Dr Tanvi Tuteja-Mansukhani, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, K J Somaiya Hospital Superspeciality Centre and assistant professor, K J Somaiya Medical College & Research Centre, addresses your pregnancy concerns.
Pregnancy can be a confusing time for most women. However, we’re here to put some of those worries to rest. After all, there are no stupid questions when it comes to the proper care and healthy development of your baby. Read on to know more.
Question 1: How do I know I’m pregnant?
A pregnancy test is the sure shot way. However, subtle signs of pregnancy are fatigue, nausea, frequent urination, aversions to foods that you normally love, morning sickness, breast swelling and tenderness, and a missed period, if you are very regular with menstruation.
Question 2: Can I have sex during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a normal phenomenon; you are not a patient. Enjoy your pregnancy without unwanted fears. Typically, sex is perfectly safe during pregnancy, right up until delivery. So, put aside your fears that intercourse will hurt your baby. The amniotic sac, the uterus, and the mucus plug in the cervix all provide strong protection for your baby. However, there are some instances where your doctor may tell you to abstain from intercourse altogether, while pregnant. For example, if you risk premature labour, if you suffer from placenta previa (the placenta is too close to the cervix), or vaginal bleeding, it’s best to seek your doctor’s advice before intercourse.
Question 3: How do I know how many weeks of pregnancy I have completed?
The first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) is typically about two weeks before you ovulated and conceived your baby. We count from there, because most women don’t know exactly when they ovulated, but most of them do know when their last period started. Your practitioner counts 280 days from the first day of your LMP to determine your due date. That’s exactly 40 weeks. However, your due date is just an estimate. Only fi ve per cent of babies are born on their due date.
Question 4: Can I exercise during my pregnancy?
Exercising during pregnancy lifts your spirits and prepares you for labour and childbirth, but it’s important to be extra cautious during your workouts. Exercise plays an important role in maintaining good health and should be discussed with your doctor when you are pregnant. If you have been active, you may continue. Exercise at a pace where you can talk comfortably. Do not let your pulse exceed 140 beats per minute. You should not perform any exercise that pulls through the abdomen.
Question 5: What medications or supplements do I need to take?
During your pregnancy, you need to take supplements in form of iron, calcium and folic acid. This is because your baby’s healthy growth and development starts from the time of conception and continutes till he’s ready to greet you.
Question 6: Do I require any special diet during my pregnancy?
Make sure you consume a balanced diet rich in iron, protein, vitamins and calcium. Also, pay attention to the fact that the foods you eat isn’t oily, fried or spicy. Avoiding this is recommended during the first trimester as a means to prevent vomiting or nausea. Regularly take the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor.
Question 7: Can I travel during my pregnancy?
Travel poses no specific risks during pregnancy but you must take due care. Always use a seat belt, avoid long trips and make sure you have access to obstetric care. Most airlines have restrictions during the last month of pregnancy, so please check with the respective airline for specifi cations. When travelling, make sure your drink plenty of fluids and rest whenever possible.
Question 8: How do I know I’m in labour and when should I call my doctor?
When you’re in labour, you will experience a sharp pain that starts from your lower back, moving towards your lower abdomen. The pain will increase in intensity as labour progresses. You may also have a discharge from your vagina, bleeding or water rush.
Question 9: What do I need to carry along with me to the hospital?
Packing in advance saves you a great deal of time, and also ensures you’ll have everything you’ll need to keep you and your baby comfortable in the hospital. Your bag should contain the following items:
♦ Your clothes
♦Massage oil or lotion
♦Doctors file and papers
♦Sleep suits and vests
♦Nappies or diapers
♦Socks or booties
♦Hats or caps
♦Toiletries for your baby
♦Mops, preferably muslin cloth
Remember, your pregnancy can be a breeze if you’re not afraid to ask the right questions. After all, the health and well-being of both you, and your baby, should be your utmost priority. And as always, we at M&B are always here to answer all your pregnancy concerns. Have a healthy, safe and happy pregnancy! |MB