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Pregnancy

A Healthy Pregnancy Diet

A healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy baby. This guide to pregnancy nutrition can help you maintain a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats for a healthy pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when women feel a sea of changes taking place in their bodies. On the cusp of motherhood, they experience the excitement and bliss of creating and carrying another precious life within themselves with occasional anxiety and mood changes due to hormonal fluctuations. However, it is important to note that a healthy pregnancy diet is the key to a happy pregnancy and works marvels in coping with several pregnancy-related problems that expecting mothers might face.

 

One must also remember that a healthy diet during pregnancy means a balanced and nutritious diet and that under no circumstance implies gorging on large amounts of food thinking one is eating for two at a time. This has been reported as one of the most common blunders women make during their pregnancy. During this phase, since the baby’s nutrition depends upon the mother’s diet it becomes essential for the expectant mother to consume the right amount of nutrients to avoid birth defects as well as to keep unpleasant pregnancy symptoms at bay.

 

Quick Guide To Pregnancy Nutrition

In order to give the baby the right kind of nourishment the mother-to-be is expected to consume a wholesome and balanced diet that consists mainly of- carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins such as folic acid and minerals, chiefly- calcium and iron. The mother also has to ensure that she is taking moderate amounts of healthy fats namely the monounsaturated fatty acids and the polyunsaturated fatty acids like the omega 3’s. Intake of food rich in these compounds, helps in boosting the baby’s immunity and ensures adequate nourishment for the mother as well as the baby. 

 

Carbohydrates

During pregnancy as the mother and the developing baby try to meet their own nutritional needs in their own respective ways, the right amount of carbohydrate intake helps in fuelling the baby’s growth. They also provide energy to the body including the brain to be able to work efficiently. The good carbs help to keep the blood glucose levels under check which is essential during pregnancy.

 

 Carbohydrates are found in a wide assortment of foods, such as- milk and yoghurt, beans, legumes, starchy vegetables, various fruits, whole grains and products like whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, etc. which are also rich in other nutrients like fibre, and folate. These high-quality carbs help in adapting to the metabolic changes that occur in pregnancy and also enable effective functioning of the body. Since, excessively high amounts of blood glucose levels can lead to complications during delivery as well as have a negative impact on the foetus, it has been recommended that carbs should constitute just over a third of the food a pregnant woman eats.

 

Proteins

Sarah Krieger, a registered dietician and spokeswoman on prenatal nutrition for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in St. Petersburg, Florida has highlighted the importance of consuming protein-rich foods during pregnancy. According to Kriegar, protein is a ‘builder-nutrient’ since it is chiefly involved in the development of organs such as the brain and the heart.

 

Moreover, since proteins are a constituent found in every cell of the body and are vital in the making of muscles, hair, nails, skin, etc.  they also contribute in the growth and repair of tissues, regulation of normal muscle function, producing enzymes and hormones, transportation of oxygen through blood as well as building antibodies and bettering the immune system of the baby. Some of the commonly available food items rich in protein include- fish, meat and poultry, eggs, nuts, tofu, beans, lentils, and milk, cheese and other dairy products.

 

Vitamins

Vitamins such as folic acid which plays a major role in preventing birth defects in the newborn’s brain and spine, is contained in leafy greens like spinach, fenugreek leaves, kale, cabbage, broccoli, beans, legumes, oranges, whole grains like wheat, rice, whole grain pasta, etc, nuts, and fortified foods like breakfast cereals. It is a B Vitamin and is crucial in the body to make new cells and produce DNA. It is generally advisable for pregnant women to take at least 600 micrograms of folic acid a day under the supervision of her obstetrician.

 

Minerals

Essential minerals such as Calcium, is considered vital in building up the baby’s teeth and bones while inadequacy of the same can culminate in deficiency especially in the mother as the baby will draw the calcium from the mothers teeth and bones to fulfil it’s needs. The best sources of calcium are- dairy products including milk, paneer, cheese, yoghurt, etc. and green vegetables such as- spinach, broccoli, etc. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women aged 19 and above need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.

 

Another vital mineral which should be a mandatory addition to the diet of a pregnant woman is Iron. It is advisable that pregnant women must take 27 milligrams of iron a day which helps in moving oxygen from the mother’s lungs to the rest of her body and to the baby’s body as well. Moreover, iron is also essential in making additional supply of blood in the mother and baby thus, reducing the risk of iron deficiency anemia which can make the mother feel tired and also result in small babies at term or pre term babies. Expecting women, especially vegetarian moms can consume iron-rich foods with a good source of vitamin C at the same meal to increase the absorption of iron from food. ACOG recommends a glass of orange juice at breakfast with an iron-fortified cereal as an example. 

 

Healthy Fats

Expectant mothers should consume mainly unsaturated or healthy fats like monounstaurated fats (avocados, olive oil, groundnut oil, nuts, etc) and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fats like safflower oil, sunflower oil, flax seeds, walnuts, etc) during pregnancy and stay away from saturated and trans fats.

 

 

In addition, there are certain limits and restrictions which pregnant women must adhere to. For instance, caffeine intake should be controlled as well as fish containing high levels of mercury should be avoided. Besides this, alcohol, raw meat, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk and unwashed fruits and vegetables must be completely avoided to prevent food borne illnesses by the expectant mother. 

December 17, 2020 |  read

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Babies

Milestones Your Little One Reaches in the first 6 Months

Here is your go to guide to help you navigate the first six months of parenthood. Milestones and everything you need to know about your baby's growth from birth till 6 months.

The wait of nine long months is finally over! Your little one is in your arms and you can’t stop gushing over how cute they are. While you can’t get enough of your baby, it can be overwhelming too, especially when they are your first born. You might be wondering about a hundred different things about their growth and whether you are doing it right. Well, the following article should put your mind at peace.

 

Here is your go-to guide to help you navigate the first six months of parenthood.

 

Month 1

An average newborn weighs approximately 2.8 kilograms and measures about 50 cms but don’t worry if your baby loses some of the weight in the first few days after birth. Babies can lose about 7-10% of their birth weight in the first 10 days of their lives and should regain it within the first 2 weeks as your feeding becomes steady. Once your little one starts gaining weight, they gain approximately 20-30 grams a day for the first few months. Feeding your baby is usually ‘on demand’ initially, which means that your little one will need to be fed as and when they show signs of hunger. Some babies tend to feed more at night for the first few weeks and then fall into a routine of feeding at every 2-3 hours. 

 

Babies should always sleep on their backs for the first 6 months with no loose covers in order to prevent any risk of suffocation. Tummy time is something you can start around the 2nd week. Tummy time is only when the child is awake and comfortable and should not be practiced when the child is asleep. This will allow them to push themselves up which will develop their arm and shoulder strength. 

 

Your little sweetheart loves your voice and hence, it is important to speak to them, even if you don’t always get a response. It helps them calm down.

 

A few common problems you might face during the first month include colic, nasal congestion and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). These will be monitored by your Paediatrician in the newborn visits.

 

 

Month 2

As days progress, your baby becomes more interactive and responsive. In response to loud noises, you may notice them to remain silent and occasionally turn towards the direction of the loud noise. Most babies start smiling when they see you or their daddy or sibling. This is called a social smile

 

They generally start putting their fingers in their mouth and have a strong suck reflex. Although they still cannot hold objects, a bright colored object hanging above them might catch their eye and they may try to bat at it. Their hearing and eyesight steadily develops during this month.

 

Some babies are good at establishing a feeding routine and may sleep longer at night. Their heads become more steady and when placed on their bellies they are able to lift their heads and sometimes their shoulders.

 

It's time for their 6 week vaccination too!

 

Month 3

Three months already? Well now begins what most parents would refer to as the ‘enchanted period’ as this is the phase with a lot of smiling, sleeping well and being social. Their routine is generally established and they sometimes sleep through the night! 

 

Head control is good and they tend to hold up their head without much wobbling. Their back strength also increases, they have better hand-eye coordination and may get hold of a rattle that they may put straight into their mouths. At this age, they laugh and squeal and coo, follow you as you move away and respond to the funny faces you make. Hugging your baby helps in their cognitive development around this time. Their verbal repertoire extends to the occasional vowels and consonant sounds like ‘ah-goo’. You would be quite proud of your cute one’s control over movements and coordination.

 

At week 10th, be ready for another vaccination.

 

Month 4

It is the playtime month for your baby. Their life now is all about showing off their newfound athletic abilities such as trying to get up or rolling, trying to eat any object available with their tiny mouth and perfecting their already achieved milestones. There may be signs of teeth as well and your baby will show quicker reflexes. This is also when their vision improves significantly; they will want to imitate you and hence, it is important that you talk to them for encouragement.

 

It’s vaccination time again.

 

Month 5

Your little one will be able to sit up for longer periods of time and will still need some help being propped up with pillows. They may start sitting unsupported for a few seconds too. Their rolling over skills improve by leaps and bounds and you may notice that when your little one is on their belly they move their arms and legs as if ready to crawl. It's best to start baby proofing your house for the impending explorer! Their senses also improve, and they can spot and try to grab a toy out of reach or turn their heads towards the direction of a sound. Their motor skills improve to ‘army crawl’ which is mostly slithering, and you can guess that crawling is just over the horizon.

 

Month 6

It’s your baby’s half year birthday! The teething phase must have started and tooth eruption is due anytime after the 6th month. Their feeding and sleep pattern is well established. They manage to sit independently for longer periods and some babies may be able to get into the crawling position too.

 

You can introduce them to solid food like fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. They should weigh somewhere within 6-7 kg and the average height should be somewhere around 25-26 inches.

 

 

Now that you know what you can expect in these six months, you can plan ahead to avoid a surprise. However, it is important to note that every baby is different and thus, it is okay if your little one takes more time than the others or is getting there faster. Remember to keep your pediatrician in the loop and of course, spend as much time as possible with your bundle of joy!

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Babies

Baby Food Safety

A child's growth is directly impacted by food intake, hence it is important to ensure baby food safety. These tips on do's and don'ts will help you give the safe and right nutrition to your baby

Babies grow faster than we think; one day they are so tiny and wrapped up in a cozy blanket, and the next thing you see them starting to crawl and play with everything in the house. To match this rapid growth of babies, they need the right food and nutrition. Babies post six months tend to gain appetite; Your breast milk may not be enough. Their physical activities also increase as they grow along with their appetite. Feeding them semi-solid food would be a great idea. 

 

Most new mothers worry about baby food and its safety. Recent research has found that canned baby-food contains traces of heavy metal elements like lead and arsenic. One has to be careful while choosing baby-food. Apart from canned or ready-to-use baby food, several foods are not considered safe for the baby. One must be vigilant while choosing baby-food or preparing them. 

 

If you are a new parent and would want to switch your baby to solid or semi-solid food, here are a few ideas and tips on do’s and don’ts on baby-food.

 

Do’s 

1. Check labels

Every time you are at the supermarket to buy food for the little angel, make sure to read the labels carefully. Labels usually mention everything you need to know about the food, from ingredients to storing to any hazards. Next time you are out shopping for the munchkin, take a few mins to read through the labels and find out what is best for your baby. 

 

2. Home-made food

Relying only on canned and packed food like purees and cereals is not a healthy practice for you and the baby. When you make baby food at home, you have control over what goes into it and whatnot. This way, you can put your mind at ease and feed your baby with no worries. There are several ways to make home-made cereal or puree for the baby. You can even make malt powders of ragi, rice, and oats and keep them handy at home. This way, you can ensure a safe and happy meal for your little one.   

 

3.Cook thoroughly 

Make sure to cook the baby-food thoroughly before feeding it to the baby. Since you are just starting to feed them with semi-solids, it is necessary to ensure that there are no raw or hard-to-swallow parts in the food. Make sure to mash everything and feed them in small, bite-sized quantities. Since your baby is just starting with solids or semi-solids, make sure to keep the taste bland or slightly sweet and warm. Babies are used to breastmilk, and it would take some time for them to adjust to this new alternative with breast milk. Be patient and understand what taste your little one prefers. 

 

4. Feeding time!

Make feeding time a bonding time for you two. Talk and play with your baby when you feed them. But make sure that both of you concentrate on food. If you are feeding a toddler, make sure to sit them down while feeding. Feed in small quantities and sufficiently. Give them time to chew a little and swallow. Allow them to take their time and eat. After a few months, around 9 to 11 months, you can ask them to eat by themselves. Don’t worry about the mess or time. Let them enjoy and savor the food. 

 

Don’ts

1. Canned food 

As discussed above, do not entirely rely on canned and store-bought baby food. About 3 to 5 months into feeding them baby-foods, you can give them regular home-cooked food. But make sure to soften or mash them before feeding them. When you feed your baby, make sure to take in small quantities to avoid any food waste. Avoid refrigerating half-eaten baby-foods and feeding then straight from cans. The mouth-to-can procedure fosters an environment for bacteria to thrive. Take how much is required in a separate bowl or plate and feed your munchkin. 

 

2. Uncooked food and meat

Avoid any food that is uncooked or undercooked. Be it vegetable, fruits, eggs, or meats. Make sure to cook them thoroughly and feed your baby. Instead of feeding your baby raw vegetables like carrot or beets, cook and cut them into finger food sizes. Cut up meat in bite-sized quantities and feed your baby and make sure that the meat is cooked. By cooking the food, you kill germs present in the food. 

 

3. Food that are choking Hazard

Avoid feeding food that is high choking hazards for toddlers like grapes, chocolates, gummy bears, pop-corns, or dry cereal flakes. Keep food like these away from their reach and sight. Even the unexpected food like jellies and peanut-butter are choking hazards. Make sure to cut up fruits and vegetables into small pieces and cook fruits like apple and pear and feed them. This way, it is easier for them to swallow as well as digest the food.

 

4. Feeding only certain food

Avoid feeding your baby only certain foods that they like. Avoid making the same type of food each day. Change their food now and then. Just because they prefer a certain food or taste, does not mean you have to give them the same. It might lead to nutrition deficiency and picky eating. Make your baby’s food colorful and tasty

 

These are just a few Do’s and Don’ts of what to feed the little sweetheart. Take your parent’s help in making their food and feeding them. After a while, you would be able to figure out what to feed and what not to feed.

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Adoption

Emotions During Adoption: When You’re an Adoptive Parent

You may be feeling mixed emotions while adopting your child. Here are possible explanations of what you may be feeling as an adoptive parent and why.

Whether you are biological parents or adoptive parents, parenthood is one of the greatest joys of life. There is also a plethora of emotions you experience as new parents. As adoptive parents, your emotions during adoption may be slightly different than those of biological ones. We have tried to list some of them down for you.

 

 

Emotional rollercoaster

Beginning Blues

After making the decision to adopt, it is a journey till you bring your baby home. Initially, it might all seem a little overwhelming and intense. You might experience some stress, anxiety and wonder if you are really ready for this responsibility. You might even feel a little scared about all the legal and social hurdles ahead. There is only one thing to do, educate yourself as much as you can about the subjects. When you educate yourself on a certain topic, you will feel less afraid of it. 

 

Home and Background Checks

This particular phase is of varied emotions during adoption. You would be eager to present yourself as perfect parents for the future baby and your home as the ideal place for a child to grow up in. But these efforts can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. Besides, you also need to have a lot of documents for verification purposes. At times, if the process is taking too long, you might feel frustrated while arranging everything to a near perfect state. When that happens, take three deep breaths and remember you are doing it all for your beautiful child.

 

Complex Relationship with Birth Mother

The birth mother becomes the most important person in your lives from the first interview till she hands over the baby to you. Along the way, you might experience some anxiety thinking if she might change her mind at any stage. Post birth, you might feel some guilt for taking her baby away from her. While emotions during adoption aren’t entirely in our control, try reminding yourself that you two and the birth mother have taken a decision which is right for all of you after several rounds of communication. It is alright for you to take your baby home.

 

Post Adoption Depression

All this while, you were so excited, so worried, so eager to bring your baby home. As mentioned before, the process might’ve gotten a little exhausting. As a result, when the big moment is finally here, few parents might feel a little low. This may be similar to postpartum depression. The new responsibilities, constant work, sleeplessness nights might contribute to it. For most, these feelings fade away after a while. But if these feelings are persistent, and you recognise the feelings are interfering with your childcare, then consult a therapist. 

 

Identity Crisis

After bringing your little sweetheart home, it’s okay if you immediately don’t feel like a parent. Despite years of preparation, you might still not feel entitled to be your child’s parents. You might question yourselves if your parenthood is the same as biological parenthood - the answer is yes. It might take some time to convince yourself , but as days go by, the parental instinct will naturally take over you. You might also experience a Eureka moment when your child is doing the simplest thing and you suddenly realise how all of you are a beautiful family.

 

Bonding Troubles

This one specifically applies to the mothers. While some mothers form an instant connection and bond with the baby, some mothers might take more time. But remember, every human being is different and so are our emotions. There will also be moments when you wonder if he/she is missing their birth mother. For instance, when they are crying nonstop and you are having a hard time soothing them. These feelings will definitely pass as time goes by and soon you would understand every cry and moan of your little one.

 

How to Handle Your Emotions Better?

  • You need to accept that emotions are a part of every human being. It is okay to feel all your emotions during adoption. Just let yourself go through all the emotions and don’t feel guilty of it even for a minute. Acceptance is the first step. 

  • You don’t have to go through this alone. you can rely on your close family and friends for the support you need. There are also a lot of support groups out there for adoptive parents, join one. Talk to other adoptive parents. Therapy and counselling are very important during this process. Don’t forget to consult an expert!

  • Remember: You are aware of the purpose you are doing all this - to be a parent. To bring up a child, to build your family. The highest highs and the lowest lows are all worth the joy of parenthood. Remind yourself that whenever you need some positive reinforcement. You can also note down these points somewhere and look at it every time you are feeling low.

  • Knowledge really is power, especially at times like these. It is always good to be aware of all the steps and obstacles along the way. Prepare yourself well for the background checks and interviews. Shop for items which are necessary for the baby before you take him/her home. Read more and communicate with the right people to make this journey as smooth as possible.

 

With all these tips and guides, what matters the most is you two being each other’s support systems. Remember, both of you are team baby and once your precious angel is home you all would be a beautiful, loving family.

 

December 22, 2020 |  read

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Covid-19

Things to Know Before You Get Pregnant During the Pandemic

Planning to conceive but scared of the growing risk of the coronavirus pandemic? Here's what you need to know before getting pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic.

The year 2020 has dramatically changed the world and the way we perceive life. With the growing risk of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, it is quite obvious to wonder your chances and safety of conceiving during this period. Well, here are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic. While you may have a hundred questions on whether you should try to get pregnant at all, it can be pretty unsettling to not have all the facts you need, given the novel nature of the virus. The following article should put your mind to ease with everything there is to know to make an informed decision. 

 

Does coronavirus affect my chances of being pregnant?

Having a baby is a personal choice between you and your partner and coronavirus does not change that. Yes, you read it right. Although the virus is quite new, there is no evidence yet to suggest that it should have any dire consequence on your shot at motherhood. However, there are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic as with the evolving nature of the virus, much more is yet to be known. Studies suggest that there are neither any chances of miscarriage at any stage due to the virus nor any effect on the baby’s development. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can go ahead and try to conceive. In case you are opting for Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART, you can very well continue with your plans, provided that you choose a clinic in a region with less number of COVID-19 cases or a hospital which is particular about the rules and regulations. In case you do have the virus yourself, it is recommended that you wait for the symptoms to subside before you take any step to welcome your little one into the world. Pregnancy alters the hormones and the functioning of the immune system in your body resulting in a difference of response to viral infections such as COVID-19. While many opt for the procedure of ‘egg freezing’ as a preventive measure, there is no medical indication to prove that such a procedure is indeed helpful. 

 

Does my being pregnant affect my risk of being infected?

Well, this is where it gets tricky as yes, being pregnant does increase your chances to be infected with the virus. This can be traced to the effects of progesterone and relaxants in the first trimester which makes the maternal respiratory system vulnerable. Moreover, women are more susceptible to hyperventilation and anxiety during this period which causes them to inhale more air and thus, increase the risk of the virus. History highlights the fact that the risk of morbidity through a viral infection for a pregnant woman is significantly higher than to a non-pregnant woman. (Zhao et al., 2020)

In such a case, it is vital that you follow strict social distancing norms and limit your interactions outside. Be sure to have your medical supplies at all times. It is quite possible to be stressed and anxious but don’t worry, keep your partner and family close. Consult with your doctor on how you can cope up in such a situation.

 

How safe would the prenatal visits be?

One of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic is that you are going to need constant medical support and one can never say how safe these visits will be. As a parent, balancing the risk of the virus and getting a routine check-up done can be no cakewalk. However, it is important to let your obstetrician and midwife let in on the decision and seek guidance. If you are unsure of the situation in your region, it is preferred to go for live sessions and schedule an appointment in a hospital subject to your environment and your doctor’s advice. The Indian Council of Medical Research suggests that routine antenatal care should be tailored to a minimum at 12th, 20th, 28th and 36th week of pregnancy. In case of any symptoms, you ought to defer your appointment by either 7 or 14 days.

You may consult with your doctor on your decision to buy a blood pressure cuff to monitor your baby’s movement at home.

 

Availability of medical facilities during COVID-19

It is not unknown that the public health facilities in the country are overburdened with patients. Although the birth of a child is considered an essential service as per the government regulations, the latest situation of complete lockdown in most places across the country combined with over-crowded hospitals has made it quite impossible to get a last-minute reservation. About 25% of deliveries take place in private health facilities which are shut down, resulting in further deterioration of the availability of such facilities. It is important to understand this is quite an unusual situation borne out of a pandemic that makes no promises to end but there should be no reason to lose any hope. It’s just one of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic and no reason why you should panic. You can always make lemonade out of the lemon. Make sure that you have a trusted obstetrician who is familiar with your needs to be able to guide you while maintaining social distancing norms and have access to a few online maternal health care facilities in case of imposition of a lockdown. It is always helpful to be near your family, or people you trust to avoid the absence of any face-to-face interaction. This helps you to be happy and healthy while receiving guidance during those months.

 

January 21, 2021 |  read

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Adoption

Adoption in India

Adopting a child is a beautiful journey. Here‘s everything you need to know about adoption in India and the laws and processes related to adoption in India.

Do you know what the law says about adoption? Well, let’s start with the ancient law of adoption, known as the Hindu law, which by the way, was the only law in India that allowed the adoption of orphaned children. Under this law, the adopted child had rights equivalent to that of a natural-born. This was because according to the ancient religious customs a son is spiritual and material welfare to a family. But this letter of the law was a bit complicated and held barriers based on gender and caste in society. Today we have a more re-defined law and order for the process of adoption. Let’s take a look at it.

 

Prepping for child’s arrival

Adopting a child is similar to the birth of a child in your family. After all the paperwork and court proceedings that you have gone through, you begin to prepare your home and finances for the upbringing of a child. There are adoption counsellors who can guide you best with these preparations. They will provide you with a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you get in order.
 

While the waiting process is never-ending, there are some fun things that you and your partner can get done to cool your nervous system. Explore child care measures from books and other parents with babies. You can also choose baby names and talk to other adoptive parents for more in-hand experiences. You can even try reaching out to them on our community platform. 

 

Prep the baby room and shop for baby clothes and products. While you make these changes in your life, don’t forget to spend quality time with yourself and your partner. Track your thoughts and support each other during these times. It will help build a closer relationship as the baby arrives home.  

 

Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956:

Today’s modern society called for a lot of changes from the ancient Hindu Law. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 allows a person to adopt a child irrespective of their gender or marital status. But the court holds limitations for a male parent to adopt a girl child. While there are a few extra regulations, the law also allows adoption not only for Indians, but also NRIs and foreign citizens.

 

The evolution and progress of our institutions and society, today, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (also called as HAMA) has broken down a lot of barriers otherwise enforced by the old Hindu law. Section 7 and 8 under the HAMA rule defines the eligibility criteria for both genders to adopt a child.

 

Process of adoption under HAMA

The applicant should register with the Child Welfare Agency through an Adoption Coordinating Agency (ACA). These sources are found in each state capital. They can also go through agencies that are certified by the Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA). There will be a set of interviews and processes that look into the intention and motivation of the parents behind the adoption.

 

Once they are shortlisted, a court hearing takes place regarding the adoption. Once the court issues the decree, the adoption is finalized.

 

Juvenile Justice Act, 2015

This legal letter allows a couple or a single parent to adopt a child, an orphan, abandoned or surrendered child. However, this law is very different with respect to the HAMA law. The Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 is very secular in nature, i.e. it is not specific to the Hindu community. The Child Welfare Committee can legally allow a child up to the age of 18 to be adopted by a parent.

 

Since the law is not very gender-specific, the eligibility of the parent or parents is common to both male and female. According to this law, parents or individuals should be mentally fit and financially stable. They have to be motivated to adopt and provide everything for his/her upbringing. For couples, the consent of both the parents is mandatory and should also hold two years of stable marriage relationship. However, this law also does not allow a single man to adopt a girl child.

 

The age of prospective parents is taken into consideration when they adopt a child of a particular age. The minimum age difference between the two should not be less than 25 years. Also, the law holds a barrier for couples who have three children. Under these circumstances, only the adoption of children with special needs is taken into consideration.

 

Process of Adoption under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015

The parent(s) should register with the Adoption Coordinating Agency or with the State Adoption Cell. Following this process, a Home Study report is prepared by a social worker who will come interview you, your family members and other financial orders of business. This process also includes a rigorous counselling session that prepares you to be a supportive parent to your adopted child.

 

Once your Home Study report is accepted the agency connects you with children who are admitted to be legally adopted. If the child is above the age of 6, then a written and verbal consent will be obtained. After the successful matching, a petition is filed in court to obtain the necessary orders.

 

 

Over the years, there have been many attempts that have been made to bring about a change in these two laws in the system. The attempts hope to bring about uniformity between these two letters of the law. The process of adoption is a ray of hope to people and children everywhere. Legal formalities are just a part of the system to ensure security for the child and the parents. 

December 17, 2020 |  read

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Covid-19

Pregnancy During COVID-19 - Having a Baby in the Time of Corona

Being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic can seem intimidating. This article will tell you what you need to know while being pregnant during this pandemic.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, the period of pregnancy can be very overwhelming. Since pregnant women are excluded from research experiences, we have very few reliable sources that would state a proven fact. Rest assured; we have got you covered about everything you need to know about pregnancy during COVID-19. 

 

The story of Covid-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This virus began in Wuhan, China and spread across the globe faster than anyone can imagine. In less than six months, the World Health Organization was struck with a challenge beyond their control. What started as an ‘outbreak’ in China is now a ‘pandemic’ that has forced the world population to stay indoors.

 

There are seven different strains of coronavirus known to infect human beings. Most of them are mild but others can cause serious illness. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the symptoms for this virus includes-fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. 

 

These occur between a time span of 2-14 days after a person is exposed to an infected person. The disease can transfer from person to person through respiratory drops in the air by coughing or sneezing or through contaminated surfaces. In simple terms, it’s like catching the common flu, but this will result in dangerous health conditions.

 

It sounds like an apocalyptic movie and we are sure you might have already watched the movie ‘Contagion’ more than once during this lockdown. Set aside these movie theories and other spin-offs. They are bound to make you nervous and scared. As a soon-to-be mom, this isn’t an excellent emotional balance you want to have right now.

 

Virus vs Pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aged, new-borns, children under the age of 12 and pregnant women are asked to take the highest precaution during this time. Coronavirus affects those with less immunity in their system. Pregnant mothers are immunocompromised because their bodies are supporting another beating heart within them. 

 

While the world’s renowned scientists are cracking their heads around this ingenious virus, only a handful of cases allow us to study pregnancy during COVID-19. Studies show that mothers with Covid-19 undergo intensive care and hospitalisation. Do not worry yet; this case study does not account for labour and delivery hospitalisation. There are also studies from China that show the absence of the virus in breast milk, cord blood and amniotic fluid. If you do have concerns regarding the exposure to Covid-19, we recommend you talk to your doctors.

 

Most pregnant women have shown mild to moderate symptoms of the virus. COVID positive pregnant women should also go into isolation or quarantine in an almost similar manner to others. They should have access to their caregivers, medication and even mental health care according to quarantine standards. Asymptomatic transmission is also possible in pregnant women, and this has to be monitored with equal priority. Even in quarantine, you should monitor your oxygen saturation, have plenty of fluids, food and medication after a thorough consultation with your doctor. 

 

Stay safe, stay home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proven by millions across the globe, this rule has helped resist the chances of getting the virus into your system and your family. No matter which stage you find yourself in terms of pregnancy during COVID-19, stay at home as much as possible. Stick to proper hygiene for everybody in the family, including yourself. Wash your hands, feet and face as you come back from outdoors. Change your clothes regularly. To be safe, take a shower after returning home from a doctor’s clinic or hospital. 

 

To reduce the number of times, you go out of your homes to buy essentials, stock up every week. Plan; get your medications stocked up. Follow a routine to wash and clean each item that you have purchased before you use.  

 

Visiting your doctor during this time can be a little challenging. But do not skip your prenatal appointments as much as possible. Everybody has gone digital in the last few months; we suggest you do the same too. Try to get comfortable with this new system. There are many apps on your smartphones and laptops that can help you connect with your doctor through video calls. Keep your doctor’s number on speed dial and have an open, free conversation with them to help you through your difficulties. 

 

There can be emergency cases that require you to get to the hospital. In such situations, do not forget to wear your masks and carry your hand sanitizer. Strictly follow the rule of social distancing with others. Hospitals can be a host to the virus. But you should also remember that at a time like this, the medical staff and authorities do follow strict hygiene regulations. Take an appointment ahead, make sure your doctor is in on the day of your visit to the hospital. This way you can avoid the long hours in the waiting room and reduce your exposure to other possible positive patients. 

 

Both, the pandemic and pregnancy, cause an emotional roller-coaster for families. Sadly, Covid-19 has called off a lot of things like job security, family members and many other plans. Therefore, couples have been forced to table their pregnancy plans due to Covid-19. It is best to take into account challenging factors like jobs losses, insurance charges and take necessary financial precautions.  

 

 

A secret to fighting this virus- stay home, stay healthy and stay strong. The narrative of this virus is changing daily. Keep yourself updated with the world and with your doctor. Maybe plan a virtual baby shower. Avoid crowded areas as much as possible for the safety of yourself and your baby. Pregnancy during COVID-19 may not have been your best choice but remember - there’s a brand new baby coming home!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Pregnancy

Natural Ways to Fade Away Stretch Marks

Pregnancy stretch marks are a sign of strength while creating a miracle. There are natural ways to fade stretchmarks, if you prefer.

Stretch marks. Yes! This is one of the most common problems that at least 90 percent of pregnant women face today. So, you’re not alone in this problem.

 

To be honest, stretch marks occur to both men and women. Are you surprised? It does indeed happen to everybody. For women, it occurs around the belly, breasts and hip area. Medically termed as striae, they occur when the skin changes shape due to rapid weight gain or loss. Some people can see the appearance of stretch marks from the age of puberty.

 

(Anyone can develop stretch marks, but they are more common in women than men. In women, they occur around the belly, thighs, breasts, upper arms, and hip area. Medically termed as striae, they occur when the skin is overstretched due to rapid weight gain or loss. In many people, they appear first around the puberty age as a result of a growth spurt.)

 

Pregnancy and puberty are the two common life events that give rise to these stretch marks. During the third trimester, your belly is bigger and stretches begin to appear in thin shades of red or purple due to changes in the connective tissues and collagen fibers within the skin. If you are seeing them for the first time during your pregnancy, lucky you, but nothing to worry about. They look different from the texture of the skin around it. Over time it will fade and take a lighter shade compared to your skin. These marks are normal and generally do not cause any harm or pain. Although some may have a concern from an aesthetic point of view

 

How can we prevent the effect of stretch marks during pregnancy?

Here are a few tips that could help you get a heads-up to start on healing these stretch marks. Consult your doctors before you take any kind of medication for this or trying anything new. But otherwise, there are a lot of simple, safe home remedies that you can do to treat your stretch marks.

 

Ensure you maintain a healthy diet. Food and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. Consult with your doctors and change a few things around on your plate. Add food that will help improve your skin elasticity. Food rich in nutrients, and  especially those that contain antioxidants, Vitamin A & E and omega 3 can reduce stretch marks. Too much or too little can both be harmful, so make sure to talk to your doctor to know the exact amount of these nutrients to be included in your diet. Along with food, drink plenty of water. Just like every other teenage-pimple cure guru says, stay hydrated. Drink about 8 glasses of liquid. If you feel that water can be boring sometimes, you can switch to cucumber or watermelon juice. Still counts in those “8 glasses”.

 

Move that blown belly a bit. Stretch those stretch marks away. Some mothers turn to low impact exercises like pregnancy or prenatal yoga, Kegel exercises or simple floor stretches. Get help from your personal trainer or experienced support to learn a few moves. These not only result in avoiding stretch marks but will also relax your body and mind during this pregnancy period. If you are still worried about these sessions, you can always speak to your doctor who can help you with a safe routine. 

 

We have collected a few home remedies/ayurvedic methods that you can do yourself and in the comfort of your home.

 

Sugarsugar varieties - sugar stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Sugar acts as an exfoliating agent on your skin. Mix one cup of sugar with ¼ cup softening agent like any oil of your choice. You can also consider adding some lemon juice to this mixture as well. Scrub the mixture on your skin where the stretch marks are for 8-10 minutes. Repeat this several times in a week before you take a shower.

 

Yellow-orange magician- Turmericspices: turmeric roots and powder shot from above - turmeric stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Ever since the first pimple, every Indian woman's go-to remedy is the magical turmeric powder. Effective across all ages, a smooth turmeric powder paste can also help heal stretch marks. Use this paste 2-3 times a week.

 

Jelly Aloe vera

aloe vera on wooden background - aloe vera gel stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesThe healer of (almost) all, aloe vera, is an excellent skin softener and moisturizer. After a shower, apply a good amount of aloe vera, from a plant, on your skin, daily.

 

Oily- business

Most south-Indians will swear by coconut oil treatments for stretch marks. This super-soothing and vitamin E rich oil gets easily absorbed into the skin. It promotes healing of the scars and helps in speedy recovery of the stretch marks. Other oils like olive, almond and castor oils also have healing elements.aroma therapy oils placed next to a white towel and flower - oil stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images It has been proven that these oils, massaged over the affected area, play a vital role to reduce stretch marks. Consult with your doctor to be aware of any kinds of allergies that you might be facing with the use of these oils.   

 

 

Some women try very hard to rub the stretch marks away. Others carry them as a souvenir of the beautiful journey towards motherhood. Our message to pregnant mommies - with or without these stretch marks we are proud of this journey that you are going through. You will always be beautiful. So never be ashamed of these stretch marks. Embrace these beauty marks with pride and do exactly what makes you happy!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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