Importance of Antenatal Visits

Antenatal or prenatal care refers to the care that a woman receives during pregnancy. This includes healthcare services to the would-be mother as well as the unborn baby. Also, other health concerns regarding pregnancy are addressed during antenatal visits.

Most women do not realise the importance of consulting a gynaecologist right from the beginning of pregnancy.Often, they try to evade pregnancy tests and scans in trying to curb costs.However, care for the mother and the baby should begin as soon as pregnancy is confirmed.

In this blog we will highlight some of the most important benefits of prenatal visits to a healthcare centre.

Prenatal check-ups during the first trimester

  • During the first trimester, the mother needs to ensure that she consumes a well-balanced diet so as to provide the baby with all the necessary nutrients for growth and development. Folic acid supplements are recommended as they reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the foetus during the first 12 weeks.
  • Consuming alcohol and smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature delivery and birth d
  • effects in the foetus. Visiting the obstetrician during early pregnancy can help you receive important advice regarding diet and lifestyle.
  • Certain medications can be extremely harmful to the unborn baby. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, an antenatal check-up will help you understand how it can affect your pregnancy and your healthcare provider will advise you on ways to bring it under control.
  • Also, it is during the first trimester that the first ultrasound scan is done to observe the development in the foetus and to determine the expected date of delivery. Multiple pregnancies can be identified during the scan.A blood test will also be conducted to rule out possibilities of infections, blood cell count, blood typing, and screening for Rh antibodies.

Prenatal check-ups during the second trimester

Until the end of the second trimester, you will typically have an antenatal check-up every 4 weeks. Tests that you can expect during this time include:

  1. Urine test  you will be asked to give a urine sample to check for blood sugar and protein.
  2. Blood test  is conducted to rule out possibilities of infections, blood cell count, blood typing, and screening for Rh antibodies.
  3. Ultrasound  ultrasound scan helps observe the developments like heart rate, head-to-toe measurements in the foetus, etc. Down syndrome, which is a chromosomal abnormality, can also be identified during this stage.
  4. Measurements  the size and shape of your uterus is measured.
  5. Blood pressure and weight  your blood pressure and weight will be checked at each prenatal visit.

Prenatal check-ups during the third trimester

In the third trimester, you will be expected to visit your obstetrician every two weeks.This helps identify the position of the baby as it drops low in the uterus in the head down position, in preparation for the birthing process, towards the end of the trimester.

Without regular prenatal check-ups, problems in the placenta, foetal abnormalities and other complications will go unnoticed, posing a health threat to both the mother and child. Even if you feel perfectly fine or have gone through healthy pregnancies previously, you still require regular antenatal check-ups from the beginning of your pregnancy until the birth of your baby.

Remember, there is no substitute for good prenatal care!

Introducing solid foods to your baby

A babyŸ??s digestive system is not ready for solid food until after the baby is about 4 to 6 months old. Until then it is recommended that the baby is exclusively breast-fed or formula-fed. Breast milk or formula milk has the nourishment and calories required for your babyŸ??s development in the first 6 months of her life.

Most mothers want to be sure that they introduce solid food at the right time. There are some signs you can look for in order to know when your baby is ready to include solids in her diet. However, make sure the baby can hold her head up, can lean or sit upright on a highchair.

Signs to watch out for in the baby

  • Starts to put things into her mouth
  • Opens mouth when you take food close to her mouth
  • Asks for more frequent feeds or cries for more after her bottle is empty
  • Shows interest in food that others are eating
  • Can hold small bits of food in the mouth and push it to the back of the mouth
  • Her weight has doubled from her original birth weight

What should I feed my baby the first time?

Babies should ideally be given liquid or semi-solid foods with a spoon to see if they are ready and also to make it easier for them to go through this process. One important thing to remember here is to feed the same kind of food for the first few days just to make sure that your baby is not allergic to a particular food, and also observe if her stools are normal. Move on to a new variant if there are no allergic reactions like vomiting, rashes and diarrhoea. You can try the following options:

  • Boiled and pureed vegetables like pumpkin, carrot, potato, avocado, etc.
  • Boiled and pureed single-grain cereals like rice, ragi or lentils
  • Mashed fruits like banana or apple puree
  • Yogurt
  • Custard

Things to remember when introducing solids to your baby

  • Avoid using vegetables like spinach, beetroot that are high in nitrates. Nitrates can cause a type of anaemia in small children.
  • You donŸ??t need to enhance the flavour of the food with salt or sugar.
  • Start with a few spoons at a time and increase the quantity gradually.
  • Make sure that there are no lumps in the food as the baby can choke on it.
  • If you are using commercial baby food, ensure you use boiled water while preparing it.
  • Avoid giving solids in a bottle so that the baby understands the difference between solids and liquids. This will also help the baby adapt to other solid foods eventually.

Once your baby is about 8 months old and has tried different kinds of pureed foods, you can begin introducing some more solid varieties of food. Your baby will most likely begin to chew at this stage although she doesnŸ??t really have any grinding teeth. This is a good time to switch to Ÿ??finger foodsŸ??. These are small bits of foods that can be easily mashed when in the mouth. Babies will begin grasping the food in their hands

  • Soft cheese,
  • Small pieces of boiled vegetables,
  • Cooked pasta,
  • Cut or thinly sliced fruits like banana,
  • Minced meat or chicken are good options during this stage.

Feeding a baby can be a messy affair! So make sure you have a bib and some cleaning cloth in place to clean spills. Another essential ingredient is to have lots of patience. It is not necessary that your baby will like and eat the food in the very first attempt. Feed the baby in a place where there arenŸ??t many distractions so that feeding time is not just a nutritive but a fun learning process for your baby.

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Making motherhood a blissful experience,Motherhood Indiranagar

Women require unique and specialised health care in every stage of life; some for themselves and some for their children. With a view to providing women in Bangalore a healthcare facility close to home,Motherhood, Bangalore inaugurated the new wing of their Indiranagar facility on 14th November 2013.

The facility known as the Advanced Women & Child Healthcare Centre is equipped with ultra-modern medical facilities to provide comprehensive care in Gynaecology, Neonatology and Paediatrics. The centre was inaugurated by Mr. U.T. Khader, Honourable Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka.

While most pregnancies progress without any problems, some require specialized care. Motherhood has partnered with leading experts in fetal medicine, The Bangalore Fetal Medicine Center (BFMC) to give this expert care to the unborn baby primary care while it is still in the womb, making it possible to diagnose and manage genetic and other abnormalities in the fetus. Fetal medicine specialists, sonologists and emotional counsellors provide the most advanced treatment and care.

Motherhood has also partnered with Kosmoderma Skin Clinics &Medispa’s, a leading skin, hair and laser clinic in South India. Motherhood  Mommy  Makeover for new mothers provides customised cosmetology services to women before, during and after pregnancy.The Mommy Makeover program includes, Anti-stretch Mark Treatment for body, Post Delivery Tummy Toning, etc.

We recognise that the health of women and children is very essential in building a self-reliant, healthy, stable and confident community. Our healthcare centre functions with the assistance of world-class expertise and technology, coupled with compassion and a home-like setting.

Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is nature’s very own way to nurture a new born under the warm protection of a mother and no other joy could be compared to the bliss a mother feels when she breastfeeds her baby for the very first time. No amount of artificial supplements comes close to meeting the nutrients required for a new born than breast milk. It contains everything that your baby needs in all the right quantities and is in a form that is easy to digest.

Medically, doctors everywhere recommend breastfeeding as the best nutrient for a child. Breast milk has been proven to be beneficial in more than one way. Listed below are some of the reasons why breast milk is the ideal nutrition for your child.

How is breast feeding beneficial?


For a child

Breast milk is a perfect mixture of vitamins and nutrients for a healthy child.

  • Breast milk contains anti-bodies that help develop a strong immune system for a child and helps fight viruses and bacteria.
  • Reduces the risk of asthma, allergies and ear infections.
  • Improves brain development and increases IQ during later stages of childhood.
  • Children who are breast fed also gain the right amount of weight as they grow.
  • Certain studies show that breast milk also prevents SID (Sudden Death Syndrome) among infants.
  • In some studies, breast milk has also shown a reduction to diseases like diabetes, obesity and certain cancers however, more research is required on these subjects.

For a mother

  • Breastfeeding burns calories which help new mothers lose pregnancy weight faster.
  • It also helps lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. While breast feeding, a hormone called oxytocin is released that helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size.
  • Helps to save time and money rather than buying supplements and using other expensive alternatives.
  • Creates a strong bond between a mother and her child.

Overall, breast feeding is the ultimate bonding factor between a mother and her child. While breast feeding, a child to be carried in the arms of a mother, the eye contact, are all important aspects to create and build that strong emotional connect. It is natural, effective and efficient. Unless recommended otherwise by a doctor, we at Motherhood TM believe and promote breast feeding. After all, our child’s first meal is a big deal.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this issue is not a substitute for medical advice. All content including text, graphics and images are for general information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

New parents: Getting the sleep you need

Being a new parent can be exhausting. Try these strategies to fit more sleep into your days and nights.

It’s 2 a.m. and your newborn is crying. Will you ever get a good night’s sleep again? Although life with a newborn is a round-the-clock adventure, don’t lose hope. By age 3 months, many babies can sleep at least five hours at a time. By age 6 months, night-time stretches of nine to 12 hours are possible. In the meantime, a little creativity can help you sneak in as much sleep as possible.


Suggestions for the weary

While there’s no magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:

  • Sleep when your baby sleeps: Silence your phone, hide the laundry basket and ignore the dishes in the kitchen sink. Calls and chores can wait.
  • Don’t bed share’ during sleep: It’s OK to bring your baby into your bed for nursing or comforting but return your baby to the crib or bassinet when you’re ready to go back to sleep.
  • Split up nighttime duties: Work out a schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. If you’re breast-feeding, perhaps your partner could bring you the baby and handle night-time diaper changes. If you’re using a bottle, take turns feeding the baby.
  • Give watchful waiting a try: Sometimes, middle-of-the-night fussing or crying is simply a sign that your baby is settling down. Unless you suspect that your baby is hungry or uncomfortable, it’s OK to wait a few minutes to see what happens.

When sleep becomes a struggle

The rigors of caring for a newborn might leave you so exhausted that you could fall asleep anytime, anywhere  but that’s not always the case.

If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your environment is suited for sleep. Turn off the TV and keep your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day or at night. In addition, don’t agonize over falling asleep. If you’re not nodding off within a reasonable amount of time, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed. Remember, taking good care of yourself  including getting adequate sleep  will help you take the best care of your baby.

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