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Music in pregnancy

Gayatri mantra and music during pregnancy
Babies respond to sound from the time they are in their mother’s womb. The noise from outside the womb sounds more like multiple echoes to the baby and surprisingly babies can recognize their mother’s voice from others even in the womb.
As soon as I came to know about my pregnancy, I checked about garbh sanskaar and music that one should be listening to during pregnancy. I found a music CD that had mantras, hanuman chalisa etc, sung by some renowned Indian singers.
 When a child is in the mother’s womb, it is the most relaxing place to him, he is resting and getting nourished without any worries. Baby in the womb is in deep sleep but aware, quite as close to how people are when in meditation- relaxed yet aware at the same time.
 If you see the ancient temples in India, the place where the deity resided and the monks meditated is also called garba graha, in the womb of the mother (the deity).
So, the more one experiments with the child’s awareness inside the womb, the more it remains in their subconscious mind even after they have come to this world.
Music during pregnancy brought a whole lot of positivity in my outlook. Pregnancy brings about a lot of hormonal changes, music tends to settle it.
Since the beginning of my pregnancy I started listening to the Garbh sanskar music CD and chanting gayatri mantra and other mantras. I am a BSG (Bharat Soka Gakkai) member too, so,  I performed my regular chanting as well and i still remember how during pregnancy A would respond to my chanting, by kicking and twirling inside.
So much hullabaloo for gayatri mantra, what exactly is Gayatri mantra?
The Gayatri Mantra is an elaboration of OM. It comes from Hindu scripture Rigveda, written some 2500 years ago. Gayatri mantra is a highly valued and revered mantra and is said to initiate the spiritual inclination in a human being.
Om
Bhur Bhuva Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo yonah Prachodayat
Researchers have found that the configuration of syllables in Gayatri mantra creates strong vibrations which affect positively to the holistic well being of the one chanting and those listening.
Well, I won’t really delve into the technicalities of it because I have done no research over it and nor am I qualified to talk about mantras et al.
I am going to share my experience here.
Once at around 6-7 months old when A was extremely cranky, I casually started reciting gayatri mantra and he suddenly stopped crying. It happened a few more times and then I couldn’t ignore it. I started experimenting to confirm if it was this mantra that was soothing him down or something else. So, at one instance I sang other song and he continued crying. At another incident i chanted for a while and stopped, the momnent i stopped, he started  crying again as if asking me to chant again. So much so that he would say “bhoo bhoo” meaning prompting to sing “om bhur bhuva svaha”.
A responds to Gayatri mantra in such a positive way because when he hears these syllables now he is reminded of the most relaxed state that he has ever been in,  his mother’s womb; he surrenders himself to me and quietens down.
Now that he is a toddler and checks my patience, every now and then, I end up chanting gayatri mantra for my own sanity and to control my own anger!!!
The Vedas say “Chanting Gayatri Mantra purifies the chanter. Listening to the Gayatri Mantra, purifies the listener.”
 It has helped me immensely and i am sure i am not the only one to have been benefited from it.
I would urge all to be mommies and new mommies to try it out, and those who have experienced it’s benefits please share in the comments below, so that other parents can read too.
Just like the music calms and soothes us, it does the same to the baby inside.
 There have been researches and studies that have shown correlation between music and advanced linguistic and motor skills.
When we listen to music while pregnant, the baby inside gets the vibrations of it, which further helps in improving baby’s reflexes.
 So sounds have a major impact in the formation and development of the mind in both conscious and subconscious level.
What kind of music should you listen to during pregnancy?
Well, it totally depends upon your choice of music. I listened to bollywood classic music, bhajans and shlokas and Nusrat Fateh Ali khan. Whatever makes you happy outside,  will definitely make your baby happy inside.
You are a new mom and haven’t yet introduced music to your child? Want to know the right age? Head on to  my blogpost – Benefits of early introduction to music (Click here )
P.S. My special thanks to Stuti, an old friend who has done her Ph.d in Music and took time to help me out on my series of posts on Music and babies.
birthing centre, doctors, hospital, neonatal, pregnancy, prenatal

How to choose a hospital for your delivery?


I happened to switch 3 doctors in 9 months of my pregnancy; different doctor in different trimester and that is not how I wanted it. Pregnancy is a beautiful and unforgettable 40 weeks journey; made or marred by the doctors you choose. I had to change doctors, not because I wasn’t comfortable with them, but because of some unavoidable situations. I delivered in Gurgaon, which was a fairly new area for me and my family, that made it even more difficult for us to decide where to deliver. We got in touch with friends in and around Delhi/Gurgaon; each had a different experience to share about the various famous hospitals. We searched the internet; also checked the Facebook/google reviews of the hospitals and contacted the moms who delivered there (this was a slow process; but we got honest reviews from them). My Ob-gynae was a visiting doctor; she was attached to most of the top-rated hospitals in Gurgaon, but left it on me to decide where to deliver.  We visited two of the hospitals that we had shortlisted; did a hospital tour and then came to decide where we wanted to have our baby. It is important to have a good doctor first; hospital can be decided after choosing the doctor. Your task will be simplified if the doctor himself/herself suggests you the hospital.

The factors that could be kept in mind while deciding on to the hospital for your delivery

1.       Proximity to where you live, it is advisable to choose a hospital that you can reach in 20-30 minutes maximum. Please consider the traffic at the oddest hours, babies come unannounced and I am sure you wouldn’t want to deliver in a car, stuck in traffic; that would make a great birth story to tell though!
2.       Infrastructure, by infrastructure I mean the hospital should be able to handle any emergency that may arise and also should have in-house or empaneled reputed blood-banks, laboratory etc.
3.       Budget, of course to choose a hospital that promises to be in your budget
4.       It is also important to check with your insurance company which hospitals and up to what limit is covered by the company.
5.       Low C-section rate or a higher vaginal birth rate : If you are keen on having a normal delivery then this may be a thing to check beforehand.
6.       Old hospital vs New hospital; old hospitals have all the infrastructure established and set. The staff is familiar with the system and accustomed to the operating procedures; also the staff may be lackadaisical. New hospitals have their own set of challenges, having said that, a new hospital would always try to deliver what they promise.

Questions you may look at asking your prospective hospital before finalizing it

1.       Whether the hospital offers special birthing/delivery packages? Two of the hospitals where we checked at had same package rate for C-section and normal deliveries, only one extra room night was added to the cost of C-section as one generally needs to stay one extra night in C-section deliveries.
2.       Are consumables included or excluded in the package?
3.       Are there any hidden charges; like for printing of reports, registration etc.? I was told that many hospitals have these charges.
4.       Do you allow the spouse or a family member to be present in delivery room?
5.       Who can stay with me in the hospital?
6.       What kind of post-natal assistance is given in the hospital?
7.       Does the hospital have lactation consultants?
8.       Does the hospital have a neonatologist (a pediatrician who specializes in new born care)
9.       How long will I have to stay, in both the cases (C-section/normal)?
10.   Would the siblings be allowed in the labor and delivery room?
11.    What is the nurse and patient ratio?


These are the things that I could think of! If there is anything that you feel is missing please comment and let me know.

Hope this is useful for “parents-to-be” who are stuck in deciding the hospital for delivery.

Want to know where I delivered? click here

Have you packed your hospital bag? Not yet, click here to know what to pack!


9th month, baby essentials, birthing centre, C-section, delivery, diapers, hospital bag, last trimester, maternity home, normal, nursing gown, pregnancy, pregnant, what to pack

Preparing for the “D- Delivery” Day- My Hospital Bag

The good news is that your baby is coming soon; and the sad news is that you are going to miss the baby bump forever… oops not if you get pregnant again; but just like no two babies are same, each pregnancy is different. My pregnancy has been a really beautiful phase of my life, and as the due date was nearing the anxiety was at its peak. How will I know if it (labour) has started; how does water breaking feel, will I be able to endure the pain and so many more questions kept lingering all through. Well whatever happens the best thing is to be prepared for all odds, just as they say “ hope for the best and prepare for the worst”.
One of the things towards the end of your pregnant journey is preparing your bag for the hospital (just in case you don’t plan a home birth). Most of the doctors/hospitals will provide you with a list, mine did not and hence I thought I should write about it to help other new to-be mommies.
In the list below have included and excluded things that I didn’t take or took but didn’t need.

For the Mom during labour and postpartum

1.    Tooth brush
2.    Shampoo/body wash (if the hospital doesn’t provide these)
3.    Socks
4.    Slippers
5.    Cream/lotion
6.    A good camera-phone
7.    Your phone/ipod with your playlist with calming songs/music and ear phones.
8.    A timer or you could use your smart phone for timing contractions
9.    Tummy belt or a cotton dupatta (to tie your tummy after a vaginal delivery)
10.   Night gowns (preferably a nursing night gown)

    11.   Nursing bra
    12.   Nursing wrap
    13.   One or two decent nursing dresses that you may want to wear post-delivery(when there are visitors)/while going back  home

14.   Enough panties/disposable panties,If the hospital doesn’t provide.(you may need more than you think, because in case of a vaginal birth there is copious blood flow, so chances of staining are high)
15. Mobile charger
16. Some candies to keep in mouth and avoid it from drying (As in labour women are mostly asked not to drink or eat anything)
17.  lip balm
18.  A message/card ready to be sent out once the baby is born


For Baby

1.       Receiving blanket
2.       Swaddling sheet
3.       Onesies
4.       Pyjamas
5.       T-shirts
6.       Nappies
7.       A pack of new born diapers/ cloth diapers
8.       Face cloth
9.       Wash cloth
10.     Caps
11.     Mittens
12.     Socks
13.     Baby wipes
14.     Traditional steel or silver sippy spoon(paladai)/bottle just in case baby doesn’t nurse initially.
15.     Macintosh sheets/ Quick dry sheets
 Hope this helps the expectant moms, and the experienced moms reading this, if you feel I have missed out something, do comment below and let me know!

Keep reading, keep inspiring!

Click here, to see the review of the hospital where I delivered.

baby, birthing centres, delivery, doctors, Gurgaon, hospital, mothers, new born baby, paediatricians, parents, pregnancy, W-Pratiksha

Why choosing W-Pratiksha was a good decision? Hospital Review



W Pratiksha
Picture source: internet


It’s one of the best hospitals that I have seen so far with extremely professional staff and breastfeeding friendly doctors, who will educate you as a new mom, eliminating fears and doubts regarding feeding and new born care.

I was sceptical when it came to choosing this hospital over many other super speciality hospitals in Gurgaon (Cradle, Fortis, cloud nine etc) as it was comparatively a new setup then (2016), however I went ahead with it and I’m happy that I chose it.

I also happened to attend the ‘one day prenatal workshop’ which was pretty informative.

Few most important highlights

  • The hospital is breastfeeding friendly; my baby was put on my chest few minutes after being born (he latched on like a pro https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v9/f4c/1/16/1f642.png🙂 )
  •   The neonatologist/ paediatricians/lactation consultant in the hospital kept reiterating the benefits of EBF (exclusive breast feeding) every time they came for visits
  •   We were informed of many myths and wrong practices related to new born baby care.

***Other Special highlights***

Planting a tree


  • The rooms are super cosy and comfortable with all amenities like that of a star category hotel.
  • The food too was good unlike many other hospitals
  • The hospital gave a cute birth certificate with our baby’s foot prints and other details. 
  •   A booklet with details of our baby and month wise baby care, milestone chart and growth chart was given on discharge.
  • The parents are made to plant a sapling in the name of their new born baby; pictures are clicked and sent to the parents.
  • Cake is cut by the new parents with their doctor.
  • The staff does not take any tip, not even when insisted upon. https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v9/f4c/1/16/1f642.png🙂
  •   Most importantly, the hospital bill is not too hard on your pocket/bank balance! All this priced pretty competitively with other good hospitals around.

Cake cutting at the hospital

My experience could have been bettered if they had the hospital well-staffed on Sunday(the day I got admitted); however all in all we left the hospital with our swaddled bundle of joys and a happy memory.

I would be soon writing a checklist for to-be parents on finalising a hospital for delivery.

Check here to know  what you need to pack for your delivery 🙂


Disclaimer: This is not a paid review.  I am in no way related to the management, nor am I employed with the hospital. It is solely based on my experience there in the year 2016. If you are looking for a hospital in Gurgaon for birthing I would certainly recommend W, however kindly do your checks and do not depend on this one review.


antenatal, exercises, health, motherhood, parenting, pregnancy, prenatal, yoga

Prenatal Exercises

Just when you come to know that you are expecting a tiny being your life changes. Everything you do is well thought out, everything that gets into your body too is well checked for its benefits. Well I am sure I am not the only one like that because google and many pregnancy/parenting apps had just like me, more crazier mothers to be.

 I started with prenatal yoga when I was 14weeks pregnant. These are the basic exercises for moms to be that they could keep doing till the day of their delivery. 
The super 5 exercises which were my go to exercises that I stuck to throughout my pregnancy are given below. These are the exercises I would recommend to all. However it is advised to always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any of it. 
1. Cat and camel stretch- this is the most natural pose for all animals ( on all fours) being in this position helps strengthen the core abdominal muscles. You need to get on all fours, in a way that your hands get straight under your shoulders and the knees straight under your hips. Now you need to bring your neck down, stretch your back up arching, with chin touching your chest. hold it there for 10 seconds and get back to your normal position.

Image source:  www.eldoradohillswellnesschiropractor.com

2. Kegel- kegel strengthens the perineal muscles during pregnancy and can also help you develop the ability to control these muscles while one is in labor and while delivering. Kegel is probably the simplest and easiest of exercises to perform with whole lot of benefits especially during pregnancy and post pregnancy. You just need to contract your pelvic muscles (just like we do while holding our pee), hold for few seconds and relax; again after 5-10 seconds repeat the process.
3. Pelvic tilts- this is another simple exercise that can be performed anywhere (kitchen, toilet, office). This helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles and reducing the back pain. 10-20 tilts a couple of times a day are recommended. The pelvic tilts can be done forward/backwards & sideways; during pregnancy forward/backward tilts are considered most useful. You need to stand straight with your feet shoulder distance apart. Put your hand on your lower waist; push your tummy towards the back in a way that only your hips(pelvic area) moves while the entire body remains still.
4. Squats- It is advised to initially start with half squats and then moving to full squats later, there are many variations in squats, I however stuck to standard squats during my pregnancy. Squatting helps in opening up the pelvic opening and is extremely helpful for a smoother delivery.
Stand straight with your feet a bit more than shoulder length apart with your toes pointing outwards to get better balance. Put your hands on your thighs and lower your back in a squatting position. Ensure that your knees are not protruding outwards.

Half Squat
Image Source: internet
5. Walking- i started with walking for 20 minutes and increased gradually by my last trimester i was walking at least for an hour a day.  
Other exercises that could be included are-
1. Butterfly pose:- strengthens the thigh and groin muscles and helps in a smooth delivery when practised regularly during pregnancy.
2. Pranayam:- these breathing exercises help in relieving stress; improve blood circulation and increase oxygen level in our body. Certain breathing exercises where one is required to hold the breath for long should be avoided.
3.Swimming (although I didn’t do it):- Swimming has not one but many benefits during pregnancy; I couldn’t swim because of harsh North-Indian winter and inaccessibility to a good swimming pool close by.

My prenatal yoga journey began with Rolly’s Yoga Art in Mumbai; Rolly is a great instructor and a true guide, especially for the first time moms who need a lot of hand holding, from diet-plan, menu-plan to hospital bag, from nausea to nursing she has answers to all your questions.

Click here to go to her Facebook page: Rolly’s yoga art

My other friend in this yoga journey was Lara Dutta; yes, I ardently followed her YouTube video when I had to move to Gurgaon and did not have Rolly’s classes to go to.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me doing the exercise with my full term baby bump.

Thank you for reading; for other pregnancy and parenting related stuff from me do check out other posts on my blog.

Check here to know  what you need to pack for your delivery 🙂