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Pregnancy FAQ

PREGNANCY FAQ

First Month

  • How long after I skip my period should I take a pregnancy test?

    Ans: If you can wait one week after your missed period, most home pregnancy tests HPTs will give you an accurate answer. Ask your doctor for a more sensitive test if you need to know earlier.

  • What is available for home pregnancy testing? Is it safe?

    Ans: There are many different types of home pregnancy tests (HPTs). Most drugstores sell HPTs over the counter. They are inexpensive. But the cost depends on the brand and how many tests come in the box.

    Most HPTs work in a similar way. Many instruct the user to hold a stick in the urine stream. Others involve collecting urine in a cup and then dipping the stick into it. At least one brand tells the woman to collect urine in a cup and then use a dropper to put a few drops of the urine into a special container. Then the woman needs to wait a few minutes. Different brands instruct the woman to wait different amounts of time. Once the time has passed, the user should inspect the "result window." If a line or plus symbol appears, you are pregnant. It does not matter how faint the line is. A line, whether bold or faint, means the result is positive. New digital tests show the words “pregnant” or “not pregnant.” Most tests also have a "control indicator" in the result window. This line or symbol shows whether the test is working properly. If the control indicator does not appear, the test is not working properly. You should not rely on any results from a HPT that may be faulty.

    Most brands tell users to repeat the test in a few days, no matter what the results. One negative result (especially soon after a missed period) does not always mean you're not pregnant. All HPTs come with written instructions. Most tests also have toll-free phone numbers to call in case of questions about use or results.

    Sourc: http://www.womenshealth.gov

  • How do I know if I am pregnant?

    Ans: Early signs of pregnancy can occur before a positive pregnancy test, which is associated with the secretion of the hormone HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin). Although this hormone detects in large numbers only after a missed menstruation, there are women who feel symptoms of pregnancy even before they miss their period.

    Not to make a lot of burden, here are some facts that need to pay attention to recognize the early symptoms of pregnancy. At the beginning, we should know that women and their pregnancies are different. Some feel the signs within one week after conception, while others come to realize only after the missing period and positive pregnancy test. Some women do not feel any symptoms. In addition to eliminating the possibility that the symptoms associated with something else unrelated to pregnancy. Also, women differently feel pregnancy. Some do not change their daily activities until just before birth, while others change their habits from the start. It is quite normal that pregnancy changes emotional state, creates fears and doubts about pregnancy and childbirth as well as anticipation and excitement.

    As soon as you suspect you are pregnant, you should visit the doctor or to do a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant it is crucial to learn as much as you can about pregnancy and how to take care of yourself and the baby growing inside you. Cigarettes, alcohol and certain drugs can harm the unborn child so you should immediately discontinue their use.

    Sourc: http://www.steadyhealth.com

Second Month

  • I feel so tired like I cannot walk from one room to another. Is this normal?

    Ans: Morning sickness" is a misnomer. (In fact, the technical medical term is "nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.") For some pregnant women, the symptoms are worst in the morning and ease up over the course of the day, but they can strike at any time and, for most women, last all day long. The intensity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman, too.

    Overall, this condition affects about three quarters of pregnant women during the first trimester. About half of all pregnant women suffer from both nausea and vomiting, one quarter has nausea alone, and one quarter lucks out altogether. The nausea usually starts around 6 weeks of pregnancy, but it can begin as early as 4 weeks. It tends to get worse over the next month or so.

    About half of the women who get nausea during pregnancy feel complete relief by about 14 weeks. For most of the rest, it takes another month or so for the queasiness to ease up, though it may return later and come and go throughout pregnancy. Unfortunately, for a small percentage of women symptoms persist continually (or nearly so) until delivery.

    Of course, just because morning sickness is common – and likely to last "only" a few months – doesn't mean it's not a challenge. Even a mild case of nausea can wear you down, and bouts of round-the-clock nausea and vomiting can leave you exhausted and miserable. Talk with your caregiver about your symptoms and the possibilities for relief.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.com

  • Can morning sickness be diminished?

    Research studies have shown that taking extra vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) helps relieve queasiness for some pregnant women, though no one knows exactly how it does this.

    Pregnant women need only 1.9 milligrams (mg) of this vitamin a day to help make antibodies, red blood cells, and neurotransmitters and to meet the needs of their developing baby. Vitamin B6 is found in a wide variety of foods so you may satisfy this requirement by eating a nutritious diet. (Prenatal vitamins contain B6 as well.) However, the dose commonly recommended for easing nausea and vomiting is much higher – 10 to 25 mg, three times a day. To reach this amount, you'll need to take B6 supplements.

    Check with your healthcare provider beforehand. She can tell you how much to take and whether or not the amount in your prenatal vitamin should count as one of the doses. (The amount of vitamin B6 in prenatal supplements varies.)

    Don't take more B6 than your caregiver recommends. Too much can cause numbness and nerve damage for you and may not be safe for your developing baby.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.com

  • Is it safe to exercise at this stage?

    Check with your doctor to make sure that it's safe for you to exercise during your pregnancy. You may have a medical condition that would make exercise harmful to you or your baby.

    Exercise might help you feel better and maintain your weight. Exercise can help ease or prevent discomfort during pregnancy. It can also give you extra energy and prepares your body for labor by increasing your stamina and muscle strength. If you have no serious medical problems and you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's probably safe for you to do some exercising.

    Source: http://familydoctor.org

  • Is it safe to eat papayas?

    Ans: Traditionally, in many parts of the world including India, people believe that it is unsafe to eat papayas during pregnancy. This belief, however, is only partially true: an unripe or even a semi-ripe papaya is rich in concentrated latex and research indicates that it may trigger uterine contractions.

    A well-ripened papaya, on the other hand, is rich in vitamins and nutrients and recommended for pregnant women in moderate amounts. A ripe papaya is rich in vitamin C and is effective in preventing and controlling constipation and heartburn. Also, ripe papaya portions mixed with honey and milk is considered to be an excellent tonic during pregnancy and lactation. Due to the mixed views about whether it is safe to eat papayas during pregnancy many prefer to avoid papayas altogether, especially during the first trimester. But in the end, it is a personal decision that should be made after consulting your doctor.

    Reference: http://www.babycenter.in

  • Average weight gain during pregnancy?

    Ans: It's quite normal to put on weight during pregnancy! Your body is growing and changing to give your baby the best start in life. Here's where the extra weight comes from:

    • At birth, the average baby weighs anywhere between 2.8 and 3.3kg.

    • During pregnancy, the muscle layer of your womb (uterus) grows dramatically and weighs an extra 0.9kg.

    • The placenta, which nourishes your baby, weighs just over 0.5kg.

    • Your breasts weigh an extra 0.4kg.

    • Your blood volume increases and weighs an extra 1.2kg.

    • You have extra fluid in your body, and amniotic fluid around the baby, weighing around 2.6kg.

    • You will also lay down some fat during your pregnancy to provide you with extra energy for breastfeeding. This comes to about 2.5kg.

    So, by the end of your pregnancy you might weigh about 10.5 - 11kg more than you did before you became pregnant. This is an average weight gain but of course, you're not an average woman!

    Reference: http://www.babycenter.in

Third Month

  • What kind of exercises should I be doing?

    Exercises to do:

    1. Walking: One of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, walking keeps you fit without jarring your knees and ankles. It's also easy to do almost anywhere, doesn't require any equipment beyond a good pair of supportive shoes, and is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy

    2. Swimming: Healthcare providers and fitness experts hail swimming as the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is ideal because it exercises both large muscle groups (arms and legs), provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows expectant women to feel weightless despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.

    3. Low-impact aerobics: One good thing about an aerobics class is that it's a consistent time slot when you know you'll get some exercise. And if you take a class for pregnant women, you'll enjoy the camaraderie of other moms-to-be and feel reassured that each movement is safe for you and your baby.

    4. Dancing: You can get your heart pumping by dancing to your favorite tunes in the comfort of your own living room, with a DVD, or at a dance class, but steer clear of routines that call for leaps, jumps, or twirls.

    5. Yoga: Yoga can help maintain muscle tone and keep you flexible with little if any impact on your joints. But you may have to augment a yoga regimen with walking or swimming several times a week to give your heart a workout.

    6. Stretching: Stretching is wonderful for keeping your body limber and relaxed and preventing muscle strain. Add stretching to your cardiovascular exercises to get a complete workout.

    7. Weight training: If weight training is already part of your exercise routine, there's no reason to stop, although most women should reduce the amount of weight they're lifting (you can do more repetitions to ensure that you're still getting a good workout). If you take the necessary precautions and use good technique (meaning slow, controlled movements), weight training is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-best-kinds-of-exercise-for-pregnancy_7880.bc?page=1

    Exercise Tips :

    Don’t exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If in doubt, consult your maternity team. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise. If you become breathless as you talk, then you're probably exercising too strenuously.

    If you weren't active before you got pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise programme, tell the instructor that you're pregnant and begin with no more than 15 minutes continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to a maximum of four 30-minute sessions a week.

    • Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards

    • Try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can't manage that, any amount is better than nothing

    • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather

    • Drink plenty of water and other fluids

    • If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you’re pregnant and how many weeks pregnant you are

    • You might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight - some local swimming pools provide aqua natal classes with qualified instructors

    Exercise to avoid:

    • Don't lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because your the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint

    • Don't take part in contact sports where there's a risk of being hit, such as kickboxing, judo or squash

    • Don't take part in horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, because there is a risk of falling

    • Don't go scuba ping, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream)

    • Don't exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised: this is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness (a decrease in oxygen)

    Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/pregnancycareplanner/pages/Stayactive.aspx

  • Is it normal to vomit 10 times a day?

    Pregnancy sickness is the most common medical condition of early pregnancy, but how bad it is varies widely from woman to woman. You may get the odd bout of mild queasiness when you first wake up, or find that certain smells trigger waves of nausea throughout the day. You may have to endure weeks or even months of feeling or being sick morning, noon and night.

    The number of times one may vomit is dependent on one’s inpidual condition and health and as such there is no such number which can be considered as normal or otherwise. The most severe form of pregnancy sickness is called hyperemesis gravidarum (literally "excessive vomiting in pregnancy"). If you are vomiting many times a day, are unable to eat and drink without vomiting, and if you are losing weight then you probably have hyperemesis. Unlike normal pregnancy sickness, hyperemesis can affect your health and that of your baby, so talk to your doctor or midwife as soon as you can.

    Source: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/morningsicknesswhy/

  • What tests do I need to do at this stage?

    Nuchal Fold Screening Test

    The test is performed between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days into your pregnancy. The test cannot be performed outside this time frame as certain features that need to be seen on the scan are not present. This test results in a 90–95% detection rate of pregnancies that may be at an increased risk of carrying a genetical problem such as Downs Syndrome.

    If you are unsure of your period dates or have an irregular cycle, we suggest that you contact your doctor, midwife or health care provider as early as possible to arrange for a dating scan.

    There is no hard and fast rule for the number of scans you should have during pregnancy.

    A scan maybe ordered when an abnormality is suspected on clinical grounds. Otherwise a scan is generally booked in the first trimester to confirm pregnancy, exclude ectopic or molar pregnancies, confirm cardiac pulsation and measure the crown to rump length for dating.

    12 week NT scan

    The 12 week scan is a routine ultrasound examination carried out at 10 to 14 weeks of gestation. During the examination, the fetus is seen by abdominal ultrasound. Occasionally the view is not clear and it may be necessary to perform a vaginal scan. At the first trimester scan they confirm that the fetus is alive, they assess the gestational age by measuring the crown-rump length and will also look for any major problems.

    Crown to rump length (CRL)

    The crown rump length is a universally recognized term, very useful for measuring early pregnancies. The CRL is highly reproducible and is the single most accurate measure of gestational age. Charts have been developed for this purpose, but some simple rules of thumb can also be effectively used. From 6 to 11 weeks gestational age, the fetal CRL grows at a rate of about 1 mm per day.

    Crown Rump Length:

    Gestational age = 6 weeks plus (CRL x days). For example, a CRL of 23 mm would correspond to a gestational age of 9 weeks and two days (6 weeks plus 23 days = 9 weeks and 2 days). Accuracy of CRL after 12 weeks in predicting gestational age diminishes and is replaced by measurement of the width of the fetal head (biparietal diameter or BPD).

    Nuchal Translucency

    The nuchal translucency (also spelled nucal translucency) is a collection of fluid beneath the fetal skin in the region of the fetal neck and this is present and seen in all fetuses in early pregnancy. The fluid collection is however increased in many fetuses with Down's syndrome and many other chromosomal abnormalities. It is called a 'translucency' because on ultrasound this appears as a black space beneath the fetal skin. It is this black space that you will see measured during the ultrasound scan.

    Currently the most accurate non invasive test for detecting Down syndrome during pregnancy is the measurement of the nuchal translucency with an ultrasound between 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is normally less than 2.5mm and when seen increased (greater than 2.5mm, see image on the right) may indicate the baby has Down syndrome or may indicate another chromosomal abnormality. 95% of measurements will indicate a reduced risk.

    Biochemistry (blood test)

    As part of the NT Scan a small sample (about 5 mL) of blood is collected from the expectant mother. This is to perform two biochemical tests on hormones released by the body during pregnancy on a biochemistry analyser. These are namely PAPP–A (Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein–A) and free beta–hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone).

    The two hormones measured in your blood are both produced by the placenta and are unique to each pregnancy. If the two hormone levels are favourable they will reduce the chance of your baby having Down's syndrome. If they are less favourable they will increase the chance. Adding in the blood test to the NT scan, increases the overall accuracy of the test.

    Ideally it is better if you can have the blood test at least one day before the scan so that they have the results back when you go for the scan. The overall risk can then be calculated immediately after the scan and the result discussed face to face. If you cannot get the blood test done before the scan it can be taken on the same day but the result will need to be discussed at a later date.

    Source: http://www.baby2see.com/medical/nuchal_12weekscan.html

  • Do I need nutritional supplements?

    There is a lot of confusion among pregnant mothers about what is desirable, useful or free of potential harm when it comes to nutritional supplements during pregnancy. It is the desire of most protective parents to do anything that will help them experience a healthy pregnancy and bring forth a baby in the best possible state of health.

    Let’s face it; this state of confusion is not confined to prospective parents only. A lot of health professionals who are supposed to give advice aren’t so sure-footed when it comes to the issues surrounding vitamins and other nutritional supplements during pregnancy.

    As a broad statement, it is important to be aware that many supplements are harmless but of little value to most pregnant mothers. Some supplements are potentially useful and, for some mothers, crucial in ensuring a good pregnancy outcome. A few supplements are potentially harmful especially in high doses.

    Source: http://www.pregnancy-bliss.co.uk/vitamins.html

  • Can I bend and sit on the floor?

    It is advised and recommended that one should bend and sit on the floor during pregnancy only as per need for specific work like if you are involved in dance and yoga classes for maintaining your health. The correct posture and position to be maintained while sitting should be as follows:

    1. Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.

    2. Sit with a back support (such as a small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll) at the curve of your back.

      Here's how to find a good sitting position when you're not using a back support or lumbar roll:

      • • Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely.

      • • Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds.

      • • Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). This is a good sitting posture.

    3. Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.

    4. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle (use a foot rest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.

    5. Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.

    6. At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.

    7. When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don't twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.

    8. When standing up from the sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Immediately stretch your back by doing 10 standing backbends.

    Source: http://www.emaxhealth.com/40/1093.html

  • Do I have a choice in my delivery?

    The most common modes of child delivery are as follows and the choice of your delivery mode would depend on you and your child’s health, your psychological conditions, your child’s position in your womb, etc. So, the delivery choice would be dependent on your health and available medical expertise.

    The choices of delivery mode available to you are as follows:

    1. MEDICATED DELIVERY- The most common mediated method of delivery is an Epidural, which numbs the mother from the waist down, which makes her feel less pain and more pressure. However an Epidural is very common it is not usually in the doctors favour along with drugs such as Petosin and Misoprostal.

    2. NATURAL CHILDBIRTH- A type of childbirth that decreases the mothers fear of childbirth from learning about the process. A mother may talk to a doctor to learn about childbirth or even do some research into the topic in order to lessen her fear. This delivery method contains no medications it is completely natural.

    3. PREPARED CHILDBIRTH- This method includes Lamaze and Hypnosis. It is very much like Natural Childbirth but it requires going a class to help you learn how to push (Lamaze) or going to a class and learning how to relax during the childbirth process (Hypnosis). Both are highly recommended.

    4. CESAREAN DELIVERY- Due to a high risk of infection this method is usually used a last resort. An incision is made in the mother’s abdomen and the doctor will reach in and pull the baby out of the Uterus. It is usually only done if the baby is in danger. Such as the baby being in a Breech Position (its feet are going to come out first), if it is in a Transverse Position(it is sideways), if the case of Placenta Abruptio(the Placenta is pulled away from the Uterus, which causes the baby to have no source of nutrition), or in the case of Placenta Previa(the Placenta blocks the babies way out).

    5. WATER BIRTH - Childbirth with the help of water involves putting the mother in a warm water tub where she is monitored with the help of special underwater devices. The mother remains submerged in water during the complete labor till the baby is delivered. After the baby is delivered underwater, the nurse takes the baby out of water and hands it over to the mother - one of her long-awaited and life's most precious gift! The baby can remain submerged under water after birth without any risk because they do not breathe until they are exposed to air.

    Sources: http://www.angelfire.com/la3/thechildbirthprocess/TheChildBirthingProcess.html

    http://www.pregnancy-resources.com/Page-Water-Birth_131.html

  • What should I do I am spotting?

    Spotting is very light bleeding, similar to what you may have at the very beginning or end of your period. It can vary in colour from pink to red to brown (the colour of dried blood).

    It's not always possible to determine the reason behind prenatal spotting or bleeding. Here are some of the most common causes:

    - Sex : More blood flows to your cervix during pregnancy, so it's not unusual to notice spotting after intercourse. A cervical polyp (a benign growth on the cervix) can also cause spotting or bleeding after sex.

    - A Pap smear or internal exam - You may have spotting after you've had a Pap smear or internal exam for the same reasons – greater blood flow to the cervix or a cervical polyp.

    - Implantation bleeding : Very early in pregnancy, even before you realize you're pregnant, you may have some spotting for a day or two. This bleeding may be caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into the wall of your uterus, but no one knows for sure.

    - Miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy : Spotting or bleeding, especially if accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping, can be an early sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy (when the embryo implants outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes). An ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, which is one of the reasons it's important to let your practitioner know immediately if you have bleeding or pain in your first trimester

    - Infections : Spotting can also be caused by conditions unrelated to pregnancy. A vaginal infection (such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis) or a sexually transmitted infection (such as trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes) can cause your cervix to become irritated or inflamed. An inflamed cervix is particularly prone to spotting after sex or a Pap smear

    In case you are spotting - Call your doctor or midwife right away, even if the bleeding seems to have stopped. While it may turn out to be something minor, it could be a sign of a serious problem. What your healthcare practitioner does next will depend on your inpidual situation.

    You'll probably need an evaluation, which may include a physical exam, an ultrasound, and blood tests, to make sure you and your baby are fine and to rule out any complications.

    If you're actively bleeding or have severe pain of any kind and can't immediately reach your practitioner, head straight for the emergency room.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_vaginal-bleeding-or-spotting-during-pregnancy_3081.bc

Fourth Month

  • Is it normal to feel nauseous even in the fourth month?

    Pregnancy sickness and feeling nauseous is the most common medical condition of early pregnancy, but how bad it is varies widely from woman to woman. You may get the odd bout of mild queasiness when you first wake up, or find that certain smells trigger waves of nausea throughout the day. You may have to endure weeks or even months of feeling or being sick morning, noon and night.

    Women with unrelenting pregnancy sickness often feel that nobody really understands what they are going through. Not surprisingly, this can lead to depression.

    Some doctors still believe that pregnancy sickness is a psychological condition, but a recent review of studies found no evidence for this.

    Pregnancy sickness usually starts at around five or six weeks of pregnancy and improves for most women by 14 weeks. Some women find it persists until 16 weeks, whereas others experience varying degrees of nausea or vomiting for the whole nine months until the birth. Fortunately, this is unusual, especially if you get help early on.

    If you have pain, a fever or a headache, or if you get nausea and vomiting for the first time after nine weeks of pregnancy, see your doctor as you may be suffering from another condition.

    Source: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/morningsicknesswhy/

  • Can I find out the sex of my child?

    Sex determination the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act of 1994 subsequently amended into the PNDT Act in 2003 following the orders of the Supreme Court in CEHAT Vs Union of India–ostensibly to plug in the loopholes in the original act. The legislation regulates the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques for the determination of the sex of a fetus, and prohibits sex-determination as it would lead to selective female foeticide.

    Thus, the PNDT Act prohibits the use of all technologies for the purpose of sex selection, which would also include the new chromosome separation techniques.

    With the complete prohibition cas eneumerated in sections 3, 4 and 5 the Act, there is complete a ban on sex determination and identoifocation tests in India.

    Source: http://policywise.net/2007/09/20/why-sex-determination-should-be-legal-in-india

  • Reaction to certain to some foods?

    A woman with food allergies and reactions, or one who suspects that she may have an allergy, should take extra precautions during pregnancy to ensure the safety of her own health and her baby's well being.

    Over the past ten years, there has been an explosion of research and information as food allergies have gained recognition—and acceptance—in the medical world. Still, there is little research on how pregnancy may affect a woman's allergies. Most women with food allergies tend to self-regulate their symptoms; however, women with food allergies, or those who suspect that they may have an allergy should take extra precautions during pregnancy to ensure the safety of their own health—and their babies'.

    A food allergy/reaction is when a person's immune system falsely considers an otherwise innocuous substance, like food, to be harmful. The body seeks to defend itself by creating antibodies to combat the supposed invader. These antibodies, called immunoglobulin E or IgE, act as scouts and messengers to the body's immune defenses. Once the antibodies have been created, the body will be able to identify the food culprit and mount an attack. For this reason, most allergy sufferers will not experience a reaction the first time they eat a certain food, perhaps not even the second, but as their bodies build up more antibodies to the food, reactions will likely occur.

    Symptoms : Food allergy symptoms include a host of inflammatory ills such as a runny nose, itchy throat, tingling sensations on the tongue, lips, or throat. Other symptoms include skin reactions like hives, rashes, eczema, or abdominal problems including cramps, diarrhea, or even vomiting.

    Causes and Effects : "Any food can potentially cause adverse reactions in your body," says Dr. James Pollowitz an allergist in Scarsdale, New York, and the president of that state's section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Yet in order to be a "food allergy" according to most physicians' definition, the reaction must involve the immune system. Food allergy sufferers can tolerate different "doses" of the food. (The most common food allergens include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.)

    Ways to avoid : Strict avoidance. If you know that you are allergic to certain foods, make sure to avoid them. Make meals ahead of time and freeze them so that when the cravings hit you have something to eat that will satisfy your hunger and won't cause an allergic reaction.

    If you have any concerns about foods that may be giving you problems—severe or slight—talk to your obstetrician or midwife. You may wish to have them recommend a nutritionist to help you evaluate your diet. It's never a bad idea to review your diet, especially during your pregnancy to ensure that both you and your baby are getting all of the nutrients you both need to stay healthy.

    Source: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/health_wellness/preexisting_conditions/article/food-allergies

  • I hate my husband. How do I make him understand?

    It is important that a woman remains happy during the pregnancy period. A happy mother would have a positive impact on the health of the child while a stressed out mother would result in complicated pregnancy. It is critical that the familial bonds and husband-wife relations remain healthy. If you face with the situation where there are differences among you and your husband we would recommend that you maintain communication with your husband and attempt to reconcile the differences.

    Maintain calm and never lose patience. Speak clearly about things that you currently do not like in your husband and search for ways to overcome these issues.

    Be happy and be healthy.

    Source: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/health_wellness/preexisting_conditions/article/food-allergies

  • My family won’t let me exercise. How do I educate them?

    You can educate your family by impressing upon them the need and benefits of exercise during pregnancy which are enumerated as follows:

    · Exercise for energy : Pregnancy can deplete energy. Exercises such as walking strengthen and tone the muscles and rejuvenate women to carry on with their day-to-day tasks with lesser strain. Additionally, exercise improves overall blood circulation and keeps energy levels high.

    Exercise for easier labour : Childbirth is a difficult process and exercise during pregnancy will help increase flexibility, endurance, and muscle control which are necessary for labour and delivery, thereby helpful in easier labour.

    Exercise to reduce pregnancy-associated discomfort : Pregnancy is accompanied by minor aches and pains. Exercises such as muscle stretches, walking, swimming etc., strengthen various parts of the body like the back and abdominal muscles.

    Exercise to prepare you and your body for birth : Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labour and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labour, increased endurance can be a real help.

    Strengthening muscle groups : Muscle groups that are most important to exercise during pregnancy. The three muscle groups that a pregnant woman should target are: a) Abdominal muscles: Strengthening of these muscles will make it easier to support the increasing weight of the baby. B) Pelvic muscles : Strengthening of these muscles will permit the Vagina to widen more easily during childbirth and also prevent urinary problems (leakingurine when you cough or sneeze) after delivery. C) Back muscles : Strengthening of back muscles will improve the posture and minimize the strain of pregnancy on the lower back and help prevent discomfort caused by poor posture.

    Exercise to reduce stress : Pregnancy is a mixture of elation and anxiety and pregnant women often find themselves swinging from one to the other, which can be quite stressful. Physical exercises increase mood-elevating chemicals in the brain and thereby reduce pregnancy-related blues.

    Exercise to look better : Exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy glow.

    Source: http://www.indianwomenshealth.com/Exercise-In-Pregnancy-82.aspx

Fifth Month

  • Tests to be done

    Nuchal Fold Screening Test

    The test is performed between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days into your pregnancy. The test cannot be performed outside this time frame as certain features that need to be seen on the scan are not present. This test results in a 90–95% detection rate of pregnancies that may be at an increased risk of carrying a genetical problem such as Downs Syndrome.

    If you are unsure of your period dates or have an irregular cycle, we suggest that you contact your doctor, midwife or health care provider as early as possible to arrange for a dating scan.

    There is no hard and fast rule for the number of scans you should have during pregnancy.

    A scan maybe ordered when an abnormality is suspected on clinical grounds. Otherwise a scan is generally booked in the first trimester to confirm pregnancy, exclude ectopic or molar pregnancies, confirm cardiac pulsation and measure the crown to rump length for dating.

    12 week NT scan

    The 12 week scan is a routine ultrasound examination carried out at 10 to 14 weeks of gestation. During the examination, the fetus is seen by abdominal ultrasound. Occasionally the view is not clear and it may be necessary to perform a vaginal scan. At the first trimester scan they confirm that the fetus is alive, they assess the gestational age by measuring the crown-rump length and will also look for any major problems.

    Crown to rump length (CRL)

    The crown rump length is a universally recognized term, very useful for measuring early pregnancies. The CRL is highly reproducible and is the single most accurate measure of gestational age. Charts have been developed for this purpose, but some simple rules of thumb can also be effectively used. From 6 to 11 weeks gestational age, the fetal CRL grows at a rate of about 1 mm per day.

    Crown Rump Length

    Gestational age = 6 weeks plus (CRL x days). For example, a CRL of 23 mm would correspond to a gestational age of 9 weeks and two days (6 weeks plus 23 days = 9 weeks and 2 days). Accuracy of CRL after 12 weeks in predicting gestational age diminishes and is replaced by measurement of the width of the fetal head (biparietal diameter or BPD).

    Nuchal Translucency

    The nuchal translucency (also spelled nucal translucency) is a collection of fluid beneath the fetal skin in the region of the fetal neck and this is present and seen in all fetuses in early pregnancy. The fluid collection is however increased in many fetuses with Down's syndrome and many other chromosomal abnormalities. It is called a 'translucency' because on ultrasound this appears as a black space beneath the fetal skin. It is this black space that you will see measured during the ultrasound scan.

    Currently the most accurate non invasive test for detecting Down syndrome during pregnancy is the measurement of the nuchal translucency with an ultrasound between 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. This is normally less than 2.5mm and when seen increased (greater than 2.5mm, see image on the right) may indicate the baby has Down syndrome or may indicate another chromosomal abnormality. 95% of measurements will indicate a reduced risk.

    Biochemistry (blood test)

    As part of the NT Scan a small sample (about 5 mL) of blood is collected from the expectant mother. This is to perform two biochemical tests on hormones released by the body during pregnancy on a biochemistry analyser. These are namely PAPP–A (Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein–A) and free beta–hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone).

    The two hormones measured in your blood are both produced by the placenta and are unique to each pregnancy. If the two hormone levels are favourable they will reduce the chance of your baby having Down's syndrome. If they are less favourable they will increase the chance. Adding in the blood test to the NT scan, increases the overall accuracy of the test.

    Ideally it is better if you can have the blood test at least one day before the scan so that they have the results back when you go for the scan. The overall risk can then be calculated immediately after the scan and the result discussed face to face. If you cannot get the blood test done before the scan it can be taken on the same day but the result will need to be discussed at a later date.

    Source: http://www.baby2see.com/medical/nuchal_12weekscan.html

Sixth Month

  • I am not feeling movements yet. Is that normal?

    The foetus itself begins to move early in the first trimester (Week 1 to week 12) of pregnancy. In fact this movement has been documented by ultrasounds as early as after six weeks' gestation.

    However, it's not until the second trimester that you become gradually aware of foetal movement. It first feels like a gentle fluttering. This feeling -- also known as quickening -- usually occurs when you are between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses, these movements become stronger, and before long most women begin to describe them as kicks. Some women are aware of these movements much earlier than others. If you don't feel much movement till the end of this trimester, there might be a number of reasons:

    • Women expecting their first babies usually feel them later (around 18 to 20 weeks) because they are not quite sure of what to expect.

    • Some people confuse foetal movements with 'wind'.

    • Overweight women tend to experience 'quickening' a bit later than thinner women.

    • Women with an anterior placenta (a placenta that is implanted in the uterus on the wall near the maternal abdomen) may feel less movement early on, although only one medical study currently supports this observation.

    • Also, since these flutters are very subtle, they can easily be missed if you are an active person.

    So don't worry at this stage in pregnancy.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.in/pregnancy/antenatalhealth/physicalhealth/babymove22wksexpert/

  • Average weight gain this month?

    The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment to your developing baby and is also stored for breastfeeding your baby after delivery.

    Here is an approximate breakdown of your weight gain:

    • Baby: 7-8 pounds

    • Placenta: 1-2 pounds

    • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds

    • Uterus: 2 pounds

    • Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds

    • Maternal blood : 4 pounds

    • Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds

    • Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

    The average weight gain during this period is approximately 1-2 pounds per week. (1 pound = 0.454 kg (approx)

    Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html

  • The nausea is back

    More than two thirds of women will experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester (Week 1 to week 12) of pregnancy. For the vast majority of these women, however, this nausea and vomiting, sometimes also referred to as “morning sickness,” will pass by the time the second trimester (week 13 to week 26 or months 4 to month 6) begins, never returning. However, nausea and vomiting returning during the second trimester is not entirely unheard of.

    If you have had nausea and vomiting returning during the second trimester (month 4 to month 6), it is important that you try to find out what exactly is causing the nausea and vomiting. Certainly it is possible that it is just your morning sickness returning. However, morning sickness is, most experts believe, caused by the changing levels of hormones in your body that take place during pregnancy. By the time your second trimester rolls around, these hormone levels have typically begun to stabilize.

    One possible cause for a return of nausea and vomiting during the second trimester is a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a condition that sometimes afflicts pregnant women, and its symptoms include severe nausea and vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum is generally treated with changes in diet, rest, and sometimes antacids. In general, anti-nausea medications are to be avoided during pregnancy.

    If your nausea and vomiting are not severe or prolonged, you may be able to treat them with a variety of natural methods. You might try some ginger extract supplements or ginger tea. You might make a point to avoid fatty or spicy foods. You should eat several small meals, to avoid becoming too hungry or too full during the day. Finally, you should avoid strong odors if possible, as the enhanced sense of smell that many pregnant women experience can be responsible for nausea and vomiting.

    If you are experiencing severe nausea and vomiting during the second trimester, or if your nausea and vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours during the second trimester, you should contact your health care provider. It could be any number of things, from a simple stomach virus to a serious condition such as hyperemesis gravidarum, that is causing your nausea and vomiting to return.

    Source: http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/nausea-and-vomiting-returning-during-the-second-trimester-2

  • Burning sensation during intercourse. What can I do?

    Burning in vagina during penetration is common during pregnancy because during pregnancy, the vagina harbors and fosters growth of the yeast called CANDIDA. As a result of this there is increased white discharge, some vaginal redness, itching, and burning sensation during intercourse. Nothing to worry, since this is common during pregnancy. Your gynecologist will be able to prescribe a suitable safe medication / topical application to clear this.

    Another reason for the burning sensation is decreased lubrication during pregnancy. If the problem persists, you need to get examined for other vaginal conditions

    Source: http://www.abhisarika.com/SC/Q20060424-2.htm

  • In what position should I be sleeping?

    The best sleep position during pregnancy is "SOS" (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent and a pillow between your legs.

    • If you find that you are having problems with back pain, use the "SOS" position and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well.

    • If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with pillows.

    • In late pregnancy you may experience shortness of breath; try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.

    These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but try them out and you may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night and rotating positions is fine.

    The following positions would be avoided:

    • Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava).

    • Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your abdomen undergoes physical changes and makes it more difficult for you to lay on your stomach

    Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/sleepingpositions.html

Seventh Month

  • Is it safe to still have intercourse?

    The majority of couples can still have sexual intercourse during their pregnancy. Your baby is surrounded and cushioned by amniotic fluid, and protected by your uterus and a layer of muscles. And the mucus plug inside your cervix helps guard against infection. It is generally safe to engage in sexual intercourse during the third trimester (week 26 onwards) . It is not safe if you're bleeding or have a placenta that's in front of the baby's head--placenta previa. With placenta previa, if the penis comes in contact with the cervix or you have contractions as a result of orgasm, it can traumatize the placenta and cause significant enough bleeding that you lose the pregnancy. Also you shouldn't have sex if your membranes are ruptured (water breaks) because then the baby is no longer protected against any possible infection. It's also risky to have sex if it's early in your third trimester and you're having premature labor or you have a short cervix, because an orgasm can stimulate contractions. But if you're having a healthy normal pregnancy there's no risk, though as you get larger, it may be uncomfortable.

    Source: http://www.i-am-pregnant.com/encyclopedia/Pregnancy/Whats-Safe-and-Unsafe/Sex

  • Average weight gain this month ?

    The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment to your developing baby and is also stored for breastfeeding your baby after delivery.

    Here is an approximate breakdown of your weight gain:

    • Baby: 7-8 pounds

    • Placenta: 1-2 pounds

    • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds

    • Uterus: 2 pounds

    • Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds

    • Maternal blood : 4 pounds

    • Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds

    • Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

    The average weight gain during this period is approximately 1-2 pounds per week. (1 pound = 0.454 kg (approx)

    Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html

  • Tests to be done

    Third trimester (from week 27 onwards) tests :: These tests are common in the third trimester of pregnancy.

    Group B streptococcus screening

    Vaginal and rectal swabs are taken at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy to detect group B strep bacteria. Although group B strep can be present in up to 30% of all healthy women, it's the leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns and can also cause mental retardation, impaired vision, and hearing loss. Women who test positive are treated with antibiotics during delivery to protect the baby from contracting the infection at birth. As an alternative, your physician or midwife may choose not to test for strep but to treat you in labor if certain risk factors develop.

    Electronic fetal heart monitoring

    Electronic fetal heart monitoring is done during pregnancy, labor, and delivery to monitor the heart rate of the fetus. The fetal heart rate can indicate whether the fetus is doing well or is in trouble and can be done any time after 20 weeks.

    Nonstress test

    Done weekly in many high-risk pregnancies, such as women with twins, diabetes, or high blood pressure, this test involves using a fetal monitor strapped across the mother's abdomen to measure the baby's heart rate as it moves. It's also used for monitoring overdue babies.

    Contraction stress test

    Also done in high-risk pregnancies, a fetal monitor measures the baby's heart rate in response to contractions stimulated either by oxytocin (Pitocin) or nipple stimulation. Doctors use the measurements to predict how well the baby will cope with the stress of labor.

    Biophysical profile

    Combines a nonstress test with an ultrasound for a more accurate evaluation of the baby.

    The average weight gain during this period is approximately 1-2 pounds per week. (1 pound = 0.454 kg (approx)

    Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html

  • Is there anyway I can avoid backaches?

    Back pain or discomfort is common during pregnancy and should be expected to some degree by most women. Back pain may be experienced during any point of your pregnancy; however, it most commonly occurs later in the pregnancy as the weight of the baby increases. Back pain can disrupt your daily routine or interfere with a good night of sleep. The good news is there are steps you can take to manage the back pain that you experience.

    Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency. Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce the back pain you are experiencing:

    • Use exercises approved by your health care provider that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen

    • Squat to pick up something versus bending over

    • Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support

    • Avoid sleeping on your backWear a support belt under your lower abdomen

    • Make sure your back is aligned using a chiropractor

    • Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back

    Ways to treat back pain :

    There are a number of things you can do to treat back pain during pregnancy. Some of the steps you take to avoid back pain may also be used to treat current back pain. Here are some other common interventions:

    • Ice or heat

    • Braces or support devices

    • Sleep on your left side and use a support pillow under your knees

    • Medications used to treat inflammation

    • Use a licensed health care professional such as a chiropractor or massage therap

    Source: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html

  • What should I do there is excessive watery discharge?

    Having watery discharge on a frequent basis during pregnancy is quite common. Generally, the frequency and the amount of watery discharge increases towards the later stages of pregnancy. The watery discharge is actually the odorless or mild-smelling, sticky fluid normally produced by the vagina. During pregnancy, its amount increases and becomes more visible.

    There are two major causes of watery discharge during pregnancy. These are rise in the level of estrogen and flow of blood towards the vagina during pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, the watery discharge shows a red color. It is due to the presence of a few spots of blood in it.

    As the stages of pregnancy development progresses, the watery discharge shows the consistency of an egg white. The change in consistency is the thinning out and dilatation of the cervix that causes expulsion of the mucus plug developed during the early stages of pregnancy. Watery discharge during pregnancy is natural and there is hardly anything that can be done to stop it. However, you may try out certain things to manage the condition better and feel fresh always.

    Ways to manage watery discharge during pregnancy:

    As mentioned earlier, there is no medical or natural treatment for watery discharge during pregnancy. Therefore, try to prepare yourself to deal with the condition well. In order to maintain hygiene and freshness, you may use panty liners or sanitary pads to absorb the watery discharge. But do not use tampons during pregnancy as it may irritate your genital parts.

    Try to keep the genital area dry and clean as much as possible. While wiping off the vagina after using toilet, make sure that you do it from front to back. Stop using tight undergarments, feminine hygiene sprays, scented pads, toilet papers and deodorant soaps. They increase the risk of genital infection. An ideal way to feel comfortable while having watery discharge during pregnancy is to wear cotton undergarments. This assists a lot in maintaining the health of genital parts.

    Douching is not advisable during pregnancy. Never opt for it as it tends to disturb the balance of vaginal flora, and makes your genitalia more prone to microbial infection. A pregnant woman should never try to treat herself on her own because even a negligible negative impact may badly affect the fetus. Therefore, do not take over-the-counter medicines to ease your discomfort. Always, visit a doctor for necessary assistance.

    You should visit your doctor in the following conditions:

    In case of excessive watery discharge, especially after 28 weeks of pregnancy, call a doctor. Secondly, if you face some discomfort in the genital regions such as itching, tingling or burning sensation, you should consult your doctor. It may indicate fungal infection. Thirdly, if you observe a change in the color and odor of the watery discharge, visit your doctor as soon as possible. The color of the watery discharge may change from white to pink, red or even brown. The change of color may indicate premature delivery.

    If the watery discharge during pregnancy changes its color from white to yellow, gray, or green, you may be suffering either from a vaginal infection or a sexually transmitted disease. It may be the case even in the absence of irritation, burning and itching. Do pay a visit to your doctor as it involves a risk of the transmission of the causative agent to the fetus.

    Source: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/watery-discharge-during-pregnancy.html

Eigth Month

Ninth Month