Author Durga Shakti Nagpal’s memoir on perfect pregnancy

Author Durga Shakti Nagpal, bureaucrat and mother of two, explains her journey to motherhood in her new book‘Grow Your Baby Not Your Weight’

Is it possible to have a ‘perfect’ pregnancy? Why not? Asks Durga Shakti Nagpal. In her memoir, Grow Your Baby Not Your Weight (Rupa), the bureaucrat and a mother of two explains how to ease one’s journey to motherhood. “A woman’s body is perfectly designed to bear a child and bring them into this world. So, the pregnancy can also be perfect, without complications. You just need to be on the right track,” declares Durga Shakti, emphasising the need to eat right and stay physically active.

Her debut book, which has been endorsed by celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and Hema Malini, covers not just the first three trimesters but also birth, breast feeding, and post-partum blues. It addresses pregnancy-related myths and beliefs, as well as the role of an older child and the family’s active involvement during and after pregnancy.

Author Durga Shakti Nagpal | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“The journey begins with jubilation, nausea and fatigue in the first trimester. The book reminds aspiring mothers to treat it as something natural and not a medical condition. In Asian societies, especially in joint family set-ups, pregnant women are pampered with high calorie food and are not allowed to do any physical activity. This leads to unnecessary weight gain. A sedentary lifestyle has shot up the numbers in C-section deliveries,” says Durga Shakti.

Minimal weight gain, maximum nutrition

The book explains how it is possible to be pregnant with minimal weight gain while maximising the nutrition. “Every chapter is accompanied by medical advice by a gynecologist,” says the author, adding “One is often told to eat double. In my experience, I learnt that to give proper nutrition to the child, it meant eat well and not eat extra.”

Stating that she touches upon balancing a career and motherhood, based on her experiences as an IAS officer, Durga Shakti also explains what she ate, her fitness routine, and posture correction exercises.

One of the chapters titled ‘Ma ke nuskhe’ offers traditional recipes handed down by her mother and grandmother. “I used home-made shea butter moisturiser to keep my skin supple and followed simple exercises for flexibility. One cannot compromise on self care,” says Durga Shakti, adding, “I also practised pre-natal yoga (done under the supervision of a yoga teacher), meditation, and pranayama… The journey has enabled me to stay strong, physically and emotionally. I hope the book helps women to have a joyful pregnancy.”

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