Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New posts

A lot of posts in chronological order that were in the draft stage are getting published now. The posts that I completed today are ...

Week 12: Weight Loss
Natural Remedies to control Nausea : Process of Elimination
Low Haemoglobin count?
ow or High BP?

There are a number of posts still awaiting completion. I will list them on completion as I go along.

Worried over swollen feet and wondering what to do? Here are a few things that worked for me. All these weeks were fine until I noticed my feet swollen last week. It did not hurt but I'm told it is not a good sign.

  1. One of the first things to do is to reduce your salt intake as much as you can.

  2. Granny's tip: Boil Barley in water and drink a glass of barley water everyday. This worked like a charm for me. i have to warn you that it doesn't have any taste. So just close your eyes and gulp it down!

  3. Keep your feet raised. Excess weight of the body during the last few months sometimes is known to cause swollen feet.

  4. Check with your doctor if the BP is under control.

Surprised that the baby can respond to sounds as early as 30 weeks - well into the second trimester. Well, I was. Check out these links from the BabyCenter on baby's hearing and responses to sound as early as 24 weeks.

Since the begining of July, after repeated advise from mom, I had cultivated the habit of listening to Vishnu Sahasranamam and Bhaja Govindam every morning. I guess any music that is soothing to the ears like instrumental music or based in your choice is good. You feel good about starting your day with something nice to listen and so would the has been repeatedly stressed upon me to maintain a positive frame of mind. Check out this link too - Music During Pregnancy

Friday, November 24, 2006

How to avoid back pain?

If there's one thing that makes me want the baby to come out so badly, then it is the persistent back pain. Adequate 'calcium' intake and simple back exercises haven't helped either. i've stopped mentioning this to my doctor. She says, "It is a common complaint and part of the package". Here is an excerpt from The Hindu recently that me of help to you ---

Women in reasonable shape who get at least 45 minutes of exercise a week are less likely to develop back pain.
Back pain afflicts 50 per cent of pregnant women, and it is a wonder that more are not affected by it. Back pain can begin as early as the first trimester and last up to 6 months postpartum.

Not all back pain in pregnancy is because of pregnancy, and just because pain is so common does not mean it is unavoidable or untreatable.

Back pain during pregnancy follows one of three patterns — the pain occurs while bearing weight and while sitting for long hours (lumbar pain); sacroiliac pain occurs in the posterior pelvis and deep in the buttocks area (this pain is exacerbated by prolonged standing and it worsens while turning over in bed); nocturnal back pain is a low back cramp similar to the discomfort of pre-menstruation. It does not worsen with turning over in bed.

The treatment involves maintenance of proper posture and exercise. Joint manipulation of any kind is not advisable. Women in reasonable shape who get at least 45 minutes of exercise a week are less likely to develop back pain.

Pregnant women should avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. They should try to maintain a neutral spine posture at all times. When standing for long periods, placing one foot on a footstool decreases the strain on the lumbar spine and back muscles. Those who sit for prolonged periods will find elevating one foot on a low stool or footrest relaxes the back and reduces pain.

Back exercises: walking a few minutes a day is a gentle back-conditioning exercise. Pelvic tilts, leg lifts and arm-leg extension exercises help strengthen back muscles.

Pelvic tilts: Lie on your back with knees flexed and feet flat on the floor. Clench your abs and buttocks and push your pelvis and lower back into the floor for about 2 seconds. Release. Repeat 10 times. After the first trimester, it is not advisable to exercise while lying flat on your back. Do this exercise while lying on your side, with a wall substituting for the floor.

Leg lifts: lie on your side, tighten your thighs and abs and lift your leg off the floor. Hold the leg in the air for a few seconds. Repeat ten times.

Arm-leg extension: lie flat on your back, lift one arm and the opposite side's leg at the same time. Hold position for 5 seconds. Alternate sides and repeat ten times.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Indigestion? Try Gelusil or any antacid

Indigestion and heartburn is one of the most common complaints I have had during the course of the past 7 months. Since everyone advised against any medication without doctor's advise I refrained from using anything without consulting my gynaec.

Later on consultation with her, I figured it was safe to have Gelusil or Dygiene. I've had Eno a few times though it is best to keep it to a minimum as Eno produces gas. Sometimes a betel leaf stuffed with ajwain (omam) and a little salt also works wonders. Try and refrain from fried and spicy stuff for dinners. You might also want to stay away from any drink that induces acidity like lemon juice or tea in empty stomach. Nothing helps like a short walk after dinner. Most of my indigestion sessions are only after dinners. Though it is very tempting physically to just crash in the bed after a long day, stay awake for atleast an hour after dinner and before going to bed.

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The gaps between my visits to the doctor are reducing as the number of days left for the D-Day is drawing closer. So close to the finish line and yet so far..each day seems like a eon with this weight to lug around.

Instead of going at our usual 10:30 a.m. slot to the hospital, we went in at 1:00 p.m. It was crowded all the same but the wait wasn't as long as the earlier three hours. You know what...if you wish to become a successful enterpreneur in India, then you are guaranteed to be successful in 2 businesses - either open a maternity hospital or a road side chat shop. I've lost count of the number of nursing homes in my neighbourhood in Trichy. Every street has a minimum of 2 hospitals and trust me I'm not exaggerating and each one of these are overflowing with pregnant mothers. We will surpass China earlier than 2050 in population. I'm digressing...

The highlight about this routine visit was that the baby decided to draw attention by kicking around and trying to turn his/her head. I was in so much pain ..thank god we were at the hospital so there was no cause of concern.. that we met the doctor and she said everything was ok. The low Haemoglobin levels diagnosed during my last visit was ackonwledged as their error. Hb is quite normal and I'm all set now...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Low or High BP?

Low BP in the first trimester and slightly above normal BP during the third trimester is not a cause of concern according to my gynaec. During the first trimester, I had a blood pressure of 110-70 consistently. With a previous history of very low BP and falling giddy at times I was worried. But she assured me it was normal. In the third trimester now, my BP is hovering around 130-80 which is fine too.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Craving of the month : Pumpkin pudding

My craving of the month is parangikai paal kootu (red pumpkin pudding). Believe it or not, I've had it for over 17 days in the last month. I know The needle in the weighing machine can't wait to turn and I know where all the additional kilos are coming from. Mom is INDULGING me by substituting milkmaid or Amul's Mithai Mate for milk. I would have to work twice as hard to lose all this fat :( But who cares. Lets cross the bridge after pregnancy.

Just for the record, this has been my real craving through the pregnancy term. Ofcourse, I have felt like eating this dish and that every now ad then but ever a strong ad continued liking for anything in particular as this. So this has emerged as the winner!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Week 34 : Sleepless Nights

Oh yes, I am in "Sleepless in Trichy". Sleep has been very disturbed for the past 5 months but never had it been so bad until this week. I haven't slept a wink in the nights for the past 4 days. It leaves me in a groggy and restless state forcing afternoon naps the following day. Wise moms and grannies who have treaded this path to motherhood have one advise "Sleep when you feel sleepy, no matter what time of the day is." You can catch me sleeping when I'm not blogging :)

Jokes apart, here are a few things that can help you sleep in the night :

  1. A glass of hot milk with a dash of anything you like such as turmeric, badam powder or honey. Refrain from caffeine - coffee or tea.

  2. Run hot water through your legs before going to bed.

  3. Wait atleast for an hour after dinner before going to bed. It helps going for a short stroll after dinner in the last trimester.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pre-pregnancy Counselling

Pre-pregnancy counselling appeared in today's Hindu that was quite informative. below is the entire text;

Here's a checklist for couples to make sure that they have a healthy pregnancy

Smita has been married for a year and a half. Having postponed a pregnancy because she and her husband are both busy software engineers, they have now scheduled an appointment with an obstetrician for pre-pregnancy counselling (also called preconceptional care.)

Basically, it is a checklist for couples to make sure that they have a healthy pregnancy. Becoming a parent is a major decision. It brings its own uncertainty and apprehensions. Smita and her husband have made the right choice in seeking pre-pregnancy counselling.

During a preconceptional visit, your obstetrician will try to identify things that may pose risks to you or the baby you are planning to have. Keeping fit, eating healthy and avoiding certain things that could be harmful to the baby are the first steps to a healthy pregnancy.

Previous problems

Some women have medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy or cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems, which may increase risks for them or their foetus.

Diabetes: Women need to ensure tight control of their blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

Women, who are on tablets for diabetes, may need to be changed to insulin.

To avoid abnormalities in the baby, it is very important that blood sugars at the time of conception are under strict control.

High blood pressure: If a woman has high blood pressure, it is important to make sure that it is well under control before attempting pregnancy. Medications must be changed to those that are safe in pregnancy.

Asthma: A high level of control is essential during pregnancy. Check with your doctor on what medications are safe when you are trying for a pregnancy.

Inhalers, by and large, are safe because the medications do not get absorbed into the blood stream.

Epilepsy: It is safe for most epileptics on medications to try for a pregnancy. Most anti-epileptic drugs have the potential to cause foetal abnormalities although the risk is reduced if a single drug is used.

It is essential to discuss with your physician which drug is safer when you are trying for a pregnancy. It is important not to stop your medication.

Past pregnancies

Some problems with past pregnancies can occur again. If there has been more than one miscarriage, a previous baby with a birth defect, or a baby who died before birth or soon after birth, the obstetrician may suggest studies to find out the cause.

It is important to keep all records of previous pregnancies and show them to the obstetrician.

Family health history

Diabetes and high blood pressure are common conditions which may be present in the family.

Even if the mother-to-be does not have these conditions, it is important to know if there is a family history because these conditions may show up in pregnancy.

Some genetic conditions, such as mental retardation, may run in the family.

If there is a history of such a condition, then genetic counselling might be offered so that it can help the couple find out the chances of having a child with a birth defect.

Being overweight before pregnancy increases the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure in pregnancy.

A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise will ensure an optimal weight. Starting folic acid supplementation 1-3 months before a planned pregnancy is important for the development of the baby's brain and spinal cord. Calcium is important for baby and mother.

Milk and curds are a good natural source of calcium. Iron keeps the mother from developing anaemia during pregnancy.

It is a good idea to have a blood test to rule out anaemia. If the haemoglobin levels are low, then an iron supplement should be taken for 3 months or more to ensure that the iron stores in the body are replenished.

Preventing infections

Rubella or German measles is a viral infection which can cause severe abnormalities in the baby, especially if it occurs in the first three months of pregnancy.

A woman planning to get pregnant should either be tested to see if she already has immunity or should directly be vaccinated against Rubella. It is important to avoid pregnancy for three months after the vaccination.

Viral hepatitis: It is a good idea to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. If you already have Hepatitis B, inform your obstetrician so she can take the appropriate steps to ensure that your baby does not get affected.

Planning for insurance

Make sure that your insurance will cover pregnancy and its complications. It is a good idea to find out how much maternity leave is allowed by your employer. This will help plan for family support after the delivery.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Week 33 : Fever

A glass of cold water late in the night was all it took for my throat to act cranky the next morning. There is a change in the climate signalling the onset of monsoon soon. Thr throat got worse this morning that called for a meeting with the doctor late in the evening. Doc prescribed a generous course of antibiotics, tablets for the throat infection to subside and a syrup for the cough.

Not too satisfied with the treatment of my gynaec's assitant doctor who presecribed these medicines without examining me, I decided to resort to home remedies instead. I had refrained from taking antibiotics all these months.

A throat infection if not cured immediately generally takes its full course of running nose, fever and finally cough (in the same order). what has worked for me over the years is this :

1. Salt water gargling - 3-4 times a day during the throat infection phase. One dispirin tablet dissolved in hot water to be drunk before sleeping.

2. Hot milk with a dash of turmeric before sleeping.

3. A pinch of Thalesadi churnam mixed with honey - the churnam is available in all ayurvedic shops.

4. Hot water steaming with a few drops of Karvol or eculyptus oil during the running nose phase.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Baby Shower - Valakappu : Tamil ritual

Valakappu and Seemantham are rituals followed by Tamil brahmins during pregnancy. Follow this post titled Baby Shower: Valakappu on my other blog on what is done.