Pregnancy Health Awareness – What you should know
In light of Pregnancy Awareness Week form 10 – 17 February, Mopani Pharmacy thought it to be the best time to strengthen pregnancy education and stress important issues that promote healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood. Mopani Pharmacy had a sister sit-down with Sr Rinie, our Homegrown Babies Midwife at the Crossing Centre branch. We discussed all things pregnancy related, and here is what you need to know.
Q: What should you be doing when you are planning to fall pregnant?
A: There are some things that are of utmost importance to ensure you are going into your pregnancy prepared and healthy;
- Visit your doctor and ask for a blood test that will determine if you are immune to German measles. If you are not immune, get vaccinated and wait about 6 weeks before you start trying to fall pregnant. German measles is especially dangerous to unborn babies, more so in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. If you are immune, you will be saved from a lot of stress, should you come in contact with someone that has German measles.
- Try to get to and maintain a healthy body-weight and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You may even start taking a prenatal vitamin.
- Kick the smoking habit! First and second hand smoke can affect your ability to fall pregnant. It may also affect the growth of your baby in utero.
- Monitor your menstrual cycles. Start counting from your first day of your period until the next first day of the following period to determine the length of your menstrual cycle. You can search for an app to download, there are many that will help you track your cycle and determine when more or less you will ovulate.
- If you are actively trying to fall pregnant for more than six months to no avail, see your doctor with your partner. From there you can explore different avenues of determining if there may be an infertility issue with either yourself or your partner.
Q: Once pregnant, when should I visit your clinic?
A: We advise moms to do a 12 week visit with their doctor to get an ultrasound and necessary tests. In terms of the clinic, we recommend that you come every month to do urine and blood pressure tests, as well as a basic check-up.
Q: What are you looking for in general, when a pregnant woman comes to see you?
A: As mentioned, we do a blood pressure and urine test. If your pregnancy has progressed past 20 weeks, we will check your baby’s heart rate. We will have a sit-down with you and discuss any issues you may have; heartburn, swelling, cramping and anything else that might concern you. Then we can give you advice and recommendations. We want to see a glowing pregnant mommy!
Q: Can I get vaccinated during my pregnancy?
A: In the public health sector, Tetanus vaccines are standard treatment. Flu vaccines are also highly recommended. Please note that routine and traveling vaccines will not be done if you have not checked in with your doctor.
Q: Can pregnant women use homeopathic medicines?
A: As a private midwife I do recommend some homeopathic remedies. I have to stress that you need to speak to one of us, your doctor or your pharmacist about which medicines are safe to use when you are pregnant.
Read More: Homeopathic immune-boosters explained
Q: What illnesses should I look out for during my pregnancy?
A: There are a few;
- Dehydration causes great concern for both you and your unborn baby.
- You should see your doctor the moment you have a fever.
- Vaginal bleeding is something that you should report to your midwife or doctor immediately.
- Urinary tract infections or vaginal infections are sometimes common in pregnancy and is something we keep a look out for.
- High blood pressure can cause pre-eclampsia which is a great concern for both mother and baby.
Q: What kind of supplements should I use during my pregnancy?
A: Any pregnancy multivitamin will be a good option, they are specifically formulated to support the extra mineral and vitamin needs of a pregnant mom and growing baby.
What medicine must-haves should a pregnant woman have in her cabinet?
- Paracetamol for pain and fever
- Arnicamill massage oil to aid helping in back aches and leg cramps
- A pregnancy multivitamin
- A good saline nasal spray to combat typical pregnancy nasal congestion such as these
- Rehidrat sachets of some sort in case of severe diarrhoea and nausea. Sufficient hydration is very important!
- Something for heartburn
We have private midwives at the Mopani Homegrown Babies Clinic. They are trained and able to assist you with any questions and concerns you may have. Trust your gut. If your mommy-senses are tingling, never hesitate to seek medical attention. If you would like to know more about public sector pregnancy healthcare options, Read more here
Did you know?
Our midwives can facilitate a home-birth!
Contact Homegrown Babies: 013 755 5596 (Crossing Centre Branch) or 013 742 2225 (Ilanga Branch) or just pop by, no appointment needed!
Baby born already? Read more: Homegrown Babies – Top things you need to know about your baby’s well-being