Here’s the article, written by Anasuya Kesavan:
A NEW book on enjoying and experiencing a healthy pregnancy by Bahrain’s well- known nutritionist and GulfWeekly columnist Alia Almoayed will be launched this month.
Entitled I Want a Healthy Pregnancy: A Nutritionist’s Guide to a Natural and Vibrant Pregnancy, the book takes a first-person view into how eating the right kind of foods can help enhance a woman’s memorable experiences through her child-bearing months.
Alia, 34, from Hamala, believes that most women are searching for answers to various questions about how their body changes physically and how those changes affect her mentally during this period.
At the same time a pregnant woman is typically loaded with ‘free advice’ from all quarters which may, or may not, be useful.
Written in a personal style the book picks on the author’s journal entries from her first two pregnancies and provides facts and answers to numerous personal questions she posed while carrying her third child, Tameem, now aged two.
Alia said that through her book – which is published in ‘the right size to fit a lady’s handbag’ – she hoped to reach out to as many women as possible.
She said: “The point about the book was to be a girlfriend’s guide and say what I would have told to a friend, or a sister, or a daughter who is pregnant. I also wanted to reassure them that it is normal to experience all kinds of different things during pregnancy.
“I didn’t want it to be a preachy book about what to do when you are pregnant; I am a nutritionist and I had complaints of my own! So I thought I would take some of my journal entries, like the time I was feeling nauseated, and illustrate how I dealt with the problem and not fear it, or be miserable about it.
“My clients were my greatest inspiration. With this book I wanted to reach beyond to the mother who would otherwise not drive herself here or who cannot afford to come for a private consultation. I wanted it to be for the general public and for the young women who want to become pregnant in the future.”
While the book looks closely at morning sickness, nausea, energy boosters, cravings, diet and lifestyle tips, and even provides a pregnancy menu, it includes information on the research she did to help her have the best experience during childbirth.
Without imposing her advice, she touches upon the topic of a pregnant or breastfeeding woman fasting during Ramadan.
Her experience of hypno-birthing, having a natural delivery without the use of any pain relief and assuming a comfortable birthing position, all form part of the contents.
Alia said: “I had a very easy pregnancy because I tried to have a healthy pregnancy. Every pregnant mother has some problem or the other. I faced the same problems that many women face but I fixed them through healthy eating.
“Pregnancy is a wonderful experience but it is a heavy nine months. And, you are bound to complain even during the most perfect pregnancy.
“It is very easy to forget small details and if I hadn’t written it down I wouldn’t have actually remembered how it felt being huge in bed and trying to turn around!
“I wanted to really erase the notion that labour and childbirth is a horrible and painful experience. We have been brainwashed into believing that and you go into labour expecting that. It gets worse when you are strapped and put in the most horrible position in a time when you need dignity and privacy.”
Questions about how to pursue a normal conjugal relationship with your partner has also been touched upon. She said: “I thought if I was pregnant and if I were in my 20s whom I would talk to about all that? It is especially difficult in a conservative culture. So I wanted to talk to the young women out there, many who still find it taboo to talk to their mothers about these matters.”
An issue that troubles most people trying to tackle an unhealthy lifestyle is the difficulty in changing habits. She advises everyone to take it step-by-step.
She said: “The problem I see most often is that many people believe that they have to make extreme instant changes. They are worried about how to move from eating junk food to eating soups and vegetables and other healthy foods in one go.
Alia Almoayed continued: “There are a lot of levels in between. And, if you are in the extreme end it can seem a daunting project. So most people give up and do nothing about it because it is too scary.
“My advice to them is that they should take it one-step-at-a-time. You can think one meal at a time and add something healthy every time.
“You cannot replace pizzas and pastas overnight with carrots and cucumbers. Add soup on one day and salads on another.
“If you do not plan, either it is going to fail or you are going to back out. Everything in your life does not have to stop … work on incorporating healthy eating habits, bit by bit into your daily lifestyle.”
After the launch Alia hopes to give seminars and hold private, closed door, coaching sessions with pregnant women.
Be There at the Book Launch
I Want a Healthy Pregnancy: A Nutritionist’s Guide to a Natural and Vibrant Pregnancy, is a self-published book printed at Union Press Bahrain. It will be available for BD7 after its launch on January 29 – the day she will be signing books at Jashanmal Bookstore in Seef Mall from 11am-1pm.
Members of the author’s email list will be entitled to a special offer.
Sign up at www.aliaalmoayed.com to be eligible.
Thanks Gulf Weekly for the great article!