Questions about pregnancy you always wanted to ask

1. What is fertile period?

Fertile period is the best time to conceive. It is between the 8th day and the 22nd day in a 28 day cycle. Fertile period varies with the length of the cycle. Ovulation happens on the 14th day in a 28 day cycle, in other words, ovulation happens during mid cycle.

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2. What food should I consume and avoid during pregnancy?

During the first trimester it is better to avoid pineapple and papaya as they are considered abortifacient (may cause miscarriage). Otherwise, all other food can be consumed during pregnancy.

3. Can I travel during pregnancy?

Yes! Traveling during pregnancy is allowed. air, road and train travel are permitted. Unless there is a valid reason why you shouldn't travel.

4. Can I have intercourse during pregnancy?

Yes absolutely!

5. How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy varies from person to person. A woman who has a normal BMI (body mass index) can gain upto 12 kilograms. A normal BMI is between 18.5 - 22.5

6. When to seek medical help during pregnancy?

During the first trimester - if there is spotting or bleeding

During second trimester - burning urination, headache, visual disturbances, upper abdominal pain, decreased urine output, swelling of legs, sudden decrease in movements, sudden weight gain.

During the third trimester- leaking per vaginum, decreased fetal movements, swelling of legs, bleeding per vaginum, pain abdomen.

7. What is daily fetal movement count?

Daily fetal movement count is done from the third trimester. It is a way to check how many movements the mother can perceive in a day. It should be counted after every meal for one hour. Minimum 4 movements should be perceived for a healthy pregnancy.

8. What prenatal vitamin supplementations should I take?

Prenatally consuming folic acid definitely reduces the incidence of neural tube defects. It should be taken 3 months prior to planning and continuing thereafter throughout pregnancy is advised.

9. Breastfeeding techniques

Breast milk is the most important milk for the infant. The first milk is called colostrum which is rich in immunoglobulin which helps improving immunity. Exclusive breastfeeding should be done for 6 months.

10. Normal delivery or caesarean section?

Definitely normal delivery is the natural method of birthing and it enhances the oxytocin release and promotes breast milk secretion. Caesarean section is done in case of maternal and fetal causes.

11. I have had first caesarean section, when can I plan my second?

After a caesarean section, the time taken for the scar to heal completely will take a minimum of 2 years. The scar on the skin takes a month to heal, whereas the uterine scar takes about 2 years to heal. A minimum of 2 years gap between the first and second is ideal.

12. Is postnatal exercise a must?

Definitely! Postnatal exercises is a must. After a normal delivery exercises can be started after 4 weeks and after a caesarean, post-natal exercises should be started after 6 weeks. They are important in getting you back in shape and reducing the belly fat, strengthening your pelvic muscles and back.

13. Does performing frequent scan harm the baby?

Thankfully no!! Ultrasonography is one of the safest methods of determining the well-being of the intrauterine fetal status.

14. How many calories should I consume during pregnancy?

You are pregnant! Eat for two! No!! Calorie intake during pregnancy is 2700 kcal per day. Protein consumption should be 75 gms per day.

15. What are the signs and symptoms of labour?

Pain abdomen from loin to groin, contraction and relaxation intermittently, leaking per vaginum, pain radiating to the private parts.

Interview by Dr. Divya Raghavendra Rao, M.B.B.S, M.S (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Kauvery Hospital

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