Yeast Infection (vaginal thrush) During Pregnancy

What is a yeast infection?

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Vulvovaginal candidiasis, often referred to as yeast infection, is a common gynaecologic ailment, affecting 75% of women at least once in their lifetime. More than 40% will have 2 or more episodes and infection occurs more frequently in pregnant women. Yeast infection is caused by a fungus called Candida. This is found in small numbers in the normal vagina. However, when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the vagina is altered, the yeast may overgrow and cause symptoms. Read More

Ultrasound During Pregnancy

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Ultrasound or sonogram is a method that uses sound waves to study the internal parts of a human body. It is widely used in all branches of medicine, especially in obstetrics and gynaecology. Undergoing an Ultrasound scan is a special part of a pregnancy, as you get to see your baby for the first time in the visual image created by an ultrasound. This imaging technique helps the doctor to evaluate various aspects of a pregnancy, including detection of birth defects and determination of the well-being of the unborn baby. Read More

Vaccines During Pregnancy — Are They Safe?

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Giving birth to a baby is one of the most profound, emotionally-rich and transformational experiences of your life. During pregnancy, you need to undergo different tests during prenatal visits. Though vaccinations are a vital part of normal healthcare, you may wonder if it is safe to get vaccinated during pregnancy. This is quite normal and you have every right to know about it.

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Normally, vaccines that contain killed i.e., inactivated viruses are given to women during pregnancy. Vaccines containing live viruses are not given.

During pregnancy, mainly two vaccines are recommended:

  • Flu shot

Flu or influenza shot is recommended to women who conceived during the flu season i.e., typically between November and March. As this vaccine is made from an inactivated virus, it is completely safe for the mother and the baby in the womb. Avoid influenza nasal spray vaccine as it is made from an active virus. The influenza shot protects you from infection and also helps in protecting your baby. It is recommended to pregnant women as they are more prone to severe flu than other women.

  • Tdap vaccine

Tdap vaccine i.e., tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis protects your baby from whooping cough, regardless of the fact when you had the last shot. One dose is recommended to pregnant women between the 27thand 36th week even if they were vaccinated before pregnancy.

Both the vaccines have great safety records which make them safe during pregnancy. Antibodies from mothers can save babies who are too young to get vaccinated.

During pregnancy, you need to avoid vaccines such as:

  • MMR (Measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine
  • Varicella-zoster (Shingles) vaccine

If you are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor regarding the vaccinations you need to take before getting pregnant. Vaccines that contain live viruses should be taken at least one month prior to conceiving. And if you are pregnant and have been vaccinated before, you should be well aware of the vaccines taken so that you can provide a record of the immunizations to your doctor.

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Depression During Pregnancy

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You may be aware of postpartum depression. But do you know many women suffer from depression during pregnancy? The most common disorder, depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes loss of interest and a persistent feeling of sadness. It’s normal to feel low occasionally, but if it lasts for a long period, you’re suffering from depression. It affects different aspects of your life — from how you think and act to eating and sleeping. This condition occurs more in women than men and during the reproductive years, the initial onset of depression is at its peak. Read More

Polyhydramnios – Things You Need To Know

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Amniotic fluid present in the amniotic sac provides a cushion to the baby in the womb protecting it from injuries. Polyhydramnios is a medical condition in which excessive accumulation of fluid takes place in the amniotic sac.

Polyhydramnios is not a common condition and occurs in around one percent of pregnancies. The cases are mostly mild and result due to a gradual build-up of amniotic fluid during the second half of a pregnancy. This condition is diagnosed when the amniotic volume reaches two litres or more. Acute polyhydramnios is common if you’re having a multiple pregnancy i.e., a pregnancy with more than one baby. Read More

Molar pregnancy / Trophoblastic disease

MolarPregnancyMolar pregnancy is part of the spectrum of diseases known as trophoblastic disease. A normal pregnancy consists of the fetus or developing baby and the placenta which is made of trophoblasts. A molar pregnancy (also called hydatidiform mole) is an abnormal overgrowth of the placenta caused by an imbalance in the number of chromosomes supplied from the mother and the father.

Molar pregnancies are uncommon, occurring in 1 out of every 600-1200 pregnancies. Risk factors for this condition include:

  • Asian and Mexican ethnicity
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Maternal age > 40 years
  • History of two or more miscarriages
  • Previous molar pregnancy.

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10 Power Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

For good health, a healthy diet is always important; And during pregnancy, its importance becomes all the more significant. After you conceive and your baby starts growing, it has variety of nutritional needs.  All these are received only from the mother. So, it is very necessary that the pregnant woman eats properly. Eating properly doesn’t mean that she has to eat for two, but she has to eat a healthy and balanced diet which contains all the nutrients needed for the healthy development of the baby.

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With relatives and friends making a variety of suggestions regarding what food to eat and what not to during pregnancy, it sometimes becomes very confusing.  In order to get rid of such confusions, you can consult your doctor regarding a healthy and balanced diet.

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To help you, we have prepared a list of ten power foods which you can eat during your pregnancy.

Yoghurt: Compared to milk, plain yogurt comes loaded with more calcium which is essential for the healthy development of your baby’s teeth, bones and nails. At least two to three servings of yoghurt on a daily basis are necessary for an expecting woman to meet the nutritional needs.

Eggs: They are very important for a mother-to-be as they provide you with good quality protein. They are also a great source of iron, Vitamin A and B12 . You can eat eggs in any form — hard boiled, omelette or scrambled.

Sweet Potatoes: Most of us don’t consider sweet potatoes as a healthy vegetable as we are unaware of its nutritional values. Sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium, fibre, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper and beta-carotene which are very essential for a pregnant woman. The presence of the anti-oxidant, beta-carotene helps in the development of skin, bones and eyes of your baby.

Nuts: During pregnancy, it is very natural to have food cravings which may lead to having unhealthy snacks. So, in order to satisfy your hunger pangs, you can have nuts which are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and brain boosting Omega 3 fatty acids.

Beans & Lentils: You can add beans and lentils to your diet chart as they provide essential nutrients such as complex carbs, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, fibres, proteins and zinc. Presence of zinc helps in lowering the risk of low birth weight, prolonged labour and premature delivery.

Leafy Green Vegetables: Adding green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus etc. to the diet chart of a pregnant woman is very beneficial. Presence of vitamin A helps in the development of the baby’s eyesight. In addition, green leafy vegetables contain potassium, fibre, iron, folate, calcium and anti-oxidants.

Lean Meat: Rich in vitamin B and iron, lean meat helps in the production of red blood cells. It also helps in preventing anaemia during pregnancy. Apart from this, lean meat helps in the proper development of the baby’s nervous system.

Salmon: An excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and proteins, salmon plays a key role in development of your baby’s brain. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.

Oats: Rich in vitamin B1, fibres and proteins, oats with a low glycemic index gives you an energy boost that keeps you active throughout the day.  The fibre from oats also supports healthy digestion.

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Bananas: They help to maintain a healthy balance of fluids and reduce fluid retention as they contain a good amount of potassium. One of the best sources of vitamin B6, with one large banana providing 50% of the RDI. Vitamin B6 helps the body to make red blood cells, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone). They also provide a lot of energy and a good source of good fibre.
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Importance of Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Pregnancy Diet

Introduction

A healthy pregnancy mostly depends on your diet during pregnancy. A balanced diet rich in natural foods that include probiotics and prebiotics allows you to stay healthy and fit. These components help in digesting and distributing the nutrients of the food throughout the body. Probiotics and prebiotics obtained either from supplements or from natural food sources are considered to be safe during pregnancy. But consulting a doctor is always a nice idea before taking any kinds of supplements.

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Probiotics and Prebiotics

Commonly known as good bacteria, probiotics are live microorganisms that are present in the intestine naturally. These good bacteria help in breaking down the food that we eat and help in providing energy to the cells. Whereas,  prebiotics are food components which are not digested by our body, but they stimulate the growth of the friendly bacteria.

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Benefits of Probiotics during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women have to go through a variety of discomforts which may occur frequently or may be severe. Stomach upset, stomach cramp, bloating and constipation are some of the common conditions that occur in pregnant women. Intake of probiotics directly from food or through supplements gives you relief from these problems. Below are a few of the benefits of probiotics:

  • Helps in making your digestive system healthier so that it works more effectively
  • Prevents diarrhoea due to infections and antibiotics
  • Makes the immune systems of mother and baby strong
  • Gives you relief from inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Maintains urinary health
  • Prevents premature birth due to infections in your birth canal
  • Helps in treating food allergies, atopic dermatitis and eczema in babies
  • Aids mental health and brain function
  • Helps in keeping cholesterol level balanced

Foods containing Probiotics

Probiotics are available in a variety of foods which include :

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  • Yogurt
  • Lassi
  • Dosa
  • Idli
  • Dhokla
  • Uttapam
  • Bhatura
  • Kulcha
  • Paneer
  • Fermented bamboo shoot

Foods containing Prebiotics

Here is a list of some foods containing prebiotics:

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  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Unrefined wheat
  • Soya beans
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kiwis
  • Oranges

Conclusion:

Eating a healthy diet enriched with a variety of nutrients along with probiotics and prebiotics is essential for a healthy pregnancy. It will not only help you to stay fit and healthy but will also enable your baby to have a healthy development.

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