Q. What kind of diet is recommended during pregnancy?

Plenty of water and roughage in the diet is essential. Fresh fruits and vegetables are helpful in providing necessary vitamins and minerals. Small frequent meals are helpful in the first three months to reduce nausea and bloating. It is advisable to restrict yourself to food prepared at home.

Q. How much of travel is safe during pregnancy?

The middle part of pregnancy from the fourth to the eighth month is the best time for travel. The travel allowance during pregnancy varies depending on any complications, which may restrict activity.

Q. Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Lamaze, breathing exercises, and yoga is recommended during pregnancy. It improves general well being, blood circulation, relaxes the mind and helps in preparing the pelvic musculature for delivery. Strenuous unaccustomed exercise schedules are not advisable.

Q. How much of weight gain is normal during pregnancy?

Though there is no fixed recommendation but usually a gain of 10 � 12 kg is noticed in most women. Less weight gain is not necessarily harmful but could indicate a compromised baby. Excessive weight gain till 25 kg may occasionally be seen. Pregnancy is not a time for dieting and plans for dietary restrictions for weight reduction should be deferred after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Q. Are secretions from the breast normal during pregnancy?

Some women may have milky discharge from the breast during pregnancy. This is not abnormal and needs no treatment. Nursing bras can be used to avoid the discomfort.

Q. What medicines are generally taken during pregnancy?

Generally a folic acid, iron tablet and calcium tablet are prescribed for most women in pregnancy. Some doctors may suggest multivitamins and additional nutrition supplements.

Q. What are the first signs of delivery?

Low back pain occurring periodically and gradually increasing in intensity could be the first sign of an impending delivery. A blood stained mucoid discharge and breaking of waters are other signs of impending delivery.

Q. Is swelling up normal during pregnancy?

Leg swelling may be seen in many women especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Elevation of the feet and massage could give temporary relief. Swelling of the body along with raised blood pressure could be a part of a disease called pre-eclampsia, which needs urgent evaluation.

Q. How often should I be seeing my doctor?

Once a month visits are optimal in early pregnancy. Later on, frequent check-ups are recommended. For a high-risk pregnancy, you may need to visit your doctor repeatedly.

Can I find out the sex of my baby?

By 3 months it is possible to determine the sex of the baby by ultrasound. Other invasive methods may be used to detect the sex of the baby. However in India, trying to find out the sex of the baby before birth is punishable by law and must not be attempted. This is due to the gross misuse of this technology and selectively aborting female babies in a male-preference society.

Q. How is the delivery date calculated?

The delivery date is calculated by adding nine months and seven days to the first day of bleeding of the last period. This calculated date holds true only if menstrual cycles are regular. Only 4% of women deliver exactly on the date of delivery. Delivery could take place anytime 1 month before to 1 week after the calculated delivery date.

Q. How accurate are the pregnancy tests?

The urine pregnancy kits commercially available are more than 99% accurate.

Q. Is Ultrasonography safe during pregnancy?

Research of over 40 years has proven that Ultrasonography during pregnancy is usually safe. Regular ultrasounds do not cause anomalies in the baby. Usually an early ultrasound in the first three months for dating and a mid trimester ultrasound, around 18 – 20 weeks to rule out anomalies is routinely suggested. Besides this, as the necessity arises more sonograms may be required.

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