Saturday, 24 September 2016

7 tips on how to manage common minor disorders of pregnancy

Image result for picture of a pregnant black womanThe period of pregnancy is no doubt usually an exciting period for the expecting mother as well as her partner.A woman's body changes during pregnancy(most of the time the changes are normal)and she might experience some minor disorders,inability to manage these disorders well may make this period very uncomfortable and frustrating for the woman.The  minor disorders that can be experienced during pregnancy are numerous but below are 7 common disorders and useful tips on how to manage them easily.

  1. Nausea and Vomiting: Many pregnant women experience a degree of nausea and few vomit.This complaint occurs mostly during the first 3 months of pregnancy usually referred to as morning sickness but gradually disappears at the end of this time. The cause is usually a form of sensitivity  to the hormones released during pregnancy.It occurs usually when the woman wakes up in the morning or gets out of bed. Some women have severe vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum which means excessive vomiting during pregnancy which requires hospitalization.
  Tips
  •  Eat meals in small portions
  •  Drink fluids between meals
  •  Eat at times of the day when nausea is less severe
  •  Eat a few dry meals like biscuit,snacks before getting out of bed in the morning
  •  Consume more of foods that contains protein e.g beans,nuts,cheese 
   2. Leg Cramps :This is quite common in late pregnancy and occurs mostly at night
       Tip 
  • Eat more foods high in calcium and potassium e.g carrots,milk,cheese,yam,green leafy vegetables,soybeans.
  3. Heart Burn : This is very frequent in late pregnancy as well.It is a burning feeling or pain in the stomach or between the breasts. It is often worse at night.
       Tips
  • Eat small meals more frequently
  • Take a glass of milk when the heart burn occurs
  • Sleep propped up with one or two extra pillows
  • Try antacid tablets or liquids as prescribed
 4. Constipation and haemorrhoids : Difficulty in passing stools occur in some pregnant women because there is reduced peristalsis(muscular movement that pushes food along the intestines) resulting from hormonal changes.Constipation and straining to empty the bowels overtime can lead to haemorrhoids(piles) which are swollen veins around the anus which can bleed during bowel movement.
   Tips
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Drink lots of water
  • Do light exercises everyday like walking
5. Frequency of urination : Increased frequency of urination is usually experienced in the early months of pregnancy and then comes back during the last months of pregnancy because the baby's head presses against the bladder. It's unavoidable and the woman should not be worried about it except it is accompanied by itches, burns or pains in which case a urinary tract infection might be suspected and then she needs to visit the hospital.

6. Swelling of the ankles and legs : This is called oedema and it is as a result of retention of fluid in body tissues during pregnancy. An average expectant mother is said to retain about 3 to 6 litres of fluid hence,oedema is a common occurence in pregnant women. Swelling of the feet in the evening is usually not serious but severe swelling during the day especially when the woman wakes up in the morning is a warning sign of pre-eclampsia which is a life threatening condition that requires hospitalization of the woman for proper medical care.
  Tips
  • Sit with your feet raised as often as possible.
 7. Sweating : Especially during late pregnancy, many women find that sweat more easily and feel hot as well which can be accompanied by night sweats. There's nothing to worry about.
  Tips
  • Avoid stressful activities
  • Take frequent rest periods
  • Have frequent cool baths
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Dress in cool and comfortable clothes.

PLEASE IF YOU EXPERIENCE SEVERITY OF ANY OF THESE DISORDERS,VISIT THE HOSPITAL

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Ladies, do you dread your 'red days' ?

Image result for picture of a lady with dysmenorrheaSo many of us dread our monthly periods because of the very obvious reason-menstrual pains/cramps. Menstrual pains are pains felt by a woman in the abdomen or pelvic area during her monthly periods and so this kind of pain is periodic in nature.These cramps are caused by uterine contractions and the contractions are further strengthened by prostaglandins which are chemicals released from the uterus.
 The medical term for menstrual pain is 'dysmenorrhea' and it can be primary(if it is not as a result of an identifiable cause, this is the commonest form of dysmenorrhea) or secondary(if it is as a result of an underlying condition,this is often pathological in nature).
Irrespective of whether it is primary or secondary , menstrual pains can be so severe in some women that it alters their activities of daily living e.g work,school e.t.c.
   However,there are some home remedies which can help to reduce or alleviate the cramps and as well make you more comfortable and productive during your 'red days'.
Here are seven tips that have helped me in managing painful periods over the years;

1.Have a positive mindset.
  I made this the first remedy because its the most important of all the remedies.I used to be very sad and gloomy whenever my periods are near and to the extent of praying that I should miss my periods but the moment I changed my mindset and developed a positive attitude towards it, it became so easy for me to manage and I became even more productive during my 'red days'. So dear friends, joyfully expect your periods.

2.Apply heat.
   This can be in form of a hot water bottle placed over your lower abdomen, pelvic area or lower back for some minutes; for me I soak a small flannel/towel inside a bowl of hot water and then squeeze out the water and apply over my lower abdomen,this method really works like magic because it tends to dissolve blood clots and also ease blood flow but be very careful when handling hot water to avoid scald injury to your skin.

3.Exercises.
  I know the first thing that crossed your mind is going to the gym.NO!!!! You dont have to go to a gym,there are other forms of exercises that help reduce menstrual pains e.g dancing , running ,skipping e.t.c. For me brisk walking works for me a lot, I enjoy taking a walk or just strolling in the neighbourhood,it helps a lot.

4.Take a hot drink.
   A hot cup of tea works wonders.It has the same mode of action with the heat therapy,it enhances blood flow and also makes you warm.I ensure I keep myself warm during the 'red days' because warmth also reduces the cramps.

5.Improve your diet.
   We all know that high consumption of vegetables and low consumption of fat keeps the doctor away because it improves our overall wellbeing but i'm sure you never knew that vegetables reduce menstrual cramps simply because it helps to decrease the overall levels of inflammation in the body. So take more of veggies and take less of fat especially during the 'red days'.

6.Diversional therapy.
   By this I mean engaging yourself in activities that will distract you and take your mind off the pain but this has to be an activity that you love or probably you hobby.For me, listening to music and singing along really helps and ofcourse takes my mind away from the pain. So you can try your favorite activity or hobby e.g reading novels, watching tv , washing or cooking. It has to be something you enjoy doing.

7.Take mild analgesics
   For some of us who have severe cramps, taking analgesic is as important as the other six tips I mentioned earlier if we want to be very comfortable and ofcourse productive during the 'red days'. However mild analgesics are just fine e.g paracetamol and it can be purchased over the counter. Please never buy or take strong analgesics like narcotics without a medical prescription.Do not abuse drugs.

N.B IF ALL THESE REMEDIES STILL DO NOT REDUCE YOUR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS PLEASE SEE A DOCTOR.