Day 15, Week 3

Pregnancy is a magical journey and in a way one of nature’s greatest miracles. It is the foundation stone to your future generations. This is definitely one of the most important phases in the life of a couple. So how does this work and what happens? Ovulation normally occurs at approximately three weeks after the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. The process is as follows –

An egg is released from the ovaries and it makes its way to one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. During this phase if intercourse takes place there is a possibility of a woman getting pregnant. During ejaculation, millions of sperm from your partner are released but only one of them will succeed in the race towards your egg and will fertilize it while it is still in the fallopian tube. The joining of your partner’s sperms and your egg is called a blastocyst and will undergo rapid multiplication in the next 9 months. At this point in time you may not realise you are pregnant but this is pretty much what’s happening inside your body.

A woman’s egg normally has an X chromosome and a man’s sperm could have an X or a Y chromosome. When these unite it results in either an XX chromosome which is when you have a baby girl or an XY chromozone which is when you have a baby boy.

Day 16, The Birth of Awww

The most exciting and fulfilling news for a couple is when they find out they are pregnant!
Every pregnant couple needs to enjoy their pregnancy because these are moments and experiences that will last a lifetime. Traditionally, when a couple finds out they are pregnant they turn to different areas to gather information, products, services in order to help them prepare for their baby’s arrival. This process can be cumbersome, nerve wrecking and one may not always end up getting the best for themselves and their baby. At Awww, the belief is that the right information, product or service, delivered in the right quantity and at the right time is key to a stress free pregnancy.
Awww, is the 1st one stop online destination for all maternity needs for the young Indian, providing personalized information, products and services on a marketplace with the promise of innovation & a unique differentiated experience for every consumer.

 

So how did this come about, is the most common question I am asked when I explain what we do. 2 years ago, I was working with a company that manufactured CNC machines and looked after the marketing function for India. I was told that my counterpart in the US, had been blessed with a child and I had to pick something up for the new parents and the baby. Clueless, I walked into a store with a friend and realized it was dominated by apparel and toys. I wasn’t too happy with what I saw. Helpless, I finally settled for a cot mobile. I then began thinking about other gifting options should I come across a situation like this in future and instantly the image of my sister crossed my mind. She had just got married at the time and would look at starting a family somewhere in due course like most us of us plan to do. I had time and again played the moment in my head of the day she announces her pregnancy, simply because that baby would be the apple of my eye and pretty much my life 🙂 I am the youngest in the family and I knew when that moment comes, I would be born again!

 

I then began thinking about all that my sister would need in the 9 months of her pregnancy which would be the most important phase in her life, it’s the foundation to a new generation literally! Besides medical help from a gynac there a host of other products and services that no one really knew about, and if they did know a little, they didn’t know how to get expert access to it. We then began speaking with a lot of pregnant couples and realized that there were certain common pain points that 90 percent of pregnant couples went through and nobody really cared about. It was something that people had just learnt to live with, with a “Chalta Hai” attitude- Discomfort both physical and mental.

After a lot of discussion and planning, we finally decided to address the most crucial points from a non medical perspective that would make the lives of a pregnant couple comfortable and stress free. That’s where we put together the basic Pregnancy Care plan and decided to ask the same pregnant couples we spoke with earlier, if our solutions were indeed addressing the problems they encountered. Everybody we met seemed to love the idea and asked us to launch it at that very moment so that they could benefit from it too 🙂 It was a very encouraging and motivating research phase, because it made us believe that we were indeed going to make a helpful change in the lives of pregnant couples. This for me is the biggest reason why Awww was born. Why the name you ask? Well, when you look at a new born baby it makes you go “Awww” and that’s why the name. It was as simple as that 🙂

Day 17, Planning a Baby

We all want the best for our children and at times this is one of the reasons most couples will say they want only one child. Well having one or two is really a couples personal decision but here are some reasons why you need to ensure good family planning.

New mums need time to recover : Having a baby makes your body work very hard. If you get pregnant very soon after having your first baby it is possible that the developing baby may not get enough nutrition. You would need to ensure that you adhere to a strict nutrition plan so as to not compromise the developing baby. Also as a pregnant mom you will be tired and your still young baby will naturally not let you sleep through the night. As you feel lousy due to the pregnancy hormones and the tiredness it will also be difficult to enjoy the new baby.

Remember that babies need space to grow. Babies born to mothers who space their babies about 2-3 years apart get a healthier start in life. If you get pregnant real quick then chances of the delivery happening premature and the baby being of a low birth weight are much higher.

Discuss various family planning methods with your doctor and choose the one which suits you best. Some of the temporary birth control options available in the market today include : Male and female condoms, birth control pills which can be taken by the woman and IUD’s (Intrauterine devices) which need to be inserted by the doctor and which stay in place for 3-5 years. There are also permanent methods which include a tubectomy for the female and a vasectomy for the male. Both these are options which are very difficult to reverse and hence should be opted for when you are absolutely sure that your family is complete.

Before you plan a baby some things that you must do to ensure your physical health :
•Visit your doctor.
•Get a complete Health check up done which will include all the blood tests.
• Get a pap smear and a mammogram done as well.
• Start taking your supplements as prescribed by the doctor. Supplements are prescribed for the father – to – be as well.

Just a little bit of planning can help you plan your family SMARTLY.

Day 18, I may be Pregnant? What happens next?

A woman ovulates at approximately three weeks after the first day of her last menstrual period. An egg is released from her ovaries and it moves down one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. If intercourse takes place during the period of ovulation there is a possibility of a pregnancy occurring. During ejaculation, millions of sperm from your partner are released but only one of them will succeed in the race towards the egg and will fertilize it while it is still in the fallopian tube. The baby is at this point a cluster of cells which will undergo rapid multiplication in the days to come.

At this point most women have not felt any differently or have not noticed any changes in their body. Some women do report a change is tastes. The fertilized egg has now reached the uterus and after floating around for app. 72 hours it finds a location and implants itself into the uterine lining. The blood vessels of the uterine lining nourish the egg and the placenta begins to form.

Most moms will probably complete the first month without even realising they are pregnant. When they miss the first period they would do the pregnancy test and then schedule a visit with the doctor.

Second time moms understand that small changes in the body can signal a pregnancy like the sensitive breasts, darkened and enlarged areola and the feeling of being slightly bloated.

What you did in the first month without knowing that you are pregnant can surely affect the baby but we would recommend that you do not stress about it. However if you are planning or trying then make sure you follow the pregnancy friendly lifestyle.

When you visit the doctor there will be an early sonogram just to establish the pregnancy and to hear the baby’s heart tones. The doctor may also prescribe some routine tests like blood work, thyroid, sugar and urine tests to ensure that there are no health concerns.

Mom may feel nausea symptoms and although this is generally in the morning it can actually happen all thru the day.

Most of the times this is related to hormonal changes and besides management there is little that you can do about it. If you are unable to hold anything down and are constantly throwing up then make a mention to your doctor and some medications may be prescribed.

At times you may be able to identify a trigger which if you avoid can take care of the nausea feeling. For some women it is certain foods for others it may be smells.

Natural remedies – flakes of ginger, eating a small piece of dry carb like a toast or a cracker every couple of hours, avoiding spicy foods, making sure you eat your high protein foods with enough fibre in the form of fresh fruits of vegetables.

There will be tons of advice which people want to give you. It is also customary to not share the pregnancy news in the first three months as it is considered as bad luck. 26 % of pregnancies are lost in the first trimester and this is due to hormonal reasons. If this happens and is not a regular recurrence your doctor will not be worried.

Folic acid will continue in the first three months. Some doctors may even prefer to continue the same all thru the pregnancy but the neural tube is well formed by week 12 and post which folic acid supplementation is not necessary.

Additionally a multi vitamin suited to pregnancy is also started. It has supplements which help to support the pregnancy and moms should take these without fail.

It may advisable to abstain from intercourse in this period. Moms will also feel a lot of vaginal dryness and this is again due to hormonal changes. Vaginal discharge also increases. There is the urge to urinate frequently and you may be surprised since the uterus is not yet large. But hormonal changes are making the bladder muscles also relax. Due to this the bladder is not able to empty completely and hence may cause the need to urinate frequently. Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids as this will help you keep free from urinary infections.

Its ok to continue your normal routine during this time. There is no need to rest extra or avoid activities that you are normally used to as long as they are safe for pregnancy. For eg: If you were going to work you can continue to do so. However if you were scuba diving or playing tennis then you should avoid these activities.

In the first trimester you can also sleep in any position you find comfortable. Many moms can even sleep on their stomach.

Do not start a new exercise routine but if there was a routine that you were following and it is safe for pregnancy then it is ok to continue the same.

If you are not sure what to do then you can surely continue going for a walk.

Moms will also feel  very sleepy and tired in this phase. After all your body is doing the mammoth task of making a new baby. Try and find time to power nap during the day time if possible. Do not behave like super woman. 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. Also till the first twelve weeks do not pass and the anamoly tests are completed moms may feel concerned and worry about the well being of the developing baby.

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

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

Day 20, Awww – The Inventor

Have you ever thought about living in the dark at night without an electric bulb or having to walk to be able to get to any place? There are inventions and then there are better versions or extra added features of different inventions. You can probably do without the upgraded technologically advanced versions and features (don’t get me wrong, they do make life easier) but to live without the first electric bulb, or the first car, or the first plane, or the first telephone would be rather unimaginable.

“I need a pregnancy sleeping pillow” I’ve gone through your website and have noticed you have these. Can you please help me with one asap” This was a call I got from a pregnant lady, (today delivered and blessed with a baby boy!) I met her and asked her a few questions to understand which was the best pillow for her and showed her the quality of the sample. She decided to purchase it then and there and paid me for it upfront. The next day I received a text from her saying “Thank you so much, I have slept well after almost 2 months and I wish I had found you earlier” She also went on to buy a lot of other products and services from us, and each time I went to meet her the pillow was smartly positioned on her side of the bed waiting for the owner to curl into it

“I don’t feel like I’m wearing any shoes. They are so soft” says another enthusiastic pregnant Awww Mom.” I am so happy someone is finally doing something to help us pregnant mums. Can I have one pair each in all the colours so that I can wear the black pair for my baby shower?”  Very fulfilling words to hear from those for whom you have carefully curated these products and services.

When we began taking our direct sales model from door to door to pregnant couples, we knew we had a solution to help them but when the solution not only helps, but makes them believe that they can’t have it any other way, you know that you have invented something.  Like they say “Necessity is the mother of Invention”

Day 21, Importance of Folic acid and vitamins in Pregnancy

Folic acid intake in the form of natural food or supplements is quite quite important in pregnancy. There are many benefits of folic acid and is normally recommended to mothers in the planning phase and during pregnancy too.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate which is part of the vitamin B family. This nutrient is especially important in the three months prior to conception and in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is recommended that if you are a woman of child bearing age and are planning to have a baby then you should start taking a folic acid supplement regularly. Folic acid is really important for the baby’s development. It is essential for the development of the baby’s brain, skull and spine. Adequate intake of folate can help prevent abnormalities and birth defects related to the spine. Natural sources of Folic acid include legumes, fortified cereals, oranges and green leafy vegetables.

In most cases Folic acid is continuously administered to mums in the first three months. Some doctors may even prefer to continue the same all through the pregnancy. The baby’s neural tube is well formed by week 12, post which folic acid supplementation is not necessary.

Additionally a multi vitamin suited to pregnancy is also started. It has supplements which help to support the pregnancy and moms should take these without fail.