By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 20 Feb: Pregnancy is an exciting time, in anticipation of new beginnings. With Holi on Monday, doctors recommend some basic care so as not to let pregnancy mar the festive spirit. For instance, some colours, despite being branded ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, can still be harmful. ‘Some colours termed natural are made from fruits and flowers, but their powder base could have harmful chemicals such as lead and mercury which can get absorbed and cause pregnancy complications like premature birth or even a miscarriage. These colours can also adversely affect the nervous and reproductive system of expecting women, according to Dr Sujata Sanjay, gynaecologist at Sanjay Maternity Centre, Jakhan.
“Younger babies less than six month of the age are strongly suggested to stay away from the colours. It’s best not to put any colours on babies younger than six months because of their delicate skin. A red sandalwood tikka would be enough to symbolically celebrate the festival.”
Apply a thin coat of oil, this ensures that the colours do not get absorbed by the skin. Also, it will not stain the skin as much, and come off easily. Wear fully covered clothes, so that exposure to colours is reduced. For stubborn skin stains, consider using gram flour (besan) as a scrub.
The main cause of being extra cautious during pregnancy is weak immunity coupled with more skin sensitivity. During pregnancy, the entire system of the body gets affected severely and as the baby lies is in the womb, so taking the precautions lightly can prove to be dangerous. To avoid harm, doctors recommend playing with colours made at home. The caution also applies to new moms who are still breastfeeding their children. “Chemical colours are made of synthetic, industrial dyes or oxidised metals which can be dangerous and have harmful health effects on the baby through breast milk,” Dr Sujata asserts.
“Too much sweets and fried food can harm you and your little one or you might get indigestion, heartburn or acidity. Keep check on your sweet intake, especially if you have gestational diabetes. Try not to deviate from your regular healthy diet routine. Instead, eat less but more often. Avoid drinks and stay hydrated. Lactating mothers should take the same precautionary measures as pregnant women,” adds Dr Sujata.
It is recommended wearing well-fitting clothes, anti-skid shoes and goggles, as well as the support of an adult or even a wall, since playing with water can increase one’s chances of slipping and falling. In the initial days of pregnancy, with the tummy not showing, one needs to be extra cautious. Avoid going to areas where one can get hit by water balloons. A lactating mother should wash herself well after playing. Otherwise, the baby could ingest colors while breastfeeding.
Moreover, pregnant women should also steer clear of Bhang as it is an intoxicant. “Consumption of bhang can result in high blood pressure and an increased heartbeat rate. This drink can harm not only the nervous system and the brain, but also the foetus,” warns Dr Sujata. In Holika Dahan celebration, keep a safe distance from the bonfire. Make sure it is lit in a properly ventilated area.
Consult the doctor beforehand for what all medicines can be taken in case of emergency like skin rash, eye irritation, colour ingestion. Do not take over the counter medicines. Consult the doctor or nearby hospital in case of emergency.”With a little caution, Holi can be enjoyed by all, including mothers-to-be and new mothers. Just don’t over-exert yourself,” Dr Sujata advises.