Pregnancy is a wonderful experience in a lifetime of a woman. But it also demands great care of pregnant woman by herself and her family members. Pregnant ladies get all sorts of advice regarding Do’s and Don’ts during this incredible nine months. Well, just listen to your mother and mother-in-law and most importantly your attending obstetrician.
Here we are giving you the basic guidelines regarding essential points to be taken care of during pregnancy –
First, if a couple is planning for pregnancy, they should pay a visit to obstetrician for basic checkup and general care. This is called as pre-conceptional counseling. During that visit, doctor screen both partners for general health.
- Basic investigations like screening for thyroid profile, Blood pressure, Diabetes Mellitus type 1 or 2, Epilepsy, renal stones, Thalassemia trait, vitamin B12 and D levels, blood group.
- Any particular history of mentally retarded child in family or an infants’ death. The woman is given folic acid tablets to be taken once daily to prevent neural tube defects; as the nervous system starts to develop right from conception.
- Her vaccination status regarding Hepatitis-B, rubella, measles, tuberculosis is inquired and wherever necessary she is advised to be vaccinated if not already vaccinated. But after rubella vaccine patients are advised not to be pregnant for at least 3 months after the vaccination.
Usually pregnancies are unplanned, so in that case as soon as the first period is missed, within 5 to 10 days of missing period the lady should consult an obstetrician regardless of the fact that she has regular or irregular menstrual cycles.
Once confirmed –
- She is asked to get few investigations done like hemoglobin levels, blood group, urine examination and serological tests for rubella, hepatitis B virus and HIV.
- Patients are also screened for Thalassemia, Thyroid profile, blood sugar profile and serum vitamin B12 and D levels. For the first three months only folic acid and some anti-emetics are given.
- In case of a healthy female, from the start of fourth month onward she is prescribed iron and calcium. Iron tablets may cause gastric upset, but they are usually tolerable. In case she cannot handle the side effects of iron tablets, many salts of iron are available so she can be prescribed another salt of iron or in liquid form.
- For those who cannot tolerate iron at all or those who are anemic and far from their due date, injectable iron can be given to such patients.
- In case a patient has any other medical problem she is prescribed the medicines by her physician in consultation with her obstetrician keeping in regard to the safety of the drug during pregnancy.
- Patient should never self-prescribe any medicines, even for cough and common cold.
Pregnant patients may experience some minor ailments during pregnancy, which are due to pregnancy and rarely requires medication.
- During the first three months of her pregnancy she might have nausea, altered taste of food and vomiting. This is normal and tend to be highest during second to third month. If needed anti emetics are given.
- She may experience backache leg cramps, for that rest and physiotherapy are helpful, no need of analgesics unless by the examining doctor.
- She may also have frequency of urination, constipation, acidity and heart burns, ankle edema and vaginal discharge.
- Very few patients might have varicose veins or piles or breast engorgement.