I am Dr. Jayanti Kamat, IVF consultant, obstetrician and gynecologist. Today I will talk about how to take care during early pregnancy? What to do when you miss your period? How to take care of yourself during the first 3 months of pregnancy? As you know friends, pregnancy is not a disease. It is a perfectly, naturally occurring event or phenomenon. Of course, some women may experience some complications and discomfort which are associated with pregnancy. So, today will talk about when to plan your pregnancy. What do you do when you miss your period? When to consult a gynecologist? When to go for first sonography? How to tackle the various discomfort? How to reduce mental stress and organize lifestyle?
First and foremost, planning. Just like we plan for education, and so many events in life, same way pregnancy also has to be planned. When do you start planning? You have to plan your pregnancy before 3-4 months. There are certain dos and don'ts. First of all, you have to make your body suitable for nurture baby. So, if you are overweight, try to lose your weight, get basic blood investigation done. Take iron supplements. You have to get yourself screened for certain diseases so that these diseases don't flare up during pregnancy and cause problems to both mother and baby. This entire procedure is called pre-conceptional care and counseling. This care is highly personalized.
Now, you have missed your periods. What will you do? It doesn't necessarily mean that she is pregnant. It can happen because of some other hormonal disorder such as thyroid, PCOS or it could be even because of stress. But whenever a woman missed her periods, pregnancy has to be ruled out. How do you confirm pregnancy? The test is used to detect is based on a hormone called HCG. This hormone is secreted by the placenta. So, when this gets detected, we know that the woman is pregnant. We test this with urine, you all must be aware of this as so many kits are available. If you do it earlier than it might come negative. The beta HCG test. It gives the report for HCG hormone. Now, this test is relatively sensitive. Pregnancy can be detected quite early. Then there is a certain doubtful condition when you do your urine test. Ideally both the lines should be dark. If one line is faded, what does that mean? That means that whether the woman is pregnant or not, is slightly doubtful. So, what do you do in such a situation? You either repeat the urine pregnancy test after one week or you get a beta HCG test done. What about sonography? Many people feel is the sonography a sure shot way for diagnosing pregnancy? But if you do sonography very early in your pregnancy or after you missed a period, we will not be able to see anything. So, the first sonography ideally is done at 6 weeks of pregnancy. So, in this, we can see the fetal heart ticking. This is a very blissful moment both patient as well as a Dr. So, this is about the early scan.
When should you visit a gynecologist? You should visit as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. Do not delay this visit to the gynecologist. Dr is trained, professional and an expert and can tell you the problems if any by examining you. You may not feel any discomfort. So, get yourself examined as early as possible. Then what are the discomforts which a woman experiences during pregnancy? One is nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, tenderness in the breast, slight pain in the abdomen, frequency of urination, mood swings, so all these are associated with pregnancy. It is not necessary that every woman should feel the discomfort. Every pregnancy is different. So, starting from the first discomfort i.e. nausea and vomiting. Why does it occur during pregnancy? As I told you there is a hormone called HCG which is secreted by the placenta. This hormones go and stimulate the vomiting centre which is present in the brain. And that is the reason she feels nausea and vomiting. How do you combat these symptoms? Your gynae will give you certain tablets to control these symptoms. But, what can you do at home? You have to modify your lifestyle and dietary habits. You can take something dry like biscuits, toast as soon as you et up and you have to keep yourself hydrated. Just should not starve. Try to eat citrus fruits and prefer whole fruit rather than juice. Because when you consume the juice, the fibre is removed from that. Constipation is also a problem in pregnancy. So, by drinking only juice, you may have constipation.
Better you prepare all the juices at home. And not have those readymade package juices. Then certain women have eversion towards smell to certain foodstuff. You can avoid them. There are certain home remedies like ginger, lemon juice you can try. They are quite safe in pregnancy. Sometimes, nausea and vomiting in a woman can be excessive. She keeps on vomiting and cannot even take water. This is a very serious condition. If there is excessive vomiting, you need to consult a gynae. It can be because of higher secretion of HCG hormone. Sometimes, it occurs when there is multiple pregnancies like twin, triplet. It can occur in an abnormal pregnancy. This has to be taken care of. Sometimes, we admit the patient and give them various fluids and injectable medicines to control this vomiting. If you will starve yourself just because of the fear of vomiting, your body will form ketosis which will again form vomiting. This becomes a very vicious cycle. So, you should take meals at smaller intervals because, in pregnancy, the hormone called progesterone which has ha effect on the stomach and intestine, it slows down the movement of the stomach, intestine, and because of this digestion becomes slow. So, with a heavy meal, your digestive system becomes overwhelmed and then again you will start vomiting. Avoid eating hot, spicy and outside food and do not self-medicate.
Next, are tiredness and fatigue. It can be because of food intake is not proper and because of the hormonal influence, a woman may feel sleepy. You have to take a rest. Try to organize your lifestyle. You have to reduce your stress level.
Next, are heaviness and tenderness in the breast. This also occurs because of hormones. A woman should wear a well-supporting bra and take a normal diet and this will pass away in the course of time. Patients ask that during pregnancy can I do exercise, can I go for work. So, I always advise patients to be active until and unless there is a medical indication. A woman can do light, household work, a few light exercises are recommended. Walking is the best. Do not get indulge in a strenuous work-out. Yoga and pranayama are very good during pregnancy. They will let your life healthy and mental stress will relieve. Some women experience a lot of mood swings, depression. a woman has to cope up with career, house. There are so many people who will be giving you so much information about what to do and what not to do. Please take all these pieces of advice with a pinch of salt. Take it positively and just think that these people are concerned about you, so they are giving you advice. Follow your Dr advice strictly and enjoy your pregnancy.