I am Pregnant- Q&A

I am in the eighth month of my pregnancy and the baby’s movements have decreased considerably over the last week. Is this a cause for concern?

It is indeed a cause for concern. You should visit your doctor at the earliest. She will perform a check up, hear the fetal heart and get an NST done. NST is a simple, non-invasive test that gives a fair idea about the baby’s well being. If this is normal you will be sent home and asked to keep a kick count. This entails counting the baby’s movements for one hour after every meal. If there are

3-4 movements each time all is well. If the NST is abnormal or inconclusive further surveillance is required. An ultrasound with a BPS (biophysical score) will be done where the baby gets a score out of 10. Sometimes you do not perceive the movements but they are well visualized on an ultrasound and you may be sent home after being reassured. On the other hand if the BPS is poor you will be admitted and strict monitoring will done if the baby is premature so that it can grow big enough to survive outside the womb.

 

Recently I aborted a two-and-a-half-months-old baby due to some internal problem. I want to know if I can get pregnant again and have a healthy baby. What if I abort again?

One in twenty five pregnancies end up in an abortion, usually due to a chromosomal anomaly that is incompatible with life. This is because 10-20 per cent of the millions of sperms produced during each ejaculate are abnormal and one of these must have fertilized the ovum. In that case in all probability you will have no difficulty in having a healthy pregnancy and a normal baby next time. On the other hand if you have repeated abortions, you will need a host of investigations to reach a diagnosis and management will be done accordingly. Repeated abortions could occur due to conditions such as genetic, hormonal, immune problems, infections and congenital abnormalities of the uterus. Usually there is no difficulty in conceiving after an abortion unless you develop blocked tubes due to infection. It is advisable to wait at least six months after an abortion before you try for another pregnancy.

 

When can I resume sexual intercourse after delivery?

Most women remain disinterested in sex for some months after birth. The pressing desire on getting into bed during this time is for sleep! However it is generally accepted that one can resume sexual intercourse 2-3 weeks after birth. As the stitches hurt (especially after a normal delivery) it is wiser to wait till six weeks after delivery when the internal organs have returned to their original sate (our ancestors knew this well before science told them) and the external stitches have completely healed. By this time you also have had your first postnatal check up after which the doctor usually gives you the green signal to go ahead. However the bottom line is that a couple can resume sex as soon as the woman feels physically and emotionally ready to do so.

 

What is a non-stress test? Why is it done?

A non stress test is an easy painless, way for your doctor to make sure your baby is doing well inside you by measuring changes in his/her heart rate. It is usually done during the last trimester, within one month of your due date. This test is done when a pregnancy is considered high risk as in:

_          Diabetes mellitus/gestational diabetes

_          High BP

_          Decreased fetal movement

_          Being overdue

_          Previous stillbirth

_          IUGR (intra uterine growth retardation

_          Any other complications in pregnancy

 

I am in the seventh month of my pregnancy and have developed slight bleeding from the vagina. Is this normal? Do I have to visit the doctor for the same?

You should visit the doctor as soon as possible for, bleeding in pregnancy especially at this time can be due to placenta privea or placental abruption both of which are serious complications of pregnancy.

In placenta privea the placenta is situated lower down and during painless uterine contractions that occur throughout pregnancy or after sexual intercourse/internal check up can cause bleeding. In placental abruption a normally situated placenta comes off its attachment to the uterus leading to a collection of blood between the placenta and uterine wall part of which may trickle out. In either case you need an immediate ultrasound and hospital admission.

 

I am in the 28th week of my pregnancy and have been prescribed breathing exercises. Please tell me how to do them?

Lie on the back with knees bent and feet on the floor, mouth closed.

_          Breathe gently in and out, keeping quite loose and letting the abdominal wall rise up with the indrawn breath and drop down with the outgoing one. Practice this every day till you can take half a minute to draw in and then slowly breathe out.

_          Breathe in to expand the ribs sideways, opening out the inverted V of the ribs in front. Again breathe out slowly.

_          Raise your sternum (breastbone) while breathing in and lower it while breathing out. Do these exercises daily.

– Dr. Amrinder Kaur Bajaj, MD.

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