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It is common for expecting women to have many questions surrounding the whatâ€™s and whyâ€™s of pregnancy and delivery. One of the best ways to prepare for labour and delivery is to attend antenatal classes that encourage you to get all your questions answered.
To get you started, weâ€™ve highlighted these commonly asked questions -
Q. Does bed rest during pregnancy prevent miscarriage?
Expecting mothers are often confined to their beds simply because their elders believe that this will prevent a miscarriage.
A. There is no scientific evidence that proves bed rest is helpful in preventing miscarriages or preterm labour. In fact, prolonged rest should be avoided. Expecting women should participate in light physical activities and keep themselves fit for a smooth delivery.
If your pregnancy is progressing normally, there is no reason to be on continuous bed rest. If you are unable to get the required 8 â€“ 10 hours of sleep every night, you could make up for the shortfall through short naps in the day.
Certain situations such as placenta previa, vaginal bleeding or preterm labour may, however, require pregnant women to be put on bed rest.
Q. Is a cesarean required for the cord around the fetal neck?
Many parents schedule a cesarean as soon as they hear that their baby has a cord around neck. Parents believe that the umbilical cord will strangulate their baby during vaginal birth and therefore, a caesarean maybe safer.
A. A vaginal delivery is possible even if a baby has the cord looped thrice around their neck.
The cord is soft and made of a jelly-like substance which doesnâ€™t hurt your baby. It is long and moves with the baby in the birth canal during a vaginal birth and doesn't put pressure on your babyâ€™s neck.
Therefore, a cord around the neck isn't dangerous and doesn't medically require a cesarean in most cases.
Q. Should couple abstain from sex during pregnancy?
A. There is no reason for the couple to abstain from sex. It is common for expecting women to notice a change in their sex drive during pregnancy. Women should be forthcoming about their feelings and discuss them with their spouses.
A doctor may suggest refraining from intercourse if the woman experiences bleeding or has a vaginal infection.
Q. Should you â€˜eat for twoâ€™?
A. Women are advised to eat for two during pregnancy as it is believed that they need more nutrients and energy now. While the would-be mother does need more nutrients and energy but â€˜eating for twoâ€™ is a severely miscalculated quantity. This results in gaining more weight than necessary which in turn could result in pregnancy complications.
Instead of increasing the quantity of food, the focus should be on improving the quality of food especially, in the first trimester. The total weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and is best discussed with your dietician.
Q. Can you determine the gender of the baby based on cravings or activity in the womb?
A. It is believed that if youâ€™re carrying low or craving for salty food then, itâ€™s a baby boy while the opposite signals towards a girl. Many elders predict the gender of the baby based on the activity in the womb as well.
None of these have any scientific logic behind them. According to a study, the movements in the womb or fetal behavior does not differ between boys and girls.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for the expecting parents but they also need be cautious of the advice that comes their way. A suggestion or precaution by a loved one may turn out to be an old wivesâ€™ tale. So always consult and check with your healthcare provider before acting upon any advice.