How do you know that you are pregnant ?
You may have symptoms like.
(1) Sudden cessation of otherwise normally occurring periods
(2) Nausea, vomiting
(3) Frequency of urination
(4) Heaviness in breasts
(5) Excessive fatigue
You can confirm pregnancy by pathologically testing the morning sample of urine about one week after missing your periods.
Pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks or 9 months and 9 days from the first day of fast menstrual period. Development of the different organs of the baby occurs in the first three months. Hence you should avoid taking any sort of medicines during this period without consulting your doctor.
You will start feeling your baby’s movements by about fifth month. You will gain about 10-12 kgs during your pregnancy.
As pregnancy advances due to the growing size of the uterus you may feel breathless, tired, swelling of feet or burning in chest.
Please consult your doctor anytime you face these problems. It is advisable to consult the doctor soon after missing the menstrual period.
Some common problems in pregnancy and their solutions.
(1) Nausea, Vomiting This mainly occurs in the first 3 months of pregnancy. Eat small frequent meals Avoid oily spicy foods Drink lot of water. You may take medicines which your doctor prescribes for you. These are safe in pregnancy.
(2) Frequency of urination. This is common in the first three months and the last month of pregnancy. It is due to altered physiology in the body. Make a habit of passing urine every two hours. Drink less water before bedtime.
(3) Constipation Drink plenty of water Increase roughage and green leafy vegetables in your diet. Have regular light exercise.
(4) Burning in chest Eat small frequent meals, avoid oily spicy foods. Drink cold milk before bedtime.
(5) Bleeding piles avoid constipation. Have daily light exercise Consult your doctor.
(6) Swelling of feet Some amount of swelling of feet in last few months of pregnancy is due to pressure of enlarged uterus. But it could also be a sign of increasing blood pressure. Sleep on one side of body. Keep a pillow under your feet while sleeping. Do not stand at one place for a long time .
(7) Backache & leg - cramps - Adequate rest & calcium can alleviate these symptoms. If unbearable please consult your doctor for medication.
Pregnancy and medical check up
Medical check ups are essential to ensure that pregnancy is proceeding smoothly and to diagnose any complications at the earliest.
Please consult your doctor as soon as you realize you are pregnant.
You must visit your doctor at least monthly for first 6 months, fortnightly for next 2 months and weekly during last month.
The frequency of these visits may change at the discretion of your doctor if there are any complications.
Consult your doctor immediately if you have any time
v Pain in abdomen
v Watery discharge per vaginum
v Decrease in movements of your baby.
At every visit your doctor will check
– your blood pressure.
– your weight.
– any swelling of feet,
– if your baby is growing well.
Your doctor will check your blood and urine.
Your doctor will do your sonography by fourth or fifth month to see if your baby is completely normal & to rule our certain abnormalities.
Your doctor will start you on iron, folic acid and calcium tablets.
You will be given two injections of tetanus toxoid during your check-ups . Keep all your reports and records carefully and take them with you when you go for delivery.
Diet and care in Pregnancy
Your baby is totally dependant on you for its growth. Hence you must eat well in pregnancy.
Your diet should be complete and wholesome in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins.
You should also take iron and calcium tablets after three months and continue upto 3 months after delivery.
You should drink a glass of milk daily to increase your calcium intake. There are no specific dietary restrictions in pregnancy. Home cooked food is safer.
One should preferably avoid sexual intercourse during first 3 months of pregnancy and also after seventh month to avoid risk of abortion and preterm labour.
A pregnant woman should have minimum two hours rest in the afternoon and 8 hours sleep at night. Avoid long journey in pregnancy. While travelling try and avoid rough and bumpy roads.
Pregnancy and exercise Do only light exercise while pregnant. This helps prevent constipation, keeps body supple and also helps easy delivery. Avoid exercise during first 3 months of pregnancy. Always assume correct posture while standing or sitting. The safest & the best exercise in pregnancy is walking. You can consult your doctor about light exercises that can be done in pregnancy. Also continue exercising after delivery to regain your shape and improve the tone of your muscles.
How to know the date of your delivery ?
If a woman is having regular periods, the date of delivery is calculated by adding 7 days and giving forward nine months from the date of last M. C.
Delivery usually occurs around two weeks before or after this expected date.
How to know that your labour has started ?
1. Pain in abdomen and / or back.
The pain keeps coming and going.
The intensity & duration of pain increases.
If initially pain comes every 10-15 minutes, later they come earlier and earlier.
2. Discharge per vaginum.
It is slight and usually blood stained. This occurs from the mouth of the uterus which must have started opening.
Before going to hospital, take care of the following precautions.
– Do not eat or drink anything once you suspect the beginning of delivery process.
– always have a relative accompany you.
– Take all your reports with you. Your doctor will examine your thoroughly and decide whether you can deliver normally or you will need a caesarean section. Even if your pregnancy has proceeded smoothly and everything is normal, there are some situations where your doctor will have to do a caesarean section to deliver you.
– The first delivery usually takes 12-14 hours while later deliveries occur faster. Remove all your fears and worries and co-operate with your doctor. This will allow you to have a safe and easy delivery . Occasionally during the course of your delivery you may require a caesarean section due to some unforeseen events. You must exclusively breast feed your baby upto four months of age. Weaning should be started from fourth month. Before going home consult your doctor about different methods of family planning to protect you from having another baby soon.
Some commonly asked questions in pregnancy.
Q 1. What restrictions should be applied to diet ?
Ans. There are no special restrictions to be followed. During first 3 months if there is nausea and vomiting one should have small frequent feeds and eat dry foods like bread, biscuits in the morning. In last few months due to burning in chest avoid only spicy food.
Q 2. Does eating papaya, jackfruit cause harm ?
Ans. There is no harm if one eats such fruits in moderation
Q. 3 Are medicines safe in pregnancy .
Ans. As the baby is developing in the first 3 months, one should take medicines only after consulting one’s doctor. There is no harm with sonography. One should avoid X-rays in pregnancy and if absolutely essential, one should take out X-ray with abdominal shield.
Q. 4 Why should sleep on one side ?
Ans. It helps to increase blood supply to the uterus and baby by removing pressure of uterus on the large blood vessels.
Q. 5 Should one abstain from inter course in pregnancy ?
Ans. If one had any problems in previous pregnancy one should refrain from sexual intercourse. Otherwise one should abstain during first 3 months and after the seventh month.
Q. 6 Is eclipse harmful to the baby.
Ans. No. There is absolutely no scientific basis for this.
Q. 7 If the liquor amnii gets less then does drinking lot of water help?
Ans. Drinking water will not help to increase the liquor in the uterus.
Q. 8 Can one work on the computer when pregnant?
Ans. There is no harm, in working on the computer.
Q. 9 Can one undergo dental treatments during pregnancy.
Ans. If one informs the dentist that one is pregnant then he will take adequate precautions during treatment.
Q. 10 Will eating iron and calcium tables make the baby big and cause difficult delivery?
Ans. No. These tablets will not make your baby big as wrongly supposed.
Q. 11 Will salt restriction help if there is swelling of feet?
Ans. Salt restriction or diuretics do not help to decrease swelling of feet.
Q. 12 It is said that excess rest is not good during pregnancy?
Ans. A pregnant woman must take 2 hours rest in the afternoon and 8 hours sleep at night. This helps the baby’s growth. If a lady is feeling excess tired and sleepy one should rule out any medical problem like anaemia.
Q. 13 Should one avoid scooter driving, travelling in autorickshaw in pregnancy?
Ans. Till 7 months, there in no problem in driving scooter or going in autorickshaw if you have no medical problem. Drive slowly. Be careful while kickstarting or pulling scooter on stand, avoid rough roads. Travelling in bus is safer than travelling in autorickshaw.
Q. 14 Should one avoid journey in pregnancy?
Ans. Avoid long journeys and travelling in first 3 months. If one has to travel to maternal home for delivery then one should do so by 32-34 weeks. Travelling by aeroplane is not allowed after 32 weeks.
Q. 15 Should one take any special care of breasts in pregnancy.
Ans. One should keep breast and nipples clean during bath if nipples are retracted, daily one should pull them out. There will be some watery secretions from nipple. This is normal and no cause for concern.