Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dos and don'ts during pregnancy

Most women can continue working during pregnancy. Being pregnant, however, might present challenges at the workplace. To stay healthy and productive on the job, understand how to alleviate common pregnancy discomforts — and know when a work task might jeopardize your pregnancy.
Some FAQ:-
How much caffeine is safe?
Current research indicates that high levels of caffeine can result in miscarriage or low birth weight, so government health advice is not to exceed 200mg of caffeine a day.
Basically, if you eat a bar of plain chocolate and drink one mug of filter coffee a day, or if you drink two mugs of tea and a can of cola, you'll have reached the 200mg limit.
Can I dye my hair?
One pregnancy plus is that many women find their hair gets thicker (we won't dwell on it falling out again after the baby's born). It's one aspect of your appearance you still have some control over (unlike your boobs and waistline)
It's fine to colour your hair during pregnancy. Only enormous doses of the chemicals used in semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes would cause your baby harm.
If you're doing it yourself at home, wear gloves and open a window for ventilation. Because your hormones are all over the place, you might be more susceptible to an allergic reaction from a dye, so do a patch test 24 hours before application.

Should I sleep on my stomach or my back?

"Sleep however you are comfortable," says Pecoraro. "Regardless of how you sleep, (on your side for example) has no bearing on the positions your body takes throughout the night – sleep studies show we move all over the place when we sleep. There is a condition called postural supine hypotension in some women but not all. This condition in pregnancy causes the uterus to fall back on a major artery which can restrict blood flow and cause blood pressure to drop. It can make you feel dizzy or want to vomit. You simply would roll onto your side if this happens."
The concept that a pregnant woman should eat for two is long out-dated. Gynaecologist Dr Suman Bijlani says what a pregnant woman really needs is a well-balanced diet with a few extra ingredients to meet the unborn baby's needs. "You need to consume about 300 extra calories per day, which translates into one extra meal. But eating too much makes you prone to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and gives you a very large baby. Focus on adding extra proteins, iron and calcium to your existing diet," says Dr Bijlani.

Include dals, pulses, sprouts, eggs, meats, fish, milk and milk products.

Provides energy and fibre. Avoid refined sugar and flour - they cause sugar levels to fluctuate. Stick to whole wheat (brown bread and flour), whole fruits and salads.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and other essential fatty acids are important for the development of the fetal brain. These are essential for ideal development of intelligence, learning and vision. Add flax seeds, walnuts, beans, tofu, olive and soyabean oil to your diet. Non-vegetarians can benefit from fish intake or cod liver oil capsules.

Green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, pomegranate, cherries, berries, litchi, pineapple, raisins, dates, figs and animal foods contain a good amount of iron. Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron - squeeze a lemon in your meal.

You need more calcium to help your baby's developing bones, teeth and essential bodily functions. Adequate calcium also prevents backaches and prepares you for breastfeeding. Consume milk and milk products in various forms, nuts, seeds, beans, green leafy vegetables and seafood.

Prenatal oral care
According consultant obstetrician, Dr Saurabh Dani there is evidence of a link between gum disease and premature, underweight births. "Gingivitis is the most common problem occurring during pregnancy and happens because gums react to the plaque build-up more aggressively than when not pregnant. Be sure to let your dentist know you're pregnant.

In the first three months of pregnancy, x-rays, dental anaesthetics, pain medications and antibiotics should be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. A root canal can be performed during pregnancy and the best time to perform such a procedure is mid trimester," says Dr Dani.

Keep dental problems away by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly. Substitute sweets with more wholesome foods like cheese, fresh fruits or vegetables.

According to obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Mukesh Gupta, feeling tired and gaining weight are normal during pregnancy but exercise provides relief. "Being active and exercising 30 minutes daily reduces backache, constipation, bloating, swelling, prevents or treats gestational diabetes, increases your energy, improves mood and posture, promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance, and helps you sleep better. Regular activity also improves ability to cope with labour pain and makes it easier for you to get back in shape after giving birth. However, don't exercise to lose weight while you are pregnant," says Dr Gupta.

Getting started
Before beginning your exercise program, talk to your doctor to ensure you don't have any obstetric or health condition. Ask about specific exercises or sports that interest you. Most forms of exercise are safe. However, some involve positions and movements that may be uncomfortable, tiring or harmful. For instance, after the first trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on you back. Standing still for long periods is also not encouraged. Exercise during pregnancy is most practical during the first 24 weeks. If it has been some time since you've exercised, start slowly. Exercises like walking, swimming cycling and aerobics are a good way to keep fit.

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