News & Blogs
May 18 2020

Safe Motherhood: From Pregnancy to Delivery

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting events that can happen to a woman, but the other side to it is that it can be difficult, too. The baby’s health is primarily dependent on the mother. It is vital for both mother and unborn child to stay healthy throughout the entire pregnancy.
Childbirth may either be through normal or Caesarian (C-section) delivery. The first method is the natural and more common childbirth option among 85% of pregnant women. Women who have no underlying health issues or had a normal delivery in previous pregnancies can give birth through the same method.
On the other hand, a pregnant woman may choose to undergo C-section to avoid the pain and anxiety associated with the natural birthing process. In other cases, a doctor may recommend this procedure if the ultrasound shows that the baby is not positioned correctly inside the mother’s womb. Doctors may also perform a C-section if the mother develops problems during labor.
Health Tips During Pregnancy
Pregnant women should practice the following to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery of the baby.
  • Eat a healthy diet
Moms-to-be need to have a healthy diet to help their baby develop well. Healthy servings of lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and dairy enables mothers to meet their increased need for essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Reducing the intake of sugar and salt is also part of the proper diet for expectant mothers since excessive consumption of these substances may increase the risk of pregnancy-related complications.
  • Exercise regularly​​
Staying physically fit and active during pregnancy is important. Due to their condition, pregnant women should limit their physical fitness activities to low-intensity exercises like walking or swimming, or any other exercises that doctors may advise during prenatal care checkups.

By exercising regularly, pregnant women can avoid unhealthy conditions like high blood pressure and constipation, while strengthening their muscles and improving stamina which they will need during the baby’s delivery.
  • Perform breathing exercises
Proper breathing is essential in the successful delivery of a healthy baby, making yoga a big help in preparing pregnant women for the big day. Through yoga, pregnant women can practice breathing techniques which can help them relax their muscles. Some yoga poses are also effective in relieving lower back pain, which is common during pregnancy.
  • Monitor weight
One of the most important things to watch out for during pregnancy is weight gain. For pregnant women, an ideal number of extra weight can range from 11 pounds to 40 pounds, depending on their body mass index (BMI).
  • Stay hydrated
A well-hydrated body requires pregnant women to have a healthy supply of water which can help their baby grow properly, help with digestion, and flush out wastes and toxins. Since water has zero calories, it is also useful in maintaining an ideal weight for both the mother and child.

Postpartum Care
Once the baby is born, it is time for mothers to physically recover. However, this may not always be easy as many changes occur after childbirth.
Here’s what happens to women after giving birth and how to manage them:
  • Vaginal soreness
A woman’s vagina may feel sore as childbirth can tear and scar vaginal tissues. The wounds around the vaginal area may cause a painful or stinging sensation during urination.

Home treatment methods like sitting on a pillow and cooling the wounded area with an ice pack can help reduce the discomfort and swelling. However, applying ice packs should not last for more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid damaging any nerves. The soreness should go away after a few weeks; otherwise, the mother should consult her doctor to prevent infection.
  • Breast engorgement
Women who give birth will produce breast milk after, causing their breasts to enlarge and firm up. This may make the mother feel uncomfortable, especially if the nipples become sore from breastfeeding.
Using a warm washcloth or taking a warm shower before breastfeeding can help ease the flow of milk from the breasts. Applying cold compress around the nipple in between feedings can help reduce the swelling too.
  • Incontinence
Incontinence, one of the side effects of pregnancy and during labor for a normal delivery, refers to the condition wherein a few drops of urine leak while sneezing, coughing, or laughing.

Mothers who experience this may wear sanitary pads for protection and to feel dry and clean. They could also try Kegel Exercises which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help control the passage of urine.
  • Constipation
Constipation is usually caused by the slow movement of waste along the digestive tract. Complications include hemorrhoids or swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum, and anal fissures. The swelling makes bowel movement painful, so new mothers need to eat fiber-rich food and drink lots of water.
  • Postpartum depression
While mothers are in the process of healing and recovering, they are also trying to adjust to their new role, routine, and responsibilities. These changes may take a toll not only on their physical health but also mentally, causing them to feel overwhelmed and experience postpartum blues. It’s common for new moms to experience mood swings, gloomy days, or lack of sleep.
Mothers can best deal with postpartum depression when they are surrounded by their partner and other family members with whom they can ask for help and perhaps share their feelings. Doctors should also be able to offer advice on how mothers can better cope with anxiety.

Motherhood at its Best
Mothers will do everything for their children, starting with keeping them safe during pregnancy, all the way to the baby’s delivery.
This goal is possible when mothers receive excellent healthcare for themselves and their babies. Makati Medical Center’s team of doctors specialize in superior prenatal care and other relevant medical services. Schedule a consultation now!