Cherishing motherhood with Maternity Wear

Kareena Kapoor Khan has set new standards for maternity by openly embracing her pregnancy, doing photo-shoots, ramp-walks and public appearances. She was looking gorgeous as well as heavily pregnant while continuing her usual work routine.

Maternity wear is still new term for many people in India. When a women is pregnant she is supposed to wear extra-large clothes, which may have drooping shoulders, or misfit in other form, just because her normal size is no longer an option. There is no need to wear lose clothes to conceal your baby bump, however in tier II and tier III cities, it is still unconventional for women to openly show her pregnancy state. For those women who want to break society norms and still appear sweet and sober, new options in ethnic collection have emerged.

Maternity Photo-shoots,usually done in eighth month of pregnancy, are phenomenal in making statement that modern women are proud to flaunt their pregnancy state. Working women can be seen in office just days before their due date, wearing conservative and formal clothes. In corporate sector, women are shown respect and care in their delicate condition, this approach has boosted confidence in many.

Maternity wear clothes have been in Indian market for many years, but now they are gaining awareness with concept like maternity photo-shoot blooming. Working women in metro cities are specially open to the concept and are indulging in Maternity wear clothes for daily as well as special occasion. These clothes are specially stitched such that they do not look extra large for your size and can be worn till the arrival of big day.

E-commerce sites for maternity wear

Various e-commerce sites such as Jabong, Limeroad, Firstcry,  HnM India, Ajio, have a range of clothes for pregnant women. Customers can purchase online with lot of options, from tops, tunics, dresses, lingerie, ethnic suits  to trousers, jeans, sweatpants, tights and leggings  in bottom wear. Some exclusive ranges: HnM India has some woolen collections available while maternity footwear are available on Firstcry.com, which include sandals, ballerinas and flip-flops. Nursing tops is another range which can be browsed, sometimes nursing tops and maternity tops are same.

While there are options available online, there are very limited options in brick and mortar shops. Some boutiques have started displaying maternity wear suits which are in order-to-stitch state or semi-stitches condition, so that they are of individual’s fitting. But these kind of options are again limited. Superstores like Shoppers stop, HnM India have started separate section named Maternity Wear in some locations.

For Nursing  Mothers

These days, nursing friendly clothes such as tops, dresses are available which are comfortable, trendy as well as useful. Often, when you are travelling or visiting someone, you need to breastfeed your baby. These types of tops combined with nursing stole provide escape even in emergency/awkward situations.

If you are a first time mother, consider including above options in your wardrobe to appear stylish and comfy at same time. With time India is progressing, people’s mindset is gradually becoming liberal and new alternatives are emerging which will aid in new mothers immensely.

New Baby preparation tips for Indian Mindset

Being a to-be-parent is a wonderful feeling for most of us. First time parents are often excited about every small detail and readily subscribe to weekly mails for week by week Pregnancy Updates(like http://www.babycenter.com).  These weekly mails provide huge support in educating women about bodily changes, necessary precautions, and help in preparing for little one’s arrival with useful tips.

When I was pregnant for first time, I relied on these weekly mails for my education, since experience of our mothers have become ancient and many preparations done in their time have become redundant.

In India, it is bad omen to buy things before baby is born. So most of the parents face dilemma in end time how to select goods and purchase efficiently. There are lot of tips and sometimes it can be over-whelming. But no need to panic. As you continue your pregnancy, keep on talking with others regarding their experience, observe new mothers and just relax. You will do fine.

In today’s age of internet, there are many options available to help you get ready for the big day. Some of the to-dos are:

  1. Do Window shopping in top-end baby stores to know what products are available in market. You can then make note of things which strike useful and later search on internet for possible variations.
  2. Since would-be-mother will be busy in hospital, responsibility lies on father, or near relatives to buy  baby essentials. To ensure that mother’s choice is included, make list of things required early. You can even be as specific as which product of which brand to purchase. This would save time and dilemma of shopper.
  3. Talk with lot of new mothers (who became mothers within 1-2 years) regrading what they chose. I talked with some whose children are now 3-4 years old, believe me even their knowledge can be outdated. Since, there is rapid expansion of products in market, thing which exist today and readily available, may not have been 2-3 years back.
  4. Front opening clothes for baby: Body suits are available for new-born which are easy to wear and change diapers. They have buttons from chest to legs bottom, so open garment, put your baby on top of it and simply close the buttons. In case of diaper change no need to change baby clothes also, simply opening leg buttons will expose private area.
  5. Diapers vs clothes nappies: It is individual’s choice but nowadays, quality of diapers has improved. Baby skin is delicate in starting, but even then good brand diapers are effective and soft. Wipe you baby’s skin with distilled water and cotton for initial 30 days instead of using baby wipes. Clean skin folds thoroughly and pat dry before covering baby’s genitals. This will ensure optimal protection in case of both cloth nappies and diapers.
  6. Quick dry sheets, changing mats have replaced specially made baby bedding. The purpose of these bedding’s to avoid bed wetting. Now,  no need to worry as quick-dry sheets absorb water, are easy to wash and dry. Always stock 2-3 sheets, as baby may wet them quickly.
  7. Baby skin friendly detergents are available in market which are gentle for your little one’s clothes, in turn gentle for baby skin.
  8. Nursing pillow, nursing stole, nursing tops are some of the new options which make breast feeding easier.
  9. Stem-cell banking: Talk with your doctor about stem-cell banking in advance. You may wish to secure your baby against some diseases in future. It is still relatively new concept, but in recent 2 years, awareness has increased and lot of parents are opting this benefit.
  10. Prepare Hospital Bag by 36 weeks:  In end of pregnancy days, you may never know when emergency hospital visit is needed and you get blessed with your new born. Pack essentials like 3-4 diapers, baby wipes, 2-3 baby clothes set for starting. If you have easy access to hospital from home, then other essential things can be brought later on also.
  11.  Always keeps a change of adult clothes while travelling. Babies are unpredictable, you may get baby poop or baby milk on your clothes and need change. This tip applies for fathers also, who want to be active in baby care.

Booking Doctor appointment online is easy

I remember, there used to be times, when we needed to talk with doctor, then book appointment.  Earlier, we had to stand in long queues on government hospital(like AIIMS) since early morning for registration. But in today’s time , various websites and apps have been developed which can book Doctor’s appointment online. Now, whenever my mother-in-law visit AIIMS, she goes at her allocated reporting time only.

Government of India is working towards Digital India with lots of effort and positive results towards online patient profile management and appointment booking. With ORS (Online Registration Portal), a Digital India Initiative, 58 government hospitals across country have been linked currently. AIIMS, Delhi has also launched its separate mobile app,  AIIMS@Delhi . I have not tried other hospitals but in AIIMS Delhi, only one appointment can be booked at a time. In my case, we required two appointments in two separate departments(one in Cardiology and one in Pulmonary). We had to wait for one appointment’s day to arrive, then only were able to book appointment in other department. But, this feature helps us in ensuring that people do not misuse appointment booking app by booking multiple appointments and not being sure when they will actually go and see doctor.

Below are the  easy steps to follow to get an appointment on the ORS website or on the App:

  1. Verify yourself using Aadhaar Number
  2. Choose Hospital / Department
  3. Select date of appointment
  4. Get confirmation sms

For appointment in Private and Semi-private hospitals

Majority of middle class families go to private and semi-private hospitals for treatment as there is less waiting time and affordable treatment(thanks to medical insurance). In this area also, patients need no worry! Various companies have come forward and developed platform joining doctors and patients and guarantee more transparency through reviews.

Some of the platforms available are as below:

Practo: established in 2009 and working connecting patients with  doctors in clinic and hospitals. We can search for particular specialist in our specified region and view doctor’s consultation charges, education, clinic opening times as well as book appointment online. Once appointment is confirmed, a message is sent by the website ans well as reminder message is sent on the day of appointment. I once used this website, there was change in appointment time due to doctor unavailability and i was given due information via e-mail as well as given another appointment.

kare4u: Operating in Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Cuttack, Chennai, Visakhapatanam, Kurnool, Bhimavaram and Gobardanga.

BookDrAppointment: Operating in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Chennai, Ahemdabad, Hyderabad, Noida, Guwhati, Visakhapatanam, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Patna and many more cities.

Visitdr, BookMyDoctor: These websites shows a list of hospitals tied-ups in a particular city. Then patients can choose Hospital and doctor from list.

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Crowdfunding: Benefits and Opportunities in India

What is crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the latest trend to raise money for different causes in India. People are moving to crowdfunding for various reasons: raising money by sportsperson, artists, medical treatment,  new movie producers, even by early stage startups(less than 2 year old) to raise funding.

According to the SEBI Consultation Paper 2014, Crowdfunding in India can be defined as[1]

“Crowdfunding is solicitation of funds (small amount) from multiple investors through a web-based platform or social networking site for a specific project, business venture or social cause.”

Is it legal in India

There are four broad categories of crowd funding: Donor based, Reward based, equity based and Debt based crowd-funding. According to SEBI, Equity Crowdfunding, specifically digital equity crowdfunding platforms, is illegal. Reward-based crowdfunding and donor-based crowdfunding is not.

Rules and regulations

Your campaign idea should be original and well structured.You need to define your project/product in details like planning, budget, estimated execution time and completion time.

Also, one of the major step in crowdfunding is creating two-minutes pitch video. A pitch video is contains important information like why your product/project is good, what is the future, how it will affect society in general, five year growth plans(in case of startups). It is always beneficial to include charts and facts after proper market survey and consumer validation.

Another criteria for your success in raising crowdfunding money is how well you promote your product on social media, in target investors network and capturing public attention. Some campaigns are offering lucrative rewards on particular amount of funding received. Rewards such as early-bird copies, autographed or limited edition merchandize, invitations to the launch, personalized thank you messages, etc. encourage backers to support your project.

Websites offering platform for crowdfunding

Crowdera, Bitgiving, Start51.com, FundDreamsIndia, DreamWallets are some of the websites offering crowdfunding platforms in India. They allow campaign to go for maximum 60 days live to raise money.

India for Sports is a Not-For-Profit Organization dedicated to bring a change in the condition of Sports and Athletes in India through the idea of Crowdfunding.

Wishberry:  is exclusively dedicated to funding creative projects – music, stand-up comedy, film production, art, dance, design, photography, publishing, theater.

Ketto: supports fundraisers in three main categories:  Community/social projects (NGOs/Non-Profits/Charities), Creative arts (Movies/Music/Theatre/Fashion/Technology) and  Personal development (Health/Education/Travel).

FuelADream: It is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform and focuses on creative arts projects, social causes and charities.

Catapooolthelps fund raisers bring to life creative, sports, and political projects, social enterprises and business startups.

Ignite Intent: India’s 1st CrowdFunding Website to initiate College and Entrepreneurial Projects.

Besides above mentioned websites, many others exist which focus on peer-to-peer lending, supporting rural development entrepreneurs and other projects.

References:

1. SEBI (2014), “Consultation Paper on Crowdfunding in India”, June17, 2014. (http://www.sebi.gov.in/cms/sebi_data/attachdocs/1403005615257.pdf)

Image source: Internet