We all have these funny questions that we find odd asking people or particularly Doctors, fearing that they will judge us. We all shy away from being judged. Though there are some people who are outspoken and never short of questions for the Doctors or elders; most of us try to seek our answers our way – either from the internet or some books. But how often do we find most of our awkward questions compiled together? Here is an attempt to put together all those things we wish to ask but find it funny or awkward….
Let’s begin with the most awkward one…
1. What about sex and all those things related to it?
– Some say sex is allowed till 7 months, some say total taboo.. what is true?
A: Each pregnancy is unique and comes with its exclusive permissions and restrictions. Best to take the advice of the gynaecologist you are following. He/She will guide you best. General advice is to refrain from sex in the first three months, ie. the first trimester.
– What about all those times when I had sex when I was unaware that I am pregnant?
A: Bygones are bygones… If you are still pregnant, then there was no harm – relax!
– If first trimester is a little critical and one should stay away from sex, what about the second and the third trimester?
A: Second trimester is the safest, says not only the gynaecologists but also the Ayurveda. Just to ensure that you use condom so that there is no semen unnecessary floating in there, confusing the system or leading to any infections. Don’t worry much about the positions or the movements – anything uncomfortable should be immediately stopped – other than that all ok. Usually preferable positions – Woman on top, side ways or from the back (doggy style).
– Will my child realise that mummy is masturbating?
A: This is unnecessary guilt of an Indian mind due to conditioning. How is the baby supposed to know what masturbation is? So relax… Do what pleases you – your happiness the baby can certainly sense!
2. Can I sit on the floor or use the Indian toilet?
One tip is common – you could be a special case and this could be a general advice – so for anything doubtful, always seek the advice of the Doctor.
For all those with a normal pregnancy where the doctor hasn’t given many restrictions – the general answer is ‘Of course Yes!’ What about all those poor ladies on the roads, or your maids or the ones living in chawls and slums – Don’t they sit on the floor? Don’t they use the Indian toilet? Forget them, your own ancestors – when the English toilets weren’t a common practise – those days when probably your grandmother or great grandmother was pregnant – didn’t she use the good old Indian toilet? So relax! Do not over protect or over threaten yourself.
3. Can I work out?
I came across this really shocking video on Facebook where a fully pregnant woman was doing crazy weights. And here I was – asked to not lift anything heavy – forget working out in the gym. Not that the video inspired me or something, but it certainly did compel me to look for this answer beyond just what everyone said. And I read a lot.
Walking by far wins all tests!! Recommended by all – absolutely harmless, keeps you active and no unnecessary strain or stress!! The other option was Yoga – basic, regular poses followed with ‘pranayam’ and then ‘shavasan’. The third one was swimming, except that sometimes the chlorine water or the fact that many people use it together – can lead to some infection in the urinary track or around the vagina. Except for that – absolutely safe! For weights and gym training – I couldn’t find a concrete answer – so if you find yours, please share it here in the comments.
4. Can I consume alcohol or smoke?
Smoking is an absolute NO! Active or Passive! Even if your husband/boyfriend smokes, you should ask him to go a little away and smoke. Needless to mention that the adverse effects of smoking on the baby and the mother are numerous and widely known.
As for Alcohol, there have been a lot of mixed opinions. Some communities across the world believe that alcohol in small or moderate quantities is good for the baby. It majorly applies for wine – but to keep in mind that small means small!!
But if you have a drinking problem, then it is a SOS situation.
There is something called the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This is usually caused in the children whose mothers drank inappropriate quantities of alcohol during their pregnancy. And I would say this is something that is highly avoidable and one should certainly. Why let the baby pay the price? Can’t we show some self control at least for a year in our life!
5. I hate my own farts and then can’t shit!
Constipation is the most common and the most annoying of the things that accompany a pregnancy. Sometimes, when ignored, it can also lead to piles that bleed and hurt badly. So better than shying away from asking that question – Do ask your doctor to give you something to ease your bowel movements. And also add as much extra fibre as you can to your diet to help you dump better the next morning. Most of those who have never had to take iron supplements, fail to anticipate that those tablets can lead to constipation. And most often doctors wait for you to complain as they do not know how your body will react and don’t want to add on unnecessary loose motions to your other problems. Rather than going for any of those fancy syrups, try ‘Isabgol’ – one of the most harmless and yet the most effective of all powders! Gift of Indian Ayurveda!! Also a cup of hot cow milk with a spoon of cow ghee in it seems to be very effective. Do not let yourself reach the level where you start bleeding through piles. Consult the doctor if none of these things work and two three days have passed without success. What’s the purpose of all those iron tablets for good blood when you are wasting some precious drops from the wrong place. Coming to farts – it is normal – ignore or enjoy!!
6. My breasts are enlarging at a faster rate than my baby bump?
There is a mechanism at work – and it is gearing up to feed your child. Hence, the changes in the breasts! They will feel sore, feel big, giant almost, the nipples will gear up and the areolae will also get bigger and darker!! You may fear will it come back to shape! And you may never ask! Because you may never know! Let it serve its purpose first! I guess an end of a good breast feeding season will bring everything back to normal. No point stressing at this point – as there is hardly anything you can do about it! Except for wait and watch!!
7. I like watching action and love horror movies… Does it really affect the child inside?
Old Indian mythology as well as sciences believe in the power of ‘Garbh Sanskar’. Abhimanyu, the warrior son of Arjun, is believed to have got all his archery training in his mother’s womb. His mother, Subhadra, younger sister of Lord Krishna, would read out to her child all this lessons during her pregnancy. So according to what they believe, you can shape up your child’s skills and character while he/she is still in the womb. Today in the 21st century, we may not believe in all this. But we must avoid all the negative influences as much as we can. It is proven in research also that the baby can hear and sense stuff – why let him/her go through such horror experiences so early in life. Let them feel good and happy rather than stressed and scared!!
8. Why is my baby bump not showing as much as my contemporary’s?
I have a lot of company in this pregnancy of mine – my childhood building friend, my colleague’s wife and one of my friend’s sister. We all exchanged quite a few notes initially. But we all soon realised that we all were different from each other and that the same fundas didn’t necessarily apply. While my building friend was asked to take bed rest in the first trimester, I, in spite of my initial bleeding was only asked to take it easy. While my colleague’s wife was strictly told not to drive; I was told to drive instead of taking an auto or two wheeler. Such things happen! And you need to find your ownself in this rather than comparing with the progress or problems of others.
The most common comparison practise is to compare the bump. I have a fairly big built and my childhood friend is very very thin. In as early as the third month, she started showing a baby bump and looked visibly pregnant. I, on the other hand, would wear my lose cotton shirts, and showed no signs of baby bump even till the end of the fourth month. Obviously me and my husband, who would feel the tummy every once in a while, knew the changes and developments; but for others – it wasn’t seen. I even had typical Indian aunties asking me how come yours is not showing. And I had no answers. So one day I set out to find out and found solace in a book. It told me that some women start showing the bump a little later and it is just a sign that their muscles are fitter or they have been working out regularly in the past or have a history of training in any dance form or are generally well built. Not only it pacified me that there was no correlation between the bump and the baby’s development; it also assured me that no bump is as good if not better than an early bump.
9. People discuss miscarriages seriously but what about the abortions; especially the secret ones? Or all those 72 hour pills, irresponsibly popped now and then?
We usually view the miscarriage as the nature disrupting your plan and the abortion as you disrupting the nature’s plan. And hence associate a lot of guilt to an abortion. And at times, rightly so! Your carelessness leads to something so miraculous and then you decide to terminate it because you are not ready! How right or wrong is this is highly debatable! But little is ever discussed about its effects on your current pregnancy. Mostly because most often than not, abortions are deeply buried secrets and people never ever discuss them. But what if you have had one? Who will you ask? And what if it is not your husband who shares that secret with you? Then, even worse – there is no way you will ever bring it up. But never let it affect you or stress you. Because for something that you did years ago, no need to stress now – that current stress will do the damage and you will blame the long-dead abortion for it. The only side effect of irresponsible abortions is that it risks your chances of future pregnancies. But if you have already conceived, there are very rare chances that it will in any way harm it now. They say that in very rare cases the cervix may be weakened and can lead to premature opening of the cervix; but this is also relevant only if you have had multiple surgical abortions. So enjoy the current moment… let the past lay where it is, no need for it to bother you now. Similar logic can be applied to those pills; if you are pregnant now, forget all those things that you have done in the past – they hold no value… Value your current moment and take care now!!
10. Stretch Marks: Getting them at all the odd places but the tummy!
One big threat that everyone poses the minute they become pregnant is of the ever-so-infamous ‘stretch marks’. And stubborn as they are – they appear in spite of all the creams or home remedies that you apply. And at time, do not appear at all even if you have not really done anything about them. So don’t ask anyone which is the best brand – just pray hard and go with your gut!