Question 1 – Are over the counter medications safe for me?
Answer – Generally, you should not take any over the counter (OTC) medications while you are pregnant unless recommended by your doctor.
Question 2 – Can I work during my pregnancy period?
Answer – Unless your doctor tells you that it is not safe for you to work, it is possible for you to work during pregnancy. But you as well as your employers need to make some adjustments.
Question 3 – Is it necessary to have a C-section?
Answer – A C-section is a surgery in which a baby takes birth through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus.
A C-section may be needed to protect the health of the mother and the baby. In such cases, a C-section may be safer than a vaginal birth.
Your doctor may want to schedule your C-section if there are complications in your pregnancy that make vaginal birth risky.
If your pregnancy is healthy and there are no medical conditions to justify C-section then it is best to go for vaginal birth.
Question 4 – What kind of exercises are suitable during pregnancy?
Answer – Regular exercise during pregnancy assists in improving health, reduces the risk of excessive weight gain and back pain. It may also make delivery easier.
Moderate exercise during pregnancy may give the newborn a healthy start to life.
Swimming, brisk walking, Yoga and stationary cycling are good ways to stay fit during pregnancy.
Question 5 – Are there any dietary restrictions while being pregnant?
Answer – Pregnancy is one of the most vital and sensitive periods of a woman’s life. Therefore, it is very important for a pregnant woman to eat a healthy diet.
Certain foods should only be consumed rarely while others should be avoided completely.
High-mercury fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna); under cooked or raw fish; under cooked, raw and processed meat; raw eggs, organ meat, caffeine intake limiting to 2-3 cups/day, raw sprouts, unwashed fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, cheese, fruit juice, alcohol, processed junk food should be avoided.
Question 6 – Is indigestion and acidity normal during pregnancy?
Answer – Heartburn during pregnancy is because of Progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the muscles and stomach valve that keeps acid out of the Oesophagus. In addition to it, the growing uterus crowds the stomach which forces the acid to enter into the Oesophagus.
But there are ways to avoid or treat indigestion or heartburn like –
Eating smaller meals, more often
Avoiding intake of junk food before going to bed
Avoiding foods and drinks that are suspected to give you heartburn
Avoiding intake of coffee at the end of the day
Raising the head of your bed by 10-15 cm
Lying on your left side
Sitting straight while eating
Avoiding lying down after eating
Question 7 – What changes will occur in my body and how to cope up with them?
Answer – A woman’s body undergoes many changes during the nine months of pregnancy. Expanding of belly, weight gain are visible while enlarged uterus, morning sickness, backache and enlarged size of breast also occur simultaneously.
Regular exercise, eating balanced diet helps in controlling excessive weight gain. Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating green vegetables and fruits will lead to healthy changes during pregnancy.
Question 8 – How much of weight gain is normal during pregnancy?
Answer – Roughly, 10-12 kgs of weight gain is normal during pregnancy for the ones who have normal BMI. Women who are underweight can gain upto 12-16 kgs and overweight women can gain only 5-6 kgs during pregnancy.
Question 9 – I drink alcohol. Will it affect my baby?
Answer – Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes on to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities are known as fetal alcohol syndrome.
Question 10 – What are the danger signs during pregnancy?
Answer – Danger signs during pregnancy are vaginal bleeding, convulsions, severe headache with a blurred vision, severe nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, fast or difficulty in breathing, fever, feeling too weak to get out of the bed, decreased body movement, water break etc.
Question 11 – How do I care for the newborn?
Answer – Care for newborn includes –
Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months
Immunization of baby during night time
Keeping the baby adequately warm during winter
Maintaining adequate hygiene while feeding your baby
Ensuring baby’s burp after each feed
Feeding in sitting position
Question 12 – What are the danger signs that one should look for in the newborn?
Answer – Danger signs in newborn and young infants are:
Not feeding well
Drowsiness or unconsciousness, lethargic
Severe chest withdrawing
Not passing urine
Raised temperature > 38° C or < 35.5° C
Question 13 – Is it important to breastfeed my baby?
Answer – Breastfeeding is important for baby as well as mother.
Advantages for baby –
It provides ideal nutrition to the baby
It contains important antibodies that provide immunity to fight illnesses
Reduces the risk of middle ear infection , respiratory infection, cold, gastroenteritis
Reduces allergy, diabetes in later life
Promotes healthy weight gain
Helps in making children smarter
Advantages for mother –
Helps to lose weight
Protects from breast cancer
Question 14 – How long should a mother breastfeed her baby?
Answer – Mother should feed her baby exclusively for 6 months and breastfeeding can be continued until 12 months or longer if both the mother and the baby wish. WHO recommends on-demand breastfeeding upto 2 years of age.
Question 15 – What kind of oral medications should I give to my baby?
Answer – Oral medications should be given to baby only on pediatrician’s advice. Generally, vitamin D is recommended for babies on breastfeed.