15 Nov Pregnancy Q & A
Q. Should I learn a particular breathing pattern for labour?
A. Every woman is different and personalities come into play. It can be a very good idea to try all sorts of breathing. All women will find their own pace and rhythms in labour, By practicing various techniques women who have a need to feel prepared by knowing something to do during labour, will build confidence.
Q. What sort of music is good to use during labour?
A. Choose some relaxing music as well as energizing and upbeat music. Have a good selection of booth. Some good choices are Pachelbel Canon in D, Cloud Dancer – Philip Elcano, Hooked on Classics, I am Woman – Helen Reddy, Hard Day’s Night – Beatles, Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion, The Wind Beneath my Wings, I Will Carry You – Clay Aiken, You’ll be in My Heart – Phil Collins. There is no right or wrong music -it is whatever relaxes and energises you.
Q. Is any amount of alcohol ok to consume while I am pregnant?
A. When a pregnant mother drinks alcohol so too does her unborn baby. Alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman, moves into her blood stream and is carried through the placental tissue that separates the mother and baby’s blood systems, delivering the alcohol directly to the developing tissues of the foetus. This alcohol is especially devastating for the baby’s brain development as the alcohol crosses the blood-brain barrier with ease. The harmful (teratogenic) effects of alcohol can damage the foetus throughout pregnancy and are not isolated to a particular time of a pregnancy. The severity of the foetal alcohol syndrome depends on the quantity and timing of the mothers drinking during her pregnancy, together with numerous other factors such as: the mothers’ body mass index, age, food consumption at the time the alcohol was ingested, genetics, other drugs such as smoking etc. All pregnant mothers who drink alcohol are at risk of producing a baby with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most common preventable form of mental disability in the world! It is blind to who you are, where you are from and what you do, it doesn’t discriminate against culture, faith, politics, status or designation. FASD can happen to any child whose mother drank alcohol when she was pregnant. It is common – more common than Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and Autism combined. The damage to the unborn child is permanent and cannot be reversed!
Q. Is it safe to travel long distances by car while I am pregnant?
A. It is fine to travel, but a few important factors must be taken into account
- Frequent stops – every 1 to 2 hours should be made for walking and stretching to prevent blood clots in the legs due to long periods of inactivity
- You should empty your bladder regularly and drink frequently to prevent a urinary tract infection and becoming dehydrated
- Remember to still snack frequently and don’t go for long periods without anything to eat.
Q. How can I best prepare for birth?
A. Be both mentally and physically prepared for the birth of your baby by preparing in the correct way.
- Be business like in your approach to childbirth and glean as much information as possible – attend childbirth education classes – these are a must – they will enable you to understand more fully about pregnancy and labour
- Read up on the subject – read a variety of birthing books to make yourself aware of the different birthing options available to you
- Make sure you access evidenced based birth websites to ensure you are reading the latest research and trends in maternity care
- Ensure that your questions are answered – if they are not, re-ask them at your next antenatal check – write your questions down to help you to remember the important issues you are needing answers to
- Write up a birth plan and make sure that it is included with your hospital notes when you book in to the hospital
- Communicate with your health care provider. During labour, make sure your midwife knows your plans. Ask her to keep you informed if your situation changes from what you had in mind and keep her up to date on how you are feeling.
Q. I am usually very susceptible to vaginal infections. What can I do to decrease my risk of getting them while I am pregnant?
A. Some natural approaches to decreasing your likelihood are
- Rather shower than bath
- Don’t use bath oils or foam
- Use “white soaps” which don’t have colourants or perfumes in them
- Don’t wash your hair in the bath
- Don’t use the jacuzzi
- Don’t use deodorants, perfumes or powders in the vaginal area
- Use good quality totally white toilet paper
- Use cotton underwear
- Wear panties beneath pantyhose
- Avoid lycra and tight clothing
- No alcohol or cigarettes
- Take a good vitamin supplement
- Use probiotics like Reuterina Femme
- Ensure a healthy gut by having a healthy diet and avoid constipation
Q. Is it normal to have fluid draining out of the breasts during pregnancy?
A. For many women during pregnancy, it is common to have some colostrum draining from the breasts. It is equally as normal not too. So, don’t be anxious about it and it in no way reflects whether you will be more successful breastfeeding or not. If necessary use breast pads during your pregnancy as well.
Q. I am experiencing sudden leg cramps in my calves during the night. What can I do about it?
A. The cramps may be caused by circulation changes. Try some of the following suggestions
- Simple ankle exercises before bed – they will help improve your circulation, reduce swelling and prevent cramp. Bend your ankle quickly up and down 20 – 30 times, then rotate your foot 10 times, first one way and then the other
- Avoid pointing your toes downwards in bed
- Keep your bedclothes loose
- If you feel a cramp coming on, flex your foot (pull it upwards) while keeping your leg straight
Ensure you have adequate intake of calcium and magnesium – as this can also cause cramps.