HOSPITAL BAG OF AN INDIAN MOM-TO-BE

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Pic courtesy : Quickmeme

I can still feel the excitement and anxiety of the day I was getting admitted in the hospital eagerly waiting for Baby V to arrive. Weeks of planning had gone into it and I would be happy to share the packing essentials for the big day.

  1. Photo ID, Insurance Info, Hospital Forms – First and foremost, important stuff to be filed in organized folders and kept ready at least a month before the due date. Insurance formalities can be a real pain if not managed properly.
  2. Cell phone and charger – You will need it to answer to all the wishes you get J
  3. Comfortable night gown – If you are someone like me who is used to wearing PJs and shorts, let me tell you that is not an option. Even mums who have been used to wearing sarees and salwar suits, you might like to choose comfort for a while J
  4. Headband – However trivial it may sound, it is an essential. Post my CSec I was asked to lie down without a pillow for straight 20 hours. I had taken just one clutcher which poked me all night through until the time I had to borrow a headband from someone else.
  5. Maternity Bra – Feeding a baby every now and then is no easy job. The only thing which can make things better for you is convenience. There are plenty of options in the maternity shopping section which can be explored.
  6. Hipster panties – CSec mommies will have to be extra careful with the stitches and avoid any friction on the incision. Hence, it is highly advisable to wear plus size panties which go all the way up to your upper abdomen.
  7. Breastfeeding cover – Indian friends and relatives do not hesitate to drop in generously once the baby is born. After all, our culture is such that we always rejoice and mourn together. For a new mom, it can get really hard and embarrassing to manage the crowd while she is still coming to terms with feeding a baby. So a good cover is a must (there are tons available which can be worn later in many different ways). P.S I still wear mine as a kaftan and sometimes roll it up as a scarf.
  8. Nursing Pads – Not everybody would need it right away but being prepared for leak protection will save you a lot of trouble.
  9. Adult Diapers – Heavy bleeding in the first few days comes as quite a shock to most moms but it’s all normal. Generally, recommend adult diapers which can manage heavy bleeding unlike the usual sanitary pads.
  10. Nipple creams – Sore nipples are going to be your friends for the next few months, applying good quality nipple creams could relieve some bit of pain.
  11. Toiletries and personal items: The must haves for every woman – Toothbrush, hairbrush, toothpaste, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, contact lens case and solution. Travel size packs recommended as they are easy to carry.
  12. Comfortable loose maternity clothes and flat slippers for the discharge day- I had swollen feet for the most of my maternity. While it magically disappeared just after the baby was out but I would still recommend very comfortable slippers/shoes as you are yet to gain complete stability and control over your body post-delivery.
  13. Food – Your doctor will best prescribe what diet you should be following post procedure. Also, Indian moms tend to carry Shatavari and other Ayurvedic supplements for lactation supply, make sure your doctor is aware and okay with it.

Soon, I shall come up with a packing list for the Indian baby to arrive.

INDOOR NEW BORN PHOTOSHOOT

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” – Source Wikipedia

So, Murphy has been my best friend since childhood, always making sure if I dreaded something would go wrong, he made sure it did. When we decided to do the first photoshoot for V, she was only 10 days old – we wanted a few pictures of her to be printed in the invitation cards for her welcome party. I was prepared for sleeping pictures but she kept wide awake all through the photo sessions getting really uncomfortable with the idea of clicking pictures. It was tough but we managed somehow. The second time we actually did a shoot, she was about 2 months old. I had many plans with props but little miss V decided to sleep through the whole session. So, we had to make do with available resources at home and get few pictures clicked. Here are few options that you can look at when you are not prepared or have to do a shoot with very limited resources.IMG_2640

We used a black fur carpet and a white fur one-sie , two red balloons with long strings and the picture was taken from the top. You could easily use few crumpled towels for making clouds around to giving it a feel of the baby floating in her dreams in the sky.

Onesie from NEXT UK

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White is my favorite color for pictures. It just makes everything look so dreamy.Here, I have used a white blanket as the base and this is just a candid shot while she is deep in her sleep.I regret some happy places few red flowers in the base, they would have created the perfect contrast.

Onesie – Carter’s USA

Hair band: Claire’s

Thanks to the filters these days, you can create the dreamiest of pictures from the most normal photographs. These are pictures from different angles while V slept peacefully.

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A basket came super handy when we thought of bringing in another element to the picture. We used the same black carpet, white blanket and placed V gently on the top of the basket which was covered with the white blanket.

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Sleep time is the best time to capture these tiny little feet. I have been obsessed with baby hands and feet for a long time ago. The first prints are always special and to be preserved for ever.

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The last picture of course, was shot after she finally decided to wake up and pose with us for a few minutes before she called it quits 🙂

BABYWEARING X SOULSLING

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Although baby wearing is an old concept, it has gained a significant momentum in the recent times as researchers have validated the benefits of this timeless practice. The studies have confirmed that our children’s social, physical and emotional development are all affected by human contact. Like many other mothers, I too have been told not to wear the baby often as it makes them clingy but if I go by my personal experience, I and V thoroughly enjoy the whole process. I cannot even begin to express how wonderful I feel when she falls asleep so close to my heart. After all, she is a piece of my heart beating outside of it.

Coming back to the benefits of baby wearing, let me list out the 3 most important ones which have helped me immensely in my motherhood journey –

Bonding and emotional security: The intimacy associated with the baby and mother/caregiver is multiplied exponentially with baby wearing and is directly proportional to the understanding and communication between the two. When you have a strong foundation, it leads to a healthier relationship in times to come. Holding the baby close comforts him/her, this has been a boon for colic babies as well. So, the next time someone tells you that you are spoiling the child by holding/picking him/her, think twice.

  1. Multitasking: They say being a mother is a job where you get no holidays. It is true, we get no breaks, no leaves and no time offs – so basically every other task needs to be completed along with managing pretty much everything related to the baby. With baby wearing, I was not just able to do the household chores but also travel conveniently with her wound around me. V was not too comfortable in the stroller when we went on a trip in her first few months but wearing her made both of us comfortable.

IMG_00483. Eco friendly option: The third less thought about benefit of baby wearing is it offers an option to cut down on the plastics used in strollers and chairs. People have been making their own baby carriers since ages but now, even in India we get ergonomic carriers in the best quality with the ease of online availability as well. My favorite one being Soul Slings!

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Having said this, I must emphasize on the fact that baby wearing is a good experience only if the baby is worn correctly. So, while choosing the baby carrier, there are certain conditions that you will have to keep in mind, few of them listed below –

  1. Ergonomic baby carriers – An ergonomic baby carriershould distribute the child’s weight evenly and comfortably for the wearer while giving good support to the child. The safety of the baby and the wearer is of prime importance, so it should give proper support to the baby and not inhibit the growth of spine in any way.
  2. Carrier suitable for the age – One carrier does not fit all ages and weights. A stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the new born whereas a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. Soulslings has a droolworthy collection of Onbuhimo, wraps, full buckle carriers and ring slings in the most amazing prints and soft breathable fabric.Here you can see me using the Standard Full Buckle Carrier from www.soulslings.com

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  1. Purpose of babywearing: It is important to firm the purpose of baby wearing and then choosing the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. So, if you want to nurse discreetly you would probably opt for a wrap, if you want to go hiking with the baby, you would probably opt for a full buckle which is ideal for back carries.

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I personally have had the best experience with www.soulslings.com, you should definitely go check out their collection.

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