By Dr Jyoti Bali, Medical Director, Babysoon Fertility & IVF Centre and
Secretary Delhi Chapter ISAR & Delhi Gynaecology Forum and
Joint Secretary, Doctor’s Women Wing, IMA
Pregnancy is an exciting experience, but it also can be stressful. Holistic Approach is the best way to avoid complications and giving your baby a healthy start in life.
Holistic approach to pregnancy and childbirth includes the use of integrative therapies also known as alternative or complementary therapies to prevent or treat common discomforts and complications of pregnancy, in a way that is consistent with the belief system of the patient.
These simple pregnancy tips help you to stay healthy throughout the nine months and have peace of mind.
Even if this is your first or second pregnancy, attending a childbirth class will help you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only you will have the chance to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask specific questions and voice any concerns. You’ll also become more acquainted with the facility and its staff.
Now is also a good time to brush up on your family’s medical history. Talk to your doctor about problems with past pregnancies, and report any family incidences of birth defects.
Track your weight gain
We know you’re eating for two. But packing on too many extra pounds may make them hard to lose later. At the same time, not gaining enough weight can put the baby at risk for a low-weight birth, a major cause of developmental problems. Recently the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. Here’s what the IOM recommends, based on a woman’s BMI (body mass index) before becoming pregnant with one baby:
– Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds
– Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds
– Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds
– Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds
Check in with your doctor often to make sure you’re gaining at a healthy rate.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord develops within the first month of pregnancy, so it’s important you get essential nutrients – like folic acid, calcium, and iron – from the very start.
However prenatal vitamins are available over the counter at most drug stores, yet it is strictly recommended to get them by prescription from your doctor. If taking them makes you feel queasy, try taking them at night or with a light snack.
Avoid over-the-counter medications, supplements, or natural remedies. Even non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen should be avoided, studies suggest they increase the risk of miscarriage and damage to fetal blood vessels.
Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better. Take a pregnancy exercise class or walk at least 15-20 minutes every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating.
Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for pregnant women, but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t overdo it.
Rethink Your Spa Style
Pregnancy is definitely a time for pampering, but you need to be careful. Avoid saunas, which can make you overheated. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it takes only 10 to 20 minutes of sitting in one for your body temperature to reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit—nearly the limit of what’s considered safe for pregnant women. Also, certain essential oils can cause uterine contractions, especially during the first and second trimester, so check with your massage therapist to make sure only safe ones are being used. On the taboo list: juniper, rosemary, and clay sage. The same goes for over-the-counter medicines and supplements containing these herbal remedies; don’t take them without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.
Drink More Water
During pregnancy, your blood is supplying oxygen and essential nutrients to your baby through the placenta and carrying waste and carbon dioxide away — which means your blood volume increases up to 50 per cent to handle all this extra activity. So, you need to drink more to support that gain. Drinking water can also help prevent constipation, haemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Aim for 8-10 glasses per day, and if you don’t enjoy the taste, try adding a squeeze of lime or a splash of fruit juice.