Women Health: During Pregnancy Stage

Women are considered to be the most beautiful gift of God to this earth. They are delicate and very sensitive both physically and emotionally. When it comes to women health, there are certain important things that one needs to consider maintaining a good health. Pregnancy is a very difficult period for a woman during which maintaining a good health is very essential. The eating habits during pregnancy should always be taken into consideration. Having a healthy and nutritious diet during pregnancy is very important for a woman. However, it is not as easy as it sounds to be. When the embryo develops, it takes nutrients from the mother’s body. Therefore, it becomes critical to have the items that the fetus needs to grow and develop in a healthy manner. Moreover, in order to sustain the strength and thus, to avoid complications during delivery of the child, the mother needs to stay as healthy as possible. Therefore, the woman needs to have healthy diets to reduce stress and provide rich breast milk for the baby’s nourishment after the birth.

Doctors usually prescribe to take pre-natal vitamins to ensure that the pregnant lady can get enough nutrition every day. A pregnant woman is required to eat various kinds of food items, but most preferably the natural fresh and unprocessed food items. A woman of normal weight should take approximately 200 to 300 m extra calories per day to develop the bay normally. However, these calories should get from the foods taken by the pregnant lady. Medical professionals always recommend certain kinds of diets when it comes to maintain good health of a pregnant woman. They usually include dairy foods, foods full of protein, fresh food and vegetables, breads, cereals and grains, and fat.

As dairy food items, such as milk, yogurt and cheese have calcium, protein and vitamin D in a rich amount, they are very much important for a pregnant women. The woman who don’t take milk or dried milk power, they may face certain problems to maintain their good health during pregnancy.

Usually, protein is available in animal and vegetable sources. The animal foods include: fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs etc and the vegetables include tofu, nuts, seeds and beans. For the woman who follows a vegetarian food habit, for them eating fresh vegetables full of protein can fulfill the essential protein needs in her body during pregnancy.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended always by the medical professional during the pregnancy. The fresh fruits and vegetables are the great source of different nutrients which is essential for a pregnant woman. Orange vegetable such as carrots, winter squash, yellow peppers are great sources of vitamin A. The green leafy vegetables are very important element during pregnancy as they are high in fiber, iron and other nutrients. Ultimately, we can say that pregnancy is that stage of a woman’s life where many considerations are needed to be taken care of to maintain a good health condition.

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Healthy Weight Management During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman are hungry all the time, so much for trying to watch their weight at this time. Pregnancy increases the metabolic rate of the body and causes you to be hungry and apart from this, pregnant women also have cravings which make healthy eating a challenge. That’s why it is wise to plan a health pregnancy diet that includes all nutritious and healthy foods for meal times as well as healthy snacks to munch on for the whole nine months.

True that you are eating for two but there’s nothing in the big book of health pregnancy diet that says that you should eat for two. You eat for one- in bigger portions than before and by bigger we wean and extra 300 calories per day and basically, you don’t need these extra calories until you are well on way to the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

So you want to manage your weight and stick to a healthy diet. What can you do? Create your own health pregnancy diet of course with the help of your doctor. You are advised not to cut back on your caloric intake during pregnancy as it can rob your baby of the essential nutrients it needs to vital growth and development.

A few simple guidelines can do the trick to a healthier weight management during pregnancy. Number one on the health pregnancy diet is to eat all meals. Do not skip breakfast, lunch or dinner the three most important meals in a day. Skipping on any of these meals will make you over eat on one of them. Next, you can also eat five to six small meals throughout the day so it helps you feel fuller much longer and minimize nausea.

Apart from mini meals, you can also eat your meals regularly in average proportions and in between meal times, you snack. Incorporate snacking into your health pregnancy diet. Your cravings can be satisfied by eating nutritious snacks such as carrot sticks or fruit with yogurt. If you have a sweet tooth, pop some mini chocolates or go for a cup of hot chocolate. Choose these options instead of a whole candy bar of a piece of cake.

Being pregnant also doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Exercising before, during and after your pregnancy can also help you to stick to a healthy diet. Not only that, you will feel much better about yourself and you will find that you have more energy throughout the day. Be sure to do the right kind of exercises and always be safe when you do it. You don’t want to be tripping and falling when you are pregnant.

At times, you may think that you are pregnant when in fact; you are thirsty at many points during your pregnancy. So drink plenty of water as well to keep yourself hydrated and you will less likely have the urge to overeat. Your health pregnancy diet should include at lease drinking eight glasses of water in a day.

Will Pregnancy Be Safe With My Medical Condition?

Pregnancy can be a worrying at the best of times, but if you also have a chronic illness or medical complaint it can be even more so.

Long-term conditions including diabetes, depression and mental health problems, rheumatoid arthritis and epilepsy, often need medication, which may or may not be safe for your baby. This is why it’s so important to see a health professional as soon as possible – ideally before you conceive when you’re planning your pregnancy to discuss the implications of pregnancy for your medical condition. Medical conditions may also affect your pregnancy – for instance having poorly controlled blood sugar can result in you having a large baby.

The good news is that obstetrics specialists can offer highly personalised care for you and your baby with more check-ups and ultrasound scans if needed to check your baby’s growth and development.

If you have a medical condition your GP or midwife will usually refer you for specialist care by an obstetrician and they’ll keep a close eye on you and tell about what medication is safe to take in pregnancy or best avoided. Don’t be alarmed by this – instead be reassured that the likelihood is you’ll still have a healthy pregnancy and baby – they’re just making sure any risks posed by your condition are minimised.

Pregnancy and diabetes

Diabetes is the medical name for when your blood sugar (glucose) is too high. The best way to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy is to get your blood sugar under control before you become pregnant. Experts say you should aim for an HbAlc test score of 6.5 per cent or less.

There are various types of diabetes including:

• Type I: This is where the body stops producing a hormone called insulin which helps regulate blood sugar. It usually begins in childhood and those affected need insulin injections or insulin via a wearable pump.

• Type 2: Caused by your body not producing enough insulin, type 2 diabetes is usually lifestyle-related to obesity. It can be controlled with lifestyle changes and tablets to lower blood sugar.

• Gestational diabetes: This is a specific type of diabetes that develops in pregnancy, in the second or third trimester and is usually detected by a blood sugar test in the 24 – 28 week window. It happens when pregnancy hormones disrupt the production of insulin.

If you have any of the above and your blood sugar is not controlled, there’s a risk you could have a very large baby and need a caesarean delivery. That’s why you’ll be offered more frequent check-ups and blood and urine tests and ultrasound scans to check your baby is not growing too big. Don’t worry too much though – pregnant women with diabetes do have health pregnancies and babies.

Pregnant women with diabetes are also advised to take a higher dose of folic acid supplements, 5mg a day as opposed to the 400mcg recommended by the Department of Health.

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

Epilepsy is the medical name for an intense burst of electrical activity in the brain and can cause disruption to the normal function of the brain or seizures. It affects 600,000 people in the UK and many take anti-seizure drugs to prevent attacks.

Ideally, you should discuss your care with a neurologist before you become pregnant as some types of anti-epileptic drugs do carry a risk of birth defects and you may need to change your tablets before you conceive. You may also be advised to take a higher dose of folic acid of 5mg a day.

However, if you become pregnant while taking epilepsy medication don’t stop taking your tablets without seeing a doctor first. Stopping you medication suddenly could result in an increased numbers of seizures. See your GP as soon as possible and they can recommend you about what to do.

If your seizures are well controlled you may not need specialist care, but if your seizures become more frequent or severe in pregnancy you may need to be under the care of a neurologist and an obstetrician.

Mental health problems in pregnancy

If you are on medication for a mental health condition such as depression do not stop taking your medication without discussing it with your doctor first. Abrupt discontinuation can worsen your condition. Talk through your options with your doctors; although antidepressants are not usually recommended in pregnancy they can be prescribed if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the bodies own antibodies attack the lining of joints causing swelling, pain, inflammation and joint damage.

Seventy five per cent of women with RA report their symptoms actually improve and go into temporary remission during pregnancy though, usually in the second trimester. Symptoms usually return about six weeks after giving birth.

Talk to your specialist before you plan to become pregnant though as there are some drugs you may need to stop as they can affect fertility. Many RA drugs are considered safe in pregnancy so discuss the risks and benefits with your consultant.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in pregnancy

MS is a neurological condition, which affects 100,000 people in the UK. It affects three times as many women as men and is commonly diagnosed between the 20 to 40 age groups.

Women with MS can have healthy babies and pregnancies but there are some drugs they may need to discontinue before they try for a baby, so they should discuss this with their neurologist. The usual advice is to wait three months before trying to conceive.

Women and Periodontal Health

Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes affect tissue throughout the body. Fluctuations in levels occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. At these times, the chance of periodontal disease may increase, requiring special care of your oral health.

Pregnancy
Periodontal health should be part of your prenatal care. Any infections during pregnancy, including periodontal infections, can place a baby’s health at risk. Research shows that pregnant women with active periodontal disease are more likely to have pre-term deliveries and low-birth weight babies.

Along with many other bodily changes, your gums and teeth are affected during pregnancy. Between the second and eighth month, your gums may also swell, bleed, and become red or tender. Large lumps may appear as a reaction to local irritants. However, these growths are generally painless and not cancerous. They may require professional removal, but usually disappear after pregnancy.

The best way to prevent periodontal infections is to begin with healthy gums and continue to maintain your oral health with proper home care and careful periodontal monitoring.

Oral Contraceptives
Swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums may also occur when you are taking oral contraceptives, which are synthetic hormones.

You should mention any prescriptions you are taking, including oral contraceptives, prior to medical or dental treatment. This will help eliminate the risk of drug interactions, such as antibiotics with oral contraceptives – where the effectiveness of the contraceptive can be lessened.

Menopause
Changes in the look and feel of your mouth may occur if you are menopausal or post-menopausal. They include feeling pain and burning in your gum tissue and salty, peppery, or sour tastes.

Careful oral hygiene at home and professional cleaning may relieve these symptoms. There are also saliva substitutes to treat the effects of “dry mouth.”