Pregnancy Care

Pregnancy Care

Dr.Barun  Chakraborty profile Authored by Dr.Barun Chakraborty on 2 Jun 2014 - 23:09.

"There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation" ... Pamela S. Nadav

As true as that may be, an experience like no other, and so special, there is a whole responsibility on the to-be-mother to make sure that the creation is healthy and happy. To make that happen it's her responsibility to be extremely careful and cautious through her entire pregnancy period. Good amount of awareness all about pregnancy will help the pregnant woman take necessary precautions. Here's a low down on pregnancy care:

Pregnancy Phase:

Pregnancy is a period when a woman is raising a fetus inside her. This is normally a period of 40 weeks or a little more than 9 months. Pregnancy is typically broken into 3 trimesters, each of about three months. Obstetricians define each trimester as lasting for 14 weeks, resulting in a total duration of 42 weeks.

Although all women have different symptoms, some of the common symptoms are

Common symptoms of pregnancy include:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions. Occasional, irregular, and often painless contractions that occur several times per day.
  • Edema (Swelling)
  • Increased Urinary Frequency
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Varicose Veins
  • Haemorrhoids (Piles) are swollen veins at or inside the anal area, Regurgitation, heartburn, and nausea.
  • Striae gravidarum, pregnancy-related stretch marks.

What's the next step after you realize that you are expecting?

Your prenatal care begins with seeing a doctor and getting the vital tests done, a proper doctor’s advice to ensure healthy pregnancy.

What is a prenatal care?

The prenatal care plays a significant role in determining the quality of the pregnancy and its outcome for the mother and baby.

Prenatal or antenatal development is the process in which a human embryo or fetus (or foetus) gestates during pregnancy, from fertilization until birth. After fertilization, the process of embryogenesis, (the early stages of prenatal development) begins. By the end of the tenth week of gestational age the embryo has acquired its basic form and the next period is that of fetal development where the organs become fully developed.

Good prenatal care includes:

  • Good nutrition and health habits before and during pregnancy
  • Frequent prenatal exams
  • Routine ultrasounds to detect problems with the baby
  • Routine screening for:
    • Blood pressure problems
    • Blood type problems (Rh and ABO)
    • Diabetes
    • Genetic disorders
    • Immunity to German measles (rubella)
    • Sexually transmitted infections
    • Urine protein

As soon as you find out you're pregnant, get in touch with your gynaecologist to organise your antenatal care. Organizing your care early, means you'll get good advice for a healthy pregnancy right from the start - to get any ultrasound scans and tests that you may need.

Ultrasound

Obstetric ultrasonography can detect some congenital diseases at an early stage, estimate the due date as well as detecting multiple pregnancy.[55] The resultant estimated due date of the fetus is slightly more accurate than methods based on last menstrual period.

Dos and Don'ts of Pregnancy:

DOs

Don'ts

Have a balanced meal that includes five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Consume plenty of wholegrain carbohydrates and protein.

Do not eat outside food.

Take supplements such as Folic Acid, Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Vitamin B Complex, Thiamine, Niacin and zinc and omega - 3 Fatty acids

Cut back on caffeine, alcohol.

Take care of emotional health

Do not smoke

Regular exercise and rest, both are a must

Do not take drugs

Get early prenatal care

Be wary of environmental dangers

See a dentist

Do not put on unnecessary weight. Overweight or obesity can lead to: Cesarean section, Gestational hypertension, Pre-eclampsia, Macrosomia and 

Shoulder dystocia

 

 

The Institute of Medicine recommends an overall pregnancy weight gain:

  • Those of normal weight (body mass index of 18.5–24.9), of 11.3–15.9 kg (25–35 pounds) having a singleton pregnancy.
  • Women who are underweight (BMI of less than 18.5), should gain between 12.7–18 kg (28–40 lbs)
  • Overweight women (BMI of 25–29.9) are advised to gain between 6.8–11.3 kg (15–25 lbs) and
  • Those who are obese (BMI>30) should gain between 5–9 kg (11–20 lbs).

Losing weight later becomes difficult.

Complications during pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy induced hypertension or preeclampsia
  • Anemia
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Psychosis
  • Thromboembolic Disorders
  • PUPPP skin disease that develops around the 32nd week. (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy), red plaques, papules, itchiness around the belly button that spread all over the body except for the inside of hands and face.
  • Ectopic pregnancy, implantation of the embryo outside the uterus.
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum, excessive nausea that is more severe than morning sickness.

Inform the doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Lupus
  • Heart Disease
  • Thyroid

A well balanced diet, regular visits to doctor, vitamin supplementation and taking good care during pregnancy will help reduce the risk of low birth weight infants and other complications.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.