Archive | May, 2011

Ease Labour Pain

Labour pain is a much discussed topic during pregnancy. Many women seem to get worried thinking of the pain and other complication that may arise around that time. Since ages women have gone through this immense pain with the help of natural methods to cope with it. But lately there have been a few more additions to the list of measures a pregnant woman can take to ease the labour pains. The main factors that influence the pain you experience during pregnancy are –
•    Body build up
•    Hormonal level during pregnancy
•    Position of the baby in the womb

The position of the baby influence the labour pain you experience the most as an undesired position will call upon a number of complications.

A few ways in which you can help yourself to go through the pain until child birth are as follows –

Cope with labour pain with heat –
Heat helps to a great extent to bear the pain. You can warm you back, tummy or groin with a hot-water bottle or wheat bag. A wheat bag is made of cloth and is filled with wheat husks. You need to heat the bag in the microwave for a few minutes. You can easily adjust this bag for your requirement as it can mould itself as per your body shape and keep you warm for an hour or more. In case you use a hot water bottle, you need to fill it with hot water and carefully wrap it in a towel before using it.

Heat reaching the region under pain in any form is useful. Hence massage is also an effective way of providing warmth. You ask someone to rub your back; this will make your skin warm and stimulate your body to ease the pain.  Also taking bath in warm water will help you warm up and bear the pain. Make sure most of the warm water runs over your bump or your back where you feel the pain more.

During delivery when the baby’s head is being born, you ask the doctor to place a soft warm cloth over your perineum i.e. the area between your vagina and anus. This will help you feel comfortable.

Massages –
As mentioned above massage also helps create warmth in the body that triggers the body to release pain easing substances. Massage for a pregnant woman is very important not only to help her bear the pain but to help the circulation of blood as well. A foot massage is an effective way of relieving the stress. It helps to make the labour period shorter as well. Start doing light foot massage for 6 weeks.

A low waist massage will also do you a lot good. The massage needs to be done with medium pressure using essential oils mixed in almond oil or olive oil. The medium pressure massage helps to divert the body’s senses to a new pressure and ease the pain of labour. Also the massage helps to release hormone called endomorphin which is natural pain killer and 200 times more effective than any of the sedative you could take.

Adopt the right position –
The position of the pregnant woman throughout pregnancy should be right. This will help to release stress of all the muscles in the body. Instead of lying all the time on the bed, consider sitting upright on a straight but comfortable chair with the tummy moved a bit towards the front of the chair. This position helps to bring the child in the correct position in the womb and helps to engage the head of the chid in the pelvis in the right way.

Breathing exercise –
During the pain you can focus on your breathing to cope with the contraction. Take a deep breath when the contraction begins and release it slowly to relax. Breathe in through the nostrils and breathe out through your mouth keeping your cheeks and mouth very relaxed.

Do not worry about how deep you breathe. Keep it rhythmic and continuous. Concentrate as much as you can on breathing when the contraction begins to come up.

Have someone to support you through the labour –
It is better if you have someone supportive during labour to stay with you and comfort you. This will help you to give birth more quickly and easily. As per research it is much better to have another woman with you during labour to help you. However there has not been much evidence to show that it is helpful to have your husband with you during childbirth.

A few hospitals may not allow the family members to be around during child birth and you need to rely on the support provided by the hospital staff. In case your hospital allows you to take a birth partner along then you need to think carefully of whom you would take along with you. Take someone who will not panic and trusts you. This can be your husband, sister, mother or mother in law.

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Post Delivery Care

After the delivery of the baby, postpartum period begins and ends when the mother’s body reaches the condition of the pre pregnancy stage. Normally the postpartum period lasts for six to eight weeks.

During the postpartum period the mother goes through many changes. She meets the challenge of facing physical and emotional difficulties with the newly assigned responsibility of being a parent and nursing a child. It may take time for you to learn how to nurse your new born and function as a new set of family. At this time not only the care of the child but the mother as well is very important. She needs to take this time to rebuild her strength to take on the new responsibilities’ better in the near future. For this she requires a lot of rest and good nutrition to regain strength especially in the first few weeks after delivery.

Rest –
Babies have different sleep patterns as compared to adults. Typically every baby gets up in every three hours and requires feeding, changing and comforting. For parents with the first baby, this could be an overwhelming experience for the mother. She may feel extremely exhausted as a proper eight hours sleep for her is a distant dream for a while now. This poses a challenge before her to find some time for rest. The following tips may help the new born mother to find some time for some forty winks-

•    The first week may be tough on the mother as she is quite weak and has just become aware of the new responsibilities, also she is experiencing a number of changes in her body. It is important that around this time the mother should be relieved of all responsibilities other than feeding the baby and taking care of herself. Ask a close family relative to help you in this time of need.

•    To catch up on your sleep make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps. These can be a number of small naps throughout the day but they add up and give you the much required rest you want.

•    Reduce the physical exertion as much as you can. Keep your baby near to you as in keep your baby’s bed near to yours. This will help you save steps and time and make it easy for you to reach the baby when required.

•    A new member in the house calls for many people to visit you to see the baby and mother. However, mothers should not feel obligated to entertain the guest and should excuse themselves for a nap or to feed the baby.

•    Get some fresh air. As per the advice of your care provider you can start taking small walks or start postpartum exercises to flex your muscles. This will help you feel fresher.

Nutrition –
During pregnancy and birth a mother’s body goes through several changes. After delivery it is important for her to regain strength and restore the lost nutrients. This is not just achieved by plenty of rest but she needs to follow a healthy and balanced diet as well. This will promote her recovery and healing.

The weight you gain during pregnancy helps you to store the resources you require for recovery after pregnancy and to breastfeed the baby. The mother should not stop taking a healthy diet after the delivery as it helps her to be healthy and take care of the baby as well.

Mothers need to include in their diet food items that represent all the major nutrient groups like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. In the busy schedule the new mom may forget to have her meals properly, hence you need to plan simple and healthy meals that are required to fill up your nourishment quota.

•    Have more of whole-grain foods which include oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, whole cornmeal, brown rice and whole-wheat bread.

•    Include a variety of vegetables in your diet like dark green and orange coloured vegetables, legumes starchy vegetables and others

•    Fruits too form an essential part of your diet

•    Do not forget to add fats to the diet but in limits. Include fat sources from fish, nuts and vegetable oil and avoid saturated fats like butter, ghee etc.

•    The intake of calcium is very important for the new mom. Include milk and milk products contain calcium and vitamin D required for the wear and rear of the bone tissues.

•    Add low fat or lean meats and poultry in your diet as well

Also continue to have more water daily. You need to increase the fluid intake as you may get extremely thirsty while nursing the baby. Also remember to consult your doctor for additional information on the kind of precautions you need to take after birth.

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Spotting during Pregnancy

Spotting in pregnancy can be referred to light bleeding similar to the monthly menstrual period. This may happen at any time during pregnancy, mostly during the first trimester. Spotting during pregnancy can also lead to complications; however there are rare chances of such happenings. Some pregnant women experience lower backache or stomach-ache along with spotting. Nearly 20% of the women complain of vaginal spotting or bleeding during their first three months of pregnancy.

A woman may also bleed lightly for around 7-10 days after she conceives and that can be due to the implantation of the ovum that is located in the uterus. As any sort of bleeding is a potent alarm of having miscarriage, thus any kind of bleeding you experience should be reported to your care provider immediately.

Types of Spotting –
The phenomenon when a little bit of blood passes from the reproductive track to the opening called vagina is called spotting. Most of the times it does not reach the inner garments or underwear, it can be wiped with a tissue after defecation or micturition. The blood that spots may be pink-tinged mucus, rusty brown or bright red; this depends on the condition and the degree of spotting. Spotting may occur in some cases only once, however it may last for several hours or even several days

Normal Spotting –
This kind of spotting occurs at the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Bleeding of 1-2 days after 3-5 days is considered normal, but if it occurs later than that, this may imply that the woman has some pathologic problem. Another normal circumstance for spotting is when it occurs in the middle of a woman’s menstrual period or around 10-14 days prior to the beginning of the next menstrual cycle. This kind of spotting happens during the ovulation period.

Implantation spotting is that which occurs during seven days before the menstrual cycle is due and stays for less than a day. This is a result of fertilized egg travelling into the uterine lining. Also you can experience spotting when the levels of hormone estrogen rise slightly and the hormone progesterone falls before the corpus luteum takes over the task of producing progesterone. Remember that spotting which continues for more days is not an implantation spotting.

Abnormal Spotting –
This sort of spotting lasts for several days. Spotting days before your menstrual period is due is unusual. The reasons for abnormal spotting can be different for different women. The major reason why you could experience spotting several days before the menstrual cycle is reduced levels of the hormone called progesterone. Progesterone helps to maintain the uterine lining, when the hormone level drops the woman has menstrual period. Women with deficiency in the hormone progesterone experience spotting several days before their menstrual period is due. This is also a reason for minor infertility and early miscarrying. Uterine fibroids that are harmless can also be a reason for spotting. Other reasons for abnormal spotting include disease like endometriosis and contraceptive pills intake.

Spotting occurs during the early stage of conception when the fertilized ovum is placed on the wall of the uterus. Spotting also forms the early sign of pregnancy, hence it should be looked out for. After the 37th week of pregnancy spotting is considered a sign that the cervix has started becoming softened. Spotting is a significant sign of getting premature labour or the detachment of the placenta from the uterus.

Causes of Spotting –

Infection –
Many a times spotting is also related to vaginal infections like yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or sexually transferred disease (STD). These conditions cause the cervix to become irritated or swollen that can lead to spotting especially after sexual activity.

Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy –
Spotting during the early stage of pregnancy can also be considered as a potent sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, especially if you also experience abdominal pains or cramps.

Placental Problems or Premature Labour –
Spotting or bleeding during the second and third trimester of pregnancy is a sign of complications like –
•    Complications related to the placenta
•    Complications related to the Placental abruption
•    Any kind of miscarriage
•    Premature labour

Normal Labour –
Around the 37th week of pregnancy there might be a mucus discharge tinged with blood signalling that the mucus plug has dislodged and the cervix has started to soften to prepare for the baby’s delivery. However, you are required to report any kind of bleeding you experience around any stage of pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Sleep

Difficulty in sleeping comfortably is a common phenomenon every woman faces during pregnancy. There are number of reasons that lead to this. Your body is facing major changes and adjustments as the little life develops within you. Factors like stress, anxiety, hormonal alterations and physical discomforts affect your sleep to a great extend. Having a peaceful and sound night sleep seems like a distant memory as you progress in pregnancy. However, getting enough sleep is a priority.

Loo Trips –
Shortly after you realise you are pregnant you will also find yourself visiting the loo more often. This is because to support the growth of your baby the body increases the amount of blood and other fluids. Also the kidney works more to flush the waste out of the body. All these factors contribute to your regular visit to the loo.

Your urge to visit the loo will vary at different times during the pregnancy period. In the first three months your loo trips are frequent as the growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder. However, around the fourth month as your uterus rises into the abdominal cavity the pressure on the bladder is released, but this is for a short while. In the ninth month again you begin to feel the urge to visit the loo frequently as the baby drops back down into your pelvis.

An effective way of reducing the bathroom trips is by drinking a lot of water during the day time and reducing fluid intake towards the night. You can also avoid taking diuretics like coffee, tea and alcohol (which need to be avoided during pregnancy) as they make you want to use the loo even more.

Remember since everyone’s body is different; don’t expect that the frequency at which you need to visit the loo is the same as the other pregnant women.

Morning Sickness –
The name could be deceiving, morning sickness is not just limited to the morning time. It can be difficult to handle it in the morning, but nausea at night time can make it difficult to sleep. Although it is common to face nausea in the early stage of pregnancy, it can occur at any stage.

Heartburn and indigestion
The other factors that could keep you from a peaceful sleep are heartburns and indigestion. This is a common phenomenon in pregnancy. Heartburn is a burning sensation that you feel in the lower area of the chest. This leaves an unpleasant taste in your throat and mouth. You experience heartburn and indigestion as the digestive system slows down during pregnancy, this leads to delay in cleaning of the stomach.

Leg cramps
During the course of pregnancy you are bound to experience painful cramps in the muscles of your leg due to the extra weight you are carrying. This is common to occur during the second and third trimester, which keeps you away from a sound sleep.
Leg cramps also occur due to the expansion of uterus that tends to pressurize the nerves and veins leading from your trunk to your legs. Also the presence of too much phosphorus and less calcium and potassium in the blood can lead to leg cramps.

Restless leg syndrome or RLS –
This is a condition wherein your legs feel an uncontrollable urge to move around when you are sitting or lying down. On moving the legs you feel immediate relief from crawling, tingling and burning sensation of the legs. However, this relief is short lived as the sensation tends to reoccur when you sit or lie down. RLS prevents you from falling asleep and if you do fall asleep it keeps you away from falling into deep sleep.

Best position to sleep in –
It could be difficult to find a position comfortable to sleep in. However, the best position for a pregnant woman to sleep in is to lie on her side. Lying on the sides keeps the additional weight you carry off the vena cava, which is a major vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. Also sleeping on the side helps to improve blood circulation to the heart and provides maximum blood flow and nutrients to the Foetus.

When sleeping on the side consider lying on the left side. This is the most favourable position for pregnant women. This not only helps the blood flow but also the kidneys to efficiently eliminate waste products and fluids from your body. This in turn reduces the swelling in your ankles, feet and hands.

Sleep positions to avoid –

Sleeping on your back is a position that women need to avoid during pregnancy as the baby’s weight presses the vena cava. Also a lot of weight is put on your back and intestines. These factors can cause discomfort and increase chances of developing backaches, indigestion, impaired breathing and circulation, etc. during pregnancy.

Also avoid sleeping on the stomach as it applies pressure on the foetus.

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VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Caesarean

What is VBAC?
Pronounced as ‘veeback’, VBAC is an abbreviation for vaginal birth after caesarean. This is used to describe the situation when a woman gives birth vaginally after having had at least one baby born by C-section. In this case you plan to get in to labour to produce the baby vaginally and go through what is called a “trial of labour.”

The main difference between a normal delivery and VBAC is the frequency and the detail to which your labour will be checked. The care provider will continuously offer electronic foetal monitoring that helps to know the baby’s heart rate and your contractions, these need to be measured all the time.

Women who have undergone only one cesarean delivery can consider VBAC as a safe option for their next delivery. The other cases when you can opt for a VBAC are –
•    If you have only one low, side-to-side scar from a C-section
•    In case you’ve undergone 2 caesareans before, but also had a vaginal delivery
•    The hospital you choose to deliver at has all the tools, equipment and a trained staff to handle the task and perform a quick C-section in case of any emergency

It is safe to plan a VBAC when you are older than 35, the fetus is large or if the pregnancy exceeds 40 weeks. However considering a VBAC is unsafe when you have two c-section scars and no vaginal delivery before. Also any scarring above the lower, thinner part of your uterus can make VBAC a dangerous option to opt for.

Advantages of VBAC –
Opting for a vaginal birth after caesarean has its own set of benefits when compared to another C-section –
•    A successful VBAC helps you sidestep a major abdominal surgery and the risks associated with it
•    You will avoid another scar on your uterus. This is important for women planning a future pregnancy.
•    Less risk of infection as compared to C-section
•    You have less pain after birth and spend fewer days in the hospital
•    Your baby experiences less trouble in breathing normally
•    You play a more active role during the delivery of your child

Disadvantages of VBAC –

The disadvantages that VBAC holds are similar to any vaginal delivery –

Short term effects –
•    Pain due to bruising and stitches in the area between your vagina and back passage
•    Urine leaks until the area round your vagina recovers

Long term –
•    Vaginal birth can increase the chances of the uterus slipping into your vagina (prolapse). However, there are a number of factors related to that other than vaginal birth like the kind of vaginal birth you had, the deliveries you’ve gone through, if you mother or sister suffered from prolapsed etc.

Also pregnancy can weaken your pelvic floor, which implies that you need to continue with pelvic floor exercises.

Risks included in VBAC –
The major risk associated with VBAC is Uterine Rupture. Although this risk has even less possibilities than 1% and has even remote chances of happening in case you had a “bikini-cut” c-section the first time.

The uterus rupture takes place around the site of your c-section incision and results in severe blood loss and oxygen deprivation for your baby. The risk of uterine rupture increases when labour needs to be induced or augmented. Experts are of the opinion that it is better to leave the attempt of a VBAC if oxytocin needs to be used to start the contractions and keep them going. You could land up with hours of labour pain and take recourse to a C-section. An unsuccessful VBAC that needs C-section to handle the situation after the labour pain begins carries more risk than a planned C-section. The surgical complications like excessive bleeding leading to blood transfusion or a hysterectomy and infections in the uterus and the incision are at risk of cropping up. These complications augment in case of an emergency caesarean.

Recovery from VBAC –
A recovery from VBAC is similar to your recovery from a vaginal birth. After a vaginal birth the mother and the child are discharged from the hospital within 24 to 48 hours. On the contrary, recovery from a C-section will take you anywhere from 2 to 4 days along with a long period of precautions to take especially with a few activities until the incision heals. The risk of catching an infection during both a vaginal and caesarean delivery is less, still you are provided with a list of infection signs you need to watch out for during the first few weeks post delivery.

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Caffeine and Pregnancy

Intake of caffeine needs to be under strict observation when trying to conceive and during pregnancy. There have been a number of experiments to prove the hazards caffeine holds against child development.

What does Caffeine do?

Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic (a drug that increases the rate of urination). Being stimulant caffeine increases your blood pressure and heart rate; this is dangerous for a pregnant woman. As it causes loss of body fluid through frequent urination this leads to dehydration, again a dangerous condition for an expecting woman.

Since the baby gets all its nutrition for the mother, caffeine to can cross the placenta and enter the baby’s body. You can control the amount of caffeine that enters your body, but your baby can’t. The child’s metabolism is still developing and finds it difficult to completely metabolize caffeine. As caffeine is a stimulant it can change the sleep pattern of the child and even the normal movement pattern around the later stage of pregnancy.

As per a number of researches conducted by experts all across the world caffeine has the potential to cause birth defects, preterm delivery, reduced fertility and increase in risk of low-birth weight offspring along with other reproductive problems.

How much caffeine is safe to take?
It is advisable that you completely avoid the intake of caffeine when planning to conceive and during pregnancy. But in case that is not possible you can stick to not more than 200mgs of caffeine each day; this amounts to 2 cups of tea or instant coffee.

Having more than 200 mgs of caffeine each day during pregnancy can elevate the risk of a miscarriage or the baby being born with low birth weight. A low birth weight implies that the child has some health problems that can prove troublesome in future.

What food items contain Caffeine?
Caffeine is not just a component in coffee or tea, but it is also found in food items like green tea, colas and chocolates. Also over the counter products like headache and cold tablets and allergy medicines contain caffeine. It is any ways advised to seek your care provider’s instruction before consuming any over the counter product. Below is a list that will give a fair understanding of the caffeine content in various food products –

•    1 mug of instant coffee = 100mg
•    1 cup of instant coffee = 75mg
•    1 cup of brewed coffee = 100mg
•    1 mug of brewed coffee = 150mg
•    1 cup of tea = 50mg
•    1 can of cola = 40mg
•    1 can of energy drink = 80mg
•    1 x 50g bar of plain chocolate = up to 50mg
•    1 x 50g bar of milk chocolate = up to 25mg

A few tips to avoid caffeine –

Women who find it difficult to keep away from caffeine can try brewing tea or coffee for a shorter time. This reduces caffeine by as much as half. Also you can opt for decaffeinated tea now available in the market.

Women who are quite addicted to coffee and cola will find it difficult to withdraw from casual sips. This will lead to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, lethargy etc. You can try to gradually reduce you consumption little by little each day. Find a substitute like drinking a glass of fresh juice or a cup of soup instead.

Make sure you read the labels of the food items you by carefully to check the amount of caffeine it contains or if they are decaffeinated or not.

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Pregnancy Myths and Facts

Pregnancy can be a pretty confusing time, especially if it’s your first experience. With a number of tell tales related to it ranging from what to eat, how to sleep, what to wear etc. you could go frantic worrying about the health of your child with every move you make. Let’s check out the major myths that you could come across –

Diet Myths –
The number one pregnancy diet myth is – “You need to eat double as you have to eat for two.” As per experts pregnancy causes increase in dietary demands. The nutritional status of the mother is extremely important as the baby depends on her for complete growth. Hence her diet needs to include the important nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However this does not imply that you need to eat double. The expecting mothers need to maintain a well-balanced, nutritious diet throughout their pregnancy. They need to incorporate small meals every two hours in their daily schedule instead of two or three bulky portions a day. Over eating will lead to excess deposit of fats in the body.

Food cravings are also a part of the myths. Many say that food cravings indicate deficiency of nutrients offered by the specific food item. But as per experts food craving do not indicate any kind of deficiency in an expecting mother. It is better to consult a doctor to examine your deficiencies rather than going by the folklore. They would have a better way of determining the nutrients required by your body.

Also, pregnant women are advised to have a lot of ghee as it is believed to ensure you will have a normal and safe delivery. The fact remains, no one, not even the doctor can predict the kind of delivery you will have. Eating a lot of ghee does not ensure normal delivery. However, you need to have a healthy diet and do some exercise to remain fit and healthy. This would improve your chances for a normal delivery.

Baby Gender Myths –
These are the most common myths. As per the myths there are a number of ways in which the shape of the mother’s belly or any other condition denotes the sex of the child.

“The shape and the size of your belly indicate whether you carry a girl or a boy.”This is a common myth that every expecting woman comes across. As per the myth women with a lower belly carry a boy and woman with a girl has a high belly. Also women with smaller bellies carry boys and the ones with large bellies are carrying a girl. However, the shape of the belly has nothing to do with the sex of your child. The belly shape is determined by a number of factors like the original shape of your abdomen, the amount and distribution of the fat, the strength of the abdominal muscles, the number of babies conceived the presentation and the position of the baby.

As per another myth, the glow on your face indicates the sex of your baby. Some say that the glow on the face indicates you will deliver a girl while lack of any glow indicates you carry a boy. In reality, most of the expecting women begin to glow during the second trimester as the morning sickness ends and they begin to eat well. This improves the blood circulation and enhances the feeling of wellness.

Other Myths –
Pregnant women are advised not to use the computer as it is harmful for the health of the baby. This however is not possible especially if you are a working woman. There is no such case that has come to light where the use of computer during pregnancy has caused harm. Sure women working with the computer all day like 8-10 hours can develop problems like backache or headache, but that has no effect on your pregnancy.

A very important pregnancy myth related to the India directory of dos and don’ts is based on eclipses. The Surya Grahan especially takes the major share of it.  This myth includes that a pregnant woman should not eat, move outdoors, cut etc. during the eclipse or else the child will be born with a cleft or some other kind of physical shortcoming. All she has to do is lie down still on the bed and refrain from any activity. The decrease in the radiation could be considered a reason for birth deformations. A few of the babies born after the eclipse unfortunately have to suffer minor problems. But this not the case with all. However, the beliefs related to pregnancy are not all true and not all false. This topic is still under debates.

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Normal Delivery or C-section

With advances of science the question of deciding the mode of delivery i.e. choosing between Normal Delivery and C-section crops up in the life of every expecting mother. With both having its pros and cons the decision can be tough to make. But for most of the women choosing the mode of delivery is not in their hands. Due to complications many a time women who want a normal delivery need to undergo a caesarean. Most of the times doctors advice you to go for a normal delivery which seems to be a safe method of delivery practiced for ages. But in case of complication the same can be dangerous.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the both the methods for you to have a clearer view –

Normal Delivery –

Pros
•    Babies born through normal delivery are always healthier as compared to babies that are surgically born. This is due to the fact that they are born naturally, in the way birth should take place and they attain the necessary period of gestation.

•    As recorded medically delivered babies are born before maturity and before the labour can start. Studies show that catecholamine which holds a greater part of the hormones necessary for the baby’s survival is found in children born through normal delivery. This is secreted from mother to child in larger amounts during childbirth making is possible for the baby to survive outside the womb.

•    Vaginally born babies have stronger lungs with the ability to hold and carry oxygen to the body tissues. They are not required to be kept in intensive care units due to any respiratory problems. As they are healthy when born with no requirement for incubation they enjoy early contact with their mothers after birth.

•    Vaginal Birth has another advantage to it. The mother and the child get to leave for home earlier than a surgical delivery. In a surgical delivery the mother and the baby may have to wait in the hospital for a few more days due to various newborn problems. This is not the case with normal delivery.

•    During labour the production of epinephrine is triggered. This substance clears fluid from lungs and decreases the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension, in which organs are deprived of oxygen.

•    Also infants born through normal birth are less prone to suffer from a health condition called transient tachypnea of the neonate (TTN), as the pressure faced by the child while passing through the birth canal causes the excess fluid to squeeze out from the baby’s lungs.

Cons –
A few disadvantages of normal delivery have come to light but are still debatable like –

•    The child may suffer distress and oxygen deprivation in case the labour fails to progress. There are also chances of physical trauma while passing through the birth canal.

•    Many women worry about the pelvic floor damage that could be caused by normal delivery. This can lead to urinary and faecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction. However the relation between vaginal birth and long-term or later incontinence is still unclear as many women who haven’t given birth vaginally develop incontinence.

C-Section –

Pros –
•    This method negates the pain you face during a normal delivery. Labour pains tend to extend over a long period of time that can be extremely painful and difficult for a woman to bear. Of course C-section has its quota of pain to deal with like the abdominal surgery you need to overcome, but the pain is manageable after a few days in most cases. Also with a vaginal delivery you do not know how long you would suffer with the pain, but with a C section you know the amount and duration of pain. More over C-section eliminates Post delivery issues like hemorrhoids etc.

•    A long labour can cause a number of risks for the baby like fetal distress or oxygen deprivation. In cases where the child is larger than expected a normal delivery will cause a lot of complication for the mother and the child. Through a C section the child does not need to risk injury while passing through the birth canal.

•    Also if you have planned to have a C section you get the chance to decide the date at which your baby will arrive. This is safer than having a C section done in case of an emergency.

Cons –

•    The major risks included in a C section for the mother are infection, blood loss, blood clots, a longer recovery period, rehospitalisation and the possibility of damage to internal organs such as the bladder. Also the duration taken by the incision to heal will cause problems for the woman to get back to normal life. The incision site causes longer-term trouble for some women if not done properly. It can lead to not healing properly and needing to be reopened.

•    Women who have delivered their first baby through a caesarean are at an increased risk of complication during the second delivery. The risks are mostly related to the placenta. Also the risks rise with each additional c-section. Also you are more on the verge to go into labour before your scheduled c-section increasing risks involved in VBAC like uterine rupture at the old scar site.

However, the decision you take for the delivery of your baby needs to be made after discussing with your doctor and considering your situation.

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Dieting while trying to conceive

As per research to enhance the scope of conception you should attain your ideal weight around 6 months before you plan to conceive. However, the method you choose to do so needs to be healthy; crash dieting or exercising like crazy is not the answer to your problems. Your weight loss needs to be a combination of healthy diet and proper exercising.

Losing weight is important before you plan to conceive as there is a deep relation between your body fat and the reproductive hormones. People who are overweight or underweight can face hormonal imbalance that can cause a major problem to your body’s ability to ovulate. However, you cannot aim to lose weight overnight. It is sensible to go for a slow weight loss plan. This includes major changes in your lifestyle.

Benefits of dieting while trying to get pregnant –

•    Dieting before conception includes switching to healthy food and cutting down drastically on junk meals, alcohol and smoking. You as it is have to do so when you conceive why not get into the habit of doing it much before.

•    An ideal weight helps you to be more fertile which improves your chances of conceiving. In case you are overweight and trying to conceive, you could be facing a problem with determining the ovulation period due to irregular menstruation cycles. Maintaining an ideal weight helps your menstruation cycle to work like clockwork making it easy for you to predict the ovulation time.

•    In case you are diabetic and are planning to conceive then dieting to maintain an ideal weight is extremely important for you. This will help you to keep your sugar levels in control. Also your body will be supplemented with essential nutrients to keep you at the peak of your health. Also dieting before conceiving will help reduce risk of complications like hypertension and gestational diabetes.

•    Before you conceive your body needs to be cleansed of all the toxins. This makes sure that you conceive without any hassles. Healthy eating performs this essential task for you.

•    Weight gain is as usual a phenomenon of pregnancy as morning sickness or your frequent visits to the washroom. If you are already overweight and plan to get pregnant you cloud be inviting major problems for yourself during the term of pregnancy and delivery as well. Hence plan to lose weight before or while planning to conceive to avoid major complications.

Essential to keep in mind –
Your pre-pregnancy diet includes some important points to keep in mind.

•    Before starting with your weight reduction efforts it is advisable that you find out your BMI i.e. Body Mass Index using a BMI calculator. Your BMI will guide you as to how much weight you need to lose as losing more than required does not serve the purpose.

•    Do not follow a diet plan that limits the consumption of nutrients like protein and carbohydrates. Work to lose reasonable amount of weight in a week’s time like 1 to 2 lbs. Following an extreme weight loss plan will deplete the stored nutrients in your body leading to a number of deficiencies.

•    It is beneficial to consult a dietitian or a nutritionist for a healthy diet plan. They make sure that you do not exclude any of the important nutrients in the diet you adapt. The plan essentially includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and protein. Thus preparing your body not only to conceive but also be ready to nourish the child. Your exercises can include activities like swimming, walking and yoga.

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