When the realisation of your pregnancy sinks in, different kinds of emotions like happiness, anxiety, wonderment kick in. Feel those emotions to the fullest, take the ladder of glory and reach to the dizziest heights but see to it that in every rung of the ladder, you find pregnancy care because only through mindful care, you will achieve a healthy pregnancy. Many women still don’t know about pregnancy care. Even families need to be educated on how to take care pregnant woman. We bring you a pregnancy care guide that you can follow to maintain your well-being during pregnancy.
In this article:
Pregnancy care is holistic way of dealing with your pregnancy, both prenatal and postpartum. It opens door to procure a right aid that will handhold you during your pregnancy. During pregnancy, care for yourself is very much recommended by health experts so that you remain strong and healthy, to nurture a life inside you.
Once you know that you are pregnant, you need to watch out on your food. The healthy food choices that you make will determine how healthy your baby will be. Make sure you eat a well-balanced nutritious food and include all food groups in your daily diet. Folic acid is very important which can be obtained through green leafy vegetables. In addition to the natural source, your doctor will recommend folic acid supplements to ensure that you receive required amount of folic acid for your pregnant body. At least 1000 mg of calcium is needed during pregnancy. Common calcium-fortified sources are milk and milk products like cheese, yogurt etc should be taken as part of pregnancy food. Be aware about pregnancy foods to avoid like raw eggs, unpasteurized juice and milk to protect yourself from harmful consequences.
The path of nine-month journey is not always strewn by rose petals for there are gravels that will pose as obstacles. In order to protect yourself from risky gravels and put on a smooth ride, testing is mandatory.
Once you are through with your home pregnancy test and found that it is positive, Pregnancy care first month tests will involve a blood test to check how much hcG is in your blood, ultrasound to rule out any birth or neural defects in your baby. Other than that, second trimester and third trimester will have series of tests and scan to monitor your baby’s moment, check for any birth anomalies or genetic disorders and to establish a due date for delivery.
When your baby is out, the hormonal rush doesn’t stop but with a spring in its step, it sends your emotions on a roller-coaster ride. From feeling a burst of excitement in your veins to swooping to a deadly low, it works on extremes.
Postpartum care is still an under-addressed subject in India. It is all about keeping the care going on even after the delivery of your baby. Often emphasis is laid on how to take care when pregnant but there is not much awareness on postpartum care. Neglecting postpartum care results in postpartum depression in women.
During postpartum period, a woman undergoes many physical and emotional changes. In this period, the centre of attraction moves from pregnant mother to her new born baby. She is asked to be grateful for what she has in her lap citing there are so many women who are not as lucky as she is. She might not be candid in showing her unsettling emotions but she might be paddling her feet furiously underwater, struggling to keep up with society’s expectations and learn all about handling the baby in a short period of time.
The society’s neglect of her mental health, the tumult that she feels inside her, new changes in her physique, lack of sleep and the unending demands of her baby like nursing, pumping breastmilk, changing nappies etc weigh her down, pushing her towards postpartum depression. While postpartum sets in after childbirth and continues till 8 weeks, postpartum depression or PPD can last longer and sometimes gets detected very late.
Pregnancy care and postpartum:
To take care of pregnant women’s needs, emotional as well as physical, many pregnant care platforms are banding together to provide beneficial pregnant care packages. A comprehensive pregnancy care plan will integrate the offerings by taking all the stakeholders like mother, her child and family, in its fold.
Need for prioritising pregnancy care is important for a positive mental health in a woman. Slighting her mental health during pregnancy can have damaging effects on her but if taken seriously, will help her connect with her inner self. And if a woman has stronger bond with herself, she will connect even better with her baby.