Introduction to Pregnancy

Introduction to Pregnancy

Deciding to have a family is one of the most momentous decisions you are likely to make in your life and the idea of becoming a parent can take some time for getting used to..AS pregnancy is a 10 month long journey,pregnancy can be different from woman to woman and even for the same mother from one pregnancy to the next.

Some pregnancy lasts for several weeks or months while other discomforts are temporary or don’t affect many woman.

Enjoy and have a healthy baby by having proper supplements,following proper diet,exercising as per doctors advice etc.

Normal pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks,counting from the first day of a a woman’s last menstrual period which is about two weeks before conception actually occurs.

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters.During each trimester changes takes place in a pregnant woman’s body as well as in the developing foetus.It takes about four days for the fertilized egg to move to the lining of the uterus,where it attaches or implants to the uterine wall.Once the embryo is implanted the cell starts yo grow eventually becoming the fetus and the placenta is the tissue which helps to transport oxygen,nutrients and hormones the mothers blood to the developing baby thorough out the pregnancy.

How much of weight should you gain weight during pregnancy?

1.Women who are overweight should aim to gain weight between 7 to 11 kilograms during their entire pregnancy.
2.Underweight women can gain between 12 to 18 kilograms.
3.Women having normal body weight can increase about 11 to 16 kilograms during the pregnancy.

In the first trimester,you must include food with higher folate,vitamin B6 and iron content.These food are good for your baby’s developing nervous system and helps to ease nausea.

Eating right food at correct intervals of time will help to boost your immunity and keep mood swings at bay resulting in happy and healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy diet is not just like a normal diet.In pregnancy diet you should spread out the food thoroughly throughout the day.This can be achieved by following the below mentioned healthy diet.

Is it safe to get vaccinated during pregnancy?

Pregnant women should talk to their doctors to figure out which vaccines they may need and whether they should get them during pregnancy or wait until the child is
All vaccines are tested under the supervision of the FDA.Some people may be allergic to some of the vaccines and hence shouldn’t get vaccinated until they have talked o their doctors.

Which vaccines can be given to the pregnant lady?

1.Hepatitis B : Pregnant women who are at high risk for this disease and have been tested negative for the virus must get vaccinated.It is used to protect both the mother and the baby against infection before and after delivery.A series of 3 doses is required to have immunity.The 2nd and 3rd doses are given 1and 6 months after the first dose.

2.Influenza: This vaccine can prevent serious illness in the mother during pregnancy.All women who will be pregnant during the flu season should be given this vaccine.

3.Tetanus,diphtheria,pertussis( Tdap): Tdap is recommended during pregnancy preferably between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation.This is given to protect the baby from the whooping cough.

Note: Talk to your doctor before taking any kind of vaccination.

Healthy pregnancy diet plan:

It is a time for the mother to be to focus on being as healthy as she can because that care will translate to her baby in utero.Establishing healthy habits will now set a positive example that will benefit the child over his or her lifetime.

A well balanced micro-nutrient diet is the key to a healthy pregnancy.A well balanced diet should contain the following:

1.Carbohydrates from whole grain sources and fruits and vegetables,
2.Protein from beans,nuts,seeds and hormone free animal products like meat and dairy,
3.Healthy fats such as olive oil,avocados and the fats that occur in nuts,seeds and fish.

Pregnant women need more iron,folic acid,calcium,zinc,iodine and vitamin D.Malnutrition increases the risk of having a low birth weight baby or going into preterm labor.Pregnant women need the following daily:

1.Folic Acid:
Folic acid is also known as folate.It is a B vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord known as neural tube defects.
Doctors recommend that women who are trying to have a baby should take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micro-grams of folic acid per day for at-least one month before becoming pregnant.During pregnancy they advice women to increase the amount of folic acid to 600 micro-grams a day .

Food sources: green leafy vegetables,cereals,breads and pastas,beans,citrus fruits.

2.Calcium :
This mineral is used to build a baby’s bones and teeth.

Food sources: milk,yogurt,cheese,calcium fortified juices.

3.Iron :
Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day,which is double the amount needed by women who are not expecting.Consuming too little iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia,a condition resulting in fatigue and an increased risk of infections.

Food sources: Poultry,fish,dried beans and peas,iron-fortified cereal.


More protein is needed during pregnancy and it is described as “ builder nutrient” Because it helps to build important organs for the baby such as the brain and heart.

Food sources: Meat,fish,dried beans and peas,eggs,nuts etc.

Below mentioned food products needs to be consumed for healthy pregnancy :

1.Milk and other milk products:
Include foods such as whole milk or skimmed milk,yogurt,buttermilk,cheese,paneer.All these food items are rich sources of protein,calcium and vitamin B12.

2.Pulses,Dals,Cereals,Nuts and whole grains:
If you are a vegetarian,include pulses,dals,cereals,nuts and whole grains in your everyday diet as your body requires a good amount of protein.

3.Fruits and vegetables:
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as your body requires good amount of fiber.

Drink as much as water and liquids throughout the day as your body needs to be hydrated all the time.

Foods that should be avoided during pregnancy:

Avoiding the below mentioned foods will keep you and your baby healthy.

1.Fish containing mercury:
Fish such as shark,tile fish contain high levels of mercury.Mercury is an element which is found in oceans,lakes etc which converts into methyl mercury in the human body.It is a neurotoxin which leads to brain damage and development delays in babies.

2.Raw or under-cooked eggs:
Raw or under-cooked eggs should not be consumed as they contain harmful salmonella bacteria,which causes food poisoning.You may also suffer from diarrhea,vomiting,abdominal pain etc.

3.Unpasteurized milk:
It is not safe to drink unpasteurized milk or raw milk as it contains harmful bacteria called salmonella which can be dangerous to you and your baby.

4.Unwashed fruits and vegetables:
Unwashed fruits and vegetables contains toxoplasma parasite which harms the developing baby.

5.Excess caffeine :
Higher amount of caffeine could increase the chances of miscarriage and low birth weight babies.Other drinks which can be avoided are soft drinks,diet soda,alcohol,iced tea.

6.Sugar rich foods:
Cut down on sugar rich foods such as desserts,candies,cakes,ice creams,sweetened beverages.They worsen pregnancy discomforts,increase weight,increase gestational diabetes etc.

Benefits of playing music during pregnancy:

The foetus develops the ears in the third week of gestation but they wont become functional until the week 16.Foetus can actively listen by week 24.High stress levels in expectant mothers can cause negative effect on both the mother and baby.Music and singing can cause soothing effect on both the mother and the baby and can lead healthy and happy baby later in life.Singing along with the music helps to develop better bonding between the mother and the baby.

Listening to all kind of music encourages early brain development in the baby.


1.Don’t play music continuously.
2.Don’t play the music too loud as it might disturb the baby.

How to manage morning sickness during first 3 months of pregnancy?

Nausea can occur at any time of the day.But morning sickness usually settles after first 3 months.To manage morning sickness try the below mentioned tips:

1.Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
2.Get fresh air and avoid the smell of food which triggers the nausea.
3.Eat little and often.Having an empty stomach might even worsen the situation.

If your sickness continues even after 3 months and if you are finding difficulty in having the food please consult your doctor immediately.

Drugs that should be avoided during pregnancy:

This is an antibiotic that’s usually given in the form of infection.This drug can cause serious blood disorders and gray baby syndrome.

2.Ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin:
These two are also types of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.These drugs cause problems with baby’s muscle and skeletal growth as well as joint pain and potential nerve damage in the mother.fluoroquinolone antibiotics also increase the chances of having a miscarriage.

These are a group of antibiotic medications.They are also known as sulfa drugs.They are used to kill germs and treat bacterial infections.They can cause jaundice in newborns.They can also increase the chances of having a miscarriage.

4.Primsol :
This is also a type of antibiotic.This can cause neural tube defects if consumed during pregnancy.These defects affect brain development in a developing baby.

5.Codeine :
This is a prescription drug which is used to relieve pain.It can lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborns.

6.Ibuprofen :
This can cause serious problems such as miscarriage,delayed onset of labor,jaundice,fetal kernicterus ( type of brain damage) etc.

Seasonal pregnancy care:

Summer – Maternity clothes have come a long way nowadays and should be whole wholeheartedly opted for.Make sure you buy clothes that cool you off by making you look and feel great.

Monsoon – Keep your skin hydrated at all times and bathe daily to fight against high humidity levels in monsoon.Apply homemade creams,rose water and soothing oils and lotions to the areas where you might feel you are getting stretch marks.

Winter – Eat a fruit rich diet as it helps in developing a robust immunity level.Keep yourself hydrated enough by drinking healthy liquids such as water,homemade soups and green teas.Stay away from drinking too much coffees,black teas etc.

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