Educate Yourself: Alarming Health Conditions during Pregnancy

This article educates you about most common problems during pregnancy. Some continue in the post pregnancy period also. Read and get advice of your doctor if you feel that you are going through similar problems.

Apart from backaches, hypertension, hypotension, fluctuating sugar levels – there are other problems which originate in the period of pregnancy but do not necessarily go after this period. The health conditions mentioned below, mostly are carry forward for a long period until they become unbearable or are detected by doctor at some other point of time. Hence, it is important to pay attention to them right from the beginning. Start by never ignoring your doctor’s advice in this period and not hiding or forgetting to tell them about any discomforting symptoms.

Iron Deficiency

Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) continues to be the commonest etiology of anemia in pregnancy. The prevalence of IDA in pregnant Indian women is amongst the highest in the world. Untreated iron deficiency has adverse feto-maternal consequences. Therapy for ID includes dietary modification and oral iron supplementation, intravenous iron and blood transfusion. Despite major reforms in the health sector in the past century iron deficiency continues to be in epidemic proportions in pregnant women, especially, in India. Many ways have been recommended for increasing public awareness and tackling this health issue including the observance of ‘National Anemia Awareness and Treatment Day’.

Sciatica

The symptoms of sciatica during pregnancy are similar to the symptoms of sciatica for normal people, and include the following:

  • Sharp, shooting pains in the lower back, buttocks, hips, thighs, and feet
  • Numbness in the buttocks or parts of the leg
  • A dull, constant pain on one side of the body and leg
  • Pain when standing or sitting for extended periods of time
  • Causes of Sciatica During Pregnancy
  • Sciatica during pregnancy can be caused by a number of things, including weight gain, piriformis syndrome, a herniated disc and joint problems, among others.

Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal, natural and healthy, but with that extra weight gain comes extra stress and strain on your joints and bones, some of which can create inflammation that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Depression

Several women have depression during pregnancy. So you are not alone. Do not therefore hesitate to speak to your doctor at the first appearance of the symptoms of depression. Pregnancy is a joyous period for women. But for a few the joy is clouded by mood swings. We all have transitory mood swings. But if these last a few weeks or a few months, then these signal depression.

Depressions are biological illnesses caused by changes in brain chemistry. Such changes may be triggered by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. This is called antenatal depression. But except in name, it is similar to clinical depression.

Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. But if you have one or more (usually five) of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for two weeks or more, it signals depression:

  • feelings of sadness, bleakness, hopelessness, and anxiety
  • lack of interest or pleasure in doing anything
  • feeling tired or having little energy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty remembering
  • feeling emotionally numb
  • extreme irritability
  • sense of dread about everything, including the pregnancy
  • feelings of failure, or guilt
  • trouble getting to sleep, waking up in the night or sleeping too much
  • overeating or decreased appetite
  • weight loss/gain unrelated to pregnancy
  • low self-esteem, or feelings of guilt or failure
  • fidgeting a lot, or moving and speaking very slowly
  • loss of interest in sex
  • thoughts of suicide or self-harm may occur
  • inability to get excited about the pregnancy, and/or baby
  • feeling of disconnection with the baby, and an inability to form/feel a bond with the developing baby

Tips for a happy and healthy pregnancy

  • Stay Active: Walk around the house, take a few steps after each meal.
  • Stay Hydrated: It is extremely important to be hydrated, this will also help the bowel movements as most women complain of constipation during this time. Also, this will ensure a smooth delivery.
  • Nutrition: Nutrition plays a major role in pregnancy and the health of the mother and baby is well taken care of by the right nutrition. Do not skip multi-vitamins and minerals prescribed by your doctor at this time.
  • Eating Right: Eating well is essential but eating right is more essential. Pregnancy comes with its share of mood swings, and some strange food cravings. While at one point of time you may not want to gulp a morsel down, there will be days when you would crave for a sumptuous meal. But go easy. Eat healthy, nutritious food that will help the child to grow healthy inside the womb.
  • Choose Right: As this time you cannot easily visit a doctor, you must be self-sufficient and prepared to handle your basic issues with health, especially your stomach and digestion. Have food that is easy to digest and ensure that you have a lot of fiber in your diet. Have a healthy dose of fruits, cereals, lentils and salads. Also, include some dry fruits in your daily intake of food.
  • Foods to Avoid: Avoid foods that cause acidity, or the food items that can cause you allergy or that you are aware wont suit you much.
  • Avoid Medicines: Avoid any kind of medicines or painkillers that have not been prescribed to you during this time. Remember that there is limited access to doctors and medical help, in case of an emergency, so it is best to avoid anything that may cause you unrequired complications.
  • Exercise: Yes, you got that right, do mild floor exercises, and be very gentle, simply choose the exercise depending on your present condition.

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