Anaemia During Pregnancy: Important Things to Know!

 

Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of the body.  Anaemia may be caused by
i) blood loss; ii) decreased red cell production; or iii) increased red cell destruction.

The diagnosis of anaemia is based on the haemoglobin concentration in the blood. Haemoglobin is the protein in the red cells that carries oxygen to the tissues. Iron is required for the synthesis of haemoglobin. In addition, vitamin B12 and folic acid are also needed to produce red cells. A lack of any of these can lead to anaemia, the most common being iron-deficiency anaemia. Requirements for iron in pregnancy are three times higher than in non-pregnant women and the requirement increases as pregnancy advances. Worldwide, one third of pregnant women are anaemic.

Following conditions put the mother at a greater risk of anaemia:

  • Pre-pregnancy anaemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Inadequate spacing between pregnancies
  • Pregnancy with twins or triplets
  • Inadequate iron supplementation

All pregnant women should be screened for anaemia. If anaemia becomes severe, it might be harmful to the mother as well as the baby. Poor work capacity, susceptibility to infection, heart failure, premature and low birth weight babies, excessive bleeding after delivery are some of the complications associated with anaemia in pregnancy.

Here is how you can prevent and treat anaemia:

  • Ensuring normal haemoglobin level before conception
  • Iron-rich foods: dark green leafy vegetables, red meat, eggs, peanuts, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified foods, dried fruits such as apricots and raisins. It is advisable to take a pregnancy specific diet.
  • Pairing iron-rich food or iron tablets with a food or drink high in vitamin C (lemon juice, citrus fruits, or strawberries) can enhance the absorption of iron
  • Calcium, on the other hand, decreases iron absorption and should not be taken in combination with iron-rich food or tablets
  • Folic acid and vitamin B12 should also be supplemented if found deficient
  • Women who are intolerant to oral iron tablets may be advised iron injections

• Women suffering from severe anaemia may need blood transfusion

Sleep during pregnancy: 10 things to remember!

While most of us enjoy a good night’s rest of clean 8 hours, pregnancy can be a time of sleeplessness, discomforts, and health issues. Sleeplessness, snoring, nausea, morning sickness, leg cramps, heartburn etc. are some common problems that affect almost all pregnant women. Due to the lack of sleep, most expectant mothers suffer from fatigue or a sense of feeling low etc. As the pregnancy progresses, women find it difficult to sleep due to uncomfortable sleeping positions. Each trimester brings in different types of sleep problems.

Here are ten tips that will help enhance your sleep quality:

  • Minimize fluid intake before bedtime: It is very essential for a pregnant woman to remain hydrated. So, drink plenty of water during the day and cut down your fluid intake before going to bed. This will minimize frequent urinations during the night.
  • Exercise regularly: To improve circulation of blood, it is very essential to keep moving. You can do pregnancy exercises under a trained pre-natal expert. Proper circulation of blood will reduce leg cramps letting you sleep well at night and elevate your mental health.
  • Drink warm milk: Studies have shown that drinking a glass of milk before going to bed provides good sleep.
  • Have nutritious food: Foods rich in carbohydrates help in promoting sleep. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet throughout your pregnancy.
  • Avoid heavy meal: Before going to bed, avoid having a heavy meal. During the day, have small meals but frequently.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks: During pregnancy, it would be best to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol etc. Besides ensuring better sleep it will also be good for your baby’s health.
  • Take a warm bath: Before going to bed indulge yourself in a warm bath. It will help you feel refreshed and sleep properly.
  • Use pillows: You can use pregnancy pillows while sleeping. Lot of pillows help create cushioning and padding for comfort.
  • Relaxation techniques: Use relaxation techniques at home or join yoga or birthing classes to learn other relaxation techniques to improve your sleep.

Sleep in comfortable positions: Try to sleep comfortably and after the 20th week of pregnancy, sleep on the left side to ensure proper circulation of blood to the placenta.
 

How to Manage Twin Babies

“Sometimes miracles come in pairs”.

 

Twin pregnancies often evoke feelings of excitement and nervousness and we know that you might be worried about a lot of things.

Here are 9 tips for Twin Baby Management:

  1. Go for frequent antenatal visits as they help monitor complications. Early intervention is always recommended.
  2.  Examine the growth of your twin babies carefully and regularly. Frequent foetal assessment should be done by ultrasounds and by monitoring your twin’s hearts.
  3. A healthy twin pregnancy requires more nutritional intake. Stay hydrated, take your vitamins, and consult your nutritionist for a healthy, balanced diet of protein, fat, and complex carbs.
  4. Have peppermint and ginger tea to get relief from stomach upset and nausea.
  5. Beat the fatigue by maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and taking plenty of rest.
  6.  Eat something healthy which has protein and complex carbs as soon as you wake up.
  1. Try to get some exercise and fresh air. 20-minutes of walking can do wonders for your health and energy.
  2. Newborn Twins might need special care, choose a hospital that offers complete neonatal care.
  3. Complications can appear at any point of time during your twin childbirth and may not always be predictable. It is important to select a hospital that responds well to emergencies, with appropriate facilities, where you can be cared for by experts.

If proper care is taken during your pregnancy, there are minimal chances of complications. You should be in touch with your midwife or obstetrician and chart a birth plan.  Do not be afraid to clear all your doubts. It is also important to discuss the pros and cons of your normal twin birth or caesarean twin birth. Awareness is your greatest aid. Being pregnant with twins can be a lot of work for you, but the reward will be an exciting one.

Book an appointment at our Twin Birth Centre today. Call 1800 419 1397

Twin Pregnancy Symptoms and Early Signs

 

 

The first early sign of having twins is pure intuition. Most mothers of twin babies report that they had a sense or feeling that they were expecting multiples, even before they knew for sure. But for many people, the news may come as a complete surprise.

While there is no way to be absolutely sure without an ultrasound, here are 7 alternative symptoms that you can look for:

  1. Morning Sickness: Women pregnant with multiple babies report experiencing elevated levels of morning sickness, or morning sickness that lasts longer into their pregnancy. But this can vary from person to person
  2. High Human chorionic gonadotropin (HcG): Early positive pregnancy test signs of twins is having double or more than expected amount of HCG. Your obstetrician will be able to establish this with a urine test.
  3. High Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP): Through AFP test, a protein is measured which is secreted by the fetal liver. If there is more than one baby, then the amount of protein is high in the mother’s blood.
  4. Second heartbeat: If detected by your OBGYN they will probably ask you to go in for an ultrasound.
  5. Some people report showing earlier when pregnant with twins.
  6. Early-onset or heavy Fatigue could be a possible sign of twins.
  7. Weight Gain: During the first trimester of your pregnancy, weight gain is usually relatively low. Increased weight gain can be a twin baby symptom. Monitor your BMI and keep your OBGYN posted.

While a pregnancy with twins or multiples is exciting, it comes with some risks. Focusing on your health and seeking prenatal care is especially important during a twin pregnancy.

Early signs of twins cannot tell you for sure whether you are pregnant with two or more babies, but regular prenatal appointments and testing can. Always discuss your concerns with your OBGYN and take good care of yourself — no matter how many babies you are carrying.

Book an appointment with our Twin Birth Centre Today. Call 1800 419 1397

 

 

8 Psychological Benefits of Yoga during Pregnancy

8 Psychological Benefits of Yoga during Pregnancy

We all have felt that blissful calm that follows a good meditation. Something about deep breathing and drawing one’s consciousness inwards truly uplifts and strengthens the mind. Pregnancy-related changes can sometimes put one on an internal roller coaster. Yoga helps you to harmonize your body and mind and provide a better sense of well-being.

30 -minutes of yoga a day keeps the mind and body happy and healthy for the baby on the way.
Here are 8 reasons why we highly recommend yoga for your psychological well-being:

  1. Yoga helps with breathing, relaxation and thereby mood elevation. Breathing exercises also have a positive affect on the foetal heart rate and movement.
  2. Stress during pregnancy can have adverse effects on the foetus and its overall development. Yoga regulates the stress hormone- Cortisol and helps reduce maternal stress and anxiety.
  3. Yoga harmonizes the body and mind and may initiate psychophysiological change in pregnant women. Yoga concerts behavioural alterations. It reduces the frequency of mood swings, pain responses and improves overall psychosocial functioning.
  4. Improved psychological functioning helps strengthen and maintain interpersonal relationships.
  5. Meditation helps overcome the various physical, emotional, and mental states that arise during pregnancy.
  6. Pain management through yoga is becoming more popular as women are seeking alternatives to analgesics and anaesthesia. Yoga offers relaxation therapies and self-soothing techniques.
  7. Strength training and resilience building through yoga has fitness benefits pre-and post-pregnancy.
  8. It promotes self-confidence, self-efficacy, and coping ability; aspects that are important for a positive labour experience.

30-minutes of Yoga at least a few times a week can have many physical and psycho-emotional benefits for both mother and baby. And therefore, we highly recommend it.

Fernandez Hospital has taken the initiative to offer online prenatal yoga classes. Our comprehensive yoga programme has been uniquely designed to uplift your mind and body throughout your pregnancy. Our main goal is to help you stay fit and prepare you for labour, expert style. To register with us for online yoga classes, please call +91 8008570465.

References

Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2012, 715942. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/715942

10 Reasons to Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

 

10 Reasons to Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, any physical exertion seems like a scary thing to do. Research has shown that 30-minutes of physical exercise a day can have several benefits for both the mother and the baby. An agility building, relaxation-oriented yoga routine can help prepare your body for labour and improve your overall well-being. After all, Happy Mothers make Happy Babies.

If you still feel on the fence about practising yoga during pregnancy. Here are 10 Physical Benefits of Yoga to help you make up your mind.

  1. Yoga helps with nervous system regulation and physiological system functioning(i.e., immune, endocrine, neurotransmitter, and cardiovascular).
  2. It is known to improve psychological well-being (e.g., frequency of positive mood states and optimism) and physical fitness (e.g., strength, flexibility, and endurance).
  3. Studies show that practising yoga promotes harmony between the mother and foetus.  
  4. It helps regulate heart rate and reduce inflammatory markers.
  5. Physical exercise of any kind improves prenatal and post-partum health variables.
  6. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for expectant mothers and yoga is excellent for stress management. It is known to reduce the production of the stress hormone- Cortisol. Stress can have adverse effects on foetal Development during critical periods, resulting in poor outcomes regarding the length of gestation, foetal growth, birth weight, foetal development, and the foetal nervous system.
  7. Breathing exercises or deep relaxation positively affect both foetal heart rate and foetal movement. 
  8. Lack of physical exercise can cause oedema, gestational hypertension, diabetes, mood instability, musculoskeletal discomfort, aches, and weight gain.
  9. Yoga calms the mind and body, providing the physical and emotional relief which your body needs throughout pregnancy. A lot of women also practice prenatal yoga for normal birthing.
  10. Yoga not only prepares your body for birth but also promotes self-confidence, self-efficacy, and coping ability; aspects that are important for a positive birthing experience.

To reap the maximum benefits of prenatal yoga, make sure to join a comprehensive yoga program. Fernandez Hospital’s online prenatal yoga classes have been uniquely designed to help you throughout your pregnancy. Our main goal is to help you stay fit and prepare you for labour, expert style. To register for our online yoga classes, please call: +91 8008570465

References

Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2012, 715942. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/715942

Physical and Psychological Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy

Physical and Psychological Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy

Physical exercise during pregnancy can be daunting. However, research has proved that 30-minutes of exercise a day has numerous benefits for both mother and baby. Not only does it prepare your body for the baby to come but also furthers overall well-being. Happy mothers make happy babies.

When it comes to being physically active in your prenatal routine, it is important to take extra care to accommodate the needs of the baby growing inside you. Yoga has been proven to be beneficial for pregnant women. The only adverse health outcome that has been reported is uterine contractions, which can be monitored with a modified approach and appropriate activity reduction. A golden rule to keep in mind is to always listen to your body and stop immediately if you are experiencing any type of discomfort. All postures should be regularly adjusted as per the size of your baby bump. Avoid yoga that emphasize on physically demanding, strength bases or heated practices for the safety of both mother and foetus. The benefits of yoga during pregnancy far outweigh the risks and with the right consultation, you can design a routine for yourself that suits your pregnant body and your baby’s needs.

Some Benefits of Yoga

  • Improved foetal and maternal harmony: Yoga reduces inflammatory markers, decreases heart rate, improves prenatal and post-partum fitness variables.
  • Helps manage stress and reduce levels of the hormone cortisol and other associated symptoms that accompany pregnancy, such as oedema, gestational hypertension or diabetes, mood instability, musculoskeletal discomfort, aches, and weight gain.
  • Breathing exercises or deep relaxation techniques which improve both foetal heart rate and foetal movement.
  • Yoga helps calm the mind and body.
  • Mediation and self-soothing techniques help manage various physical, emotional, mental, and pain states that arise through the stages of pregnancy and labour.
  • Improved psychological functioning results in better interpersonal relationships.

Considering these physical and psycho-emotional aspects of pregnancy Yoga not only prepares your body for birth but also promotes self-confidence, self-efficacy, and coping ability; aspects that are important for a positive labour experience.
To reap the maximum benefits of prenatal yoga, make sure to join a comprehensive yoga program. Fernandez Hospital’s online prenatal yoga classes help you build both physical and emotional strength and benefit through pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes. To register for our online yoga classes, please call: +91 8008570465

References

Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM2012, 715942. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/715942

 

 

Prematurity: The magic of skin-to-skin contact / Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) or skin-to-skin contact are some common phrases you might come across during your childbirth. While it’s easy to guess what it means, why does it matter so much for your baby?

Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) was first introduced in the 1970s, to promote bonding, early breastfeeding and warm care in low birth weight babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for the routine care of newborns weighing 2000 grams or less at their birth.

As weight gain plays an important role in your premature baby, thermal protection of your baby is also a measure to be taken. Your newborn baby is prone to lose more heat easily especially when s/he is premature.

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Prematurity: Where every ounce is worth its weight in gold

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a premature baby is a baby born before 37 weeks completion of pregnancy. In the world, we have approximately 15 million babies who are born prematurely every year.

Based on the gestational age there are sub-categories of prematurity:

A late premature baby is one who is born between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. Most of the times, these babies do not require any intensive care. But there are three other groups of premature babies who need a lot of special care.

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Welcome your little one to this world with confidence

There is a wealth of information on how to maintain a healthy pregnancy. But, for many first-time mothers, the act of childbirth remains a mystery. Have you ever thought of attending a childbirth class?

A childbirth class can give you information on the entire birthing process and prepare you for your childbirth.

Why you should opt for a childbirth class?

The main goal of a childbirth class is to provide you with information to prepare for childbirth, help you make informed decisions and minimize your fears.

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