1. Linea Nigra
A dark brown vertical line which appears in the abdomen , starts from your lower abdomen and runs through your navel and in some cases across the breastline…Its nothing to be worried about it occurs due to an increase in a hormone called melanocyte which is created by placenta, the same hormone is responsible for darkening of nipples too. This would disappear automatically post delivery, for some in few months and in some rare cases by an year.
Placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall. This allows nutrients uptake via mothers blood supply, develops resistance against any internal infection and produces necessary hormones to support pregnancy. An average placenta size ranges from 9 inches in length and 1 inch in thickness.
However, did you know that you still have to deliver the placenta after you vaginally push the baby out. It would be surprising for you at the operation table when the doctor further asks you to push to get the placenta out. For some it can be delivered quickly and almost painlessly but in rare cases it may take a longer time to push it out.
3. Delivery date / Due date
40 weeks to deliver and that what we all look forward to, however the fact is only 5 % of women give birth on their due dates. Wondering what about the rest ?
A baby is considered full term anytime between 38- 40 weeks
Late preterm : 34- 37 weeks
Preterm: If you go into labor before 34 weeks..
Post term : If the baby is born after 40 weeks gestation.
Premature : Babies born before 25 weeks
A baby can be born any time after 24 weeks ! So dont ignore contractions or any signs of labor…
Few complications of preterm birth :
- Inability to maintain body heat
There are few things you can do to lower the risk :
- Quit smoking & Say no to alcohol and limit your caffeine
- Exercise adequately. 30- 45 mins of walk every day proves to be effective ( If advisable by your doctor )
- Take a balanced diet (will cover in detail on the the diet chart in another post )
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids ( Atleast 8 glasses of water )
- Take prenatal vitamins throughout the pregnancy ( iron, calcium, vitamin D, folic acid as prescribed by the doctor )
- Go to all your prenatal check-ups without fail ( will cover in detail on the check ups in another post )
- Don’t ignore any signs of labor.
4. Epidural and episiotomy
An epidural is a pain management support which numbs the pain that occurs in the lower body during labor. This is given through a very thin and hollow tube. Its inserted during delivery in the epidural space around the spinal cord which acts as a pain relief. The numbing effect can be in the legs too. However you will still feel the contractions as its important to push through the delivery , it would reduce the contractions pain to a great extent.
Episiotomy is different from epidural. Its a tearing made by the doctors in the perineum. This is the tissue between the vagina and anus. Later they put dissolvable stitches and the wound takes a while, say 4-8 weeks to heal completely.
This cut is made to help the baby come out during delivery. It isn’t a mandatory process however is followed when the baby is finding it difficult to come out.
Dont forget to check with your doctor on epidural as it has to be informed to the doctor well in advance and it cant be given as the pregnancy progresses and you start dilating fast.
5. Gestational diabetes
As the name suggests its temporary diabetes which occurs during pregnancy due to high glucose level that body produces. There are higher chances of diabetes if its genetic, however you cant rule out the possibility of getting gestational diabetes even without a history of diabetes. It mostly effects the mother in late pregnancy when the baby starts developing physically. Hence you don’t have to worry about any birth defects to the baby. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes by 24 weeks of pregnancy and was on insulin. With a strict diet and well balanced exercise i had a normal delivery.
Will cover in detail on gestational diabetes in another post.
Whether its vaginal or through c-section your body will need some time to heal and recover.
You can have bleeding upto 6 weeks and then stop until you get your next mensuration cycle.
Dont be surprised if you feel sudden pregnancy type contractions after delivery. They might be like pregnancy contractions or mensuration cramps. If the cramps are stronger, please ask your doctor to prescribe pain killers.
8. Milk leakage
It isn’t necessary that the milk production starts after delivery. Some pregnant woman might face breast leakage during pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that you are definitely going to have ample milk supply once you deliver, its a natural phenomenon of your body. However, ensure that you dont squeeze or press your nipples to see the milk coming out in anxiety. Breast stimulation can result in preterm labor ! Yes.. in many cases during the delivery process too when the dilating process is taking long doctors prescribe breast stimulation its a way the stimulation send a signal to the brain telling its time to produce milk and hence progress labor.
9. Perineal massage
It shows you a step by step procedure on how to do a perineal massage. Its believed that this massage can help tearing of the vaginal muscle to a large extent and it has proved beneficial for many pregnant women. Its also said to reduce the chances of episiotomy.