Monday, October 28, 2013

Ask Us Anything about Pregnancy: Birthing Clothes, Recovery from an Epidural, Travel

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Q. May I wear my own clothing during the birth, such as a nursing bra and a stretchy skirt for birthing?

A. Mary Ann Murphy, Director of Maternal Child Services at Mercy Hospital:

We do not restrict the mother from wearing her own clothing.

However, birth is a bit messy and the skirt would be unlikely to use again!

In an emergency, clothing may be damaged in trying to remove them quickly for C-section.

Q. How soon after I give birth with the epidural can I get up and start walking around again?

A. Mary Ann Murphy, Director of Maternal Child Services at Mercy Hospital:

You can get up and walk around after the epidural has worn off and you have full mobility. This is usually about 2 hours after the delivery.

Q. I am pregnant and will be traveling to India. Can you give me nutritional advice for my trip?

A. Ann Marie Smokowski, Registered Dietitian:

Healthy eating during pregnancy has a positive impact on the development and growth of your baby.

Remember during pregnancy that only an additional 300 kcal is necessary for your total daily intake. During lactation, 500 kcal is required. That old adage of "eating for two" during pregnancy is a myth.

The total maternal weight gain for women in pregnancy is as follows:
  • BMI 19 -24 (ideal): 25 to 35 lbs for 40 weeks gestation
  • BMI 25 to 29 (overweight): 15 to 25 lbs for 40 weeks gestation
  • BMI 30 or > (obese): No more than 15 lbs for 40 weeks gestation
Prenatal Vitamins: Make sure that you take one prenatal vitamin daily with a formulation of 400 mcg folic acid and 27 mg iron.

Dairy: 3 to 4 daily servings of dairy are necessary to attain the 1000 to 1200 mg Ca daily requirements. Examples of 1 serving include 8 oz low fat milk, 6 to 8 oz yogurt or 1 1/2 slices cheese.

Protein: 70 to 75 gm protein is the daily requirement. 5 to 6 oz meat should be consumed daily. Ensure that meat is well cooked.

Fiber: Aim for 25 grams of daily fiber intake by eating whole grain breads/cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Water: Drinking water is important for hydration purposes. While traveling, I would recommend bottled water. Aim for 2 liters of water daily.

Fatty Acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the developement of the brain, nervous system and eyes of your growing baby. Pregnant women should consume 1.4 gm of omega 3 fatty acids daily. Some sources are fish oil, canola oil, flay, soy beans and walnuts. There are Omega 3 supplements also available such as Expectil.

Fish: Safe fish consumption must be stressed because of the mecury concentrations. Be aware of the type of fish in foreign countries. In the U.S., the FDA recommends no more than 12 oz per week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury. Some options in the U.S. are shrimp, canned chunk lite tuna (no more than 6oz can weekly) salmon, etc.

Food-borne Risks: Food-borne risks, particularly from harmful bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes, must be avoided. Therefore, all meats, including hot dogs, must be well cooked. Absolutely no sushi (raw fish) or steak tartar.

Luncheon meats can only be consumed if they are reheated until steaming hot.

Soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue veined cheese, queso blanco or queso fresco or panela must be made with pasteurized milk. 

Avoid refrigerated pates', meat spreads or smoked seafood. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours of eating or preparation.

Plate Method: Using the plate method can help you attain a well balanced meal plan. Eat on 8-10" diameter plates. 1/2 of plate should be vegetables while 1/4 of the plate should be a 3 to 4 oz portion of protein and the other 1/4 should be a serving of starch (potato, brown rice or whole grain pasta).

Meal Plan: Your meal plan can include 3 main meals with 2 small healthy snacks. These snacks can include fruit, yogurt, a small bowl unsweetened cereal with low fat milk, etc.

I hope these tips help. Bon voyage and have a safe trip to India!

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