How to manage your health in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very crucial time in a woman’s life. During this phase, extra attention needs to be given to health and fitness. What you eat and how you exercise can determine a lot about your child’s life.

Here are a few tips to stay healthy during pregnancy
  • Breakfast is fuel for the day: Have a good, healthy and balanced breakfast. If you want to make a quick breakfast, you can have ready to eat breakfast cereals, oats or muesli. Fortified cereals have a good amount of nutrients like iron, fiber and calcium. A 100 percent whole grain toast is a good option for those who experience morning sickness.
  • Choose healthy snacks: A low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit is a healthy way to consume dairy products. Low fat cheese with whole grain bread can make a delicious option for snacks.
  • The right Vitamins: Take pre-natal vitamins with iron and folic acid every day. Talk to your gynecologist to know about the prenatal vitamins that are appropriate for you.
  • Lots of sea food lovers: Try to consume around 1 kg of seafood every week. You can include a variety of seafood, 2 to 3 times a week to get maximum benefit. Avoid fish that have high levels of mercury. Fish that are low in mercury include sardines, shrimp and salmon.
  • Say No to soft cheeses and meats: As these foods may have bacteria that can harm your baby. Raw or undercooked meat or fish should be avoided.
  • Rich fibre: Vegetables and fruits such as green peas, spinach, pears, and bananas, as well as whole grains and beans that include black beans and kidney beans are a good source of fibre.
  • Limit caffeine and say no to alcohol: You can drink decaffeinated coffee or tea and substitute soda with water. Since the amount of alcohol a pregnant woman can have is debatable, it is better to avoid it.
  • Exercise consistently: Regular exercise has many benefits. It can build your strength and help you get back into shape after your baby is born. Good exercise choices for pregnancy include: brisk walking, yoga, swimming, pilates and aqua natal classes. If you play sports, it is better to continue as long as you are comfortable with the activity.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises: These exercises strengthen the bladder, vagina and back passage. They can feel weak during pregnancy because of the extra pressure put on them. The pregnancy hormones can also slacken your pelvic floor.
  • Other foods to avoid during pregnancy: One should avoid food made with raw or lightly cooked eggs, raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts during pregnancy as these include bacteria that could harm the baby.

A little caution and care on your behalf can prevent a lot of complications during pregnancy. Besides, this will benefit not only the expecting mother but the baby as well.

Bedsores : Strategies to prevent and heal

Bedsores are also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers . Bedsores are injuries to skin and underlying tissues resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores generally develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as heels, ankles, hips or buttocks.

Most people at risk of bedsores are those with a medical condition, that limits their ability to change position, requires them to use a wheelchair or confines them to bed for prolonged periods.

Bedsores can develop quickly and are often difficult to treat. Several care strategies can help prevent some bedsores and promote healing.

Symptoms of a bedsores are:
  • Red skin that worsens over time.
  • Appearance of blister.
  • open sore
Pressure sores most commonly occur on:
  • Ankles
  • Back of head
  • Back
  • Buttocks
  • Elbow
  • Hips
  • Heels
  • Shoulders
Pressure sores are categorized as deep tissue injury which may be purple or maroon. Bedsores may be an area of skin or blood-filled blister, caused due to damage of soft tissue from pressure. The area around may be sore, firm, mushy, boggy, warmer, or cooler compared with tissue nearby.
Pressure on the skin leads to  reduced blood flow to the area. Without enough blood skin dies, leading to formation of ulcer.
One may get a bed sore if :
  • One uses a wheelchair or is bed ridden for a long time.
  • If one cannot move certain parts of body without help because of a spine or brain injury or disease such as multiple sclerosis.
  • One is suffering from disease that affects blood flow, including diabetes or vascular disease.
  • One has  Alzheimer’s disease or other condition that affects mental status.
  • Have fragile skin
  • Have urinary incontinence or bowel incontinence
  • Lack of nutrition or malnourishment.

If one is bedridden or wheelchair, observe for signs of bedsores. The severity of skin breakdown may be categorized as follows:

Stage 1: Abnormal redness of skin. Skin is intact. This stage is reversible.

Stage 2: The redness progresses to an abrasion, blister, or shallow crater. This stage is also reversible.

Stage 3: A crater-like sore or ulcer that has begun to extend beneath the skin. This stage may be life-threatening.

Stage 4: Skin loss with extensive destruction or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures such as tendons or joint capsules. This stage may be fatal.


The treatment of bedsores depends on the severity (i.e. the stage) of the wound. Depending on the severity, a variety of approaches may be used to promote healing. They include synthetic dressings, saline dressings, acetic acid compresses, and various antibiotic dressings (bedsores are particularly prone to infection).

For more severe wounds, surgery may be necessary to remove areas of dead skin. The most important step in both treatment and prevention of bedsores is relieving pressure by frequent re positioning.


  • The best way to prevent bedsores is by changing position frequently to avoid constant pressure against body and to redistribute body weight. It also promotes  blood flow to the tissues. If one can’t move, he or she should be helped to reposition at least every 2 hours, or every 15 minutes if you are seated in a chair. Pillows or foam wedges can help to shift weight if one is unable to move. Range of motion (exercise machine) exercises can help prevent contractures, improve circulation; and maintain joint integrity, mobility, and muscle mass.
  • The  bed should not be elevated more than 30 degrees (except when you are eating)

Gastric Ulceration : watch out the symptoms

Peptic ulcers are open sores on the inside lining of the esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. Gastric ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer that particularly occurs on the inside of the stomach.

Though it is widely believed that spicy food and stress cause peptic ulcers, the real causes for the ulcers are either bacterial infections or consumption of certain medications.

  • Ulcers occur when there is an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and the duodenum.
  • The duodenum, which plays a vital role in the chemical digestion of the partially digested food, is the first section of the small intestine. Most ulcers are caused by an infection, which is caused by a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori).
Risk Factors
  • Excessive use of painkillers, including aspirin
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Radiation treatments
  • Excess production of acids from gastrinomas, tumors of the acid reproducing cells of the stomach. (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome)
  • Severe illnesses
Preliminary symptoms
  • Severe pain in the middle or upper stomach between meals or during night time
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or vomiting
The symptoms in the later stages become worse and may include
  • Dark or black stool
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting blood
  • Gnawing pain in the mid to upper abdomen

Ulcers can be treated in many ways, such as making some lifestyle changes and taking regular medications. Surgery is usually the last option for management of ulcers.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Quit drinking and smoking to prevent ulcer. If painkillers are the root cause of the ulcers, their consumption should be stopped at once.
  • Ulcer Medications: Proton pump inhibitors (PPI and Antibiotics are used to prevent ulcers. Upper endoscopy is used to treat some bleeding ulcers. Surgery is needed if the ulcer has created a hole in the wall of the stomach, or if there is serious bleeding that cannot be treated with an endoscope.

Also management include :

  • Turn to a healthy diet comprising of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Seek medical advice when using pain killers on a regular basis
  • Avoid stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol and smoking
  • Protect yourself from infections especially from H. pylori. It is said that it could be transmitted from person to person or through food and water.

Remember, gastric ulcers are something one should never ignore. Not only can this condition cause several pain and discomfort, but also lead to severe complications if left untreated.