Why Grandma’s advice was always right…
It’s so cliched yet so uncannily true that life comes a full circle. Especially when carrying a precious little one inside your womb. Not surprisingly during pregnancy, nostalgia is at its peak. It’s that time of life when reflecting on all the memories of childhood brings so much comfort.
We may pour through pages and pages of “informative” reading material about what to expect. But the truth is that nothing is as comforting as relying on the age-old traditions. Ones that have been followed generation after generation in our families.
That’s pretty much how most of us finally end up using our Grandmother’s little tidbits of advice rather than dismissing all of it.
So when your Grandma recommends “Milk” to ease pregnancy-related heartburn, she’s right :
Morning sickness during early pregnancy brings along its good friend “Heartburn”. Most of the times the morning sickness goes away but heartburn picks up as your stomach is pressed to make more room for your growing baby.
Add to that, increased levels of the hormone progesterone in the body causes the stomach valve to relax. In turn allowing the stomach acids to pass more easily back into the esophagus. This is what causes the awful burning sensation in the chest and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. It almost feels like a volcano has erupted inside of your body.
It’s not discussed as the most common pregnancy problem, but it has always been around! So it’s not surprising that Grandma has a lineup of remedies for you to rely on instead of over the counter antacids. Don’t glare at her if she yet again suggests “milk” as the solution.
A small cup of cold milk can really ease the burning sensation almost instantly. Even when you wake up with heartburn in the middle of the night, milk is undoubtedly going to be the most easily available drink. If you prefer to have your milk warm, you can also add a tablespoon of honey to it.
10 most frequent symptoms and remedies during pregnancy :
1. For Morning sickness: Indian movies have really made a joke out of pregnant women craving for pickles. But the truth is that sour food really helps with the constant queasy feeling experienced during early pregnancy. Amla or the Indian gooseberry in its raw form or as a pickle helps many women ease their morning sickness. As it’s a local Indian fruit packed with Vitamin C, it’s really healthy too.
2. For Hydration: Right from the early stages of pregnancy, increasing your water intake is extremely essential. Good old buttermilk not only helps keep you hydrated but also provides the goodness of calcium. Many women also find that it helps with heartburn as well.
3. For Constipation: Not the most comfortable problem to get advice on, but a very important one to take care of. Constipation during pregnancy should be avoided as it could cause premature contractions or hemorrhoids. Some people try to avoid milk/dairy during constipation. But you could actually benefit from having a warm cup of milk mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of ghee.
4. For extra calories: During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, your body requires 350 and 450 extra calories respectively. So while it’s not wise to binge away like crazy, you should also provide your body with the extra calories it needs. Snack regularly to keep the hunger pangs in check and have a steady source of nutrition going in. Grandma’s homemade chivda is a perfect way to do that – blending in a mix of grains, pulses and nuts. This makes for a guilt free indulgence.
5. For sources of protein: Vegetarian diets can lack in proteins sometimes and it’s especially important during pregnancy to take care of the body’s additional requirements. While dal is the common suggestion, some may find it hard to digest. Adding paneer to all the vegetable dishes or creating snacks out of it is a great way to include proteins in your diet.
6. For sources of folic acid: We read a lot about Brocolli and Avacado on the internet as rich sources of folic acid. But our Indian super foods like palak (spinach) and bhindi (okra) are not given the well deserved love. These vegetables are excellent sources of folic acid and must be regularly consumed.
7. For building additional immunity: Ghee during pregnancy is being spoken about a lot these days. Even Kareena Kapoor actively endorsed it during her recent pregnancy. Replacing regular cooking oils with ghee can be a great way to improve the nutritional value of the food you consume.
8. For coughs and colds: You are likely to get at least one bout of cold and cough as you go through multiple changes in weather during your pregnancy. The ban on most medicines during this time makes it hard to take care of the nagging symptoms. Age old haldi doodh (turmeric milk) made from freshly ground organic turmeric works wonders.
9. For the sweet tooth: Sugar cravings can sometimes really spike during pregnancy and it is so important to keep them in check. Instead of skipping on sugar replacing it with jaggery is a good option. While it still has sugar content in it, it is also rich in iron which is very good for you and the baby’s brain development.
10. For hot summer months: Going through pregnancy during summers can be especially hard. If you are in your final semester, it becomes even tougher. Yogurt is a great way to help the body cool down. It is also a great source of probiotics, healthy bacteria that keep the stomach feeling great!
So when your Grandma recommends Hing (Asafoetida) for a colicky newborn, she’s right :
Even as much as a squeak from your precious little newborn is enough to make you run to her. But when she cries uncontrollably because of colic or more simply put – gas, you feel like crying too. The tiny little digestive systems of babies are yet to fully develop and often times they experience pain and discomfort during infancy.
A paste made with Asafoetida really works wonders in calming the precious little ones. Add a small pinch of hing to some warm water and make a paste. Alternatively, the hing can be mixed with olive oil or mustard oil as well. Apply this around the navel (not on it) of the baby.
You can also apply a warm compress over it. To prepare the warm compress, you can heat a bunched up cotton washcloth on a pan. Be sure to check it on the back of your hand before applying it on the baby’s tummy. After some time, use a cloth wet with warm water to wipe off the application.
Now if you find this one hard to believe, there’s also modern-day logic for it. Sometimes nothing works in pain management quite as well as a distraction. The hing and warm compress act as a distraction, as the sensation caused by the application is something different for the baby.
For the time being, they forget the pain. And when the crying stops, they ingest less air, in turn, reducing the amount of gas.
So when your Grandma recommends Kishmish (Raisins) for your toddler’s constipation, she’s right :
Toddlers are quite literally the busiest members of the family with so little time for anything but to run around and play!
Getting them to eat right can sometimes be a challenge. There come the mighty poop issues. When you are willing to try anything under the sun to just make it easy for your kids. Surprising right? Never thought the “P” word would govern your Mommy life like this.
A simple home remedy works for many kids and requires very little effort. Raisins to the rescue! Wash and soak 1 tablespoon of raisins in 1/4th cup warm water for 3-4 hours, preferably even overnight. First thing in the morning, offer the water to your toddler to drink. It’s even better, if he or she is willing to eat the soaked raisins.
If the constipation is more severe, you can even grind up the soaked raisins with the water into a paste and offer to the child.
So when your Grandma recommends a homemade health mix for your growing child, she’s right :
Store-bought health drinks for kids are marketed very well but we usually fail to read the fine print. Each serving has almost 4 teaspoons of sugar, which is not really required. Instead, it’s so much better to make up our own powders at home with selected ingredients. After all, back in the day, that’s what they did to churn out a strong and healthy generation.
Nuts are a great source of protein and also contain many essential vitamins required by all ages. It’s also very easy to process and store a health mix made from nuts. So why not make your own at home? Take nuts of your choice, say almonds, cashews, and pistachios in equal quantities. Roast each of them separately and grind into a smooth powder. Store this in an airtight container and it’s ready to be added to the daily cup of milk or porridge. It tastes great too!
Your kitchen shelf certainly has so much more to offer than any medical store around. Hope you’re going to make the most of it by concocting simple home remedies to stay healthy!