The Sixth Month

Sixth month of pregnancy

The sixth month is often the best month of pregnancy as a feeling of happiness and contentment shows on the face of the mother. As a mother you are much relaxed now and your body is adapted to pregnancy. If the weight gain has not been constant until now, this is the month when the expectant mother could put on a lot of weight.

There will be a steady weight gain of 500 gm per week, though if the mother was underweight at the start of the pregnancy, she could gain weight even faster.

Changes in the mother

  • The spurt in body weight makes loose fitted clothes more comfortable for the mother to be
  • There might be intolerance to heat and excessive sweating.
  • There might be increased thirst.
  • There may be water retention in the body
  • The areolas become more prominent
  • The baby bump becomes much bigger

Features of the Baby

  • Length: 13 inches
  • Weight:  570 gms
  • The skin has sweat glands
  • Muscles of the arms and legs have developed
  • The baby can cough and hiccup
  • Baby’s eyelids are still sealed
  • Since baby can hear, they develop likes and dislikes for sounds
  • Baby can open and close his mouth and even frown
  • Baby can make a fist and kick and punch
  • Baby has erratic sleeping patterns
  • Baby’s taste buds have started to form
  • The skin is gradually becoming thicker.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Put your feet up as much as possible during the day
  • Continue gentle exercises regularly
  • Practice breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Talk to your doctor regarding breast feeding concerns in case you have flat or inverted nipples
  • Working mothers must ask for a maternity certificate at the clinic.
  • Invest in a good pregnancy bra. Check your size regularly as your breasts will continue to swell throughout pregnancy. If the breasts become very heavy, wear a light weight bra even in the night time.

On the completion of 6 months you are becoming more prepared as a mother. Meet your doctor on the planned visits as he/she is qualified to assess whether your weight gain is appropriate and is going as desired. Examination of the baby through the ultrasound is also beneficial is assessing the growth rate.

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Pregnancy & Nutrition Tips

Pregnancy & Nutrition Tips

Pregnancy, the happy stage of a woman’s life can get complicated if proper care is not taken. It is important to care for both under nutrition and over nutrition as it is a physiological burden on a woman’s body.

To understand it better, let us divide the nutrients and understand the significance of each and how much and why we need them.

The various nutrients that need to be taken care of comprises of:

  1. Energy: An increased calorie intake of 300 kcal is needed to meet the growing needs of the baby, for the growth of maternal tissue and to maintain good health of the uterus. This increase in calorie need can be compensated by an additional two glasses of milk/paneer/chaach.
  2. Protein: The regular protein requirement is 1 gm per kg body weight. During pregnancy there is an increased need of 15 g for the healthy growth of the baby and the mother. Rich sources are eggs, paneer etc.
  3. Folic Acid: This is a very important nutrient during pregnancy. Deficiency of folic acid may lead  to neural tube defects in the baby . 600ug/d is the prescribed dose for the same. Rich sources are dark green  vegetables like broccoli, spinach and dried legumes.
  4. Iodine: There is an increased need of 25mg per day to prevent mental retardation, still birth and promote healthy  development of the brain of the baby. Good sources of iodine are sea vegetables, cranberries, cheese etc.
  5. Iron: Iron is needed for the formation of blood for the baby’s growth, to replace blood loss during delivery and to provide for reserves for the baby as mother’s milk lacks sufficient iron. The additional iron need can be calculated to 700 mg extra. Some good sources of iron are red meat, pork, poultry ,and dark green leafy vegetables.
  6. Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron and hence with increased iron intake there needs to be an increased consumption of vitamin C. 10 mg extra needs to be consumed. Good sources of vitamin C are dark green leafy vegetables , kiwi, oranges, amla (gooseberry)etc.
  7. Calcium: Calcium needs can be calculated to about 1300 mg per day for a woman less than 19 years of age and 1000 mg per day for an adult woman. The normal calcium needs for a woman is around 600 mg per day. Good source of calcium is dark green leafy vegetables, soy, milk products. To put it simply, one glass of milk/fermented milk product has approx 150 calories, and milk is a complete meal in itself. If the expecting mother just adds 2 glasses of milk or paneer or chaach made from 500 ml milk,  that is sufficient to meet the additional needs during pregnancy. The only thing lacking in milk is iron which can be taken care of separately.

Right care taken during pregnancy can go a long way in preventing complications and in promoting good health for both the mother and the child.  

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