Conceiving, healthy pregnancy & childcare in early years.
Created by Gaurima Updated on Feb 07, 2021
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 having a child. It has been seen that the modern day lifestyle related stress and the phenomenon of late parenthood seem to be adding more twists and turns to the road destined to 'newborn's first cry and parents' tears of joy'.
With the vision of supporting parents in their journey to parenthood, Parentune, organized a workshop on conceiving a child, healthy pregnancy and childcare in early years.
The parentune team wishes the very best to all those would be parents who participated in the workshop however for those parents who could not become a part of this workshop but are keen to know the finer details as elaborated by our experts this write up may be the way to go.
This workshop was conducted by 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 also clarified the 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 exercise to easy delivery, whereas the daughter in law couldn't eat much and felt unexcited about the suggested mopping the floor exercise.
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 and suggested a couple of tips in order to facilitate the same. Below are some of the tips that the experts shared:
1) Ensure that the routine Scans are done as per schedule to monitor child development and health of the mother.
2) It is beneficial if the Pre-conception diet includes folic acid supplement for a minimum three months prior to conception and should be continued all the way into the second trimester.
3) Eating nutritious food in only as much quantity that the body can retain is ideal for the mother and child.
4) Second trimester diet should include protein rich foods that can be eggs, soya, nuts, oats and pulses to name a few, supplemented by iron and calcium.
5) Third trimester diet should include all supplements. Nutritional needs and increasing appetite of the mother due to growing fetus can be well satiated by including more number of nutrients rich smaller meals.
6) Fat rich foods in large quantities may be avoided however the consumption of some fats in moderation may be consumed.
7) Keep tab on weight gain. The ideal weight gain during pregnancy should be around 10 -11 kgs
8) Engage only in pregnancy safe exercises like brisk walk, swimming, yoga and breathing exercises to name a few. Must consult a doctor before starting.
9) Any exercise that puts pressure on the abdomen must be avoided.
10) House hold work and other activities are safe unless otherwise prescribed by the doctor.
11) Two hours resting period a day is a good option.
11) Avoiding standing at a stretch and bad postures like slouching. Bending the knees as well when bending to pick something off the floor is the ideal way.
12) Keeping oneself well-hydrated and wearing comfortable attire and foot wears may also led to positive results.
13) Relaxing activities like reading, watching T.V, listening to music, singing, art and others are beneficial to the mother as well as the baby as long as they are not loud or shocking (roaring music, war films).
14) Most importantly - Be Happy and Positive
15) Completely avoid smoking and alcohol
Further in the workshop, experts endorsed the fact that the new-generation couples face more challenges in conceiving a child naturally in comparison to their counterparts from previous generations primarily due 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 Bakshi sealed the discussion with the declaration that,"with IVF (In vitro fertilization), availability of surrogate wombs, sperm and ova banks, nothing can stop a couple from having a child." Here are a number of points that Dr. Bakshi shared when it came to conceiving a child:
1) 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 fertilization for a couple. The cause can be singled out through diagnostic tests.
2) Cause specific treatment and options can be considered then in consultation with gynecologists and fertility experts. Those couples who cannot go in for natural conception because of specific reason can very well plan for surrogacy, IVF, donated sperms and eggs.
3) Couples who are not able to conceive can make sure that they are getting their timing right for fertilization to happen. They could take the help of "ovulation prediction kit' available locally to ensure the right days. They can take the assistance of a gynecologist 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 gynecologist. Various pregnancy condition makes it necessary to go for a caesarean birth. Couples can certainly make an informed and prepared choice.
After the above mentioned discussion Dr. Vaneet Parmar was asked a number of questions around childcare in the first couple of months after birth. These included questions like, how do I (as a mother) know that my child is consuming appropriate amounts of milk (when being exclusively nursed)? Another mother of a 4-month baby asked, " Is it true that whatever i eat will go to my baby? if true than what should i avoid eating?"
The list of questions was endless but our experts tried to answer most of them, below are some of the consolidated points that Dr. Vaneet Parmar made while addressing the questions of the young mothers:
- Breast-feeding the baby as soon as possible after the birth is ideal for milk formation in the mother's body.
- The first 3 days milk after delivery is called colostrum, which is crucial for immunity of the newborn, and then it changes to milk on its own.
- Learning proper latching technique may ease out early breast-feeding issues.
- Feeding the baby every 2 hours for first 2 to 3 weeks is beneficial for lactation adjustment.
- Maintaining good hygiene of the self, surroundings and the baby is a necessity.
- Learn skills like giving bath to the newborn, cleaning the genitals and burping the baby to name a few is important.
- In an ideal scenario a baby should be exclusively breast fed for 6 months and continue till 1 year along with semi solid foods.
- While breast-feeding spicy food, foods of cabbage family, tea and coffee may be avoided.
- After 6 months introduction of semi-solid foods can be done to the child.
- Introduce solid foods after one year.
11. It is important to make sure that the baby is given 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 1: After adopting a child the couple will conceive a child naturally. The fact is that in many cases medical intervention is a must.
Myth 2: Ultrasounds are harmful for the baby. The fact is that this myth is baseless and unsupported by any research.
Myth 3: 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 4: 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 mother’s body and doesn't ease labor at all.
Myth 5: 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 6: 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.
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 mother’s 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:
a) If the baby is urinating 6 to 10 times in 12 hours, it indicates normal feeding.
b) The baby is feeding normally if the baby gains 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: Spoon-feeding may be tried in such cases.
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 up to 2 to 3 hours when kept at room temperature and can be used up to 24 hours when refrigerated. It should be warmed before giving to the baby by keeping the bottle in warm water for some time. It is imperative to warm it indirectly and not directly as heating it over the stove or in a microwave can compromise the nutrient quotient of the milk.
Question: How is breast-feeding possible in cases of babies born through surrogacy?
Expert's Answer: Willing mothers can breast feed by undergoing a 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 newborn 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 on their parenting journey with more ease and confidence.