Bleeding during pregnancy can be caused by harmless changes as well as serious conditions. Light bleeding can occur when the baby implants in the uterus or due to increased blood flow in the cervix. But it may also point to problems with the placenta, infection, ectopic or molar pregnancies, miscarriage, or preterm labor.
Miscarriages are never easy to deal with and many women end up blaming themselves. The reality, however, is that most early pregnancy losses are linked to natural causes like chromosomal abnormalities. Underlying maternal health problems and lifestyle factors may also cause miscarriage though these do not make up the bulk of cases.
Back pain is a common problem during pregnancy. Applying a cold or hot pack to the area, maintaining proper posture, avoiding lifting heavy objects, and using a firm mattress and supportive pillows while sitting can help. Practice back strengthening exercises and prenatal yoga or aquanatal exercises. Or try acupuncture.
Both spearmint and peppermint are used to deal with two common problems associated with pregnancy – morning sickness and indigestion. But excessive use of these herbs can be harmful during pregnancy, so limit intake. Peppermint tea should also not be used if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Indigestion is a common complaint during pregnancy. Have small frequent meals instead of large ones. Eating bananas, drinking turmeric or ginger tea, and having honey can help. So can sitting up while you eat, cutting down on caffeine and fatty or spicy foods, and eating foods like yogurt that boost digestion.
Swimming is a great way to relax and stay fit when you’re pregnant. It can also reduce pregnancy symptoms like back pain or water retention. Just ensure the water is clean so you don’t catch recreational water illnesses or expose yourself to problematic pool disinfectant byproducts. A little care can help you make the most of this low-impact aerobic workout.
Whether you can give birth to fraternal twins depends on your genes. Other factors that raise your chances include age above 35 years, a higher BMI, a diet rich in dairy products, and multiple pregnancies. IVF is known to hike the chances too. Do note, however, that the factors responsible for the conception of identical twins remain unknown.
A seamless breastfeeding routine keeps your baby plied with nutrients and helps them grow better. So don’t interrupt it just because you need to step out. Your right to breastfeed in public is protected by law. Plan ahead, scout out comfortable places, and wear hassle-free clothes so you can breastfeed without missing a beat!
If morning sickness hits you, have dry toast or crackers. Eat smaller meals frequently, sip small amounts of water through the day, and steer clear of greasy or spicy foods. Eating your meals cold, having vitamin B6, drinking ginger tea, and smelling lemons can ease the sickness pang. So can yoga moves like balasana and applying pressure three finger breadths beneath your inner wrist.
It's natural for most women to bleed for 4–6 weeks after delivery. This postpartum bleeding is known as lochia. It's normal to bleed heavily and pass grape-sized clots for the first 4 days. Over the next few weeks, usually, the blood turns brownish-pink and finally white and no clots are passed. But it's not normal to bleed unusually heavily (soaking a maxi-pad in an hour) or pass multiple golf ball-sized clots at any point in the bleeding period – not even the first 4 days.
Babies typically tend to fall asleep at the breast when they’re satiated. Sometimes, this can also happen when your baby has not latched on properly. If you experience pain during nursing, that’s another sign of an improper latch. Babies who were born with a low birth weight may also be sleepier during feedings. As long as your baby is steadily gaining weight and passing stool and urine normally, there's no reason to worry.
The brain might be responsible for our physical and psychological health, but research states that certain factors in life influence certain parts of the brain. Sports improve information processing, concentration, and memory. Attentive reading and painting improve cognition. Excessive sugar consumption causes cognitive decline and depression. Falling in love improves social cognition. Pregnancy shrinks grey matter, which develops maternal instincts. Stress and dehydration impair memory.
Prolactin, the milk-producing hormone in humans, inhibits ovulation. Hence, mothers of exclusively breastfed babies get a period 6–8 months after delivery. Bottlefeeding mothers may get into the flow much earlier, as early as 4 weeks after delivery. Remember, pregnancy is a possibility even if your period hasn't resumed. An iron-rich diet and herbs such as moringa, garden cress, and shatavari can help ease you into the menstrual routine after childbirth.
Folic acid is a critical B vitamin for your body when you’re planning a pregnancy. It significantly lowers risk of major neural tube birth defects in the baby including spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele and can ward off folate deficiency anemia in the expectant mum, too. Just be sure to get the right dosage – too much can be equally bad. If you have a family history of neural tube defects, are diabetic, or have epilepsy, however, you may need higher folate intake. For everyone else, a 0.4mg intake will suffice.
Pregnant women need 600 mcg folate in early pregnancy to avid neural defects in the newborn. Toss up dishes with leafy greens like spinach and kale, crucifers like broccoli, and versatile veggies like okra, squash, asparagus, and beets. Snack on nuts, seeds, and citrus fruits. Get your carbs from whole grains, but keep a watch on the intake if they are folic-acid fortified.
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