Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Pregnancy Tips

Pregnancy - How You Can Take Care Of Your Health?

Dr. Sonam Jain 87% (55 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Navi Mumbai
Pregnancy - How You Can Take Care Of Your Health?

Pregnancy brings with it a new set of additional responsibilities. The mother has to be extra vigilant about monitoring and caring for her health. This ensures that sufficient nutrition is being provided to the growing infant, at the same time, ensuring no harm comes to you. Listed below are some simple ways to do the same.

1. Prenatal care: As soon as you realize you are pregnant, it is advisable to talk to a doctor or a midwife about proper prenatal care. This could include anything and everything from prenatal vitamins to food habits to exercise to sleeping habits to periodic scanning and a number of other things that your doctor will prescribe.

2. Diet: You need to ensure two things that is you are eating enough for two people and everything is healthy and not harmful for the little one that gets all its nutrition through you. The diet should be healthy, nutritious, wholesome and of course free of junk. Some pointers to a healthy diet include:

a. Include a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day; break it into five small portions.
b. Sufficient amount of carbohydrates should be the basis of each meal.
c. Whole grains are preferred to white grains, which also give good amount of fiber.
d. A good amount of proteins including fish, eggs, meat, nuts, pulses, milk, and other dairy products.
e. Ensure adequate amount of iron, calcium, and other minerals are included in the diet.
f. Avoid eating unpasteurized dairy products, uncooked or undercooked food and smoked seafood.
g. While most vitamin requirements should be met through the diet, in some people, prenatal vitamins which provide the increased demands for folic acid.

3. Weight gain: If your weight was normal for your age and height before pregnancy, expect to add about 12 to 15 kg during your pregnancy. Consult with your doctor on weight changes and nutritional aspects to monitor weight throughout pregnancy. This could change based on if it is twins, your weight before pregnancy, and body type.

4. Exercise: Exercising during pregnancy is being increasingly encouraged for the following reasons:

a. Improved energy levels
b. Controls back pain
c. Improved sleep pattern
d. Improves constipation
e. Improves muscles strength and endurance
There are specific exercises designed to benefit the pregnant women. Whether it is walking or swimming aimed at improving overall health or Kegel exercises aimed at improving vaginal and perineal muscles, your doctor should be able to draw up a routine.

5. Lifestyle changes: With pregnancy setting in, it is time to bid goodbye to smoking and drinking alcohol. Continued smoking after onset of pregnancy has many serious complications, including growth retardation, low birth weight. Alcohol can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and premature delivery.

These are simple ways to monitor and care for your and of course, the baby's health throughout pregnancy. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4 Easy Exercises You Must Follow During Pregnancy!

Dr. Rekha Thakur 85% (25 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
4 Easy Exercises You Must Follow During Pregnancy!

Advice for an expectant mother is plentiful to come around from family and friends. While it may be well intentional, it may not be the best advice possible. One of the things most people would advise is to avoid exercising as it may affect the health of the mother and the baby. This is in fact a very wrong advice as expectant mothers like everyone need exercise to stay fit and healthy. The only difference from normal people is that certain types of exercises may not be suitable for pregnant women and the nature of exercises may change from trimester to trimester.

Some of the best exercises during pregnancy

  1. Swimming: This one is in fact recommended by doctors as the best and the safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming is beneficial because of the following reasons:
    • It has immense cardiovascular benefits
    • Large muscles groups are exercised in the process
    • Helps reduce swelling and inflammation
    • Helps with low back pain and relieves the stress on your spine which is caused due to the extra weight you are carrying around.
  2. Walking: This is one of the safest exercise during any trimester as long as you don’t over exert yourself. Walking promotes blood circulation, improves heart health and is all around a good exercise for pregnant women. The key is to invest in a good pair of shoes for walking so as to prevent the knees and legs from jarring and also to support your upper body properly.
  3. Stretching: In the later trimesters, it may be a little difficult to manage other exercises as your body becomes heavier and movement may bse limited. However, you can do basic stretching exercises to improve mobility and also help with circulation.
  4. Weight training exercises: Certain exercises which utilize the weight of your body rather than external weight can be performed easily. You can also use lighter weights to help keep muscle tone and strength. A few examples of these exercises are:
    • Side leg lifting: Lie on one side and lift one leg up slightly higher than hip height. You can use your forearm for balance in this case. Keep lifting the leg and hold it there for a few seconds and do the same motions a few times for repetitions.
    • Curling and lifting: Sit on a chair with your back straight with 2 to 4 kilo weights in each hand and curl up your hands up to the shoulders. Sit with your legs spread apart but comfortably. Also start the curl with your fore arms at a 90° angle from your elbows.
    • Yoga and meditation: Yoga is possibly one of the most well suited regimens during pregnancy. Pranayama and meditation can definitely help you be more at peace and also manage many of the changes happening in your body in a much better fashion.

It is best to consult with a specialist or a physiotherapist who can give you a step by step guide as to the exercises you can do and the precautions that you need to take while performing them. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

2 people found this helpful

Ways Alcohol Is Bad For Your Love Life?

Sexual Health Clinic
Sexologist, Delhi
Ways Alcohol Is Bad For Your Love Life?

If you are a heavy drinker and you are having problems with your sex life, they are likely to be caused because of your alcohol consumption. Sex and alcohol are not considered to be a good mixture. Although a small amount of alcohol is harmless, moderate to heavy drinking can hamper your sex life in several ways. Moreover, alcohol is very dangerous for pregnant women.

Alcohol can lead to sexual problems and issues in both men and women. It can also make them behave in a different and unusual manner, which may lead them into having sex with people who are unsuitable. It makes people take unnecessary risks and many get infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Unwanted pregnancy after having sex is a common aspect in today’s world. Alcohol also makes people likely to be victims of sexual attacks.

The bad effects of alcohol on your sex life
There are several bad effects of alcohol which take a toll on your sexual life. They are as follows:

  1. Alcohol may make people more likely to engross in sexual activity with the wrong person. Getting pregnant, catching infections and embarking in affairs which lead to the breakup of many marriages are common effects of alcohol. Alcohol is a primary reason for the demand of the emergency contraceptive or morning after pill, all over the world.
  2. Alcohol fuddles up people's brain and many of them forget to take proper contraceptive precautions before having sex.
  3. Alcohol is very harmful for unborn babies in pregnant women. It may cause brain damage to the baby. You should consume alcohol as less as possible during pregnancy and totally avoid it during the first three months of pregnancy.
  4. Alcohol accounts for being a major cause of erectile dysfunction or impotence in men. Alcohol may increase your sexual desire, but it reduces your performance.
  5. Men who are heavy drinkers may develop a permanent case of brewer’s droop. Loss of sexual interest is also likely.
  6. Excessive alcohol may lead to diminished or reduced libido in women as well. It is yet to be proven whether alcohol causes any other sexual complications in women.

If you are facing problems with excessive alcohol consumption and it is affecting your sex life, you need to take some steps. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1078 people found this helpful

4 Types Of Barrier Contraceptives

Dr. Imran Khan 86% (3513 ratings)
Bachelor of Unani Medicine & Surgery (B.U.M.S), PGD(Sexual Medicine & Councelling)
Sexologist, Gurgaon
4 Types Of Barrier Contraceptives

There are a number of contraceptives available but which method of birth control suits you depends on your sexual life, preferences and your lifestyle as a whole. Professional medical help should be sought in order to understand what method of contraception sis ideal for you.

Here is a list of 4 types of contraceptives for birth control:
1. Barrier methods - Barrier methods are designed to prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. They constitute-
- Diaphragms: It is a shallow and flexible cup that is made of either latex or soft rubber. It is inserted into the vagina before the sexual intercourse where it prevents the sperm from entering the uterus.
- Cervical caps: It is a thin cup of silicone whose function is same as the diaphragm, only it is smaller in size, so less noticeable and more rigid as well.
- Contraceptive sponges: These are soft foam sponges that are filled with spermicide and are disposable. They are also inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse in order to prevent pregnancy by killing the sperm cells or preventing them from entering the vagina.
- Spermicides: These are chemicals that can kill the sperm and hence assist in birth control.
Other methods include male condoms and female condoms.
2. Hormonal methods - Hormonal methods use hormones in order to either stop or regulate ovulation so as to prevent pregnancy. There are various methods through which hormones can be injected into the body. Some of them are-
- Contraceptive patch: It is a thin patch made of plastic that sticks to the skin and is responsible for releasing hormones into the bloodstream through the skin.
- Vaginal rings: A thin, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina where it stays for 3 weeks and is removed after that, only to be re-inserted in the 5th week.
- Implantable rods: They are inserted under the skin of the upper arm of women where they release progestin.
Other methods include contraceptive pills and progestin-only pills.
3. Intrauterine methods of contraception - The intrauterine device is a small device, T-shaped that is inserted into the uterus in order to prevent pregnancy. The good thing about intrauterine devices is that they can remain functioning for many years at a stretch. IUDs are two types-
- Hormonal IUD(Intrauterine Device)
- Copper IUD

4. Sterilization
Sterilization is the most reliable contraceptive for birth control as it is permanent. It either prevents the release of sperm or the fertilization of the egg. Sterilization methods can either be surgical or non-surgical. Some of the sterilization techniques are-
- Tubal ligation: It is the surgical technique used in females.
- Vasectomy: It is the surgical technique of male contraception.
Other methods include sterilization implants.

12 people found this helpful

Preterm Labour - Should You Be Worried?

Dr. Shyama Nivas 88% (259 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Patna
Preterm Labour - Should You Be Worried?

When an expecting mother experiences uterine contractions and is getting ready to deliver the baby at 39 to 40 weeks, it is termed as a full-term labor. But due to several factors that can be caused by lifestyle or medical condition, the onset of labor might occur before 37 weeks of pregnancy which is termed as a preterm labor and could lead to an early birth which is not the best possible scenario for the baby. Hence, it is important to understand the factors contributing to the condition and take necessary precautions during pregnancy under the advice of your gynecologist.

Signs of Preterm labor
The typical signs of going into labor such as increased vaginal leak, cramps, and contractions are applicable in the case of early onset of labor as well. Along with this, lower back pain and pressure in the pelvic region might also be felt. Though these are all common during pregnancy and even may be closely related to Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor, it is better to report to your doctor immediately.

Diagnosing a preterm labor
During your routine prenatal checkups, if the doctor observes any change in the cervix or when you notify experiencing the symptoms of preterm labor, an initial pelvic exam will be carried out to check for dilation. This process will be repeated, and your contractions will be monitored. The doctor also would constantly monitor the baby’s heartbeat or rate. Further, the presence of a protein that is linked to preterm labor will be tested to take due care. Based on the findings, the doctor will decide whether you require immediate hospitalization or any other special care.

Should you be worried?
Preterm labor may not always be a cause for concern but in some cases, it may result in premature delivery of the baby. This premature birth can be harmful to both the baby and the mother. Further, if the baby is born premature, then the baby might be underweight, suffer from breathing problems as his or her organs are not adequately developed or face a high risk of infections as the immune system is not well developed. In severe cases, the baby might have long-term developmental disorders as well as behavioral issues.

Though there are definitely risks and complications associated with preterm birth, babies born after 32 weeks of pregnancy have a high rate of survival and in most cases, do not present any long-term complications as well. But it cannot be said the same for the infants born in or before 24 weeks.In such cases, doctors would try to delay the birthing as much as possible for the benefit of the baby. The best way to prevent preterm labor is to have a healthy lifestyle coupled with regular checkups during your pregnancy and act as per doctors’ advice.

1 person found this helpful

Pregnancy Changes

Dr. Aruna Khurana 92% (97 ratings)
BAMS, Msc-Psychoneurobics, Diploma in Counseling and Spiritual Health
Ayurveda, Faridabad
Pregnancy Changes

Pregnancy brings a variety of changes to the body. They can range from common and expected changes, such as swelling and fluid retention, to less familiar ones such as vision changes. Read on to learn more about them.

Hormonal changes:
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique.

Pregnant women experience sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone. They also experience changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones. These changes don’t just affect mood. They can also:

Create the “glow” of pregnancy
Significantly aid in the development of the fetus
Alter the physical impact of exercise and physical activity on the body
Estrogen and progesterone changes

Estrogen and progesterone are the chief pregnancy hormones. A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant. The increase in estrogen during pregnancy enables the uterus and placenta to:

Improve vascularization (the formation of blood vessels)
Transfer nutrients
Support the developing baby
In addition, estrogen is thought to play an important role in helping the fetus develop and mature.

Estrogen levels increase steadily during pregnancy and reach their peak in the third trimester. The rapid increase in estrogen levels during the first trimester may cause some of the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, it plays a major role in the milk duct development that enlarges the breasts.

Progesterone levels also are extraordinarily high during pregnancy. The changes in progesterone cause a laxity or loosening of ligaments and joints throughout the body. In addition, high levels of progesterone cause internal structures to increase in size, such as the ureters. The ureters connect the kidneys with the maternal bladder. Progesterone is also important for transforming the uterus from the size of a small pear — in its non-pregnant state — to a uterus that can accommodate a full-term baby.

Pregnancy hormones and exercise injuries

While these hormones are absolutely critical for a successful pregnancy, they also can make exercise more difficult. Because the ligaments are looser, pregnant women may be at greater risk for sprains and strains of the ankle or knee. However, no studies have documented an increased rate in injury during pregnancy.

A pregnant woman’s entire posture changes. Her breasts are larger. Her abdomen transforms from flat or concave to very convex, increasing the curvature of her back. The combined effect shifts the center of gravity forward and may lead to changes in her sense of balance.

Weight gain, fluid retention, and physical activity

Weight gain in pregnant women increases the workload on the body from any physical activity. This additional weight and gravity slow down the circulation of blood and bodily fluids, particularly in the lower limbs. As a result, pregnant women retain fluids and experience swelling of the face and limbs. This water weight adds another limitation on exercise. Learn about natural treatments for swollen hands.

Many women begin to notice slight swelling during the second trimester. It often continues into the third trimester. This increase in fluid retention is responsible for a significant amount of weight gain women experience during pregnancy. Tips for easing swelling include:

Rest
Avoid long periods of standing
Avoid caffeine and sodium
Increase dietary potassium
Weight gain is usually the primary reason that the body can’t tolerate prepregnancy levels of exercise. This even applies to the seasoned, elite, or professional athlete. Round ligament strain, increased size of the uterus, and pelvic instability from laxity of the ligaments may lead to increased discomfort during exercise.

Tip: for fun, take a photograph of yourself from the side profile early in your pregnancy, using your best posture. Take another photo near your due date and compare these side profiles. The changes are remarkable, aren’t they?

Senses
Sensory changes
Pregnancy can dramatically alter how a woman experiences the world through sight, taste, and smell.

Vision changes

Some women experience vision changes during pregnancy, characterized by increased nearsightedness. Researchers don’t know the precise biological mechanisms behind changes in vision. Most women return to prepregnancy vision after giving birth.

Common changes during pregnancy include blurriness and discomfort with contact lenses. Pregnant women often experience an increase in intraocular pressure. Women with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes may be at an elevated risk of rare eye problems, such as retinal detachment or vision loss.

Taste and smell changes

Most women experience changes in their sense of taste during pregnancy. They typically prefer saltier foods and sweeter foods than non-pregnant women. They also have a higher threshold for strong sour, salty, and sweet tastes. Dysgeusia, a decrease in the ability to taste, is most commonly experienced during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Certain taste preferences may vary by trimester. Although many women experience a dulled sense of taste for a short period of time postpartum, they typically regain full taste capability after pregnancy. Some women also experience a metallic taste in the mouth during pregnancy. This can aggravate nausea and may indicate a nutrient imbalance. Learn more about impaired taste.

At times, pregnant women also report changes in their sense of smell. Many describe a heightened awareness and sensitivity to a variety of odors. There’s little consistent and reliable data indicating that pregnant women actually notice and identify certain odors and intensity of odors more than their non-pregnant counterparts. Nevertheless, the vast majority of pregnant women report a perceived increase in their own sensitivity to odors.

Changes related to childbirth
Breast and cervical changes
Hormonal changes, which begin in the first trimester, will lead to many physiological changes throughout the body. These changes help prepare the mother’s body for pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

Breast changes

Pregnant women’s breasts often undergo a series of significant changes during pregnancy as their bodies prepare to supply milk to the newborn baby. Pregnancy hormones that affect skin pigmentation often darken the areola. As the breasts grow, pregnant women may experience tenderness or sensitivity and notice that the veins are darker and the nipples protrude more than before pregnancy. Some women may develop stretch marks on the breasts, particularly if they undergo rapid growth. Many women will also notice an increase in the size of the nipple and areola.

Small bumps on the areolas often appear. Most women will begin producing, and even “leaking,” small amounts of a thick, yellowish substance during the second trimester. This substance is also known as colostrum. In addition to producing the colostrum for the baby’s first feeding, milk ducts in the breasts expand in preparation for producing and storing milk. Some women may notice small lumps in the breast tissue, which can be caused by blocked milk ducts. If the lumps don’t disappear after a few days of massaging the breast and warming it with water or a washcloth, a doctor should examine the lump at the next prenatal visit.

Cervical changes

The cervix, or the entry to the uterus, undergoes physical changes during pregnancy and labor. In many women, the tissue of the cervix thickens and becomes firm and glandular. Up to a few weeks before giving birth, the cervix may soften and dilate slightly from the pressure of the growing baby.

In early pregnancy, the cervix produces a thick mucus plug to seal off the uterus. The plug is often expelled in late pregnancy or during delivery. This is also called bloody show. Mucous streaked with a small amount of blood is common as the uterus prepares for labor. Prior to delivery, the cervix dilates significantly, softens, and thins, allowing the baby to pass through the birth canal. Learn more about the stages of labor and how they affect the cervix.

Hair, skin, and nails
Changes in the hair, skin, and nails
Many women will experience changes in the physical appearance of their skin during pregnancy. Although most are temporary, some — such as stretch marks — can result in permanent changes. In addition, women who experience some of these skin changes during pregnancy are more likely to experience them again in future pregnancies or even while taking hormonal contraceptives.

Hair and nail changes

Many women experience changes in hair and nail growth during pregnancy. Hormone changes can sometimes cause excessive hair shedding or hair loss. This is especially true in women with a family history of female alopecia.

But many women experience hair growth and thickening during pregnancy and may even notice hair growth in unwanted places. Hair growth on the face, arms, legs, or back can occur. Most changes in hair growth return to normal after the baby is born. It’s common, however, for hair loss or increased shedding to occur up to a year postpartum, as hair follicles and hormone levels regulate themselves without the influence of pregnancy hormones.

Many women also experience faster nail growth during pregnancy. Eating well and taking prenatal vitamins adds to the growth hormones of pregnancy. Although some may find the change desirable, many may notice increased nail brittleness, breakage, grooves, or keratosis. Healthy dietary changes to increase nail strength can help prevent breakage without the use of chemical nail products.

“Mask” of pregnancy and hyperpigmentation

The vast majority of pregnant women experience some type of hyperpigmentation during pregnancy. This consists of a darkening in skin tone on body parts such as the areolas, genitals, scars, and the linea alba (a dark line) down the middle of the abdomen. Hyperpigmentation can occur in women of any skin tone, although it’s more common in women with darker complexions.

In addition, up to 70 percent of pregnant women experience a darkening of skin on the face. This condition is known as melasma, or the “mask” of pregnancy. It can be worsened by sun exposure and radiation, so a broad-spectrum uva/uvb sunscreen should be used daily during pregnancy. In most cases, melasma resolves after pregnancy.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) are perhaps the most well-known skin change of pregnancy. They’re caused by a combination of physical stretching of the skin and the effects of hormone changes on the skin’s elasticity. Up to 90 percent of women develop stretch marks by the third trimester of pregnancy, often on the breasts and abdomen. Although the pinkish-purple stretch marks may never fully disappear, they often fade to the color of surrounding skin and shrink in size postpartum. Stretch marks can itch, so do apply creams to soften and reduce the urge to scratch and possibly damage the skin.

Mole and freckle changes

The hyperpigmentation caused by changes in hormones during pregnancy can cause changes in the color of moles and freckles. Some darkening of moles, freckles, and birthmarks can be harmless. But it’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist or physician about changes in size, color, or shape.

Pregnancy hormones can also cause the appearance of dark patches of skin that are often unpreventable. Although most skin pigmentation changes will fade or disappear after pregnancy, some changes in mole or freckle color may be permanent. It’s a good idea to have a skin check for potential skin cancer or pregnancy-specific skin conditions if you notice any changes.

Pregnancy-specific rashes and boils

Small percentages of women may experience skin conditions that are specific to pregnancy, such as puppp (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) and folliculitis. Most conditions involve pustules and red bumps along the abdomen, legs, arms, or back. Although most rashes are harmless and resolve quickly postpartum, some skin conditions may be associated with premature delivery or problems for the baby. These include intrahepatic cholestasis and pemphigoid gestationis.

Circulatory system
Circulatory system changes
The following are common during pregnancy:

Huffing and puffing while climbing stairs
Feeling dizzy after standing quickly
Experiencing changes in blood pressure
Because of rapid expansion of the blood vessels and the increased stress on the heart and lungs, pregnant women produce more blood and have to utilize more caution with exercise than non-pregnant women.

Heartbeat and blood volume during pregnancy

During the second trimester of pregnancy, the mother’s heart at rest is working 30 to 50 percent harder. Most of this increase results from a more efficiently performing heart, which ejects more blood at each beat. Heart rate may increase up to 15 to 20 percent during pregnancy. It’s not uncommon to approach 90 to 100 beats per minute in the third trimester. Blood volume increases progressively during pregnancy until the last month. The volume of plasma increases 40-50 percent and red blood cell mass 20-30 percent, creating a need for increased iron and folic acid intake.

Blood pressure and exercise

There are two types of circulatory changes that may have an impact on exercise during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can suddenly affect the tone in blood vessels. A sudden loss of tone may result in the feeling of dizziness and perhaps even a brief loss of consciousness. This is because the loss of pressure sends less blood to the brain and central nervous system.

Additionally, vigorous exercise may lead to decreased blood flow to the uterus while diverting blood to muscles. However, this has not been shown to have a long-term impact on the baby. Furthermore, there’s evidence to suggest that individuals who exercise have improved blood supply to the placenta at rest. This may be beneficial to placental and fetal growth and weight gain.

Dizziness and fainting

Another form of dizziness can result from lying flat on the back. This dizziness is more common after 24 weeks. However, it can happen earlier during multi-fetal pregnancies or with conditions that increase amniotic fluid.

Lying flat on the back compresses the large blood vessel leading from the lower body to the heart, also known as the vena cava. This decreases blood flow to and from the heart, leading to a sudden and dramatic decline in blood pressure. This can cause dizziness or loss of consciousness.

After the first trimester, it’s not recommended to do exercises that involve lying on the back due to the impact from blood vessel compression. Lying on the left side may help relieve dizziness and is a healthy position for sleep.

Women experiencing any of these conditions, particularly during exercise, should consult their doctor.

Respiratory and metabolic changes
Respiratory and metabolic changes
Pregnant women experience increases in the amount of oxygen they transport in their blood. This is because of increased demand for blood and the dilation of blood vessels. This growth forces increases in metabolic rates during pregnancy, requiring women to up energy intake and use caution during periods of physical exertion.

Breathing and blood oxygen levels

During pregnancy, the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs increases by 30 to 50 percent due to two factors. Each breath has a greater volume of air, and the rate of breathing increases slightly. As the uterus enlarges, the room for movement of the diaphragm may be limited. Therefore, some women report the feeling of increased difficulty in taking deep breaths. Even without exercise, these changes may cause shortness of breath or the feeling of being “air hungry.” exercise programs may increase these symptoms.

Overall, pregnant women have higher blood oxygen levels. Studies have shown that pregnant women consume more oxygen at rest. This does not seem to have an impact on the amount of oxygen available for exercise or other physical work during pregnancy.

Metabolic rate

Basal or resting metabolic rate (rmr), the amount of energy the body expends while at rest, increases significantly during pregnancy. This is measured by the amount of oxygen used during periods of total rest. It helps estimate the amount of energy intake required to maintain or gain weight. Changes in metabolic rates explain the need to increase calorie consumption during pregnancy. The body of a pregnant woman slowly increases its energy requirements to help fuel the changes and growth taking place in both the mother and baby.

Metabolic rates increase substantially by just 15 weeks’ gestation and peak in the third trimester during the greatest growth phase. This increased metabolic rate may put pregnant women at a higher risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Although the metabolic rate may drop slightly as the pregnancy reaches term, it remains elevated over prepregnancy levels for several weeks postpartum. It will remain elevated for the duration of breastfeeding in women producing milk.

Body temperature changes

An increase in basal body temperature is one of the first hints of pregnancy. A slightly higher core temperature will be maintained through the duration of pregnancy. Women also have a greater need of water during pregnancy. They can be at higher risk of hyperthermia and dehydration without caution to exercise safely and remain hydrated.

Hyperthermia – overheating during pregnancy

Heat stress during exercise creates concern for two reasons. First, an increase in the mother’s core temperature, as in hyperthermia, can be harmful to the baby’s development. Second, loss of water in the mother, as in dehydration, can decrease the amount of blood available to the fetus. This can lead to increased risk of preterm contractions.

In non-pregnant women, moderate aerobic exercise causes significant increases in core body temperature. Pregnant women, whether they exercise or not, experience a general increase in base metabolic rate and core temperature. Pregnant women regulate their core temperature very efficiently. Increased blood flow to the skin and the expanded skin surface release increased body heat.

It’s been shown that pregnant women do not have as much of an increase in body temperature during exercise as those who are not pregnant. However, pregnant women should avoid exercising in non-breathable clothing and in very hot or humid conditions, since the impact of hyperthermia can be severe. The following may help reduce the risk of overheating while exercising:

Use fans during indoor activity
Exercise in the pool
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
Dehydration

Most women who exercise for 20 to 30 minutes or who exercise during hot and humid weather will sweat. In pregnant women, loss of bodily fluids from sweat can decrease the blood flow to the uterus, the muscles, and some organs. The developing fetus needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients carried through the blood, so injury may result from a lack of fluid.

In most conditions, uterine oxygen consumption is constant during exercise and the fetus is safe. However, exercising can be dangerous for women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. That’s because this condition limits uterine blood volume as the vessels clamp down and deliver less blood to the area.

If you’re cleared for exercise during pregnancy, be sure to follow common-sense tips. Avoid excessive heat and humidity and rehydrate, even when you’re not thirsty.

3 people found this helpful

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss - What Things Should You Avoid?

Dr. Yuthika Bajpai Sharma 85% (38 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Kanpur
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss - What Things Should You Avoid?

Recurrent pregnancy loss is termed as the occurrence of three or more miscarriages. Recently, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has altered the definition and limited the number of miscarriages to two. A pregnancy loss can only be termed so if the pregnancy is clinically recognized and is ends involuntarily before 20 weeks. The pregnancy loss must be identified by a registered doctor to term it as pregnancy loss.

What are the major causes of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
There could be a lot of reasons behind recurrent pregnancy loss. Most of the pregnancy failure happens from reasons such as abnormalities of the genes, chromosomes and other random events. It is estimated that close to 15 percent of the pregnancies end up in miscarriages. While 30-60 percent of the pregnancies expire within the first 12 weeks, fifty percent of the women are believed to be not aware of the pregnancy in the first place. The risk of miscarriage, however, is less than 50 percent.

An advanced maternity age is another crucial factor towards recurrent 2pregnancy loss. The risk of miscarriage dramatically increases among these women owing to their poor quality of egg, abnormalities in the chromosome etc. At a time, it has been observed that either the father or the mother might have irregularities in the gene leading to early miscarriage.

An abnormality in the uterus might also be a reason for a miscarriage. Poor blood supply and inflammation of the uterus are two of the topmost reason for miscarriages among many women. While some women born with a defective uterus, some develop uterus anomalies due to lifestyle and unhealthy life practices.

Last but not the least, a woman’s immune system might also play a pivotal role towards a miscarriage. Certain hormonal irregularities, diabetes and thyroid diseases might lead to a miscarriage. Then there are the environmental factors such as stress, occupational factors, lifestyle practices etc that contributes towards a miscarriage.

What are the tests conducted?
To evaluate the exact reason for repeated miscarriages, a doctor performs a detailed physical and surgical examination. Some other areas where a doctor sneaks into include family history, genetic history etc. A karyotype test might also be prescribed in case a doctor feels the need of doing so. The uterus cavity and the uterus are closely monitored to understand any potential lack in the anatomy. This is followed by a list of imaging tests that a doctor might prescribe. These include MRI, X-ray, hysteroscopy etc.

What are the treatment options?
The treatment options are decided based on the finding of the tests. Sometimes plain medicines along with antibiotics can cure the condition, while sometimes surgery might be required to fix any potential threat within the uterus. In any case, the probability of future pregnancy after treatment goes as high as 77 percent.
 

Pre-conceptional Care- What to do when you plan for Pregnancy?

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta 88% (10395 ratings)
MBBS (Gold Medalist, Hons), MS (Obst and Gynae- Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst and Gynae), Fellow- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (ACOG, USA), FIAOG, MRCOG (London, UK)
Gynaecologist, Kolkata
Pre-conceptional Care- What to do when you plan for Pregnancy?

Most of us have an idea that the couple should go to gynecologist only after they fall pregnant or when there is difficulty in conceiving. But we all know that prevention is better than cure. Then why should not we take precaution to avoid complications in pregnancy so that we can have healthy mother and healthy baby.

 

  • Some of the diseases can manifest during pregnancy, like some diseases of heart, blood pressure, blood sugar etc. But if the couple comes to doctor when they are planning pregnancy, then we can diagnose it and start treatment so that pregnancy can be safe to both the mother and the baby.
  • On the other hand, some pre-existing disease may turn serious during pregnancy and endanger life of both mother and baby. This includes thyroid disease, hypertension, epilepsy, renal disease, cardiac disease etc. If taken care of properly, the disease can be controlled before pregnancy so that the risk can be reduced. Again all the drugs are not safe for the baby. So, if treated before pregnancy, the mother can be put on safer but effective drugs before pregnancy.
  • Some diseases may run in family and often goes undetected and can affect the baby. Thlassaemia, hemophilia etc are the best examples. So, if the couple comes to us before pregnancy, we can screen them to diagnose whether they are bearer of the disease or not and then we can take care to prevent birth of defective baby. 
  • Some diseases indicate that there may be problems in having pregnancy, like problems in periods or abdominal pain in female, sexual problems in male and female etc. If treated properly, it will avoid unnecessary time wastage for trying for pregnancy.
  • The woman can be instructed how to remain healthy to have normal baby, before pregnancy. She can be advised some drugs (like folic acid), can be asked to avoid harmful drugs and substances (like drugs, excessive vitamin a, excessive vitamin d, excessive caffeine, smoking etc). Even the husband can be asked how to improve his fertility (by avoiding heat exposure to his scrotum).
  • Again some infections can be dangerous for the baby. So, before pregnancy we can treat the women for the infections and in some cases we can vaccinate her to prevent infection.
  • "a stitch in time saves nine. So, why don't you consult your gynecologist when you are planning for pregnancy? have smooth journey throughout pregnancy and enjoy parenthood.
3 people found this helpful

8 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Having A Successful Pregnancy!

Dr. Richika Sahay Shukla 91% (345 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MBBS
IVF Specialist, Delhi
8 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Having A Successful Pregnancy!

It's normal to be concerned with your fertility after early miscarriage. Many couples want to try to conceive again right away, while others need time to heal. Ultimately, though, fertility following a miscarriage is an issue of concern for most couples.

Once you are ready to start trying for a child again, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of having a successful pregnancy.

  1. Rest and Recuperate- Many women want to hurry and start trying to get pregnant again right away after their miscarriage. This is a perfectly normal response, but may not be the best way to guarantee a healthy pregnancy. Give your body a chance to rest so your menstrual cycle can get back to normal. You also want to give yourself plenty of time for your mental balance to return so you are ready to take on the trials of trying to become pregnant. Be gentle and give yourself time to rest and focus on taking care of your physical and emotional needs until you are ready to try again.
  2. Change Lifestyle- Eliminating unhealthy habits can help increase your chances of conceiving later. Eliminate alcohol or drug use and quit smoking before you start trying for pregnancy. Cutting down or eliminating caffeine can also help you conceive a healthy pregnancy.
  3. Eliminate StressEliminating stress can also make conceiving easier. Stress can reduce fertility levels, making it harder to get pregnant. Practicing meditation, yoga or taking time to relax after dealing with tough issues in your life can make it much easier to conceive.
  4. Eat Healthy- Eating a healthy diet is also essential to having a healthy pregnancy. This can also help women manage the depression caused by their miscarriage. Getting a variety of vitamins and minerals and cutting down on saturated fats and processed foods can help you get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
  5. Take Fertility Drugs or Therapies- There are various fertility drugs and therapies on the market today. Your doctor will prescribe different medications based on your overall health and age.
  6. Use an Ovulation Predictor- An ovulation predictor can help you map out your cycle. This will allow you to determine which days in your cycle will be the most likely for you to conceive. 
  7. Support the Uterus and Liver- Performing a fertility cleanse after your period has stopped can help support the uterus and liver, promoting overall fertility health. Sometimes stagnant blood can get left behind after your period which can cause discomfort or health issues. Following a fertility diet to help rid your body of the excess blood and hormones in your system can help your conceive more easily.
  8. Massage the Uterus- When you have stopped bleeding after your miscarriage, performing a uterus massage can help your body relax. This massage will help bring fresh blood to the area and soothe the body so you can relax. 

If you have been having trouble conceiving it may be time to talk to a fertility expert. Your doctor can perform fertility tests on you and your partner to determine if there are any underlying issues present. Then you can work together to determine if any additional medical treatment is necessary to help you get pregnant.

4 people found this helpful

Eating Disorders - Understanding Its Impact On Pregnancy!

Dr. Apoorva Pallam Reddy 90% (208 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Eating Disorders - Understanding Its Impact On Pregnancy!

There are three main types of eating disorders, these are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is an exaggerated fear of gaining weight all the way to the point when the patient becomes abnormally thin. Bulimia nervosa is eating too much and then vomiting it out on a regular basis. Binge eating is when an individual eats an excessive amount of food in one go. All three types of eating disorders have adverse effects on pregnancy. 

Here is how eating disorders affect pregnancies:

1. Unplanned pregnancies: Women with eating disorders are much more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy. This is true both for women who had eating disorders in the past as well as women who have eating disorders at the moment. In a study by University College London and King's College London consisting of 11000 women showed, only 28% of women reported that they had an unplanned pregnancy without suffering from any eating disorder as compared to the 41% who did have an eating disorder at some point in their life. The reason for this is that women tend to think that they do not need contraceptives due to an irregular menstrual cycle, which is one of the consequences of eating disorders during pregnancy. 

2. Happiness about their pregnancy: The same survey of 11000 women conducted by University College London and King's College London reported that 71% of women were happy about their pregnancies. However, the number would have been a lot higher if there were fewer women with eating disorders. It has been said that 10% of women were unhappy to discover they were pregnant, if they had an eating disorder in the past as compared to 4% who never had an eating disorder.

3. Consider pregnancy a 'personal sacrifice': It has also been said that women who have had or have eating disorders during or before their pregnancy tend to consider pregnancy as a 'personal sacrifice' much more often than women who have no history or eating disorders.

Even though mostly, eating disorders affect pregnant women mentally rather than physically, it is crucial that women try to fix this problem before their pregnancy so they actually can enjoy having a baby. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

Icon

Book appointment with top doctors for Pregnancy treatment

View fees, clinic timings and reviews