It is not just timely medical treatment but timely counseling is also essential for pregnant women. Dr Meghana Reddy Jetty (Senior Consultant, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Laparoscopic surgery, BirthRight by Rainbow Hospitals, Marathahalli) said the White Ribbon Alliance India has established National Safe Motherhood Day to ensure that pregnant women, new mothers, and their families have access to proper prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care.
The journey to motherhood can be a roller-coaster ride. One expecting mother tells me, “Doctor, I heard labour is going to be scary and very painful.”Other one tells me, “Pregnancy is not easy. Back pain is killing me.” Another “Doctor, my friend had a horror experience. Will mine be the same?”
Pregnancy and childbirth may be joyous, but there are a lot of difficulties both physically and mentally which a lady has to go through which with proper guidance from a doctor, can be overcome.
Some tips for a safer motherhood:
-Approach an obstetrician for a pre pregnancy counselling and get tests done as per recommendation and optimise health before pregnancy and be regular on folic acid vitamin supplements.
-In pregnancy, first trimester is usually packed with plenty of symptoms like nausea, vomiting. With good guidance, symptoms can be minimised. It is also the time to continue your pregnancy vitamins, get your basic blood work up and ultrasound to rule out major chromosomal problems. Also eat healthy and be active.
-Second trimester is usually a happy time. It is time for an ultrasound to look for parts of baby. Do not take unprescribed medicines. Regular Lamaze and exercise routine can start now. Vaccination may be suggested now. Also stick to routine of doctor-visits.
-Third trimester is usually filled with many physical and emotional symptoms of heartburn, shortness of breath and aches, also filled with peers telling you stories of their birth and anxiety. Child birth education will help alleviate fear of child birth and also helps one deliver a healthy baby in a healthy manner. No two pregnancies are same. Do not compare with your friends.
-There are mothers who ask for cesarean section for pain and on the other side there are mothers who are so insistent on normal delivery even when baby’s heart beat is falling. Both are not right. Leave the decision to doctor to choose what is safe for both you and baby. During labour you and baby will be constantly monitored. You may choose to take pain-killers during labour.
Then there comes the bundle of joy. Then starts all the mixed emotions of happiness, sleeplessness, pouring advise. Specially after childbirth in a first time mother, baby blues are very common. Role of husband and other family members is very important in supporting her. Approach doctor for any help.
-Mental health of a new mother is of utmost importance. She is learning many things and non-availability of proper information is prevalent.
Safe motherhood is your birthright. So try and always follow your doctor advise for you and your little munchkin to be in the pink of health.
Tips for safe motherhood
Every baby counts and we at Birth right by Rainbow Hospitals focus foremost on delivering the best frontline care we can for women and babies.
Here are a few tips to ensure the health and well-being of mothers during this exquisite and unparalleled journey .
- Take a prenatal vitamin
- Educate yourself
- Change your chores (avoid harsh or toxic cleaners, heavy lifting)
- Track your weight gain (normal weight gain is 11- 16 kg )
- Get comfortable shoes
- Eat folate-rich foods (lentils, asparagus, oranges, fortified cereals)
- Eat calcium-rich foods (dairy, soy)
- Eat more fish (except those high in mercury )
- Eat foods with fiber
- Don’t eat soft cheeses (unpasteurized styles like Brie and feta may contain bacteria that can cause fever, miscarriage or pregnancy complications)
- Eat your veggies
- Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day
- But don’t overeat. You only need 300-500 additional calories per day. Keep a food diary.
- Limit caffeine
- Drink plenty of fluids (six - eight glasses of water per day)
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Wear sunscreen
- Fly smart (avoid air travel if possible early and late in pregnancy)
- Avoid changing cat litter (to reduce risk of toxoplasmosis)
- Give in to cravings – sometimes
- Know when to call your doctor with concerns
- Don’t smoke; avoid secondhand smoke
- Get enough sleep
- Wear your seatbelt
- Don’t take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without medical consultation.
(Tips by Dr Anitha Rao, Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology BirthRight by Rainbow Hospitals, Hebbal)