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Book Review: Fetal Attraction

By Pallavi Bhattacharya

fetal attractionFetal Attraction
By Dr. Duru Shah, Dr. Safala Shroff and Ivor Vaz
Jaico Publishing House
288 pages
Rs 195

We may have heard of What to Expect When You’re Expecting which is an international bestseller. Expectant mothers may even have picked up a copy.

However as far as the Indian household is concerned, even a critically acclaimed foreign pregnancy guide book may leave many questions unanswered.

For instance when a foreign pregnancy book advises women to eat ‘collard greens’, many Indian women may be unaware of what is meant by it as it may be an alien foreign term to them.

Authors Dr. Duru Shah (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist), Dr. Safala Shroff and Ivor Vaz realized that there was a lacuna as far as pertinent information regarding an Indian woman’s pregnancy was concerned in the widely read pregnancy books.

The authors therefore penned Fetal Attraction a unique book which answers the queries of the Indian pregnant woman right from the stage of her planning to conceive to neo-natal baby care.

Fetal Attraction covers a wide range of topics like preconception check up, common discomforts during pregnancy, diet and nutrition of a pregnant woman, check ups and tests, prenatal and postnatal exercises, high risk pregnancies, caesarean deliveries, the postpartum period, breast feeding and newborn care.

What makes this book special that the book addresses these topics just not to the mother-to-be but also the father-to-be, parents and in-laws of the expectant mother. After all with the joint family set up prevailing in India, a pregnancy concerns the entire extended family.

In India once a woman’s pregnancy starts showing advice pours in from almost everyone she meets especially from the family she lives with. Much of this advice like eating ghee so that the baby slips out fast during delivery and forbidding the pregnant woman from watching the sunset may just be hearsay.

Fetal Attraction aims at demystifying many such myths and replacing them with factual scientific knowledge.

Chapter Eight of Fetal Attraction is named Daddy’s Briefcase. Taking into consideration that childbirth is not just the rightful, biological property of women but the father should also have a major role to play in his wife’s pregnancy; this chapter is especially dedicated to the Indian father-to-be.

Those who have seen the romantic comedy, Nine Months, may be well acquainted with the phobias and dilemmas husbands of expectant women often go through. In general, Indian men are in fact less educated than men from Western first world nations on how to help their wife through the pregnancy.

It’s unfortunately been typical of traditional Indian husbands to shy away from the labour room, dismissing changing diapers as a non-macho activity and demanding that the wife meticulously manages the household single-handed with a new baby to manage.

The authors make Indian fathers aware of the fact that just because a man can’t breastfeed doesn’t mean that babies don’t need their fathers. Fathers can indeed bond with the baby by holding, comforting and soothing her. He can make an effort to lighten his wife’s workload and develop more empathy for the new mother.

Chapter Nine of Fetal Attraction is named Inlaws and Outlaws. It addresses the parents and parents-in-law on how they can help during their daughter/ daughter-in-law’s pregnancy. Childbirth during their generation was very different from what it is now.

The authors update grandparents on the technological advancements of modern day hospital birth. Grandparents can help the expectant mother by going shopping together, attending doctor’s visits, taking hospital tours and fixing up the nursery. In fact mothers and mothers-in-law can give the birthing mother emotional support by being in the labour room during delivery.

The chapter on diet and nutrition provides Indian recipes for the pregnant mother. Picking up a foreign pregnancy book would give you foreign recipes maybe leaving you clueless where to find the ingredients.

Expectant mothers who have household pets must go through the section what precautions they should take so that no harm is caused to the foetus and the new born baby.

A book ends with a list of baby names. The authors have made sure to come up with a list of names from all religions thereby giving a secular touch to the book.

Do pick up this book if you are pregnant or if your wife, daughter or daughter-in-law is expecting a baby. Don’t part with this book even after your baby has grown up. Carefully shelve the book in your family bookcase. Your child may need it again when he/ she grows up and is preparing for the delivery of a new baby.



How To Choose The Right Pair Of Sunglasses

Sunglasses not only can look great on you, but they can also protect your eyes from damage. Long term exposure to both natural light and artificial ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes, affecting your cornea and lens.

Without the right pair of sunglasses for your eyes, you can contract one or more eye disorders, while investing in a pair of sunglasses may prove to be one of the best health decisions you can possible make.


Your Eyes

Why should you buy sunglasses? To protect your eyes from damage. If you spend long hours in the sun, your eyes can be harmed by that prolonged exposure.

UV radiation can lead to skin cancer and can harm your eyes by causing cataracts, slow blindness and other eye disorders. It doesn’t matter what season it is as snow, pavement and other surfaces can reflect radiation, damaging the front of your eyes.

More than 20 million Americans have cataracts, with billions spent annually in related medical costs according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Choose a pair of sunglasses that will block at least 95 percent of all UVA and UVB rays.


Now that you know the reasons why you need a pair of sunglasses, the next step is to find a style that is right for you. Your personal tastes are important here, but there are other points to consider as you shop for sunglasses.

Facial geometry is an important consideration, something that weighs certain personal characteristics. For instance, if you have a wide forehead, large cheekbones and a narrow chin, then a heart-shaped pair of sunglasses can accent your face beautifully.

People with oblong faces look great in oversized oval frames as do individuals with oval faces. Round or oval frames can look terrific on the person with a square face. Still not sure? Take a friend with you when you try on a pair and consult with an eye care professional to capture the look that is truly “you.”


Consumers often place great weight on the tint colors of sunglasses and they should. The tint you choose will determine how much visible light reaches your eyes, how well you see other colors, and what lighting contrasts you will observe.

For active individuals, choose sunglasses that blocks gray, green and brown lighting. For people that like to cycle, fish, snowboard or ski, amber or rose is sufficient. These same people an opt for yellow or orange sunglasses too if less overall brightness is desired.


By now you may realize that different materials are used to make lenses. Polarized sunglasses are most effective for filtering out certain orientations and frequencies of light, particularly harmful ultra-violet — UA, UB — lighting.

To achieve polarization, designers must place etches of scratches in the lens to line up light waves that are permitted to pass through. Sunglasses consist of the lens itself as well as a mirror coating, a scratch resistant coating, polarizing film and anti-reflective coating.


Sunglasses alone should not be relied on to protect your eyes. Use common sense and consider the following points when you are outside.

Wear a hat, preferably one with a wide brim. A large brim can keep sunlight from slipping in past your sunglasses. Avoid looking directly at the sun — even with the best pair of sunglasses on your face, you still risk permanent damage to your eyes.

Consider also that certain medications can increase light sensitivity. Check with your doctor to learn how these medicines may increase sensitivity. Finally, know that if you have certain eye problems, such as macular degeneration, then you have an elevated risk of UV-related damage.

Ultimately, choose the sunglasses that provide the best protection for you as well as offer the look that you desire and at a price that you can afford.

John Sideman is a freelance writer residing in Texas. The majority of his writing is geared toward optical and sports eyewear products offered by

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3 Actions To Avoid When You Have Acne

You must have read a lot about a host of things that you need to do when you find out that you have acne, but what about the things that you must avoid strictly in order to ensure that your acne treatment has the maximum effect?

Remember that a good treatment regime for any type of skin problem includes a number of things that you must do along with an equal number of things that you mustn’t do.


Here are the 3 top actions to avoid when you have acne:

1. Avoid Blaming Yourself

One of the first things that most sufferers of acne tend to do is that they think that the occurrence of acne has happened due to something that they must have done wrong or due to something that they must not have done which they were supposed to.

This is the first myth that you need to remove from your mind so you can stop stop blaming yourself when you have acne. Negative thoughts and self-blaming will do nothing but cause more stress and skin problems for you, which is something you surely want to avoid.

Remember that most people who suffer from acne have been doing so due to aspects of the skin and their body that is out of their own control. Acne usually occurs as a side effect to hormonal changes and also, to a large extent, due to your genes.

2. Avoid Picking At Your Skin

One of the basic instincts in most women who are suffering from acne is to pop the formation the moment you notice it emerging on your skin. Yes, agreed, that this is an extremely enticing thought, but you need to remember that when you pop and pick acne formations you run the risk of deepening the scars that they leave behind.

Another problem that you might face is the fact that you might end up infecting the region resulting in more problems. You need to master your willpower to ensure that you are not picking at the zits that have erupted on the skin.

3. Avoid Overworking Your Skin

One of the most common mistakes that many people tend to make when they see emerging acnes on their skin is that they think scrubbing and cleansing it rigorously will ensure proper skincare and thus the acne will subside.

This is completely baseless and will, in fact, do more damage to the acne infected skin than doing any good to it. Yes, mild exfoliation and cleansing is a healthy habit to follow in order to minimize the problems of acne but overdoing the same must be avoided at all costs.

Ensuring that these 3 practices are avoided at all costs will minimize your suffering from problems of acne. You can check out the Proactive reviews to see if it’s a suitable product for your skin type.

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Interview With Manali Shenoy Of Indian Concepts

Entrepreneur, Manali Shenoy tells Naaree how she figured out the Indian Women’s Office Wear needs and launched Indian Concepts – Corporate Kurtas for Women.

Manali Shenoy of Indian ConceptsWhat inspired to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

Before venturing into my own start-up I had spent a few years in the corporate world after my post-graduation in Business Management. It was after my baby was born, I started looking for flexible work options.

Lack of flexibility in full time jobs and lack of good day care facilities for babies motivated me to start something of my own; this is how “Indian Concepts” (India’s First Corporate Kurtas for Women) was conceived.

When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

Any business is not possible without research. During my research for a business idea, I remembered how difficult it was during my corporate days to shop for decent kurtas to wear to work. The kurtas I found in stores were either with gaudy embroideries or flashy prints.

Corporate women are expected to dress elegantly to office with subtle colours and sober designs. I was thus left with no choice but to wear tight fitting western wear that restricted free movement of the body during work. I had also noticed my colleagues facing similar issues while shopping for comfortable office wear.

Moreover the average middle and senior management working woman in India has a typical body shape, for which Indian kurtas are more comfortable then western formals. We figured out the key features necessary to suit Indian Women’s Office Wear needs and thus launched Indian Concepts – Corporate Kurtas for Women.

Our corporate kurtas are crafted keeping in mind the structure of an average Indian woman. The fits are comfortable, designs are not too revealing and embroidery or patterns are very subtle.

Our other USPs like high quality underlock stitching provides longer life to the garment while retaining its original form and shape; body friendly fits facilitate easy stretching and free movement of your body.

After developing the designs, we received a lot of positive feedback from our target segment. This made us realize that we can develop this into a lucrative business.

What inspired you to start out on your own or with your partners? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

Although the thought of being my own boss triggered long back when I started working in the corporate, nothing actually conceptualized. A full-time employer at any organization makes one feel dependent on the company not just financially but also psychologically.

It just takes one moment in your life when you realize you are ‘all set’ for it. Moreover when you feel that you could let go off your monthly salary to achieve something much beyond a mere salary package and have a vision of what you want to create, that’s the time all pieces fall into place.

Formation of any start-up needs a lot of conviction and hard work. There are tones of lessons to learn from a startup experience. Multitasking being one of them! Secondly spending good amount of time in research is crucial.

Exploring a niche segment gives an immediate visibility and recognition for the Brand, while product differentiation makes the product easily acceptable.

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

When we launched Indian Concepts, we approached many branded retail stores to display our merchandise, but the commercial terms demanded by them were ridiculous.

Accepting these terms would have meant increasing the prices of our products by 100%, which was not acceptable to us since we wanted to offer value for money to our customers.

The escalating rentals for mall space also made launch of own store difficult. All these setbacks forced us to think about the unconventional channel of online store for our Corporate Kurtas.

Since we were targeting corporate women the online model also suited us, as most of the corporate women have access to internet in their office or at home. Considering that today’s corporate women are hard pressed for time, our online store offers her the convenience of shopping from the comfort of her home or office.

I would thus advice that if you find a path to your target to be extremely difficult, please do not give up and feel dejected. Instead use the setbacks as an opportunity to find a better and more sustainable solution to the problems. Always have a long term perspective and never get bogged down by short term issues.

What are all the things that a woman entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? I.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

The world outside isn’t a fancy land. Women who work in MNCs or any other corporate and would like to quit tofollow their dreams should keep one fundamental thing into their heads, that dealing with male colleagues or seniors in a professional atmosphere is motivating but, when you have to do things write from scratch on field it is a different ball game all together.

One gets subjected to gender issues especially if one deals with men who are less educated than you are. Whatever may be the circumstances you have to be bold and confident and not allow anybody to take you for granted.

Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

Women oriented businesses are not taken seriously in a male dominated culture. Unfortunately the patriarchal society still believes that women’s income is secondary as compared to men.

Investors do feel that if a woman is leading, it could be a short term venture. So you really have to prove the concept before approaching funders.

Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

Of course it’s important! There’s no boss any more to turn to for advice or direction—maybe not even any employees yet. You’re pacing solo. Everybody needs a good reliable support, second opinion, moral and emotional support.

A mentor need not always be an expert from the same field. He could even be a well-wisher, a friend or a family member. A mentor provides the necessary direction in crucial times when your limited experience is not equipped to handle these situations.

How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

Indian Concept’s core team comprises of two members at present. We have employed a set of Designers and Fabricators with whom we work on project basis. In the initial period since our scale was low nobody was ready to work with us and it took us almost a year to stabilise with our current partners.

We were recently invited by IIM-Ahmedabad to showcase our business where we interacted with many students, some of whom have shown keen interest to work with us.

What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

1. Always remember the phrase “Acceptable Loss”. You need to know how much you are willing to lose before you even start thinking about starting something new.

2. You need to be open to learn new things and also accept change easily. One should learn to get rid of “fear of failure”.

3. Involve your loved ones in your start-up. Without their support, it’s impossible!

How important is social media in building a business today? How has it played a role in helping you build yours?

In today’s world we breathe on social media! Social networking sites today bring most of the traffic to our online store

Social media makes interactions with our customers easier. These sites also help us in seeking customer feedback and suggestions on new designs for our ‘Corporate Kurtas’, thus our customers also get involved in developing our products!

Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?

The most important thing for women is to ‘speak out’. Just don’t try to do everything even if it gets beyond your capacity. Women tend to please everyone at home and at work neglecting themselves.

If you need domestic help, employ maids to keep off the household burden away. Spend that quality time with your family instead of working in the kitchen after spending a hectic day at work.