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.
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.
One should definitely avoid having sex immediately after childbirth because it can cause bleeding, increases risk of uterine infection and ruptures wounds that are still healing. The recommended wait time is between 4 and 6 weeks after delivery. Even after this, women may struggle with low libido, less lubrication, and low self-esteem. It's important to feel emotionally and mentally ready, before having sex again.
Having sex and having orgasms (through sex or self-stimulation) during pregnancy are both safe unless the doctor advises against it. Uterine contractions and intense orgasms are totally natural as are cramping and a change in shape or hardness of your belly after reaching climax. To be on the safer side, always consult with your doctor for safe suggestions and positions to try while having sex or while masturbating.
Every newborn is different. Some of them have glorious locks of hair on their heads that make them look absolutely adorable. Scientific studies have proven that expectant mothers who suffered from chronic heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to have newborns with hairy heads. In many cases, this is due to the hormonal influence of estrogen on the growing fetus.
Pregnancy is both an exciting and a scary time in any woman's life – but this is more pronounced for someone with prenatal depression. A number of natural home remedies and steps can help ease depression during pregnancy. Talk therapy and bright light therapy can help relieve symptoms of prenatal depression. It's important to avoid inflammatory foods and consume foods rich in iron and zinc to fight depression. You also need to stay physically active and get adequate sleep.
False pregnancy is a psychological phenomenon where a woman believes she is pregnant and even experiences pregnancy symptoms – but there is no baby growing within her. A range of psychological and socio-cultural influences may be to blame for pseudocyesis. A false pregnancy is treated by proving to the sufferer, through abdominal imaging, that she is not really pregnant and following this up with psychotherapy and counseling. In rare cases, men whose partners are pregnant also experience pregnancy symptoms – termed sympathetic pregnancy or couvade.
Yoga has enough health benefits for expectant mothers to qualify it as a must-try. Ease back pain with the cat/cow pose, battle sciatica with the extended side angle pose, and strengthen your abdominal muscles with the balancing table pose. The bound angle pose and the goddess pose can help open up your hips and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If it is relaxation you are after, the triangle pose and corpse pose can slip you into a state of deep restfulness, washing away stress and anxiety.
Water carries the nutrients from your food to the baby. It also removes toxins from your body and prevents urinary tract infections and early contractions. It also improves the quantity of amniotic fluid that is essential for your baby's growth. Experts say that you should have close to 3 liters of fluids every day, of which 1.5 liters should be water.
If you're considering C-section, know that it is major surgery, with greater maternal mortality risk than vaginal births and the possibility of complications in future pregnancies. It even impacts your baby’s ability to breathe just after birth. If you are slated for doctor-recommended C-sections for health reasons, rest assured the choice is the right one. This is because medical condition like diabetes or complications with the placenta or the position of the baby might make a vaginal birth much riskier.
The Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bites and sexually. Avoid areas with the virus during pregnancy. Screens, bed nets, and mosquito repellents can protect against mosquitoes. Natural repellents like neem oil, fumigants like citronella oil, and larvicides like the essential oils of sweet flag and sweet basil may also be useful. Also, clear out stagnant water. Condoms and dental dams can help protect you from sexual transmission of the Zika virus.
Fetuses develop the auditory system by week 25 and respond to music by week 28. Newborns can remember music heard in the womb, and they seem to have better motor and cognitive skills, faster language development, longer attention spans, better sleep, and fewer instances of colic. Play music or sing to your unborn baby, but don't experiment with loud or unusual sounds or noise. It could affect the baby’s health.
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