Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Man Power

February 18th, 2010

The mum-to-be may be the centre of attention at the moment , but that doesn’t mean that the expectant dad doesn’t have an important role , too …

Everybody is fussing over your pregnant wife and you’re probably feeling somewhat redundant . It’s your baby too and you’re probably also experiencing apprehension about the future as well as excitement about the child on its way . Your wife will be feeling a mixture of emotions right now too . Talk to each other and show your concerns . There are also a number of practical ways you can help make her pregnancy easier . Plus , she’ll love you even more for your thoughtfulness !

  1. Ease her comfort
  2. Listen to her
  3. Keep her company
  4. Bonding with your baby
  5. Making decisions together
  6. Your good health
  7. Sex
  8. Preparing for the big day
  9. Partners in labour

Pregnancy: Partners in labor

May 17th, 2009

The mum-to-be may be the center of attention at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the expectant dad doesn’t have an important role, too. Everybody is fussing over your pregnant wife and you’re probably feeling somewhat redundant. It’s your baby too and you’re probably also experiencing apprehension about the future as well as excitement about the child on its way.

Your wife will be feeling a mixture of emotions right now and will need your support more than ever. Talk to each other about your concerns because you’re in this together. There are also a number of practical ways you can help make her pregnancy easier and she’ll love you even more for your thoughtfulness.

EASE HER DISCOMFORT

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During the first few months, your wife may experience nausea, mood swings, tiredness and a loss of appetite. Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Place a bucket or plastic bags conveniently near the bed every night, in case she does need to vomit.
  • Get her something light to eat in the morning even if she has no appetite.
  • If she feels uncomfortable or unwell, ease her into an armchair, place a fluffy pillow behind her back and give her swollen tired feet a gentle relaxing massage.
  • Help around the house where possible especially with the heavier and more tiring chores. You could also offer to shop for the groceries on your way home from work.
  • Consider hiring a part-time help for the domestic chores.
  • Indulge her demands or cravings for certain food even at odd hours.

Pregnancy makes a woman feel more vulnerable and sensitive, given all the hormonal changes going on. She may feel bloated and ungainly and the slightest insensitivity can lead to a flood of tears. You will need to be extra supportive during these times. Find out how she feels and listen attentively to her complaints and worries. The ultimate aim is to make her feel loved and wanted, and not like an over-emotional nag.

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Accompany her to her regular check-ups with the gynaecologist. If she needs to have amniocentesis or other procedures and tests done, she will feel more confident and assured if you are present. You will also get the chance to speak to the doctor personally and share the joy of tracking your bab’s foetal development. You can set yourself up as your wife’s right-hand man and answer the doctor’s questions where necessary.

Talking to the unborn child is not a task only for the mother. Dads can share in the joy of this too and enjoy the feel of the baby kicking inside the womb.There are many to make like naming the baby, decorating the nursery, buying the items to fill it with and many more. Make these decisions together because the child is yours too. Shopping trips will be more meaningful and fun if you do them together with your wife. You may also want to discuss birth and pain relief options too.

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Nutrition is very important during pregnancy and rather than just encouraging her to eat properly, it would be easier if both of you adopt a healthy diet together. Abstain from alcohol if possible; if you can’t, try not to drink in your wife’s presence if you know she’d normally like to drink. If you smoke, try not to do this in front of her for this is bad for both,your wife and the unborn baby. Take note of any medication that your wife has been prescribed and ask the doctor what it is for and what the side effects are if any.

Given all the changes taking place in her body, your wife may not be in the mood for sex at the moment. Try to understand what she is going through and be considerate. Do not treat this as a rejection and react with frustration – this will only add to the burden of emotional and physical changes that she is already experiencing. If you are really feeling sexually restricted, have a frank talk with your wife. You might be surprised that your wife may have wanted sex but wasn’t sure if you did too. On the other hand, if you feel a decreased sexual desire due to your wife’s growing belly and leaking breasts; be sensitive about it with her and show your love and affection in other ways such as a kiss and a cuddle.

Familiarize yourself with the signs of labor and understand the different phases. Watch videos of birthing to gain a better understanding of what is to come. If you are driving to the hospital, explore the various possible routes to find out the shortest one. Don’t wait till the last minute because your wife will not be in the best position to navigate!

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Be ready to help your wife through labor and delivery. Most hospitals allow fathers to be present during the birth, but some have restrictions if it is going to be a C-section or a procedure done in emergency situation. Be ready to hug her and help her relax, either through massage or talk. You may also need to remind her to breathe through her contractions. Although you cannot share her pain and difficulties, you will already be providing her with a lot of emotional support by simply being there.

Pregnancy: Your body is changing…

May 16th, 2009

Your body is going through a major upheaval – so expect to veer between feeling wonderful and woeful. Hers’s a list of uncomfortable but common pregnancy ailments and how to deal with them.

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The hormones

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced only during pregnancy, approximately 10 days after fertilization; levels will increase dramatically in the first trimester, but drop later on. HCG is also the cause of any nausea and vomiting you may experince. Estrogen helps to regulate levels of progesterone and prepares the uterus for the baby and your breasts for feeding. It causes breasts tenderness and enlargement and is produced throughout pregnancy. Oxytocin causes uterine contractions during pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding. Oxytocin is released during sex and this is why women in later stages of pregnancy are warned that sex may trigger an early labor. Relaxin is responsible for your constant backache, it softens teh cervix and loosens the joint around the pelvic area to prepare for delivery.

Abnormal cramps

These hit women between 18 and 24 weeks. As your uterus grows, the ligaments are pulled and stretched. Hormonal changes can also play a part in these cramps. To ease the discomfort, try not to switch positions too quickly, especially when you’re turning at the waist. When you feel the stretching pain, bend towards it to relieve it; rest and move slowly. If you have intense cramps or they are accompanied by vaginal bleeding, shoulder pains or painting spells, contact your gynaecologist.

Backache

Many women tend to arch backwards to counterbalance the baby load, causing a large amount of stress to the back. Things may get worse when your baby has moved down into your pelvis and its head is pressing on your lower back.

Breast changes

Use breast pads to avoid embarrassing spots on your clothes and buy a larger size bra once your breasts start growing.

Dizziness

This can be a result of changes in your circulation or conditions like hypertension, diabetes and thyroid disorders. Put your feet up and drink lots of fluid.

Headaches

Headaches are common in early pregnancy and your doctor may advise you to drink plenty of fluids and to relax in order to minimize them. Don’t resort to over-the-counter medication without first consulting your doctor.

Leg cramps

These are usually related to circulatory changes, pressure on the nerves in your legs due to the pelvis pressing on your lower back and even a low calcium level. Some mothers suggest these tips:

  • Raise your legs on a pillow or the arm of your sofa.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes and too-tight clothes.
  • Increase your calcium intake.

Nausea

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‘Morning sickness’ can, in fact, strike at any time, and especially if you’re tired and hungry. Some women suggest eating several small meals during the day, or crackers first thing in the morning. Avoid oily and fatty foods if possible and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration especially if you’re vomiting frequently.

Fluid retention

This form of swelling is normal during pregnancy and is due to fluid accumulation. Try:

  • Elevating your legs.
  • Not standing for long periods.
  • Wearing comfortable, roomy shoes.
  • Rotating your ankles regularly.

Be alert for signs of pre-eclampsia such as sudden swelling of your face or hands, a weight gain of more than 2kg a week, dizziness, persistent heartburn, visual problems or continuous headaches.

Vaginal discharge

There will be a slight increase in vaginal discharge. This is normal if it looks clear and whitish. Closer to delivery, there will be a slight thicker discharge or a more watery. Consult your doctor if you notice an itch, burning sensation, odor, unusual discharge or pain. Please inform your doctor if you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or recently been treated with antibiotics.

Varicose veins

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Use the same methods for easing leg cramps if you suffer from varicose veins. The swollen veins can also appear near the vulva and vagina. They are caused by the pressure from the uterus on your veins and often develop if you stand or sit for long periods of time.

Finally, don’t suffer alone! Tell your husband that these changes are happening and ask him for some moral support.