Pregnancy and Childbirth – The Do’s and The Don’ts
Pregnancy is one of the most joyous moments in a woman’s life and this happiness multiplies after childbirth. The progression from a child to a woman and then to a mother is a wonderful one. If you are an expectant mother, you will be inundated with advice on what to do and what not to do. With the influx of information and suggestions, you may get a little confused with the contradictory nature of some of the advice. So, here are a few tips to clear the confusion.
- Women are generally a little deficient in iron (leading to anaemia) and folic acid (which helps in the development of spinal cord of the baby and reduce neural tube defects of the baby). Therefore, regular intake of supplements providing these nutrients is very essential.
- It is very important to inform the doctor of any pre-existing conditions like thyroid imbalance, hypertension, diabetes, previous miscarriages (if any), history of epilepsy and seizures etc. These will enable the doctor to understand your medical history.
- Blood tests and ultrasounds aid in the early detection of any complications or disorders. In India, pre-conception check-ups are not popular, though they are catching up in a few leading metros.
- Regular pre-natal check-ups are essential even though the expectant mother may feel perfectly fine. Ultrasounds help to monitor the growth of the baby.
- Intake of nutritional supplements along with a healthy and balanced diet is necessary so the baby gets sufficient nutrients for a wholesome growth.
- Immunization during the pregnancy is mandatory as is testing for HIV and Hepatitis B. Timely blood tests also will let the doctor rule out anaemia, gestational diabetes, thyroid imbalances etc.
- Absolute bed rest is not essential unless the doctor has advised to do so. All other parameters being normal, doctors usually encourage routine office and/ or household chores. With the doctor’s approval, you can also pursue exercises or yoga.
- Staying hydrated helps a lot. Also remember that eating for two does not mean that you double the quantity eaten; rather you need to eat better quality of food and ensure you and your baby are getting all the necessary nutrients.
- Doctors these days do not advise complete rest; on the contrary, within 24 hours, they will encourage mothers to move about in their own rooms, even if it was a C-Section. In case of any complication, however, doctors may ask you to rest.
- Hygiene is of prime importance – both for the baby as well as the mother.
- Breast milk is the best food that the baby can get. It is advised strongly that for the first six months, a baby should be exclusively breastfed. This helps the baby in developing immunity and growing well. During this period, you must have a healthy diet as it will provide the baby with essential nutrients through the milk.
- Sleep pattern of the mother becomes erratic once the baby arrives. It is imperative to sleep or rest as and when you get the time.
- Vaccinations are mandatory for the baby and post-delivery check-ups help the doctor to see how the mother is coping with the baby.
Health Insurance with Maternity Cover:
Considering the rising cost of pregnancy and delivery, a health insurance policy with a maternity cover or a maternity insurance plan will be very helpful. Many health insurance companies provide maternity cover as an additional rider to an already existing health plan. It is imperative to understand the inclusions and exclusions of the policy so that you can take an informed decision.
Maternity and subsequent childbirth is an occasion when the whole family comes to welcome the new-born. Ensure you are financially ready for it.
Disclaimer - The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.