As I have mentioned in my post a while ago, I had joined a gym and was working out 3-4 times a week. I was feeling great and my body was enjoying the benefits but after a while I could not go as often as I liked and then I did not go for 6 weeks.
To go to the gym I had to wake up at 5:30 am, feed Chhori and get ready by 6:00 am to start gym by 6:30 am. I need to be back home by 8:00 am so AS could leave for work. It was a good arrangement and AS could look after Chhori while I am gone.
But the morning after the nights Chhori woke me up more often, it was really hard for me to get up so early. There were days when it was hard for me to get up so early but I would have time the whole day but there was no one to look after Chhori for even a few hours while went to the gym thus I couldn’t enjoy working out.
But the problem was solved when I discovered a gym with childcare. Yes it was such a blessing to find one near me as well. We have a Fitness First gym near us where they have childcare facility. You need to pay $5 a day for this service which is a fair amount for the help you are getting. You can leave your baby for 90 minutes a day while you work out. They open from 9am till midday and it is just perfect for me.
So I joined this gym and I am happy to report I am exercising again after a 6 week gap. I am so excited at the thought that I will get back to my normal self again. They also have a swimming pool which is great for the hot weather.
I was a bit worried about Chhori and how she would adjust in the childcare as I am her primary carer since her birth. The only person who has looked after her beside me is my husband, that also not more than 2 hours at a time.
But I am so relieved to see her doing well at childcare. The girls there are great and very friendly and Chhori is well looked after. There are so many toys there that she easily gets distracted when I leave her there. It is only for 90 minutes so I don’t feel too guilty either.
In that 90 minutes I manage to either run, do some cardio, zumba or swim depending on the day. I am just loving my new routine. I wake up in the morning at the same time with AS. We all have breakfast together and then AS goes to work while Chhori and I go to the gym. Perfect as it can be.
Hope this new routine will get me into shape and I will be a healthier and happier person again.
If you are in a similar boat like me and your new bundle of joy is stopping you from exercising, this is the perfect solution. I am sure you will find something similar around you and believe me it will be an effort worth making at the end of the day.
Happy exercising everyone.
Take care, M from nepaliaustralian XOXO
I am not sure if it is normal or not but I normally look at my old photos and realise that I had a better body pre-pregnancy.
During pregnancy I put on 18 kilos in total which was 3 kg more than the recommended weight. I have to admit that most of the weight was around my tummy. My weight gain was normal for the first 6 months but I was hungry a lot during the last few months of the pregnancy and I was munching on lots of junk food too.
I continued with my walking and swimming routine but still managed to put on a good amount of weight. The last month was the worst with swollen hands and legs. Summer heat of Sydney didn’t help at all.
Then my beautiful angle arrived on this earth; healthy and happy which made everything I did seem worth it.
I thought my tummy would go down straight after the birth of Chhori but I looked like I was still 5 months pregnant when I came home from the hospital.
The weight kept dropping every day after that as I was breastfeeding. Even though the doctor gave me an all clear to exercise after 6 weeks, I didn’t do much for the first 3 months as I was too busy looking after Chhori and catching up on sleep whenever I had any spare time.
Traditionally in Nepal new mums are given 3-4 meals of rice with jwano ko jhol, minced chicken, lots of ghee (clarified butter) and chaku (molasses). So my mum had similar ideas in her mind for me. For the first month, I was eating everything my mum cooked minus chaku (molasses) without complaining. I was eating rices 2-3 times a day and also consuming chocolate muffins and other junk food.
But after a month I reduced my intake of rice and slowly tried to go back to my normal pre-pregnancy diet but it was a bit difficult at times. I felt so hungry due to breast feeding that it was hard not to eat junk lying around.
I have lost 13 kg so far and so have 5 kg remaining. In order to help me lose the rest and regain my exercise routine, I joined a gym as soon as Chhori turned 3 months.
The first few sessions almost seemed to kill me with the pains and aches but things are getting better now. I am going twice a week these days which should get me into my normal routine slowly and I hope to lose those remaining kilos too.
I have started to fit into most of my clothes now and hope to fit into everything soon.
Wish me luck everyone, I will keep you posted on how I go.
As I come from a background where there are lots of superstitions and beliefs practiced till today. It is normal to hear dos and don’ts regarding pregnancy. I can see the logic behind some of the beliefs while about others I have no idea why they are followed.
In Nepal, they believe that when the baby is in the womb it picks up a lot from his/her surroundings and emotions and thoughts of the mother. Even though we may not realize his/her senses are active at that time, our actions have a great impact on babies even before they arrive on earth.
From the type of food to the mother’s daily actions, what to wear and what to do are some of the traditions that amazed me. Some of them I did considered following while others I couldn’t. Most of these superstitions don’t cost more money and doesn’t hurt anybody. It just may prove to be a little more inconvenient at times.
As educated as I am in the 21st century of advanced science, I am still scared sometimes not to follow the superstitions. At the back of my mind, I think that if something does happen to the baby, it will be my fault. I definitely do not follow the beliefs blindly but I do follow them as long as they sound reasonable enough and it are morally right.
Not announcing the pregnancy until after 3 months have passed
I wrote a whole post regarding this because I have my own idea why we shouldn’t announce the pregnancy very early. A higher percentage of miscarriages occur during the first trimester. Some people may feel it is just wiser to wait until after the period of instability is over. We did tell our immediate family members early and waited 3 months to tell the rest of the world, but at the end of the day it is a personal preference.
Eating lots of almond, milk and saffron to have fair skin baby
But in Nepal, they still believe that fair is beautiful. Everyone wants a fair baby regardless of the colour of parents’ skin. Most people will call a fair person beautiful disregarding any other quality.
So when I told people that I am having a baby, they asked me to drink lots of milk with saffron and almonds. Some of my friends and cousins swear by it.
I do drink plenty of milk for calcium and snack on almonds but don’t do saffron at all. But in my head, I can’t imagine my baby being too fair as both AS and I are brown and I am sure we are going to have a brown baby no matter what I eat or drink.
Not watching Horror/scary/action movie
I know lots of people have asked me not to watch scary movies/ TV during pregnancy. It’s advisable not to watch horror or action movies which involve a lot of blood during pregnancy because it is believed that it may indirectly effect the growing baby. Watching violent and horror stuff on television or reading such books can create fear or violence in your child.
I do see some logic behind this because when we watch such movies, our heart may pump heavily as we get excited and this could lead to pressure on our womb.
I generally don’t watch horror movies but I do watch lots of cops/ detective dramas so I am not sure what it is doing that to the baby. I think if you feel happy after watching a movie and not frightened then go for anything that you like.
Look at the photo/picture of great people or God
Lots of people believe that you should have a photo of a god/goddess or some famous person in your room while you are pregnant. It is also believed that keeping pictures of baby Lord Krishna and smiling faces around you in the room will also create a harmonious environment.
When my SIL was pregnant, my brother put up president Obama’s photo in their bedroom. I really don’t know what was going on in his head but if my nephew becomes a prime mister/president one day, then I will be sure that this theory works.
Also having photos of beautiful baby is supposed to make your baby beautiful as well.
Do not touch the baby in tummy during eclipse
It is believed that if one is expecting and there is an eclipse during that time both parents should be very careful and cautious. Parents should not do any activity like using a knife, scissors, pen as their child will have a mark or mole or cut on his body. So during eclipse, one should not leave the house and should lie on the bed straight and stay indoors. Reading holy books during eclipse is beneficial for everyone specially couples expecting a baby.
Read holy/spiritual book
Parents who are more into spiritualism and read spiritual books during pregnancy believe that they notice their children will be coming from the same thought process because they read these books during pregnancy.
There is a myth people believe in for a long time in our holy book Gita.
Abhimanyu, who is the son of Arjuna & Subhadra (half-sister of lord Krishna). As an unborn child in his mother’s womb, Abhimanyu learned the knowledge of entering the deadly and virtually impenetrable Chakravyuha from Arjun. The epic explains that he overheard Arjun talking about this with his mother Subhadra from the womb. Arjun explains to Subhadra in detail, the technique of attacking and escaping from various vyoohs (an array of army formation) such as Makaravyoha, Kurmavyooha, and Sarpavyuha etc. After explaining all the vyoohs, he explains about the technique of cracking Chakravyuha. Arjun tells how to enter the Chakryavyuha. When he was about to explain how to exit from the Chakravyuha, he realizes that Subhadra is asleep and stops explaining about the Chakravyuha further. Thus the baby Abhimanyu in the womb did not get a chance to learn how to come out of it, which played a big role in his life.
Be around and in contact with positive and cheerful people.
I completely agree with this one because you don’t need extra stress during pregnancy apart from what you are already going through. If the mom to be is depressed and sad most of the time during pregnancy it will affect the child in the same manner.
I made sure that I only met people who had a positive attitude so I didn’t dwell on negative thoughts and kept myself happy during the journey.
Reciting, chanting or listening to devotional mantras
Good, peaceful thoughts and reciting, chanting or listening to devotional mantras plays a great role at the time one is expecting. It is believed that if you listen to devotional mantras when the baby is in the tummy, he/she will have a calm personality.
Wearing loose clothing
You don’t want to show off your pregnancy in case you get an evil eye from someone. They even suggest wearing scarfs (kasto) so people won’t notice you are pregnant. Making sure you stay away from evil eyes and evil thought seems to be very important in Nepali culture.
For me it was not possible for me to wear covered clothing as most of my pregnancy was during spring and summer. I was happy to wear comfortable clothes that were not too tight but never went beyond that to make people think I was not pregnant.
Until around 5 months, I think it was not a problem anyway as it was not obvious but after that no matter what I wore, it was obvious.
I am sure there are a lot of other superstations and beliefs in Nepali/Newari culture I could add to this list. But I am going to stop here.
Please do share superstitions and practices during pregnancy in your culture. I am sure there are some interesting ones and some weird ones out there.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my baby shower but I was waiting for my parents to arrive from Nepal to do a traditional baby shower, also known as Dahi chiura ceremony in Nepali or Dhau-baji in Newari.
In this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.
My parents have arrived in Sydney now so I am extremely happy as I will have a helping hand to look after the little one for the first few months. I could not imagine how I would have managed if they were not here.
Last weekend, my parents along with the help of my brother and SIL organised the Dahi Chiura ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with the ladies all wearing saris.
My mum made Yomari and sagun (bara, boiled eggs, chicken and fish) for the occasion and bought some sweets, fruits and cakes as well. They also bought clothes for me along with jewelleries as well as things for little one.
It was a family affair with just me, AS, my parents, brother, SIL and my little nephew.
For the ceremony, my mum followed the followings steps, if anyone wants to know. It might be different for different cultures but I believe the basic will remain the same.
The ritual started with my mother worshipping Lord Ganesh in the Sukanda. She put tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt and flowers on Lord Ganesh..
Then she put tika for me and AS.
Then she gave us the gifts of fruits, sweets, clothes, and jewelleries.
This was followed by Sagun and then the main event of dahi chiura, where everyone feeds me dahi chiura.
Everyone was given Sagun and sweet as well after this.
Thus the main event of dahi chiura is was conclude.
Cake is normally not a traditional inclusion for dahi chiura but we had one so I and AS cut the cake together
For many reasons, the dahi chiura ceremony is one of my favourite celebrations for our coming daughter.
In addition to normal family dahi chiura, the pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. I had invited many of my family and friends who were pregnant to my place and done the same ceremony so it is my turn to be invited to my close friends and family’s place for the dahi chiura ceremony as well.
It was really nice of all of them to get involved making me and the baby feel special. Here are some of the pics from various occasions of dahi chiura. I was spoiled with lots of blessings, yummy foods and lots of useful gifts .
I am so glad that we are keeping Nepali traditional alive living so far from home and I want to show all these photos to my daughter one day and explain the traditions and culture.
Hope you enjoyed the traditional way of Nepali/Newari baby shower.
I think except for a very few times (only to close family member/friends), was I tempted to rub a pregnant woman’s tummy but for some weird reason many family, friends, even strangers felt the need to pat, rub or touch my expanding belly .
I love when my husband touches my tummy because that is the only way he can have contact with our daughter right now. Whenever she kicked or moved especially the first few times I was so excited and I ask him to feel that with me. Seriously, those moments were priceless when we both felt the baby’s movement at the same time.
Most of the time I don’t mind my friends and family touching my tummy especially if they ask for permission first, but I have a big problem with strangers doing it.
I have to admit though that I was never approached by a stranger on the street who uninvited, just felt that they could touch my pregnant belly. I am not entirely sure what my reaction would have been had they tried. I always felt a little bit special during pregnancy as I mention before, as people were kinder, they would strike up a conversation with me, just give me a knowing smile. It is a serene time in many ways.
I would feel very scared and worried if a strange asked if it is ok to touch my tummy. I might be OK if the stranger is a woman but men, definitely a big NO NO.
What is it about a pregnant woman’s belly that makes the common sense rules of personal space fly out the window?
May be I should get one of these t-shirts.
I really think it is a personal choice if you feel good when someone rubs your pregnant tummy. We all have different limits we feel as our own personal space. Some feel violated if their pregnant belly is touched, others welcome and love it. For me I am in the middle. As long as it is not too much, I really don’t mind.
Where do you stand on this matter? Do share your experience regarding this.