Planning for a Baby

Importance of Folic acid and vitamins in Pregnancy

Folic acid intake in the form of natural food or supplements is quite quite important in pregnancy. There are many benefits of folic acid and is normally recommended to mothers in the planning phase and during pregnancy too.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate which is part of the vitamin B family. This nutrient is especially important in the three months prior to conception and in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is recommended that if you are a woman of child bearing age and are planning to have a baby then you should start taking a folic acid supplement regularly. Folic acid is really important for the baby’s development. It is essential for the development of the baby’s brain, skull and spine. Adequate intake of folate can help prevent abnormalities and birth defects related to the spine. Natural sources of Folic acid include legumes, fortified cereals, oranges and green leafy vegetables.

In most cases Folic acid is continuously administered to mums in the first three months. Some doctors may even prefer to continue the same all through the pregnancy. The baby’s neural tube is well formed by week 12, post which folic acid supplementation is not necessary.
Additionally a multi vitamin suited to pregnancy is also started. It has supplements which help to support the pregnancy and moms should take these without fail.

I may be Pregnant? What happens next?

A woman ovulates at approximately three weeks after the first day of her last menstrual period. An egg is released from her ovaries and it moves down one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. If intercourse takes place during the period of ovulation there is a possibility of a pregnancy occurring. During ejaculation, millions of sperm from your partner are released but only one of them will succeed in the race towards the egg and will fertilize it while it is still in the fallopian tube. The baby is at this point a cluster of cells which will undergo rapid multiplication in the days to come.
At this point most women have not felt any differently or have not noticed any changes in their body. Some women do report a change is tastes. The fertilized egg has now reached the uterus and after floating around for app.

72 hours it finds a location and implants itself into the uterine lining. The blood vessels of the uterine lining nourish the egg and the placenta begins to form.
Most moms will probably complete the first month without even realising they are pregnant. When they miss the first period they would do the pregnancy test and then schedule a visit with the doctor.
Second time moms understand that small changes in the body can signal a pregnancy like the sensitive breasts, darkened and enlarged areola and the feeling of being slightly bloated.
What you did in the first month without knowing that you are pregnant can surely affect the baby but we would recommend that you do not stress about it. However if you are planning or trying then make sure you follow the pregnancy friendly lifestyle.
When you visit the doctor there will be an early sonogram just to establish the pregnancy and to hear the baby’s heart tones. The doctor may also prescribe some routine tests like blood work, thyroid, sugar and urine tests to ensure that there are no health concerns.
Mom may feel nausea symptoms and although this is generally in the morning it can actually happen all thru the day.
Most of the times this is related to hormonal changes and besides management there is little that you can do about it. If you are unable to hold anything down and are constantly throwing up then make a mention to your doctor and some medications may be prescribed.
At times you may be able to identify a trigger which if you avoid can take care of the nausea feeling. For some women it is certain foods for others it may be smells.
Natural remedies – flakes of ginger, eating a small piece of dry carb like a toast or a cracker every couple of hours, avoiding spicy foods, making sure you eat your high protein foods with enough fibre in the form of fresh fruits of vegetables.
There will be tons of advice which people want to give you. It is also customary to not share the pregnancy news in the first three months as it is considered as bad luck. 26 % of pregnancies are lost in the first trimester and this is due to hormonal reasons. If this happens and is not a regular recurrence your doctor will not be worried.
You will feel some tugs and pulls and some vacuum sounds which is normal.
Once the surgery begins the baby is delivered within the first six minutes. Post the birth, the placenta is delivered thru the same incision and the uterus is cleaned out before being sutured. Over all the process can take about 30-45 minutes.
You will also have an IV attached for nutrition and medication as well as a catheter for urination. These will stay in place for 24 hours.

Post the surgery you will be in a recovery room under observation for a couple of hours before you are moved to your room along with the baby. It is a good idea to attempt breast feeding in the recovery room itself.

Additionally a multi vitamin suited to pregnancy is also started. It has supplements which help to support the pregnancy and moms should take these without fail.

It may advisable to abstain from intercourse in this period. Moms will also feel a lot of vaginal dryness and this is again due to hormonal changes. Vaginal discharge also increases. There is the urge to urinate frequently and you may be surprised since the uterus is not yet large. But hormonal changes are making the bladder muscles also relax. Due to this the bladder is not able to empty completely and hence may cause the need to urinate frequently. Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids as this will help you keep free from urinary infections.

Its ok to continue your normal routine during this time. There is no need to rest extra or avoid activities that you are normally used to as long as they are safe for pregnancy. For eg: If you were going to work you can continue to do so. However if you were scuba diving or playing tennis then you should avoid these activities.

In the first trimester you can also sleep in any position you find comfortable. Many moms can even sleep on their stomach.

Do not start a new exercise routine but if there was a routine that you were following and it is safe for pregnancy then it is ok to continue the same.
If you are not sure what to do then you can surely continue going for a walk.

Moms will also feel very sleepy and tired in this phase. After all your body is doing the mammoth task of making a new baby. Try and find time to power nap during the day time if possible. Do not behave like super woman. Listen to your body. If you feel like resting then take some time off and rest.

Many new mothers may encounter insomnia in the first few weeks of pregnancy and this is probably due to the excitement and nervousness of finding out and the realisation that soon life is going to change. Also till the first twelve weeks do not pass and the anamoly tests are completed moms may feel concerned and worry about the well being of the developing baby.

A couple may have undergone some pre conception counselling sessions and these can help take care of these concerns.
Additionally it is also a good idea to register for an early pregnancy class to get all your doubts and queries answered.

Planning a baby? How far Apart is Smart - Sonali Shivlani

We all want the best for our children and at times this is one of the reasons most couples will say they want only one child. Well having one or two is really a couples personal decision but here are some reasons why you need to ensure good family planning.

New mums need time to recover : Having a baby makes your body work very hard. If you get pregnant very soon after having your first baby it is possible that the developing baby may not get enough nutrition. You would need to ensure that you adhere to a strict nutrition plan so as to not compromise the developing baby. Also as a pregnant mom you will be tired and your still young baby will naturally not let you sleep through the night. As you feel lousy due to the pregnancy hormones and the tiredness it will also be difficult to enjoy the new baby.

Remember that babies need space to grow. Babies born to mothers who space their babies about 2-3 years apart get a healthier start in life. If you get pregnant real quick then chances of the delivery happening premature and the baby being of a low birth weight are much higher.
Discuss various family planning methods with your doctor and choose the one which suits you best. Some of the temporary birth control options available in the market today include : Male and female condoms, birth control pills which can be taken by the woman and IUD’s (Intrauterine devices) which need to be inserted by the doctor and which stay in place for 3-5 years. There are also permanent methods which include a tubectomy for the female and a vasectomy for the male. Both these are options which are very difficult to reverse and hence should be opted for when you are absolutely sure that your family is complete.
Before you plan a baby some things that you must do to ensure your physical health :

• Visit your doctor.
• Get a complete Health check up done which will include all the blood tests.
• Get a pap smear and a mammogram done as well.
• Start taking your supplements as prescribed by the doctor. Supplements are prescribed for the father – to – be as well.

Just a little bit of planning can help you plan your family SMARTLY.

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