Skincare Tips in Pregnancy During Monsoon

Pregnancy is a phase in a woman’s life where you have to take extra care of yourself. Your body constantly undergoes a variety of changes. If you are pregnant during the summer season, it becomes very uncomfortable to pass the days due to excessive heat, sweating etc. But monsoon also doesn’t bring much relief as the level of humidity increases.


At times, monsoon and pregnancy don’t go well together as the body’s immune system becomes more susceptible to infections. This may result in dysentery, indigestion, cold and cough, and many skin related problems. Dry skin, rashes, eczema, pimples, prickly heat boils are some of the common skin problems that arise in pregnant women during the monsoon. So, it becomes very necessary to keep yourself fit and healthy and take care of your skin to beat the odds of monsoon.

Skincare Tips for the Monsoon

A little change in the way of skincare can do wonders during the monsoon season. Here are some pointers :

  • Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to make your skin flawless and healthy. Drinking enough water helps in flushing out the unwanted toxins.
  • Pregnancy hormones make your skin more sensitive to sunlight darkening your skin. Stay indoors as much as possible and if you have to go out wear a hat, use an umbrella or cover exposed areas with a light scarf.
  • As it is not possible to avoid sunlight totally, dermatologists suggest applying sunscreen lotion at least 30 minutes prior to going out.
  • Taking a Neem water bath daily helps in fighting bacteria and other germs making your skin free of rashes. Neem water can be prepared easily at home by boiling Neem leaves for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton which absorb sweat and keep your skin dry.
  • During monsoon, soil and sewage make the rain water dirty, it may cause skin infections if your feet get exposed to such water. Wash your hands and feet immediately with mild disinfectant soap and warm water after coming from outside.


Avoid using skincare products containing harmful chemicals:


During pregnancy, read the skin care product labels carefully regarding the ingredients as using products containing chemicals may be harmful to you and your baby in the womb.

  • Hydroquinone: Commonly present in skin whitening cream, hydroquinone is not good at all for you and your developing baby. Using such products may have different types of ill effects.
  • Salicylic Acid: Present mostly in acne products, salicylic acid is dangerous for pregnant women as it may lead to preterm birth, low birth weight or malformation of the baby.
  • Spray or fragrances: Using spray on tanned areas or fragrances during pregnancy is not a good idea. Though it may not do much harm to the skin as it will not be absorbed much but inhalation of the chemicals in the spray may cause DNA mutations.
  • Hair Removers: As hair removers contain different type of chemicals, avoid using them as much as possible.
  • Bath Products: Most of the luxurious bath products contain chemicals which are not good at all for pregnant women. These chemicals may cause different types of allergic reactions. Rather opt for non-luxurious bath products free from chemicals.

A little skin care during the monsoon can make your pregnancy peaceful by avoiding any kind of skin problems. But if you face severe skin problems it would be better to consult an expert dermatologist.
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How To Safeguard From Summer Heat During Pregnancy

Summer which is both hated and loved has arrived. With temperatures soaring and hot winds blowing, it becomes very difficult to cope during summers now-a-days. The best way to enjoy the flavours of summer is by being prepared to beat the heat.


This is the time of the year you can nourish your body and mind with delicious seasonal fruits like mangoes, watermelons, pineapples etc. which are loaded with variety of nutrients. These fruits not only make you healthy and feel refreshed but also help in making your skin glow and hair shine.

However, getting the best of out of summer depends on how you beat the heat and enjoy the offerings of the season. Here are some tips to stay cool and healthy during summer.


  • One of the most important things during summer is staying hydrated. So, drink lots of fluids like water, fruit and vegetable juices etc. It will help you to retain the fluids lost while sweating. Carry a water bottle along with you whenever you step out of your house.
  • Using an umbrella, hat and sunglasses will help you avoid direct contact with sunrays and keep you comfortable.
  • Have a proper breakfast during summer as it prevents dizziness and low blood pressure. Have small but frequent meals during the hot days as it will keep you healthy.
  • Stay away from heavy foods and focus on light and refreshing food options. Light meals are easy to digest making you feel comfortable during the summer season.


  • To stay cool and comfortable, wear loose fitting cotton clothes and flip flops.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeine etc. during summer as they may speed up the loss of fluids.
  • Avoid staying in closed, parked cars during summer which may lead to suffocation etc.
  • Whenever you go out use sunscreen lotion adequately to prevent tan and rashes.
  • Have lot of seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables to keep you fit and healthy.

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Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy brings different types of discomforts and health issues. Sleeplessness, snoring, nausea, morning sickness, leg cramps, heartburn etc. are some common problems that afflict almost all pregnant women. Due to lack of sleep, most expectant mothers suffer from fatigue, feeling low etc. As pregnancy progresses, women find it difficult to sleep due to uncomfortable sleeping positions. Each trimester brings different types of sleep problems.


Some factors that can cause sleep problems during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Physical discomforts
  • Frequent urination
  • Heartburn
  • Leg cramps


Proper sleep is very essential for expectant mothers to pass the day feeling fresh and full of energy. In case, the sleep problems are severe, it would be best to consult your obstetrician.

Follow these tips for proper sleep at night.

  • 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, as well. Proper circulation of blood will reduce leg cramps letting you sleep well at night. Exercising regularly also helps in improving mental health.
  • Drink warm milk: Drinking a glass of milk before going to bed provides good sleep.
  • Have nutritious food: Foods rich in carbohydrates like crackers, bread etc. 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, have a warm bath. It will help you feel refreshed and sleep properly.
  • Relaxation techniques: Use relaxation techniques at home or join yoga or birthing classes to learn other relaxation techniques to improve your sleep.
  • Follow a routine: Adopt a routine like having a glass of milk or caffeine free tea before going to bed. Fix a time for going to bed and waking up in the morning; it will help you to have a good sleep.
  • Use pillows: You can use pregnancy pillows while sleeping.
  • 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.


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Anaemia During Pregnancy

Anaemia (Greek: an=without and haem=blood) 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 due to 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 for the production of 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.


Certain conditions put the mother at greater risk of anaemia:

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


Symptoms of anaemia

The most common symptoms of anaemia are:

  • Weakness and easy fatigability
  • Awareness of heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale lips and skin

Some of them overlap with general pregnancy symptoms. However, regardless of symptoms, 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.

Prevention and treatment of 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
  • 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



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Original Story – “Kangaroo Care Helps Preemies And Full Term Babies, Too”

Salma Shabaik holds her newborn son, Ali. When he was born, she held him naken against her bare skin, a practice called kangaroo care. Ali is wearing an ear cap to correct a lop ear.

When Ali Andrew Li was born on Jan. 7, he was gently placed on his mother’s chest, where doctors cleaned and examined him and covered him with a warm blanket. “I just loved it,” his mother, Salma Shabaik, a family physician who lives in Los Angeles, says. “It was really nice to have the baby right there beneath my eyes where I could feel him, touch him, kiss him.”

Read this story at :


Fernandez Hospital totally endorses the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) concept for premature and low birthweight newborn babies. The benefits are undeniable for both baby and Mother. The natural skin to skin contact is conducive to immediate breastfeeding and weight gain. We also encourage the Father or another caregiver to do skin to skin contact with the baby inside the NICU and get involved in this low-cost yet effective procedure to improve the baby’s overall health. Fernandez initiated KMC way back in 2004. Our full-fledged KMC Ward has well-trained staff and lactation counselors and is supported by a human milk bank.

Human Rights in Childbirth – A Global Movement A word from Dr. Evita Fernandez


why-human-rights-in-childbirth-matter-cover-pageOver the past seven years, my views on childbirth practices have taken a 180 degree turn. Today, I am convinced we obstetricians in India need to UNLEARN a lot of what we have been taught, and we need to LISTEN more to the women we are privileged to serve.

I realized, to my horror and shame, that we have indeed been violating a woman’s human right with regard to childbirth. Every time we fail to share/offer honest evidence based information, fail to give her the freedom to make a choice, prevent her from having a birth companion, refuse to let her birth in the position she finds most comfortable, we are violating her rights.

With a birth rate of 22 million a year, India has an overwhelming volume of laboring mothers, in overcrowded, poorly staffed hospitals. With institutional deliveries being made mandatory, the majority of our women are subjected to “obstetric violence,” which translates into physical and verbal abuse by healthcare workers, who are ignorant and insensitive to woman-centered care. I admit to being that myself (ignorant and insensitive) particularly in my early years of training and as a young obstetrician. Compounding all of this is the utter lack of privacy, loss of dignity and respect. Our women, especially the voiceless poor, birth in appalling environments.

Human rights in childbirth has today become a global movement which is gaining strength, and rightly so. Women, doctors, lawyers, midwives and activists are coming together to offer solutions to help protect the basic human rights of birthing women. We in India need to wake up. All levels of health care workers involved in maternity services, need to wake up. We need to reflect, rethink, and change our attitude and understanding of childbirth practices.

Rebecca Schiller in her well researched and well written book “Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter” says “Looking at how a society approaches childbirth, how it constructs a system around it, the rituals, the rites and the way it treats the key protagonist – the birthing woman – is akin to taking the temperature of that society. Nothing says more about the communities we live in than how they treat their most vulnerable at this extraordinary time.” – Rebecca Schiller, Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter (Pinter & Martin Why It Matters 9)

India is hosting the International Human Rights in Childbirth Conference in February (2 – 5th) in Mumbai. I hope, it will help bring about the much needed change in attitude, practices, and more importantly, help build a network of support for women birthing in our country.

For more details about the Conference, please visit :


Dr. Evita Fernandez’s response on the article – “Can We Please Stop Telling Pregnant Women This?

Original Article – “Can We Please Stop Telling Pregnant Women This?”


I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant and have already lost track of the amount of times I’ve been told by people that ‘everything will be fine.’

Read complete article at:

Can We Please Stop Telling Pregnant Women This? | The Huffington Post

Dr.EvitaDr. Evita Fernandez’s response on the article – “Can We Please Stop Telling Pregnant Women This?”
When I was a young obstetrician and not as wise as I am today, I often spoke these lines “don’t worry- everything will be fine” believing at the time that it was. Indeed the truth.

Today, I LISTEN very very carefully to the unspoken words of the young mother before me. I do my best to understand her fears and help her work through it all. I have learnt to believe in maternal instincts; learnt to listen to women when they express a fear repeatedly. I also know that a pregnancy can go horribly wrong. Sometimes there are tell-tale signs to warn and prepare both sides. Sometimes, one does not get the luxury of time to prepare for a loss or morbidity affecting the mother or her newborn.

It is important for us obstetricians to give women the freedom to ask questions, to clarify doubts no matter how small they may appear and more importantly, to LISTEN and become aware of the unspoken fears.

May this article help us understand a different perspective. May it induce us to reflect and initiate change wherever necessary.

Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Carrying a baby in the womb and giving birth is a beautiful feeling that women get to experience. During pregnancy, it is quite natural that the blood pressure of women may fluctuate.


Blood Pressure

The pressure at which blood is pumped throughout the body is known as blood pressure. Usually, blood pressure is measured in terms of the maximum pressure over the minimum pressure. In an adult, the normal resting blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg (millimetres of Mercury) approximately.


Pregnancy and Blood Pressure

When a woman conceives, there are changes in her body due to hormonal influence. Due to this, the blood pressure of the pregnant woman fluctuates. During the first and second trimester of pregnancy, blood pressure may be lower than normal.  And in some cases, blood pressure becomes higher than normal. And as time progresses, after delivery, blood pressure may return to normal.

So, it is very necessary that special attention should be given if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure during pregnancy.


Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

  • Gestational Hypertension: When a pregnant woman develops hypertension after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and no other organs are affected, it is referred to as gestational hypertension.
  • Chronic Hypertension: When a woman has blood pressure before being pregnant or before the 20th week of pregnancy, then it is known as chronic hypertension (Pre-existing Hypertension).
  • Preeclampsia: Sometimes, gestational hypertension or chronic hypertension can lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition during pregnancy which is also known as toxaemia. It occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy which is characterized by high blood pressure along with signs of other organ system damage. Preeclampsia when left untreated may cause severe complications including death of the foetus.

Problems Caused Due to High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure during pregnancy, causes different types of health problems, including :

  • Fetal Growth Restriction: High blood pressure may result in slow growth of the baby, leading to low birth weight.
  • Premature Delivery: In order to prevent further complications due to high blood pressure, premature delivery may be necessitated.
  • Separation of Placenta: Due to preeclampsia, the placenta may get separated from the uterus before the baby is born. And when the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus heavy bleeding may occur which may be seen coming through the vagina. In some cases, separation of the placenta from the uterine wall may be life threatening for both the mother and the baby.
  • Eclampsia : Preeclampsia can lead to mother having seizures (fits / convulsions) that is called Eclampsia. This is life threatening for both the mother and the baby.
  • Multi-Organ Damage: Preeclampsia can affect all the organs of the mother – leading to multi-organ damage. Sometimes, any one organ like the kidney, liver or blood cell may be affected, and this may lead to premature delivery. The mother is also at risk of developing HELLP Syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low platelets).

What are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, many times, may occur without any warning symptoms. It may be detected by your doctor during routine check-ups.

The symptoms of severe preeclampsia include:

  • Severe headache that doesn’t go away with simple painkillers
  • Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before the eyes
  • Severe pain just below the ribs
  • Heartburn that doesn’t go away with antacids
  • Rapidly increasing swelling of the face, hands or feet
  • Feeling very unwell.

Who is Likely to Get Preeclampsia? How to Prevent High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy:

Preeclampsia can occur in any pregnancy but you are at higher risk if:

  • Your blood pressure was high before you became pregnant
  • Your blood pressure was high in a previous pregnancy
  • You have a medical problem such as kidney problems or diabetes or a condition that affects the immune system, such as lupus.

If any of these apply to you, you should be advised to take low-dose aspirin (75 mg) once a day in pregnancy, to reduce your risk.

The importance of other factors is less clear-cut, but you are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia if more than one of the following applies:

  • This is your first pregnancy
  • You are aged 40 or over
  • Your last pregnancy was more than 10 years ago
  • You are very overweight – a BMI (body mass index) of 35 or more
  • Your mother or sister had preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • You are carrying more than one baby.

If you have more than one of these risk factors, you may also be advised to take low-dose aspirin once a day in pregnancy.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and suffering from high blood pressure, it is very necessary to seek your doctor’s advice.  Normally, a doctor may suggest the following in order to make your blood pressure normal and keep you and your baby safe.

  • Advise admission
  • Medications to lower high blood pressure
  • Offer frequent tests of your blood and urine
  • Monitor the health of the baby

So, it becomes very necessary to have regular check-ups during the gestation period. It will help you to know your health status and that of your baby. And if you are suffering from high blood pressure, your doctor will recommend certain things that you need to do.

Check-Ups and Tests to Get During Pregnancy

It is very important for women who are pregnant to have regular check-ups either with a doctor or a midwife. There are certain types of tests and scans which are needed to be done during pregnancy. All these help in keeping track of your baby whether it is developing in a healthy way or not. Moreover, you also get to know about your health.



For some women, pregnancy turns out to be well with no complications. But that doesn’t mean that you can skip those check-ups and tests. These procedures are not to be missed during pregnancy.

These are some of the prenatal tests and check-ups :

  • Routine Check-ups: During pregnancy, you have to visit your doctor many times for routine check-ups where certain types of urine and blood tests will be done. Your blood pressure will be checked and it will be determined through the blood and urine tests if you are suffering from gestational diabetes. All these tests are done to see if there are any problems which may create complications during pregnancy or during labour and to check the health of the baby, as well.

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  • Ultrasound: Every pregnant woman needs to do an ultrasound between 18 weeks and 21 weeks of pregnancy. This scan is known as Anomaly Scan which lets the doctor know if there is any structural deformity in the foetus. Ultrasound also helps in detecting :
  • If you are carrying a single baby or twins or more
  • The size of the baby
  • The health status of the baby
  • Position of the baby
  • Neural tube defects
  • Amniocentesis: It is a specialised procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken from the mother’s womb. Normally, it is done between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy and is performed on those women who have the risk of genetic disorders. It helps in assessing whether your baby has any chances of developing any birth defects or  has already developed some.


  • Down’s Syndrome Screening: This test helps in assessing whether your baby has the risk of suffering from Down’s Syndrome.
  • CVS or Chorionic Villus Sampling: This is done for those pregnancies where the risk of the baby suffering from serious inherited disorders is higher. It is an alternative test to Amniocentesis and is done by taking a sample of cells from the placenta.


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Exercising for a Healthy Pregnancy


As one of the most fulfilling phases in a woman’s life, being pregnant doesn’t mean that you have to sit and relax throughout the whole pregnancy period. Yes, during your pregnancy, you may feel more tired than before. You may have backache and swollen ankles. But it is very essential for pregnant women to keep active. Exercising during pregnancy will not only help you to stay in shape but also prepare you for labour and delivery. It allows you to return to your pre-pregnancy shape faster.


Exercising during pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to do complicated workouts. Simple exercises daily are enough to keep you fit and active. So, in order to have a healthy pregnancy, you should consult your doctor or an experienced trainer or join classes on pregnancy exercises.

Exercising and Pregnancy:

Exercising 20-30 minutes 3 or 4 days a week can help you maintain a healthy pregnancy. Walking is one the best exercises which provides a moderate aerobic conditioning without much stress. Swimming, pedalling on stationary cycle, light aerobics and yoga are some of the good exercise choices during pregnancy.


While exercising, it is very essential to stay hydrated. Have plenty of fluids and don’t be overheated. Exercise to the limit you are comfortable and as per your health trainer’s suggestions.

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy: 

  • Relieves backache and other discomforts
  • Increases your stamina and energy level
  • Prevents you from gaining excess weight
  • Helps you to sleep better
  • Gives a boost to your mood
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reduces constipation
  • Helps proper blood circulation
  • Gives a healthy glow to your face
  • Controls pregnancy related high blood pressure
  • Reduces the symptoms of postpartum depression

It is better not to exercise during pregnancy if you have the following problems:

  • Cervical problems
  • Heart or lung related disease
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Previous pre-term labour
  • Threatened miscarriage

Do’s while exercising:

  • Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes along with a supportive bra
  • Wear well-fitting sports shoes
  • Exercise on flat surface to prevent injury
  • Choose healthy food and eat at least an hour before exercise
  • Drink lots of water before, during and after exercising
  • If you are doing floor exercises, get up slowly

Don’ts while exercising:

  • Avoid exercises involving extensive hopping, bouncing, skipping and jumping
  • Avoid exercises which have chances of you falling down
  • Avoid waist twisting movements
  • Avoid exercising in hot and humid conditions
  • Don’t  hold your breath for a long time
  • Don’t do extensive exercises for long periods of time


So, if you are pregnant, do moderate exercises to stay fit and healthy. Not only you, but your baby also will greatly benefit by the exercises.

Exercise daily and have a healthy pregnancy.

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