Mommy Stories

  • I did yoga, slow cardio & strength training till the last day

    Sonali with daughter Sophie

    Who: Sonali Sahoo Mondal

    What: Gbabe Next Door Mom

    Why: Believes in discipline of weight training & yoga

    Winter of 2009, I got the news..”Yay I’m PREGNANT!“. I was thrilled, excited and yet scared to the bone.

    ‘Will I be a good mom or not?’

    Guess everybody goes through that phase. The first few weeks were really hard for me. My appetite reduced, I felt tired throughout the day and scary thoughts creeped up from everywhere. I was scared for my baby. I had to take matter into my hands and that’s when I started to follow a clean diet and a great fitness routine.

    Garbage in, garbage out

    I believe, deeply,that what you eat during pregnancy makes a lot of difference during delivery and afterwards. So I want to share what I have learned from all the beautiful mommies around. Please note, I am not a nutritionist or a medical doctor. These are my experiences. I have followed them and never been disappointed.

    Sugar or no sugar?

    My dad is diabetic, so I had a high risk of getting diabetes during my pregnancy and I did get gestational diabetes. Well I cant stay away from sweets, so came up with a list of alternatives that made my life much easier. Sugar negatively affects blood sugar levels, leading to hormonal imbalance and also affects our immune system. The negative effects are endless. So I tried to avoid processed sugar and refined carbs. That does not mean that I used sweetners. Sweetners are a big no-no as they are highly acidic and pregnant women should not even go near artificial sweetners. Hence natural and unrefined sugar sources like jaggery and honey made their way into my kitchen. Whenever I had a craving for sweets I ate natural sweets – for example dates filled with a mixture of pomegranate seeds,cumin powder, fennel seeds and mango powder ( this is really easy to make at home). I am a bong and can’t resist maacher-jhol. Fish, fruits and vegies – loads of it – were my staple.I read this somewhere ”Follow your heart regardless of what others tell you to do. At the end of the day it’s you that has to live with your decisions, not them.”

    Beta,do not lift heavy weights..accha nahin hota hain

    Everyone has the same advice – do not do any exercise before delivery. Everybody, including my parents and in-laws, threatened Sujoy -my hubby- to stop me from weight training in the gym.

    I remember the day I had an appointment with a top doctor and nutritionist in one of the best hospitals for delivery and childcare in Hyderabad. She measured my fat using the fat callipers and asked me what I was doing to keep my fat and other vitals in check. The moment I mentioned about weight training in the gym, the doctor was horrified (yes horrified!). It was as though I had committed a blasphemy. But she regained her composure as all my charts were normal and took some time to consult her superior about this ‘abnormal’ situation. Finally she called me the next day and told me to carry on with my strength training because that was keeping all the vitals in place. Phew!!! I was so relieved to hear that. Well, apart from yoga and slow cardio, I did strength training till the day before Sophie was born.


    In India, expecting mothers are discouraged to do strength training. Imagine holding a baby in one arm and even heavier diaper bag in another. Worried? Well you should be. So it’s a good idea to tone up your body. Bicep curls,leg lifts, pelvic tilts and squats are great exercises to tone up your lovely body. These exercises not only help in toning but also in reducing back pain. You retain less fat, feel better, have shorter or less complicated labors and you recover more quickly than other women who either stop exercising or do not exercise at all.

    I lost an amazing 9 kilos just one month after delivery.By the time she was 6 months old, I was almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It would be a lie if I said I did nothing to loose weight after delivery. I didn’t have a nanny or any family member staying with me till Sophie was 11 months old. Small household chores and daily dose of walks helped me burn as many calories as workouts after delivery, when I didn’t have time to go to gym. Now with some help at home I am back at what I love -strength training.

    A word of caution: If you never did strength training before pregnancy, don’t take it up once you get pregnant. Always consult with your doctor before you embark on any exercise program.

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