The baby’s quality of life and well-being depends greatly on the mother’s health status during pregnancy. Therefore, the mother needs to get vital information as how to optimise her health and in so doing, ensuring her baby’s well-being. There is an overwhelming charge on the mother to do her best for her baby. Of such, it is so much about the mother and her baby.
There are some cases in which factors that occur prior to conception may also affect the baby. Examples of this are untreated sexually transmitted infections. There may also be other illnesses which can compromise the development of a healthy baby. Examples of these are diabetes and anemia. The baby on its own may also develop conditions hostile to its health.
Both parents are equally responsible for the conception of the baby. Without prejudice, the woman has a greater responsibility to the baby during pregnancy. One of such responsibilities is that she has an unshared responsibility to carry the baby in her womb. This she does from conception to delivery. This duty cannot be executed by anyone else.
TIPS TO ENSURE BABY’S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
- Visit your family doctor as you plan or prepare for the event-pregnancy.This is important as it will be convenient to the doctor to do the necessary investigations. Corrective measures for that which is not satisfactory will be addressed. It is important that the prospective father attend also.
- The doctor will need general medical information from both parents. This will help to minimize and prepare for adverse outcome concerning mother and baby.
The necessary diagnostics will be done and treatment effected as necessary. The doctor will make a proper inventory of your health status for analysis.
- There are diseases that may be passed on to the unborn child if the mother is infected. One of such diseases is syphilis. If the prospective mother is given
adequate treatment before pregnancy, it proves a better head start in the right direction.
Waiting to be pregnant before a “preconception” visit to the doctor
can sometimes if not at all times prove a mistake. Congenital syphilis (syphilis acquired from the womb) if not treated and treated early (that is mother and
sex-partner) can cause serious defects to the baby. Reinfection by an untreated partner can happen.
- Remember, only an infected mother can pass on a sexually transmitted infection to her unborn child.
Among other diseases, Rubella (German measles) is also one for serious consideration. If the woman contracted the disease in early pregnancy, she can lose the baby or the child may be born blind, mentally retarded, or other defects. Tests for Sickle Cell should also be a topic for conversation with the
prospective father and your doctor.
- Ask the doctor about other diseases which may affect the baby vertically and genetically.
- The start of early counselling and preparation for certain events may be necessary. An example of this is the need for a Caesarian operation. Counselling
and education before and during pregnancy are rewarding. These also prepare mind and body for the greater event to care and bring up a healthy child.
Knowledge enhances satisfactory practices.
- Follow the recommendations of your health care provider(s).
Compliance is one of the keys to good health. Always remember that your baby’s health has a major dependence on yours.
- Always remember to discuss your concerns with your health care provider(s).
- Make note of your concerns on paper so that you will remember.
Most times there is the tendency to remember something that you would like to discuss with your health care providers when you are not in their presence. But
on the spur of the moment these are forgotten.
- Visit your doctor or other health care provider (a qualified nurse) as soon as you have a missed menstrual period.
A missed period does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. A missed menstrual period can be caused by a serious illness, emotional stress, or
disturbance of the endocrine system.
"The endocrine system refers to the collection of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards a distant target organ. The major endocrine glands include the pineal, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, the hypothalamus, gastrointestinal tract and adrenal glands" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine system
The necessary action will be done to prove whether or not you are pregnant. If you are, you will now be taken care of as a pregnant woman. This is the start
of the journey, you and your baby.
- Seek advice regarding the right foods that you should eat
A useful guide to nutrition is the Food Pyramid. Everyday food should be taken from each food group.
Milk Group (2-4 servings per day)
Meat Group (2-4 servings per day)
Vegetable Group (3-5 servings per day)
Fruit Group (2-4 servings per day)
Grain Group (6-11 servings per day)
Be reminded we are what we eat. Good nutrition is a key to good health.
- Avoid the use of alcohol
- Avoid second-hand smoking and the use of tobacco
- Smoking can cause adverse effect on you and your unborn child. Among other ills, it should be considered that this can also contribute to respiratory
- Do daily exercise. Talk to your doctor about this.
This will help in the circulation of the blood throughout the body. It will keep your body fit and helps in the preparation of the mind and body. The doctor
will explain the intensity of the exercise that you should do?
- Take adequate rest. Sleep much
- Relax and have fun
- Read about your health
- Be optimistic
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS THAT IMPACT ON THE UNBORN BABY
Hepatitis B Virus -risk for chronic disease or liver cancer later on in life
Syphilis -if mother is not adequately treated an outcome of Congenital
Syphilis is expected; may also cause premature birth
HIV -If mother has not started treatment prior to delivery, baby is likely to
be born infected
Gonorrhoea -If treatment is not given prior to delivery and at birth baby may be
Infected with a condition known as Ophthalmic neonatorum, a condition of the eye.
Gonorrhoea, If not properly treated, may cause blindness; may also
cause premature rupture of membrane
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) -The attending practitioner at delivery may need to refer or perform Caesarean in order to prevent infection to baby
Human papilloma virus (HPV) -Infection may affect throat of the unborn child
Bacterial Vaginosis -At high risk for premature delivery
RISK FACTORS FOR A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION
There are diseases that have inflicted man, which up to date, there is no clear-cut cause known for these diseases. These diseases are referred to as autoimmune diseases
An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake.
My first thought of autoimmune disease is of Cancer, Systemic Lupus and Thyroid Disorders. Autoimmune diseases are not contagious. They are not in complete and direct control to the ill person. I stated all of that to say this. Sexually Transmitted Infections are in direct control to man. They can be prevented. Even though there is much difficulty in controlling them. The difficulty arises because Sexually Transmitted Infections are social diseases. Sex is pleasurable and it is private.
In view of the fact that Sexually Transmitted Diseases can have significant impact on the unborn child and the well-being of the child even after delivery, the following is worthy of note.
There are certain factors that put the pregnant woman at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Some of these are:
- Having more than one sex partner
However, a woman may have one sex partner but her only sex partner may be having sex with another person(s). This can have an impact on the woman’s health.
The fact is, though she may be having one sex partner, indirectly, she is having sex with more than one person.
- If her sex partner(s) have signs and or symptoms of sexually transmitted infection(s).
It must be borne in mind that a person can be infected with an STI yet does not show sign or symptoms of the disease(s). This is to say the person is
It is also important to note that one can be infected with more than one infection simultaneously. These are said to be concomitant. Sexually Transmitted
infection can be concomitant with another STI and it can also be concomitant with another disease that is not classified as an STI. An example of this is as
in the case of a person having HIV and also having Tuberculosis or malaria at the same time.
- If sex partner(s) do not use condoms for sex.
Condom usage in pregnancy is definitely in order. This should be considered in the following cases:
- If you suspect that you and or your sex partner is having a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
- If you and or your sex partner are taking treatment for an STI.
- If your sex-partner is non-compliant to treatment
- If you know your sex partner is having sex with someone else
- If you are having sex with someone that you do not know about his health status.
- If your sex partner is a substance abuser
- Even after pregnancy you are still not certain of the health status of your sex partner(s)
At this point you just want to feel safe and do not want to leave anything to chance
Generally, give your baby a healthy legacy to hand down to his or her generations to come. Therefore, a lifestyle examination and the necessary changes are of importance. It is good to note that familial habits or lifestyles, emotional attitudes and behaviors’, diets and shared environmental conditions can impact on generations which serve as disguise resembling heredity. In other words not all diseases that is prevalent in a family is necessarily caused by genetics.
It cannot be over-emphasized that the mother needs to be armed with the necessary information about her health in order that her baby’s health will also be optimised. Better yet is the fact that she must also have a support which is also well informed about her quality of life and what it takes to ensure the baby’s quality of life.
What is your take on this?