When You Are Expecting
When You Are Expecting
Why Prenatal Care?
When I visited Metropolis clinic for taking a blood test, I came across an interesting pamphlet which will be quite useful for the expecting mothers. I reproduce its contents for the benefit of the readers.
Why Prenatal Care?
There are several benefits you will experience with prenatal care. Prenatal care
- Promotes, protects and maintains your health during pregnancy
- Helps detect and tackle complications early
- Foresee complications and prevent them
- Reduces maternal and infant mortality
- Updates you on elements of child care, nutrition, personal hygiene and environmental sanitation
- Sensitizes you to the need for family planning, including advises for medical termination of pregnancy if required
Proper prenatal care corrects any foetal problems you may face and goes a long way in keeping you and your baby healthy
- Attend your prenatal check-ups regularly. If you miss any, schedule one immediately for that month
- During the course of your pregnancy, you should visit your doctor thrice. First visit at 20 weeks or before, as soon as you get to know you are pregnant. Second visit at 32 weeks and third visit at 36 weeks.
- Depending on your health condition, your doctor will schedule further visits and your doctor should pay at least one visit to your home
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
Small things can make a big difference. So keep these pointers in mind
- Always remember to wear your seatbelt when you travel in cars and vans
- Take sufficient rest and keep stress at bay
- Eat healthy, fibre-rich foods with lots of vegetables and fruits and drink sufficient low-fat milk and yogurt to get your calcium supply
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, especially water and avoid juices with high sugar content
- Indulge in regular physical activities like walks, swimming etc to keep yourself fit. But remember to check with your doctor first before getting into a regime
- Massages and warm showers will help relax muscles
There are few things you’ll have to avoid when you are pregnant. These include
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, colas
- Excessive or vigorous exercise and physical activities. Speak to your doctor for advice on safe forms of exercises and do them in moderation
- Cough and cold medications and all other over the counter drugs. Do not consume them without checking with your doctor first
- Alcoholic drinks including wine. You will not know the safe amounts you can consume so why not avoid them altogether?
- Inhaling toxic chemicals found in paints and pesticides
- Smoking – active or passive
- X-Rays unless your doctor has specifically prescribed them
- Aspirin, other analgesics and sleeping pills. Speak to your doctor for a detailed list of pills you might need to avoid
- Hot environments such as saunas or hot baths as high temperature might affect your baby
- High fat and sugary foods, opt for healthier snacks like fruits instead
- Stress. Try your best to keep away from stress by creating a positive environment. Reading books, soothing music etc will help keep your mind off tension
When you are pregnant, your doctor might prescribe a few routine tests to gauge your health and these tests may vary depending on your medical history. There are a variety of diagnostic tests that go hand in hand to bring the mother and the baby the best in prenatal care. Some of these tests related to prenatal care include
- Urine routine
- Blood group
- Pap smear test: The thin prep pap test is a test to screen for cervical cancer and the precursors of cervical cancer. The thin prep system uses liquid based technology to address preparation and screening errors which account for the majority of all Pap smear inaccuracies
- First trimester screening: Pregnancy and associated plasma protein A tests. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
- Second trimester screening: Alpha fetoprotein (AFP), unconjugated Estriol (uE3), free beta hCG
- Quadruple screening: Inhibin A, Alpha fetoprotein (AFP), unconjugated Estriol (uE3), Free beta hCG
- Torch PCR-Viral infections: Confirmation of toxoplasmosis, CMV, Rubella & HSV infection
- Anti-Cardiolipin Antibodies
Prenatal care is the medical attention and care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. Going beyond just health care, prenatal care will help you in understanding your body, the nutrition you require, the kind of physical activity you should stick to and several other essential factors that make up those nine months. After all, it involves the wellness of two – you and your child.
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