Pregnancy Overview

about imagePregnancy is the carrying of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, inside the womb of a female. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets. Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies. Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks after conception; in women who have a menstrual cycle length of four weeks, this is approximately 40 weeks from the last normal menstrual period (LNMP). The World Health Organization defines normal term for delivery as between 37 weeks and 42 weeks.

POSTNATAL PERIOD

The postnatal period begins immediately after the birth of a child and then extends for about six weeks. During this period, the mother's body returns to pre-pregnancy conditions as far as uterus size and hormone levels are concerned.

PERINATAL PERIOD

The perinatal period is immediately before to after birth. Depending on the definition, it starts between the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends between 1 to 4 weeks after birth (the word "perinatal" is a hybrid of the Greek "peri-" meaning 'around or about' and "natal" from the Latin "natus" meaning "birth.").

Nutritional Care in Pregnancy

Nutritional Care in Pregnancy

A balanced, nutritious diet is an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet, balancing carbohydrates, fat, and proteins, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, usually ensures good nutrition. Those whose diets are affected by health issues, religious requirements, or ethical beliefs may choose to consult a health profession al for specific advice.

Adequate periconceptional folic acid (also called folate or Vitamin B9) intake has been proven to limit fetal neural tube defects, preventing spina bifida, a very serious birth defect. The neural tube develops during the first 28 days of pregnancy, explaining the necessity to guarantee adequate periconceptional folate intake. Folates (from folia, leaf) are abundant in spinach (fresh, frozen, or canned), and are found in green leafy vegetables e.g. salads, beets, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits and melons, chickpeas (i.e. in the form of hummus or falafel), and eggs. In the United States and Canada, most wheat products (flour, noodles) are fortified with folic acid.

DHA omega-3 is a major structural fatty acid in the brain and retina, and is naturally found in breast milk. It is important for the woman to consume adequate amounts of DHA during pregnancy and while nursing to support her well-being and the health of her infant. Developing infants cannot produce DHA efficiently, and must receive this vital nutrient from the woman through the placenta during pregnancy and in breast milk after birth.

Dangerous bacteria or parasites may contaminate foods, particularly Listeria and toxoplasma, toxoplasmosis agent. Careful washing of fruits and raw vegetables may remove these pathogens, as may thoroughly cooking leftovers, meat, or processed meat. Soft cheeses may contain Listeria; if milk is raw, the risk may increase. Pregnant women are also more prone to Salmonella infections from eggs and poultry, which should be thoroughly cooked. Practicing good hygiene in the kitchen can reduce these risks.



WEIGHT GAIN

Caloric intake must be increased to ensure proper development of the fetus. The amount of weight gained during a single pregnancy varies among women. The Institute of Medicine recommends an overall pregnancy weight gain for women starting pregnancy at a normal weight, with a body mass index of 18.5-24.9, of 25-35 pounds (11.4-15.9 kg). Women who are underweight, with a BMI of less than 18.5, may need to gain between 28-40 lbs. Overweight women are advised to gain between 15-25 lbs, whereas an obese woman may expect to gain between 11-20 lbs. Doctors and dietitians may make different, or more individualized, recommendations for specific patients, based on factors including low maternal age, nutritional status, fetal development, and morbid obesity.

During pregnancy, insufficient or excessive weight gain can compromise the health of the mother and fetus. All women are encouraged to choose a healthy diet regardless of pre-pregnancy weight. Exercise during pregnancy, such as walking and swimming, is recommended for healthy pregnancies. Exercise has notable health benefits for both mother and baby, including preventing excessive weight gain.



EXPOSURE TO TOXINS

Various toxins pose a significant hazard to fetuses during development:

  • Alcohol ingestion during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a permanent and often devastating birth-defect syndrome. A number of studies have shown that light to moderate drinking during pregnancy might not pose a risk to the fetus, although no amount of alcohol during pregnancy can be guaranteed to be absolutely safe.
  • Numerous studies show that children exposed to prenatal cigarette smoke may experience a wide range of behavioral, neurological, and physical difficulties.
  • Elemental mercury and methylmercury are two forms of mercury that may pose risks in pregnancy. Methylmercury, a worldwide contaminant of seafood and freshwater fish, is known to produce adverse nervous system effects, especially during brain development. Eating fish is the main source of mercury exposure in humans and some fish may contain enough mercury to harm an unborn baby's developing nervous system, sometimes leading to learning disabilities. Mercury is present in many types of fish, but it is mostly found in certain large fish. The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency advise pregnant women not to eat swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish and limit consumption of albacore tuna to 6 ounces or less a week.

NUTRITION AND PREGNANCY

refers to the nutrient intake, and dietary planning that is undertaken before, during and after pregnancy.

In a precursory study into the link between nutrition and pregnancy in 1950 women who consumed minimal amounts over the eight week period had a higher mortality or disorder rate concerning their offspring than women who ate regularly, because children born to well-fed mothers had less restriction within the womb.

Not only have physical disorders been linked with poor nutrition before and during pregnancy, but neurological disorders and handicaps are a risk that is run by mothers, who are malnourished, a condition which can also lead to the child becoming more susceptible to later degenerative disease(s). malnourished, a condition which can also lead to the child becoming more susceptible to later degenerative disease(s).


DIET

Changing your diet offers you a whole new way of being. You can use your food to look after, love, restore and heal yourselves and others.

Also query and consult our experts and renowned Nutritionists.


Your health is far too important to be left entirely to scientists, doctors and other "experts". You should start taking more responsibility for your well being now, and the diet you take is one of the most important ways in which you can achieve this.


Balanced diets as per your individual body requirements offer you the chance of better physical,


  Formula diets are weight-loss plans that replace one or more meals with a liquid formula. Most formula diets are balanced diets containing a mix of protein, carbohydrate, and usually a small amount of fat.

Formula diets are usually sold as liquid or a powder to be mixed with liquid. Although formula diets are easy to use and do promote short-term weight loss, most people regain the weight as soon as they stop using the formula.

In addition, formula diets do not teach you how to make healthy food choices, a necessary skill for keeping your weight off.

You should avoid any diet that suggests you eat a certain nutrient, food, or combination of foods to promote easy weight loss. Some of these diets may work in the short term because they are low in calories.

However, they are often not well balanced and may cause nutrient deficiencies. In addition, they do not teach eating habits that are important for long-term weight management.

Some programs or books suggest monitoring fat only, calories only, or a combination of the two, with the individual making the choice of both the type and amount of food eaten. This flexible type of approach works well for many people, and teaches them how to control what they eat.

One drawback of flexible diets is that some don't consider the total diet. For example, programs that monitor fat only often allow people to take in unlimited amounts of excess calories from sugars, and therefore don't lead to weight loss.

It is important to choose an eating plan that you can live with. The plan should also teach you how to select and prepare healthy foods, as well as how to maintain your new weight. Remember that many people tend to regain lost weight.

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