10 Reasons to Practice Yoga During Pregnancy


10 Reasons to Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, any physical exertion seems like a scary thing to do. Research has shown that 30-minutes of physical exercise a day can have several benefits for both the mother and the baby. An agility building, relaxation-oriented yoga routine can help prepare your body for labour and improve your overall well-being. After all, Happy Mothers make Happy Babies.

If you still feel on the fence about practising yoga during pregnancy. Here are 10 Physical Benefits of Yoga to help you make up your mind.

  1. Yoga helps with nervous system regulation and physiological system functioning(i.e., immune, endocrine, neurotransmitter, and cardiovascular).
  2. It is known to improve psychological well-being (e.g., frequency of positive mood states and optimism) and physical fitness (e.g., strength, flexibility, and endurance).
  3. Studies show that practising yoga promotes harmony between the mother and foetus.  
  4. It helps regulate heart rate and reduce inflammatory markers.
  5. Physical exercise of any kind improves prenatal and post-partum health variables.
  6. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for expectant mothers and yoga is excellent for stress management. It is known to reduce the production of the stress hormone- Cortisol. Stress can have adverse effects on foetal Development during critical periods, resulting in poor outcomes regarding the length of gestation, foetal growth, birth weight, foetal development, and the foetal nervous system.
  7. Breathing exercises or deep relaxation positively affect both foetal heart rate and foetal movement. 
  8. Lack of physical exercise can cause oedema, gestational hypertension, diabetes, mood instability, musculoskeletal discomfort, aches, and weight gain.
  9. Yoga calms the mind and body, providing the physical and emotional relief which your body needs throughout pregnancy. A lot of women also practice prenatal yoga for normal birthing.
  10. Yoga not only prepares your body for birth but also promotes self-confidence, self-efficacy, and coping ability; aspects that are important for a positive birthing experience.

To reap the maximum benefits of prenatal yoga, make sure to join a comprehensive yoga program. Fernandez Hospital’s online prenatal yoga classes have been uniquely designed to help you throughout your pregnancy. Our main goal is to help you stay fit and prepare you for labour, expert style. To register for our online yoga classes, please call: +91 8008570465


Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2012, 715942. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/715942

Physical and Psychological Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy

Physical and Psychological Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy

Physical exercise during pregnancy can be daunting. However, research has proved that 30-minutes of exercise a day has numerous benefits for both mother and baby. Not only does it prepare your body for the baby to come but also furthers overall well-being. Happy mothers make happy babies.

When it comes to being physically active in your prenatal routine, it is important to take extra care to accommodate the needs of the baby growing inside you. Yoga has been proven to be beneficial for pregnant women. The only adverse health outcome that has been reported is uterine contractions, which can be monitored with a modified approach and appropriate activity reduction. A golden rule to keep in mind is to always listen to your body and stop immediately if you are experiencing any type of discomfort. All postures should be regularly adjusted as per the size of your baby bump. Avoid yoga that emphasize on physically demanding, strength bases or heated practices for the safety of both mother and foetus. The benefits of yoga during pregnancy far outweigh the risks and with the right consultation, you can design a routine for yourself that suits your pregnant body and your baby’s needs.

Some Benefits of Yoga

  • Improved foetal and maternal harmony: Yoga reduces inflammatory markers, decreases heart rate, improves prenatal and post-partum fitness variables.
  • Helps manage stress and reduce levels of the hormone cortisol and other associated symptoms that accompany pregnancy, such as oedema, gestational hypertension or diabetes, mood instability, musculoskeletal discomfort, aches, and weight gain.
  • Breathing exercises or deep relaxation techniques which improve both foetal heart rate and foetal movement.
  • Yoga helps calm the mind and body.
  • Mediation and self-soothing techniques help manage various physical, emotional, mental, and pain states that arise through the stages of pregnancy and labour.
  • Improved psychological functioning results in better interpersonal relationships.

Considering these physical and psycho-emotional aspects of pregnancy Yoga not only prepares your body for birth but also promotes self-confidence, self-efficacy, and coping ability; aspects that are important for a positive labour experience.
To reap the maximum benefits of prenatal yoga, make sure to join a comprehensive yoga program. Fernandez Hospital’s online prenatal yoga classes help you build both physical and emotional strength and benefit through pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes. To register for our online yoga classes, please call: +91 8008570465


Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM2012, 715942. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/715942



Acne During Pregnancy – Causes and Ways to Treat It



Acne during pregnancy is quite common and nothing to worry about.  Though it is not a special form of acne, some pregnant women do have trouble with it. Usually, it occurs during the first trimester and disappears within the third trimester. If you do not have acne during the first trimester, the chance of its occurrence during the second and third trimester is low.

more “Acne During Pregnancy – Causes and Ways to Treat It”

Yeast Infection (vaginal thrush) During Pregnancy

What is a yeast infection?


Vulvovaginal candidiasis, often referred to as yeast infection, is a common gynaecologic ailment, affecting 75% of women at least once in their lifetime. More than 40% will have 2 or more episodes and infection occurs more frequently in pregnant women. Yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. This is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms. more “Yeast Infection (vaginal thrush) During Pregnancy”

Skincare Tips in Pregnancy During Monsoon

Pregnancy is a phase in a woman’s life where you have to take extra care of yourself. Your body constantly undergoes a variety of changes. If you are pregnant during the summer season, it becomes very uncomfortable to pass the days due to excessive heat, sweating etc. But monsoon also doesn’t bring much relief as the level of humidity increases.


At times, monsoon and pregnancy don’t go well together as the body’s immune system becomes more susceptible to infections. This may result in dysentery, indigestion, cold and cough, and many skin related problems. Dry skin, rashes, eczema, pimples, prickly heat boils are some of the common skin problems that arise in pregnant women during the monsoon. So, it becomes very necessary to keep yourself fit and healthy and take care of your skin to beat the odds of monsoon.

Skincare Tips for the Monsoon

A little change in the way of skincare can do wonders during the monsoon season. Here are some pointers :

  • Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to make your skin flawless and healthy. Drinking enough water helps in flushing out the unwanted toxins.
  • Pregnancy hormones make your skin more sensitive to sunlight darkening your skin. Stay indoors as much as possible and if you have to go out wear a hat, use an umbrella or cover exposed areas with a light scarf.
  • As it is not possible to avoid sunlight totally, dermatologists suggest applying sunscreen lotion at least 30 minutes prior to going out.
  • Taking a Neem water bath daily helps in fighting bacteria and other germs making your skin free of rashes. Neem water can be prepared easily at home by boiling Neem leaves for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton which absorb sweat and keep your skin dry.
  • During monsoon, soil and sewage make the rain water dirty, it may cause skin infections if your feet get exposed to such water. Wash your hands and feet immediately with mild disinfectant soap and warm water after coming from outside.


Avoid using skincare products containing harmful chemicals:


During pregnancy, read the skin care product labels carefully regarding the ingredients as using products containing chemicals may be harmful to you and your baby in the womb.

  • Hydroquinone: Commonly present in skin whitening cream, hydroquinone is not good at all for you and your developing baby. Using such products may have different types of ill effects.
  • Salicylic Acid: Present mostly in acne products, salicylic acid is dangerous for pregnant women as it may lead to preterm birth, low birth weight or malformation of the baby.
  • Spray or fragrances: Using spray on tanned areas or fragrances during pregnancy is not a good idea. Though it may not do much harm to the skin as it will not be absorbed much but inhalation of the chemicals in the spray may cause DNA mutations.
  • Hair Removers: As hair removers contain different type of chemicals, avoid using them as much as possible.
  • Bath Products: Most of the luxurious bath products contain chemicals which are not good at all for pregnant women. These chemicals may cause different types of allergic reactions. Rather opt for non-luxurious bath products free from chemicals.

A little skin care during the monsoon can make your pregnancy peaceful by avoiding any kind of skin problems. But if you face severe skin problems it would be better to consult an expert dermatologist.
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How To Safeguard From Summer Heat During Pregnancy

Summer which is both hated and loved has arrived. With temperatures soaring and hot winds blowing, it becomes very difficult to cope during summers now-a-days. The best way to enjoy the flavours of summer is by being prepared to beat the heat.


This is the time of the year you can nourish your body and mind with delicious seasonal fruits like mangoes, watermelons, pineapples etc. which are loaded with variety of nutrients. These fruits not only make you healthy and feel refreshed but also help in making your skin glow and hair shine.

However, getting the best of out of summer depends on how you beat the heat and enjoy the offerings of the season. Here are some tips to stay cool and healthy during summer.


  • One of the most important things during summer is staying hydrated. So, drink lots of fluids like water, fruit and vegetable juices etc. It will help you to retain the fluids lost while sweating. Carry a water bottle along with you whenever you step out of your house.
  • Using an umbrella, hat and sunglasses will help you avoid direct contact with sunrays and keep you comfortable.
  • Have a proper breakfast during summer as it prevents dizziness and low blood pressure. Have small but frequent meals during the hot days as it will keep you healthy.
  • Stay away from heavy foods and focus on light and refreshing food options. Light meals are easy to digest making you feel comfortable during the summer season.


  • To stay cool and comfortable, wear loose fitting cotton clothes and flip flops.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeine etc. during summer as they may speed up the loss of fluids.
  • Avoid staying in closed, parked cars during summer which may lead to suffocation etc.
  • Whenever you go out use sunscreen lotion adequately to prevent tan and rashes.
  • Have lot of seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables to keep you fit and healthy.

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Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy brings different types of discomforts and health issues. Sleeplessness, snoring, nausea, morning sickness, leg cramps, heartburn etc. are some common problems that afflict almost all pregnant women. Due to lack of sleep, most expectant mothers suffer from fatigue, feeling low etc. As pregnancy progresses, women find it difficult to sleep due to uncomfortable sleeping positions. Each trimester brings different types of sleep problems.


Some factors that can cause sleep problems during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Physical discomforts
  • Frequent urination
  • Heartburn
  • Leg cramps


Proper sleep is very essential for expectant mothers to pass the day feeling fresh and full of energy. In case, the sleep problems are severe, it would be best to consult your obstetrician.

Follow these tips for proper sleep at night.

  • Minimize fluid intake before bedtime: It is very essential for a pregnant woman to remain hydrated. So, drink plenty of water during the day and cut down your fluid intake before going to bed. This will minimize frequent urinations during the night.
  • Exercise regularly: To improve circulation of blood, it is very essential to keep moving. You can do pregnancy exercises, as well. Proper circulation of blood will reduce leg cramps letting you sleep well at night. Exercising regularly also helps in improving mental health.
  • Drink warm milk: Drinking a glass of milk before going to bed provides good sleep.
  • Have nutritious food: Foods rich in carbohydrates like crackers, bread etc. help in promoting sleep. Eat a healthy and well balanced diet throughout your pregnancy.
  • Avoid heavy meal: Before going to bed, avoid having a heavy meal. During the day, have small meals but frequently.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks: During pregnancy, it would be best to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol etc. Besides ensuring better sleep it will also be good for your baby’s health.
  • Take a warm bath: Before going to bed, have a warm bath. It will help you feel refreshed and sleep properly.
  • Relaxation techniques: Use relaxation techniques at home or join yoga or birthing classes to learn other relaxation techniques to improve your sleep.
  • Follow a routine: Adopt a routine like having a glass of milk or caffeine free tea before going to bed. Fix a time for going to bed and waking up in the morning; it will help you to have a good sleep.
  • Use pillows: You can use pregnancy pillows while sleeping.
  • Sleep in comfortable positions: Try to sleep comfortably and after the 20th week of pregnancy, sleep on the left side to ensure proper circulation of blood.


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Anaemia During Pregnancy

Anaemia (Greek: an=without and haem=blood) is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of the body. Anaemia may be due to i) blood loss, ii) decreased red cell production or iii) increased red cell destruction.

The diagnosis of anaemia is based on the haemoglobin concentration in the blood. Haemoglobin is the protein in the red cells that carries oxygen to the tissues. Iron is required for the synthesis of haemoglobin. In addition, vitamin B12 and folic acid are also needed for the production of red cells. A lack of any of these can lead to anaemia, the most common being iron-deficiency anaemia. Requirements for iron in pregnancy are three times higher than in non-pregnant women and the requirement increases as pregnancy advances. Worldwide, one third of pregnant women are anaemic.


Certain conditions put the mother at greater risk of anaemia:

  • Pre-pregnancy anaemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Inadequate spacing between pregnancies
  • Pregnancy with twins or triplets
  • Inadequate iron supplementation


Symptoms of anaemia

The most common symptoms of anaemia are:

  • Weakness and easy fatigability
  • Awareness of heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale lips and skin

Some of them overlap with general pregnancy symptoms. However, regardless of symptoms, all pregnant women should be screened for anaemia. If anaemia becomes severe, it might be harmful to the mother as well as the baby. Poor work capacity, susceptibility to infection, heart failure, premature and low birth weight babies, excessive bleeding after delivery are some of the complications associated with anaemia in pregnancy.

Prevention and treatment of anaemia

  • Ensuring normal haemoglobin level before conception
  • Iron-rich foods: dark green leafy vegetables, red meat, eggs, peanuts, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified foods, dried fruits such as apricots and raisins
  • Pairing iron-rich food or iron tablets with a food or drink high in vitamin C (lemon juice, citrus fruits or strawberries) can enhance the absorption of iron
  • Calcium, on the other hand, decreases iron absorption and should not be taken in combination with iron-rich food or tablets
  • Folic acid and vitamin B12 should also be supplemented if found deficient
  • Women who are intolerant to oral iron tablets may be advised iron injections
  • Women suffering from severe anaemia may need blood transfusion



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Original Story – “Kangaroo Care Helps Preemies And Full Term Babies, Too”

Salma Shabaik holds her newborn son, Ali. When he was born, she held him naken against her bare skin, a practice called kangaroo care. Ali is wearing an ear cap to correct a lop ear.

When Ali Andrew Li was born on Jan. 7, he was gently placed on his mother’s chest, where doctors cleaned and examined him and covered him with a warm blanket. “I just loved it,” his mother, Salma Shabaik, a family physician who lives in Los Angeles, says. “It was really nice to have the baby right there beneath my eyes where I could feel him, touch him, kiss him.”

Read this story at : http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/23/510465435/kangaroo-care-helps-preemies-and-full-term-babies-too


Fernandez Hospital totally endorses the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) concept for premature and low birthweight newborn babies. The benefits are undeniable for both baby and Mother. The natural skin to skin contact is conducive to immediate breastfeeding and weight gain. We also encourage the Father or another caregiver to do skin to skin contact with the baby inside the NICU and get involved in this low-cost yet effective procedure to improve the baby’s overall health. Fernandez initiated KMC way back in 2004. Our full-fledged KMC Ward has well-trained staff and lactation counselors and is supported by a human milk bank.

Human Rights in Childbirth – A Global Movement A word from Dr. Evita Fernandez


why-human-rights-in-childbirth-matter-cover-pageOver the past seven years, my views on childbirth practices have taken a 180 degree turn. Today, I am convinced we obstetricians in India need to UNLEARN a lot of what we have been taught, and we need to LISTEN more to the women we are privileged to serve.

I realized, to my horror and shame, that we have indeed been violating a woman’s human right with regard to childbirth. Every time we fail to share/offer honest evidence based information, fail to give her the freedom to make a choice, prevent her from having a birth companion, refuse to let her birth in the position she finds most comfortable, we are violating her rights.

With a birth rate of 22 million a year, India has an overwhelming volume of laboring mothers, in overcrowded, poorly staffed hospitals. With institutional deliveries being made mandatory, the majority of our women are subjected to “obstetric violence,” which translates into physical and verbal abuse by healthcare workers, who are ignorant and insensitive to woman-centered care. I admit to being that myself (ignorant and insensitive) particularly in my early years of training and as a young obstetrician. Compounding all of this is the utter lack of privacy, loss of dignity and respect. Our women, especially the voiceless poor, birth in appalling environments.

Human rights in childbirth has today become a global movement which is gaining strength, and rightly so. Women, doctors, lawyers, midwives and activists are coming together to offer solutions to help protect the basic human rights of birthing women. We in India need to wake up. All levels of health care workers involved in maternity services, need to wake up. We need to reflect, rethink, and change our attitude and understanding of childbirth practices.

Rebecca Schiller in her well researched and well written book “Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter” says “Looking at how a society approaches childbirth, how it constructs a system around it, the rituals, the rites and the way it treats the key protagonist – the birthing woman – is akin to taking the temperature of that society. Nothing says more about the communities we live in than how they treat their most vulnerable at this extraordinary time.” – Rebecca Schiller, Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter (Pinter & Martin Why It Matters 9)

India is hosting the International Human Rights in Childbirth Conference in February (2 – 5th) in Mumbai. I hope, it will help bring about the much needed change in attitude, practices, and more importantly, help build a network of support for women birthing in our country.

For more details about the Conference, please visit : http://www.humanrightsinchildbirth.org/event/india-2017/