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Answers for the Aspiring Mamma
Dr Geeta Chadha
 
Aspiring Mammas and Pappas may dig out some must-knows from this one – things you thought you knew, things you did know existed. The menstrual cycle, for instance, is an area of great controversies – full of countless whats, whens, hows and lamentably enough, the answers vary from person to person. And this is just the beginners’ course for aspiring parents.

Understanding the cycles
For planning motherhood, it is important that the lady understand her body - especially her menstrual cycle. Ideally, menstrual cycle is calculated by counting the number of days between the first days of two successive menstrual periods. A normal cycle would mean a range of 23-35 days, provided the pattern is regular. This implies that there’s a 80-85% probability of getting pregnant following sexual intercourse 2-3 times a week in that span.

Timing it right
However, for couples who are not able to indulge in regular coital activity but want an offspring, they may opt for ‘timed’ sexual intercourse to maximize their chance of a conception. This is where the knowledge of the female partner’s menstrual cycle comes in handy. But rather than depending on your not-so-dependable calendar calculations, seeking medical help is more effective. The human egg is wasted if it is not fertilized within 24 hours of its extrusion. And through ultrasonic methodologies the 24 hours of the female’s ovulation period is determined.

Besides, medical consultation also uncovers undiagnosed ailments, like anemia, thyroid dysfunction, cardiac disease etc., which might hinder healthy pregnancy.

Gynecological intervention
It is important to educate the would-be mother about the necessary lifestyle modifications which might be required. For instance, a smoker or heavy drinker would be advised to try and kick the habit, a girl who is sub optimal in her BMI score would be advised to boost up her diet and ensure that she has all nutrients going into her in a balanced way.

Peri conceptional folic acid administration also goes a long way in preventing fetal anomalies like neural tube defects. Similarly, a good control of thyroid dysfunction can ensure that the baby doesn’t have a lower IQ than what it is genetically programmed to have. Keeping blood sugars within the acceptable range prevent many abnormalities that are associated with uncontrolled diabetes.
 
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