Nurturing the Life Inside You
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. There are many changes which takes place during the tenure of 9 months. You will be pampered by people around you and needs to be taken care as pregnancy increases physiological stress on the body. Your overall health is going to affect the offspring and its health in coming years so, need to eat well, be stress free, be happy and relax.
After conception there are many changes which take place in mother's body. She needs to cope up with these and take professional guidance for same. There are changes which are due to physical changes and hormonal activity in mother's body.
Energy requirements are increasing during the pregnancy. This increase demands helps in growth of fetus and its development during nine months. Along with energy protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins and miners requirement is increase. Nausea, vomiting is mainly seen in first trimester. One must take care of constipation and maintain good digestive system. Balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables helps in managing these symptoms.
The acid and pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) secretion in the stomach is less and there is regurgitation (throwing up) of stomach contents in the esophagus (food pipe) leading to a sensation of heartburn and vomiting. This becomes more pronounced with the growing fetus as the pressure on stomach increases. Small and frequent meals best suits in such situation. It is common for pregnant women to show craving for some foods and aversion to others. Some women even have cravings for some abnormal substances like clay, starch, etc and this is known as 'PICA'
The hemoglobin level of a healthy non-pregnant woman is 12 to 13g/100ml but it is not uncommon to see slight drop in hemoglobin level during pregnancy. This is due to increase in blood volume but decrease in concentration of plasma proteins, hemoglobin and other blood constituents. One needs to include iron rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, turnips, apples, pomegranate etc.
Increase in body weight of the expectant mother due to growing fetus and placenta, increase in uterus and breast tissue, increase in blood volume, and other extracellular water and fat. By the end of 40 weeks the gain in weight of a healthy woman is about 12-14 kgs. It is advisable not to gain weight beyond this as it may cause the baby to grow large which may lead to complications like delivery complications, obese baby, maternal diabetes.
Muscle cramps especially in legs at night are associated with calcium phosphorous imbalance. Relief can be obtained from these leg cramps by reduction in dairy consumption and substituting with non-phosphate calcium salts after Doctor's recommendation. Magnesium intake may also relieve muscular cramps. Proper care and attention helps to ease out these signs and symptoms. There are many concerns for first time parents which can be sorted out after discussing with doctors.