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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Commonly Cited Myths of Water-Birth

Water-birth is becoming an increasingly popular birthing option. There are, of course, many safety questions that might bother you. From concerns about infection to worries about your baby drowning or ingesting water, you could hear many myths about water-birthing. But you shouldn’t worry as long as you have the right guidance from trained professionals who will care for you.

It’s safe for you and your little one to labour in water if you’re healthy and if your pregnancy is going well. However, there isn’t enough evidence yet to say whether giving birth in water is safer as compared to giving birth out of the water.

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Experiencing Natural Birth in Water

You might be aware that your little one is floating for nine months in your womb. How about welcoming your little one in the same soothing environment? Yes, it’s possible!

Water-birthing is a safe and natural option in which you can birth your baby in a warm birthing tub. It’s a wonderful experience as it is less stressful for you and is very gentle for your baby. Your baby makes its way from a water-filled womb into a similar environment.

If you’re interested in a water-birth, it’s best to talk to your midwife or inform your obstetrician to meet the midwifery team to discuss this option. Selecting water-birth is an informed choice that the mother makes. But, the expectant mother has to be in optimal health before choosing water-birth.

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How Eating Habits During Pregnancy Can Affect 3 Generations

After conceiving, having a balanced diet and following a healthy lifestyle is vital for you and your little one. While you’re pregnant, your body is just not your own – it has your baby attached and dependent on it as well.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is important for your baby’s development and growth. You must have heard that maintaining a healthy and balanced diet throughout pregnancy is beneficial. But have you thought why and how is it important?

What do the recent studies suggest?

New research suggests that your eating habits during pregnancy affect not only your baby but also your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Medical professionals believe that maternal diet plays an important role in your baby’s development.

One of the unique aspects of the research was to find how a mother’s eating habits can have an impact on her baby even before conceiving.

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Important Nutrients During Pregnancy

Now that you’re pregnant, you need a lot of essential nutrients for you and your growing baby. It can be confusing for you to keep a track of which ones are the most important and how to incorporate them in your daily diet.

There’s no magic formula for a nutritious pregnancy diet. In fact, during pregnancy, the basic principles of eating healthy remain the same – a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, good amount of proteins and healthy fats and make sure you even drink plenty of water.

However, there are a few nutrients that deserve special attention in your pregnancy diet. Here are a few that top the list:

Folic acid (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid is a pregnancy superhero! Right from the start, during the early development of your little one, and throughout your pregnancy folic acid is beneficial.

Folic acid is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. You may be recommended to take approximately 500 micrograms of folic acid per day.

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Steps to prevent infections during pregnancy

Infections during pregnancy can be harmful to both you and your baby. Timely preventive measures help improve chances of having a healthy baby.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent certain infections:

  1. Maintain good hygiene –

Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly to protect yourself and your baby. Regularly washing your hands, especially before and after any activity, is one of the best ways to eliminate germs, avoid getting sick and prevent infections. In case soap or running water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.

  1. Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and products made from it –

Avoid consuming soft cheeses unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized products contain harmful bacteria that can cause infections during pregnancy. Make sure you read the food labels before you buy any product.

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Common Infections During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the most wonderful phase in a woman’s life and every woman wants to be in the best health during this time. However, pregnancy can come with its share of uneasiness and being ill can take away from the experience. This makes it essential to take preventive measures, especially because it could be harmful to your baby.

What Can Make You Prone to Certain Infections?

Our body has a natural defence mechanism to protect us from bacteria and viruses. Antibodies help fight infections, but sometimes our body fails to make enough antibodies.

Infections occur during pregnancy mainly because the immunity is lowered. The immune system adapts to protect you as well as your baby. Some part of the defence mechanism is enhanced while some gets suppressed.

Infections contracted during pregnancy can be complicated as they affect not only you but, in some cases, also your baby. Therefore, learning about these infections and getting timely treatment is crucial. Here is a list of some common infections:

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What are the common complication during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a natural process, which ideally requires a minimal or non-invasive procedure. However, there are few complications that may occur during pregnancy which require immediate medical attention to ease the process. The complications may affect either the mother’s or the baby’s health and sometimes both. Most of the complications can be avoided or treated with the right supervision and treatment.

Loss of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks is termed as a miscarriage. A miscarriage happens when there are chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilised egg which keep the embryo from developing further.

The first symptom to identify a miscarriage is excessive vaginal bleeding. However, it is common to spot blood during early pregnancy. It is best to consult the doctor at the earliest to detect a miscarriage.

 

Preeclampsia

This is a serious complication which can occur during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, causing high blood pressure. Women with preeclampsia are advised to deliver the baby at the earliest. If it is too early to deliver the baby, the mother and baby will be under medical surveillance until the due date.

This condition can also lead to some serious problems and affect other organs.

An ideal time for delivery is once the mother reaches 37 weeks of pregnancy. If the baby is delivered before 37 weeks, it is a preterm birth and the baby is considered a premature baby. A preterm birth can sometimes be fatal to the baby.

 

Gestational diabetes

This condition occurs when the pregnant woman cannot process her sugar intake. This fairly common condition is serious enough to cause complications during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important for the mother to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan in order to deliver a healthy baby.

A poorly-maintained diet will lead to sugar imbalance in the blood. This problem can be cured by modifying the diet accordingly. In few cases, insulin will be prescribed by the Doctor to help keep sugar levels in control.

Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilised egg attaches itself to places other than the uterus. 1 out of 50 pregnancies is an ectopic pregnancy. It occurs in the fallopian tubes, which aren’t designed for holding a growing embryo. The growing embryo creates a rupture in the fallopian tubes and causes internal bleeding. One can identify an ectopic pregnancy through symptoms like vaginal bleeding, sharp pain in the intestines, weakness and some others.

This condition can be cured if a doctor is immediately consulted upon experiencing a sharp pain or spotting blood.

As the famous saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. It is important for a pregnant woman to be in a positive and healthy environment.

At Stork Home, we believe that every woman is capable of giving birth naturally and is treated with utmost care and warmth. We always encourage the mother to follow the required diet, therefore, avoiding any kind of complication. However, during any complication, our specialist team of doctors, midwives and support staff are on their toes to provide the required care and treatment to the mother and the baby.

Ankle Swelling During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your belly is not the only thing that swells. You may notice mild swelling throughout the body, particularly in the ankles and feet. As the body produces around fifty percent more blood and fluids to fulfil the needs of the growing baby, swelling is a normal part of a pregnancy. However, the amount of swelling you experience may vary and by the end of the day become more and reduce after a night’s sleep. Swelling could be more in women with multiples pregnancies or having excessive amniotic fluid.

Causes of Swelling

Also known as Edema, ankles and feet swelling during pregnancy is a common thing that goes away after childbirth. There are various factors responsible for the swelling. Along with the extra body fluid, the growing uterus, hormonal changes etc. are also responsible for ankles, feet and leg swelling. The uterus which constantly grows during pregnancy puts pressure on the pelvic veins and the large vein impairing the return of blood to the heart and results in swelling.

Though mild ankles and feet swelling is normal and goes away with the completion of pregnancy, but a sudden increase in swelling may indicate that the blood pressure is higher than normal. This could be a sign of preeclampsia. And a sudden swelling in one leg could be a symptom of a blood clot i.e., deep vein thrombosis. So, if you notice any one of these, it’s important to consult your doctor. However for mild swelling, you can adopt some ways to reduce it.

  • Take regular breaks

Make sure not to stand or sit for a long period. Taking a short walk will help in better blood circulation. And when you sit, keep your feet on a stool, rotate your feet at the ankles and stretch your legs from time to time.

  • Sleep on your side

Sleeping on the left side is helpful in reducing ankle swelling during pregnancy. When you sleep on your left side, it takes the pressure off the large vein that returns the blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.

  • Do physical activity

Mild physical activity is necessary during pregnancy to keep oneself active and healthy. If you can’t indulge in exercising, taking a walk daily is very helpful.

  • Wear comfortable shoes

When you go out of the house, wear comfortable shoes and at home, wear a pair of soft slippers and make sure that they are not slippery.

  • Wear compression stockings

You may be recommended by your doctor to wear stockings or supportive tights during

the daytime.

  • Drink plenty of water and eat well

Drinking plenty of water has a positive effect on reducing overall swelling. Make sure to avoid junk foods and include healthy options in your diet.

 

Treating Headaches During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a phase during which you get ready to welcome your little bundle of joy. It is also a time when women undergo physical changes and experience some discomforts. Headache during pregnancy is quite common, especially in the first trimester. Though most frequent in the first and third trimester, pregnancy headache may occur at any time during the gestation period.

Other factors responsible for headaches during pregnancy –

  • Dehydration
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Stress
  • Low blood sugar level
  • Women who used to have a high intake of caffeine but stopped the intake due to pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • Stopped smoking during pregnancy

How to get relief from headache during pregnancy?

You can get relief from mild headaches during pregnancy without taking medicines by a adopting the following.

  • Cool compress

In order to get quick relief from mild headaches, lie down and put a cool compress on your head.

  • Do physical activity

Though remaining active during pregnancy may seem difficult but including physical activity in your routine such as walking or aerobics can be helpful in preventing headaches. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before doing aerobics or any kind of other exercise.

  • Manage stress

Managing stress can help you in getting relief from mild pregnancy headaches.

  • Practice relaxation methods

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, yoga and massage can make you feel better.

  • Eat regularly

When you eat scheduled meals regularly and maintain a healthy diet, you can prevent pregnancy headaches. Make sure to remain adequately hydrated by drinking a plenty of fluids.

  • Have a sleep schedule

Lack of sleep can result in pregnancy headaches. Make sure to have the required sleep and follow a regular sleep schedule.

  • Peppermint oil

The anti-inflammatory and relaxant nature of peppermint oil can ease the mind and relieve the discomfort. A few drops on your pillow can do the trick and help you sleep comfortably.

  • Avoiding triggers

Certain odours, foods and postures may cause headache. Try to avoid the headache triggers during pregnancy.

Headache during pregnancy is common, but if it doesn’t go away or you experience more than normal, make sure to consult with your doctor. Severe headaches can be signs of pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure and damage to other organs. Fortunately, there are some effective treatments for pregnancy headaches that help you in getting relief.