Archive | June, 2011

Travel during pregnancy

Travelling during pregnancy is not a tough task to do, neither is it very risky provided the medium you choose is safe. For e.g. travelling by rickshaw during pregnancy especially during the third trimester is a very risky thing to do and doctors recommend to avoid it as much as possible. A bumpy ride can lead to many complications in your term. Hence, choosing the right mode of travel is extremely important. It is required you do some amount of planning and take some precautions during travel. Following are a few tips that will make travelling a little more convenient during pregnancy –

Consult your doctor –
In case you are planning for a long travel it is imperative you consult your doctor. They will conduct a complete check up and asses if there are any complications in your situation. In case your situation is not right for travel they will recommend against it. In case your condition is well enough to travel they will provide you some instructions that will make sure you have a safe travel.

Prenatal test schedule –
Be sure you always make it for your prenatal test. Hence plan your travel keeping these tests in mind. You can discuss the schedule of the tests with your doctor and plan the dates of your travel accordingly.

Carry your reports all along –
When packing your belongings for the travel remember to prepare a list of key names and phone numbers you’ll need in case of emergency. This will help people reach important contacts if you are in trouble. Also if you are in your second or third trimester you should carry a copy of your prenatal chart with you all along. This chart needs to include your age, your last menstrual period, your due date, the number and outcomes of any prior pregnancies, your risk factors for disease, pregnancy-related lab tests and ultrasounds, your medical and surgical history, and a flow sheet of vital signs taken at each visit. Also it is advisable to ask your doctor to recommend someone in the area of your visit in case you are planning an extended stay. This will keep you in routine with your regular check-ups and provide support during emergency.

Carry your medicines –
The most important thing you need to pack in your luggage is a sufficient supply of prescription medications, prenatal vitamins, and even over-the-counter remedies you may need during your trip. This is extremely important if you are travelling to a place that is not well equipped with such amenities. Also you should keep the medicines prescribed by your doctor in the original container; this will help in case your bags are searched. It will show evidently that you are not taking medicines that are not prescribed.

Check flight policies –
In case you are in your third trimester and planning to take a flight to your travel destination it is advisable that you check the airline policy for pregnant women. There are many airlines that do not allow pregnant women to fly during the last week or month of their pregnancy without a note for the care provider. Also many health care providers recommend women not to take a flight after 36 weeks.

The best thing is to avoid long travel during pregnancy to have a hassle free term. Even everyday travel in the car, bus or rickshaw needs to be done with care. Take routes that are not risky and bumpy, also if possible ask the driver to drive slowly.

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Copping with unplanned pregnancy

You may be excited about your pregnancy even if you weren’t planning for one… but the leading consequences may spoil your fun. Maybe you were not intending to have any more children, or you were planning to be more stable financially before planning a family or for some reason a baby at this point of time is not the right thing to happen. There are many mishaps that can lead to unplanned pregnancies like mistakes in judgment, breaking of condoms, failing of birth control pills or failure of tubal ligations and vasectomies.

After coming over the initial shock of finding out that you are pregnant, you encounter tough decision making situations. Do you want to carry this pregnancy? How will you cope with things? Will you be able to handle this untimely responsibility? The most important and tough thing to do at this point of time is not to panic. Even if the situation seems like it needs to be sorted immediately, you actually have a lot of time on you. Calm yourself and collect your thoughts. Before you talk about this to anyone take time to think over it and determine the path you want to take. It would be good to involve your partner in the decision-making, as you two are the ones who are going to have to live with your choices.

A situation like this will always demand for support, so after you have thought about the situation clearly you could look out for a friend or a family member or a counsellor to speak with. The person should understand your perspective, situation and suggest methods keeping your comfort in mind. If not all this at least act as a venting point for you to feel lighter. The counsellor may help you look at things in different light and suggest ways you had not thought of before.

As pregnancy is a difficult thing to hide, sooner or later you will have to tell it out. But you can choose the people you want to tell to and not everybody has to know. Your husband may not be the first person you wish to tell. You can let him know when the right time comes and he is ready to talk about it. But the longer you hide the truth the tougher it will be. It is also better to let him know earlier and let him adjust to the situation with time. Not letting him know earlier can also get him angry. Whenever you choose to break the news to your husband, prepare yourself for the reaction. Try and approach the situation as a shared responsibility that the two of you will have to deal with.

It is important to remember that an unplanned pregnancy does not eliminate you from ruling your own life. The odds that you were trying to avoid by avoiding a pregnancy could also get you a number of advantages. It is a big event for your body and it definitely will affect your lifestyle for good. For starters you can now start taking extra efforts to nourish yourself better than you did before. This definitely is a development for good as a healthy body helps live a healthy life. Given it’s an unplanned pregnancy you could be facing more challenges than just physical changes. Find out ways in which you can still accomplish the goal of your life along with your baby. Also the coming of the baby will change the bonds you share with your partner for good, helping you to live a happy and supportive family life.

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Baby Movements

Pregnancy for first timers is a time full of excitement, confusion and nervousness. When you feel the flutters of your baby for the first time in your tummy you can actually feel the life moving within you. Also they are a reassurance of the baby’s development within you.

When will I feel the first movement of my baby?

The feeling of the initial flutters in your womb is a landmark in you pregnancy term. In case of first pregnancy you will not realise that those gentle fluttering sensations in your belly are your baby’s movements. These feeling are known as quickening. You may start getting aware of them when you are 18 to 20 weeks pregnant or later. During the second pregnancy some women can feel the movements as early as 13 weeks. You are most likely to feel the movements of your baby when you’re in a quiet position, either sitting or lying down.

What does the baby kicking or movements feel like?

Every pregnant woman has a different explanation to how the movements of the baby in the womb feel. Some say it feels like butterflies, nervous twitches or a tumbling motion. Initially you may find it difficult to determine the movements of your baby. Women in their second pregnancy are more efficient at realizing these sensations. They can easily distinguish them from the sensations due to gas, hunger pangs and other internal motions. However, in the second and third trimesters you will be able to distinguish the movements like strong kicks, jabs and elbows.

What does my baby do in there?

With the help of Ultrasound scans we come to know of what the baby is doing and when. Most of the movements begin much before you can get aware of them.

•    During the seven to eight weeks your baby starts with general movements like bending sideways and startling
•    In the ninth week your baby hiccups, moves an arm or leg on its own and sucks and swallows
•    In the 10th week of pregnancy your baby begins to flex and rotate his head, bring his hands up to touch his face, open his jaw and stretch
•    At 11 weeks the baby can yawn
•    14 weeks, the baby can move his eyes

Slowly and steadily your baby’s movements begin to get strong enough to feel it. Soon you’ll get used to him/her thumping or kicking as he stretches out his limbs. Also it is important to know that the baby may not always keep moving. There are times when the baby just wants to rest or sleep. Towards the end of pregnancy your baby will rest for around 45 minutes at a time.

How often should I feel the baby kicking?

During the early stage of your pregnancy you may not be able to make out the movement of your baby. But around the second and third trimester you can start feeling the sensations really strong. As per research around the third trimester your baby kicks around thirty times in an hour. Also babies have a certain period during which they are most active as they alternate between wakefulness and sleep.

I haven’t felt my baby kick today, should I be worried?

In case you are concentrating on something else; it is possible that you miss to notice the baby’s movements. If you want to reassure the movements of your baby, you can try the following methods –

•    Try putting up your legs and relaxing. Babies sometimes tend to sleep when you keep moving around. They may tend to wake up when you stop.
•    Lie down on your side and stay still. This also helps you to focus on the movements of your baby.
•    Drink something really cold. The change in the temperature felt by your baby will instigate it to move away from it.
•    Play loud music, slam the doors or something that makes a loud noise and check if the baby responds to it or not

In case your baby starts moving then may be all is well. But remember to keep an eye on the movements from now on. Also do not put off seeking help for such problems.

When should I see the doctor?
You need to contact you care provider when your baby does not move and respond to the noise or some other stimulus and when there is noticeable decrease in the movements of your baby. Decrease in the body movements of the baby may be the sign that he/she is not getting enough nutrients or oxygen through the placenta. In case this is detected you will be advised to take the required treatment for it.

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Sex during Pregnancy

A major doubt that women have during pregnancy is ‘is sex during pregnancy safe?’ For most of the couples their sexual relationship changes during pregnancy. Some may consider this the best time for making love while others may consider this a source of worry and fear.

Sex during pregnancy is safe only if your pregnancy is progressing normally. This implies that you are at low risk of complications like miscarriage or pre-term labour. You can discuss this issue with you care provider in detail. He/she will let you know of any complications your case faces and take measures to reduce any mishap.

But you may not always want to have it. Many women around this time feel that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. The hormonal changes, fatigue and nausea may keep the thought of sex way away from your mind. During the second trimester, due to increased blood flow to the sexual organs and breast you may feel the urge to have sex. However, by the third trimester, due to the additional weight, back pain, difficulty in sleeping, and other symptoms your desire for sex may again seem to dim.

It is important that around this time you and your partner share a good understanding and open lines of communication regarding your sexual relationship. Discuss about other ways to satisfy your need for closeness, such as kissing, caressing or holding each other. Also you may have to experiment with other positions for sex to see which is most comfortable.

Many women can also lose the drive for sex during this time as they are preoccupied with the approaching date of delivery and the happiness of becoming a parent.

You may want to discuss with your care provider safe positions for sex during this time or research the best practices for sex to avoid any unwanted situations. You should avoid sex at this time if complications have been identified in your case by your health care provider. Common risk factors include:

•    If you have a history or threat of miscarriage
•    In case you have a history of pre-term labor or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor
•    You experience unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge or cramping
•    Leakage of amniotic fluid, a fluid that surrounds the baby
•    In case you experience a condition called placenta previa, wherein placenta is down so low that it covers the cervix
•    Also if you are experiencing a condition called incompetent cervix in which the cervix is weakened and dilates prematurely, increasing the risk for miscarriage or premature delivery
•    If you are carrying multiple foetuses

Sex during pregnancy is not harmful for the baby directly. The baby is completely protected by the amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus. Also a thick mucus plug covers the cervix to keep the baby away from any kind of infection. Moreover the penis does not come in contact with the foetus during sex.

Also many women are worried about intercourse or orgasms leading to contraction. But in case of pregnancy with low risk the answer is no. The contraction that you experience after the orgasm is completely different from the contraction that happens during labour. Never the less it is advisable to cross check with your care provider to ensure that you pregnancy is in the low-risk category. Your doctor may recommend you to stop having sex during the final weeks of pregnancy for safety. This is because the semen that contains a particular chemical may actually stimulate contractions.

In case after the orgasm you feel severe contraction for more than 30 minutes, you need to consult your doctor as it can induce labour. Cramping is serious when accompanied with bleeding. Hence you need to look out for pink spotting. Also if you waters break call the doctor immediately.

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