Pregnancy is a phase in which every woman wishes to be in the best of her health, but however, it does come with its share of ups and downs.
We all know that our body has a natural defence mechanism to protect itself from viruses and bacteria. To fight infections, antibodies are the ones that help, but sometimes our body might fail to make enough antibodies. During pregnancy, the immunity is lowered due to which infections might occur.
In some cases, infections can affect both you and your baby. Hence, staying updated about the infections and getting them treated timely is crucial. Check out the list of some common infections that are prone to occur during pregnancy:
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the common infections that may occur during pregnancy. It usually occurs due to the overgrowth of bacteria that naturally lives in the vagina.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
- Pain during urination
- Foul smelling odour
- Greyish discharge
Commonly caused by a fungus called Candida – another common infection that may occur during pregnancy due to some hormonal changes.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
- Pain and itching
- Thick whitish-yellow discharge
- Burning sensation while urinating
Group B Streptococcus (GBS):
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is usually found in the digestive, urinary and reproductive tracts. So, there is a small risk for GBS infection to pass to the baby.
Early onset GBS infection – Usually occurs in the first week after childbirth and the symptoms may develop within 12 hours of birth.
Late onset GBS infection – Develops after 7 or more days after childbirth.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
- High or low temperature
- Being unresponsive
- Fast or slow heart rates
It may lead to sepsis or meningitis.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can be passed to the baby during pregnancy. Hence, it is wise to get the test done as a precautionary measure to protect the baby from contracting the virus.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
What are the few things you can do to prevent certain infections?
You’re responsible for the life growing inside you, so taking the necessary steps is important. Follow these simple steps to avoid or prevent certain infections:
Maintain good hygiene –
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and regularly to maintain good hygiene. To eliminate the germs and avoid getting sick, keep your hands clean before and after any activity especially before preparing, serving or eating food.
Avoid consuming uncooked or unpasteurized food –
Unpasteurized and uncooked products may contain harmful bacteria that can cause infections during pregnancy. Before buying any products make sure you read the food labels and while cooking meat ensure that it is cooked well from inside.
Get the right jab at the right time –
There are a few vaccinations recommended before, during and after childbirth – talk to your doctor about them to help you stay healthy and protect the baby.
Get tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) –
Protect yourself by getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis. You can take preventative measures to protect your baby if you have any of these.
Delegate Tasks –
Avoid touching or cleaning cat litter and have someone else do it for you. But, if there is no one to help then make sure you wear gloves and wash your hands properly. Dirty cat litter might contain harmful parasites that can be the cause of infection during pregnancy.
It is important to be aware of the different types of infections during pregnancy as it allows you to recognize the symptoms. Seek advice from your doctor as s/he will recommend appropriate tests and treatment for the same.
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Getting pregnant is the world’s most beautiful experience. Right?. The care and warmth you get are uncountable. Motherhood is knocking on your door in no time. Your body has given you the best gift of your life.
But, many of you are living two phases of life. On one side, there is excitement, happiness for your baby, who will soon come into this world. And on the other side, there is fear, anxiety, sadness about this pandemic. When you thought now things are getting better, suddenly things got worst. Now there is a 2nd wave of Covid-19.
During pregnancy, what matters the most is your 100% care, not even 99%. Right? In this blog, we will be sharing how you can take care of yourself in your pregnancy during this 2nd wave of Covid-19 virus.
TAKING CARE OF THE LIFE INSIDE YOU AND YOUR LIFE
- STAY AT HOME:–
- Nothing better than staying at home. Go out only for your medical checkups and scans.
- Order everything online. It will be great if your family members also avoid going out.
- If you are working women, make sure you work from home only.
- If meeting any outsider, then make sure that you are at least 1 meter away from them.
- Restrict people from coming to your home
“ The best medicine of Covid has been made by architects- HOME.”
- HANDWASHING:- This remedy always win the fight against COVID. It’s simple and most effective. Wash your hand at regular intervals with soap for 20 seconds. Wash your hands after:-
- After coughing/sneezing
- Touching anything from outside-parcels, milk pouches, veggies etc.
- Before eating, while preparing food
- AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE:- Unconsciously, you may often touch your face, mainly nose, mouth, eyes. Avoid touching them with your hands. We touch so many things that our hands are one of the causes of respiratory infections, including COVID-19; in a second, the virus transfers from hand to your face. Therefore, it is recommended to wear masks and not to touch the nose and mouth.
- COVER THE MOUTH WITH ELBOW WHILE SNEEZING:-Sneezing transmits virus, including Coronavirus. Droplets coming out of the mouth can travel up to 5 feet. Moreover, they remain in the air and on the surface for a longer time. It leads to infections. Therefore:-
- Cover your mouth while coughing/sneezing with an elbow- cover your face with an elbow.
- Wash your hands after sneezing, and don’t touch anything before that.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING:- You are not alone. You have a life inside you. The immunity level of pregnant women at the lower side; therefore its is recommended that you stay at home and avoid meeting people. If you have to go out, do not touch anyone and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
- STOP SOCIAL MEDIA:- The best medicine for a healthy pregnancy is being happy, positive and joyful. PLEASE STOP USING SOCIAL MEDIA, WATCHING COVID NEWS. It spreads negativity and will make you anxious, and this is not good for your baby. STOP THE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT COVID. Relax your body and mind by –
- Listening to music
- Doing yoga and meditation
- Spending time with family
“HAPPY AND HEALTHY MOTHER = HEALTHY BABY“
- PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING:- To maintain your health and immunity level
- Do short walks a home
- Eat a balanced diet- green veggies, fruits etc.
- Sleep Properly
Now we know that you will do your best to take care of yourself.
Authored by – Anshima Kolatkar
The welcome which a baby receives as she comes out of the womb and into the world has a lasting and profound impact on her overall health and well-being.
The first hour is a crucial hour for the newborn as she is ejected from the comfort cocoon that was the womb into the cold and sterile hospital surroundings. Skin-to-skin contact with the mother at this stage helps to calm the baby.
What exactly is skin-to-skin contact?
Skin-to-skin care, or “Kangaroo Care,” means placing the dried and unclothed baby on her mother’s bare chest with a light blanket covering the baby’s body. Routine check-up of the mother and the baby can be conducted during this period, or it can be postponed till later.
Benefits of skin-to-skin contact:
- Several research studies have conclusively shown that babies who are given skin-to-skin contact immediately post birth show better physiological stability. Human touch helps stabilize the newborn’s respiration, increases glucose levels, gives warmth and regulates blood pressure.
- An infant separated from the mother or the ‘host,’ experiences physiological and psychological withdrawal, in addition to the anxiety of being removed from a stable and warm environment. At this stage, skin-to-skin contact established with the mother goes a long way in soothing the baby. The reassuring contact eases the separation process as the child is released from the umbilical cord and graduates from being ‘one’ organism with the mother to ‘another’.
- Oxytocin, or the ‘love hormone’ released during skin-to-skin contact helps mother and child bond better. Mothers who have cradled their newborn post birth are more likely to feel confident in their parenting abilities. Lack of skin-to-skin bonding and early separation of mother and baby may delay crucial maternal-infant bonding and may even negatively impact the mother’s response to her baby.
- Another very powerful and positive impact of establishing skin-to-skin contact after birth is that it facilitates breastfeeding. Mammals are born with the instinctive urge to breastfeed. When placed against the mother as soon as they are born they are able to find the breast and self-attach. Research shows that women who had skin-to-skin contact with their naked babies right after birth breastfeed longer and typically breastfeed months longer than mothers who did not get a chance to establish this contact.
Undoubtedly, the benefits of mother and baby skin-to-skin contact are manifold and far-reaching. Perhaps it is time to consider introducing this age-old tradition back in the modern delivery process. Hospitals and clinics must actively make use of this ‘golden hour’ or the first sixty minutes immediately post birth. Skin-to-skin contact should be established immediately after birth and should last for at least sixty minutes. This is a no-cost initiative which positively affects maternal and child outcomes.
Skin-to-skin bonding is a natural process which, over the years somehow de-linked from the clinical birthing process. Now is the time to actively introduce it back in the delivery and childbirth process.
Skin-to-skin contact is not yet very common in India. Now is the time to lobby to bring it into the mainstream! Did you get to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby right after delivery? Share your delivery story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and be featured on our website!
30 May 2017
Their appearance is a red flag.
Conditions you may never have had before can develop during your pregnancy. It is absolutely vital that these conditions be diagnosed as early as possible, as they could lead to a high-risk pregnancy and seriously affect the birth. They can determine whether you have a normal delivery or a Caesarian (C-section). Moreover, their effects may persist or manifest long after you have given birth.
- Haemorrhage: Uncontrolled Bleeding During Pregnancy or Birth:
Severe blood loss during pregnancy, labour or the post-partum period is alarming and the number one threat to maternal health. If you experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, immediately bring it to the attention of a doctor. During childbirth, bleeding can be treated with blood transfusions and/or manual removal of the placenta. “Oxytocics” are drugs which induce uterine contractions and they may also be used to stop the bleeding.
- Hypertension: High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy or Birth:
You may never ever have had high blood pressure in your life. But if it makes an appearance during pregnancy, it needs careful monitoring as it could be a sign of “pre-eclampsia.” If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to eclampsia and raise a high risk of seizures, kidney failure and even coma. In the worst case, eclampsia can even be fatal for the mother and/or infant.
Fortunately, pre-eclampsia can be detected during pregnancy and pre-emptive measures taken. Monitoring blood pressure during every prenatal check-up, conducting a through physical examination, screening for protein in the urine and generalized swelling (edema) are important to detect pre-eclampsia. During childbirth, sedative or anti-convulsant medication can also be administered.
- Pregnancy-related Infections:
At the clinic or in daily life, when it comes to hygiene, the bar must be set high. Poor hygiene and a disregard for infection control practices can really stack up the risks for infection (sepsis) during pregnancy and childbirth. Moreover, care must be taken to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections during pregnancy. Rigidly following infection control protocols, conducting appropriate prenatal testing, and use of intravenous (IV) or intramuscular (IM) antibiotics during childbirth and the post-partum period keeps infections in check.
- Prolonged or obstructed labour:
In other words, the stuff childbirth horror stories are made of! In some cases, it’s a size thing: a disproportion between the size of the baby’s head and the mother’s pelvis (Cephalopelvic disproportion a.k.a. CPD) at the time of delivery. Or, it could be the position of the foetus. This is when assisted vaginal delivery methods such as forceps extraction, vacuum, or a Caesarian section (C-section) need to be employed.
- Anaemia During Pregnancy and Birth:
One in two women in India (an estimated 56%) suffers from some form of anaemia, regardless of socioeconomic background. In pregnancy and childbirth, a haemoglobin count of less than 8 g/dl is regarded high risk. Anaemia associated with pregnancy is a weird chicken-and-egg situation: anaemia in the mother can lead to poor foetal development. Then, complications during the birth, such as bleeding, can be a risk factor for anaemia. Screening for anaemia and its management through an iron-rich diet or iron supplements, therefore, are crucial.
Obstetric conditions like these, unfortunately, have consequences beyond childbirth. Learn about the lasting effects they can have on your quality of life.
Did you experience one or more of these conditions during pregnancy and/or childbirth? Share with us at email@example.com and be featured on our website!
- Felippi V, Chou D et al. Levels and causes of maternal morbidity and mortality
- Causes of Maternal Mortality
- Kaur, K. Anaemia, a ‘silent killer’ among women in India: Present scenario
21 Aug 2017
Travelling during pregnancy is one of the trickiest things to do – We, Indian women, are very superstitious when it comes to travelling during pregnancy and most of us would even stop travelling to keep our babies safe. Healthcare professionals worldwide have always maintained that travelling in pregnancy isn’t really a risky thing, in fact, doctors say that in the first trimester, travelling by any mode is safe. But we can always be cautious.
One must remember that as the pregnancy progresses, the joints are less stable and the centre of gravity is altered and the bump tends to overbalance the pregnant woman.
Let’s discuss these modes of travel and see what precautions need to be taken:
1. Two wheelers: Riding a two-wheeler is safe in the first trimester because the body hasn’t undergone major changes. After 12 weeks, when the body weight increases, this mode of travel is risky. It is also because of the unruly traffic and bumpy roads everywhere. Precaution to be taken: while riding pillion, sit with legs on both sides as compared to sitting sideways.
2. Three wheelers/Auto-rickshaw: Considerably a safer option, as it is covered from all sides unlike a two-wheeler and is one of the most preferred options of travel. However, one should still keep in mind the bumps and the traffic and ask the driver to mind these.
3. Bus (Public Transport): Most pregnant mothers prefer travelling by buses as they are safe and more relaxing as compared to other modes. Also, it is the cheapest way of going from one destination to another. One must keep in mind, to not travel during peak hours, to choose ladies special buses, if available. Getting down and boarding is bus may prove to be tricky as the pregnancy progresses, so it is important to take help from co-passengers. You can always ask fellow passengers to give you a seat.
4. Trains: A lot of pregnant women prefer commuting by train to work nowadays as well. In fact, it is safer to travel on the train unless it is the peak travel hour when it is a little tricky. Trains allow more movement as compared to other modes of transport and offer one the chance to relax and even put their feet up in case of tiredness/numbness/stiffness. A train travel also means there is no chance of encountering traffic so it is easier to reach the destination on time. For a long distance travel, a woman must be careful while washing the washroom in the train- preferably go to the washroom when the train is at a station or is moving slow.
5. Cars/Cabs/Taxis: One of the biggest challenges while commuting to work in a car are the bumpy, narrow roads. It makes this mode of travel risky. Having said that, it can’t be denied that it is a comfortable mode as well. A pregnant woman should carry a cushion/soft clothes that will help back-pain during car travels. Also, driving after the second trimester isn’t advised because the bump grows bigger and it is an uncomfortable position.
6. Aeroplane: An expensive mode of travel but is also the fastest. Travelling in the first trimesters are as safe as one can expect. After 28 weeks (beginning of the third trimester), flight requires a certificate from the doctor. A pregnant woman may experience nausea/breathlessness during air travel, so it is advisable to sip water every few minutes. It is also advisable to ask for an aisle seat, towards the rear as it is easier to get up from there and walk to the washroom.W
How has been your experience with travelling? Do you have anything that we haven’t shared here? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
18 Dec 2018
With the birth of a baby, comes in a lot of comparisons: of both the mother and the child. Everyone compares the mother to other mothers around or of the previous generation, the same goes for the children. Have we ever thought how -painful this could -be for the mother?
Comparing the mode of delivery (vaginal vs c section), type of feeding (Breastfeeding vs formula feeding), how the mother takes the child out (baby carriers vs strollers vs carrying them in arms). Everything that a woman does, is prone to judgement! Little do people realise that they criticise both sides of the coins. Nothing is really acceptable to them. This is like saying whatever you do, you will be judged, Woman!
In fact, even the babies aren’t spared. Why is he so lean? Why isn’t he rolling over yet, he is already 5 months old. Why isn’t he crawling/walking/talking yet? Why is he still breastfeeding? Why is he not potty/pee trained?
All these statements lead us to believe that there are two important solutions to these problems. one is receiving the acceptance from others around us and the second is accepting ourselves, as we are.
Acceptance from others
When the child is 5/10/15 years old, is anyone ever going to be bothered about when did he first rollover/crawl/walk/speak? Will anyone ever ask his mother how did she give birth to him? Or did she breastfeed him or not? If these things are not going to matter after a few years, why are we judging the women then? What kind of pleasure are we deriving out of this?
We spoke to 15 mothers and they told us that being judgmental is the easiest thing to do. While accepting things is difficult, it is not impossible. Let us do ourselves a favour and stop judging other women and their kids over various parameters.
What can be worse than nagging aunties/ neighbours/other women/colleagues, is when we judge ourselves.
- We need to accept that the toys will be strewn all over the house and it is perfectly alright to let it be like that. The laundry may not be done on time and the worse is that it may not even be hung out to dry on time.
- It is okay to take late and quick showersand have absolutely no time to even brush your hair every single day. Most mothers say that on most days, they brush their hair only when they wash them.
- We need to accept that children don’t sleep through the night for the first two years of their lives and it’s perfectly normal for a mother to feel sleepless. It’s a phase everyone goes through.
- Social life changes and YES, it is a big change. Mothers don’t get to go out alone on most days. In fact, mothers who stay in nuclear families don’t even get to use the washroom without their child(ren) being around. Women tend to lose out on friends as well. This is because not everyone would be interested in talking about baby potty, their feeding time etc. It’s time to make friends with other mommies now.
- It is normal for the kids to have bad days, the days when they are cranky, clingy and howling out. As a family, such moods rub off on each other and the parents become irritated as well. Let’s be honest, it is not easy to remain calm when the kid is crying and there is nothing that you can do to ease his pain. But as an adult, if we lose our cool, who will take care of the child?
Let’s accept that our lives have changed after the arrival of the baby. This small acceptance goes a long way in keeping ourselves happy. The end result being a happy mother leads to a happy child and eventually a happy family.
09 Jan 2019