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    by: Farouk

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    1 : Pregnancy By Farouk El-Sabban College for Women Kuwait University
    2 : Introduction Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time in a couple’s life. They both want the best for their baby and want their baby to be healthy. Pregnant women are always worried what to do and what not to do, is this food healthy or not? Pregnancy occurs when sperm cells swim up the fallopian tube and only one enters into the ovum. Some kind of mechanism occurs in the egg which makes sure that no other sperm enters and this is known as fertilization. During pregnancy, women experience 3 different stages, they face problems or discomforts, they should consume a healthy diet, they must have prenatal care and doctors should recommend their medications, if any.
    3 : Stages of Pregnancy The first stage is known as the “1st Trimester”. During this stage, the baby’s length is about 7 and half centimeters long and weighs about ½ an ounce (15 grams). It’s eyes move closer together to its normal position and the ears too. The liver starts producing bile and the kidneys secrete urine into the bladder.
    4 : Stages of Pregnancy The second stage is known as “2nd Trimester”. By about 6 months, the baby weighs almost 1 kg and is about 33 cm long. It’s arms, fingers, legs, toes, and feet are formed and essential organs are formed like the heart and lungs. The baby will start moving by this time.
    5 : Stages of Pregnancy The third stage is known as the “3rd Trimester”. During this stage, the baby’s height will double and it’s weight will multiply 5 times. At 9 months, the normal baby will weigh 3 to 4 kg and it’s height will be about 50 cm. The baby will start to move to birth position and will start moving to the lower abdomen.
    6 : Problems or Discomforts During Pregnancy 1. Pregnant women often experience heartburn, constipation and hemorrhoids. To avoid these problems, they have to eat less fats and drink a lot of fluids. 2. Another problem they face is “Edema”. This happens when pregnancy hormones produce a lot of fluids and these extra fluids causes a swelling on the skin. 3. A third problem is “morning sickness” which is accompanied by an increased sense of smell. About 75% of women experience this problem during the early stages of pregnancy. To control this, they should stop eating fried foods. 4. The last problem is “Anemia” which is a lack of iron in the red blood cells. Iron is essential in the hemoglobin because it transports oxygen to the cells. In general, pregnant women has a low percentage of red blood cells which is normal (physiological anemia). But, when there is a deficiency in consuming iron in the diet, then they should consult a doctor.
    7 : Pregnant Woman and Weight Gain Nutrition is very important for a pregnant woman and she should consume an extra 350-450 calories every day. Weight gain is expected during pregnancy. A normal pregnant woman gains 11.5-16 kg and a woman carrying twins will gain about 15-20 kg.
    8 : Pregnant Women should Consume a Healthy Diet A pregnant woman should eat healthy for her sake and the baby’s as well. She should eat from all the different nutrients including, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals but should not exceed the amount. 4 essential nutrients that should be eaten during pregnancy: 1. Folate or folic acid is important for cell division and organ formation. Food sources are, green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grain breads. If there is a deficiency, this will cause a birth defect known as ‘spina bifida’ – a problem with the spinal cord of the baby. 2. Calcium is important for the bones of the mother and baby too. Food sources are, milk, cheese, yoghurt and green leafy vegetables.
    9 : Pregnant Woman Should Consume a Healthy Diet (Continued) 3. Iron is important for hemoglobin in which transports oxygen to the cells of the body. Good food sources are, meat, poultry, fish and green leafy vegetables. 4. Proteins are also important to take during pregnancy and good sources of proteins are, meat, fish, poultry, nuts and eggs.
    10 : Recommendations 1. Drink plenty of fluids. 2. Avoid smoking and alcohol. 3. Exercise on a regular basis. 4. Limit coffee, tea and fizzy drinks, because of the caffeine – as it may cause birth defects. 5. Avoid spicy foods. 6. Get plenty of rest.
    11 : Pregnant Women Should Have Prenatal Care What is prenatal care? Prenatal care means health care by a doctor or health advisor during pregnancy before the baby is born. Why is it so important? This is because the doctor or health advisor will have the ability to find out problems they are facing and will be able to treat them as soon as possible. How often should a pregnant woman visit the doctor? During the first 6 months, she should visit once a month, during the next 2 months, she should visit every 2 weeks and when near delivery , she should visit weekly.
    12 : Can Pregnant Women Take Medications Is it safe to take medicine during pregnancy? Most of the time, medicines don’t enter the fetus or the baby but in some cases it does enter the fetus and causes damage or birth defects, so it’s better not to take the risk. Are herbal remedies safer than medication? Yes, they can be much better than other medications - but be sure it’s a doctor’s prescription. Examples of herbal remedies include: Ginkgo biloba and St. John’s Wort.
    13 : Gallery

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