General Pregnancy

This is a safe space to ask questions and share insights on everything from prenatal care and morning sickness to labor and delivery.

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Fetal Heartbeat: When will you first hear it?

The best feeling in the world is hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. As exciting as it can be, this is also a time that makes new parents most anxious. Here is everything that you need to know about your baby’s heartbeat and the different options that you have to monitor it. When will I first hear the baby’s heartbeat? Your baby’s heart begins to beat at about 6 weeks of age. It is when you go for your first ultrasound that you actually hear and even see your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. That happens at about 8 weeks into your pregnancy if you choose to have the ultrasound test early. The best way to hear your baby’sheartbeat is to get a Doppler ultrasound which is recommended when you are 10 to 12 weeks into your pregnancy. Factors that affect when you will hear the baby’s heartbeat There are several factors that affect when you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat clearly such as: The position of the baby- in case your baby is positioned with the back against the back of the mother, the heartbeat will be harder to hear and may be heard clearly after the fetus develops a little more. The amount of amniotic fluid:  if the amniotic fluid in the womb is more, then chances are that the heartbeat will be fainter in the first few sessions. The weight of the mother: In case the mother is overweight, chances are that the heartbeat is harder to hear. How to hear the baby’s heartbeat? The best option to hear the baby’s heartbeat is to have a Doppler ultrasound performed by an expert. This machine uses sound waves that are passed into the skin and the tissues. When there is any movement, they bounce back and give replay the recording along with an image so that you can not only hear but also see your baby’s heartbeat. There are at-home Doppler devices available that moms may choose. However, these machines are not accurate and can cause unwanted anxiety in mothers about the baby’s heartbeat. It can also make you miss some important warning signs about your baby’s health. The unmonitored exposure to these sound waves can also be extremely harmful for the mother and the baby. So, make sure you take an appointment with your caregiver to monitor your baby’s heartbeat.  

Shopping tips for pregnant women

Let’s face it, dressing an ever-expanding waistline and baby bump is no easy feat. Follow these simple fashion tips for pregnant women to ensure you look fab, whatever the occasion- Lay the right foundation with supportive underwearThe right underwear will help your clothing fit better. Before you even have a noticeable baby bump, your breasts start growing, which makes the proper bra a must-have. A bra that fits properly can make you look slim and give you the support you need. Maternity underwear is also great to cover up any lumps and won’t cut into your skin. Invest in the basics only Being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to get a new wardrobe altogether. Buy clothes that you could wear after you have given birth – think tunic-style tops, wrap dresses, camisoles and cardigans. You’ll get lots of wear out of stretchy vests and fitted blazers and coats, although you may have to wear these unbuttoned. Embrace empire waists Empire waists are perfect for pregnancy. They flow out over the tummy for a flattering look. They also look great on most figures. Choose a dress in one solid colour for a slimming look. Empire-waist tops are also a great idea – experiment with fun and flirty prints for a cute look. Fashion-tips-for-pregnancy Choose fabrics carefully Soft, stretchy and comfortable fabrics will serve you well as they will grow as you do. Fabrics like lycra will fit you in all the right places. Cotton is another great option, as it allows your skin to breathe, which is a bonus as pregnancy can leave you feeling much hotter and sweatier. Layer with leggings Leggings are a godsend for pregnant women. Not only are they versatile and comfortable, they’re also perfect to wear after you have your baby and sit they comfortably on your bump. What’s more, they expand as you do – making them perfect for all 40 weeks of pregnancy. Don’t reach for over-sized items It may be tempting, but over-sized items will make you look bigger than you actually are. Form-fitting tops or pants are the best way to show off your pregnant figure by accentuating and highlighting the areas that haven’t swollen, like your arms or legs. Follow the general rule of thumb by pairing a fitted item with a looser one, for example a loose tunic with leggings or wide-legged trousers with a fitted top. content source

12 winter fashion tips for pregnant women

During pregnancy women go through some body changes like increase in size and shape of body and for that they require maternity clothes . Now being pregnant doesn't mean that you can't be fashionable. Here are some fashion tips you can follow to look fab and cozy in winter during your pregnancy: 1. You could pair a camel turtleneck with a black skinny jeans and a coat. Don’t be afraid of wearing a tight top to show off that bump. Wearing shades of camel up that chic factor and of course, that draped coat. 2. You could pair a striped swing dress with leggings. It’s the best thing when you can look great and be completely comfortable.    3. You could pair your blazer with a belt ,leggings and boots to complete your winter look. Yes, this is a legging look, but it’s anything but casual. Its a classic look and you can always experiment with colours of your choice. 4. You could pair a striped skirt with a black cami and a blazer. A blazer is still a great thing to wear when pregnant. Can’t button your blazer? No worries. Wear it open and show off a statement necklace (and that bump of course)! 5. You could pair a camel sweater dress with a black colored light-loose fitting long coat and a leopard belt. Camel and black is a chic color combo. The leopard belt adds just the right amount of pattern to this look. 6. You could pair your printed skirt with a graphic tee, over the knee boots and faux fur. Layers and prints and textures, oh my! Nothing boring about this look. 7. You could pair a gray bodycon dress with a moto jacket and boots. A lot edgy and a lot cooler 8. You could pair black skinny jeans with a white tee, camel scarf, belt and leopard booties. Draping and belting bring out the stylish and elegant person in you. 9. You could pair your skinny jeans with boots, black sweater, cardigan and scarf. See the different ways we’re wearing this scarf? Getting a lot of mileage out of it that’s for sure! Extra layers can be a little scary when pregnant, so make sure to wear tight bottoms for balance and shoes with a heel to accentuate the legs! 10. You could pair leather leggings with white button down, fur vest and heels. Think you can’t pull off leather leggings while pregnant? Well, think again! Leather leggings are for any trimester. 11. You could pair leggings with an oversized tee, sneakers and moto jacket. In need of a cool running errands look? Maternity style takes athleisure. 12. You could pair a sweater dress with over the knee boots. I can’t think of many better inventions than the sweater dress. 100% comfortable, 100% cute. Feel free to throw on some extra accessories such as a hat, belt, or fur vest to up your sweater dress style game.  I hope this gave you some winter maternity outfit ideas and helped to show you that it’s 100% possible to look cute and chic while preggo and in the winter. content source

Aromatic therapy during pregnancy

Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils. These oils come from plants, such as herbs and flowers, and they’re highly concentrated. The oils smell pleasant, but they also contain therapeutic chemicals.  Scientists don’t know for sure how aromatherapy works. Essential oils may send chemical messages to the part of your brain that affects your mood and how you’re feeling. This happens either when you breathe in the scent of the oil or when your skin absorbs the oil during a massage or bath. How can I use aromatherapy during pregnancy? There are three main ways to use essential oils: On your skin through massage with essential oils If you’re using oils for massage, you’ll need to dilute them first. Mix one or two drops of the essential oil with a teaspoon of base oil. For your base oil, you can use a vegetable oil, such as grapeseed, or nut oil, such as coconut or sweet almond.  You may want to use a vegetable-based oil if you have an allergy to nuts, and don't use wheatgerm oil if you have a wheat allergy.  It's also worth doing a skin patch test of your chosen base and essential oil combination just to be sure you don't have a reaction. Rub the oils mixture onto a small patch of your skin 24 hours before your massage.  If you partner is giving you a massage, first check with your midwife which strokes are safe for your partner to use. If you're using a massage therapist, ask your therapiest if she's experienced at treating pregnant women.  By breathing in essential oils Mix four drops of essential oil with a teaspoon of base oil, and add the mixture to an oil burner or a vapouriser.  By adding essential oils to your bath Having a warm bath is an especially good way to use aromatherapy oils. The warm water helps your skin to absorb the oils, and the steam will help you to breathe in the vapour.  You only need about three drops of essential oil for one bath, mixed into a teaspoon of base oil. Or, instead of a base oil, you can use full-fat milk. Creamy milk is a good carrier for essential oils as the fat in the milk helps to spread the oil throughout the water. How can aromatherapy help me? There are a number of ways in which aromatherapy could help while you’re pregnant. It may:  ease the symptoms of morning sickness soothe pregnancy niggles help you to feel calm and relaxed during your pregnancy You should tell your midwife if you’re using essential oils at home, or if you’re receiving aromatherapy treatment from a therapist. This is especially important if you have any medical problems, such as epilepsy.  Aromatherapy for morning sickness If you're feeling or being sick during your first trimester, aromatherapy may help. You could try it to ease your nausea. Lemon oil seems to work for some women. You could also try mint oil, though there is less evidence that this works.  Aromatherapy for common pregnancy niggles Although there is relatively little evidence that they work, many women find essential oils helpful for a range of niggles. For example, you could try sweet orange for constipation, or neroli (orange blossom) for heartburn.  Lavender may help you to sleep better, and citrus oils such as lemon are said to refresh you and give you more energy.  You can use these oils to ease your symptoms in the usual ways - in your bath, via an oil burner or diffuser, or through massage.  Aromatherapy to help you relax Massage alone can be very relaxing. It’s a great way of easing tension and reducing stress. Add some lovely-smelling oil, and massage can feel wonderful. One piece of research found that having aromatherapy and massage helped pregnant women to feel less anxious. Can aromatherapy help with labour? It may help. In many midwifery-led, low-risk NHS birth centres, midwives have been trained to use aromatherapy for labour. If you’re interested in trying aromatherapy during labour, ask your midwife whether your birth unit can provide it. If it can't, you could use a vapouriser, or add a few drops of oil to a tissue or to a hot or cold compress (a damp flannel). Your partner or your midwife may be able to give you a hand, foot or back massage too.  Your midwife will only use aromatherapy when you’re more than 37 weeks pregnant and in labour. Some midwife-led units will also ask you not to use aromatherapy if you have a medical condition.  The research about using aromatherapy when you’re in labour is a bit mixed. Although many women use aromatherapy when they’re in labour, more research is needed to see how well it works to reduce pain.  The following oils are safe for you while you’re in labour: Roman chamomile clary sage frankincense ginger lemon grass lavender mandarin These oils can help to reduce fear and anxiety, ease pain or boost contractions. If you’re using a birth pool, you shouldn’t add essential oils to the water, but using an electric oil burner or diffuser is fine. content source

Snoring during pregnancy

Even if you've never snored before, snoring is fairly common during pregnancy, affecting about 1 in 3 pregnant women. It’s often a major sleep disruptor for you and anyone in your bedroom, which probably means that you and your partner are all ears about what can be done about these nocturnal noises. When does snoring generally start during pregnancy? Snoring often starts when pregnancy hormones begin causing nasal congestion, in the second trimester. What causes snoring during pregnancy? The most likely culprits of snoring are surging pregnancy hormones, which cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, leading to nasal congestion that increases when you lie down. Excessive weight gain is also to blame, as it results in extra tissue around your head and neck that aggravates snoring. What can I do about snoring when I'm pregnant? For most women, snoring during pregnancy is more of an annoyance than anything else. That said, don't hesitate to bring it up with your doctor if it's keeping you from a good night's sleep. In some cases, snoring can be a sign of gestational diabetes, so make sure to get your glucose screening test at week 24 to 28 (or earlier if your practitioner suggests). Snoring can also be tied to sleep apnea, a disorder that can deprive you and potentially your baby of oxygen (particularly in the third trimester and in women who are overweight). Because sleep apnea can put you at greater risk of complications such as preeclampsia, it’s especially important to let your doctor know if you're snoring way more than usual. Can I prevent snoring during pregnancy? The following steps can help prevent snoring during pregnancy: Stick on a nasal strip at bedtime (they're completely drug-free) Try using a warm-mist humidifier in your bedroom at night Try sleeping on your side (your left is best for circulation) Plump up your pillows and snooze with your head slightly elevated Keep an eye on your calorie intake during pregnancy to make sure extra weight doesn't contribute to snoring Stay away from alcohol and tobacco, which can inhibit sleep (you should be avoiding them anyway when you’re pregnant content source

10 Effective Exercises for Easy Labor & safe Delivery

Exercises during pregnancy are not only good to keep you and your baby healthy but also prepare the body for the labor. Regular exercises ready the muscles and ligaments in the pelvis to get through delivery with lesser effort. Here are 10 Exercises to Induce Labor Naturally: 1. Pelvic Tilts Pelvic tilts are great to strengthen the pelvic muscles and prep them for labor. It is one of the best exercises to help induce labor naturally and can be started early in pregnancy. Begin by lying down on your back with the knees bent and the feet on the floor. Flatten the back against the floor and slowly bend the pelvis up. Hold it in this position for about 10 seconds and slowly release. Exercise twice a day for 10 minutes for pelvic strength. 2. Squatting Squatting is one of the most natural movements of the body and among the safest exercises that can be done during pregnancy. It builds strength in various muscles in the thigh, lower back and the abdomen while opening up the pelvis. Squats can be performed throughout a healthy pregnancy and are even thought to help orient the baby into position for delivery. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and the toes pointing forward. If you need support or stability, hold the back of a chair that is placed in front of you. While keeping your back straight, go down as though you’re about to sit on a chair. You can either do a full squat- go down all the way or a half squat where your lower lack doesn’t go below your knees. Hold this position for 5 or 10 seconds, take a deep breath and exhale as you rise back up. 3. Exercise ball  An exercise ball is a fun addition to your workout routine.  Sit in the centre of the ball with your feet flat on the ground, and the knees bent. Use your feet to roll back and forth or just bounce up and down gently on the exercise ball. Rolling on the ball and gentle bounce are some of the good exercises to induce labor at 38 weeks as the bouncing motion can help position the baby for a natural birth. 4. Pelvic floor Exercises Pelvic floor exercises activate the pelvic floor muscles that support pelvic organs such as the bladder, urethra, vagina, uterus, small intestines and rectum. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and gaining a good control over them can help during the pushing stage of labor. It is said that by voluntarily relaxing them you can ease the birthing process. Contract the pelvic floor muscles tighter for a count of five seconds, hold for five seconds and release for a count of five. Practice this 10 or 15 times a day. 5. Butterflies The butterflies are a simple exercise that open up your pelvis and build flexibility in the surrounding muscles along with strengthening the muscles of the back and thigh. Butterflies are easy and can be done from the moment you’re pregnant to the time you deliver. Sit on the floor and put the soles of your feet together. Pulse your legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly and feel the muscles in your thigh stretch. Maintain a pace and range of motion that feels comfortable to you.  6. Lunges Lunges are effective in warming up the hips and open them up to let the baby rotate and descent. They can be used to induce labor naturally. Stand with both the legs together and take one big step forward. Descend your lower back while pivoting on the front knee while you feel the muscles in your back and hind leg stretch. For added safety and balance push up against a wall while you do it. Alternate the legs and repeat the exercise. 7. Stair Climbing Climbing stairs requires you to use all the muscles of your lower back and legs. The stretching and movement of the hips help orient the baby’s head down towards the birth canal. Stair climbing is a wonderful way of inducing labor naturally as it prepares the body for the physical exertion of labor. It also presses on the cervix, prompting it to dilate and opens up the pelvic region. 8. Walking It shouldn’t come as a surprise that walking can have tons of benefits to your body during your pregnancy and this is low impact aerobic exercise is a perfect way to induce labor naturally  9. Back Stretches Back stretches are among the best exercise for labor pain reduction as they help relieve muscle tightness during labor. The following exercise stretches the muscles along the spine, shoulders and the back of your legs. It can also be tried whenever you feel a tension in the back. Facing a wall, bend forward pivoting at the hips, so your upper body makes a 90-degree angle with your legs. The back should be flat and the legs straight or a slightly bent. Now place your hands on the wall at the shoulder level. Relax your head while you look down keeping it at the level of your arms. Push your hands into the wall as you lean back from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back and the muscles in the back of your legs. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and return the hips to a neutral position. 10. Leaning Leaning forward is the best way to counter all the time you spend leaning backwards every day. Leaning forward is also essential to help flip the baby into an optimal position. You can lean on anything that’s comfortable such as counters, tables or an exercise ball. If you can still work, try and scrub the floor while on hands and knees to help add to all the leaning time you need. Regular exercises throughout pregnancy help prepare your body for a natural birth. They are also a wonderful way to induce labor naturally while keeping you warmed up for the stresses of childbirth. content source

Sleeping positions during pregnancy

Sleeping at this point might be an uncomfortable experience. Given the size of your belly! Even the discomfort you go through can contribute to ruining a good night’s sleep. Or nap time. With that in mind, it’s a relief to find out the best sleeping position to encourage labor. And feel comfortable at the same time. So you can sleep better. Did you know that getting adequate sleep is important right before labor kicks in? Sleeping promotes the development of melatonin in the body. This particular component combines with oxytocin. The result of which comes in the form of labor. All the more reason to get enough sleep, right! Plus, once the baby is born, your sleep will take the backseat. So you might as well make the most of this wonderful opportunity right now. 1. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach During pregnancy, sleeping on the stomach is definitely not an option. Am I right? This particular position tends to exert unwanted pressure on your abdominal region. Even the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from your feet and legs to the heart are subjected to the extra pressure. As a result of which it can slow down blood circulation. To both your own body and the baby! 2. Avoid Sleeping On Your Back If sleeping on the stomach feels uncomfortable, then what’s the next option? Sleeping on your back, correct? But, unfortunately, that’s not a good idea either. You won’t take too long to realize how difficult it is to breathe when lying on the back during pregnancy. The belly tends to push down on the intestines when you sleep in such a position. So expect tummy troubles.In fact, sleeping on your back means welcoming severe morning sickness and nausea as well. This position too affects blood supply to the baby. 3. Sleep On Your Left Side Since you’ve exhausted the first two sleeping positions, it’s time to try another one. Side sleeping during pregnancy is highly recommended. Especially on the left! It’s incredibly comfortable as the abdomen increases in size. But why is the left side better than the right? Sleeping on your left offers tons of advantages, even when not pregnant. The most important health benefit is an improvement in blood circulation. And when pregnant, this particular side sleeping position promotes better flow of nutrients to your fetus. When lying on the left, you’re preventing your large belly from exerting pressure on the liver. The opposite of which happens when you sleep on your right side. So keep in mind that right is not right, left is right. Especially during pregnancy! 4. Use Cushions and Pillows When side sleeping, you can wedge pillows between the legs and behind the back. What this does is add more support to the position. So don’t hesitate to use cushions and pillows to feel more comfortable while sleeping. There are pregnancy pillows as well. If you think you might be interested in such a product, you can find it here. Or a maternity store. Propping a pillow between the knees or under the body offers more spine and belly support. On top of that, it keeps your body from rolling on to your back and stomach. Sleeping Positions to Induce Labor: Important Tips What you see below are a few tips that bring more comfort into action. This ensures better sleep and protects your baby when you’re fast asleep. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most natural methods of inducing labor. So here are some tips that might help! Consume light meals at dinner. Don’t indulge in spicy foods as they lead to heartburn, which aggravates at night. Feel free to perform light breathing exercises before bedtime. It helps in relaxing the body by supplying enough oxygen. Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes made of breathable materials. Such as cotton. Also, avoid tight nightwear. If lying down on your bed doesn’t feel comfortable, try the sofa or a comfortable chair. Please don’t panic when and if you roll on to your back or front while sleeping. Allow your body to move comfortably during the process. Instead of getting up frequently to sleep on the left side! Your body demands as much sleep as it can get in order to induce labor naturally. So appreciate the rest before your newborn destroys every last shred of a good night’s sleep. Midnight feedings and sleep deprivation are a part of the post-pregnancy journey.  content source

Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy: Symptoms & Prevention

A urinary tract infection (UTI), also called bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTI’s starting in week 6 through week 24. Why are UTI’s more common during pregnancy? UTI’s are more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection. What are the signs and symptoms of UTI’s? If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: Pain or burning (discomfort) when urinating The need to urinate more often than usual A feeling of urgency when you urinate Blood or mucus in the urine Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen Pain during sexual intercourse Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine (incontinence) Waking up from sleep to urinate Change in amount of urine, either more or less Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder When bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience: back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting. How will the UTI affect my baby? If the UTI goes untreated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor and low birth weight. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, the UTI will not cause harm to your baby. How do I know if I have a UTI? A urinalysis and a urine culture can detect a UTI throughout pregnancy. How is a Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy treated? UTI’s can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy. Urinary tract infections are most commonly treated by antibiotics. Doctors usually prescribe a 3-7 day course of antibiotics that is safe for you and the baby. Call your doctor if you have fever, chills, lower stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, contractions, or if after taking medicine for three days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate. How can I prevent a UTI? You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection, but you can reduce the likelihood by doing the following: Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and unsweetened cranberry juice regularly. Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Take Vitamin C (250 to 500 mg), Beta-carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU per day) and Zinc (30-50 mg per day) to help fight infection. Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and empty your bladder completely when you urinate. Urinate before and after intercourse. Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for an UTI. After urinating, blot dry (do not rub), and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back. Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders. Change underwear and pantyhose every day. Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants. Wear all cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose. Don’t soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day. content source

Iron-deficiency during pregnancy

Anaemia refers to a deficiency of iron in your body. Iron helps produce haemoglobin which helps the red blood cells to store and carry oxygen in the body. Anaemia may also refer to a deficiency of folic acid or Vitamin B12 or a combination of the two. About 6 out of 10 pregnant women in India are anaemic. It’s important to manage anaemia during pregnancy because it has health implications for both you and the baby. Who is at risk of anaemia? The following groups of women have a higher risk of anaemia than others. Women who have a diet which is low in iron-rich foods. Women who have severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) and can’t keep down any food. Women who have had anaemia in an earlier pregnancy. Women who had heavy periods before pregnancy. Women who are pregnant at 20 years or younger. Women who are carrying twins or multiples. Why is anaemia harmful during pregnancy? Anaemia first affects you and then your baby. Here are some of the complications that result from anaemia. Fatigue and low energy levels Pre-term labour Low birth-weight baby Baby born with low iron levels Higher risk of contracting an infection when pregnant Symptoms and diagnosis of anaemia Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, irritability, low energy levels, breathlessness, weakness, dizziness, pale eyelids and nail beds, a sore tongue and strange taste in the mouth, hair loss, headaches, unusual cravings and low tolerance for the cold. Most of these symptoms can be attributed to other factors during pregnancy which is why most women do not realize they are anaemic. The best way to detect anaemia is through a blood test early on in the pregnancy. You are diagnosed as anaemic if your haemoglobin is lower than 11g/dL of blood. How is anaemia treated? While women usually require 30mg of Iron in a day, this becomes 38mg during pregnancy. Most pregnant women are given one iron tablet(100mg of elemental iron and 0.5mg folic acid) a day to prevent anaemia. This is given for 100 days starting in the second trimester of the pregnancy. For women who are diagnosed as anaemic, this is increased to two tablets a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. This will continue until the haemoglobin levels become normal after which they can switch to one tablet a day. The iron supplements should not be had together with calcium supplements as calcium hinders proper absorption of iron by the body. Vitamin C on the other hand aids in iron absorption. Therefore, you should avoid having calcium-rich foods like milk for an hour after having the iron tablet. Instead, you should have Vitamin C rich fluids like orange juice, gooseberry (amla) juice, and lemonade. In extreme cases, the doctor may have to give an intravenous injection or even a blood transfusion to make sure the body gets enough iron. Eating iron-rich foods is a must during pregnancy. The body absorbs iron better from non-vegetarian sources of food than vegetarian sources. Thus, vegetarians should make sure they have more iron-rich food.  

7 Stylish and comfortable dressing tips for pregnant women

Maternity style has come a long way over the years! Loose, baggy clothing has been replaced with smart, shapely outfits. Celebrities like Kareena Kapoor and Chrissy Teigen have reinvented maternity style with outfits that look like they’re straight off the runway! And even though most of us don’t lead super-glamorous lifestyles like these stylish celebrities, there are some tips that you can pick up from them to glam up your maternity wardrobe. Here’s some of our favourite and oh-so-comfortable dressing tips for pregnant ladies. 1. Go for easy, breezy maternity style Comfort is your number 1 priority when you’re pregnant! The good news is that it’s easy to look uber-stylish and be comfortable at the same time. Look for simple, flowy dresses that accentuate your figure and pair them with sneakers and a cute bag for a laid-back casual look. It’s going to be hard to let go off these clothes after your pregnancy. 2. Love your curves Don’t hide that adorable bump! Show off your perfectly rounded belly confidently in a form-fitted dress. Complete the outfit with a loose, long coat or shrug. Maternity style is all about embracing and loving your gorgeous curves. 3. Maternity jeans > Regular Jeans With a wide, thick and stretchy elastic waist band, we wish we could wear maternity jeans all the time! Don’t be afraid to splurge on a good pair of maternity jeans that will keep you comfy throughout your pregnancy. You’ll know you’ve found the right pair when it feels like you’re wearing pajamas! Dress them up with a cute casual top with a long flowy shrug or pair them with a loose boyfriend shirt or comfortable t-shirt. Dungarees too are making a comeback and look adorable on pregnant women. It helps that they’re super comfortable too!  4. Reveal your inner goddess So maybe all your party outfits don’t fit anymore, but don’t fret. Up your glam quotient with a gorgeous flowing gown and look like a true goddess. If you’re feeling cheeky, go for one with a cute thigh-high slit.  5. You can’t go wrong with traditional wear Ace your maternity style with a traditional Indian outfit. Look for classic anarkalis with a big dupatta or opt for something simple and accessorize with chunky jewellery.  6. Show off those Shoulders We love the current off-shoulder trend and how it looks on pregnant women! Look for light, breathable fabrics and a comfy, breezy fit or show off that cute bump in a form-fitting dress. 7. A Combo that’s both Classic & Comfy You can’t go wrong with the classic tunic and pant combo. Look for wide, loose pants and pair it with a mid-length tunic or a cute flowy top. Stay away from busy printed clothes and opt for solid colours.  Last but not the least, wear whatever you are comfortable in and wear it with confidence and a beautiful smile. content source

Insomnia during pregnancy: Symptoms and solutions

Insomnia, or the inability to fall or stay sleep, can hit especially hard in the third trimester of pregnancy, when it’s estimated to effect more than 75 percent of expectant moms. It's normal to have trouble sleeping at any point during pregnancy, but many moms experience insomnia more frequently starting in the second to third trimesters, as other pregnancy symptoms increase and a burgeoning baby belly makes it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed. A complicated combination of many different factors can all cause difficulty sleeping, including: Hormonal changes Frequent trips to the bathroom Pregnancy heartburn Leg cramps A hopped-up metabolism that keeps the heat on even when it's off Difficulty getting comfortable with your growing baby bump What You Can I Do About Insomnia During Pregnancy? Get up. If you’re not asleep after 20 to 30 minutes of trying, conquer a small task that needs to be done Don't count the hours. Though most people do best on about eight hours of sleep, some do fine on less and some need more. So instead of aiming for a particular number, ask yourself how you're feeling on the hours you're sleeping during pregnancy How to prevent insomnia during pregnancy? Clear the emotional decks. If you have persistent worries that are keeping you up at night, talk about them with a friend or your partner and try to sort them out during daylight hours. You can also try meditation or writing your thoughts on paper. Avoid caffeine and chocolate. Especially in the late afternoon or evening, since they can keep you awake.  Be an early-bird diner. A full meal and tummy can keep you from falling and staying asleep, so try to eat dinner earlier in the evening. Take your time. Don't wolf your food down at your evening meal, and keep the pace leisurely so that heartburn doesn't keep you tossing and turning. Top it off. A light snack before you turn in will tide you over until breakfast, but choose a healthy carb-protein pair to keep your blood sugar stable, such as a whole grain muffin and a glass of warm milk, or a cheese stick and a few dried apricots. Slow the flow. Fill your daily requirement of fluids during the early evening to cut down on bathroom runs after you've hit the hay. Work it out. Getting some daily pregnancy exercise can make you sleepier at night. Just avoid hitting the gym too close to bedtime, since a post-workout buzz can keep you awake. Make a bedtime routine. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Good options include light reading, listening to soothing music, serene yoga poses or relaxation exercises, a warm bath, prenatal massage and sex. Wean off the screen. Using your phone, tablet, e-reader, TV, laptop or other electronic device before bed can mess with your z's. Light from the screen alters sleepiness and alertness. It also suppresses levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your internal clock and plays a role in your sleep cycle. Experts say you should power off at least an hour before turning in. Get some air. Is your bedroom too cold? Is it a sauna? Check the temperature, and make sure you're using a mattress and pillows that provide solid support without feeling like bricks. Open a window to keep the room from getting stuffy — you're sure to heat up during the night. Get comfy. There is no such thing as too many pillows during pregnancy. Use them to prop you up, support you where you need it or just cozy up to. If you've passed the first trimester and just can't get cozy in bed on your side, try snoozing upright in a recliner, which will allow you to stay on your back without lying flat on it. Smell your way to sleep. A lavender-scented pillow or sachet tucked into your pillowcase can help relax you to bring on sleep faster.   Pregnancy Insomnia Solutions Some sleep aids are often considered safe for occasional use in pregnancy, including Unisom, Tylenol PM, Sominex, Nytol, Ambien and Lunesta. However you should never take any sleep aid or other medication during pregnancy (prescription, over the counter or herbal) unless it's been prescribed or okayed by your practitioner. Sometimes, doctors recommended taking a magnesium supplement to combat constipation or leg cramps. If that's the case for you, it makes sense to take it before bed, since magnesium has been touted for its natural muscle-relaxing powers and may help lull you to sleep.

What to do when you find breast lumps during pregnancy?

Breast lumps during pregnancy Breast lumps detected during pregnancy are generally benign and reflect fibroadenoma, lactating adenoma, cysts, infarction of the breast or galactocele. Although rare, the possibility of breast cancer must also be considered to avoid any delays in diagnosis. After patient questioning and clinical examination, the first imaging modality to use is ultrasound. No further assessment is called for  If the clinical signs are unclear then mammography and often biopsy should be performed. The changes to the secretion pathway do not occur evenly within the breast during pregnancy. Hyperplasic lactating adenoma, can cause one or more palpable lumps. Clinical changes Clinical examination reveals a darkening of the nipple and areola, a more prominent nipple and dilated superficial skin veins as from the end of the first trimester. During the final stages of pregnancy, breast adipose tissue nearly completely disappears and is replaced by hard, tight lobes; the skin becomes thinner. A little colostrum may be released by breast massage. Clinical examination can be challenging due to the increased size of the breasts, their sensitivity and especially their harder, more nodular consistency. A previously palpable lump can be concealed during pregnancy by hypertrophic breast tissue, or may increase in size, hence the importance of examining the patient's breasts at the beginning of pregnancy and then at regular intervals during its course. Duct ectasia is frequently observed using ultrasound. The breast is more hypoechoic due to lobular hyperplasia and duct dilation; its echogenicityis more or less homogeneous. Mammograms of pregnant women generally show a higher tissue density because of the young age of the women but also due to glandular development and adipose tissue atrophy, which decreases the sensitivity of mammography. Even so, mammography remains a very helpful modality for diagnosing breast cancer and should therefore be performed if there is the slightest doubt.Pre-pregnancy assessment is important to monitor changes such as increased size or heterogeneity of existing lesions (particularly fibroadenoma, hamartoma and cysts) during pregnancy. Clinical examination When a patient consults for a palpable lump that she has detected, she should be questioned and thoroughly examined in order to confirm the presence of a mass, describe it and prescribe the appropriate complementary investigations.Questioning should be aimed at determining the date of appearance of the lump, as well as individual patient history (possible known fibroadenoma) and familial history. Clinical examination is based on careful breast inspection and palpationand comparison with the contralateral side to: • confirm the presence of the mass; • identify its location and size; • describe its consistency and mobility; • detect related signs: skin retraction, nipple changes, discharge, lymph nodes, signs of inflammation, pyrexia. Finding a breast lump in a young pregnant woman in majority cases (80%) the lump is benign and the patient can be reassured and continue her pregnancy relieved. And when it is cancer, the delay in diagnosis (still very frequent) due to postponing investigations until after delivery, may have serious consequences. Ultrasound is used as the first-line imaging technique. It enables accurate diagnosis of simple cystic lesions and sometimes helps to confirm that there is actually no lump but just normal fibroglandular tissue. It allows accurate investigation of solid lesions. Mammography When 4-view mammography is performed, the mother receives a dose of radiation of about 3 mGy and the dose received by the uterus is lower than 0.03 μGy . The fetus is therefore exposed to a negligible amount of radiation . Doses of up to 1 mGy are considered to be acceptable for the fetus. The threshold value above which there exists a risk for the fetus. Mammography may be performed with a lead screen or apron that approximately halves the dose to the fetus and reassures the patient.  Mammography should be prescribed on even the slightest doubt after clinical and/or ultrasound examination, because it can be particularly useful for diagnosis in cases of breast cancer. Moreover, if a lesion contains fatty density, its benignity can be affirmed and biopsy avoided. MRI On the basis of current knowledge, the injection of gadolinum, as is required for breast MRI, is contraindicated during pregnancy. Breast samples  It is essential that pathologists be aware that the patient is pregnant before assessing breast samples. Cytological assessment can lead to false negative, as well as false positive results. If atypical findings are observed, taking a biopsy is mandatory in these cases.  Biopsy Taking biopsies is the most reliable method for diagnosing solid masses. Biopsies are generally performed using ultrasound guidance but are sometimes also carried out using stereotactic guidance (microcalcifications). In the latter case, there is a slightly higher rate of complications (milk fistula, infection or bleeding), and post-biopsy compression should be applied for a longer time. Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC)  PABC is defined as breast cancer that occurs during pregnancy or within the year following childbirth. It is a rare disease that accounts for only 6–10% of all breast cancers in women aged under 40 years.. The average age of onset is 34 years. Patient questioning on familial history is essential and women with a significant risk should be examined carefully. In majority of cases, breast cancer occurs in young women with no noteworthy history, so the possibility of cancer should not be excluded in a 25-year-old woman just because she has no family history of the disease. Patients may be treated surgically at any time during pregnancy and chemotherapy may be initiated from the 2nd trimester on. The main risk for the fetus is prematurity.  Radiotherapy is generally contraindicated during pregnancy, as is hormone therapy. Numerous different oncological, obstetrical, psychological and personal parameters (choice, mother's age, other children, risk factors) need to be taken into account. . Conclusion Breast masses discovered during pregnancy should be investigated immediately either to reassure the patient (most lesions are benign), or if necessary, rapidly implement treatment when breast cancer is diagnosed since any delay in diagnosis and therapy can jeopardize successful management.    content source

How to avoid breast lumps during pregnancy?

Breast lumps definition and facts Breast lumps can be caused by infections, injuries, non-cancerous growths, and cancer. Breast cancer usually causes no pain in the breast. The symptoms of breast cancer include painless breast lumps, nipple discharge, and inflammation of the skin of the breast. The chances that a particular breast lump could be cancerous depends on many factors, including past medical history, physical examination, as well as genetic and other risk factors. The only way to be certain that a lump is not cancerous is to have a tissue sampling (biopsy). There are several ways to do the biopsy. The treatment of a breast lump depends on its cause. Breast self-examination Continuing with self-breast exams during pregnancy is important. Unfortunately, during pregnancy it is more difficult to accomplish because of all the changes your breasts are going through. Your breasts are growing in size, are tender, and sometimes may even be lumpy. It is still important for you to examine your breasts during pregnancy every 4-5 weeks. Very common lumps found among women during pregnancy are clogged milk ducts. These are red, tender-to-the-touch, hard lumps in your breasts. Warm compresses (running warm water over your breasts in the shower or applying a warm wash cloth) and massages will probably clear the duct in a few days. If you are unsure of any new lump, tell your doctor on your next visit. Keep in mind breast cancer is rare among women younger than 35. If you are planning on having a baby and are over the age of 35, you may want to consider asking your doctor about a mammogram before you get pregnant. content source