I AM PREGNANT
I have barely missed my periods for two weeks and the doctor has already asked for an ultrasound? Why is it necessary to get one done so early? Will it not harm the pregnancy?
An ultrasound at 6-7 weeks of pregnancy gives a lot of useful information that is difficult to obtain later on. This includes confirmation of the pregnancy, viability – whether heartbeat is present or not, number – single or multiple, location inside the uterus or at abnormal sites like the tube and the presence of associated abnormalities like fibroids and cysts. Rest assured that this is not a dangerous procedure and you can go ahead with the procedure without fear.
I am three months pregnant and had slight spotting a few days ago. An ultrasound revealed a low-lying placenta with a small blood clot though the baby is alive and growing. Please tell me what is a placenta? What does ‘low lying mean and what are the implications?
The placenta is an organ vital for the baby. It is attached to the inner wall of the uterus on one side and with the help of the cord to the baby's navel on the other. It carries food and oxygen from the mother to the baby and carries carbon dioxide and waste products from the baby to the mother. Usually it is situated in the upper part of the uterus. An occasional placenta may be situated lower down. During painless uterine contractions that occur throughout pregnancy, internal examination or intercourse, a low- lying placent can become detached from the uterine wall leading to internal or external bleeding.
If the separation and haematoma ( collection of blood) is small the baby survives and grows. The haematoma will get absorbed and the pregnancy progresses normally. It is important to bear in mind that a low-lying placenta does not always remain low. With the passage of time, the growing uterus carries the placenta upwards with it so that by the time the baby is ready to deliver the placenta is situated in a normal position high up. However, if the bleeding is heavy and prolonged or if the placenta remains low down even at term, complications may arise.
I am in the last month of my pregnancy. I have developed high blood pressure and the doctor has told me that she will have to induce labour two weeks before the expected date of delivery? Why is this necessary and how is it done? Please give me the relevant information as I am very apprehensive.
Labour has to be iunduced in some pregnancies due to a variety of reasons. PIH (pregnancy-iduced hypertension) as in your case is one of the commoner indications. It is usually done near term so that the foetus is mature enough to survive outside. The techniques commonly used include inserting tablets/gels in the vagina that stimulate uterine contractions. Intravenous infusion of oxytocin, a hormone that induces labour also helps. Some doctors artifically rutpure the bag of waters, allowing the fluid to leak. This leads to labour in quite a few cases.
The pains are usually like normal labour pains unless the drug given is not montiored properly. Occasionally induction of labour by the above methods fails or strong contractions lead to foetal distress for which a Caesarean section may have to be performed.
I am two and a half months pregnant and the elders in my family insist that I eat for two. It is difficult to eat for one on account of the heart burn and nausea, how can I eat for two? Will it affect my pregnancy if I dno’t do as they advise?
One needs only 300 calories extra per day during pregnancy (equivalent to two and half cups of toned milk) so the question of eating for two does not arise, especially if the second ‘ person’ is microscopic to begin with and grows to a maximum size of 3- 4 kilograms. In fact, the quality of food you eat is more important than the quantity.
I am one and half months pregnant. I am passionate about gardening. It is a stress buster for me and even the nausea of pregnancy decreases when I sit in my garden and breathe in the fresh, clean air. Please tell me if I can continue gardening during pregnancy.
The first trimester of pregnancy is not a good time to indulge in your passion for gardening. Studies have shown that weed killers may cause developmental problems. If you are really keen to continue wear rubber gloves while gardening in areas where pesticides have been used. As for sitting in the garden for relaxation, you can continue doing so as long as an insecticide spray has not been used recently.
Could you tell me why a Caesarean section has to be done in some cases? Please give me some idea as to how it is done?
During Caesarean birth, a doctor delivers the baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus under anesthesia. After the baby and the placenta are delivered both the incisions are sutures in layers. Some Caesareans are planned while others are done on an emergency basis. An operative delivery is planned when there are pre- existing conditions like abnormal presentations (when the baby is not head first), when there is a history of two previous Caesareans etc., the pelvis is too small for the baby to pass through ( cephalo- pelvic disproportion). An emergency Caesarean is usually performed during labour if the pains are not effective, if the baby does not move down the birth canal or the mouth of the uterus does not open. – Dr Amrinder Kaur Bajaj, MD.