By Dr Mansi Jani
Pregnancy is accompanied with an array of physical and emotional changes and it’s vital to ensure that you enjoy holistic wellbeing throughout. Frequently, pregnancy is considered a life stage of being low on physical exercise, although the facts are entirely opposite. Importantly, exercise patterns take a bigger hit during monsoon. Sitting at the window sill and sipping coffee is delightful, however, it is important to know ways to keep oneself healthy while staying indoors. To ensure that you enjoy monsoon to the fullest, here are some tips for you to remain healthy and safe.
Monsoon, as mesmerising the season is, has its share of concerns for expectant and new mothers. Here are some tips to help you have a safer and comfortable pregnancy this monsoon:
1. Eat a healthy and nutritious diet
· Strict “No” for street food consumption; it is best to have a healthy home-cooked meal, rich in proteins and vitamins.
· Consume freshly cut vegetables and fruits to avoid the exposure towards bacteria in pre-cut food items.
· To satisfy pregnancy cravings, try to prepare the same food items at home or consult a dietician for healthier alternatives.
· Fish and meat, if consumed, should be cleaned and cooked thoroughly to prevent bacterial infections passing on from undercooked food.
· Avoid consuming leftovers. Always eat freshly prepared meals to get all the nutrients in the adequate amounts.
2. Increase fluid intake
· Humidity during monsoon can be a reason for dehydration. One should consume lots of fluids throughout the day. You may opt for coconut water, lemonade, fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices, soups, sorbets, etc.
· Plain water should be boiled and consumed.
· Avoid drinking packaged juices and opt for freshly squeezed juices.
3. Light clean clothing
· Light cotton clothing is suggested, so opt for an airy and comfortable outfit.
· Choose non-slippery footwear, especially while walking on wet areas to avoid falls.
4. Maintain hygiene
· Use a good quality laundry disinfectant to clean all your clothes.
· Take bath twice daily, if possible, with neem water to kill the bacteria on your skin.
· Regular cleaning of feet, especially nail beds, cuticles, soles, etc, is advised as they are more prone to bacterial and fungal infections from dirty rainwater.
· Carrying personal hygiene kits for use in public toilets is recommended.
5. Sanitise your home
Collected water is a breeding site of mosquitoes, flies etc. Clean your home every day with disinfectant and look out for flower pots, corners, washrooms to avoid collection of muddy water.
6. Indoor exercises
You can opt for indoor exercises so outdoor walks or activities can be limited during monsoon; this will help keep cold and cough at bay.
Yoga, step-aerobics, pregnancy Zumba, etc, are good ways to have fun indoor exercises during monsoons. Consult with your doctor before starting any form of exercises during pregnancy.
7. Time for delivery
It is suggested for couples to find a facility, such as a nursing home, maternity home or hospital near their house, especially if the due date is during the rainy season. The unpredictable nature of rains can be a cause of huge stress if the selected delivery facility is far away, and the mom to be is in labour.
For new moms and newborns
· Dry the newborn’s clothes either in a dryer or use an iron to help safeguard the baby from skin infections or rashes from damp clothes.
· Use of detergents, wipes and skin creams for your baby must be discussed with a paediatrician or neonatologist.
· Avoid consumption of excessively spicy or fattening food items and street food.
· Exclusive breastfeeding for the newborn is a must to maintain their adequate fluid intake.
(The writer is Centre Manager, Mamma Mia, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital.)