Thursday, April 16, 2009

Morning Sickness

During each trimester, almost all pregnant women come across certain common symptoms of pregnancy due to the changes taking place in the body. These symptoms are usually mild in intensity and do not affect the day-to-day activities of the carrying woman. During the first trimester, the most common subjective symptom is morning sickness. Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting with mild discomfort that many women get during their pregnancy. Statistics show that on an average 60 to 70% of pregnant women suffer from it. It is considered as a physiological phenomenon during the pregnancy. It occurs at any time of the day, but more common in the early morning on waking. Rarely, some women have nausea and vomiting throughout the their entire pregnancy. In certain cases, persistent and severe vomiting may affect the baby and the mother. It is said that the degree of morning sickness during one pregnancy does not predict the possibility of it in future pregnancies. However, in the first pregnancy the symptoms may be troublesome for many women due to apprehension. In majority of cases conditions like emotional stress, traveling, certain food items etc. aggravate the vomiting.

Facts about morning sickness

1. Morning sickness is a physiological phenomenon.

2. Usually, it occurs during first trimester of pregnancy.

3. It indicates the normal development of placenta and fetal membranes.

4. The vomiting can occur at any time.

5. Normally, morning sickness won’t cause any harm to the fetes or mother.

6. The severity of morning sickness can be reduced by many precautionary measures.

7. Severe form of morning sickness is called Hyperemesis gravidarum, which may be harmful to the mother or fetus if not treated properly.

8. By proper treatment, the complications can be prevented and the woman can continue a normal pregnancy.

Tips to manage morning sickness:

1. Before getting out of bed, take any one of the following eatables you like.
Biscuits, soda crackers, saltine crackers, wheat crackers, salty potato chips, gelatin desserts, frozen desserts, light snacks, dry toast, hard candy, ginger candy etc. Munching these items fifteen minutes before getting out of bed gives good results.

2. Get out of bed slowly so that the stomach won’t get disturbed.

3. Eat little by little without any hurry.

4. Take small meals throughout the day so that stomach is not kept empty. It is generally advised to have at least five to six small meals, rather than two or three large ones.

5. Eat well-cooked food so that digestion will be easier.

6. Fulfilling your food cravings can make you happy and improve the digestion.

7. Chew the food properly so that saliva gets mixed properly and the stomach gets less workload.

8. Do not lie down immediately after eating. After meals, sit in upright position, so that you can reduce the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, thereby reduce the vomiting tendency.

9. A bland food item like white rice, rice cakes, gruel, plan backed potato etc. cause less irritation to the stomach and the digestion is also much easier.

10. Low fat food is recommended during pregnancy. Almont butter is better than other fats.

11. Take fruits and vegetables that are rich in essential nutrients.

12. Plenty of fluids should be taken. The water intake has to be increased in order to maintain the water balance of the body. On an average a pregnant woman with morning sickness should take at least 2 to 5 liters in 24 hours.

13. Tender coconut water is a natural drink rich in electrolytes. Since it is free from harmful substances, its demand is increasing day by day.

14. Cold liquids and cold food items are useful because of less irritation to the stomach.

15. Drinks made of lemon such as lemonades and lemon soda in small sips can be useful.

16. Any fruit juice of your choice is beneficial.

17. If you feel intolerable to water you can try crushed ice or frozen ice pops.

18. Tasting small pieces of ginger can make the stomach calm at least for some time.

19. Diets containing high proteins and complex carbohydrates are known to fight nausea.

20. Fibrous food helps for a regular bowel movement and prevents constipation.

21. There are number of products that are specially made for morning sickness. Many use morning sickness pretzels, lozenges and lollipops.

22. Vegetable salts are available under different brands that can be taken with water. It is known to reduce hyperacidity and eructations.

23. Glucose(Dextrose) is an instant source of energy. Glucose powder dissolved in water can be taken little by little to maintain glucose and water levels in the body.

24. ORS solution is very useful in case of dehydration. Apart from glucose it contains electrolytes essential for the body functions. ORS packets in variety of flavors are available in most of the shops. As a cheap alternative, home made ORS can also be used.

27. If you are not comfortable with the vitamins and iron tablets you are taking, discuss it with your doctor. You may get some relief from vomiting by changing the brand of vitamins, iron and other food supplements.

28. When you feel nauseated you may get some relief by washing your face with icy cold water.

29. If you feel cooking intolerable you may take others help. If at all you cook keep the kitchen ventilated to air out cooking odors using exhaust fans.

30. Maintain personal hygiene and keep the surroundings neat and clean.

31. Keep your room ventilated so that you get fresh air.

32. If no relief from home remedies, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Some steps to prevent digestive troubles

“ Live not to eat but eat to live” is an old dictum that should be followed by every human being. Here are some steps to prevent digestive troubles.

1. Avoid overeating.

2. Chew the food properly.

3. Eat little by little.

3. Water intake should be sufficient.

4. Avoid talking and laughing while eating.

5. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.

6. Fibrous food is very essential.

7. Avoid gas producing food items.

8. Avoid excess of spicy food, non-vegetarian food and food containing excess of artificial preservatives colors and flavoring agents.

9. Consume freshly cooked food.

10. Avoid the refrigeration of prepared food and again heating and consuming it.

11 Maintain all measures to prevent contamination of food and water.

12 Maintain personal hygiene.

13. Premises where food is prepared and handled should be clean.

14. Keep correct timing for food.

15. Dink one glass of water in the morning on waking and before going to bed.

16. Avoid alcohol, smoking, tobacco chewing etc.

17. Do regular exercises, walking and relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation etc.

Dr. Muhammed Rafeeque