By Dr Rita Bakshi
Being an expectant or new mother comes with several questions, queries and doubts. They usually explore precautions or necessary steps during pregnancy and even after delivery of the baby.
To clarify all of these inhibitions of the new mother, it is necessary that she regularly meets her doctor to shed light on all her questions. It is important that she articulates her thoughts as this shall be an enriching and educational experience for her.
So, here are some important questions that an expectant or new mother must ask her doctor to deliver the best to her baby.
What to eat during and after pregnancy?
It is very important to discuss with your doctor about what is safe to eat during and after pregnancy. This is necessary because the baby is entirely dependent on the mother’s nutrition for nutritional needs during pregnancy and even after that. It is important that the mother consumes ample dairy products, folic acid, green vegetables, fibre, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds. Also, it is vital that the prospective mother avoids papaya, raw fish and caffeine during pregnancy.
How much exercise?
Pregnancy definitely comes with a lot of weight gain for some. But, it is essential for all the prospective mothers to exercise during pregnancy, which is helpful for the foetus too. It also keeps the mother active and energetic throughout the day, ensuring that she also gets proper sleep. Along with it, it also ensures proper bowel movement and even avoids blood clots in the body. Exercises like swimming, yoga, mild strength training and brisk walking are essential. It is essential that the mother incorporates these exercises even after the birth of the baby.
What are the essential vaccines?
There are several vaccines available to provide complete protection for the mother and the baby’s health. It is important that new mothers ask their doctor about these vaccines. Also, vaccination for the baby after birth is mandatory for complete protection of the whole body. Vaccinations like measles, smallpox, polio, chickenpox are necessary as their occurrence can be a menace for the baby’s health.
What about the delivery process?
Some expecting mothers often get worried about the delivery process and the medical expert in charge. It is important the expecting mother always speak about this to her doctor as this shall bring clarity and reduce anxiety for her. This will always ensure that she is in safe hands and be mentally calm and composed.
What to be prepared for?
It is important for expecting mothers to know what is normal and what is not normal. It is essential for the mother to know that she should be alarmed with any kind of fluid discharge, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or discharge during the pregnancy. She must consult her doctor and immediately go and see the doctor in case of such happening.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre.)