7 Tips To Handle A High-Risk Pregnancy

Taking care of yourself during High-Risk Pregnancy?

Author: Dr. Sushruta Mokadam MBBS, MD

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Kharadi, Pune

Taking care of yourself during High-Risk Pregnancy?

How to handle High-Risk Pregnancy ?

Pregnancy is a beautiful new journey for any woman as she looks forward to the arrival of her child. However, as in any journey there can be challenges and anxious moments of concern. A high-risk pregnancy is prone to have high blood pressure, diabetic conditions, miscarriage, fetal abnormalities or placenta previa.

With early and proper prenatal care, women facing high-risk pregnancies can deliver healthy babies. Although high-risk pregnancy can create self-doubt, certain lifestyle changes and a strong support system can help you get through this.

Those detected with high-risk pregnancy are transferred from the gynaecologist to a maternal-fetal medicine doctor who is specially trained to deal with a high-risk pregnancy. High-risk pregnancy care requires endurance and positivity from the pregnant woman. 

Let us look at 7 tips that can help you avoid challenges

How to deal with High-Risk Pregnancy?

1. Keep yourself updated:

It is very important to stay updated with information that will help reduce the risk quotient involved in a high-risk pregnancy, and closely monitor your health. Despite this, if at any point you feel that your health conditions are deteriorating, please do immediately consult your gynaecologist.

2. Adequate support required:

This is the time when you require maximum support and help. Feel free to ask for help from your family and friends. High-risk pregnancy requires a huge lifestyle change which can be a tough affair for anyone; and for this, you need appropriate moral support to balance it out.

3. Regular consultation with your healthcare provider:

High-risk pregnancy can leave you exasperated and full of doubts. Instead of consuming yourself with questions and doubts, simply consult your doctor or gynaecologist. With the help of your doctor, you can prepare a cohesive plan for maternal care that best suits your requirement. This will help you relax and peacefully progress towards the due date.

4. Self-care is a must:

Pregnancy is all about self-care. It is all the more important when you are going through a high-risk pregnancy. Prioritize your well-being—a healthy diet, good sleep, exercise and yoga should be incorporated into your daily routine. Avoid exposure to a harmful environment and unnecessary medication. The key to a healthy baby is a stress-free lifestyle and maintaining good health.

5. Know your bodily requirements:

Pregnancy changes your body structure and its demands. When you are going through a high-risk pregnancy, it is important to understand specific bodily requirements. You may suddenly have an urge to rest more, or your appetite may increase without notice. At such moments, its best to go with the flow of what your body requires, instead of restricting yourself to the prescribed daily routine. Remember, the body consumes a lot of energy while growing a fetus and you require it to preserve your energy. So, it’s really alright to eat more on those days.

6. Prioritize mental health concerns:

A high-risk pregnancy can be quite mentally exhausting. During this time, you are flooded with emotions and can face a lot of mood swings. In certain cases, women start to blame themselves for everything. It is a good thing to reach out to your gynaecologist, partner, family or friends. In fact, it is equally advisable to take the help of a reputed psychiatrist, since it will only help you clear your vagrant thoughts and keep you confident.

7. Stay optimistic:

A high-risk pregnancy can be stress-free if you have an optimistic attitude. Staying calm and relaxed is very important—listening to relaxing music, doing meditation, talking to family and friends can help immensely and be a major stress-buster.

At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We have the best Gynaecologist medicine specialists in Kharadi, Pune. We are experts in handling complex deliveries, gynaecological, and other surgeries including a range of laparoscopic surgeries.

We have the best Gynaecologist medicine specialists in Kharadi, Pune. 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. Sushruta Mokadam, please book your appointment here.

How to get rid of Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

Author: Dr. Archana Dubey MBBS, MS (OBG)

Consultant – Gynecologist, Infertility and Laparoscopy at Mechanic Nagar, Indore

Pregnancy is a blissful experience that most women go through at least once in their lifetime. However, each pregnancy comes with different challenges. The most common challenge is varicose veins. Women may develop varicose veins in the initial days of their pregnancy.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are knotted, lumpy or swollen veins that are caused due to blockage in the veins. It is generally benign in nature and appears on legs or feet. These swollen veins usually bulge on the surface of the skin in blue, red or purple colour. These colours define the intensity of the blockage of the veins. The most affected areas during pregnancy in varicose veins are the lower pelvic area, buttocks, calves or ankles.

If the varicose veins reach advanced levels, they can cause discomfort, excruciating pain and may raise the flag for some serious circulatory problems.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the uterus grows. As a result, it lays pressure on the large vein on the right side of the body which increases pressure on the leg veins. Varicose veins are caused when the leg veins endowed with one-way valves that help the blood flow to the heart, stops it from flowing back to the leg. During a walk, the calf muscles pump the blood up towards the heart, and the valves stop it from flowing right back. It leads to the accumulation of blood in the veins, which stretches the veins causing them to swell, gnarl or bulge. If the swelling increases more than its limit, it is visible under the skin. This is what is called varicose veins.

Since veins are the blood vessels that carry blood pumped by the heart, they are already working anti-gravity. During pregnancy, the blood levels increase, causing more pressure on the veins. Also, the progesterone levels increase, which relaxes the walls of the blood vessels.

A pregnant woman is more prone to pregnancy [MOU1] if there is a family history of varicose veins, i.e., if one of the family members had or has varicose veins, there is a high chance that the pregnant woman may also suffer from them. Standing for longer periods, sudden increase in weight, being already overweight, or carrying twins or other multiples, can also cause varicose veins.

There are good chances that varicose veins may improve or disappear once the pregnancy is over; especially in cases where the woman contracted it only during pregnancy. In case it does not disappear, several exercises and treatments can cure varicose veins.

Another type of occurrence of varicose veins is spider veins. They appear in a spider-like pattern, where the major blockage is in the centre of the vein and various other blocked branches radiate out of the centre. They generally do not cause any discomfort or pain and disappear after the delivery.

How can I prevent varicose veins in pregnancy?

Varicose veins can be prevented or completely cured during pregnancy and, most heartening, it can be done naturally!

  • Daily exercise is a must. Brisk walking is the best form of exercise during pregnancy as it can improve blood circulation, especially in the legs.
  • Weight control is very essential. As we know, overweight is a major reason for varicose veins. Controlling your diet and weight is crucial.
  • While sleeping or sitting, try sitting with your legs elevated. Prolonged abated legs can cause swelling and ultimately varicose veins.
  • Sitting for long hours is a strict no-no. Small breaks from sitting are highly recommended.

Fight against varicose veins

Fighting from varicose veins is not a tough job when you have the best varicose veins treatment hospital in Indore.

Motherhood Hospital is the best vascular surgery hospital in Indore. We have a team of expert gynaecologists and super specialists who are capable of addressing a range of health issues and conditions that are related to women and children. Do take an appointment with our doctor at a centre close to you, and we assure you with effective investigations, proper diagnosis and treatment, you will be able to lead an active life.

If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Archana Dubey, please book your appointment here.

Nutrition and Exercise Until D Day – Pregnancy Tips

Healthy Pregnancy Diet

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

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi – Pune

Healthy Pregnancy Diet

Maintaining good health during the weeks of pregnancy provides your baby with the nutrition it needs as it steps into the world. Doing regular exercise, following a balanced diet and keeping up with scheduled appointments with your doctor are some of the pregnancy care tips that help you to have a healthy pregnancy. Let’s learn more about the steps you could take right from the first month of pregnancy:

1. Focus on eating healthy – Inculcate a healthy and balanced diet in your regime: Here is what you could include:

  • Have five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Consume fresh fruits or fresh juices and avoid drinking packaged or canned ones. Along with this, also avoid vegetables that come packed in saltwater. Do not forget to drink plenty of water.
  • Starchy foods such as pasta, rice, bread and potatoes should make more than one-third of all the food you are eating. Furthermore, always choose whole grain variants instead of the white ones since you need plenty of fibre. Also, leave the skin on potatoes while cooking to provide more nutrition for you and your baby.
  • Have daily servings of protein from good sources like eggs, fish (two portions weekly should be oily such as mackerel, salmon or sardines), pulses, lean meat, beans, or nuts.
  • Consuming dairy foods such as yoghurt, milk and cheeses is also recommended right from the first trimester of your pregnancy.

2. Take your supplements

During your pregnancy, you and your growing baby need to have regular folic acid and Vitamin D supplements. These will be required even if you are having a well-balanced diet. Although it is recommended to eat healthily and have your daily quota of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from your diet, if you are having issues with consuming the right kind of food, talk to your doctor for all the required supplements your body might need for a healthy pregnancy.

3. Regular exercise

Regular exercise gives your body several benefits not only during pregnancy but also in post-pregnancy care. Make sure to include the following exercises during your pregnancy weeks:

  • Brisk walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Pilates
  • Aquanatal classes

Get in touch with your exercise instructor and inform that you’re pregnant so he/ she can tailor classes or exercises specifically for you.

4. Perform pelvic floor exercises

The wide sling of muscles present at the base of your pelvis is what’s known as your pelvic floor. The functionality of these muscles is to support your bladder, vagina and back passage. During the weeks of pregnancy you may feel these muscles are getting weaker because of the extra pressure on them. To ensure adequate strength is maintained in these muscles, perform pelvic floor exercises including Kegel exercises regularly. Do take your doctor’s advice on which type of exercise best benefits you. The benefit will be experienced once you start building up to 10 long squeezes of 10 seconds followed by 10 short squeezes thrice a day.

5. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol

Regardless of the concentration, alcohol of any type will reach your baby rapidly via your bloodstream and placenta. Hence, there is no safe or minimum level of alcohol to drink during your pregnancy and one should avoid drinking to put the baby under any harm. Similarly, smoking during pregnancy can expose you and your baby to serious health problems such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or placental abruption.

6. Stop caffeine intake

High caffeine content elevates the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage late in pregnancy. Hence try not to consume too much coffee, energy drinks, cola, tea or chocolates. Apart from the mentioned risks, caffeine can also contribute to having a low-birth-weight baby or premature birth.

At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of expert doctors, super specialists and highly trained nurses backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We ensure complete care and advice to ensure a safe delivery at any of our centres. All our centres are equipped with modern equipment and the expertise to handle complex deliveries. Do take an appointment at a centre closest to you with our doctor and have a safe delivery of your baby.

If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Preethika Shetty, please book your appointment here

Dos and Don’ts For A Safer And Healthier Pregnancy

Author: Dr. Nusrat A H, MBBS, M.S.

Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Bangalore, Banashankari

Becoming a mother and expecting your newborn is an overwhelming experience for a woman. This experience brings along various responsibilities that need to be followed even before the baby is born to ensure the newborn comes safe and healthy. In this segment, we’ll talk about the healthy pregnancy tips that you should focus on to take care of your unborn baby and how you can be prepared to make parenthood easier.

Start with the preconception period

Your body should be prepared mentally and physically before you look to conceive and it starts from knowing about the potential risk factors and health conditions that may affect you or your baby.
Many pregnancies take place without planning. No matter how advanced the prenatal care and medicine available are in today’s time, unplanned pregnancies come with the risk of low birth weight or preterm birth of the baby. Experts suggest women should focus on leading a healthier lifestyle before they plan to conceive, so they can avoid any risk or problems that may occur with the mother or her baby.
 

Taking care of the mother and baby’s health during pregnancy

A mother encounters a lot of doubts and questions during pregnancy – What should I eat? What are the must-haves? What do I avoid? How do I change my routine to ensure best safety and health for my baby?

Let’s talk about the important things to take care of:

Diet: There is endless advice on how much a pregnant woman should eat or avoid eating. However one needs to note that when you are “eating for two” your diet shouldn’t be doubled! In reality, it’s all about including the foods in your diet that are rich in nutrients for both mother and baby – where eating a balanced meal is enough for both.

Food items that are good for both mother and baby:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains, cereals, and wheat germ
  • Low or no-fat dairy products (milk, yoghurt)
  • Meats, poultry, and a few selective fishes

Food items that are best avoided:

  • Refrigerated meat spreads and refrigerated smoked seafood such as mackerel, salmon, or fishes that have a high concentration of mercury
  • Unpasteurised milk, juices, and cheeses such as feta or blue cheese
  • Trying new variations of herbs and plants
  • Raw sprouts

Stop smoking: Apart from damaging your body and increasing the risk of cancer and heart diseases, smoking is bad for the health of your unborn baby too. Smoking during pregnancy contributes to having a baby with low-weight or heart problems that may take place soon after birth. Along with this, the baby can suffer from cleft lip/palate, and has an elevated risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Smoking has also been the cause of miscarriages in certain women.

Improve your oral health:  Apart from the usual dental check-ups that most women go through before getting pregnant, it is advised for them to undergo a complete oral exam during the initial stages of pregnancy. This is because pregnancy gingivitis is very common. It is a condition where gums become swollen and bleed easily. It could be the result of both poor oral hygiene and increased hormone levels during pregnancy. Though there’s little evidence to support this, gum diseases may contribute to having a baby with low birth weight.

Stop drinking Alcohol:  Lastly, drinking alcohol during pregnancy can put your baby at high risk of developing Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which results in learning disability, behavioural issues, and abnormal facial features. This damage can take place during the earliest stages of pregnancy, even before the mother is aware that she is pregnant.

If you are looking for the best maternity hospital for normal delivery in Bangalore, then Motherhood Hospital is the answer for you. We have an excellent team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure. We have the expertise to handle complex deliveries, gynaecological, and various other surgeries. Do take an appointment at a centre closest to you and our doctors will make 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. Nusrat A H, 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 child’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 it’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.

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.

I am pregnant. Am I at the risk of testing positive for COVID-19?

COVID-19 and its transmission:

COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China by the end of the year 2019. A healthcare professional may diagnose COVID-19 based on signs, symptoms and purported exposure, or using a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 even when there are no palpable symptoms. 

Infectivity and transfer

The majority of cases involving COVID-19 transmission denote the evidence of human-to-human transfer. The virus is readily isolable from respiratory droplets faeces, fomites or bodily secretions. Close or accidental contact with an infected person or an infected surface may transmit the virus. When it comes to the possibility of vertical transmission, evidence suggests that it may be uncommon for a pregnant lady to transmit the virus prenatally. In the event of a transmission of the virus from mother to her child, it suggests various possibilities. It may be least affected by the factors such as delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin kangaroo care, breastfeeding or colocation (rooming-in). 

Possible risk of catching COVID-19 in pregnancy

At present, there’s no concrete evidence to conclude whether pregnant women are more prone to COVID-19 infection than the nonpregnant counterparts. However, it may be noted that pregnancy involves various physiological changes. The changes even include alterations in the immune system. The alterations in the immune system may make a few women more prone to infections with a marked reduction in the body’s defences against virulent microbes. However, there may be a group of women more prone to severe complications from COVID-19 infection. Certain complications may even require hospitalization. Therefore, precautions and preventive measures against exposure to the virus are important. 

Is it safe to continue with prenatal care in the COVID-19 pandemic?

Of course, it’s safe and important. Obstetricians worldwide are striving to make the most out of healthcare availabilities. They are busy making all the possible changes and help patients and healthcare staffs prevent COVID-19 exposure. Most obstetric setups and firms dedicated to obstetric care are converting traditional antenatal care to tele-healthcare. However, it doesn’t mean the traditional visits will no longer be available. Most setups treat common symptoms using telephonic consultations or video consultations.

Various pregnancy-specific tests may continue based on your consent and your obstetrician’s decisions. Your obstetrician may guide you about how to count the kick and ascertain that the baby is healthy and hale and hearty. You might consider buying something like a blood pressure cuff and a scale. It will make it easy for you to produce your blood pressure and other parameters during telehealth sessions. 

Steps to safeguard yourself from COVID-19 in pregnancy:

  1. Most guidelines to ensure personal safety during the COVID-19 pandemic for pregnant women are the same as those for nonpregnant counterparts.
  2. Stay home, stay safe.
  3. Wear a mask while moving out.
  4. Observe healthy social distances and restrict your social interactions with others.
  5. Use a sanitiser preferably recommended by your obstetrician.
  6. Use a handwash recommended by your obstetrician and wash hands regularly, and specifically after an interaction with an outsider.
  7. Avoid visiting places with rush and crowd.

What is the risk of preterm birth with COVID-19?

Owing to the lack of knowledge on the virus and its interventions in obstetric health, people have less awareness about COVID-19 impact on pregnant women. Studies worldwide haven’t concluded anything on the possible rise in the risk of spontaneous abortion in pregnant women with COVID-19. Women with a certain medical history and health status may be more prone to COVID-19 complications.

If a pregnant woman develops severe symptoms with COVID-19 infection, she may need ICU attention and early delivery. Nonetheless, the data available about the correlation between the virus and preterm delivery is less. Therefore, it may be unwise to conclude that COVID-19 can be the direct cause of preterm delivery. 

Is it true that pregnant women may transmit the virus to their baby during pregnancy and childbirth?

Respiratory or saliva droplets of an infected person are the main modes that may infect a healthy person with COVID-19. Few cases of COVID-19 are reported in neonates. The good news is that most pregnant women infected with COVID-19 gave birth to healthy neonates. Studies are yet to find any traces of coronavirus in cord blood, breastmilk or amniotic fluid. The evidence available on the overall infectivity is unclear. 

Alterations in prenatal care to minimize the risk of COVID-19

The healthcare setups should consider crafting alterations for low-versus-high-risk pregnancies. Women with pregnancy-specific disorders or pre-existing conditions like Hypertension, Diabetes mat require special attention. Healthcare departments should restrict the number of visitors and enhance the quality of care based on various parameters. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy?

Most pregnant women infected with COVID-19 remain asymptomatic. Most women with symptoms may develop flulike signs alongside mild to moderate cold. The other uncommon symptoms may include diarrhoea, loss of taste and smell, myalgia and dyspnoea. Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 may be more prone to myalgia and fever than the nonpregnant counterparts. 

Severe complications of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women

About two-thirds of pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. But women with COVID-19 are more likely than the nonpregnant counterparts to get admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Most reliable surveys show that women with COVID-19 aren’t at a raised risk of death from COVID-19. But compared to pregnant women without COVID-19, some of the pregnant counterparts with symptomatic COVID-19 may encounter worse clinical outcomes. 

What are the risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection in pregnancy?

  1. A BMI of 25kg/m2 or more
  2. pregnancy-specific morbidities
  3. Pre-existent conditions such as diabetes and hypertension 
  4. Advanced maternal age
  5. Residence in high-risk areas of the areas of high prevalence

What are the effects of COVID-19 on foetal health?

COVID-19 positive women who are symptomatic may have to face certain challenges ahead. Nonetheless, the studies or data available on the risk of COVID-19 on the foetus are scarce. Symptomatic maternal COVID-19 may be linked to an increase in the risk of iatrogenic preterm birth. Besides preterm birth, COVID-19 infection may not leave any harmful effects on the foetal health or neonatal outcomes.

The evidence denoting any possibility of congenital anomalies isn’t yet available. There is no concrete evidence to date showing any possibilities of neonatal mortalities or stillbirth in response to maternal COVID-19 infection. There is no evidence even suggesting that spontaneous abortion is possible in the wake of maternal COVID-19 infection.