The Pregnancy diet ideally should be light, nutritious, easily digestible and rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins. The diet should consist in addition to the principal food at least one liter of milk, plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits and cereals. It is recommended to take small and frequent meals. Diet should be supplemented with 1gm of calcium and one tablet of ferrous sulphate to avoid Anemia during pregnancy.
Immunization against Tetanus not only protects the mother but also the neonates. In unprotected women two doses of Tetanus Toxoid are given at an interval of 4 to 8weeks, the first are to be given between 16-24weeks. Women who are already immunized in the past, a Booster dose is given in the last trimester.
Nausea & Vomiting specially in the morning, soon after getting out of the bed are usually common. They usually appears following the missed period and subsides by end of 3 months of pregnancy. Emotional support is very essential for this one should move the limbs for few minutes before getting out of bed and take a dry toast or biscuit before rising from bed. Avoid fatty foods and liquids in empty stomach. One should not force pregnant women to eating because that will precipitate more vomiting. If Vomiting is severe enough to affect the health of the pregnant women, then she must consult the obstetrician. Anti-emetic drugs and plenty of glucose drinks usually cure this condition.
How may hours of sleep do you advise? You can continue your usual activities throughout pregnancy. If you feel tired, you should limit your work. However hard and strenous work should be avoided. Women in employment, can continue their activities in uncomplicated cases. Pregnant women should sleep for at least 8 hours at night and 2 hours at noon.
Coitus should be avoided during the first 3 moths and during last 6 weeks of pregnancy
Travel by vehicles having jerks is better avoided specially in first 3 months and last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Train route is preferable to bus route. Travel in pressurised aircraft offers no risk.
One should avoid smoking and drinking as it increases the chance of abortion and low birth weight babies.
Walking is good for health even during pregnancy – one should also do pelvic floor exercises which help during labour. It is advisable to exercise to a point short of tiredness.
Improvement of posture & rest in hard bed often relieves backache.
Constipation is a quite common problem during pregnancy. Normal bowel habit may be restored with advice to take plenty of fluids (at least 2 liters daily) and plenty of green leafy Vegetables and fresh fruits in diet. A mild laxative like Isabgol husk 1-2 tablespoons at bed time is best.
Regular bowel action & restriction of fatty and spicy foods often relieves the symptoms. Antacid preparations (either chewable tablets or gel) can be taken to relieve this problem.
In first 3 months of pregnancy one should avoid taking any medicine except few anti-emetics for vomiting and paracetamol for fever & headache.
You can use any lubricant such as olive oil from the 5th month of pregnancy onwards. It helps in smooth stretching of abdominal skin and prevents stretch marks. One should also avoid scratching abdomen.
Usual weight gain during pregnancy is 8 to 12kgs but it also depends on the pre-pregnancy weight of the women.