Articles on women s health

The Unmet need for Contraception in India!

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
26th September Is World Contraceptive Day & India Needs More Awareness.We were 1 billion in 1999 and we are 1.3 billion now in 2016. Why is one billion figure is worth its might- to cause a scare or to remind us about our depleting resources like water, food, and polluted air?Also because Dev Anand made a movie around same time titled 100 Crore to remind us about our might to Fight Corruption!If a qualified doctor happens to work in a one amongst thousands of rural villages right within Delhi/ NCR ,the harsh reality of numbers stares at us. No family has less than 4- 5 children and women are married at less than 18,the official age ,they have kids one after another every year in a row,by the time they are 25 , they are anemic mothers along with malnourished kids hanging around them but not willing to go to school despite education being made free.Still, it is our duty to guide these people, being visited by Government Vans to give them advice for free.Nobody offers them a Cafeteria approach to choose.Every contraceptive does not suit all women. It cannot be robotic.Why I wrote women here? Do men share no responsibility about family planning matters? The harsh reality is Yes.There are Myths associated with Male sterilizations, though medically it is the Safest for man and his family as Abdomen is Not involved. It is No Cut Vasectomy and the man walks out of clinic as if no procedure has been done, ready to go to work the same very day ,including lifting weights etc.Compare this with keyhole surgery of tubal ligation (safest choice for a woman who has completed her family) It looks like 1 stitch operation , but without sounding scary about the surgery, local anesthesia is given and abdomen is bloated up with gas to see tubes through a machine and bands are tied on both tubes one after another. Like any abdominal surgery, there is pain afterward , the woman is advised Not to Lift heavy weights for about 2 weeks lest the bands come out and Operation is a Failure.For temporary contraception, Pills, Condoms ( protection against STDs also ) are suggested but side effects are - Condoms have 20% failure rate,pills have side effects associated with hormones ( more on that later in another article)IUCD-Intrauterine Contraceptive Device is fairly good provided it is inserted to women under hygienic conditions & she does not suffer from heavy periods.I-pill means Only Emergency pill, it is loaded with hormones and can make regular cycle as erratic.Some girls have become habitual of taking it as a routine.Similarly, OCs should Not be given for more than 6 months at a stretch.A recent introduction is an injection for 5 years. This injection is the one being given every 3 months to avoid pregnancy. It is for women who forget to take a pill every day.Injection has hormone Progesterone. The woman is loaded with a dose for 3 months instead of a low dose to be taken daily. These women tend to get an Early Menopause & other conditions related to high doses of hormones. Motivate as many women as possible for safer procedures like Laprascopic Ligation / IUCD after asking them the details about their complex problems.One Happy woman may Not Share her Experience but another unhappy woman with wrongly fitted IUCD in a Van by Inexperienced Nurse/Health Worker is going to badmouth to entire Mohalla about bad effects of IUCD/Ligations.

Your Pre-Pregnancy Check-Up

Dr. Rushabh Mehta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Should I see a gynaecologist if I'm trying for a baby?Yes, it's a good idea to have a general check-up before you conceive. As well as managing pregnancies and delivering babies, most gynaecologists provide pre-conceptual care too. The aim is to ensure that you are as healthy as possible before you become pregnant. Your doctor will talk to you about your general lifestyle, includingyour dietsmokingalcohol habitsstress levelsShe may suggest lifestyle changes, a healthy eating plan, an exercise regime, or advise you to supplement your diet with folic acid, vitamins or iron tablets. Your doctor will ask you your age and look at your medical history, and your husband's medical history too. She will make sure you are up to date with vaccinations for diseases such as chicken pox, measles, mumps and hepatitis. She will check your blood pressure and pulse rate and carry out routine blood tests. You will be asked about your menstrual history (whether your periods are regular, if they are heavy, how long they last, the length of your cycle, and so on). You will also need to tell your gynaecologist if you've been taking any medication on a regular basis. Some medications aren't safe to use when trying to conceive, so you may need different ones, and allow time for your body to adjust. Also, let your doctor know if your husband is taking medication or getting treated for an illness.Let your gynaecologist know if you already have children, have tried conceiving in the recent past or have had any miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or terminations. You may find it hard to go over painful experiences. Try to bear in mind that knowing about what's happened in the past will help your doctor to ensure you get the best care this time around.If you have a long-running health problem, such as depression or asthma, your doctor will want to discuss how it may affect your pregnancy. If you have a condition such as epilepsy or diabetes, your gynaecologist may recommend that you have a consultation with a specialist. You may also need to see a specialist if you have a family history of an inherited disorder, such as sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia or cystic fibrosis.Should I take anyone with me to my doctor appointments?If you can, it's a good idea to take your husband with you to your first pre-conception consultation. Sit down together beforehand and make a list of all your questions and concerns. If you attend together, there are several advantages. Both of you will be told about the important lifestyle changes you need to make. Your husband will learn how important it is that the mum-to-be eats well, de-stresses and gets plenty of rest. This can bring you closer as a couple, and help your husband feel more involved in your pregnancy. Also, two brains are better than one! You can help each other to remember important points that you want to raise and, later, to recall your gynaecologist's replies.How can I make the most of my check-up?Gynaecologists see large numbers of patients each day. You'll probably get only 15 to 20 minutes' consultation time. So it's vital to make the most of each appointment. Here are a few tips.Unless it's an emergency, always make an appointment to see your gynaecologist.If you've got more than one problem that you need to discuss, write down an "agenda". Either give it to your gynaecologist at the start of the consultation or tell her what is on your list. This ensures that the most important items are discussed first. Never leave the most important item until the end, or you may run out of time to discuss it. And be realistic with your list!Your doctor will probably give you her telephone number. She may be able to answer at least some of your queries over the telephone. Save the most important ones for your appointment.If you are seeing a new gynaecologist or trying to get a second opinion, it's helpful to give a brief summary about yourself at the start of the consultation. Doctors rarely have time between appointments to read your medical notes in full.What should I do if I am unhappy with my gynaecologist?If you are not happy with your gynaecologist, you need to be clear about the reasons. Perhaps you feel she doesn't understand your problems, or that she doesn't solve them satisfactorily. You might just find there's simply something about her manner or personality that makes you uncomfortable. There's no harm in seeking a second opinion. When you are looking for another gynaecologist, it may be a good idea to see someone who has been recommended by a friend or family member. It's also true that many women prefer female gynaecologists but keep an open mind. You may find a male gynaecologist who is understanding and helpful. Make your decision after you have had a chance to speak with several doctors. Remember, it's crucial that you trust your doctor completely, and so you need to feel absolutely comfortable and confident about her capabilities.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid During Pregnancy

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Proper diet during pregnancy is all about eating the right food. some foods may make you ill, so food safety needs to be the priority. Raw, uncooked foods carry pathogens/germs which lead to food borne illness. Now that you are pregnant you should leave the following foods out of your diet:Uncooked or raw eggs including mousses, ice-creams, mayonnaise. Eggs should be cooked.Unpasteurized milk or yogurt or dahi made from unpasteurized milk.Soft cheese like feta etc. ordinary cheese like cottage cheese can be taken as long as they are pasteurized.Raw or uncooked sprouts.Keep caution while eating out. Avoid raw vegetable and fruit juices if you are eating out as one must not be sure about the quality of food.Check that any ready meals or reheated foods are piping hot  all the way before you eat them.Unclean raw fruits and vegetables can cause food poisoning, diarrhea or water borne disease such as hepatitis or typhoid.Also be careful while eating chutney's, raw onions,pickles or raita.Salad leaves or raw cabbage is often found in fast food so be careful with these foods specially in summer and monsoon when power cuts are at peaks and water is often contaminated."CAFFEINE KAAFI HAI MERE DOST.." Cut down on caffeine. Drinking more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day increases risk of miscarriages and low birth weight babies. Have not more than 2 cups of instant coffee or 2 cups of tea, lesser the amount of colas per day. To cut down on caffeine,. you can try decaffeinated coffee and tea, fruit juice or mineral water,coconut water instead of regular tea, colas and energy drink.Alcohol is strictly prohibited from diet during pregnancy as it's excessive intake has been associated with many fetal problems. Even moderate consumption may affect the development of baby's brain.So, it's better to be safe than sorry..!!njoy journey to health during pregnancy....... stay safe.

10 Healthy Reasons to Promote Breastfeeding

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
We all know that mother's milk is the beat nutrition for a baby and it also gives mental and emotional satisfaction.In the first year of life the baby grows fast.Doctors advice to breastfeed the baby at least up-to six months.After six month period the baby's weight increases by double, as compared to birth weight.To provide this fast growth baby needs essential calories ,proteins and other nutrients which is supplied by mother's milk and that is why we need to promote breastfeeding in babies.In today's world breastfeeding the babies have gone out of the fashion.The "modern moms" are finding it uncool to breastfeed their child.The soul purpose of this article is to promote more  mothers to breastfeed their children and clear the doubts in their mind related to breast feeding.The following are some benefits of breastfeeding.Benefits of BreastfeedingIt created a sense of  mental and emotional bond between mother and her baby. The baby feels more secure close to the mother.It is natural and  ready to consume, no need to prepare like artificial milk nutrition products.This best Natural Nutrition is free and no money can buy this precious gift.It protects the Baby from various communicable diseases as it has natural defense mechanism(antibodies).The mother's milk is sterilized hence it do not cause any digestive problem in the babies.Babies know the difference between the mother's nipple and artificial nipples.The babies who grows on mother's breast feed milk  have less tendencies to develop thumb sucking habits.The temperature of the breast milk is perfect for the baby.It is believed that babies fed on breast milk have better bones and muscle development as compared to non breast fed babies.Breastfeeding has been linked to developing protection against Childhood Cancers.Note: Mothers should always clean the nipples before and after the breast feed.

Oral Health - an Essential Care in Pregnancy

Dr. Nirali Patel, Dentist
Pregnancy is a period of happiness in the life of a woman. Oral health has got great significance during this period. During pregnancy, a woman's oral health can undergo significant changes.Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstanding about safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid visiting their dentist.The fact is that dentist can create a treatment plan that is safe, effective and essential for combating adverse effects of oral disease during pregnancy.COMMON DENTAL CONDITIONS EXPERIENCED DURING PREGNANCYGum Disease ( pregnancy gingivitis)Enamel ErosionTooth DecayDry MouthTooth Mobility DENTAL CARE DURING PREGNANCY Undergo A dental check up once in 6 months.Brush your teeth using a fluoridated tooth paste twice a day. Brush your teeth only half an hour of an episode of vomiting as immediate brushing will remove the enamel has been softened by the gastric acids.Floss your teeth at least once a day.If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, then the oral cavity should be rinsed with water and fluoride/chlorhexidine mouth rinses.Change your tooth brush once in 3 monthsConsume foods high in protein,calcium phosphorus and vitamin A, C and D for the development of strong teeth in your baby.Avoid consuming sweets, pastries, carbonated beverages and junk foods which can lead to cavity.Consume green leafy vegetables and fruits for a healthy baby.Take vitamin supplements, including folic acid to reduce the risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate on the advice of your gynecologist.Do not consume alcohol during pregnancy.Do not smoke during pregnancy.Dental care, if required, can be done safely in the second trimester of pregnancy. Avoid dental x-ray during pregnancy. Elective dental treatment should be deferred after pregnancy.Pregnancy is a period where utmost oral care should be given so that the baby develops a healthy body and healthy oral cavity.

Mental Health & Bonding Among Women-Americans vs. Indians.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
It is Not about Economy but Jealousy.Trump vs.Hillary may Not win not because Trump is More Deserving but Desperate Housewives may be having a Jealous Streak against an Independent woman.Why are Male doctors for women More Popular? No doubts that they are more kind, sympathetic to sufferings of women. It is not about demand and supply , lady doctors are less in numbers in every medical college. The ratio of males vs. females being 10:1.Our women have got No Spirit of Bonding among them. The worst Critic of aWoman in Distress is the Well Protected woman who is first to find blames in woman who Desperately needs Help & Sympathies from her own ,but One should Never Live in a False Sense of Security that The Women will Come Forward to Help Each other.This time Elections in America are made out to be a Tamasha on TV,like it happens in our own UP.The streak to help a woman in distress is seen in rare women who too survive minus a man in their lives but why waste precious lives by running down each other? Do help but do not be wary of male doctors, ultrasound specialists , obstetricians, surgeons etc.Good male doctor Never Encourage Dirty talk from a woman patient but Bad male doctor encourages. Do have power to Stay away from such pompous dirty doctors ,both male & female talking Dirty, so that a Rush is always there outside their clinics.Mental health is as important as Physical health. Do Visit the doctor if need be.This is written to help every patient & every human.One should use instinct, reputation of doctor before visiting On an average doctors are here to help but few rotten apples have ruined the entire basket.

Antenatal Exercises and Its Importance Fit for Two

Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Physiotherapist
Pregnancy is a state of health,not of illness so,a well conditioned body will perform better during the stress of advances pregnancy and delivery.Pregnancy can significantly affect your overall daily functioning.A woman body goes through incredible physical and hormonal changes before and after delivery.For years,discomfort associated with pregnancy has been accepted as a normal part of the process.Today,many physicians recommend physical therapy to relieve the discomfort experienced by pregnant women and help prepare the pregnant body for an easier delivery and recovery process.Pregnancy and Physiotherapy CombinedAs Physiotherapy is a profession treating problems associated with muscles,joints, bones and circulation, it an be used to work collaboratively with pregnancy to ensure stronger, healthier core stability muscles and posture throughout.Many if not all of the exercises recommended by the Physiotherapist can be done at home on a regular basis for a fitter,more birth prepared Pregnancy.‘Even regular tasks such as sitting, walking, standing and working can be difficult when pregnant.Almost all women experience musculoskeletal discomfort during pregrancy.This is due to the tremendous changes undergone by the body during any healthy pregnancy.With physiotherapy,techniques can be learned to help relieve the following conditions:Lower backpain caused by a shift in the mother’s centre of gravity as the baby growsNeck pain and headaches due to changes in postureTightness and pain in the hamstrings and heel cords caused by a flattening of the feetArm pain or tingling caused by nerve compression associated wtth an increased chest diameterBladder leakage during pregnancy and after delivery due to strained pelvic musclesStretching of the abdominal walls leading to back pain and difficult delivery due to ineffective abdominal contractionsANTENATAL CLASSES & EXERCISESThese antenatal classes are designed especially for pregnancy and child birth.Each class addresses a specific pregnancy related issues and help you prepare for child birth and beyond.Exercises are blended with education to give you a better understanding of your body and how to keep”pregnant fit”and “birth fit”.BENEFITS:Why exercising in pregnancy may be good for you and your baby?Keep your heart, lungs and muscles as fit as possible.Keep your weight within the healthy range.Improve your posture,balance and co-ordination.Improve your circulationIncrease your strength and staminaFeel better in body and mindBe prepared for labour and deliveryReduce minor ailments of pregnancyBecome fitter and may ar more help you to recover more quickly after birthEXERCISES AND FACTS:The American college of OBS/GYNAE 2002:in the absence of medical and OBS complications 30 min or more moderate exercise a day on most, if not all days of week, is recommended for a Pregnant Women.

Pregnancy Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in a woman's life. It brings both emotional and physiological changes as well as it also poses extra demands on the body. In this phase the body needs extra nutrition for the developing fetus, for pregnant woman herself and also the lactation period to follow. Pregnancy Diet must be full of nutrition and healthy also.Importance of Nutrition in The Diet in PregnancyThese nutritional demands have to be met for a healthy child and mother because as the week progresses the organs and other system of the fetus start developing in mother’s womb and thus the energy used to create these systems (which actually comes from the energy and nutrients in the mother's circulation, and around the lining of the womb) also starts to increase. The table below highlights the nutrients, its importance and food sources which should be included in a women's pregnancy diet -NUTRIENTSIMPORTANCEFOOD SOURCES Protein cell growth and blood productionlean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, beans, tofuCarbohydrates daily energy productionbreads, cereals, rice, fruits, vegetablesCalcium strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction, nerve function milk, cheese, yogurt, spinachIronred blood cell production (to prevent anemia)All green leafy vegetables e.g. spinach, methi and whole-grain cerealsVitamin A healthy skin, good eyesight, growing bonescarrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoesVitamin C healthy gums, teeth, and bones; assistance with iron absorption citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, amla, guavasVitamin B6 red blood cell formation; effective use of protein, fat, and carbohydratespork, ham, whole-grain cereals, bananasVitamin B12 formation of red blood cells, maintaining nervous system healthmeat, fish, poultry, milk(Note: vegetarians who don't eat dairy products need supplemental B12)Vitamin D healthy bones and teeth; aids absorption of calcium fortified milk, dairy products, cereals, and breadsFolic acid blood and protein production, effective enzyme function green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, nutsFatbody energy stores meat, whole-milk dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, margarine, vegetable oils(Note: limit fat intake to 30% or less of your total daily calorie intakeRecommended Nutrients in The Diet in PregnancyNutrientRecommendation (Extra = Above RDA)EnergyIncrease by 300 kcal (840 kJ) per day. Certain guidelines according to trimester.1st trimester (1 to 12 weeks) - 10 kcals/day 2nd trimester (13 to 27 weeks) - 90 kcals/day 3rd trimester (27 to 40 weeks) - 200 kcals /day.ProteinsExtra 15 gms per dayThiaminIncrease in line with energy; increase by 0.1 mg per dayRiboflavinNeeded for tissue growth; extra 0.3 mg per dayNiacinRegular supplementation/diet of substance. No increase required.FolateMaintain plasma levels; extra 100 µg per dayVitamin CReplenish drained maternal stores; extra 120 mg per dayVitamin DReplenish plasma levels of vitamin 10 µg per day.CalciumNeeds no increaseIronExtra 3 mg per day neededMagnesium, zinc, and copperNormal supplementation or consumption.IodineExtra 100 µg per day.Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy- Skip aerated or caffeine based beverages like coffee, tea and colas. Too much caffeine may affect the growth of baby. A recent study said that pregnant women who consume even about a cup of coffee everyday are at a higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby.- Avoid eating foods that have been prepared with maida.- Try and cut down on eating foods that are high in sugar content.- Sea-food that is high in mercury should be strictly avoided. Swordfish, shark and king mackerel are among these. Raw fish may contain listeria, a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. While canned seafood is considered safe, skip smoked or frozen seafood like oysters, sushi, sashimi, and smoked salmon.- Unpasteurized milk may contain listeria, which can cross the placenta and lead to infection or blood poisoning in the baby. Ensure that the milk you drink is pasteurized.- Stay away from mould-ripened cheese (cheese that has a blue vein in it) like brie or camembert. Make sure you cook raw eggs. When the eggs are cooked, see that the yolk and white are firm.- Avoid the consumption of smoking and drinking in day to day routine.Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips:-- Have a piece of fresh fruit for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, instead of reaching for chocolates or biscuits.- By carrying a small bottle of water when you are out ensures you are well hydrated, and not tempted by sugary soft drinks.- Each week, prepare a couple of meals using beans, lentils and pulses.- Add in your diet different healthy grains, such as barley, couscous or brown rice, in order to give variety to your favorite recipes.- Choose low-fat dairy productsIt is important to note that being pregnant doesn't indicate that the mother to be has to consume food for two individuals, as she is supporting a life within her. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to consume a balanced diet with light and frequent meals throughout, and to regularly take the supplements or medicines prescribed by the doctor. One should also try, and be active, for e.g., go for walks or light swimming or do pregnancy specific yoga [under supervision].

What Precautions Should I Take for Diwali During Pregnancy?

Dr. Rushabh Mehta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Pregnancy doesn't mean you need to change the way you usually celebrate Diwali, but it does mean you need to take a few extra precautions.  Keep a track of your appointments Don’t miss any antenatal appointments even if there may be other priorities during the festive time. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what's safe for your stage of pregnancy. She may suggest additional precautions if you're carrying twins or more or have any complications. Also speak to your doctor if you suffer from any pre-existing health conditions that might get aggravated at this time of the year such as respiratory conditions, heart disease or asthma.  Watch out for pollution During pregnancy a woman's oxygen-carrying capacity is reduced, so it's important to stay in well ventilated areas away from air pollution. Pollution levels rise considerably during Diwali. Seek medical help if you feel:breathlessdizzy or uncomfortablea headache coming onexperience nausea in reaction to the firework smokeProtect yourself from burns and injuries Some people enjoy rowdy play and throw crackers or point rockets towards crowds which may result in serious burns or injuries. Some also like to burst cluster bombs (ladis), that go off in batches of 100, 1000 or even above 10,000 explosions at a go. The sound levels that such fireworks make can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears), which can be very annoying depending on how long it lasts. Speak to your doctor if you do get tinnitus so he can tell you what steps to take to feel better.  Look out for any allergy triggers Almost every home is decorated with flowers, floral garlands or with petals floating in water bowls. Some flowers can trigger allergies such as hayfever or asthma. If you suffer from asthma it would be useful to carry your inhaler with you at all times. To help reduce exposure to allergens, leave floral garlands or flowers outside until the last possible moment. Spray them with water before bringing them indoors. This will help to settle any dust, pollen or mould spores that trigger the allergies.  Choose decorations with care There are many varieties of diyas to choose from, but pick those with a sturdy base. Where you place diyas and candles is also important to avoid any accidental fires. Keep them away from any flammable areas such as furniture, drapes, rugs, bedding, newspapers or wooden objects. And if you are at the stage where your baby bump is so big you don't see your feet, make sure you do not get close to where the diyas are kept. The clothes that hang over your bump can get close to a flame without you even realising it. Be extra cautious if you have babies and toddlers around the house. Read more on how to prevent burns.  And... be prepared You may never have to use them but always keep the following handy:A first-aid kitFire extinguisherEmergency contact numbers