Saturday, September 12, 2009

Health Tips and Precautions During Pregnancy

There is no moment like the one when you first see your new born. Mankind has scaled many heights, but none compare to this, a gift from God, an unparalleled privilege, a creation of a new human life with a human 'soul' that lives forever. To take good prenatal care during this precious time to ensure a healthy baby is the duty of every mom and other family members to learn and understand the aspects of pregnancy.

So start preparing yourself for the bundle of joy coming your way! Most important thing you should concentrate on is eating food rich in nutrients. Being main source of the nourishment of baby's health the mother's energy requirements increase by 300 kcal daily throughout pregnancy, 500 kcal daily during the first 6 months, and 400 kcal during the next 6 months. The protein requirement increases by about 14 g per day and during lactation by about 25 g per day during first six months of delivery, over and above her normal requirements. Try to have a well balanced and healthy diet that provides in correct proportions from a wide variety of foods high in macronutrients like proteins, fats and carbohydrates and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, relative to the amount of calories they contain. Don't overeat; instead take frequent meals at regular intervals. Have plenty of water, avoid being empty stomach. Sip fluid, ginger drinks frequently in between, rather than with meals to avoid stomach fullness. It helps in morning sickness and nausea with vomiting.

Overweight in pregnancy can also be harmful, too much of weight gain makes you suffer from backache, leg pain, cramps, extreme tiredness and accelerated hypertension and diabetes. In general, 1-2 kg in first trimester, 1.5-2 kg/month in second trimester and 1.5-2 kg/month in third trimester is advisable and acceptable. Certain measures if taken really help in weight management which includes regular exercises, walking and meditation. These also help you prepare for the rigors of labour. Variety of food from all good groups, less in calories and dense in nutritional diet which fulfill medicinal purpose with good tongue taste play a vital role in terms of your weight management and other health benefits. For example getting plenty of calcium supplements with at least three glasses of milk, bananas and orange rich in potassium help relieve leg cramps. Including 1-2 glasses of fresh fruit juice, such as prune juice, bulk food high in fiber, such as bran cereals, raw fruits and green leafy vegetables help to maintain healthy bowl patterns. Avoid too much of traditional, fried, oily greasy and spicy food as it causes heartburn, a feeling in the centre of the chest and upper abdomen and seems to rise in your throat. Preferably, do not eat or drink before you go to sleep.

Self medication without the advice of a health professional can lead to various side effects, as many take diuretics "water pills" for swelling, or treat other natural symptoms of pregnancy on their own. Attend your prenatal appointments for systematic medical supervision and keep your gynaecologist contact number in your diary or handset to reach, in case of appearance of warning signs like bleeding, sudden leaking, sharp pain in abdomen, blurring of vision any symptoms of fever associated with chills and a lot of swelling of face and body. Few symptoms like tiredness during pregnancy can be managed by practicing relaxation techniques, listening to soothing music etc. Cheerful and relaxed mood with pleasant atmosphere reduce the stress of pregnancy, especially for mom's undergoing this magnificent experience for first time in their life. Back ache is very common and can be minimized by avoiding standing for long time in kitchen, do not stretch to reach something at home and workplace; whereas low- heeled footwear and sleep on firm mattress, preferably on your left side is recommended throughout pregnancy. At the same stretching of legs before going to bed may help relive leg cramps, a cushion between the legs gives you comfort in the final months of pregnancy. Before you prepare for the physical demands of labour a minimum of half an hour walk at fairly brisk pace is a good exercise. It's best to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Read literature and books related to knowledge on the elements of child care, the need for family planning and the importance of birth spacing.

When you get admitted for delivery in hospital, keep required things of your personal use, baby clothes and all your medical records for ready references in a separate bag. Relax, as this is a period of great emotional changes. Talk to people who can help and support and who can give you a patient hearing.

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born". After delivery it takes minimum six weeks for your body to recover from the changes of pregnancy. Nothing can replace breast milk and to meet the demands of breastfeeding, you require significant energy and nutrients. Now you are breastfeeding and baby depends on you for all his nutrition and growth. Well all your attention will be focused on baby's care and comfort but remember to take equally good care of yourself also. Do not let yourself suffer from hidden hunger, continue to eat nutritious food with essential supplements.

During and after pregnancy, every woman shows some interesting and unexpected behavior changes because of hormonal, physical and mental imbalance. Coping with this, talk with your partner about feelings you both have about this pregnancy, try not to have unrealistic expectations from yourself. Before this you were a woman, after months of looking forward, God has created you again in the form of a mother, the greatest right of a women.

No comments: