Changes in her life

The Low down on Pregnancy Classes

There are many pregnancy classes that are available for moms to be and parents to be. Let’s start with a basic classification – classes which offer only pregnancy exercises and classes which offer the complete pregnancy program. Within exercise classes there could be yoga or a prenatal workout program. These are very helpful as they allow moms to work out. Most of them will be in groups and there is a certified trainer who will supervise the class. You could also look at hiring a personal trainer who will then work with you individually. Group classes are of course more fun as you get to meet other moms and there is a higher level of motivation.
A complete program would then be again further divided – classes which focus only on birth preparation and classes which also cover pregnancy and post delivery information in addition to birth preparation. Additionally some classes will allow the spouse to attend all sessions whereas some will restrict spouse attendance to only the birth class. Choice of the class will depend on your own needs and preferences.

A pregnancy class will provide you with customised information which is relevant to your stage of pregnancy as well as your own requirements. Additionally you will be meeting other parents and that will help you to discuss your concerns and understand that most of what you are going thru is very normal and other parents are also going thru the same. Some of the things that a typical class will cover is nutrition, pregnancy information, safe exercises, labor preparation, breathing exercises, child care and breast feeding.

These trainers are counselors and they will not provide medical advice but can help you to understand medical information and help you to understand your choices better.

Some classes may also be available on the online platform which means that you can take them from the comfort of your home.

Make sure that you have a certified trainer so that you are able to be confident of the information that you receive from them.

(just for the record – lamaze is an organisation and not something that can be really called lamaze classes. hence the piece has to be pregnancy classes. lamaze certified trainers to then conduct pregnancy classes. it is to the world of pregnancy what xerox is to photocopy. In the same way there are other organisations also – CAPPA ICEA, Child birth International and so on.)

Back to work

Motherhood is a life changing experience and having a baby is one of the most precious moments in a woman’s Life. The first few months have probably flown by and now the professional in you wants to return to work and focus your attention on your career and work towards enhancing all that you have achieved on the professional front. Naturally you would feel some anxiety and your heart will turn somersaults at the thought of leaving your little one behind in the care of others. Just a little planning and focus could help you make this transition much more smoother for you, your baby and your family members.

Maternity Leave :
Ensure that you spend enough time at the onset to get breast feeding well established.
Invest in a good breast pump and start using it to store milk for when you will go back to work.
Establish routines that will make the transition smoother.
Help the baby get accustomed to care givers.

Child Care :
Plan your child’s care at home and ensure it is reliable. This could be either a family member, a trustable nanny or a day care centre. Establish your points of contact and checks with the care givers in advance so that you are able to touch base with them while you are at work.

Getting Back to Work :
Prior to the actual return, discuss your roles with your Manager and ensure that you familiarize yourself with any changes.
Understand company policies on nursing breaks and how you would be able to express and store milk to carry home.
Understand all policies for new mothers and if there are flexible working options which would suit you as you transition.

At Work :
Express milk at least 2 to 3 times a day as this will help you to feel comfortable and ensure that you have enough to take home for the next day.
Take care of your diet, making sure that it is healthy and wholesome. A diet which is not adequate can cause you to feel tired and lethargic.
Plan a week’s meals in advance and complete a little pre-cooking over the weekends to avoid stress on work days.
Take on as many commitments as you can manage realistically in the first few weeks and gradually add to your work load.
How to ensure that you are spending Quality time with your Baby ?
As a new mother who is just returning to work, one of the biggest concerns is anxiety at not being able to devote enough time to your little one. Here are some quick tips which will help you to spend Quality Time with your baby along with focusing on your career.
1. Always say “Bye” to your baby when you leave for work. This sets the pattern in the child’s mind that Mom will be leaving for work and will not cause anxiety. Do not be afraid of the few tears and tantrums that you face in the first few days.
2. Stay in touch with your baby, you can do this by maintaining contact with the care givers as well as through baby cameras and monitors.
3. When at home devote full attention to your baby. Resist the temptation to switch on your lap top or spend time on your phone.
4. Do not let guilt get in the way of discipline, never over indulge a child to compensate for your being away at work.
Remember Quality Time is not Quantity Time.
Being a Mother and a Professional does not make you less of a Person hence do find some time every week to focus on doing things which you enjoy. Spend time with your spouse, meet friends, focus some attention on a hobby, pull on your shoes for the gym workout or simply spend time pampering yourself at the spa or the salon. Giving yourself some Tender Loving Care will ensure that you do not get bogged down between being a Mother and your Career. It will help you to approach each day with a smile and enjoy each role that you have chosen to take on.
(The above material has been prepared by Sonali Shivlani who is an Internationally Certified Pregnancy and Post Partum Counselor. She is the founder of This material is merely a guide with suggestions on how to make the transition into motherhood simpler and should not be taken as personalized professional advice. The material cannot be replicated without explicit permission from the writer.)

General Pregnancy tips

1. Eat a balanced diet. Include all the food groups. Eat in moderation.
2. You do not need to eat for two. The second person that is growing inside you is a really tiny baby so eat in a proportionate manner. Just 300 extra calories from the second trimester onwards is more than enough. This is equal to a sandwich, a fruit and a cup of milk in the whole day.

3. You can engage in all activities that you are comfortable with. Just keep in mind that anything that you are able to do with a one day old baby in your arms is possible to do with being pregnant as well.

4. Do not start anything new during pregnancy. If you are used to being a vegetarian then stick to your vegetarian diet. Same goes with any exercise plan. If you want to start exercising during pregnancy, make sure you have the go ahead from the doctor and additionally you start slow.

5. Wear loose and comfortable clothes as this will allow your abdomen to be comfortable. It is also normal to feel very warm during pregnancy so these loose and comfortable clothes especially if they are cotton will make your life more comfortable.

6. Make sure you do not miss any doctor’s visits. also get all tests and scans done as recommended as this is important to keep track of your pregnancy and your baby’s health.

7. Surround yourself with positive people. People who keep you relaxed and happy are the people to have around when you are pregnant.

8. Its also a great idea to join a pregnancy class or some community where you can connect with other expectant moms and dads. This helps you feel more relaxed as you can see others in the same boat and facing similar concerns.

9. Indulge yourself with a relaxing massage on a regular basis if possible.

10. Engage in regular physical exercise of course with your doctor’s permission as this will help you to be more healthy and fit and will also prepare your body for labor.

Oversleeping or Insomnia is common in Pregnancy

Every Pregnant mums experience is different. It cannot be measured in one scale. However there are certain signs and symptoms that maybe common to many moms.

Some Moms will sleep more than normal during pregnancy. This is also accompanied by the feeling of tiredness in this phase, after all your body is going through the mammoth task of nurturing and growing a baby inside of you. It’s ok to rest and feel tired during this phase. Try avoid doing things that make your tired. Listen to your body. If you feel like resting then take some time off and rest.

Many new mothers may encounter insomnia in the first few weeks of pregnancy and this is probably due to the excitement and nervousness of finding out and the realisation that soon life is going to change..

A couple may have undergone some pre conception counselling sesions and these can help take care of these concerns.

There are a few things that you can do to help make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable which will in turn help you establish a good sleeping pattern as well.

1) Use a Body pillow-A good multipurpose body pillow is your best friend in this phase. Inability to sleep in a comfortable position can add to you already existing anxiety levels. Use a multipurpose body pillow that will help keep you comfortable and provide support to your back and tummy throughout the night. Contact Awww to get one today

2) Cut off on caffeine- Cut off on any caffeine intake that may also cause you to be alert and up at night

3) Listen to calming music- Listen to some peaceful calm tunes that will help you rest and put you in a good mood

4) Meditation and deep breathing- Meditation and deep breathing can also help you relax and make you comfortable

5) Pregnancy class- Additionally it is also a good idea to register for an early pregnancy class to get all your doubts and queries answered.

6) Exercise routine- It might be advisable to also join a preantal exercise class. Exercise always helps relax the mind and body and will help you establish a nice routine while you go about your day.

Pregnancy and being on Bed Rest

You have missed your period and your heart skips a beat. All those months of planning and it looks like the dream is now a reality. The home pregnancy test is positive and you schedule a visit to the doctor. Pregnancy is going to be fun, eating for two, getting pampered, feeling the flutters and in general wearing the pregnancy glow. But at times this may not really go as per the plan.You might be faced with a pregnancy complication which puts a damper on the spirits and you find yourself and your life at a stand still when you hear the word Bed Rest.Naturally every woman wants the best for her baby and so do you but here are some tips on how to make the most of this time that you are technically under house arrest.

It is cliché but keep your chin up. This is a short period and it will pass.And before you know it you will have a healthy baby.

It is important to understand from your doctor your range of movements. Are you confined to the house,to the bed,the bed in an elevated position? Once you have clarity on this it will be easier to plan your activities.

Call in the support from family and friends.They can help come in and spend time with you since you cannot moveout with them. Rent movies, read books and yes even take up a hobby.You will be surprised at the number of activities that you can do lying in bed and you might pick up a new skill as well.

But besides all this don’t forget to Exercise.Yes you did read correctly. Women who are on bed rest can also do some gentle movements safely and this helps keep the circulation going and makes you feel more positive. Here are some movements which would be allowed.However it is still best to check with your doctor before you get started.

1. Deep Breathing:This helps to tone the lungs and the abdomen.Besides this it provides oxygen and also helps to de stress you.In fact deep breathing has been used in various forms of meditation across various cultures.You can do this in a lying down position as well.Just imagine that you have to fill your lungs and abdomen with air and then exhale slowly. All the time ensuring that you do not hold your breath.

Wrist Rotations:You can do this lying down or sitting up.Gently circle your wrists–clock wise and then anti-­?clockwise.

Finger Flex:Stretch your fingers and then curl up your fists into a tight ball. Repeat a few times.
Ankle Rotations–Again you can do this lying down or sitting up. Gintly circle your ankles–clock wise and then anti-­?clockwise.
Feet Flex– Point and flex your toes to give your calves a gentle but effective workout.
Shoulder shrugs–If you are allowed to sit up then shrugging your nshoulders up and down and also doing wide shoulder circles first clock wise and then anti clockwise can help remove kinks from the neck and the upper back.
Neck rotations–Gently circle your head first clock wise and then anti-­?clockwise.
Kegels–Check with your doctor before you attempt this pelvic floor exercise. It is very simple, imagine that you have to stop the flow of urine.The muscles used to achieve this are your pelvic floor muscles. Never attempt to do this exercise while urinating as you could damage your bladder muscles. You can do 50-­?75 kegels everyday.
Being on Bed Rest is tough but with gentle exercise in the range of movements which are permitted you can help yourself feel comfortable as well as prepare your body for birth and a faster post partumrecovery.

Shopping for Pregnant Moms

The ‘it’ list BEING pregnant and having a baby is probably one of the most exciting phases of a woman’s life. There are many doubts, queries and concerns, but alongside, there is also the expectation of a beautiful new phase of life. Naturally, shopping is a very important part of this experience. For all the expecting mommies out there, Awww has compiled an experts’ list of must-haves during expectancy:

1. MATERNITY BRAS: This is a very wise investment. The first pregnancy change even before you miss your period is breast changes. The breast becomes tender and sore, and the areola darkens. It is important to wear the right bra for comfort and to prevent sagging. You may have to change sizes frequently, so don’t buy too many pieces. Always remember to try them on before buying.

2. MASSAGE LOTION: Pregnancy changes are most prominent in the abdomen, breast and buttocks. Use a vitamin E based massage oil or lotion from the 12th week on to help reduce the incidence of stretch marks. You can continue using this even post delivery.

3. MATERNITY CLOTHES: You may be able to use your regular clothes up to the 5th month, but invest in a couple of maternity pants and jeans which you can mix and match with various tops. Choose basic and neutral colours as this will help you to stretch your wardrobe.

4. SUPPORT BELT: This can be helpful in the third trimester when the uterus becomes heavy and you feel a lot of pressure on the pelvis. It is generally recommended for mothers carrying multiples or for petite moms who are carrying a large baby.  Contact Awww for details on this today

5. SUPPORT PILLOW: Shaped like a wedge, this pillow supports the abdomen when you sleep and can offer lumbar support when you sit.  Contact Awww for details on this today

6. BODY PILLOW: A body pillow will help support your back and your legs when you sleep. The pillow also helps you to maintain your side sleeping position and will prevent you from rolling over on your back. Contact Awww for details on this today

7. MATERNITY SHOES:  Imagine a pair of shoes to accommodate your foot swelling problems! Presenting special maternity shoes from Awww! Not only do these look good but are specially designed for your pregnancy and post pregnancy needs. The shoes have Cushioned insoles with Anti skid soles and a Flexi leather band that expands and contracts as per swelling and increase in foot size during pregnancy.

Pregnancy workout with your partner

PREGNANCY is a very special time for the mother. She is nurturing a new life and there is a lot of excitement and expectation and planning. Traditionally, this was the mother’s domain but today’s father has also taken a lead role in every aspect of pregnancy. From doctor’s appointments to pregnancy classes, ultrasound scans to helping the mother eat right. So why not exercise? Working out with your partner can be fun and exciting. It’s a great time for you to bond and spend time with each other. Besides, there are physical benefits as well. First and foremost, you have an exercise buddy which means that you are less likely to cheat and will stick to your routine. Second, your partner will be able to watch you and correct any mistakes of posture. This can help prevent injuries and mishaps. And third your partner can provide the support while performing certain postures which will allow you to achieve more than what you would have been able to do on your own.

The easiest workout that you can plan with your partner is going for a walk. Bring out those walking shoes and get started on the early morning walk before you both head to work, or if you prefer, you can even walk in the evenings. Additionally, here are some postures that your partner can help you with:

PREGNANCY SQUATS: Stand facing your partner and hold on to your partners hand for support. Your partner will help balance you. Spread your legs wide, point your toes out and gently squat. Go half way till your thighs are parallel to the ground and make sure that your knees do not cross the toe line. You can repeat the squats as per your comfort. Once you gain strength, you can go lower and attempt a full squat as well. Remember to use your partner only for balance, and not to pull yourself up and down.

LEG RAISES: Lie down on your side and have your partner sit behind you. Your partner can place his hand on your ankle to provide counter pressure. Now raise your leg against the pressure being provided by your partner. This counter pressure will act as a weight, and will add intensity to your workout. You can repeat the leg raises as per your comfort and then turn over and work the other leg.

BUTTERFLY : Sit on the floor with your feet facing and touching each other. Your partner will sit in front of you. After you have done several gentle flutters in this position, have your partner apply pressure with his hands on both your knees. This has to be done gently and to the point of your resistance. This posture will help improve the flexibility in the inner thighs, and hence, prepare the body for labour and birth.

PREGNANCY BREATHING EXERCISE: Have your partner sit with back support and you can lean against him for support. He can place his arms around you and place his hands on your abdomen to help monitor your breathing. Take a deep breath in, all the way to your lower abdomen and then slowly exhale. Repeat this a few times. Have your partner check that you are inhaling deeply.

LABOUR BREATHING EXERCISE: Once again the posture remains the same. Sit snuggled against your partner, only this time you will be doing short breaths only till your chest. Have your partner check that you are not using your abdomen muscles for breathing. This type of breathing can be used during labor to help manage the pain of the contractions.
M&B’s panellist Sonali Shivlani is an internationally certified child birth and lactation educator. A post- and ante-natal practioner, Sonali covers topics in prenatal nutrition, fitness and wellbeing in this space. If you would like to have your query answered, please write in to with ‘Sonali Says’ in the subject line. This column is purely informative in nature, and any advice should be followed only in consultation with the doctor.


Shopping for the arrival for your new born is a fun experience for every mom to be. But At times, we end up buying many items which are absolutely non-essential. So we have put together a list of items that will be just perfect for all your baby’s needs

? CLOTHES: Buy just 8-12 pair of clothes in the new born size. Babies grow very fast, and you will end up not using most of them. Buy clothes which open from the front, and are not too tight as this will make dressing the baby much easier.

? NAPPIES/DIAPERS: Stock up on these in the correct size as you will go through many in the few months. There are various options available in cloth nappies, and you can choose one which you feel is the most convenient for you.

? SWADDLING CLOTH/ RECEIVING BLANKET: Invest in 4-6 pieces to start with, as you need to understand your little one’s preferences. Some babies love to be swaddled as it makes them feel snug and cozy, while others do not like to be in a restricted position. It’s best to follow your baby’s cues.

? TOILETRIES: Liquid soap, shampoo and lotion is all your little one will need in the first few weeks.

? BABY BED/ COT: Having a separate place for the baby to sleep can be safer, and can also be comfortable for the parents to get a good night’s rest. Place the cot right next to your bed so that you can reach the baby easily for nursing.
? CAR SEAT: This is a must, as it is safe for your infant while travelling in a car.

? MISCELLANEOUS: Small napkins, bath towels, bath chair, thermometer and a medicine dropper.

The Maternity Benefits Act

We have been reading a lot about this act in the newspapers. It was first incorporated in 1961 in India to protect the rights of the working mother at the work place. Naturally it dealt with aspects such as leave privileges for maternity and post partum. But an additional aspect was also the breast feeding aspect. In the original act the Breast feeding mother was allowed up to 2 nursing breaks over and above the other rest breaks like lunch and coffee to either leave work and nurse her baby or spend the time in pumping the milk if it was not feasible to leave the work place. This is a fact which was little known to most new mothers and since the leave for maternity was only 3 months we had many moms trying to give formula right from the very beginning to ensure that the baby would “Be Habituated”. This was naturally not at all helpful for the baby since the recommendation from the WHO is that an infant should receive only mothers milk for the first six months of life.

Things are poised for a change with India finally recognizing that the Maternity leave needs to be extended and now the Rajya Sabha has passed the bill increasing the Maternity leave to 6 months. The clauses of being able to spend time and take 2 additional breaks to nurse or express remains the same. Interestingly this facility of the nursing break is till the child turns 15 months of age. The Act recognizes that for the first year of life mother’s milk is the primary source of nutrition for the baby.

Naturally a mother being home for the first six months is also beneficial for bonding and allowing for enough time for the new born to transition into his new life outside the womb. It also allows the new mother time to recover, get done with the long sleepless nights and have established a routine which then allows her to return to work in a better frame of mind.

Most day cares will also accept a baby post six months of age. Younger babies are not registered in day cares unless the facility is being provided by the office and the mother is bringing in her own care giver.

At this time we should also discuss the Paternity Leave. It is important for fathers to also spend time and bond with the baby. Naturally if the father has to report to work he needs his rest at night and this means that he is not able to participate and support his spouse in the midnight feeds. This can leave the mother feeling depressed and low and lonely. Paternity leave will allow for the father to also be a part of the early child care. Some countries allow for longer paternity leave and the leave can be availed anytime in the first two years. In this situation the father may also choose to take his leave once the maternity leave has expired thus ensuring that the baby has a parent at home in the developing years.


Its time for parents to voice their needs and ask for their rights but more important be aware of the rights that are already available. Discuss the same with your employer during pregnancy so that the transition post birth is smoother.

Site Login

Hi! Want to join us?

Terms and conditions

Set Up Your Account