Eating the right foods can help to shape the future of your baby’s health.
In the new family set up, for a metro mom-to-be, there is hardly a mother-in-law to guide her on the pregnancy blues.
But then, in the information overflow, one gets confused many times on the rights and wrongs, dos and don’ts during pregnancy.
Here we identify the nine dilemmas for the nine months for the new-age mother-to-be and get experts to address those.
Exercise or no exercise:
You must do mild exercise. Walking, but no brisk walking, for half an hour a day is strongly recommended during pregnancy unless there is medical complication, says Dr Manjeet Arora, a senior gynaecologist.
Those already doing exercises could continue doing so, but must not work out too hard, she says.
Address mood swing:
Switch on your favourite music album. Your favourite music could help you stay in a nice mood. Mood swing is otherwise a general thing during early stages of pregnancy , says Dr Arora.
Sex or no sex:
You should avoid in the first and the last trimester, says Dr Nirmal Bhasin, a Chandigarh-based gynaecologist.
In the first three months, it may cause miscarriage and there are chances of infections in sex in the last three months.
But there are reasons why sex during pregnancy can be more enjoyable. An increase in vaginal lubrication and engorgement of the genital area helps some people become orgasmic.
Discuss the feelings that you have about sex and sexuality with your spouse. This can lead to a more fulfilling sex life. If either of you do not feel like having sex, this can be particularly important.
No smoking, no alcohol:
Tobacco stunts the baby’s growth by reducing oxygen levels and narrowing the blood vessels in the placenta.
It makes your baby’s heart beat unhealthily fast; fills the amniotic fluid with cancer-causing chemicals; increases the risk of cot death and reduces the chance of the baby leading a normal, healthy, lively childhood.
All first-time mothers are told that ‘there is no evidence that light or occasional drinking will harm your baby’ during their pregnancy. But more research is needed to establish it. So why take a chance?
Dieting or no dieting:
Eating the right foods can help shape the future of your baby’s health. Dieticians recommend that pregnant women (and women planning to become pregnant) do not eat liver and liver products including pate during pregnancy.
This is because liver can contain very high levels of vitamin A which can cause birth defects. Have small frequent meals, no overeating.
Cold meats and ready-made salads should be avoided. These foods may contain the listeria bacteria which can lead to a type of food poisoning.
If a woman catches listeriosis early in pregnancy, this can lead to a higher risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, listeriosis can cause premature labour or a stillbirth.
How much to rest:
Two hours in the afternoon and right hours at night is what you need. If you have job, you can work for six hours till you are comfortable. But relax and rest adequately.
Must-keep in the bedroom:
Keep hunger pangs biscuits and towel handy. If too hungry, have biscuits even before washing your face in the morning.
Wear loose fitting clothes. Keep the books you like with you. If get disturbed in sleep, read a page or two.
Ensure that the bedroom is well ventilated. Don’t allow your husband to smoke inside. Passive smoking could harm your baby. Avoid strong-smell perfume!
Choose your doctor right :
Women today get lured by fancy advertisements of painless delivery. But it should be left to be as natural as it can get. It is good for the mother and the child.
Make sure that your gynaecologist is not misleading you to an unnecessary caesarean procedure.
A modern house is full of hundreds of hidden chemicals that are emitted by paints and stains, carpet, particle board, household cleaners and so on.
One of the best ways to filter and remove these chemicals is with house plants. Spider plants, for example, are known to be good at removing formaldehyde (which is quite common in paints).