Feeding Guide

 Breast Feeding

  • Give mother’s milk to every baby immediately after birth
  • Every mother should get 6 months leave for child birth and breastfeeding
  • Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D which helps in building immune system. Hece, exposure to sunlight for a good amount of time is recommended.
  • On 10th days of life, baby’s weight must be nearly same as birth weight. If it is very less than that, baby may not be getting enough milk. It is an emergency, meet doctor and discuss.
  • “Breast feeding is not a choice it’s a responsibility”
  • Breastfeeding is helpful in preventing various illnesses like diarrhea, malnutrition, anemia, pneumonia, dental caries. In the long term, breast fed babies have less chances of developing allergies, obesity and have more IQ.
  • Breast feeding should be started within 1 hour of birth. Milk in initial 3 days is very beneficial and also works as immunization, as it is high in immunoglobulin content.
  • No pre lacteal/paralacteal feeds, no water for initial 6 months. No bottle/no pacifiers. 

Ways to increase breast milk in mother:

  • Take 4 meals apart from breakfast
  • Eat all type of food that you like.
  • Take total rest for 6 months
  • Have happy mind
  • You must remember caring is more important than worrying

Breast milk – the best milk for the child

  • Breast milk best for babies – 6 months exclusively then till 2 years with complementary food
  • Multiple benefits of breastfeeding
  • Composition of breast milk tailored for human babies; preterm milk for preemies
  • Breast milk production (prolactin reflex) and breast milk let-down (oxytocin reflex) require effective and frequent suckling
  • Breast feeding technique and skills should be taught to mother; correct positioning endures good latching
  • Feed the baby when it demands for the mother’s milk
  • Nipple and breast problems should be prevented and managed timely
  • Low milk transfer may be real or perceived: ascertain and manage
  • All mothers must know manual expression
  • Artificial feeding is disadvantageous
  • Breast milk is 1st choice milk for NICU babies 

Tips for working mothers for breast milk storage:

  • Room Temperature: Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours. If you can’t use the milk quickly or the room is especially warm, transfer the milk to an insulated cooler, refrigerator or freezer.
  • Insulated cooler: Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in an insulated cooler with ice packs for up to 1 day. Use the milk or transfer the containers to the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Refrigerator: Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator (not at the door) for up to 5 to 8 days.
  • Always store milk in a steel container only. Do not use bottle for storing milk.
  • Stored milk should be fed to the baby using a spoon.
  • Avoid feeding babies from a bottle as this could lead to serious illness. 

Complementary Feeding

Up to 6 months:

  • Breast feed as often as the baby wants, day and night, at least 8 times in 24 hours
  • Do not give any other foods or fluids not even water or gripe water or honey.
  • Oral vaccines and medicines can be given. 

Remember:

  • Continue breastfeeding even during baby’s illness 

6 to 12 months:

  • Breast feed as often as the baby wants.
  • Time to introduce solids initially as a thick paste and gradually shifting to semi-solid items. . Give it when baby is hungry. Baby will refuse this if it is given after a milk feed
  • Avoid packaged food, salt, juices,junk food items.
  • Prefer home cooked food like
    -  Mashed rice/ bread mixed in lightly sweetened undiluted toned milk.
    -  Mashed roti/rice/bread mixed in thick dal with added ghee/oil or khichri with added oil/ghee. Add cooked vegetables also in the servings
    -  Sevian/dalia/halwa/ kheer prepared in milk or any cereal porridge cooked in milk
    -  Mashed boiled/fried potatoes.
  • Encourage baby to chew on long fingers of carrots/cucumber, roll of cha ppati or toast.this should be supervised.
  • Give at least 1 katori serving at a time.
  • 3 times per day if breast fed baby and 4-5 times per day if not breast fed.
  • This is the time to wean off bottle feeding. Start giving milk by cup and spoon or using a clean sipper.
  • If on formula feeds, good idea to gradually switch to undiluted single toned milk, about 3 -4 milk feeds, not more than 500-600ml ml a day
  • Start giving water now by cup and spoon or by sipper

Remember:

  • Keep the child in your lap and feed with your own hands. Can make baby sit in a high chair once able to sit without support i.e. by 9months
  • Wash your own and child’s hands with soap and water every time before feeding 

12 months to 2 years

  • Breast feed as often as the child wants
  • Offer food from the family pot. Encourage child to self feed. From his own plate, katori and spoon.
  • Plain milk should not be more than 250ml a day. If you continue giving large quantities of milk, baby will not learn to chew/eat solid food as his stomach will fill up with milk.
  • Avoid packaged food, salt, juices,junk food items.
  • Prefer home cooked food like
    -  Mashed roti/rice/bread mixed in thick dal with added ghee/oil or khichri with added oil/ghee. Add cooked vegetables also in the servings
    -  Mashed roti/rice/ bread/biscuit mixed in sweetened undiluted milk
    -  Sevian/dalia/ halwa/ kheer prepared in milk or any cereal porridge
    -  cooked in milk
    -  Mashed boiled/fried potatoes.
  • Give at least 1½ katori serving at a time
  • Also give nutritious food between meals, such as: banana/ cheeko/mango/papaya as snacks , 3 times per day
  • Encourage baby to chew on long fingers of carrots/cucumber, roll of chappati or toast .this should be supervised.

Remember:

  • Encourage the child to finish the serving, but don’t force feed if baby pushes away the bowl of food. All children have their own sizes of stomach and eat different amounts of food.
  • Please do not compare children as each is unique.
  • Wash your child’s hands with soap and water every time before feeding 

2 years and older

  • Give home cooked food items at least 3 meals each day. Encourage child to feed himself. From his own plate, Katori and spoon. He should join family for meals.
  • Also twice daily, give nutritious food between meals, such as: banana/ cheeko/mango/ papaya as snack.

Remember:

  • Avoid junk and packaged food.
  • Teach child to drink plenty of water by glass about a litre a day.
  • Teach your child to wash his hands with soap and water every time before feeding

Toy safety of your Baby

Guidelines of Toy safety

  • Give age appropriate toy to the child
  • Choose for your child toys which are well made
  • Avoid toys with sharp/cutting edges
  • Select toys which are washable and sturdy
  • Bring for your child bigger toys till the age of 3 years, so that all detachable parts of the toy are bigger than his mouth to prevent the possibility of choking if taken into mouth. Toy should be big but not heavy.
  • Don’t give balloons
  • Don’t give a toy with string or cord longer than 12 inches
  • Ensure that the colour used in the toys is non toxic
  • Avoid toys with small magnets 

Toys suiting different age Groups 

Newborn:

  • Hand held toys
  • Sensory toys
  • Activity center
  • Music player suitable for babaies
  • Wind Chimes
  • Light weight rattles 

3 to 6 months old:

  • Soft books with high contrast patterns
  • Soft stuffed animals
  • Activity bars
  • Unbreakable mirrors
  • Squeaky rubber toys
  • Board books
  • Coulorful teething rings 

6 to 9 months old:

  • Soft dolls or stuffed animals
  • Moving toys
  • Books
  • Busy Boards
  • Balls
  • Household items
  • Wood or soft blocks 

9 to 12 months old:

  • Shape sorter
  • Toy telephone
  • Push Toys
  • Balls
  • Books
  • Blocks 

12 to 18 months old:

  • Ride on vehicles
  • Large building blocks
  • Sorting and nesting toys
  • Push and pull toys
  • Climbing Gym
  • Balls
  • Picture books
  • Washable crayons and paper 

18 to 24 months old:

  • Puzzles
  • Large and small blocks
  • Toys to play house
  • Toy instruments
  • Train sets
  • Illustrated books and CDs
  • Balls
  • Child sized house hold equipments
  • Ride on toys
  • Washable crayons and paper
  • Art supplies
  • Construction toys 

30 to 36 months old:

  • Beginning board or memory games
  • Kid size dishes, pots and pans
  • Puzzles
  • Art supplies
  • Construction sets
  • Books
  • Outdoor equipments

Is This Normal or Abnormal?

Introduction

Parents probably receive a lot of advice and tips about taking care of your baby. The best person to ask is the pediatrician who shall give you appropriate advice. Avoid following advice given by non medical neighbors and relatives. Avoid self medication except giving paracetamol for fever.

A parent should always remember that each baby is unique and has its own pattern of growth and development, feeding habits and personality. Hence there is a range of normal growth and development. Parents should know about this range and monitor for the abnormal warning signs. As each baby is different, avoid comparing them with other’s children and getting upset when someone else does it. Whenever in doubt, consult a Pediatrician.

Enjoy your baby’s development with calmness and patience. It is seen that calm parents have a calm and happy baby while anxious parents have fussy babies.

Common issues during first few months of life

  1. A Crying Baby- Most parents get very perturbed whenever the baby starts crying and try to relate the crying to a medical condition. Crying is the baby’s way of talking and communicating in the first six months of his/her life. Crying is not always a sign of hunger. Parents need to calmly try to understand this crying language and decipher the baby’s needs.

    When does a baby normally cry?
    -  When the baby is hungry
    -  When the baby is wet due to urine or stool
    -  When the body temperature of the baby is hot or cold (too much or less clothing)
    -  When the baby wants company or change of environment (cuddle the baby and take it to another room)
    -  When the baby is sleepy (sing to the baby)
    -  When the baby has colic (burping after feeds and positioning baby on its stomach with head to the side)

    Abnormal crying is seen when
    -  baby is sick ie baby not sucking well/inconsolable/ repeatedly vomiting/ has fast breathing/ fever ≥ 38°C/ earache/has not passed urine for 8 hrs/ has loose motions with blood. These are called danger signs and parents should seek immediately medical help.
  2. Breast engorgement in baby- do not squeeze it. It will subside after a few days. It happens due to maternal hormones present in breast milk.
  3. Bleeding per vagina in a baby girl- Again due to maternal hormones in breast milk , usually subsides in 4 days. If it continues seek medical help.
  4. Vomiting- All babies normally bring out a small amount of curd like liquid after feeds. This reduces if baby is burped properly after feeds for at least 10 minutes. If baby keeps bringing out milk as it is, it is vomiting and parents need to seek medical help especially if baby is not gaining weight. Avoid overfeeding / feeding when baby is not hungry.
  5. Baby Feeding Adequately or not- If baby is passing urine 6-8 times a day, gaining weight and sleeping well then baby is getting adequate milk. Most babies sleep through the day and keep awake through the night. They follow a routine of feeding, passing urine and sleeping. It’s by three months that baby remains awake for sometime during the day and starts sleeping for longer durations at night.
  6. Constipation- baby can pass stools once in 3-4 days. Consult Pediatrician if baby passes hard stools or baby has blood in stools or regularly passes stools once in 5days or more.
  7. Infant Colic- This usually starts to occur after two months of age, usually in the evenings between 6pm -11pm.

    Preventive measures
    a) Proper attachment of baby to the breast so that milk and not air is sucked by baby. Please refer to Breast feeding Guide for more details.
    b) Burping after feeds for 10min. Place the baby on its stomach with head turned to the side. This should be done after one hour of feeding to avoid baby throwing up milk. Gas production in baby is not due to mother eating heavy/ oily food items. It is due to improper breast feeding, excessive crying in baby or improper positioning of bottle wherein baby takes in a lot of air.
    Repeated episodes of colic with change in stool consistency/ vomiting / abdominal distention/ not gaining weight are danger signs. Immediately show the baby to pediatrician.
  8. Fever- Parents should always use a thermometer to measure temperature and fever. Keep the thermometer in the armpit for 3-5 minutes, never put it in the mouth. Fever is body temperature ≥ 100°F. Too many warm clothes can also raise the body temperature. Immunization does cause fever for 48 hrs but any fever beyond 48 hrs is abnormal.
    Fever is usually due to infection and parents must consult a pediatrician immediately. Do not insist on getting medication on phone without doctor having seen the baby except for dose of paracetamol and ORS.
  9. Diarrhoa- This is passing loose watery stools frequently or change in frequency and/or consistency of stools.
    Normally a newborn baby passes blackish green stools for first few days of life. Thereafter the babies pass golden yellow colored sticky stools about 6-8 times a day. Diarrhoea in a baby less than four months is usually a sign of sepsis (severe infection) and baby has one or more danger signs along with diarrhea. Danger signs such as poor sucking / lethargy in baby/ thirsty baby /sunken eyes / blood in stools/ repeatedly vomiting/ not passed urine for 8hrs/ abdominal distension, indicate baby needs immediate hospitalization.
    At 3-4 months the baby’s stool frequency settles to about 2-3 times a day. Hence beyond 3 months of age, diarrhoea is loose stools with a frequency more than 4 times a day. Oral rehydration solution and Zinc is the treatment. Consult your doctor for dosing.

    Preventive measures for Diarrhoea
    -  Should wash hands before feeding or touching the baby.
    -  immunization with Rota virus vaccine
    -  Exclusive breast feeding. Avoid bottle feeding. Prefer feeding by katori. Bottle feeding requires intensive sterilization measures.
  10. Jaundice- jaundice is common in the newborn. It usually starts on 3rd day and subsides by 7-10 days. Jaundice can be prolonged in sick babies, premature and small babies.

    Danger signs for jaundice which require urgent attention are
    -  Early jaundice within 24 hrs of birth
    -  Hand and feet also stained yellow
    -  Baby passing white stools
    -  Yellow eyes beyond 3weeks of age 

FAQs asked during first two years of a baby’s life

  1. Which is the ideal sleeping position for the baby, on their back or on their tummy?
    Research shows that the back sleep position is the safest for babies. The back sleep position carries the lowest risk of SIDS. Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to get fevers, stuffy noses, and ear infections. The back sleep position makes it easier for babies to look around the room and to move their arms and legs.
    The baby can be also put on their stomach when he / she is awake and when someone is watching over. This should be done at least an hour after feeding to avoid vomiting. Supervised Tummy Time helps strengthen your baby's neck and shoulder muscles, develop motor skills, prevent flat spots on the back of the head and reduce colic and gassiness. Pressure on the same part of the baby's head can cause flat spots. Such flat spots are usually not dangerous and typically go away on their own once the baby starts sitting up. The flat spots also are not linked to long-term problems with head shape. Making sure your baby gets enough Tummy Time is one way to help prevent these flat spots.
  2. Why do babies wake so often at night?
    Newborns wake up approximately every 2 hours around the clock, whether they are fed by breast or bottle. Their tummies are tiny. Hence babies must feed frequently, even at night, to get enough calories to sustain their rapid growth rate. As they grow, babies can drink more at one time and sleep better.
    Young babies wake easily because they dream a lot. Dreaming is a part of normal brain development. Babies may spend up to 30 minutes dreaming before they fall into deep sleep. By the time the baby is 3–4 months old, it will spend less time dreaming, and more time in deep sleep. Young babies wake frequently to stay safe and comfortable. Most babies will sleep through the night by 6–9 months of age.
    Baby’s frequent waking through the night can be very challenging for parents. Parents should be prepared for this sleep deprivation and take good care of their diet, rest and ask baby’s grandparents for help.
  3. Is my baby growing well?
    Baby loses weight in the first few days of life and usually reaches its birth weight by 10th -14th day. Thereafter it should gain about 20- 30grams a day. Baby should double its birth weight by 4 months and should be at least three times its birth weight by one year of age. During the second year of life the child usually gains about 2-3 kgs. Ask your doctor to plot the height and weight of the baby on the Road to health charts usually present in the immunization cards. This chart will tell you about your baby’s growth.
  4. Eruption of Milk Teeth-
    Milk Teeth usually erupt between 6months to ten months. Teething requires no medication. Baby gets relief by massage of gums with coconut oil. Encourage the baby to chew on long fingers of cucumber/carrot/toast/roti. Clean teeth with a soft muslin cloth. Avoid giving milk/ bottle feeding while sleeping as it leads to unhealthy eruption and caries. Start using a soft baby toothbrush without paste by ten months of age. Teach baby to brush his/her teeth twice a day, before sleeping and in the morning. Teeth if not erupted beyond 10 months, please consult a pediatrician.
  5. Potty training and Diapers-
    Preferably avoid diapers. Use cotton nappies. Take baby to toilet to pass urine as soon as baby wakes up. Once baby is able to sit without support baby’s potty training can start. The baby can be made to sit on a plastic infant potty in presence of a parent. Ensure that baby sits on potty daily for about 15min after having its first feed. Gradually the baby will learn to go to the potty for both urine and stool. Few parents continue to regularly use diapers for their convenience. A baby will not get toilet trained if diapers are used regularly.
  6. Is my child developing normally?
    There is a range of age at which babies attain each mile stone. Also premature babies may achieve milestones as per their maturity than as per age in months. Discuss this with your doctor if your baby is premature.
    Red Flag Signs denoting delay are as follows
    At 6weeks - no eye contact, no smile,
    At 4months - no head control
    At 6 months - Does not reach out for objects, Floppy baby, no response to sound, Poor social response to people
    At 9 months - Unable to sit without support, fisting persists.
    At 12months - Unable to stand with support
    At 18months – Unable to speak single word with meaning
    At 2years - unable to walk without support
    If any of these red flag signs are present, your baby needs urgent Pediatric consultation.
  7. Is Immunization essential for my baby?
    Baby is susceptible to infections as the body defense mechanism is still building up. Immunization during the first few years of life is essential to protect baby from life-threatening infections. No vaccine provides 100% protection, though most of the vaccines do give high degree of protection. Vaccines significantly decrease chance of disease and even partial protection is useful to prevent complications.

Why is Immunization required?

Water or food-borne infections are preventable to some extent. This is not true for some airborne infections. Risk of complications of disease is higher in infants and younger children and in undernourished population. Immunization during the first few years of life is essential to protect baby from life-threatening infections.

Vaccine is an agent which when given orally or by injection gives protection to the baby by forming anti-bodies. This usually takes 4-6weeks to form and give protection i.e. there is no immediate protection.These anti-bodies will help in preventing disease if and when the baby is exposed to that specific bacteria or virus, e.g. Rota virus vaccine gives protection against the Rotavirus diarrhea which has high mortality, but it does not protect baby from diarrhea due to other viruses or bacteria.

No vaccine provides 100% protection, though most of the vaccines do give high degree of protection. Vaccines significantly decrease chance of disease and even partial protection is useful to prevent complications. Vaccines not stored properly or given during an illness are common causes of vaccine failure. Occasional failure of vaccine protection is no reason to consider against its use.

Vaccines are very safe and serious adverse reactions are extremely rare. Media outbursts of fatal reactions to vaccines are mostly due to human error of administration and not due to vaccine itself. Thus benefits of vaccines outweigh the risk of side effects caused by vaccines.

It is important to know that all vaccines are equally efficacious even though they may differ in their cost. Similarly, vaccines from different manufacturers are equally effective and indigenously manufactured vaccines are usually as good as imported ones.

Important Information about Vaccination, a parent should know:

  • Vaccination at birth means as early as possible within 24 to 72 hours after birth as and not later than 7days of age.
  • Whenever multiple vaccinations are to be given simultaneously, they should be given on the same day. If two or more injectible vaccines are not given on the same day, they should be given at least 28 days (4 weeks) apart. This rule does not apply to live oral vaccines. The recommended age in weeks/months/years means that baby must have completed in age the weeks/months/years. Any dose not administered at the recommended age should be administered at a subsequent visit, when indicated and feasible after consulting pediatrician. The use of a combination vaccine generally is preferred over separate injections of its equivalent component vaccines.
  • Any number of antigens can be given on the same day. If multiple vaccines are to be given in a single visit, then each injection is to be given at a different site. For babies and younger children, the thigh is the preferred site because of the greater muscle mass; the injections should be sufficiently separated (i.e., 1 inch or more if possible) so that any local reactions can be differentiated. For older children and adults, the deltoid muscle in the arm can be used. The distance between the 2 injections should be at least 1 inch so that local reactions don’t overlap.
  • Side effects are usually mild, in form of local pain and fever which usually subside in 48hrs. These can be relieved by applying ice over the site and giving oral syrup paracetamol. If they persist beyond 48hrs, parents should immediately consult a pediatrician. Severe side effects need to be known. Allergic /anaphylaxis reaction are rare but can occur. Please wait for 20-30minutes after immunization to observe for this and preferably meet the doctor or sister before leaving the clinic. Please inform about any previous allergies to the doctor. Danger sign should be known and baby taken to hospital immediately if even one of them occur after taking a vaccine. These are fever beyond 40.5C, persistent, inconsolable crying beyond 3hours, any fits or altered consciousness, or baby becoming limp and cold.

Pregnancy FAQ

1. What should I do before I get pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy for me and my baby?

As per the famous adage “WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE” , preparation before conception is a must.

A good preparation in terms of - mutual understanding, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle of both partners results in a complication free pregnancy, easy delivery and higher viability of the coming child. The joint venture of a diligent pregnancy preparation must be taken up by a couple, at least six months before conception.

MUST DO’S FOR BOTH PARTNERS

  • Plan a pregnancy unanimously.
  • Take a balanced diet consisting of plenty of water, abundant fresh fruits –vegetables and an optimum intake of cereals-pulses-nuts-milk etc as per individual physiological requirements.
  • Cut down completely on the stale, packed and preserved eatables having low nutritional value. These not only burden you with extra calories but also adulterate your system with unwanted toxins and infections.
  • Try to reach your ideal body weight to enhance your general health status and minimize unwanted health problems. This will help you to welcome the pregnancy-related surprises more efficiently.
  • Get screened and treated for Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) because these can have serious effects on the unborn child.
  • Also, talk to your doctor about present and past medical history, intake of any therapeutic/recreational drugs and family health histories.
  • Quit smoking, alcohol intake and recreational drug intake.
  • Keep away from known harmful entities like radioactive substances, pesticides, fertilizers, X-rays and the like.
  • Keep distance from electro-magnetic gadgets (computers, mobiles, microwaves ) as far as possible.
  • Follow a regular exercise program, especially Pranayama- Yogasanas- Meditation.
  • The above maneuvers would help you to minimize complications, get rid of physiological toxins, mental stress and lead to development of healthier Sperms and Ova.

ADDITIONAL MUST DO’S FOR THE “WOULD BE MOTHER”

  • Maintain an accurate record of your periods.
  • Practice timely eating and sleeping habits.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene and visit your dentist if you are suffering from bleeding gums/ dental infections. As the oral hygiene deteriorates up to some extent during pregnancy and problems like gingivitis can exacerbate in it. In worst cases there is risk of bacteria reaching the uterus through blood. In such cases production of inflammatory chemicals is triggered which are suspected to induce premature labor and Pre-term deliveries.
  • Educate yourself theoretically and practically for pregnancy, labor, postpartum precautions and care of the new born. Also try to resolve domestic/financial/professional issues if any, before conception.
  • Practice Pelvic floor exercises aditionally along with other routine exercise plans like :
  1. Kegel exercise - helps in strengthening the Levator Ani muscle complex resulting into a safer pregnancy, lower risk of pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence.
  2. Butterfly pose - increases flexibility of pelvic joints and muscles thus reduces discomfort during labor.
  3. Squatting - as an exercise or regular use of Indian toilets is proven to strengthen the uterus and help during childbirth.
  • Last but not the least, make a questionnaire before seeing your gynecologist and discuss elaborately about the following aspects:
  1. Your menstrual history.
  2. Past pregnancies/ miscarriages/ surgical episodes, if any!
  3. Your medical and psychological concerns related to pregnancy.
  4. Complete medical history/ family history/drug intake incidents/habits/allergies if any!
  5. Birth control measures adopted by you till date.
  6. Precautionary blood/urine tests, USG or other investigations if required?
  7. Your diet and lifestyle routines; check if they need to be changed?
  8. Physical and emotional aftermath of pregnancy.
  9. Apprehensions about occupational or domestic hazards if any which might affect your pregnancy!
  10. Check if you need to be vaccinated with the Rubella (German measles) vaccine? Rubella infection in a pregnant woman may cause the unborn infant to die before birth or be born with physical defects.
  11. Whether you need to start Folic acid or other nutritional supplements to facilitate a healthy pregnancy?
  12. Make a list of pregnancy safe medicines for common ailments which can be used during emergency or absence of expert medical help.

The above said preparation protocols might sound tedious but are certainly fruitful for    building the healthy future of a mother and her precious child!

“HAVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHY PREGNANCY “

2. What should and shouldn't I eat while I'm pregnant?

It is important to have all essential vitamins & minerals. So stick to a healthy diet including milk products (milk, paneer, yogurt), broccoli, vegetables, fruits, whole grains (wheat chapaties/bread, cereals), lean meats like chicken and mutton etc. and take folic acid tablets supplements.

Foods to be avoided during pregnancy:

  • Avoid fish of lots of mercury because high level of mercury has damaging effect on developing brain of the Baby. Do not cut out fish completely as they give you important omega-3 fatty acids. Cut out fish like swordfish, tilefish and shark. You can eat tune, snapper – upto one serving a week. Fish like salmon, mahi mahi, catfish, cod and shelfish such as shrimp, scallops, and crab upto 2 servings.
  • Unpasteurized milk or chees – which may contain a bacteria called listeria that can cross the placenta, potentially causing miscarriage or leading to a life threatening infection.
  • Uncooked or cured eggs & meats like hot dogs, runny eggs, and sauces made with raw eggs can also contain listeria. Heat these foods until they are steaming.
  • Alcohol interfers with healthy development of the featus and can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and mental retardation. Unfortunately there is no known safe level of exposure to alcohol for a fetus, therefore you are advised to refrain from it completely.
  • Some studies have found a link of caffeine with miscarriage, so its important to stay clear of caffeine in the 1st trimester specially. Also it is linked to premature birth and low birth weight so avoid it. If you can not completely avoid it then take only 1-2 cups of coffee a day.

3. Are there other activities I should steer clear of while pregnant? Do more of?

Do:

  1. Exercise –Light to moderate exercise during pregnancy is good from 2nd trimester onwards. However you must do it under guidance of an expert. Exercise helps in strengthening back muscles, improving balance and to speed up recovery after delivery.
  2. Sex: Unless you have a high risk pregnancy and your doctor has advised abstinence, you can have sex during pregnancy. However you must avoid in the 1st trimester and in the last trimester as there is a risk of miscarriage and premature birth respectively. Avoid lying down on you back during sex as it may compress your veins in the back and make you feel lightheaded and nauseous.
  3. Travel: 2nd trimester is the safest time for travel as there is lowest risk of miscarriage or premature labor. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, move around often and stretch your legs and back.
  4. Dentist examination: Preventive dental checkups are a good idea during pregnancy as rising hormonal levels can cause bleeding gums and and irritation. Gums infections have been seen to be associated with preterm birth therefore oral hygiene and health is very important.

DON'T:

  1. Don’t use saunas, tanning booths and hot tubs. This is because excessive heat is harmful for the baby and is also linked to spinal malformations.
  2. Don’t be involved in painting of the walls and cleaning of the house with cleaning solvents. The toxics substance and chemicals in paints and the cleaning solvents are very harmful for the baby.
  3. Don’t get investigations such as an X-ray, Mammogram, Dexa Scan done on you while being pregnant, because X-rays are harmful for the developing body. If it is absolutely required, please inform your doctor before the test about your pregnancy so that extra precautions can be taken care to avoid any complication.
  4. Don’t go for rides which lead to rapid stops and jarring forces as it may cause premature separation of the placenta from uterine wall.

4. How can I safely exercise while pregnant?

  • During pregnancy exercise is considered to be safe in most of the Healthy women. The forms of exercises which are particularly safe during pregnancy are Walking, swimming, yoga and stationary cycling. The exercises should be non weight bearing and those that don’t require enormous amount of balance. Drink plenty of fluids if you exercise and do not work to the point of exhaustion.
  • In second and third trimester do not go for exercises which require lying on your back and those exercises which pose a risk of trauma to the abdomen. Also ways consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. Generally women with pre-eclampsia, premature labor history, heart disease or hypertension are advised not to exercises and to adhere to very limited physical activities.

5. What can I do to relieve or prevent pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting, heartburn, leg cramps, and hemorrhoids?

There are many uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with pregnancy, you may be suffering from one or more those. There are some tips – implementing which you can prevent or at least ease out the discomfort.

  • Nausea and Vomiting in pregnancy: Get up slowly in the morning as movement can increase the nauseating feeling. After waking up eat something dry 1st thing in the morning, such as a toast or a biscuit. Avoid fatty foods which are difficult to digest also do not keep your stomach completely empty and must have small frequent meals. Trust your instinct and you can eat foods which smells good to you and thought of which does not make you nauseous.
  • Leg Cramps: To relieve leg cramps, have plenty of fluids in diet, do regular exercise and avoid sitting in one position for long period. Do some leg stretching exercises before going to bed by straightening your leg heel first and then wiggling your toes. Massage your legs every day and may do hot fomentation to relieve cramps.
  • Heartburn: Eat smaller and frequent meals and avoid fatty, spicy, garlic containing meals and caffeine containing drinks. Avoid bending or lying down right after a meal.
  • Hemorrhoids: Eat high fiber diet and fluid containing diet. Exercise regularly, and avoid long periods of standing and sitting. To relieve hemorrhoids do warm water sitz bath 2-4 times a day, apply cold compresses and ask your doctor for any OTC cream which is safe to use in pregnancy.
  • Backache: Wear low heeled shoes with good arch support to avoid straining of the back muscles. Do not lift heavy objects and avoid standing for long period of time. Ensure that mattress on your bed is firm and the chair you sit on has a good back support (If not you may keep a cushion/pillow for support). You may use a heating pad/ warm water bottle for comfort in the back. Do not take any type of medication without consulting your doctor.

6. How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

  • During pregnancy gaining weight is a positive and healthy sign. There are two reasons to weight gain: to nourish the developing baby and to store up reserves for breast feeding. However weight gain has to be in right amount otherwise it may have negative effects. The healthy weight gain is around 15 kgs during the period of 9 months of pregnancy. Inadequate weight gain or dieting during pregnancy may have severe ramifications on the health of the baby. If the weight gain is less than 10 kg, there are chances of premature baby, and growth retardation.
  • Also gaining too much of weight is a matter of concern, because it leads to back ache, leg pains, varicose veins and fatigue. Assessment and measurement of featus becomes difficult and if size of baby becomes too large then vaginal delivery becomes impossible.
  • Optimum Weight Gain During pregnancy: the optimum weight gain during the period of 9 months of pregnancy is around 15 kg (25-35 pounds). Following is the week wise weight gain breakup:

One always has a buffer of gaining 2-3 kg in first few weeks or in the last few weeks.

7. Which are the signs I should be conscious of in informing my doctor as soon as they appear?

In the 9 months duration of your pregnancy, you will be seeing your obstetrician regularly; however there are few signs and symptoms which you need to intimate to your doctor as soon as they appear:

  • Unusual or sever cramping or abdominal pain.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Significant reduction in the movements of the fetus after 28th week (less than 10 movements in a 2 hours period.
  • Signs of premature labour such as regular pain or tightening in the lower abdomen and lower back.
  • Bleeding per vaginum
  • Fever over 100 Fahrenheit
  • Sever or persistent Diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Fainting spells or dizziness
  • Swelling in hands, fingers or face
  • Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
  • Pain or cramping in arms, legs or chest

8. What preparations are required for breast feeding your baby?

Breastfeeding is very is an important and integral part of growing up of a healthy baby and it helps protect the baby from a host of diseases in infancy, childhood and even later on in life. Also it protects you as well: research have found that breastfeeding women have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

However for some women it may become difficult phase initially, if the infant has a difficult latch or if the mother has developed mastitis (breast infection)

But breastfeeding doesn't always come easy for every woman. It's easy to get discouraged early on, especially if you expect your baby to just latch on and start suckling, only to find he has a "difficult latch" or you've developedmastitis (an infection in the breast). Support organizations are there to help while you're getting used to breastfeeding. Here are resources:

  • To protect yourself from developing infection, soreness keep your nipples clean and dry during the pregnancy. And if you notice any kind of problem, consult your doctor immediately.
  • Products that you can buy during the later part of your pregnancy, in preparation for breast feeding:
  • Nursing Bras:
  • To support your larger than usual breasts during the lactation period will require these special bras. These bra come with flaps to provide you convenience and ease while breastfeeding.
  • You should shop for nursing bras in the last couple of weeks as at that time your breast will be closest to your post partum size, however once milk comes in your breasts they will grow bigger by a size or two, so keep this in mind while purchasing.
  • Nursing Pillows:
  • These pillows are specially designed to support your baby while breastfeeding, so that you do not have to strain your shoulders and neck while doing so.
  • Breast pads:
  • While you are nursing your breast may leak with stimulus like another baby’s cry or sight of an infant, so these disposable breast pads will keep your dress nice and dry.
  • Breast Pumps:
  • Even if there is no plan to join back to work and pump regularly, a breast pump can be a handy tool to relieve engorgement whenever required.
  • Other useful products:
  • Lanolin ointment : this will help relieve your sore nipples.
  • Hot/Cold Gel Packs: these will fit inside your bras and are used to sooth sore and swollen breasts.
  • If you are facing problem because your baby has a difficult latch, you may consult other breast feeding mothers in your family or friends or may consult your pediatrician.

9. What should I know about postpartum depression?

common complication associated with pregnancy. Depression is because of increase and fluctuation in some of the hormones associated with pregnancy and also because of a major transition to parenthood.

The symptoms will include feeling hopeless and sad, crying at small stimulus, isolating yourself from social life, eating too less or too much, sleeping too less or too much and sometimes being afraid of hurting yourself or your baby.

Many new mothers experience baby blues after delivery; however the mild symptoms such as mood swings, crying spells and irritability will vanish in a few days to few weeks time on its own. Treatment is not needed but support can be invaluable.

In case the feeling lingers and there is severity in symptoms and if you have a history of depression, professional help must be taken for post partum depression.

Conception Guide

Tips for planning conception:

Step 1:

Eating Right and Exercise

Nutrition of the fetus begins at conception.

If you are thinking about getting pregnant in near future the1st thing you have to take care about is your health.

Maintaining a correct weight and having a nutritional diet will help you get pregnant faster. Also at the time of pregnancy your body will require those extra vitamin minerals, and nutrition for the growth of the baby. So it’s better if you get all your deficiencies corrected before you conceive. There should be balanced diet variety of food is the key to get all the ingredients.

Chronic deficiency of hemoglobin leads to poor vitality and fatigue. Essential ingredients required in preventing anemia are:-

  1. Iron.
  2. Folic acid.
  3. Vitamin C.
  4. Trace elements-zinc, chromium, selenium.
  • The modern diet is deficient in folic acid because it is destroyed in cooking. Therefore, fresh green raw vegetables will be desirable-e.g.- lettuce and sprouted beans. In addition folic acid supplementation is also necessary.
  • Vitamin B12 is found in non-vegetarian diet. Lot of people in India are vegetarians, hence require supplementation.
  • Vitamin C promotes iron absorption. Citrus Fruits and Amla are good sources,

Exercise:

It’s advisable to develop a habit of regular exercise which can be continued during pregnancy also (under your obstetrician’s guidance). This will help in developing stamina and strength of the body muscles and will eventually help in a normal and uncomplicated delivery.

Step 2:

Cut out on Toxins:

Alcohol, smoking and other substance abuse may lead to infertility and may have a damaging effect on the featus. These toxins also have relation with increased risk of abortion, therefore if you are planning to conceive, cut down on these unhealthy habits.

Step 3:

Stop all contraceptive measures you have been using:

Stop any hormonal birth control measures (birth control pills or Depo-Provera injections etc.) you have been using, a few months before you are planning to conceive. Also get removed any Intra uterine Device placed for contraception. It may take a few cycles for your body to resume ovulation, which is key to conception. Also the injectable progesterone may have its effect till 9 months. So keeping the above point in mind, stop the injection dose as per your conception planning.

The important point to keep note of here is that you may get pregnant any time after stopping the pill or other measures.

Step 4:

Track you menstrual cycle

It is of importance for you to keep track of your cycle at this point. There are 3 reasons for this:

  1. You will get to know what is the best time for intercourse in order to conceive (you can use our conception calculator for the same)
  2. If you remember 1st day of your menstrual period, then only you will be able to track the missed cycle(which is the 1st sign of pregnancy)
  3. Your obstetrician will be able to calculate your expected date of delivery and be able to track growth of the featus more accurately if the same is know.

Step 5:

Have frequent intercourse

Have intercourse frequently, especially when nearing ovulation (the process of release of egg), to know the most probable dates of ovulation you may use our conception calculator. You must take care of the following things for conception:

  • Start having intercourse at least 3 times a week as soon as your periods end.
  • The sperm lasts for 2 to 3 days, but the egg remains only for 12 to 24 hours after it is released. Therefore starting around 10th day increase the frequency to every other day.
  • Lie down on your back after an intercourse. This will help the sperm to swim towards your egg
  • Have intercourse before bed. This will ensure you stay on your back afterwards.

Step 6:

Get yourself tested

If you have missed your period, get the urine pregnancy test done around one week after the due date of your periods. If the test results are positive you should see a doctor and make sure you follow a healthy eating, drinking and other habits.

If the test comes negative you may repeat urine test after a few days, with 1st morning sample of urine or go for blood test for HCG. In case this also comes negative you may take online consultation/opinion from our gynecologist.

Step 7:

Relax

Always worrying and thinking about having a baby kills your overall happiness and is not conducive for conception. Just relax and prepare your body for all round health. Take time out from your busy schedule for each other and spend some good time together.

Nutrition during Pregnancy

What to Eat During Pregnancy?

Nutrition is important at every stage of our lives, more so during pregnancy. It is indeed a time to think about diet and nutrition without making too many dramatic changes from what one is used to normally. It is important for all pregnant women to make a good choice of their meals and consume nutrient rich food, irrespective of whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It is good to refrain from foods high in fat, sugar or loaded with calories.

Why is nutrition so important during pregnancy?

The nutritional status of the pregnant woman influences pregnancy in a big way. When mothers-to-be consume nutrition deficient food, babies are born with a low birth weight. Low birth weight can lead to further complications and can cause infant deaths and developmental disabilities.

There are many changes that take place in the body of a woman during pregnancy. These changes include preparation for the growth of the fetus and to equip the mother for labor, delivery and lactation places a demand on the increased nutritional needs of the mother.

Contrary to abounding myths about the inadequacy of a vegetarian diet during pregnancy, experts have reiterated that a vegetarian diet that comprises nutritious whole foods is indeed a very healthy option for pregnant women.

During pregnancy, only a modest increase in calorie is needed. In fact, during the first trimester, there is no need for additional calories. In the second trimester, an additional 340 calories is required per day and during the third trimester, an additional 450 calories is needed. 

Trimester-Wise Nutrition for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a journey of 9 months. In these 9 months journey, your womb generates a life. For your neonate all the initial developments like brain or bones happens in-side the womb. During your pregnancy, intake of proper vitamins & quality diets help in the better development of your hidden treasure. To explain better we divided these 9 months into 3 Trimesters. First Trimester is considered from 1st month to 3rd month, 3rd to 6th month is called second Trimester and whereas, Third Trimester is 7th month to the date of delivery.

In the Early Trimester of pregnancy after egg fertilization placenta takes place. With the completion of first month your baby is like a grain of rice. Second month is the time to grow in size grows big. The face, base of ears, hands & legs, root of fingers & toes developed during second & third month of pregnancy. With the end of third month, your baby is 7 to 10 centimeter long with 25 to 30 gram weight.

During Trimester 2, in the months of 4th, 5th & 6th including the growth of ears, nose, hands, legs, toes & fingers additionally brain, nerves & genitalia system develops. Finally in the stage of third Trimester, bones & the physical growth happen to the baby.

Depending upon the Trimester & the area of developments we have to plan our diet. To guide you better here, let us share month by month nutrition requirements for a healthy baby. 

Trimester I (1st month to 3rd month): 

You are in your first trimester and are physically and mentally adjusting to the idea of a new life growing inside you. Many women suffer from morning sickness and are unable to eat what they normally do in the pre- pregnancy time. Fortunately, during the first trimester, no extra calories are needed.

But, the first few weeks of gestation are very crucial as the baby’s brain, skull and spine are developing at this stage. During this time, there is a requirement for adequate amount of folic acid or folate, which helps in the normal development of the baby’s skull, brain and spinal cord. Folate helps in protecting the growing baby from neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Only regular diets are not sufficient for a pregnant lady. In the early stage of your pregnancy give priority to eat calorie- rich foods. Intake of 300 gram calories per day generates healthy sign, in a pregnant woman. To guide you few calories rich foods are: salmon, tuna, milk, dairy products, eggs, whole wheat pasta, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, nuts, meat & dried fruits. With calories, take 70 gram protein every day. Top protein rich foods are: hemp seeds, yogurt, cottage cheese, quinoa & shrimp. During Trimester 1, eat more green vegetables, drink sufficient water in the day & while going to bed at night drink a glass of milk.

Folic acid is available in abundance in dark green leafy vegetables, which includes okra, spring greens, kale, cabbage and spinach etc. Pulses like beans, chick peas, and lentils also have folic acid. Other options for folic acid include legumes, nuts, baked potatoes, corn, oranges, asparagus and fresh peas. Experts also advise pregnant women to consume foods fortified with folic acid like whole grain breads, breakfast cereals and bran flakes. Brown rice also contains folic acid. In addition,

pregnant women must consume 600 μg of Folic acid per day. Folic acid through diet and supplements is required to protect against infections, anemia and help the brain development of the growing fetus.

Expectant mothers in the first trimester must have adequate amounts of calcium which is required for baby’s bones and teeth. Good food sources of calcium are low fat cheeses, yogurt, skimmed milk, bread, oranges, dried fruits, almonds, green leafy vegetables, breakfast cereals and apricots.

It is also good to get some sun, especially during the early morning for the skin and natural vitamin D which is formed after exposure to the sun. Asparagus and fortified margarine are also good to have as they contain Vitamin D which aids the absorption of calcium.

Some Pointers:

In the first trimester, many women complain of nausea. It is good to keep away from strong odors which may trigger the uncomfortable feeling. It is advisable to consume small meals and at more frequently. Avoid drinking fluid along with meals; you can do so in-between meals.

Trimester II (3rd month to 6th month): Second trimester, is the time for bones & brain development of the baby. In 3rd, 4th & 5th months with your regular diets give priority to consume more calcium & iron rich foods. Pregnant women also need to increase their calorie intake by an additional 340 calories per day. 

Few of the calcium rich foods are: green vegetables, orange juice, spinach, mushroom, milk, soybeans, yogurt & cheese. For iron rich foods, you can eat: bananas, beans, tofu, spinach and cereals. 

During this period skin development happens of the baby. To develop more whiten skin for your baby; consume saffron regularly from 3rd month to 9th month. Every day twice with little warm milk mix saffron & drink.

 
In addition to the supplements and diet of the first trimester, it is important to have a diet rich in Vitamin C. During this period Vitamin C is required to form collagen, which is an important component of tendons, bones, skin and cartilage. It is good to consume fruits and vegetables, which are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and in other fruits such as grapes, berries, kiwi, pineapple and guavas. Vegetables such as bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli are also rich in Vitamin C. Fruit juices made from oranges, grapes and guavas also provide Vitamin C. Prenatal vitamin supplements containing Vitamin C may also be good to consume in addition to dietary sources of the nutrient.

Omega-3 (DHA) is also needed for the development of the nervous system and the brain. It also contributes to the development of the immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids is also found in legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, and also abundantly found in some vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower and sesame. 

Mothers-to-be also need to consume foods rich in magnesium in the second trimester. This is because magnesium works to strengthen the bones and also alleviate cramps in the expectant mother. Vegetarian sources of magnesium include oatmeal, bran flakes, wheat bran, beans, legumes, cashews, nuts, soybeans, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Fruits such as raisins, avocado and banana are also rich in magnesium.

Some Pointers:

  • During the second trimester you must consume 5 portions of vegetables and fruits daily
  • Drink more water
  • Stay active by walking for at least 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week
  • Include more whole grain products in your diet 

Trimester III (6th month to the date of delivery) – This is the last phase of your pregnancy. It is an exciting time as mothers to be are now closer to the day when they would be holding their bundle of joy. Just as the nutrition is important in the first and second trimester, in the third trimester too women need to follow the nutrition plan similar to the previous two trimesters. The only change is to consume an additional 450 calories a day to meet the needs of the baby. During Trimester 3

eat whole grains, beans, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits & berries and weekly once eat meat & fish while calcium & iron intake would remain the same.

Suggestions for the additional calories:

  • Have a cup of low fat milk or soy milk with fruits – fruit smoothie
  • Two jacket potatoes with 25grams of low fat cheese.
  • Have a fresh fruit
  • A teaspoon or two of low fat cheese spread on 3 slices of whole meal toast
  • 1 whole wheat muffin with 1tsp of low fat cheese.
  • A bowl of raw vegetables
  • Increase the amount of fluids and dietary fiber in the diet to prevent constipation.
  • Vegan diets are loaded with nutrition and are adequate to meet the growing needs of the mother and fetus during pregnancy. One doesn’t need to change to a non-vegetarian diet just because of pregnancy. Plant based diets do work their magic to meet both the mother’s and baby’s requirements. With a structured diet plan, it is possible to achieve all the nutritional needs of pregnancy.

Maintaining Health at Pregnancy

A woman’s health is essential to the good health of her baby. Women who eat well and exercise regularly along with regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy. They’re also more likely to successfully give birth to a healthy baby.  

Nutrition

Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight, and it reduces the risk of many birth defects. Good nutrition is thought to help balance mood swings and it may improve labor and delivery as well. A well-balanced pregnancy diet includes:

  • protein
  • vitamin C
  • calcium
  • fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • iron-rich foods
  • adequate fat
  • folic acid 

Weight Gain

A simple way to satisfy your nutritional needs during pregnancy is to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups every day.

Many women are concerned about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy. A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is recommended during pregnancy. It’s important to discuss and monitor your weight and nutritional needs with your doctor throughout the pregnancy. 

Prenatal Vitamins

Most nutrients needed during pregnancy should come from food, but prenatal vitamin supplements play an important role. Pregnant women are often too busy to plan three nutrient-filled meals every day, and a vitamin supplement can provide the extra nutrition that the developing fetus needs. 

Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin that is very important for pregnant women. Folic acid supplements taken several weeks prior to pregnancy and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy have been found to lower the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. Most prenatal vitamins contain 1 milligram of folic acid. Talk to your doctor before you start taking prenatal vitamins. They can help you decide which type is best for you. 

Exercise

Moderate exercise is not only considered safe for pregnant women, it’s encouraged and thought to benefit both mom and growing baby. Exercising 30 minutes a day is proven to help circulation, strengthen muscles, and decrease stress. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regime, particularly if you are in a high-risk category. If you were not physically active before getting pregnant, talk with your doctor about what exercise you can do during your pregnancy. For the majority of normal pregnancies, exercise can:

  • increase energy levels
  • improve sleep
  • strengthen muscles and endurance
  • reduce backaches
  • relieve constipation 

There are many exercise classes designed specifically for pregnant women that help to build strength, improve posture and alignment, and promote better circulation and respiration. 

Squatting and Kegel exercises should be added to the exercise routine. Kegel exercises focus on the vaginal and perineal muscles. The exercise is done in the same way a woman stops and starts the flow of urine. The perineal muscle is tightened for a count of three and then the muscle is slowly relaxed. The period of time the muscle is contracted can be increased over time as muscle control becomes easier. Relaxing the perineal muscles can help during the birth of the baby. Kegel exercises are thought to help women maintain good muscle tone and control in the perineal area, which can aid in delivery and recovery after birth. 

Cutting out bad habits 

Making good lifestyle choices will directly impact the health of a growing fetus. It’s important to cut out smoking, drug use, and alcohol consumption. These have been linked to serious complications and risks for both mother and baby. Any alcohol that is consumed by the mother enters the fetal bloodstream in approximately the same concentrations as in the mother’s bloodstream. Drinking throughout pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).  Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can also lead to complications, such as:

  • miscarriage
  • premature labor and delivery
  • stillbirth 

There’s no evidence that cigarette smoking before a pregnancy has started will harm a developing baby. However, there is plenty of proof that smoking during pregnancy is hazardous. Smoking affects blood flow and oxygen delivery to a baby, and therefore their growth. 

Cigarette smoking is the single most common cause of low birth-weight babies, which in turn is the most common cause of death and illness in the first few weeks of life. Smoking is also linked to a wide variety of pregnancy complications, including:

  • vaginal bleeding
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • premature placental detachment
  • premature labor and delivery 

Getting sick during pregnancy

Besides all of the symptoms that go along with pregnancy, pregnant women are more susceptible to certain infections, like the common cold or flu. A pregnant woman is more likely to become very ill if she catches a cold or flu. Though such illnesses can make you feel very unwell, most will not affect your developing baby. Prevention is the best way to avoid getting sick. A healthy diet and exercise as well as plenty of rest and good hand-washing should help to ensure good health. A seasonal flu shot is the best line of defense during the flu season. It’s recommended for those who will be in their second or third trimester during this time. Talk to your doctor about your health history. They can tell you whether or not there are risks to your baby’s health. 

It’s important to talk to your doctor about treatments that are safe to use for any illnesses during pregnancy. 

Prenatal care

Attending all prenatal care checkups will help your doctor carefully monitor you and your growing baby throughout your pregnancy. It will also give you a scheduled time to ask your doctor about any concerns you’re having about your pregnancy.

Me and my Baby at 40th week

"Before you were conceived I wanted you, Before you were born I loved you, Before you were here an hour I would die for you, This is the miracle of Mother's Love. "

We are glad to share some relevant pregnancy information with you ! The long awaited time is here, you are about to enter into labor, get ready to bask in the glory of motherhood!

Baby :

  • Baby now weighs 7 pounds, 4 ounces (3,300 grams) and measures about 20 inches (51 cm).

Mom-to-be:

  • Sleeping becomes a difficulty as there is no comfortable position for you. A soft mattress facilitates lying down and getting up from the bed. You might experience pain in your pelvis and groin areas immediately after getting up from bed which is normal and subsides spontaneously within few minutes. Take plenty of rest with your feet propped up if possible. 
  • Consult your doctor before and on your due date. Do not panic if your due date has passed. Only about 5% mothers deliver on their due dates. If you have 3-4 contractions every 10 minutes OR rupture of membranes OR passage of mucus; you need to rush to the hospital for delivery / admission / suitable advice.
  • Labor pain is very distressing but you can tolerate it. Medicines can relieve labor pain upto some extent. Ask your doctor about possible pain relief methods available. 

Me and my Baby at 39th week

"Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom."

We are glad to share some relevant pregnancy information with you !! 

Baby:

  • Stronger arms and legs and correctly placed toe and finger nails of baby makes it clear that the baby is due nearly.
  • Baby's head is down at the mother's pelvis, making it easy to breathe for the mom-to-be.
  • 22 inches (55cm) long and half inch thick umbilical cord which carries nutrients from the placenta to the baby is present.
  • Lanugo and vernix have disappeared with time.
  • Baby has been supplied with antibodies through the placenta via your body which will help the baby's immune system to fight infections for the first 6-12 months of his/her life.

Mom-to-be:

You have gained a lot of weight and feel uncomfortable. Everything has been pushed from its original position, as uterus has filled your pelvis and most of your abdomen. False labor contractions start appearing, but if these become regular contact your doctor. If you find large gush of water from vagina contact your doctor immediately.

Tip of the Week:

  • In the final stages of pregnancy the Braxton Hick's contractions or False labor pains may mimic True labor pains. There are some differences between False labor and True labor. False labor pains usually occur in the lower abdomen and groin region, while the True labor pains may start in the lower back and spread to the entire abdomen. Real labor pains increase in both intensity and duration with time.
  • Yoga, deep breathing, warm water bath, changing positions/ activities, listening to music, drinking a couple of glasses of water can provide relief during false labor pain episodes. Whereas true labor keeps progressing until delivery.