holiPregnancy is an exciting time, in anticipation of new beginnings. With Holi round the corner on Monday, doctors recommend some basic care so as not to let pregnancy mar the festive spirit. For instance, did you know that 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 affect the foetus in a pregnant woman,’ says Anuradha Kapur, gynaecologist at Delhi’s Max Hospital, told.

If you wish to participate in the festival of colours to it with utmost caution. 

If you are in your first trimester: Your bump would not be showing, you can use this occasion to announce your pregnancy. If you still want to wait for a while then go slow with the celebrations. The food, the colour anything can trigger nausea or morning sickness and spill the beans for you. Also exerting self too much can make you more fatigued and exhausted. If you are still tempted to play arrange for a small get together with close family and friends and take leave it the celebrations get tedious on you. 

If you are in your second trimester: The world now knows that you are pregnant, they would go easy with you but you too do the same. Meet friends, family and refrain for doing anything strenuous. Don’t try to shake a leg or reach out for bhang to mark the occasion. Instead keep it clean playing with natural colours and get back home after a while. 

If you are in your third trimester: If you have problems moving around or are close to your due date it’s best to be off colours and heavy celebrations. If you still want to be a part of all the colour drama, sit far from the celebrations and rejoice. Its okay to play with colours but don’t indulge in too much colour play, as with a low immunity during pregnancy you don;t want to invite allergic reactions and other irritations at this crucial time. Here are 10 things you should avoid during pregnancy.

How to choose the right colour: 

Keep in mind the following tips before your pick up colours:

Go for homemade ones when it comes to choosing colours. The ones made up of dried flower petals or other kitchen ingredients. I this way you will know what is there in the ingredient list. According to doctors, home-made colours can be made by using turmeric, roli (sindoor), boiled beetroot and onions. Tradition, if it must be followed, can be respected by placing a sandalwood or saffron tika on the baby’s forehead. Doctors suggest playing with colours made at home to avoid harm. They say even new mums who are still breastfeeding their children should also note the warning. ‘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. Some colours are even carcinogenic. So lactating mothers should practise the same caution as pregnant women,’ Kapur said.

If you are picking up herbal colours make sure to read the labels.‘For example, natural henna is considered safe, but black henna with paraphenylendiamine (PPD) may cause allergic reactions. Colours containing either of these forms of henna will probably be labelled as natural. So pregnant women should only use homemade Holi colours,’ she added. Consultant gynaecologist at Gurgaon’s Columbia Asia Hospital Chetna Jain agreed, saying that while the term ‘natural’ may be used loosely, there are doubts over the regulation of the colours.

‘The quality control may not be good and there is a huge possibility of contamination of colours which are labelled herbal and considered safe. And these can be harmful to the foetus as they can be inadvertently swallowed or get absorbed from the skin,’ Jain told . Pregnant women have reduced immunity levels and are, therefore, more susceptible to illnesses and infections, and their skin is more sensitive as well. Therefore, reaction to colours that one may have played with before is not uncommon.

Beware of what you eat too:

‘Be careful about what you eat. It is essential that you avoid heavy or exceptionally oily food that can cause indigestion or heartburn. Avoid drinks and stay hydrated,’ gynaecologist Anjali Kumar of Paras Hospital recommended. One should also keep a count of caffeine intake which is present in tea and coffee and even chocolates. Jain also 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. Applying moisturiser on the skin and oil on the hair will help washing off colours with greater ease.

Other social elements to avoid:

‘Mischief-mongers hurling water balloons during Holi is common and to avoid getting hurt, pregnant women must carry an umbrella while stepping out,’ Kapur said. Washing oneself properly is especially important for lactating mothers who otherwise risk their baby ingesting colours. ‘With a little caution, Holi can be enjoyed by all, including mothers-to-be and new mothers. Just don’t over-exert yourself,’ Kapur advised.

With inputs from IANS

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