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Nine Months : Alcohol in Pregnancy

Abruptio Placentae

What is it? The term literally means abruption of the placenta. To describe it in detail, it is the condition when part of the placenta comes away or separates away prematurely from the wall of the womb.

When? Late pregnancy

Who? It is more commonly seen in older mothers, mothers who smoke or have hypertension.

Symptoms: Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the abruption and generally include: abdominal pain bleeding (may vary from light to heavy with or without clots) abdominal cramps

Risk: If the abruption is severe i.e. a large part of the placenta has come away, the foetus is at great risk because it will not get enough oxygen and nutrients through the placenta. The risk is greatly reduced if only a small part of the placenta has been separated.

Treatment: If the separation is small, the normal course of action is bed rest for the mother till the bleeding subsides. Medical supervision for the remainder of the pregnancy is advised. If the mother bleeds again and the baby is near term, delivery may be carried out.

If the separation is severe, blood transfusions may be carried out.

In certain instances, the baby may be delivered immediately by a Caesarean.

Acupuncture

This is a branch of Chinese medicine based on the idea that a life-force called "chi" flows through the body, and that disorders are the result of imbalances in this flow. Balance is restored by the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to unblock the "chi". Many women find acupuncture helpful in pregnancy to treat complaints like morning sickness, headaches, allergies, indigestion and emotional problems such as depression, as well as more serious problems like high blood pressure. Some women also use acupuncture during labour for pain relief.



Anaemia

What is it? Anaemia is a condition attributed to iron deficiency. It reduces the haemoglobin in the red blood cells.

When? Anaemia may strike if your diet has insufficient iron. The insufficiency may also be caused by the demands of pregnancy.

Symptoms: extreme tiredness lethargy pale complexion weakness fainting spells (in extreme cases)

Treatment: You need an iron-rich diet which includes food like green leafy vegetables, red meat (barring liver or liver products). If the doctor thinks that you might benefit from an iron supplement, you may be prescribed one (some doctors routinely prescribe iron for pregnant women).

Remember to take iron tablets after or during food and preferably, with orange juice (as this aids better absorption).

Asthma

What is it? Asthma is an allergy that causes the airways leading into the lungs to constrict/narrow down. This makes breathing very difficult, especially exhalation (breathing out).

When? It is an allergy and may be triggered by dust, pollen, animal fur or even feather-filled cushions.

In Pregnancy: Your asthma may worsen, remain the same or if you are few of the lucky ones, it may actually improve in pregnancy. Whatever the outcome, do not stop taking medication unless advised by the doctor. It is advisable for asthmatic mothers to breastfeed the baby for at least six months after birth, as asthma is inherited and breastfeeding can greatly reduce the risk of your baby developing this allergy.




               

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