In antenatal care, the couple has to decide about the hospital as per their comfort and convenience, but it should be an institutional, safe delivery, in a clean and hygienic environment to avoid any complications. The second most important thing is quality care for the pregnant woman, as she needs extra care and emotional support during pregnancy
Education about pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery period, counselling about normal and abnormal things of pregnancy and postnatal period is very important.
The woman should take adequate rest and sleep.
She should eat a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet because only a healthy mother can deliver a healthy baby.
She should take supplements like folic acid, iron, calcium, protein and multivitamins.
From delivery to 40 days, we call it purperum. This is also a very crucial stage but mostly, the women don’t take care of themselves, they neglect themselves by getting busy with the new-born and their work or other activities, but she should take extra care of her health, hygiene and cleanliness.
In the case of normal labour, the mother should be concerned about perineal care, while in the case of a Caesarean section, she should take care of sutures.
She should visit the hospital on time, as per the schedule.
She should take care of her breast while breastfeeding to avoid breast cracks, breast lumps and abscesses.
She should take care of her diet, as she has done during pregnancy.
She should take rest and adequate sleep.
She should live in a healthy environment; the home should have good ventilation.
In this stage, women can get postnatal depression; she has to overcome the depression by thinking good and positive things and by reading positive and hopeful books and by spiritual relief through prayers and through meditation and walking.
As she can get depressed, she needs extra emotional support from her spouse and family members. They have to listen to her and be sensitive to her condition and offer care and love.
We usually focus more on mental health by counselling women, because if a woman is mentally ill, she can’t recover physically also.
There are a lot of traditional tips and myths surrounding pregnancy; most of them are unscientific and fake.
Some common myths are like “heartburn means that the baby will have a lot of hair” (false).
“A woman should eat for two when pregnant” or “by eating double and twin things, women get twin babies” (false).
“Morning sickness occurs only in the morning.” (false).
“Applying lotions and creams to avoid stretch marks” (false).
These traditional tips are false; the woman should not believe any of these unscientific myths. If she has any doubts she should ask her doctor who will clear her doubts in a scientific way.
In our system of medicine, we believe pregnancy and labour are completely natural processes, so we treat them in a natural way as normal labour. If a woman has any complications, we refer it to an obstetrician. The most important thing we focus on is the woman’s care and personal hygiene.
We take care of her sutures. We recommend a healthy, balanced diet and for the first three days, we advise easily digestible food like moong dal khichdi, half-boiled egg, upma and turmeric milk .
The pregnant women immunity boosters. To boost immunity we recommend turmeric milk, “aashe jao” and “maa ul laham.” We give more focus on her mental health, we do counselling sessions to avoid postnatal depression.
We advise mild exercise like walking, abdominal support by belly band and abdominal exercises after 40 days.
We advise to continue her supplements upto 3 months; for calcium, we recommend “kushta sadaf”, for iron, “sharbate foulad” and “khmaeere abresham hakeem arshad wala” to boost energy and immunity.
We recommend galactogogues (mollid e laban drugs which induce lactation) like makhana, pembadana, singhada and almonds.
Health is more important and valuable than money. Money can be earned but once you lose health, getting it back is very difficult, so always keep in mind to continue a healthy pregnancy. A healthy pregnancy can lead to low expenses, as when there is an increase in complications, expenses also will increase.
Wherever government health centres are there try to visit there before time and do an enquiry about whether they have a hygienic environment and expert doctors. If you are satisfied with their service, you should visit there itself as you can get completely free labour and check-up.
I always advise my patients to eat healthy, live healthy , live stress-free, sleep well and try to always be happy for a healthy pregnancy and for a healthy baby.