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How should we manage the health problems, big and small, that come our way during this critical 9 months?

LiveWell sought the advice of Dr. Jothi Kumar, Senior O&G consultant, O & G Partners Clinic for Women and Fertility Centre, Gleneagles Hospital who assured us that there are actually health issues that even we can manage while pregnant.

However, there are some that demand particular attention. How do we know which is which?

IT's OKAY

Most likely there is nothing to fear if you meet with the following scenarios. These are also extremely unlikely to put a mum-to-be or foetus in jeopardy.

  1. Mild flu symptoms like mild body aches with cough and cold in the absence of fever
  2. Mild nausea – which is in fact part and parcel of our daily dose of morning sickness, but will usually be gone by the fourth month.
  3. Mild diarrhoea.
  4. Mild skin rash or itchiness over the body
  5. Mild backache which often increases in severity as the pregnancy advances due to the increasing weight of the baby
  6. Occassional pain in the abdomen that goes away after a few minutes and is not associated with vaginal bleeding
  7. Heartburn especially on lying down – We are always advised to relax during pregnancy. Even the hormones in our body cause the digestive system to slow down and the peristaltic muscles in the oesophagus push the food down slower. Furthermore as the baby grows and pushes onto the stomach, acid will be forced upwards.
  8. Mild headaches, which are easily relieved with paracetamol tablets

However we are to note that although the symptom or complaint may be minor, it may still be an early warning sign of some underlying problem with the pregnancy which is in its early stage of presentation.

If any of these symptoms increases in severity, keep in mind that you should seek immediate medical attention.

It's not OKAY

On the other extreme end of the mild symptoms, we may also encounter difficult situations that mean we should consult the doctor without any delay.

  1. Excessive vomiting (unable to even take in fluids) which usually happens in the first 12 weeks.
  2. Severe abdominal pain, especially if it comes on suddenly and persists for more than an hour
  3. Headache that persists despite taking paracetamol and is associated with feeling unwell and vomiting
  4. Persistent fever which does not settle could be suggestive of an infection
  5. Sudden increase in weight and sudden excessive swelling of the feet, hands or face. This could be a sign of preeclampsia which is characterised by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. This prevents the placenta from getting enough blood and results in the foetus getting lesser food and oxygen.
  6. In the later stages of pregnancy, sudden decrease in fetal movements for a day, or no fetal movements at all for half a day
  7. Rupture of the pregnancy sac membranes, as evidenced by watery discharge per vaginum running down the legs, in the absence of any uterine contractions or abdominal pains
  8. Bleeding per vaginum - Bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage but 20-30% of women experience some degree of bleeding in early pregnancy. However, bleeding in the second half of the pregnancy may be a sign of some threat to the health of the mum or the baby.

The last sign to watch

Finally, when the big day finally arrives and you are having your contractions, you will know that it is a true labour if the contractions are strong, long and frequent. Grab your bag! You should already be on your way to the hospital! LWB

Your 3rd trimester | Your pregnancy Glow | Feeling very veiny? | You're beautiful | 8 signs that not all is right

 
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