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Friends for nine months

The ugly wound on my recently pedicured foot is staring at me,and reminding me of my callousness.

The ugly wound on my recently pedicured foot is staring at me,and reminding me of my callousness. Warned repeatedly about an itchy abdomen in later part of pregnancy,I had taken special care since the third month,regularly applying olive oil,but had ignored the rest of the body,especially the legs,since the departure of winter.

Out of sight as it is,with the tummy coming in the way,my feet suffered from neglect and turned so dry that I could scratch and write on them. The only time I cared for them was when I got myself a spa treatment a couple of months ago. Though I tried a self-pedicure at home for some damage control,it did not help and after trying to vigorously scratch away the itch,was left with this sore wound.

While abdominal itch is very common during pregnancy,you may find the sensation in other parts of the body also if proper care is not taken,because the skin tends to dry up during this time and you cannot resist the urge to scratch. Hence,it is better to say goodbye to your long shapely nails. Do not scratch is the first and foremost advice,which I did not adhere to and am regretting.

To plug the damage caused,I have brought home a big bottle of a nice and thick moisturiser. I will consider this,and the olive oil,of course,my best friends this summer,and have promised myself to happily ignore the resultant sweat. I have also picked up a spray with menthol and lemon extracts that promises to sooth tired feet and achy legs during pregnancy,but am yet to start using it. The wait is on for the wound to heal because the solution cannot be used on broken skin.

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You go to any shopping mall in the NCR and you will find outlets of one or the other chain of shops selling maternity clothes and other stuff,such as the spray,which they claim you “need” during pregnancy. With a constantly nagging pain in the back,I did walk into such a “trap” called a back support belt available in different sizes. I am not regretting,though,and in fact getting somewhat addicted to it. Strapped around your waistline just below the tummy,the belt has a stretchable pocket in the front to fit in the belly,holding it up and giving your back some rest. It has become my trusted companion when I am out and know won’t be able to rest or lie down for a long time. A highly recommended one,costing around Rs 1,100,I got it on a 50 per cent discount because of a rare sale. Rare it was because the store was undergoing a renovation; since pregnancy is not season-specific,unfortunately,we cannot expect an end-of-season sale on stuff other than clothes at these shops.

Talking of season-specific pregnancy and how I wish it were. If the winter ends with your first trimester,it means you have to endure the peak of summer during the peak of your pregnancy. As I spend my afternoons in the kitchen of my top-floor flat — my cook is on a long leave these days — the 44 degrees seem 88. Drained to the bone,I cannot help but envy the mothers of babies born in February,March and even April.

Well,since you cannot really time your conception so precisely,all you can do is find ways to beat the heat. Yes,the air-conditioner does seem to be the best resort,provided the power back-up in your society covers this luxury in this season of powercuts – mine doesn’t — and if you can overlook the electricity bill. But 24-hour AC is not a healthy option either and hence stocking up on some nice and light cottons is a must. When at home,I prefer only my loose cotton nighties. Take bath as many times as you want to and ensure a lot of fluids and fruits intake to keep your body cool,which is very important for the right amount of amniotic fluid for the baby to grow. Pregnant women with high blood pressure problems are even advised to stay away from the kitchen in summers for the purpose.

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Once out of the furnace called kitchen,all I want to do is lie down and sleep. But sleep is not something that comes easy to expecting women,unless it is aided. Ever heard of a body pillow? I hadn’t until I started having sleep troubles and read about it on the Internet. By the look of it,this pillow comes across as the most important and desirable thing ever invented on this earth. Coming in different shapes – ‘U’,round or ‘L’ — and sizes,a maternity or pregnancy body pillow is designed mainly to give rest to your aching back and the bulging belly. It seems to be quite popular abroad.

I saw one at a store here also,but the price tag,and the fact that it will be rendered useless post delivery,put me off. For the time being,however,I have replicated the great invention by using different cushions and pillows for different parts. Sleeping mainly on my left,I need one pillow under my right leg,one for the head,two cushions for the swelled-up feet,a slim one to support the tummy and one for my hands as they tend to swell and get numb. Not that this ensures an uninterrupted sleep,but I am not completely devoid of it at least.

Last but not the least,a must have if you are expecting is a pair of good flat shoes. I never stepped into high heels in any case,but shunned by blocks and fancy sandals with medium heels too once I got pregnant. Investing in a pair of Crocs,I am ensuring a paisa-wasool.

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The list of my new found friends is getting longer with each new problem I am confronting. And with these friends around,I am sure I can fight all the odds that will come in the way of my new life.

First published on: 21-05-2011 at 15:54 IST
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