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1. What are the first changes that happen to a woman when she becomes pregnant?

Even before she knows she's pregnant, she will notice breast changes. Her breasts become tender. Her nipples become tender. Her breasts enlarge slightly and increase during the entire pregnancy. Some other changes are generalized gas production, so constipation as well as gas bloating of the belly occurs. These are some of the changes that people come to hospital complaining of when they don't even know they're pregnant. Other early changes occur in the skin. There are some slight pigment changes in the face or all over the body. Some women can get increased oil production also in early pregnancy.

2. What's the tip-off for a woman that she's pregnant?

Some of the pregnancy tip-offs include generalized bloating or difficulty in digestion. Many women begin to urinate very often. Few others are nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and heavy sleeping for long hours.

3. What happens to the breasts during pregnancy?

Some of the changes in the breast that occur include increased growth of the actual cells of the breasts. Initially they increase number. This is very early. Then during rest of the pregnancy the glandular and ductal cells grow in number and actually expand, get ready to fill with milk, which will happen right after delivery.

4. What causes morning sickness and what does it actually indicate?

Causes for morning sickness are not always clear. There is some thought, that hormones change increases in progesterone and estrogen causing morning sickness. Usually about 70 to 80 percent women suffer from morning sickness during early pregnancy; some even begin noticing nausea as early as four to eight weeks. 

5. Can I have sex while pregnancy?

Sex while pregnancy is normally safe though you may adjust your position to allow for that bump. Women who have a history of miscarriage may be advised to avoid having intercourse during the first trimester and those with a history of early births should avoid it in the final trimester. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. You may want to consult your doctor if you notice bleeding in the early months.

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6. I've got fever, can i take any medication?

You should check with your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy. This includes over-the-counter medications such aspirin and homeopathic medicines.

7. How late in my pregnancy can I fly?

Although most airlines will allow you to fly until week 36, you need to check with each one and with your doctor before booking any tickets. Most airlines require a letter from your doctor that you are fit to fly. Make sure to stretch your legs and walk around during the flight and drink plenty of water. It's also a good idea to ask for an aisle seal, so you don't disturb your neighbor when making those frequent trips to the rest room.

8. I'm late in my pregnancy, should I wear a seat-belt in the car?

The seal belt will not hurt you or your baby even if you involved in an accident. There is a greater risk of injury if you do not wear your seat belt. Wear the seat-belt normally across the shoulder and under, rather than over your belly. 

9. Why is exercise important during pregnancy?

Regular exercise during pregnancy has been linked to less weight gain and fat deposits that may help prevent gestational diabetes. Regular aerobic activity prior to or early in pregnancy has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of preeclampsia. A complete exercise program helps to prevent deconditioning, promotes retention of muscle, bone and connective tissue; relieves stress; prepares a mother for labor; helps to maintain range of motion; and may relieve some discomforts induced by pregnancy. In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women"

10. What should I be eating?

You do not need a special diet just because you are pregnant, but should eat healthy as your body has to work especially hard during pregnancy. It is now known that what you eat can have a far-reaching effect on your baby's health. You should therefore make sure that you have a well-balanced, varied diet and that you eat regularly and often. In the last three months of your pregnancy aim to increase your daily calorie intake by about 200 calories-the equivalent of a banana and a glass of milk. 

11. What foods are best?

It is a good idea to be realistic in your dietary aims and eat what you actually enjoy, because it is likely that if you restrict yourself to an artificial (and possibly unappealing) diet, you will be more tempted to go on an eating binge and put on unwanted pounds. Just make sure that you are getting the basic nutrients in your core diet. 

12. What foods should I cut out?

Try to cut out very fatty foods such as fried foods, and cream sauces. These are likely to make you feel nauseous in the first three months as well as contribute to weight gain. Look out for the fat in convenience foods like biscuits, pastries, puffs and cakes. Avoid certain foods that carry the risk of infection and damage to your baby.

13. Should I drink more fluids?

As your blood volume increases, you need to increase your fluid intake. Drink water rather than high-calorie fizzy drinks, which are full of sugar and can make nausea and heartburn worse. Even if you have fluid retention, do not reduce your fluid intake; try to drink up to six glasses of water each day. Drinking fluid can also prevent constipation, a common problem in pregnancy.

14. Are snacks and junk food bad in pregnancy?

Snacking in itself is not a bad thing but if you can, you should try to snack on healthy foods. Fresh fruit, nuts, raisins, and raw vegetables are much better for you than junk foods like chocolate, chips, and fried snacks etc; these are high in calories, fats, sugars, and salt, and although they may produce a fast energy high, they do not contain many nutrients that will help your baby to grow and develop. They may also contain artificial coloring and additives Of course; the occasional snack now and then will not do any harm. But snacks shouldn't play a large part in your diet. This would also cause you to gain excessive weight.

15. Can I get pregnant while breast-feeding?

Yes, there are chances of you getting pregnant while breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is up to 98% effective as a natural contraceptive for up to six months after childbirth if your period has not returned. This method of birth control is called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM

16. How soon can I start exercise after my baby's birth?

Every woman is different. Several factors individual to each new mother may affect her starting date, including the labor and birth experience (vaginal vs. c-section), your baby's disposition, your exercise history and how much energy you have. Typically, if you were taking prenatal exercise classes, you can return to classes at 3-4 weeks post partum. Be sure to speak with your physician or nurse about your desire to begin exercise.

17. Is it ok to breastfeed if I am beginning an exercise program?

Yes, exercise has not been shown to have any adverse effects on milk production or Composition in mothers who exercise at a moderate intensity. If you notice your baby has an aversion for post exercise milk, you may find it easier to feed the baby or express milk before your activity. Adequate fluid intake is also important to remain hydrated for exercise.

18. How common is depression during and after pregnancy?

Depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery is called prenatal depression. The exact number of women with depression during this time is unknown, But researchers believe that depression is one of the most common complications during and after pregnancy. Often, the depression is not recognized or treated, because some normal pregnancy changes cause similar symptoms and are happening at the same time. Tiredness, sleeping problems, stronger emotional reactions, and changes in body weight during pregnancy and after pregnancy. But these symptoms may also be signs of depression. 

19. What causes depression?

There may be a number of reasons why a woman gets depressed. Hormone changes or a stressful life event, such as a death in the family can cause chemical changes in the brain that lead to depression. Depression is also an illness that runs in some families. Other times, it's not clear what causes depression. Most often ‘birthing’ is the family's first experience with a healthcare facility. But for too long women have had a limited choice on the facility itself. It is usually either the neighborhood nursing home or a general hospital, which are either under-equipped or cold and impersonal. Having a baby is a joyful and fulfilling time for a woman. But the lack of proper facilities makes delivering a baby an experience filled with indifference, discomfort and uncertainties. It is, therefore, very important that the first encounter should be one that leaves a lasting impression of high quality facilities and services.

20. What is Natural Access Scar less Surgery?

It is a totally scarless method much like a normal vaginal delivery. It is a method that can be adopted for conditions which require the following procedures.

• Hysterectomy

• Prolapse

• Myomectomy

• Polypectomy

Post operative recovery is excellent with this approach and results in less pain.

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