Prenatal care is the health care you and your unborn gets during the period of pregnancy. It is also a procedure which allows you to have good nutrition and health habits before and during pregnancy. The important goal of prenatal care is to accommodate pregnant women with regular check-ups and check both the mother and child health.
Before you opt for your prenatal care, check these 5 important benefits that every mom-to-be must know.
Reduced risk of birth defects and pregnancy complications
Prenatal care’s primary role and responsibility are to reduce the risk of birth defects and pregnancy complications for a safe labour. Most of the pregnancies are normal and healthy, but detecting a pregnancy complication on rare accounts can be difficult on your own. In such a scenario, prenatal care will do the job for you. Regular meetups with the doctor will help you analyze such difficulties.
Analyze the baby growth and development
Yes, the challenging part of the pregnancy is guessing the baby’s health. It is quite difficult to analyze baby growth from the general lookout of the mother. Prenatal care will allow you to explore the baby’s growth and development at every stage and help you with the appropriate process.
Personal health progress and lifestyle tips
A prenatal check-up is not all about the baby’s health and growth; it also addresses your personal health and growth. Your body will undergo many changes during the process and requires equal attention. Necessary guidance will be provided to ensure your health is hale and sound. Prenatal care will allow you to know the lifestyle tips that will make your pregnancy period more smooth and joyful.
Regular testing opportunities
Regular prenatal checks will allow you to take up the necessary testing. These tests include scans and checking of the foetus for the conditions that might affect the baby’s health. They will help in measuring the position and growth of your baby inside the womb.
Apart from the general lifestyle changes, the nutritional needs of your body change. Eating healthy and avoiding some foods is vital for a successful pregnancy. Your doctor will provide you with important dietary information during prenatal visits.
The importance of prenatal care cannot be expressed enough. Having guided person taking care of your growth and baby development will relieve you. They reduce your mental stress and assures you of a happy and safe pregnancy!!
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.
Pregnancy is a time when there is a lot of hormonal activity going on. While many women may be glowing with happiness, for some, it can be a time of intense, negative emotions- called postpartum depression. It is often difficult to differentiate between hormonal imbalances and signs of depression. We, at KIMS Cuddles, help you to understand depression, during and after pregnancy.
Prepartum or Prenatal Depression
Although postpartum depression is widely recognized and discussed, many women experience symptoms of depression during pregnancy. This is known as Prepartum or Prenatal depression. According to a study, almost 70% of women have experienced one or more symptoms of prenatal depression.
Diagnosis of this kind of depression is difficult because their symptoms are similar to that of a normal pregnancy. But when left untreated, depression can be harmful to both mother and the fetus. If you’ve been feeling three or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor for treatment options:
Feeling a sense of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness.
Constant fatigue or being low on energy
Inability to concentrate
Lack of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
Trouble sleeping or feeling sleepy all the time
Change in eating habits
Change in weight (weight gain or weight loss)
Recurring thoughts about death or suicide
When left untreated, depressed mothers have a higher risk of birth complications and premature birth, and their babies may face lower birth weights, cognitive and language delays and other behavioral problems. It is important to seek help immediately. Your doctor may recommend treatments that may include:
Psychotherapy – Your doctor might refer you to a trained mental health professional. Regular sessions of psychotherapy have been found to be effective in managing depression.
Local support groups – Some places have local support groups that help in the process of recovery. You can check online to find similar groups around you.
Medications – If you need to be put on antidepressants, there needs to be collaboration between your gynecologist and your mental health professional. Many antidepressants aren’t recommended during pregnancy, but your doctors may be able to prescribe what is suitable for you.
Exercise and Balanced Diet – Regular exercising and wholesome diet can boost your mental health.
It is said that between 40-80% of all new mothers experience baby blues. It is an emotional state of unhappiness, worry, self-doubt and fatigue, which may be caused due to hormonal changes as well. Baby blues typically go away within a week or two. If the emotions feel more intense and you feel incapacitated even after two weeks, it might be Postpartum Depression.
It is difficult to differentiate between clinical depression and normal stress of new parenthood. Studies indicate that at least 10% of all new mothers are affected by postpartum depression. The symptoms may include:
Feeling extreme sadness, emptiness or hopelessness
Feeling angry or irritable
Crying all the time
Trouble falling asleep or staying awake
Loss of enjoyment in regular activity
Restlessness or sluggishness
Feeling guilty or worthless
Difficulty in concentration or making decisions
Feeling that life isn’t worth living
Avoiding family and friends
Worrying obsessively about your baby
In rare cases, women with postpartum depression may get delusional and even harm their babies. This is known as postpartum psychosis.
Women who are feeling suicidal or have constant thoughts of hurting their baby, need urgent medical attention. Postpartum depression may range from mild to severe. Depending on the severity, your doctor may suggest appropriate line of treatment, which is similar to the treatment for prepartum depression, as discussed above. However, some women with severe depression may not respond well to psychotherapy, support groups or medication. In such cases, doctors might suggest electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, know that you’re not alone – and that several women around the world have faced it. Our doctors at KIMS Cuddles will do everything in their capacity to help you deal with prenatal and postpartum depression.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance