Karva Chauth is a one-day festival celebrated by women in Northern India, in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands.
Karvachauth brings back some fond childhood memories when my mom used to drape a bright saree, put on mehendi, bangles and makeup. I used to look forward because it was a reason for me to wear bindi and bangles and wear my lehenga. And then impatiently waiting to accompany mom for the evening pooja and then the best part ,waiting for the moon!
Now I have a daughter and I see the same excitement I had as a kid.
While there is a lot of excitement about the celebrations now, I was a little stressed out when it was my first Karvachauth after my baby was born.
There was a lot of dilemma around 'to fast' or 'not to fast' while I was exclusively breastfeeding. My pediatrician suggested that fasting (not eating) for a few hours will not decrease milk supply, but that severe dehydration can decrease milk supply and sometimes it gets really difficult to get back the supply. After discussing with my husband and his family I decided I would keep myself hydrated and also eat fruits in case I got hungry.
A few tips from my experience for new moms -
1. Skip elaborate henna - Keeping your hands busy while waiting your mehendi to dry up isn't a great idea, also once the mehendi is dry it would start chipping off which is again not a great idea if you are breastfeeding your baby.
2. Eat a good, healthy meal in the morning for your sargi - Make sure to eat protein and fiber rich meal to stay full for longer. Also, drink a lot of water and unsweetened fruit juice to stay hydrated. Too much sugary stuff can make you feel thirsty so better limit the amount of sweets.
3. Take help - Let the daddy take over most of the baby’s work for the day (except breastfeeding of course ;) like taking the baby out, changing diapers etc. If the daddy isn’t around, take whatever help you get from your family and friends. Do not take up any work that is taxing and will tire you out.
4. Take a nap - Like they say, Take a nap when the baby naps. Also the hunger pangs are the strongest during meal hours so the best way is to take an afternoon nap.
5. Wear Comfortable clothes for the evening pooja - Though we all want to look our absolute best (Some women wear their wedding lehenga too) But for a new mom this can be exhausting and can cause anxiety since she also has to feed the baby. Wear nursing Kurtas or a sari with a soft fabric in which you can comfortably breastfeed.
To fast or not to fast is totally personal. Lets not judge each other. Lets respect each other choices and enjoy the special day with our special ones.
Hope you have a wonderful Karvachauth.