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COMMON PROBLEMS DURING PREGNANCY
"Pregnancy covers the life-stage period from conception to birth. It causes some of the most dramatic and significant physical & psychological changes that a women can go through. It is also an experience that not only affects all aspects of a woman's life, but is an experience that only women, not men, can experience."
Dr Salma Merritt looks at some of the most common issues in this area:
Salma Merritt, M.D.
Mother of 2 children
Expectant mom often notices a change in her eating habits. In the early pregnancy, there is hatred from the food and she is attracted towards non food substances with low nutritive value. The woman generally eats well after first trimester is over. She can meet the additional demands of pregnancy by taking an extra 250 Kcal/day over normal intake. This amounts to a total of about 2100 to 2400 calories per day. Pregnant woman don’t not need to eat more but to eat wisely. She should aim a balanced diet relatively high in protein and low in fat and carbs with some milk supplement. Whole grains are vital source of proteins, fibers, and minerals. Pregnant women should eat 6 to 9 servings of whole-grain or enriched breads and/or cereals every day.
GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT (GIT):
GIT problems like nausea, vomiting, ptyalism, constipation and heartburn are the most frequent symptoms in pregnancy.These problems can be addressed by alteration in the diet. Women should be reassured and advised to take smaller, more frequent meals and to avoid large volume drinks. Heart burn is often helped by small meals at small intervals rather than taking full meals and may sometimes be treated by antacid and H2 receptor blockers. Additional fiber intake can improve constipation. Haemorrhoids often benefit from local applications.
Cramping during pregnancy can be very concerning to a pregnant mother and is thought to be due to low calcium and raised phosphorus levels. Calcium tablets are often prescribed for Cramping but these cramps are generally self limiting.
FREQUENCY OF MICTURITION:
Pregnant women often notice a more frequent need to pee even before they realized they are pregnant. Consult your doctor or midwife if you feel pain or burning when you pee — or if you continue to feel the urge to pee even when you're only able to produce a few drops at a time.
Expectant mothers sometimes feel faint because brain is not getting enough blood. You faint because oxygen level gets too low. It’s usual in pregnancy because of hormonal changes taking place in your body. Expectant moms mostly feel faint when they stand still for long or get up too quickly from a chair or hot bath. It often happens when you are lying on your back.
Here are some tips to help you cope:
It's quite common to have more vaginal discharge during pregnancy. But candidal infection is common too. Whenever you notice vaginal discharge, you should be examined and treated if infection is present otherwise reassured.
Varicose veins are swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. In fact, it has been estimated that as many as 40 percent of all pregnant women suffer from varicose veins. Varicosities on the lower limbs often develop during pregnancy due to pressure of gravid uterus on the pelvic veins. It should be treated with supportive elastic stockings but surgical treatment avoided, as majority of them subside after pregnancy.
PELVIC JOINT PAIN:
Pelvic pain in pregnancy affects up to one in five women. Woman often experiences pain in the sacroiliaic joints and symphasis pubis due to the increased laxity of pelvic joints. Backache is caused by Lumber lordosi. Expectant mom should maintain proper posture to avoid backache. From standing position, she should sit rather than bending and while changing direction she should turn the whole body rather than twisting the lower half over the upper half =. All these pains lessen significantly once the pregnancy hormones are gone.
HAND NUMBNESS AND SUDDEN ONSET OF ARM PARAESTHESIA:
Pregnant women often experience tingling sensation and numbness in the fingers. It is most likely caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a condition associated with swelling and weight gain during pregnancy, where the main nerve in the wrist becomes compressed. Reassurance, physiotherapy and exercise are usually enough.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SMOKING
It is very important for pregnant woman to avoid anything that might harm her or her baby-to-be. It is especially important to give up alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Smokers are advised to reduce the smoking to less than 5 cigarettes per day if they cannot stop it. Alcohol intake should be stopped during pregnancy.
Moderate exercise during pregnancy is all right but potentially dangerous sports and excessive physical stresses should be avoided.
Travel by train, car, or aeroplane is not risky in itself. Long flights are known to predispose dependent oedema and deep venous thrombosis. Hence it is advisable that expectant mom stretches her legs and walks for 10 minute every 2 hours. Air travel must be avoided after 35 weeks of pregnancy.
Sex is considered safe during pregnancy though some postural adjustments are required in the later part of pregnancy. But sex should be avoided in woman with history of preterm labor, repeated abortion or bleeding during current pregnancy.
Bathing or swimming is normal during pregnancy. Surfing and diving should be avoided because of possible trauma.
As you move through the pregnancy, your joints begin to loosen in preparation of child birth. For this reason, the use of shoes with high heel should be avoided during pregnancy.
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