Family Planning Made Easy – Check Out Our Pregnancy Calculator

Family Planning
Author: Dr. Kavya Krishna Kumar MBBS, FMAS, MS

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Alwarpet

Family Planning

It’s good to know your due date when you are pregnant. And this is much easier if you have a pregnancy calculator. Every woman can use the pregnancy calculator to track her pregnancy schedule and due date.

With pregnancy comes family planning and sometimes it may become overwhelming. The excitement is real, but so is the work and the stress. With a child on the way, family planning becomes more significant.

With the help of a pregnancy week calculator, you, the ‘Mother-to-be’ can keep track of your pregnancy schedule based on the date of your last period, ultrasound, and conception.

Pregnancy Week Calculator

The Pregnancy Week Calculator helps women confirm their pregnancy and track the week of pregnancy they are currently in. Based on that, the woman can plan her visit to the doctor/ check up.

Know your due date using a pregnancy calculator

The Pregnancy Week Calculator by due date helps women to prepare for the delivery date. However, it is essential to note that not every baby is born on the exact estimated due date. Only 4% of all babies are born on the estimated due date. Some are born within weeks of the due date. Usually, every healthy pregnancy lasts up to 37 to 42 weeks. The usual way to estimate the due date is to count 280 days (40 weeks) from the first day of the woman’s LMP or Last Menstrual Period.

Those who might have forgotten their LMP or cannot seem to figure out the time of their LMP can go or opt for an ultrasound. This can confirm if the woman is actually pregnant and can also determine her the date of delivery.

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will notice a lot of changes in your body. Based on that, you and your partner can start planning accordingly. This is where it will get all the more exciting and stressful, marking the beginning of the wonderful journey towards parenthood.

Pregnancy Calculator Week by Week

Using the Pregnancy Calculator Week by Week you can share your motherhood experience with your partner. In the 9th / 10th week of your pregnancy, you can hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It’s one of the most beautiful moments you will experience during the start of your pregnancy.

Between the 18th and 22nd week of your pregnancy, you might start feeling your baby’s movement inside you. You can feel fetal movement earlier or sometimes later. With the help of the Pregnancy Calculator you can determine if you are due for anomaly scan.

Another essential aspect of pregnancy is that the due date may vary. It is not always necessary that the baby will be born on the assigned due date as mentioned earlier. Don’t let this stress you out. Stress is neither good for you, nor for the baby. However, with your partner and Pregnancy Calculator, it will become easier for you to prepare for the event.

It is always good to have plans made ahead of the due date. With the data provided by the Pregnancy Week Calculator, you can prepare well for the D Day. Always remember to reach out to your doctor in case you are unsure of something. Keep in mind that you and your partner need to be calm and plan wisely for the baby. But don’t forget to enjoy the experience of bringing a healthy child into the world. You can make a birth plan and discuss with your doctor.

At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We have the best experts in Alwarpet, Chennai capable of handling complex deliveries, gynaecological and other surgeries including a range of laparoscopic procedures.
Do take an appointment with the best Gynaecology hospital in Alwarpet, Chennai at a centre closest to you. Meet with our doctors who will carry out the required investigations, diagnose the issue and recommend the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life.

If you wish to get in touch with Dr.Kavya Krishna kumar, please book your appointment here.

Skin & Hair – How Your Pregnancy Affects Them

Author: Dr. Preethika Shetty MBBS, DNB, M.S(OBGY), Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine (ICOG)

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi

Hairfall During Pregnancy

So you are pregnant! You are excited, so is the family and your days of anticipation begin. But along with it are surprises, some comfortable and some not so comfortable that begin to happen day after day. To begin with, the first sign of pregnancy is that there will be an increase in breast size. This will be due to a higher level of production of hormones – estrogen and progesterone. The woman’s breasts could continue to grow throughout the pregnancy and there may be a need for a replacement of the bras more than once. Of course this apart, there could be nausea, bloating, morning sickness and a craving for foods that are intense in terms of their taste such as saltiness, sourness and spice.

Skin and hair changes – the most visible ones

Pregnant women will have an increase in blood volume that aids additional blood supply to the uterus, kidneys, and other organs. The increase results in extra supply of blood to the vessels and further activates the oil glands. Sure, friends congratulate on that pregnancy glow! That’s one among the many effects that come from hormonal changes and the stretching of the skin. This stretching could also cause itching and flaking. The woman is advised to use a moisturizer cream or something appropriate to soothe the dry skin.

Some women could also develop brown or yellow patches, referred to as chloasma, also called the ‘mask of pregnancy’ on their faces. In some cases a dark line will appear in the centre, usually from the navel to the lower abdomen called linea nigra. There could also be a hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) of the nipples, external genitals and the anal region. It is the hormones that cause the body to produce more pigment. Although Chloasma cannot be avoided, a sunscreen could be used to reduce its impact.

The other side effect of pregnancy is acne. The sebaceous glands get activated and produce more oil resulting in moles or freckles becoming more pronounced as the pregnancy progresses. These skin changes subside post-delivery. Pregnant women could also suffer from heat rashes caused due to dampness and sweating.

Hair

Several women experience changes in their hair texture and the volume of hair growth during pregnancy. The hormones encourage denser hair growth and also reduce hair fall. These changes are not permanent however and women usually lose some hair post-delivery or after they stop breast feeding the child. Hair could also grow in unwanted areas for example on the hair, belly or around the nipples.

Nails too change during pregnancy. The hormones enhance the rate of growth and the nails also tend to get a bit stronger. Nails could also split more during pregnancy.

‍Most changes subside post-delivery although changes on the skin such as stretch marks could remain. It is advisable to consult a specialist on how best to minimize it and get back the flexibility and suppleness. In all, pregnancy is an unforgettable phase and the woman would find it really interesting to observe the changes in her body, all the way to the D-day, when she would welcome her bouncing bundle of joy. A gynecologist would be the best suited to offer advice on these matters to ensure the woman experiences a memorable phase.

At Motherhood Hospitals we have a team of doctors and super-specialists with the expertise to investigate, identify and treat a range of conditions related to girl children and women. All our centres are equipped with modern equipment and dedicated staff and strategically located across India. Do take an appointment with our doctor who will ensure the right tests and treatment to help you get back to an active life.

Book your Appointment with Dr. Preethika Shetty for all Gynaecological issues.

Dos and Don’ts Of Postpartum

Postpartum Recovery

Author: Dr. Padma Srivastava MBBS, MD(OBG)

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar

Post pregnancy care

So, you’ve finally delivered your bouncing bundle of joy. Your family is ecstatic, you are relieved, and things are relaxed. Soon, you want to get back to your normal routine – work, chores, regular activities etc. But wait, let it take time. Take it easy. Your recovery postpartum cannot happen in a few days. In fact a full recovery from delivery can take months. While you will begin to feel normal in about 6-8 weeks, it does take a longer time to heal completely.

Usually the postpartum period is referred to as the six week period post-delivery. This is a delicate time for you, the mother, the baby, and the members of the family. Slowly adjust to the fact that you are a mother. There is a certain rhythm that needs to fall into place. Discover it. Firm it up. Adjust it in such a way that it works for you and your baby. Here is what you need to do postpartum.

Get plenty of rest. Sleep as much as you can. Take your time as you cope with the fatigue and tiredness.

Take the help of people around you. If you have relatives or professional help do ask them to do things for you. You need all the help you can get.

Food is extremely important. Maintain a healthy diet consisting of proteins and carbs. Eat in time and follow the same time each day. Ensure you are consuming fibre-rich foods (whole grains, vegetables and fruits). Use stool softeners to ensure a regular bowel movement and avoid straining. This is not good for your perineal tears or C-section scar if you have one.

As your recovery progresses, do begin to walk/ exercise after talking to your doctor. Don’t overdo it. Definitely do not ignore it.

Here are a few things you are advised not to do in this period.

Do not insert anything into the vagina – Based on the kind of delivery you have had, you will be surprised at the kind of changes in your vagina. This includes the stress, stretching and the bleeding. You may feel you are back to normal, opt to resume sex or using tampons. Do wait till your doctor approves these activities. The important thing is the risk of infection.

Postpartum Recovery

Your uterus would still be healing post-delivery and if you had vaginal stress, that region would be healing too. It is advised not to use any internal devices such as menstrual cups or tampons considering that there could be an infection on these wounds. Usually bleeding post birth lasts up to 6 weeks. So use pads during this period and remember to change them frequently and wash your hands to prevent infections. As for resuming sex, doctors may recommend waiting for up to 6 weeks after delivery.

Do not overexert yourself – Of course you want to do the best for your baby. Feedings, diaper changes, cleaning all resulting in very little sleep. Take rest and recharge yourself. If you stress yourself too much, you might bleed, cause muscle strain and suffer from anxiety. Take it easy. Do only what you can. Walk gently and do not exercise heavily. Stop exercising if you feel pain. Rest to the maximum.

If there is pain, speak to your doctor – Women could have some pain after delivery but the duration could vary. The usual pain includes:

  • Cramping as a result of the uterus shrinking to its previous (pre delivery) size
  • Pain between the vagina and anus
  • Pain in the region of the incision and sutures
  • Pain or stiffness in the neck, back, and joints
  • Pain due to swelling of breasts

It is advisable to see the doctor if you have: 

  • A headache that cannot be addressed with medication or one that affects your vision
  • Pain and fever over 100.4°F
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pain in a specific region of the breast with reddishness or fever
  • Smelly discharge
  • Pain along with swelling in the legs
  • Difficulty in breathing

Do speak with the doctor who may examine and recommend OTC pain relievers or other medications.

Do not ignore if you are feeling depressed – If you are feeling sad or anxious or stressed in the first fourteen days postpartum, speak to your doctor. Remember you are not alone. Several women go through these symptoms and you must be checked for postpartum depression. Symptoms could include crying, anger, feeling withdrawn, not willing to interact with others or feeling positive.

Don’t fail to use birth control – Remember you could get pregnant after 6-8 weeks post-delivery. Do speak to your doctor about birth control and the options available to you and use them as you resume having sex. Options include: Intrauterine Device (IUD), birth control implant, birth control injection, sterilization or progestin-only birth control.

Stop smoking and drug usage – If you or your partner is a smoker, get immediate support to quit. Smoking damages your health and secondhand smoke is a key risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Smoking could also cause asthma or other respiratory problems in babies.

With usage of drugs too, you risk your or your baby’s life Stop using opioids, cocaine, cannabis or other commonly used recreational drugs and practice a clean and healthy lifestyle.

Remember, the first few months post-delivery, is a period of learning for you and your family. Take it easy and adjust slowly, as your new life falls into a routine. Enjoy the experience without stressing yourself too much and just be mindful and aware.

At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a dedicated team of experts and super specialists with years of experience in addressing a variety of issues related to women and children. If you have an issue you wish to discuss, do take an appointment with one of our experts at a centre near you. You are assured of an accurate investigation, effective diagnosis and treatment ensuring you lead an active life.

Book your Appointment with Dr. Padma Srivastava for all Gynaecological issues.

How Accurate Are Pregnancy Calculators

Pregnancy Weeks Calculator Online
Author: Dr. Padma Srivastava, MBBS, MD(OBG)

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Lullanagar, Pune

Pregnancy Weeks Calculator Online

Once you skip your period, the excitement sets in. Have you conceived? Is it finally happening? Next is a visit to the doctor, who will test you to confirm it and then calculate a date. By that time, you would definitely have come across a pregnancy calculator online, something that would be advised by friends or relatives.

So how accurate are pregnancy calculators? According to BabyCenter, an online media company, only one in twenty women deliver on their due dates. To begin with, it is important to understand that a pregnancy calculator at best offers an approximation of your delivery date based on your date of conception.
The weeks of pregnancy are dated from the first day of your last period. This actually means that in the first two weeks, you would still not have conceived. The body would just be preparing to ovulate which means, realising an egg from your ovaries.

It is indeed a logical question and one of the first any woman would ask on being informed she is pregnant – “What’s the due date?” It is important to estimate the due date as it can help you plan your pregnancy and for the baby’s arrival. From this context, a pregnancy calculator can be helpful even if it is an estimate at best and cannot be on point always. Now let’s explore how it works.

  Typically there are two methods of calculating a delivery due date. One is to estimate the date based on the last menstrual period. The second is to estimate based on the date of conception. Now, the due date based on the menstrual cycle is calculated as forty weeks from the date of the last period. The due date based on the date of conception is arrived at by adding thirty eight weeks to the exact/ approximate date of conception, which is a presumption again. The issue is that most women won’t know their exact date of conception. This makes the calculation of the delivery date an approximation. There is a possibility that the conception would not have happened on the day when the woman was sexually active and the egg could have been fertilized a day or two days later by the sperm that was lodged in the fallopian tube. Considering this variation, most healthcare specialists recommend that a calculation based on the last menstrual period is reasonably more accurate. Even with this, one can arrive at only an estimated due date. The doctor could reassess this date based on the results of an ultrasound that would indicate the size of the baby. So it is advised that you use the pregnancy calculator as a guide, but be prepared to welcome your little one anytime within one to two weeks around the due date. It could be a couple of days after the specified date too. It would be a surprise but a pleasant one, isn’t it? At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of gynecologists and super specialists capable of addressing a range of health issues and conditions related to women and children. Do take an appointment with our doctor at a centre close to you and you are assured of effective investigations, diagnosis and treatment enabling you to lead an active life. 
If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Padma Srivastava, please book your appointment here

Everything moms and moms-to-be need to prep for a post-pandemic world By Dr. Manisha Ranjan

The year that went by threw all our learnings and wisdoms handed down to us from our mothers and grandmothers, out of the window. Moms and moms to be had to learn to wing it and hone new skills to sail through the pandemic. Keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy became a challenge like no other. As we navigate back into a post pandemic world there are a million things that both moms and moms-to-be need to keep in their mind when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of themselves, their children and their soon-to-be born children. Now is the time to pause, reflect and take stock as we step into a post pandemic world. Few things to keep in mind:

The pandemic is not over

Even with the roll out of vaccinations across the globe, the pandemic is far from over. We need to continue to practise social distancing, sanitising and wearing masks while out in public places. Moms need to convey this to their children and ensure they are protected and that they follow social distancing wherever applicable. Moms-to-be need to practice extra care and precaution with the help of a support system which includes their medical practitioners, primary care givers and immediate family.

Doctor visits and check-ups

One of the most critical and important steps, is to ensure that all children below 6 are vaccinated with age appropriate vaccinations which are imperative for a childŸ??s growth and development. Moms-to-be must also ensure that their immunisation records are up to date and be in constant touch with their doctors and attend all scans and tests as they progress with their pregnancy

Building immunity

Keeping up with our age old traditions of eating immunity boosting fruits and nutrients, it is very important that we focus on building and keeping immunity levels high as we step back into the world. A good and robust immunity helps safeguard the entire family against seasonal infections and allergies. Our body is the most important tool we possess and nourishing it adequately will help keep infections at bay.

Mental Well-being & Mindfulness

While physical health is important, the pandemic has made us unlearn a lot of things when it comes to keeping calm. Especially in case of children, families and moms-to-be. Mental well-being is as important as physical fitness, for a happy and sane mind dwells in a healthy body. The pandemic has adversely effected children as it has taken away their freedom of movement, hence itŸ??s up to the moms to ensure that kids have a safe place at home to speak their mind and share feelings. Mindfulness is very important when it comes to both moms and moms-to-be, for stress is not good and can lead to several health complications.

Self-care

One can never stress enough on the importance of self-care for moms. Sometimes balancing home, children, family and work can get a little overwhelming and it is important for moms and/or moms-to-be to take a step back and pause. It is an old saying which holds true that the woman of the house is the glue holding everything together and we must ensure that she is happy, hale and hearty.

The world as we know is undergoing a change and we must keep up with the changing pace while keeping in mind that our fight with COVID19 is far from over. Ensuring the health and well-being of the family is of utmost importance as we step back into a semblance of our lives pre COVID.

How soon can women overcome gestational diabetes post-pregnancy/ childbirth? What women must know by Dr. Suhasini

When a woman who has never had diabetes gets high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, she is said to have gestational diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps to maintain a healthy level of blood sugar.

Higher amounts of other hormones can interfere with your body’s ability to respond to insulin during pregnancy, resulting in high blood sugar.

Gestational diabetes usually gets cured after the delivery as blood sugar level comes down. But it sometimes can turn into Type 2 diabetes.

  1. How can gestational diabetes be a problem even if it is curable?

    It can be a problem as the high blood sugar level can bypass the placenta and sometimes be a problem for the unborn baby.

  2. How can it affect the newborn?

    Gestational diabetes can cause breathing issues, low levels of calcium, low blood sugar at the time of birth.

    High blood sugar levels can also cause an excessive buildup of amniotic fluid, macrosomia, and in rare situations, stillbirth. Early birth, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia are among the other dangers.

  3. How can it be diagnosed?

    Gestational diabetes cannot be diagnosed very easily as some may show no signs or symptoms, while others feel severe hunger, thirst or tiredness.

    An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is used to determine gestational diabetes (OGTT). A pathology lab is used for this. Before taking this test, you must fast for at least 24 hours.

    A sample of your blood will be collected to determine your fasting blood glucose level. You will then be given a sugary drink and your blood will be drawn one and two hours later. You have gestational diabetes if your blood glucose level is higher than usual after a fasting, one- or two-hour test.

  4. How to manage this?

    Keep yourself active unless you are advised not to do. It will help you and your baby to stay healthy while also limiting weight gain. Overweight or obese women are more prone to acquire gestational diabetes. Finding the right combination of protein, lipids, and carbs is key to controlling gestational diabetes.

  5. Who is in danger?

    When you’re pregnant, any woman can develop gestational diabetes, but you’re at a higher risk if you:

    • History of PCOS
    • Family with history of diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Dyslipidemia
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Obesity
    • Stressful lifestyle
    • History of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in previous pregnancy
  6. What factors contribute to the cause of gestational diabetes?

    All of the above and the placental hormones which work against insulin.

  7. Is there a cure for gestational diabetes?

    Gestational diabetes can be cured for the majority of women but, half of those who test positive for gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

  8. Is it possible to lower my chances of developing gestational diabetes?

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle prior to conception can assist to lower the risk of gestational diabetes. This is attempting to be as near to a healthy weight as possible, eating healthy foods, and exercising every day.

    At 6 weeks after giving birth, all women with gestational diabetes should be tested to see if they have diabetes outside of pregnancy. A woman with gestational diabetes must be conscious of nutrition and exercise for the rest of her life.

  9. Do you have diabetes for the rest of your life if you develop gestational diabetes?

    After the baby is born, most women’s diabetes goes away. However, up to one out of every five mothers with gestational diabetes will have high blood glucose levels after their baby is born. As a result, a follow-up oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) should be performed 6–12 weeks after the baby is born to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal.

Pregnancy & Thyroid Things to know By Dr. Madhavi Reddy

Hypothyroidism is often associated with either slow pregnancy or difficulty in conception. Untreated thyroid can cause serious repercussions and leads to either miscarriage, premature baby. It is important that thyroid diseasesŸ??hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidismŸ?? are both treated & monitored closely during pregnancy.  Thyroid should be managed with proper medications and regular thyroid level investigations and proper dosage of the medications. Regular monitoring of thyroid stimulating hormones & T4 levels are imperative in order to conceive. Some of the high risk factors of developing thyroid include family history of thyroid issues, autoimmune disease and thus arresting thyroid symptoms in the early stages of pregnancy is critical, so a proper treatment can be provided and can lead to a more fruitful outcome.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Weight gain & fatigue
  • Sensitivity towards cold temperature
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty in concentration

It is always advisable to undergo thyroid testing before conception and keep your doctor informed incase you are on medications. As TSH lab values must be reviewed every 3 weeks during the pregnancy journey. Generally during the pregnancy thyroid hormone requirements rise to support baby and the mother. The prenatal vitamins can hinder how the body may use up thyroid hormone replacement therapy. This can be avoided by keeping a 4 Ÿ?? 5 hour gap between thyroid medicines & prenatal vitamins. The doctor must pay special attention to treat hypothyroidism during pregnancy and can lead to blood pressure, still birth, low birth weight of the baby, maternal anemia and premature delivery. Unusual symptoms can impact babyŸ??s growth and brain development.

Post pregnancy thyroid care: Once the mother gives birth postpartum thyroiditis is common and is especially critical among women with auto immune thyroid disease as this can cause severe complications. The postpartum thyroiditis develop usually in first 3 Ÿ?? 6 months after giving birth and some of the symptoms can be hard to identify as they are identical with initial struggles of becoming a new parent.

Early symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis are

  • Disrupted sleep pattern, nervousness, cranky behaviour and pounding heartbeat, fatigue etc.
  • The other symptoms that may follow are loss of energy, dry skin, constipation, aches & pains etc.

Infact hypothyroidism can also disrupt the mil production, however a hormone replacement therapy can help in curing this condition.

Things to eat & precautions for women having thyroid troubles during pregnancy

  • Eating Cruciferous veggies can help in regulating the thyroid levels. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale etc are great
  • Food rich in iodine is avoidable
  • Lean meat for boating protein requirements are a good source
  • Light exercises like walking, pregnancy walking, meditation & breathing exercises are advisable

Maintaining right balance in nutrition and prenatal exercises and aid smooth pregnancy for women facing thyroid troubles.  Healthy lifestyle is a key factor for overcoming difficulties in this condition.

Stretch marks in pregnancy

Approximately 50% to 80% of women are likely to develop stretch marks in pregnancy. Miscellaneous creams are known to offer some benefit in striae gravidarum. But no reliable evidence is available to conclude that any creams or topical ointments can help prevent stretch marks. Although not an illness, stretch marks can give nervousness to many expectant mothers. Some studies indicate that women who have developed stretch marks in pregnancy can avoid getting further marks in pregnancy. 

What are stretch marks?  

Stretch mark is a scar developed when the skin stretches or shrivels abruptly. The abruptness of these changes leads to the rupture of the collagen and elastin. When the skin starts to heal, stretch marks can appear. Stretch marks may not be present on every expectant motherŸ??s body.Fluctuations in hormonal levels play a role. Stretch marks may run in families. If someone close to an expectant mother had stretch marks, such an expectant mother is more prone to develop stretch marks. 

What are the body parts most prone to develop stretch marks?

  1. Thighs
  2. Hips
  3. Bottom
  4. Chest
  5. Stomach

What are some of the most common situations to develop stretch marks?

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Growth series occurring in puberty
  3. Sudden weight gain or sudden weight loss
  4. Weight management program while undergoing rapid muscle growth

What are the risk factors identified in the development of stretch mark?

General risk factors:

  1. Body mass index
  2. High pre-pregnancy weight
  3. Family history of stretch marks
  4. High weight during the delivery
  5. High gestational weight gain
  6. Young age

Maternal risk factors in pregnancy:

  1. Low intake of water
  2. Low level of serum relaxin
  3. Increase in the abdominal and hip circumference
  4. Low level of serum vitamin C
  5. Increased body mass index at delivery

Are there any techniques to prevent the stretch marks?

Genetics, as per experts, are the causes for stretch marks. But it may not always mean that a person will get stretch marks if either of the parents has it. Maintaining a healthy body mass index could be the first effective step towards preventing stretch marks. Ample consumption of water can help prevent the possible damage caused by the stretches of the skin. 

ItŸ??s best to include the foods rich in zinc in the diet. Foods rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D such as milk, citrus and sweet potatoes can benefit in stretch marks.

Diets and exercise: 

  1. Aerobics:

Aerobic is a kind of exercise mostly known to augment the blood circulation. It assures that the nutrients needed to the skin are aptly supplied to the surface. It may lessen the severity of the stretch marks. Morning walks can help those with stretch marks to an enormous extent. Half an hour every day or at least four days of a week should be spent in aerobics. 

  • Push-ups:

Push-ups help reduce the stretch marks around the breasts. One can start push-ups and increase their inclusion as needed. 

  • Abdominal exercises:

Abdominal stretch marks can be a reason for public embarrassment. While the stretch marks on abdomen are hard to treat, sit-ups and crunches can work wonders provided they are performed regularly. 

  • Squats:

Squats are a known ally to the muscle tone in hips, thighs and butts. Even when it comes to squats, those who are new to them can start with fewer squats and go on increasing them every day. 

What are the methods to remove the stretch marks?

The efficacy and results of the removal methods may vary from person to person. The results may be satisfactory in the first few days. 

  1. Microdermabrasion 
  2. Surgical intervention
  3. Radiofrequency treatment
  4. Light therapy and laser intervention
  5. Topical medications and creams or ointments

Almond Oil:

Oils have been known for centuries to generate moisture and increase the blood flow to various areas. There is no enough evidence to demonstrate whether the combination of massage and oil prevents stretch marks or not. Bitter almond oil is used by some people to treat the expectant mothers as it doesnŸ??t pose a risk to mother or the foetus. 

Hyaluronic Acid:

There are creams available in the modern marketplace today such as Verum and Alphastria. Alphastria is a proprietary medicine with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Allantoin and Calcium Pantothenate as the main constituents. Verum is another proprietary cream that contains Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, elastin and menthol.

Hyaluronic acid is the constituent common in both the proprietary medicines. Hyaluronic Acid is reported to facilitate tensile resistance to mechanical pressures and palliate the atrophy by inducing fibroblast activity and collagen synthesis thereby increasing the skin volume. 

Tretinoin:

Tretinoin is a category C drug in pregnancy and therefore caution is required while administering it in patients. Patients are advised not to use it until the lactation period. Erythematous Stretch marks become less severe after Tretinoin is administered in the treatment of stretch marks. 

Centella:

Centella in combination with other ingredients is reported to help prevent stretch marks. Centella is a medicinal herb whose usage in various creams can help prevent the stretch marks or minimize their severity. Centella is a popular name for Centella Asiatica, a plant commonly found in South Asia. ItŸ??s used to treat Leprosy, Venous stasis, ulcers and eczemas. Trofolastin is a proprietary medicine containing centella extracts. 

Lasers and other light devices:

Lasers and treatments involving lasers and other light devices are becoming popular nowadays. 585-nm flashlamp-pumped pulsed-dye laser is one of the most preferred lasers to treat stretch marks. Pulsed-dye laser, Excimer Laser, 1450-nm Diode Laser and Copper-Bromide Laser are some of the other laser variants used to treat stretch marks. 

ItŸ??s mandatory to consult the obstetrics and gynaecology department or a seasoned dermatologist before administering any treatment. A gynaecologist may ask for the medical history before administering the standalone treatment or combinations. A good diet and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent stretch marks. 

What do Braxton Hicks contractions feel like?

Braxton Hicks
contractions are spasmodic contractions and relaxations of the uterine muscle.
They are also known as false labour . They are perceived to begin on the 6th
week of gestation but are not felt at least until the second or third trimester
of pregnancy. Braxton Hicks contractions are the contractions of the uterus
that help the expectant mother’s body prepare for actual labour. They are
irregular and often painless. 

As the date of
delivery approaches faster, the Braxton Hicks contractions help soften your
cervix. Although they are the body’s way to prepare for actual labour, they
neither indicate the outset of the labour nor its signals. Braxton Hicks
contractions form a normal part of the pregnancy. Despite being uncomfortable,
women describe them as mild menstrual cramps or a tightened sensation in an
abdominal area that comes and goes. 

Some quick facts
about Braxton Hicks contractions:

  1. Braxton Hicks contractions occur predominantly during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
  2. They are less painful than the actual labour.
  3. Braxton Hicks contractions are unpredictable unlike actual labour and do not occur at definite intervals and do not get intensified over time.
  4. Consider changing positions to mitigate the discomforts caused by Braxton Hicks contractions.
  5. Braxton Hicks contractions might not occur regularly or get closer together.
  6. Braxton Hicks contractions neither cause cervical dilatation nor culminate in childbirth.

The causes of
Braxton Hicks contractions are as below:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Regularly touched maternal abdomen
  3. Bladder distention
  4. Sexual intercourse
  5. Increase in maternal or foetal activity

Below are the home
remedies to help resolve Braxton Hicks contractions:

  1. Take a warm bath for 30 minutes
  2. Eat something
  3. Drink a glass of water or a cup of tea
  4. Change positions as needed 
  5. Take a stroll 
  6. Take rest for a while if you have been physically active

When are the
Braxton Hicks contractions a cause of worry?

You should consider
calling your doctor  if the frequency of
contractions is increasing. If the pain bothers you excessively or if the
symptoms are resembling preterm labour. 

Below are the
situations to look for if you think Braxton Hicks contractions are a cause of
concern for you:

  1. If the contractions exceed an hour
  2. If pain is not releived after the above remedies
  3. Increase in the vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge or spotting

Braxton Hicks contractions occur in all pregnancies. Although each woman’s experience is different, most women become aware of Braxton Hicks contractions in the third trimester. The onset of Braxton Hicks contractions near the end of the third trimester of pregnancy gets often mistaken as the actual labour. The management of Braxton Hicks contractions is easy and uncomplicated. 

Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy?

COVID-19 in pregnancy: An overview

The government ruled that the third phase of vaccination for adults between 18 and 44 years would start soon. May 1, 2021, saw its effective outset. One of the most crucial questions at this juncture is, whether pregnant women can take it or not. Initial studies were unclear about the risk of COVID-19 in pregnancy. The studies went ahead to establish, however, that pregnant women may be at a more raised risk of severe COVID-19 than non-pregnant ones. Pregnant women may develop severe symptoms including COVID-19-specific illness warranting immediate hospitalization and ICU transfer. Details about COVID-19, the effect of the disease on pregnancy and details about COVID-19 vaccines under progress are evolving in swift phases. 

COVID-19 vaccination, pregnancy and lactation:

Pregnant and lactating women heaved a sigh of relief after the Federation of Obstetrics and
Gynaecology Societies in India (FOGSCI) unveiled their stance on how pregnant and lactating women
should plan for COVID-19 vaccination. The details by FOGSCI shed light on COVID-19 development
and vaccine safety in maternity health. The guidelines suggest that every pregnant and lactating
woman has the right to vaccinate herself. Nonetheless, it should be her wish and not something out
of subtle psychological pressure. The robust clinical benefits of vaccination for pregnant and
lactating women outweigh the presupposed risks of vaccination.

Women who are lactating also present themselves as suitable candidates since the vaccine doesn’t seem to endanger the neonate who is breastfeeding. Women should receive proper consultation and counselling. They should receive optimal emotional support from their caregivers and next of kin. Both acceptors and exempts should receive equal and fair treatment. The guidelines recommend that obstetricians and gynaecologists should promote vaccination drive in pregnant and lactating women with clinical preparations to tackle any adverse or contraindicative responses (if any).

For women who are planning to get pregnant:

Guidelines rule that women planning for pregnancy may consider administering the vaccine at any
time before confirming the pregnancy as per their convenience. No scientific literature lays any
foundations to postpone the pregnancy or treatment for taking the vaccine. The scientific literature
hasn’t yet found concrete evidence demonstrating the possibility of infertility or miscarriage due to
vaccine administration.

Menstruation:

May 1, 2021, saw the centre ruling that everyone above 18 years of age can take the vaccination.
Soon after the judgement of the centre, several women asked whether it was suitable to take
COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy or not. Various social media platforms were thronged with
questions and comments on the subject. Women should avoid taking COVID-19 vaccines 5 days
before and after their period. The reason behind the guideline is the immune system’s futility. The
immunity in women tends to be less in periods. Their periods last for 5 days. The same 5 days
witness the endometrium shedding. The menstrual cycle is the period which witnesses the
endometrial growth to a bulky and glandular tissue layer full of blood vessels. The immunity and
everything sensitive in the female body remains healthy afterwards. And the period except 5 days
before and after periods may be safe for women to inoculate themselves.

How would the healthcare facilities address COVID-19 and its possible effects on pregnancy?

Healthcare setups should assess the contraindications of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pregnant women may be offered vaccinationat any point in pregnancy if there are no contraindications. Individual woman’s consent and the overall knowledge that the hazards of COVID-19 infection and morbidities from COVID-19 exceed the hypotheses and presupposed risks of vaccination in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Therefore, pregnant women shouldn’t be dissuaded from vaccination under the pretext of pregnancy or breastfeeding

COVID-19 and its effects on pregnancy:

The majority of pregnant women infected with COVID-19 may develop mild-to-moderate symptoms
with many remaining asymptomatic. International data, however, suggests that approximately 7-
11% of pregnant women need hospitalization for COVID-19-specific morbidities with about 1-4% of
them needing ICU. In comparison with non-pregnant counterparts, pregnant women with COVID-19
may be in increased need of hospitalization, intensive care and invasive ventilation.

The perils of COVID-19 in pregnant women associate itself with various risk factors. They may
include Asthma, Obesity, Existent Hypertension, Existent Diabetes and Heart Diseases. Studies even
denote that in the event of an increase in the risk of preterm birth associated with COVID-19
infection in pregnancy, it may cause increased morbidities in the premature infant.

COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and while breastfeeding:

Various vaccines obstetric experts administer during pregnancy suggest that we may witness an
identical efficacy for the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women in comparison with non-pregnant counterparts. Vaccines may generate a good immunogenic response with a good degree of efficacy
in pregnant women. While primordial clinical details on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines
in pregnant populations are still under scrutiny, resolute surveillance finds no signs of unfavourable
prenatal or neonatal outcomes related to the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Nonvaccinated
pregnant women may be at raised risk of COVID-19 infection and a higher risk of morbidities in the
event of infection in comparison with non-pregnant women.

Infection of COVID-19 may complicate maternal, foetal and neonatal health. Pregnancy doesn’t raise the risk of COVID-19 infection. But pregnant women who are active in sensitive areas like healthcare or social care during pandemics may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Advanced maternal age, conditions that underlie and pregnant women below the poverty line may face severe COVID-19 risk. Studies denote that the COVID-19 vaccine may be the right choice provided that a proper risk assessment is done. If analysis confirms that the benefits outweigh the risks for pregnant women and foetal health, it may be recommended. 

Healthcare experts and women should consider the factors below as they set out to vaccinate themselves:

  • Time of vaccination in pregnancy
  • Perils and potential risk of any existent maternal condition (if any) which may include the possible effects of the disease on the foetal health and new-born
  • Availability of data about the administration of a vaccine in pregnancy
  • level of infectivity of the virus in the vicinity/local community.