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The pregnancy Checklist

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Allow me make my argument here, just like most other major decisions in life, pregnancy is something that benefits from careful planning. To provide the best care for both yourself and your baby, being well-informed and prepared can make the experience much more enjoyable.

Your best chance at conception and safe pregnancy is by having a healthy body:

  • Have a checkup with your doctor, including breast check and pap smear.
  • Pregnancy can cause some dental concerns so it is wise to have a full check-up at the dentist before conceiving.
  • Use contraception until you are ready to start trying. Even after stopping the contraceptive pill, it can take up to six months for ovulation to resume.
  • Learn to understand your body’s signs of ovulation and, if needed, monitor yourself to maximise your chances of conceiving at the right time.
  • If you smoke, give up. Women over 35 who smoke can take twice as long to conceive. As well as causing harm to you, smoking also puts your developing baby at risk.
  • Alcohol and caffeine intake should also be cut or reduced before, and especially during, pregnancy. Remember, caffeine is not just in tea and coffee. It can be found in chocolate, cola products, energy drinks and many over the counter medications.
  • Prescribed medication should also be reviewed by your doctor.

Finances

Check your private health insurance policy. You may not be covered for maternity-related care and there could be a waiting period for eligibility.

Save money each month in a high interest bearing account. Be realistic about what you can afford to save and try to stick to it. At the end of your pregnancy, use the money to help with those extra ongoing expenses, such as nappies, baby wipes and baby clothes.

Nutrition

Having a well-balanced and nutritious diet is great for you and your baby. Remember: a high-fibre, low-fat diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, is the best basis for great health.

Exercise

Getting into the habit of regular, non-contact exercise is a good thing to do pre-pregnancy. Try to avoid high-level workouts that leave you overheated and exhausted. Aim to be as close to your recommended ideal weight as possible before conceiving.

Infections

In the very early stages of pregnancy, your developing baby can be affected by infections and food-borne illnesses such as rubella, syphilis, toxoplasmosis and listeria. Safe, hygienic food preparation is essential. Your doctor can advise you regarding checking your rubella immunity levels. If your levels are low and you do need to be immunised, you will need to wait at least 28 days before conceiving.

Folate

Folic acid reduces the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Those at high-risk include anyone who has been previously affected, as well as anyone with a family history, diabetes or on anti-epileptic medication.

Folic acid supplements are advisable for all women. Those at risk should take 5mg daily at least one month before pregnancy, but ideally for three months before conceiving. All other women should have 0.5mg tablets daily three months before conception, continuing for three months.

Genetic testing

Genetic or developmental disorders need to be considered if there is a past obstetric history, a family history or advanced maternal age (generally considered over 35).

If you have concerns or questions about getting yourself and your partner tested, speak to your doctor for further advice. Read more on genetic testing.

Blood group

It is also a good idea to know the blood groups of both you and your partner. If your blood group is negative but your partner’s is positive, conception will need careful attention.

Checkpoint summary:

  • Stop smoking
  • Stop alcohol and other social drugs
  • Reduce or stop caffeine intake
  • Review current medications
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Take folic acid for three months before conception
  • Develop a good exercise routine
  • Ensure rubella immunity
  • Have a breast check and pap smear
  • Eat freshly cooked and prepared food
  • Consider genetic and family history
  • Consider health insurance cover
  • Visit the dentist

Also Read Still Staggering which birth control method to use? – Read this Article

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Diet during Breast Feeding

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For the past nine months, you’ve been working hard to grow this precious baby in your womb. I can not imagine how challenging it was, but am sure it was not just a smooth road, however, you and i agree it was worth the struggle, right? How was your delivery experience? how did you delivery, normally or by C-section? I may not have your answer but you know that all that was not the very easy thing to do.

Now here comes another challenging bit. BREASTFEEDING. Look! wait aren’t you a strong woman to give up? Yes you are, evidence is just above.

Many moms do tell me starting breastfeeding can be the most challenging part of having a baby because just like in pregnancy, you are the sole source of nutrition for this very important little human in your life for the first 6 months recommended by WHO.

And if you are what you eat, diet can’t matter more than at this moment. Right?

Well, yes and no.

Your diet is actually much more important during pregnancy, when everything you eat goes to your baby in a much more direct route. Which is why doctors typically advise pregnant women to avoid foods like lunchmeat, sushi, raw eggs, raw sprouts or rare meat, in case of bacteria that could lead to food poisoning, dangerous for both mom and baby during pregnancy. Too much caffeine has also been related to miscarriage.

But when you’re breastfeeding, the route is a bit more indirect. So no foods are necessarily off limits, although experts still advise moderate caffeine since it will pass to your baby in breastmilk.

Just like in pregnancy, it’s important to stick to an overall healthy diet. After delivery it’s still important, both for your baby and for you to have the energy and stamina to care for a newborn. On a micronutrient level and a macronutrient level, breastmilk can look different if your diet is chronically deficient in nutrients.

So follow the diet you had while you were pregnant, which should include six small meals a day including a variety of foods as close to their natural state as possible, such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean meats and beans.

If you’re worried that what you’re eating isn’t healthy enough, keep a food diary. Use an app or pen and paper so that you can go over your diet, realistically, with your doctor or lactation consultant.

You can also continue taking prenatal vitamins, including B vitamins, which are essential for energy and milk supply.

Hello, pre-pregnancy jeans

The great news? If you’re breastfeeding, you can still eat a lot—and be back to your pre-pregnancy weight within a year. For the average woman, experts recommend a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, plus an additional 500 calories to feed milk production.

“We do not recommend a restrictive diet when breastfeeding,” said McCullen. “That’s because you burn 500 to 800 calories a day when you breastfeed. Breastfeeding in and of itself is a way for mothers to burn calories and to reduce weight.”

What about gas?

Even though no foods are off limits, that food diary might help you track if any foods you’re eating are making your baby fussy or gassy—or worst-case scenario, if they’re causing colic.

If you’ve ever experienced even some of the nonstop, inconsolable crying of a newborn with a gassy belly, you never want to live through that again.

Dairy products, gassy foods like broccoli or cabbage, grains and nuts, and spicy foods could all be culprits. So just pay attention if your baby happens to protest vigorously every time you eat Thai food—and hold off, at least for a few weeks until your baby’s belly matures.

At the same time, if you know that you or your partner have a specific allergy or sensitivity to food, it’s probably a good idea for you to avoid it so you don’t inadvertently trigger a reaction in your baby. For example, some folks who are lactose intolerant still choose to eat ice cream but don’t be surprised if your baby seems uncomfortable after you dig into a dish of butter pecan.

‘I want more milk’

Finally, it’s extremely common for mothers to worry about whether or not they’re producing enough milk, especially since you can’t see how much is going into your baby’s belly.

Here’s where diet can help too, said McCullen. Oatmeal, for example, is known anecdotally to increase milk production. Garlic too can boost milk supply, as well as brewer’s yeast, which is a common ingredient in lactation cookies.

Certain herbs such as fenugreek—either alone or in combination with other herbs—can be brewed into a tea or a sweet drink to help improve your supply.

But the best advice? Relax, talk with your lactation nurse, and go back to that varied diet. A lot of mothers tell me, I want to breastfeed, but I don’t eat well. So, I usually challenge them this way, You ate well enough to grow a baby in your womb; I bet you could eat well enough to breastfeed.’ Eating poorly one day isn’t going to mean you’ll make less milk. You don’t need an ideal diet just an overall healthy one.

Breastfeeding can be hard? Make an appointment for the breast feeding session with Nurse Solomon

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Remember if your feel served you can consider making us a donation to help us continue this service and pay for the website space.

Thank you so much

-Your Nurse Solomon

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Thinking About having a C-section Delivery? First See this article.

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Past few decades, the rate of cesarean sections has been increasing worldwide. sections rates higher than 10 to 15 percent. Uganda in the five years preceding the survey took place in health facilities and of those delivering at various health facilities, 3 percent of births were delivered by cesarean sections.

Sounds kind of great, right? You get to pick the day, swan in, avoid the pain of labor then leave with a brand-new baby.

But wait: You do realize that C-sections are still major surgery, right?

Why so high?

It’s true that the rate of C-section has skyrocketed in the past few decades and this is due to lots of reasons.

A major one? Women are, well, unhealthier than they have been in the past, thanks to obesity and its related health problems, from diabetes to high blood pressure to joint issues. “In women with a body mass index of 45 for example, the C-section rate can be as high as 50 percent,” said Ray.

Another reason, sadly, is the current medical/legal environment, where there’s a trend of physicians being sued for performing C-sections too late. The result? More physicians will jump at doing a C-section out of fear of legal repercussions. “You never hear of a doctor being sued for doing a C-section too early,” said Ray.

Finally, there’s that lifestyle factor. Technically, babies can be safely delivered anytime after 37 weeks, so some hospitals may invite moms to choose the date-especially if they’re just sick and tired of being pregnant. Or, maybe it’s the doctor who will be out of town when mom is due. It’s also true that some hospitals have a culture that’s more supportive of doing C-sections.

“There are many reasons,” said Ray, “but it’s also important to realize that a C-section also involves risk for the patient, along with monetary risk-they’re higher cost-and also could impact your future fertility or how you deliver in the future.”

Recovery also tends to be tougher: In women who delivery vaginally, most feel like themselves again after a couple of weeks, compared to a full six weeks for someone who’s had a C-section.

Reasons a C-section might be for you…

At the same time, there are many good reasons to have a C-section-but they might not be what you think.

“It is absolutely best to have a vaginal delivery in cases where there is no problem with actually doing so,” said Ritah an experienced nurse and midwife.

So if you’re petite and your baby isn’t? Not a medically indicated reason, since even a petite woman can have plenty of room in her pelvis-although your doctor will likely check to make sure. Or what if if your baby is stubbornly late? Still not a reason.

But say your baby is in any position other than head down-that’s one major reason to deliver via C-section. Others include:

  • Physical abnormalities, like hydrocephalus where a baby has a large head. But it’s worthwhile to note that not every abnormality instantly means a C-section, and that includes things like congenital heart defects.
  • Fetal heart rate. If your baby’s heart rate tracing becomes abnormal, doctors may order a C-section immediately.
  • Stalled labor. This is when your body just doesn’t want to go into full-blown labor, despite doctors’ best efforts.
  • Special situations, which could include the placenta covering the cervical opening or if the mother has had a prior C-section or uterine surgery that could make vaginal delivery more risky. Still, even if you had a C-section before, that doesn’t always mean you’ll automatically need a C-section for your next baby.

C-section or not?

Even as the rate of C-section has gone up, the medical reasons for having a C-section haven’t according to research. So medical organizations are taking notice. If they are for any reason that is not medically indicated, that becomes a poor quality measure for the hospital.

Even as the OB/GYN field is working on reining in the high rate of C-sections-and their risks-there’s one thing women can do too. “The number-one way to minimize risk for C-section is for women to optimize their health prior to a planned pregnancy,” quote by Nurse Solomon. “That’s the single most important thing to be as healthy as you can entering pregnancy. If you have poor health, especially as it relates to obesity and the health problems that come with it, you have a higher risk of C-section and a higher risk of a worse outcome for both you and your baby.”

We can help you make the best decision, just submit in your request for interest.

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Remember if your feel served you can consider making us a donation to help us continue this service and pay for the website space.

Thank you so much

-Your Nurse Solomon

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Still Staggering which birth control method to use? – Read this Article

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Not quite ready to have a baby?

There’s a solution for that.

Today’s birth control options include everything from the tried-and-trusted pills to new LARCs, or long-acting reversible contraception, of which there are three varities: intrauterine devices, or IUDs; implants such as Nexplanon; and injections like Depo Provera.

While all of them do the job of helping to prevent pregnancy, each also comes with its own pros and cons. Which is why there’s no one size fits all when it comes to birth control.

Contraception really is very personal, What doesn’t work for your friend or someone you know may be great for you.

Your safest birth control option

First of all, what everyone should know is that some birth control options can increase your risk for a cardiovascular event, especially if you have a personal or family history of blood clots in the legs or lungs or if you have had migraines with an aura.

A very small number of women can have a genetic predisposition to blood clots that doesn’t come to light until they start on birth control. So if you’ve just begun taking birth control and suddenly notice swelling and/or pain in just one leg—that isn’t related to trauma or another cause you can identify—you may have a clot that will need to be treated by a doctor. If you develop shortness of breath too, it could be a pulmonary embolism, a potentially life-threatening situation where the clot has traveled up the leg into a lung. So get to an emergency room right away.

For certain individuals, there are also some special concerns when it comes to birth control. Read on:

If you’re a runner or athlete:

Those who are interested in Depo-Provera, a birth control shot that’s administered by your doctor’s office every three months, should talk to their doctor about the risk of bone loss. “Depo-Provera has long since been known to cause bone loss in women,” said Ray.

However, pregnancy also causes bone loss. So doctors and patients together need to judge what’s the acceptable risk, says Ray. Athletes too tend to be at less risk for bone loss since a balanced diet and weight-bearing exercise are bone-building activities.

Some athletes may be more concerned with another side effect of the injection: weight gain. (It’s also a risk with the implant Nexplanon.) But most reports say that if you continue to stick to a balanced diet and at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five times a week, you can avoid this.

If you’re overweight or obese:

Certain birth control options such as Depo-Provera and Nexplanon (as mentioned above) can increase your risk for gaining weight, so you may want to talk to your doctor about other options, especially if you’re working hard to lose weight.

Depo-Provera’s additional risk for bone loss should also be a worry for Caucasian women who are overweight or obese and tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle, since all of those are already risk factors for poor bone health.

If you’re heavier, you also have a higher likelihood of failure on Depo-Provera, said Ray: “In other words, you may become pregnant.”

But to help avoid that, your doctor could prescribe a higher dose—giving an additional injection if needed. “That’s part of the individualization that’s so necessary in everything we do in medicine now,” said Ray.

If you have or have had cancer:

Doctors don’t prescribe birth control for any woman who has or has had any hormonally active cancer—such as breast cancer. But anyone with cancer also has a higher risk for blood clots, another reason not to also add birth control—with its own risk for clots—on top of that.

But one good thing in the fight against cancer? The Mirena IUD has been shown to be very effective not just at birth control but also in treating precancers and cancers of the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus. It also can help with the pain of endometriosis since it essentially stops your periods.

If you are at risk for depression:

Hormones help regulate mood, so it makes sense that being on birth control can help balance your mood—or could make moods worse. For example, certain birth controls could cause worsening of depression over time.

A couple really good things about birth control

Although you should be cautious of the side effects of birth control, as with any medication, there are some really great side effects too. Here’s one: If you suffer from acne, birth control pills can help control the hormone androgen, which could help reduce acne and improve skin. But it’s not guaranteed—certain pills can also make acne worse.

And for anyone who hates having their period—which is probably the majority of us, if not all of us—the Mirena IUD can stop periods. Period. “And it may seem strange, but it’s OK to do that,” said Ray. “And most women report that it’s glorious, especially if they suffered from heavy bleeding previously.”

But no matter the risk or the benefit, it all goes back to that idea of individualized care. “We don’t want any woman to rule out something that could potentially be very beneficial for them because of something they’ve heard that may not be relevant for them at all,” said Ray. “So always talk to your nurse.”

Want more advice? Send us a note. Check the chat button on your bottom right corner of your computer or just button of your phone screen.

Hoping This Article Serves You well.

Remember if your feel served you can consider making us a donation to help us continue this service and pay for the website space.

Thank you so much

-Your Nurse Solomon

_+256 706 011489_ 20180627_145254

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