Healthy Pregnancy, Conceiving & Child-care in Early Years
Created by Gaurima Updated on Aug 01, 2013
Becoming a parent is perhaps the most anticipated moment of the lifetime. All most all couples at the prospect of becoming parents experience joy and excitement with a tinge of anxiety, which may turn into pangs of fear if not armed with the facts/truth and knowledge/awareness about the whole process around begetting a child/ having a child. Moreover, the modern day lifestyle related stress and the phenomenon of late parenthood add more twists and turns to the road destined to 'new born's first cry and parents' rolling tears of joy'.
With the vision of supporting parents in their journey to parenthood, Parentune, organised a workshop on conceiving a child, healthy pregnancy and child care in early years.
All the best to all those would be parents who participated in the workshop and for those parents who could not become a part of this can choose to pick their take away from this blog, which is a detailed account of the workshop.
This work shop was conducted by Parentune Gynecologist & IVF Expert Mrs. Rita Bakshi & Parentune child care expert and Neonatologist Dr.Vaneet Parmar. The experts addressed important areas like conceiving a child, best practices to follow from conceiving to birthing, birthing options -normal or cesarean, care of the new born, tips on a healthy pregnancy, tips on early childhood care and several myths around the issue.
Experts made an invigorating start by assigning a role modeling task to two volunteers from participants. One played a mother-in-law and the other played the daughter in law already on the road to motherhood (read 2 months pregnant). The participants played their parts enthusiastically and brought up real time issues concerning pregnancy on the surface. The role play showcased a caring know-it-all mother in law directing her daughter in law to eat for two, add oodles of ghee to the diet and mop the floor as a good excercise to easy delivery, whereas the daughter in law couldn't eat much and felt unexcited about the suggested mopping the floor excercise.
Would be parents' reflection: While reflecting on the enacted role play a soon-to-be a mother shared, " I am 4 months into pregnancy, I feel confused when family members and elders prescribe various to do's like what and what not to eat, what to and what not to watch on T.V and what and what not to do of house hold work. Some times their opinions are contradictory to what the doctor says. So what should I do? I often wonder."
Experts take : Experts reflected that the scenario depicted by the role modeling task is quite common where in lack of clarity on "How to have a healthy pregnancy" leads to confusion and conflicts. They suggested that a safe and healthy pregnancy is simple to achieve.
Healthy Pregnancy, Conceiving & Child Care in Early Years
Some tips that the experts shared on having a healthy pregnancy include:
- Ensure that the routine Scans are done as per schedule
- Pre-conception diet should include folic acid supplement for three months prior to conception
- First trimester diet must include folic acid supplement. Eat nutritious food in only as much quantity that the body can retain.
- Second trimester diet should include protein rich foods that can be eggs, soya, nuts, oats and pulses to name a few, supplemented by folic acid , iron and calcium.
- Third trimester diet should include all supplements. Nutritional needs and increasing appetite of the mother due to growing foetus can be well satiated by including more number of nutrients rich smaller meals.
- Avoid fat rich foods in large quantities.
- Keep tab on weight gain. The ideal weight gain during pregnancy should be around 10 -11 kgs
- Enagage only in pregnancy safe excrecises like brisk walk, swimming, yoga and breathing excercises to name a few. Must consult a doctor before starting. No abdominal scrunching excrcises at all.
- House hold work and other activities are safe unless otherwise prescribed by the doctor.
- Two hours resting period a day is a good option
- Avoid - prolong standing at a stretch and bad postures like slouching. Bend down carefully by bending the knees as well
- Keep yourself well-hydrated and wear comfortable attire and foot wears.
- Relaxing activities like reading, watching T.V, listening to music, singing, art and others are beneficial as long as they are not shocking (roaring music, war films)
- Most importantly - Be Happy and Positive
- Completely avoid smoking and alcohol
Further in the workshop, experts endorsed the fact that the new-gen couples face more challenges in conceiving a child naturally then their counterparts from previous generations, thanks to modern day lifestyle. However, at the same time, the experts quipped that becoming a parent is increasingly becoming a matter of choice driven by awareness about the science behind fertility, perfect timing of ovulation, intricacies of pregnancy and various birthing options. Dr. Rita sealed the discussion with the declaration that ,"with IVF (In vitro fertilisation), availability of surrogate wombs, sperm and ova banks, nothing can stop a couple from having a child."
What to Care On Conceiving a Child Facing Delay & Challenges
Pointers shared by experts on conceiving a child - especially for couples facing delay and challenges..
- Problems in conception can be because of causes like - low sperm count in males, poor quality ova in female, blocked fallopian tubes and lack of awareness about the prime days of fertiliation for a couple. The cause can be singled out through diagnostic tests.
- Cause specific treatment and options can be considered then in consultation with gynaecologists and fertility experts. Those couples who cannot go in for natural conception because of any reason can very well plan for surrogacy, IVF, donated sperms and eggs.
- Couples who are not able to conceive can make sure that they are getting their timing right for fertilisation to happen. They can take the help of "ovulation prediction kit' available in the market to ensure the right days. They can take the assistance of a gynaecologist for complete understanding of this issue.
- Once the child is safely conceived and pregnancy moves on smoothly, couples can plan for the mode of delivery. Experts recommended natural birth as the best option, unless otherwise suggested by the gynaecologist. Various pregnancy condition makes it necessary to go for a caesarean birth. Couples can certainly make an informed and prepared choice.
Regardless of the mode of delivery
some key pointers and tips for the care of the new born, to be kept in mind are:
- Breast feed the baby as soon as possible. Be prepared and informed about this as a choice. Discuss it before baby's brith with the doctor.
- Be aware that the first 3 days milk after delivery is called colostrum which is crucial for immunity of the new born.
- Learn proper latching technique to ease out breast feeding.
- Feed the baby every 2 to 3 hours for first 2 to 3 weeks for lactation adjustment.
- Maintain very good hygiene of the self, surroundings and the baby.
- Learn skills like giving bath to the new born, cleaning the genitals and burping the baby to name a few.
- Exclusive breast feed ideally for 6 months, at least for 4 months and continue till 1 year
- While breast feeding avoid spicy food, food made of cabbage family, tea and coffee.
- After 6 months introduce semi-solid foods to the child
- Introduce solid foods after one year.
- Make sure that the baby takes all the prescribed standard immunizations and be informed about vaccines and their corresponding diseases.
The session became more captivating when experts busted
Some of the Commonly-held Myths:
- Myth : After adopting a child the couple will conceive a child naturally. The fact is that in many cases medical intervention is a must.
- Myth : Ultrasounds are harmful for the baby. The fact is that this myth is baseless and unsupported by any research.
- Myth : A pregnant woman should eat for 2. A normal weight woman requires only about 300 calories more than usual to support the growing baby. However, those women who are having twins or were underweight or overweight prior pregnancy have different calorie needs that can be ascertained by a health practitioner.
- Myth : Consuming large amount of ghee in the last days of pregnancy will lead to easy delivery. The fact is that ghee only adds more kilos to mothers body and doesn't ease labour at all.
- Myth : Feed the baby every 2 to 3 hours. The fact is the baby needs to be fed every 2 to 3 hours during the first 2 to 3 weeks. After that it should be as per the baby's need and overfeeding would only cause problems.
- Myth : Feeding the baby in lying down position is not good for the baby. The fact is that any position that ensures comfortable and proper latching of the baby is safe.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Before concluding the workshop the experts answered some interesting questions in the question and answer session:
Question: A would be mother asked, " I am a social drinker, is consuming alcohol safe during breastfeeding ?"
Expert's Answer: Nutrients from the mothers food reach the breast milk. Consuming alcohol rarely is permissible as far as the sanctity of the definition of 'rare' is maintained otherwise it is indeed harmful for the baby.
Question: Can breast feeding be continued longer?
Expert's Answer: Yes it cam be continued up to 2 to 3 years but not as a substitute to food, else the baby's growth will be compromised due to nutritional deficiencies.
Question: Should the baby's milk be added with supplements like Horlicks, Bournvita and Pediasure?
Expert's Answer : These can be started around 2 years. Supplement containing DHA should be preferred.
Question: How to check if the baby is having enough milk?
Expert's Answer: Check for certain pointers like :
- If the baby is urinating 6 to 10 times in 12 hours, it indicates normal feeding.
- The baby is feeding normally if the baby gain 20 to 30 grams per day or 600 grams - 1 kilogram per month
Question: If the baby refuses mother's feed and bottle feed as well then how to feed the baby?
Expert's Answer: Try spoon feeding
Question: How to manage breast feeding when not possible at times?
Expert's Answer: Such situations can be effectively managed by using the expressed milk of the mother by using breast pumps. It can be used upto 2 to 3 hours when kept at room temperature and can be used upto 24 hours when refrigerated. It should be warmed before giving to the baby by keeping the bottle in warm water for some time.
Question: How is breast feeding possible in cases of babies born through surrogacy?
Expert's Answer: Willing mothers can breast feed by undergoing an hormonal therapy.
Right from the decision to have a child, the news that confirms pregnancy, the nine months journey there after, giving birth and finally caring for a new born is exciting inter-play of whole gamut of delicate emotions and pro-active action. The future parents said good-bye and commended Parentune, for this supportive initiative. I hope that the expert tips and insights from this blog would empower soon-to-be-parents to embark their parenting journey with more ease and confidence.