medical condition that may need you to stay cautious about particular thing, habits or eating stuffs. Good luck with your little one!!!