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Exercise/Yoga: What precautions should be followed while exercising?
- Exercise 1: Walking is a safe exercise but wear non-slippery shoes with padded soles.
- Exercise 2: Leg lift exercise as shown in the picture. Get down on your hands with knees shoulder-width apart. Keeping your knee slightly bent, extend one leg. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds and then lower the leg. Repeat with other leg.
- Exercise 3: Do some 'light' exercises as that will help your body and mind. Avoid postures that involve heavy use of abdominal muscles and backward bend.
- While exercising, change your position slowly to avoid sudden jerks. Do not exercise if you are not feeling well or feel any pain.
- Light yoga and breathing exercises like pranayam help immensely. Click here for details.
- Consult your doctor before you start exercising and especially if you have diabetes, heart disease or asthma.
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Folic Acid: Is this vitamin important during pregnancy?
- Yes. Folic acid vitamin is highly recommended as it reduces risk of brain/spinal cord defects.
- Also helps in blood and protein production and development of nervous system.
- Extremely beneficial during early weeks of pregnancy- especially first three months.
- Green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, nuts, orange, strawberry, banana, nuts.
- Recommended daily dose is about 0.4 to 0.5 mg throughout the pregnancy till newborn delivery time.
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Essential Vitamins: What other recommended vitamins should be taken?
Although all vitamins are important, focus especially on the following during pregnancy:
- Vitamin A: Especially essential during 2nd trimester (4th to 6th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Vitamin A.
- Vitamin B6 and C: Especially essential during 2nd trimester (4th to 6th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Vitamins B6 and C.
- Vitamin D: Especially essential during 2nd trimester (4th to 6th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Vitamin D.
- Vitamin B12: Especially essential during 2nd and 3rd trimesters (4th to 9th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Vitamin B12.
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Food/Calories: How much food, essential minerals should be taken when pregnant?
- Many woman feel that they need to eat for two as they are carrying a baby inside. This should not be the case and usually leads to weight gain in women after the baby is delivered.
- Pregnancy is not the time for dieting as the pregnant mother and the baby may not get enough nutrients.
- Emphasis should not be on over-feeding, but on having nutritious food. A normal woman needs about 1700 calories a day and experts recommend not more than 300 calories extra for pregnant women.
Focus on the following- especially from 4th month of pregnancy:
- Proteins, Carbohydrates: Especially essential during 3rd trimester (7th to 9th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Proteins.
- Iron and Calcium: Especially essential during 2nd trimester (4th to 6th months of pregnancy).
a) Click here for details on why it is important, what fruits/vegetables to take for Iron and Calcium.
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Sex precautions: Can we have sex during pregnancy?
- Yes. You can have sex during pregnancy, even till the last month of pregnancy.
- Baby is protected by amniotic fluid in woman's uterus & any normal sexual activity won't harm the baby.
- As long as your partner is comfortable, most sexual positions are OK during pregnancy.
- Sexual desires of woman fluctuate during pregnancy stage. The couple should talk on what works best.
- The woman should be given more consideration at this stage as only she knows what exactly she feels.
- Indulge in cuddling, kissing, caressing more than just sexual intercourse.
- Pregnant woman must consult their doctor if there is any spotting/bleeding after an intercourse.
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Dietary Do's and Dont's:
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration increases risk of miscarriage. So drink at least 2 litres of fluids every day. Water, fresh fruit juices, soups that are low in salt, milk(low or no fat) and soy milk are best fluid options.
- Do not have excessive papaya as it sometimes may trigger a miscarriage.
- Must wash all fruits and vegetables before eating to reduce chances of infection.
- Avoid more than 2 cups of non-herbal tea/coffee in a day as caffeine may lead to miscarriage.
- Avoid excess spices, frozen or high mercury sea food like oysters.
Non Dietary Do's and Dont's:
- Avoid viral vaccines (measles, mumps, MMR), explosure to X-Rays or close contact with microwave.
- Visit your doctor at least thrice and prefer not to have more than 2 sonographies done over 9 months.
- Avoid cigarette, junk food, alcohol till delivery as they may result in low birth weight or restrict development.
- Gradually decrease your intake of caffeine/coffee. Avoid having too much oil or ghee.
- Don't take very hot water baths or hot tub/sauna baths as they may alter your body temperature.
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Medicines: What medicinal precautions should be taken during pregnancy?
- Avoid taking baking soda or medicines for heartburn. Instead, take almonds soaked in water.
- Aspirin, Brufen and Acetaminophen are not advisable during pregnancy.
- Laxative and Diuretics should also be avoided. Do not use mineral oil during constipation.
- Avoid doing 'self medication' or taking over the counter medications. Apply home remedies for common ailments.
- Try home remedies for common ailments. Do not miss any vitamins/medication prescribed by the doctor.
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Travel precautions: What precautions should be followed while travelling?
- Avoid aggressive travel schedules in the first and third trimesters.
- Travel by 2 or 3 wheelers is not advisable during pregnancy. Prefer a car.
- If travelling out of city, carry your medicines and a copy of your medical records.
- You must not lift heavy bags. Avoid travelling alone if possible.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid heels.
- Have pasteurized dairy products and drink boiled/mineral water only.
- Take a pillow if going on a long distance travel.
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Avoid Cesarean: Important ways to avoid pregnancy complications
- For ways to avoid premature birth before time and handling premature delivery: Click here