Diwali is probably the most auspicious time of the year. This is the festival we all look forward to. This is the time when the family comes together to celebrate the festival of light. We decorate, prepare sweets, wear a lovely dress, and so much happens during the few days of this festival.
This time, Diwali is more unique to you as you are carrying a little one, your bundle of joy. Your every decision revolves around the little one. No wonder you have started thinking about how you can make Diwali celebration safe for your baby. Should you eat sweets, wear certain clothes, or will the sound and smoke from the firecracker affect my baby? These are all typical questions to pop up this time.
In this article, I will try to answer some of your questions. I will provide some dos and don'ts and tips so that you can enjoy the festival and take care of your baby.
Cleaning and decoration
Diwali is a festival of light, but it becomes an opportunity for cleaning and redecorating the house for many. No wonder, we want to make sure that the house looks welcoming to all when everyone is around. But as you are pregnant, you may want to keep yourself a little away from a few of the cleaning activities. Remember that during pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of changes. Your belly budges out, the center of gravity shifts, your ligaments loosen to help your body prepare for labour. So, this is probably not the right time for you to clean, which involves lifting, bending, or moving heavy loads. This is definitely not the time for you to clean those ceiling fans.
Many times, cleaning involves the use of chemicals. There are a few chemicals that may be harmful if you are pregnant. So, keep yourself away from the chemicals. In case of any reaction, consult your gynecologist immediately. If you plan to repaint the house or polish the furniture, make sure it's done when you are out of the house. Some chemicals or fumes be harmful. You might have become more sensitive to smell. The smell of paint or chemicals may make you a little irritated. So, it's better to get it done when you are away.
Tip : This might be the right time when you can hand over the cleaning activity entirely to your husband. After all, you did that for so many years, so you deserve a rest this year, don't you , and maybe he will do a better job than you . Grab a nice book to read, and enjoy the work done by him.
Firecrackers – Smoke and sound
Diwali is a festival of lights, but somehow, it has become a session of bursting the firecrackers. Somehow there is a competition about who's cracker makes the loudest sound. There is increased awareness about the sound and air pollution it causes, but still, there is a long way to go. For now, don't worry about changing the world. Make sure that you keep yourself away from sound and smoke. Fumes from crackers can trigger allergies, respiratory problems, or affect your lungs. The fumes contain carbon dioxide and nitrite oxide that could be harmful to your baby too. In case you feel breathless, experience nausea in reaction to the firework smoke, please contact your doctor immediately.
During pregnancy, you become more sensitive. All your senses are more active than ever and you may have few prevailing pregnancy sings. So, crackers bursting at every nook and corner can give you more than just headaches and shocks. Although the sound needs to piece through many layers of skin and fat, your baby can hear all the sounds that you can listen to. Too loud sounds like over 85 decibels can affect your hearing capacity, and that beyond 110 decibels can also affect your baby. So, keep yourself away from the cracker sound.
Remember that air and noise pollution done by crackers affects your health and peace of mind. This eventually affects the emotional development of your baby. If you are a cracker hater, your baby would love that. But if you are a cracker fan and want to have fun, watch the fireworks from a safe distance. Maybe light one or two and limit yourself to low nose crackers. Remember that next Diwali, you may enjoy those extra crackers you have saved this time, that too with your little one.
Laddoo, mithai, sweets, namkeen, and so on…
Diwali celebration is not complete without the special treat of sweets, and namkeen and so on. This can be the most challenging thing to do, but you may have to limit your consumption of sweets and deep-fried foods. Due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, you may be at higher risk of acidity, heartburn, and pregnancy diabetes. So, keeping an eye on what you are eating is essential. It is advisable to eat in small portions rather than large quantities in one go. Diwali festive foods are either very sweet or fried, so consume them in moderation.
Avoid eating outside food or sweets. If you want to enjoy maybe a chaat at a Diwali Mela, be careful about the food hygiene. It is a little easier for you to get an infection during pregnancy as your immune system is slightly weaker. Instead of eating outside food, prefer homemade sweets. I am sure your mother and close ones would love to give you a treat of those "old days" homemade sweets.
It is crucial to avoid any alcohol content during pregnancy. So, strike it off if it's on the list of your Diwali celebration. No-no to this one, please. Also, keep your consumption of caffeine in check. Replace those coffees with healthy drinks like lime water, fruit juice, and milkshakes during a family gathering.
So, keep a check on your healthy diet, your protein, and your vitamin intake. Do not allow Diwali to break the diet routine you have maintained so far during pregnancy. In case if you have any questions about which food to avoid during Diwali, consult your doctor. Do not hesitate to ask questions, as diet is probably the most crucial aspect of your baby's growth.
Getting ready – Cloths and festive dress
Diwali is the festival when we want to wear those special dresses. As a woman, we love to dress up during the festive session. But do not let this disturb your convenience. Dress up in loose, comfortable clothes that allow you enough breathing space. Try and avoid wearing synthetic material tight dresses. They even may catch fire easily. Wear simple clothes as heavy dresses, especially in pregnancy, may limit your free movement and only add to the clumsiness. Some dresses may cause skin irritation. So, pick elegant and simple dresses to match up your festive look. Go for simple pieces of cotton which can keep you in comfort.
Tip : Maybe this is a shopping time for your husband. Ask him to buy a dress from you which will make you look gorgeous and at the same time feel like a breeze. After all, you deserve the gift this festival .
There are many rituals done during Diwali. Lighting up diyas, pooja, and prayers, taking the blessing, and so on. There is no harm in doing any of these. But keep in mind that your baby bump may limit your movement. So, if it's not comfortable, don't bend down to light up diyas. It's OK if someone else does it this time. Be extremely careful while lighting diyas. The baby bump usually reduces the visionary range, which might result in burn injuries. If you are sitting down for any pooja or prayers, make sure that you take the support of someone. It's OK if you sit on the chair and do the pooja. Be careful while bending down to take blessings. If you are uncomfortable and it's too much for your baby bump, just say namaste. I am sure those who care for you will understand. For those who don't understand, it doesn't make any sense to take the blessings. Try to avoid doing any fasting. If you don't eat, your baby will be hungry. So, keep your diet and food intake regular. After all, it's the baby you are protecting and caring for.
Shopping and traveling
We love to go shopping and what is the best time other than Diwali? Shopping is fun, but when you are pregnant, you may need to look at different aspects when you go out shopping. Make sure that you are always accompanied by someone. You may need help at any time. So, ask your husband to take a day off. Call your old friend and ask her to join in the fun. Your baby bump may restrict you from long walks, taking stairs, or sitting in one place for a long time. So, select your shopping destination carefully. Make sure that it's a little open, not too much rush or crowd. You may get tired quickly. So, a place with some seating arrangement will help a lot. Carry your food, water with you as eating outside food might not be that good during pregnancy.
If you are planning to travel a long distance (maybe your hometown or friend's place), take the advice of your gynecologist. Depending on your pregnancy month, she may advise you to avoid traveling. Also, if your due date is near, you need to consider the chances of "any time now." So, plan your travel plans accordingly.
Dr. Varshali Mali is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. She did her MBBS from Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, DNB (Obstetrics & Gynecology) from Jehangir Hospital, Pune, and Diploma in Gynecological Endoscopy from the University of Schleswig Holstein - Kiel Germany. She has several years of experience working as a gynecologist, pregnancy doctor, and lecturer. Through her clinic located at Life Republic township near Marunji, she provides gynecology and pregnancy care solutions to the women around Hinjewadi, Wakad, and nearby Pune. She is known for her welcoming nature, smiley face, supportive attitude, intelligence, and in-depth knowledge about gynecology and pregnancy in her patient community. Mother of two daughters, she believes that motherhood is the best gift one can get. As her contribution, she puts her best efforts into making the pregnancy journey most enjoyable for her patients.
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Dr. Varshali Mali writes on various topics related to gynecology, pregnancy, adulthood for girls, and women's wellness. We use various social media platforms to spread health awareness to our patients and community.
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