Dr. Advice

By Dr. Sushma Noheria, Noheria Nursing Home


Q: How long will the morning sickness last? I’m so nauseous!

A: Morning sickness should occur less and less by the second trimester/4 months. Maybe sooner! On rare occasions it will stick around. Rare!

Q: How much weight will I gain?

A: If you are in your ideal weight zone you should gain 25-35 pounds. If you are overweight or obese, expect to gain around 15 pounds. If you are underweight, you will gain more like 30-40 lbs. Be sure to ask your doctor how many calories you should be consuming. If you take pregnancy as an OK to eat as much as your want, you could gain twice as much.

Q: When will I feel the baby kick? Can I interact with him?

A: Between 16 and 20 weeks you should feel that first noticeable kick. Babies respond to touch by week 26. Ask your doctor to show you the amount of pressure you can use to interact with your unborn child. In examination, he or she may be able to help you feel the head. Some parents have claimed they taught their unborn child to kick on request, by using a verbal cue whenever the baby would kick on its own.

Q: In what month does the baby start to see or hear? Can we interact?

A: Around week 29 the baby can turn its head to find the source of a bright light. Some research has shown reactive “listening” as early as 14 weeks gestational age. The baby should be able to hear the mothers voice at 20 weeks, certainly by 30. You can play music for your baby, talk to your baby and have hubby talk to your baby – long before month 8! It is good for you too.

Q: Is spotting normal?

A: Spotting can be normal in the first trimester. Warning signs to call your doctor: cramps, heavy bleeding, passage of clots or tissue, increase in pain and/or fever, red spotting (instead of brown or pink). Otherwise don’t panic, but be sure to mention it on your next visit.

Q: How can I help my labor along?

A: There are many tips online that can be dangerous if you’re not being monitored, such as prolonged nipple stimulation. The best way to help your labor along is to relax during that first stage. Talk a shower, a walk, have an energy packed meal, and breathe. Stay upright so that gravity can help you. I’ve seen much disagreement on what helps, what is unsafe… You’re body will do most of the work on it’s own.

Q: What dangers should I watch out for? Is there anything unsafe in my house?

A: Avoid strenuous, rough exercise: be kind to your joints and don’t overdo it. No scuba diving or riding rollercoasters!

Avoid drugs and alcohol, second hand smoke, and always check with your doctor before taking any kind of medication. Check the labels on your dandruff shampoo, lotion treatments, etc. I was shocked when I read the small print on a free shampoo sample I got in the mail, “may cause birth defects”.

Avoid eating raw fish, high-mercury fish, soft cheeses, deli meats, shellfish, unpasteurized milk and juice, undercooked meats, raw sprouts (because of bacteria), left out foods, ‘fake’ sugars, excesses of Vitamins A, C, or D, and junk foods.

Have someone else change the cat liter. Take precautions when you clean, wear gloves, check labels just to be sure of safety. If you’ve ever thought to switch from the chemical cleaners to greener products like baking soda and vinegar, you might as well go for it now. Stay away from chemicals, car exhaust fumes, and other potentially toxic fumes when possible.

Q: What are the classes all about?

A: Our classes are aimed at the expectant mother and her birth partner and provide support, practical skills and information about the choices available. They are designed to help prepare for labour, birth and early parenthood in a friendly and informal atmosphere. The classes prepare you for the different types of birth, be it in hospital, a birthing centre, at home or even in the car on the way to hospital! They also enable you to form a support network of like-minded people post birth.

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Learn how your body is changing and your baby is growing.
  • Eat well to gain weight.
  • Make healthy choices – avoid alcohol, smoking and street drugs.
  • Balance activity and rest.
  • Practice relaxation.
  • Have early and regular prenatal care.
  • Enjoy this special time in your life.
  • Have confidence in your body’s ability to grow, nourish and give birth to your new baby.

Every pregnant woman and her family want the best for their growing baby. Research shows us that what you do now can affect your unborn baby’s lifetime health. Learn how to improve your unborn baby’s environment to give him or her a great start to a healthy life.

Learn:

  • How your unborn baby’s environment can affect how he or she grows
  • How you can improve your unborn baby’s environment
  • To be more comfortable as your body changes
  • To find the resources and support that can help you
  • How to build family communication skills as you and your partner become parents
  • The signs of preterm labour and what you can do
  • Learn how you can participate in your care by making decisions and communicating with your caregivers

LABOUR AND CHILDBIRTH

Every labour and birth is unique. We know that what happens this day can affect a woman emotionally and physically for the rest of her life. As informed consumers, participating in your care by making choices and helping yourself, you can significantly affect how this day unfolds.

Learn:

  • how to confidently approach childbirth, with skills to promote the process of labour and your natural pain relief methods
  • how you can participate in your care by making decisions and communicating with your caregivers
  • about labour – how do you know your labour has started, when do you go to the hospital, how long are contractions going to last, how does the baby actually get out?
  • practice your body’s natural pain relief methods, like movement, positioning, massage, visualization, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques
  • about labour support – the how-to’s for your partner and about professional labour support (a doula)
  • about medical procedures, including pain medication, epidurals, induction, cesearean- when they may be used, why, and what decisions you may be asked to make
  • how to use and practice support techniques that will help you in labour, and help your partner be more involved and comfortable with the support role
  • from the experiences of other pregnant women and expectant fathers

PARENTING

Parenthood is a new stage of life – sometimes wonderful and occasionally frustrating. Learning about basic care for your self and your baby, and how to find other resources can help you to adjust to your new role.

Learn:

  • breastfeeding – the benefits, how to get started and how to avoid problems
  • about baby care – what you want, what you need, what baby needs
  • new parents survival – coping with crying, colic, adjustments to parenthood, postpartum depression, time management, growing into a family
  • your baby’s growth and development, toys and games for newborns, safety, car seats
  • what to do if your baby gets sick
  • about infants and families in the first year

Have a question? Write to us.

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