Guide to Sleep During Pregnancy

With an array of physical and psychological changes going on, it is quite natural that you might not have good sleep during your gestation period. Sleep problems are quite common among expectant mothers. You may experience discomforts like back pain, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, restlessness etc.

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Reasons for sleeping problems during pregnancy:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Body aches
  • Leg cramps
  • Movement of the foetus
  • Heartburn
  • Breathing problem

Sleeping positions during pregnancy:

Good sleeping positions are very important to ensure proper sleep during the pregnancy period. Here, are some ideal sleeping positions which you can adopt to minimize discomforts:

  • Sleep on your left side: Sleeping on your left side helps in improving the blood flow. Keeping one or both knees bent while sleeping during the early months of pregnancy is very helpful to prevent discomforts.
  • Use pillows: Use pillows between your bent knees, behind your back or under your abdomen to relieve sleeping discomforts.

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Tips for good sleep during pregnancy:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee or soda during the second half of the day.
  • Avoid drinking lots of fluids or having a heavy meal before sleeping.
  • Eat healthy foods which are rich in variety of nutrients.
  • Have small but frequent meals to avoid heartburn.
  • During pregnancy, try to maintain the same time for sleeping at night and waking up in the morning.
  • A warm bath before going to bed will make you feel relaxed and help in having a good sleep.
  • You can join yoga or birthing classes to learn some relaxation techniques for better sleep.
  • You can have a cup of herbal tea or a glass of warm milk before sleeping.

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If sleeping problems still persist, it would be better to consult your doctor regarding this.
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http://www.visualistan.com/2014/09/ultimate-guide-to-sleeping-during-pregnancy.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/hip-pain-during-pregnancy/

http://organics.org/5-safe-herbs-to-make-your-pregnancy-better/

 

 

 

Effects of Smoking While Pregnant

Smoking has adverse effects on one’s health. And, when pregnant, smoking may lead to different types of health complications not only in the mother but also in the baby.  Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, nicotine and other poisonous elements that are carried to the foetus through the blood stream when you smoke during the gestation period.

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Complications during Pregnancy

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Complications that may occur when pregnant women indulge in smoking:

  • Ectopic pregnancy, wherein the foetus is conceived outside the uterus i.e., in the fallopian tube.
  • More chances of miscarriage.
  • Stillbirth may occur.
  • Abruption of the placenta resulting in premature delivery.
  • Rupture of Membranes.

Effects on Babies

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Health problems the baby faces when a woman smokes during pregnancy :

  • Reduction in the supply of oxygen to the baby due to nicotine and carbon monoxide travelling to the baby’s body.
  • Baby’s growth and development gets slower.
  • Smoking may increase the chance of your baby being born with cleft palate and cleft lip.
  • Increased risk of respiratory problems in the baby.
  • Babies are likely to have defects of the heart.
  • Increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Lower birth weight of the baby.
  • Baby is more vulnerable to asthma.
  • Increased chances of premature birth and death of the baby.
  • Increased chances of obesity in the later part of the baby’s life.

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Images Courtesy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoKLTGaED1I

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/cleftlip.html

 

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.

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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.

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Avoid using skincare products containing harmful chemicals:

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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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http://www.indiatimes.com/

http://blogspalace.com/

http://whatwomanneeds.com/

 

How to stay healthy during a monsoon pregnancy?

How to stay healthy during a monsoon pregnancy?

One of the most awaited seasons to get relief from the summer heat, monsoon is loved by all. But for women who are pregnant during the summer season, monsoon doesn’t bring much relief. However, you can make the best of monsoon by taking some special care and making some changes in your lifestyle.

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Here’s what you can adopt to make your monsoon pregnancy a lovely one:

  • Clothes: As the level of humidity increases during monsoon, you will sweat more than summer. Moreover, pregnancy leads to fluctuation in body temperature and you may often feel your temperature to be high. So, to stay comfortable, wear cotton clothes that are a size bigger. Cotton will absorb the sweat easily and keep you dry.
  • Personal Hygiene: Hygiene is one of the most important factors to remain free from infectious diseases. As monsoon brings rain and the water gets dirty due to sewage, mud etc., it may lead to variety of infections. So, don’t go outside barefoot during pregnancy. Stay indoors as much as possible and if you have to go out, make sure to wash your hands and feet with mild disinfectant soap immediately after returning home.

Take bath with Neem water at least once every day during your monsoon pregnancy. It will help in preventing various skin problems. And whenever you sweat, wipe your face, hands and the back of your neck with a wet cloth. It will freshen you instantly.

  • Keep your Home Clean: If you are not working, then you have to pass most of your time at home during pregnancy. So, it becomes very necessary to keep your home free from infection. Use good quality mild disinfectants to clean the floors and bathroom. You can even burn dried Neem leaves to keep away flies and mosquitoes.
  • Keep Hydrated: During pregnancy, it is very necessary to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and make sure to have filtered water only. Unfiltered water carries lots of germs causing varied health problems.
  • Eat Healthy Food: Stay away from street foods during monsoon. In fact, street food is not at all good for pregnant women as it may carry different types of germs. As your baby in the womb will receive nutrients from the food you eat, have a healthy and balanced diet.

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Tips for pregnant women during monsoon:

  • Carry an umbrella or a raincoat whenever you step out of your house.
  • Wear comfortable footwear which is not slippery.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating or cooking.
  • Stay away from fish and prawns during the rainy season; as this is the time they breed, and you may suffer from stomach infections.
  • Don’t go near open wires or any electrical appliances which may harm you.
  • Inform your family members if you are going out.

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http://indiatoday.intoday.in

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Gestational Hypertension

Gestational hypertension, also known as pregnancy induced hypertension occurs in women during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has high blood pressure i.e., more than 140/90 and this occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, then she is said to have gestational hypertension.  This can lead to preeclampsia or toxaemeia, which is a serious medical condition during pregnancy.

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Symptoms of gestational hypertension

Some of the symptoms you may notice if you are suffering from gestational hypertension:

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  • Rise in blood pressure level
  • Presence of protein in the urine
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nose bleeding
  • Swelling of the body
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Pain around the stomach
  • Urinating in small quantity
  • Sudden gain in weight

Diagnosis of gestational hypertension

Based on the above symptoms, the following tests are done to diagnose if you are suffering from gestational hypertension:

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Measuring the level of blood pressure

  • Testing for body swelling or edema
  • Checking your body weight regularly
  • Urine, kidney and liver function test
  • Testing for blood clotting

How to prevent gestational hypertension?

Though there are no foolproof methods to prevent gestational hypertension, adopting the following will definitely be helpful for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Have at least seven to eight glasses of water daily
  • Lower the consumption of salt and use only required for taste
  • Do exercise regularly
  • Take rest as much as possible
  • Include foods with high protein
  • Avoid junk food
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol

Treatment for gestational hypertension

If you are suffering from gestational hypertension, your doctor may recommend the following to lower the level of gestational hypertension so that it doesn’t worsen.

  • Medications for lowering the level of gestational hypertension
  • Frequent testing of your blood and urine
  • You may be recommended bed rest
  • If needed, you may be hospitalised as you may need special attention
  • Monitoring the health of the foetus

So, it is very essential to have check-ups regularly during pregnancy to know that everything is okay with you and your baby. If your doctor finds that you are suffering from gestational hypertension, you will be recommended to do the necessary things.

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http://healthy-ojas.com

Ways to Control Obesity During Pregnancy

Most women are overweight when pregnant. Some gain too much weight after being pregnant. When your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater, you are said to be obese. Gaining too much weight and reaching a stage of obesity creates a variety of complications during pregnancy.

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Problems related to pregnancy due to obesity

If you are obese, you must take care of your health and that of your would-be baby by losing weight before you plan on getting pregnant. Obesity during pregnancy may put you at risk of a variety of problems that include:

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  • Gestational Diabetes: This occurs during pregnancy and if you are obese there is a greater chance of suffering from this problem. Due to gestational diabetes, you may end up having a caesarean section. Moreover, it increases the risk of the mother and the baby suffering from diabetes in the later stages of their lives.
  • High Blood Pressure: Obesity can also lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy which is also known as preeclampsia. In some cases, it may lead to seizures, kidney or liver failure etc.
  • Miscarriage: Obese women are at a higher risk of miscarriage compared to women with normal weight.
  • Birth Defects: Obesity can lead to various type of birth defects like neural tube defects, heart defects etc.
  • Preterm Birth: Preterm birth may occur if you are suffering from obesity during pregnancy.


What to do if you are obese during pregnancy?

Losing weight during pregnancy is not good, but if you are obese, try not to gain much weight. You can keep yourself and your baby healthy by limiting weight gain. If you are obese you may adopt the following ways to keep on track with weight gain.

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  • Healthy diet: During pregnancy, it is very essential to have a healthy diet as recommended by your nutritionist. Avoid junk and unhealthy foods.
  • Drink plenty of water: During pregnancy, you should drink lots of water. Water not only helps in keeping you and your developing baby healthy but also in preventing hunger.
  • Have light meals: If you don’t want to gain much weight, eat light meals frequently instead of heavy meals. Light meals provide the required energy without increasing your weight.
  • Avoid eating for two: Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to eat for two. Eating for two makes you put on lots of excess weight which is not good at all for obese pregnant women.
  • Exercise: Daily exercise helps a lot in limiting excess weight gain. If you are a beginner, you can go for pregnancy exercises like swimming and low impact aerobics. But do consult your doctor before doing any one of these.
  • Walking: You can walk slowly for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Walking helps in keeping yourself fit and healthy.

Images Courtesy:

http://diseasesoflife.blogspot.in/2010/07/tips-to-prevent-obesity-during-and.html

http://www.slideshare.net/rebeccaforehayes/obesity-during-pregnancy-40119053

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/overweight-pregnant.aspx

 

Are Weight Checks Necessary During Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is offered an array of blood tests, urine test, ultrasound scans etc. to check if everything is fine for her to carry the baby in the womb. In addition, weight and height is checked to calculate the BMI (Body Mass Index).

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As pregnancy progresses, you will start gaining extra weight as the baby in the womb starts growing. During the first trimester, you will not gain much weight as your baby is small and you might suffer from morning sickness and nausea. In the second trimester, you will start picking up weight. During the third trimester, you will gain more weight as your baby develops at a faster rate.

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Monitoring Pregnancy Weight

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The weight of the baby is not the only factor responsible for weight gain. Placenta, amniotic fluid, increased volume of blood, bigger size of the uterus, fat that gets stored in the body etc. are all responsible for the extra weight. So, in order to check whether the pregnant woman is within the optimal weight range, it is standard procedure to record her weight at each antenatal check-up. Monitoring weight gain of the pregnant woman helps to check the following:

  • It helps in keeping a check that the pregnant woman does not gain weight outside weight gain recommendation.
  • It helps in monitoring the growth of the baby closely. Weight gain higher than normal may lead to a big baby, while weight gain lower than recommended may lead to a small baby. Both cases are not good for the baby.
  • Weight checks help in detecting preeclampsia. The sudden gain of excess weight leads to different types of health complications.

Though weight monitoring is not the only way to check the wellbeing of the mother and the baby, weight recording during the prenatal check-ups will keep you updated about the extra weight you are gaining during the whole pregnancy period.

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http://www.whattoexpect.com/

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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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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Detecting Baby’s Heartbeat on Ultrasound

From the time you conceive till the birth of the child, your body undergoes different changes. One of the many processes going on is the development of the baby. This is quite a delicate process — the time sperm and egg meet, to the formation of the baby, till its development.

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Pregnancy and Ultrasound Scans

Ultrasound scans are performed at different stages of pregnancy to check the health of the baby along with other essential information like growth of the baby, any abnormality, placental position etc. They also help in letting the doctor know if the pregnant woman is carrying a single child or more. Ultrasound scans are tests done with the help of sound waves that provide visual images of the baby along with the placenta, uterus and other organs.

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Detection of Baby’s Heartbeat

As every woman is different from another, so is their pregnancy. So, the time of detecting the baby’s heartbeat also varies. But, in general, by the beginning of the sixth week, the heartbeat of the baby is visible by doing an ultrasound scan. At this stage, the heartbeat is just like a flicker on the chest of the baby. However, in some cases, you may not see the heartbeat by the sixth week. But there is nothing to worry about. The normal heart rate of a baby at the beginning is around 90 to 110 beats per 60 seconds.

When the embryonic heartbeat is detected on the sixth week, it indicates that your pregnancy is safe and there is a little chance of miscarriage. In pregnancies, where the embryonic heartbeat is not detected in this period, the mothers-to-be are required to do another scan after 3 to 5 days. As the pregnancy progresses i.e. on the 9th week, the average heartbeat of the foetus would be around 120 to 160 beats per 60 seconds.

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http://americanpregnancy.org/

http://www.livestrong.com/

 

Why Your Workout Should Change With Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy is good for both the mother and the baby. It helps in lessening different kinds of discomforts, pains etc. which occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women can continue with the workouts they have been doing before getting pregnant. However, certain changes should be made with the pre-pregnancy workouts so that you feel comfortable doing the exercises and it doesn’t hurt your baby. It is very essential to seek your doctor’s advice before indulging in any kind of workout during pregnancy.

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Reasons for modifying your pre-pregnancy workout during pregnancy:

  1. Change in Posture: During pregnancy many changes occur in the woman’s body. The weights of the baby, uterus, growing breasts, amniotic fluid etc. are some factors responsible for weight gain. And the increased weight makes your posture change. Your shoulders may be rounded and your hips may be tilted forward. Due to the postural changes, you would suffer from different types of body pain. So, in order to reduce pain during pregnancy, you should focus on workouts that strengthen your core muscles.
  2. Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles: The weight of the baby, uterus etc. makes your pelvic floor muscles weak. To make your pelvic floor muscles strong, you can indulge in pelvic floor exercises and kegels during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well.

Time to Stop Workouts

Though exercising is good during pregnancy, you should stop doing any form of exercises if you suffer from any of the following and consult your doctor.

  • Out of breath before doing exercise
  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Chest pain, joint pain and stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Walking difficulty
  • Decrease in the movement of the foetus
  • Leakage of amniotic fluid
  • Risk of Preterm labour

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Workout points to remember during pregnancy

  • Avoid lying flat on your back for too long while doing workouts.
  • Reduce the intensity and frequency of workouts during the last trimester at your doctor’s recommendation.
  • Don’t indulge in uncomfortable jumps and twists during workouts
  • Avoid contact sports or workouts which have the possibility of getting you out of balance.
  • Avoid workouts that put too much pressure on your abdominal area.
  • Workout when the climate is not too hot and humid or in temperature controlled environment.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and good supportive undergarments during  workouts.
  • Wear the right shoes which are comfortable.
  • Hydrate yourself before, after and during workouts with water or juices.
  • In order to keep your energy high, you can have a light snack before doing workouts

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Images Courtesy:

https://www.fix.com/blog/prenatal-exercise-and-health/

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a758/guide-to-exercising-in-pregnancy