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Comprehensive Antenatal Program

Comprehensive Antenatal Program

Antenatal period is the period before the baby’s birth, that is before labor or during the pregnancy phase. Antenatal program has been designed exclusively to render assistance to you and your partner to prepare for the pregnancy. This program helps you in dealing with healthy aspects of pregnancy and also the promotional ways, which would be paving the way for an easy and joyful pregnancy and parenthood.

Our Comprehensive Antenatal program offers you a comprehensive understanding of the nutrition, screening tests and lifestyle habits, which are necessary during pregnancy. Diet is the major issue, which must be duly taken care of during and after pregnancy, so here are few essential tips on what and how much to eat.


Alcohol usage

High levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy would result in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). There are various components including growth restriction, intellectual impairment, facial anomalies and behavioral problems. Abstain yourself from consuming alcohol during the first trimester, as there might be a brim chance of increased risk of miscarriage associated with the drinking alcohol.


Body weight

Shed your weight before becoming pregnant. A healthy weight would obviously lessen the risk of NTD, preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, caesarean delivery, hypertension and thromboembolic disease and is also more likely to promote conception. Similarly, women who are being categorized in the underweight section would be having the ample chances of pregnancy difficulty; Further more, these people would also be at the risk level of contracting deeper pregnancy-related complications.

While, it is often an arduous task to achieve ideal body weight, but women are always apprised and advised of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with their weight; particularly those women whose BMI’s level have touched above 40 mark. At this juncture, dietitian consultation is absolutely necessary.


Folic acid

Supplementation with folic acid is one of the most notable pre-emptive interventions available in the preconceptual/antenatal period:
All women should consume at least 400 micrograms/day whilst trying to become pregnant and for at least during the first three months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). Women at towering risk of NTD should consume a higher dose of 5 mg/day until 12 weeks of pregnancy.


Eating habits

It’s advisable for healthy women on a normal diet to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Apart from this, they should also consume dairy products to raise stores of vitamins, iron and calcium. Because of the imminent dangers of toxoplasmosis and listeriosis, women should avoid:

   Uncooked meat, fish and eggs
   Unpasteurised milk
   Unripened soft cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert or blue-veined cheese
   Unwashed fruit and vegetables


Vegetarians, and especially vegans, would be always at the risk of various nutritional deficiencies; hence they should be directed to a dietitian. Vitamin D deficiency causes impaired fetal growth. All women should be apprised about the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D stores during pregnancy and breast-feeding.


Caffeine during pregnancy may induce fetal growth restriction. One cohort study found an odds ratio of 1.2 for 100-199 mg of caffeine/day (1-2 cups of coffee, 2-4 cups of tea) and 1.6 for >300 mg caffeine/day (more than 3 cups of coffee or 6 cups of tea). A sensible approach in this regard would be to reduce the intake of caffeine consumption prior to pregnancy in heavy users.


Women should be cautioned about substituting caffeinated drinks with herbal preparations and teas, as their usage and pregnancy safety haven’t been studied yet.


Exercise

Women who exercise regularly should be advised to maintain that with full vigour. Those who are in the dormant state should commence a gentle program of regular exercise. Saunas and hot tubs should be avoided because of possible risk of hyperthermia to the fetus. Women should be counseled about the potential dangers of certain activities during pregnancy – eg, contact or high-impact sports, vigorous racquet sports and scuba diving.


Cervical screening

Women who possess cervical smear ought to be tapped and they should be encouraged to have their screen before becoming pregnant. Smears are not routinely taken during pregnancy, as pregnancy-related inflammatory changes would be difficult to interpret certain treatments cannot be carried out during pregnancy, when an abnormality gets detected.


Smoking

Smoking during the pregnancy phase might contract a large number of adverse effects. Some of them are
1) Intrauterine growth restriction
2) Miscarriage and still birth
3) Premature delivery
4) Placental problems

Apart from this, if there’s any other smoker in one’s household, then those people also ought to be sensitised. Since smoking around a baby might increase the risk of sudden infant death and other respiratory diseases. One should accord appropriate health education regarding the effect of smoking on pregnancy in broader aspects. There resides a little information on the usage of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in pregnancy, but smoking accords a greater dose of nicotine and also exposes mother and fetus to other toxins.


It is likely to be securer than smoking in mothers for whom non-pharmacological interventions have failed, but risks and benefits ought to be discussed in an elaborate manner. NRT patches should be taken-off at night in pregnancy. One should dispense considerable advice on the immense benefits of anti-smoking prior to the pregnancy period. As these concerns wouldn’t be deemed as an issue.


Medication review

It’s always advisable to minimise exposure to all drugs, including those which are being bought over the counter. There exists little data on herbal preparations in pregnancy, and they should also be avoided. Do not exceed 10,000 IU of vitamin A from vitamin supplements either prior to or during pregnancy, as vitamin A is a potent teratogen.

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