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Prenatal And Birth Tips

Importance Of Multivitamins During Pregnancy!

Importance Of Multivitamins During Pregnancy!

Taking prenatal multivitamins which are rich in folic acid supplements before the pregnancy starts and during the pregnancy prevents the child from certain birth defects and also reduces the risk of miscarriage. 500 mcg/day is the most likely recommendation in the initial stages.

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Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Test - How Is It Vital?

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Test - How Is It Vital?

Today, prenatal testing can help pinpoint your unborn child’s risk to a number of genetic conditions. NIPT or non-invasive prenatal testing is a modern form of prenatal testing that does not harm the mother or child. NIPT involves a simple blood test that can be performed as an outpatient procedure in any doctor’s office. Blood for this test is collected from a vein in the mother’s arm. The DNA from this blood sample is then studied in a laboratory to look for signs of abnormalities. These results are them compared to your first-trimester ultrasound results to determine if further testing is required.

There are a number of advantages to this form of testing

  1. Highly Accurate: NIPT results are said to be accurate in 99% cases. This clears doubts about chromosomal abnormalities and helps parents to be dealing with problems in their unborn children. For example, NIPT testing can be used to diagnose problems like Down syndrome. NIPT also decreases the need for other forms of invasive prenatal testing.
  2. Safe: NIPT is noninvasive and does not harm the health of the baby or the mother. Since it involves only a simple blood test, it does not cause pain or discomfort either. It also has no connection to miscarriages. Pregnant woman above the age of 35 and those who have had an ultrasound showing an increased risk of aneuploidy or those who have a history of trisomy can benefit from this form of pre-natal testing. The only known alternative to this form of testing involves withdrawing DNA samples from the amniotic sac with the help of a needle. This form of testing can result in a miscarriage in rare cases.
  3. Comfortable: Unlike prenatal tests that require precision while withdrawing DNA from the amniotic sac, the NIPT requires far less expertise. This makes women much more comfortable undergoing this form of testing as compared to the other.
  4. Early Diagnosis: With prenatal testing parents do not have to wait till a baby is born to find out if he or she suffers from any genetic complications. NIPT can be scheduled as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy and hence gives the parents enough time to prepare themselves to deal with the issue if any.

However, you should remember that NIPT cannot be used to replace diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis. Also, it does not detect all chromosomal abnormalities.

Prenatal Care - What Should You Do?

Prenatal Care - What Should You Do?

What is Prenatal care?

It is crucial for a woman who is on her way to becoming a mother to pay special attention to her health. Health care offered to a pregnant woman is also known as prenatal care or antenatal care. It is a very important phase in a woman's life, so go for regular prenatal checkups as they go a long way in reducing risks of complications during pregnancy and child birth. This, in turn, increases the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Contrary to popular belief, prenatal care does not begin when a woman is told that she is pregnant. Prenatal care should ideally be started at least three months before you try to conceive a child. This prepares your body and mind for the changes that pregnancy will bring. Some healthy habits to follow during this period include:

  • Quit Drinking alcohol and smoking
  • Consult a gynecologist about any existing medical conditions, medication you may be on and what supplements you should start taking
  • Avoid contact with chemicals and toxic substances

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will need to visit the doctor regularly for checkups.

Prenatal checkups are meant to keep an eye on your health and the health of your baby. In most cases, you will be asked to come in every month for the first two trimesters and every two weeks during the seventh and eighth month of your pregnancy. During the ninth month, your doctor may want to see you once a week until the delivery. In cases where a pregnancy is considered high risk because of existing medical conditions, the age of the mother or any other factors, the doctor may ask a for more frequent checkups.

A prenatal checkup involves a physical examination, tests, screenings and dietary consultations. Some of the common tests include blood tests to check for HIV, the mother’s blood type and anemia. Your blood pressure will also be monitored. When it comes to the baby’s health, determining the rate at which the baby is growing and heart rate are most important. In the later stages of your pregnancy, the position of the baby will also be noted. It is important to not skip these checkups even if you are feeling fine.

Keep your doctor informed about any changes you may notice in your health. Do not take any medication without consulting your doctor even if it is for something as simple as a cold. Do not feel shy about talking to your doctor and ask him or her anything you would like to about your pregnancy and childbirth.

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Guiding Your Way To All Trimesters For Healthy Pregnancy!

Guiding Your Way To All Trimesters For Healthy Pregnancy!

There are three stages of caring for an expecting mother: prenatal, intranatal, postnatal care. This is essential to ensure smooth pregnancy and labour and to keep the mother healthy after giving birth. This care is a combined effort between the doctor and the expectant couple. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are expecting an addition to your family.

Prenatal care from the moment you realize that you are pregnant, a woman must start taking extra care of her body. This reduces the risks in your pregnancy and at the time of labour. But even before planning a pregnancy, it is important that couples should consult with the doctor, in order to avoid any complications in future. Thus you should ensure that regular checkup not just during the pregnancy, but also before the pregnancy is equally important so that your doctor can rule out complications arising due to factors, such as Thalassemia, Thyroid, Blood Sugar and PCOS, etc.

The main objectives of prenatal care are:

  • To maintain the health of the mother
  • Detect high risk cases
  • Foresee complications and find ways to prevent them
  • Reduce anxiety associated with delivery

Thus, an important part of prenatal care is to visit your gynaecologist regularly. These visits will be scheduled according to your age and stage of pregnancy. A few other points to keep in mind are:

  • Stop smoking and stay away from passive smoking as well
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Take folic acid supplements and multivitamins
  • Avoid contact with toxic chemicals like insecticides etc.
  • Ensure your vaccination is up to date
  • Avoid x-rays
  • Do not start or stop any medication without informing your doctor first
  • Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly for half an hour daily
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid stress
  • Educate yourself about childbirth

Intranatal care refers to care given to the mother and baby at the time of delivery. The main objectives here are: 

  • Cleanliness
  • Smooth delivery without injuring mother or baby
  • Preventing complications
  • Delivery resuscitation for the baby

There are a number of ways to deliver a baby and whatever you choose, you must ensure the presence of a doctor at your side, while delivering a baby. Your doctor will determine the position of the fetus and help you through your delivery.

Postnatal care is essential for 6-8 weeks after the baby is born. During this period, the mother goes through a number of physical and emotional changes and thus requires rest, nutrition and vaginal care. The main objectives here are:

  • Prevent postpartum complications
  • Restore the mother to optimal health
  • Ensure problem-free breastfeeding

Sharing responsibility is essential for the health of the mother, after delivery. Get as much sleep as possible and pay attention to what you eat. Do not try and lose your pregnancy weight instantly. Schedule a checkup with your doctor six weeks after delivery to ensure your vagina has healed properly. Additionally, abstain from intercourse at this time. With proper care, every stage of your pregnancy can be a beautiful experience.

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