Expert Tips for Normal Delivery: Dr Manjiri Deshpande & Dr Nupur Gupta

Lets discuss the biggest concern for a to be mom i.e her mode of delivery and most of them prefer to have a natural childbirth. Though there are instances of planned cesarean, unplanned cesarean, or planned induction when indicated. Here are ten tips to prepare yourself mentally and physically

1. Healthy well balanced diet:

Why well-balanced diet is important during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the most important phase in a woman’s life as the growing baby is dependent on mother for his or her nutritional need. If mother is deficient is certain nutrients, then it will directly affect the baby’s growth. For example, if mother is deficient in folic acid then there is problem with baby’s nervous system or brain development. That’s why nutritionally well-balanced diet is important during pregnancy.

Apart from the benefits for the baby healthy diet is also important as to how a woman’s body adapts in pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

What do we mean by a healthy well-balanced diet?

A well- balanced diet means a diet which have variety of foods in a quantity and proportion needed to maintain the overall health, vitality and general well- being of that person

How should be the diet of a mother in each trimester, a rough idea?

According to Elezabeth Somer a registered dietician and the Author of the book Nutrition for a healthy pregnancy suggests a pregnant mother’s diet include the foods from 6 food groups and the 6 food groups are

Calcium rich foods2-3 servings

Vegetables5-6 servings

Fruits 3-4 servings

Extra lean meat and legumes 2-3 servings

Grains 6-7 servings

Quenchers 5-6 it includes water, juices, nectar etc

Are there any additional tips related to diet?

  • you need to eat every 2-3 hours as the baby is growing fast and needs constant supply of nutrients
  • once you are pregnant don’t need to eat for two. Pregnancy needs approx. 300 – 500 calories extra in your pre-pregnancy diet and a glass of milk and a vegetable sandwich
  • For fat- the recommendation is approx. 2 table spoon in 24 hours- including all ghee, oil, margarine
  • Sweet- cravings for sweet is common but restrict the intake, a small piece of chocolate or traditionally home made sweet in small portion
  • If eating out, take care of hygiene, cooking process, the ingredients and portion
  • For vegetarian or vegan, make different combinations of food to meet the nutritional needs
  • For dry fruits you can eat a fist of quantity in a day
  • Keep yourself well hydrated
  • Take the multivitamin supplements regularly prescribed by the doctor

2. Exercise-walk- yoga-how are they helpful during pregnancy and labor?

Yoga, walk and exercise help to develop the body awareness. It strengthens the body muscles, relieves stress, helps to remove toxins from the body, reduces minor ailments like backache, leg cramps, helps to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles ultimately, giving a sense of well-being.  

During labour, walk and certain yoga poses help to align the baby in the pelvic cavity and increase the body confidence to deliver the baby. It causes the secretion of hormone endorphin which is a natural opiate helping to counteract the pain in labour and helps to cope up with the labour pains.

3. Relaxation and Breathing: What are the benefits of relaxation and breathing?

During pregnancy the breathing helps to relieve the shortness of breath and fatigue. The relaxation techniques help to manage the insomnia, fatigue and gives the feeling of overall well being

During labour the breathing techniques are very helpful to cope up with the labour pains

4. Attend childbirth preparation class: these classes help the mother and her partner to understand the different stages of the labour, the different coping techniques to manage the labour pains, the different medical interventions, their advantages and disadvantages which again help the mother to cope up well with the labour pains thus increasing the chances of vaginal delivery

5. Making a birth plan: the written birth plan helps to share your preferences and choices with the doctors and hospital staff so that the coordination will help to manage the labour  

6. Support hire a doula:  helps the mother to manage well with the labour pains, and increases the mother’s confidence to deliver the baby vaginally

7. Let the labour begin by its own (Let the baby choose the due date): spontaneous contractions are easy to cope up which increases the chances of vaginal delivery

8. Less or no medical intervention and medications: increases the chances of vaginal delivery

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