In 2017, the mortality rate of pregnant women in Australia was 6 per 100,000. Between 2008 and 2017, the corresponding figure was 6.7. In this period, roughly 248 women died while giving birth to their babies. These statistics are worrying not just for pregnant women but newborn babies as well. As a society, we should be doing much more and much better to save the lives of expectant mothers. The article gives a brief overview of all the care any expectant mother needs to take.
1. Fix an appointment
If you think or find you are pregnant, you may consider visiting your doctor. There are two kinds of doctors who will deal with your pregnancy- gynecologists and obstetricians. The former looks after the maternal health while the latter are directly involved with child-delivery.
Your gynecologist will conduct several tests on you. He will take urine, and blood samples and will check sugar, and protein levels in your blood. High sugar content means you probably have diabetes. In that case, he will prescribe you a few medicines. The presence of high levels of protein may also call for specialized care.
2. What are the Signs of Pregnancy?
Please click this website. That’s not all; your doctor will also check for some more signs. These include:
- Whether you have any diseases like Syphilis, TB, etc.
- Shape and size of your uterus or womb
- A Pap smear test that will check for signs of cervical cancer
As the days progress, your visits to your gynecologist will become more frequent, though spaced. You’d have to visit him once every four weeks during your first tri-semester. In months 7, and 8, you would be visiting your doctor every two weeks while in your last month, your visits would become weekly.
3. Weight Gain or Loss
Pregnant women gain weight during their trimesters. You should expect a weight gain of 25-30 pounds before delivery. However, underweight expectant mothers should gain more weight.
- Meat and Fish: It’s important to have a balanced diet during your pregnancy. Eating the right food will help you as well as your unborn baby. Avoid taking fish more than twice a week in the initial stages of your pregnancy. This precaution extends to canned fish as well. Don’t eat shark meat, mackerel, tilefish or swordfish in this period. These fish have high mercury levels that may harm your baby.
If you have to eat tuna, eat light tuna. Your total intake of canned, light tuna should not exceed 12 ounces a week. Expectant mothers should restrict their albacore tuna to just 6 ounces a week. Avoid eating raw or uncooked meat; it may have high levels of pesticides that may damage your and your baby’s health.
- Fruit and Vegetables: Wash the fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Please keep your spoons, plates, cutting boards, and utensils clean. Don’t consume unpasteurized milk and milk products. These have bacteria that will damage your health. If you have diabetes, you may take artificial sugar, but in moderation. Some of the brands that you may consume are Equal, Splenda, NutraSweet, etc. Some expectant mothers suffering from phenylketonuria may have to avoid aspartame-based artificial sugars.
- Taking Medicines and Vitamins: Please avoid taking medications that aren’t prescribed by your doctor. Some medication, taken without your doctor’s approval, may cause severe and irreversible birth defects. It’s important to take folic acid during your pregnancy.
Your daily intake should be 400 mg, if you want to exceed that, please ask your doctor. Lastly, please continue exercising during your pregnancy. Regular physical activity can ease your delivery. Try exercising at least 30 minutes per day.