It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time being pregnant or not, the need to protect your baby and yourself is, and will always be the highest priority you will face at this delicate stage of life. Even the most minute of things can have major implications on the health and development of your baby.
But fret not, we are about to list ten tips that will keep at bay any form of infection, complication or harm to your baby.
Cotton all the way -
Cotton fabric is a must for all those expecting. Since it is light and dries fast, clean and washed cotton clothes help prevent the development of skin irritation and incubation of infection causing bacteria.
Keep downtown clean, Always!
Always wash the vaginal area with water and mild soap regularly. . Besides this, after using the toilet always wipe front to back. These steps are essential in preventing the spread of bacteria to the urethra and in turn prevents urinary tract infection that can spread to the fetus and cause complications in its development.
Hand it to cleanliness -
One of the most basic and yet overlooked hygiene must do’s. Always wash your hands, preferably with warm water and disinfecting soap for more than 20 seconds. Carry a sanitizer along with you, keep it in your handy bag for you to use when you’re outdoors. This keeps you sanitized all day so that you avoid any intake of germs while you eat your meals.
Don’t go mental over dental -
There is a rise in oestrogen levels in the body, there can be swelling and sensitivity of the gums. If not kept in check, it can increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.
If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend routine check-ups to maintain your dental hygiene.
Take the Breast care you can!
12 weeks in, your breasts start secreting a fluid called ‘Calostrums.’ This can lead to nipple irritation. Besides washing your breasts with warm water during your bath, a padded bra is a must. However, it must be changed regularly depending on the extent of fluid secretion.
A good exercise to follow –
The most important safety tip is to always stay active. Walk, stretch with pilates, breathe in and out with some serene yoga, all these activities are beneficial for the baby and keep you ready for labor. Besides, exercise helps control weight, improves circulation, uplifts your mood and helps you rest better.
You can also immerse yourself into your favorite dance routine with some energetic tunes, don’t care about looking odd, it’s what Momma needs!
Baby’s got a plan –
Always have a written plan so that during pregnancy, whoever is assisting or taking care of you knows what your preferences are during pregnancy. Things like emergency contacts, people you want present during delivery, procedures you want to avoid, type of medications you can take, a what-to-do in case of complications.
Calling doctor jones -
Always call the doctor if you get sudden and unbearable pains, strong cramps, contractions at 20-minute intervals, spontaneous vaginal bleeding, feeling of dizziness, breathlessness, heart palpitations, continuous and constant nausea or vomiting, trouble in walking or swelling of joints and most importantly decrease in activity by the baby.
Have an expert’s personal contact number for you to call them, even in the middle of the night and consult on any kind of complications or unusual experiences.
Store the story –
The most downplayed tip, always maintain a journal of all the experiences that you and the baby go through. This can help the doctor find irregularities and has proven to be a preventive tool in many instances.
The best way to keep yourself active and safe during pregnancy is to wear comfortable and un-slippery shoes.
Keep three pair of shoes for yourself. One for your exercising, one to go out and one for the washroom for you to avoid losing your grip on the wet floors.
Try using ortho- heel soles that are soft and padded with a firm grip, they are the best for your daily outing requirements.
Watch your diet -
This would be the most common nightmare for a pregnant woman, she tries everything to avoid upsetting her stomach and food poisoning. An ideal way to prevent this is to eat at home and eat safe.
Check the “Best before Date” on any packed food item you purchase, clean your veggies and fruits with enzyme cleanser before consuming them. It helps keep the bacteria and pesticides away.
Boil your food before you consume it to avoid any stomach infections.
Avoid eating leftovers and street food. If you crave something spicy and want to go to your favorite street-food joint, make sure they follow basic hygiene before serving you.
Besides these pointers, enjoy your pregnancy and stay healthy and safe!
Cerebral palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the baby’s brain is under development. Current treatment centers on the alleviation of symptoms to make cerebral palsy more manageable and does not offer a permanent cure. Infusion of stem cells preserved through umbilical cord blood banking is a proven cure for cerebral palsy and provides permanent relief to the patients.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect movement. It is permanent, but not unchanging, physical disability caused by an injury to the developing brain, usually before birth. Cerebral palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination.
For most babies born with cerebral palsy, the cause remains unknown. For a long time, it was believed that cerebral palsy was due to complications at birth, including asphyxia (lack of oxygen). Now, it is generally accepted that cerebral palsy usually arises from a series of events that can lead to an injury in a baby’s developing brain.
In 13 out of 14 cases of cerebral palsy in India, the brain injury leading to cerebral palsy occurs either in the uterus (while the mother is pregnant) or before 1 month of age.
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight (small for gestational age)
- Blood clotting problems (thrombophilia)
- Inability of the placenta to provide the developing foetus with oxygen and nutrients
- RH or A-B-O blood type incompatibility between mother and baby
- Prolonged loss of oxygen during the pregnancy or birthing process, or severe jaundice shortly after birth.
Prevalence of Cerebral Palsy in India
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimation, 10% of the global population has some form of disability due to different causes; in India, it is 3.8% of the population. Nearly 15-20% of the total physically handicapped children suffer from Cerebral Palsy (CP). For India, the estimated incidence is around 3/1000 live births; however, being a developing country, the expected actual figure may be much higher.
Cure of Cerebral Palsy – Stem Cell Transplant
Injection of umbilical cord blood stem cells can help protect or repair damaged nerve cells. Umbilical cord blood stem cells can be collected from the umbilical cord shortly after birth. They are currently being used as a potential treatment for cerebral palsy and are able to support the recovery of damaged nerve cells by releasing substances that stimulate the body’s own repair systems.
Considering the high incidence of cerebral palsy in India and curative uses of umbilical cord blood stem cells, it is evident that umbilical cord blood banking is important. Babycell is one of the best cord blood banks in India and uses a sophisticated Double Sedimentation Spin (DSS) Technology for the preservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells.
We are sure that the good news of the new baby has already brought in some zeal into your relationship. Now it’s time to take the onus of keeping you and your body healthy. For that, you and your partner might have started taking doctor’s appointments and doing your research on what is to be done before the baby gets here.
If this is first time, the primary concern is that you are new to this challenge and you might not be aware about the kind of tests to be taken during your pregnancy. We are here to guide you through all the vital tests and check-ups to keep in mind during this period.
1. Initial Blood Tests
A blood sample screening is conducted at your first pre-natal visit to the gynaecologist.
- A complete blood count (CBC) to determine if you are suffering from Anaemia.
- Hepatitis B – It can put your baby at risk of future liver disease, if it’s not treated.
- Rubella (German measles) and Chicken Pox – If you aren’t immune, exposure during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anaemia.
It’s a must to undergo this test in order to know about your type, whether it’s Alpha or Beta or if you are a carrier or not. In case you are then your partner also needs to be tested. If both partners are carrier there is 75% chance of child being Thalassaemic.
- Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Tests
- HIV – the virus that causes AIDS can cross the placenta before or during delivery and infect the fetus.
- Syphilis – If unchecked, it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Gonorrhea and Chlamydia – If untreated, both can cause preterm delivery and eye infections in the baby.
- Herpes – It can cause complications during delivery.
4. Pap smear – It is a screening procedure to determine cervical cancer.
5. Blood Pressure – During pregnancy, you might have more chances of high blood pressure. In case high blood pressure continues after 20 weeks of pregnancy, there can be complications.
- Urine Tests
- Glucose Screening – Gestational diabetes – It can increase the potential need for a caesarean section (because it can lead to the baby growing to be very large).
- Blood and bacteria – It indicates urinary-tract infection and can lead to a kidney infection or preterm labour.
An ultrasound is a simple, painless procedure. A wand that uses sound waves will be placed on your belly. It is used to determine the age, rate of growth, position, and heart rate of your baby, and whether you’re carrying multiples or not.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) – A genetic test showing that a person inherited one or two defective cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) genes. This testing can be done using blood or a sample from the mother’s womb before birth (chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis). Two positive sweat tests on different dates.
Besides the basic urine and blood pressure tests, there are a few additional tests to pay heed to in your second trimester.
- Amniocentesis – The test is offered to women who are at the age of 35 or above. Amniotic fluid analysis detects some birth defects and genetic diseases, including some chromosome abnormalities (such as Down Syndrome) and neural tube defects.
2. Cordocentesis – Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS) is a procedure that is used to obtain a small sample of the fetus’ blood. It is used to detect chromosome abnormalities indicating Down syndrome and blood disorders such as Anaemia and certain infections.
1. Group B Streptococcus Screening – This helps to detect bacteria in your bowel, rectum, bladder, vagina, or throat since these can cause serious and potentially fatal infections in new-borns.
2. The Non-stress Test – The non-stress test (NST) measures your baby’s heart rate as it moves around. This test measures foetal heart rate patterns in women who have high-risk pregnancies, including those who have preeclampsia or diabetes.
3. Biophysical Profile – The biophysical profile combines the non-stress test with an ultrasound. The ultrasound component measures four foetal characteristics: breathing movements, muscle tone, body movements, and the amount of amniotic fluid.
This list sums up all the tests you should undergo in each stage of your pregnancy to ensure the health of your baby and yourself.
It’s important to undergo these tests with a prenatal expert/doctor who has experience and who you are comfortable sharing your personal information with.
It’s important to know what kind of tests are performed and what the benefits/threats
We hope this helps you with all the information on what prenatal tests are needed before the baby is born. Make sure you consult your OB/GYNEC before taking any tests.
While you are pregnant, one of the most important tasks for you and your family is to plan and safeguard your baby’s future! This requires a lot of groundwork and planning for the baby-on-the-way. Health conscious and aware parents are considering cord blood stem cell preservation to be an integral part of their baby plan.
What is Umbilical Cord?
The term “cord blood” is used to describe the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta after the birth of a baby. Up until recently this afterbirth umbilical cord was discarded as medical waste. Cord blood contains stem cells that may be cryopreserved for later use in medical therapies, such as stem cell transplants or clinical trials of new stem cell therapies.
What are cord blood stem cells?
The blood in the umbilical cord and placenta is rich in stem cells. The stem cells in cord blood can grow into the blood and immune system cells, as well as other types of cells.
One of the most important decisions to be taken is – Which is the best umbilical cord blood bank for my baby?
Here are a few questions that you must ask the cord blood bank and choose the best cord blood bank for your baby.
Let’s take it step by step based on the following parameters –
- Are there any specific accreditations I should look for when selecting a cord blood bank?
To decide on a cord blood bank, you’ll want to look at a number of factors which will define cell processing and lab practices: Cord blood banks should comply with national accreditation standards developed by national regulatory bodies such as ISO, FDA, GMP, GCP and GLP. Cord blood banks who have attained these gold standards have a systematic, hygienic, temperature controlled and regulated lab for extraction and preservation.
- When and how is cord blood collected?
Umbilical cord blood is harvested quickly and painlessly just a few minutes after the birth of the baby— after the cord has been clamped, on both sides, and cut (either before or after the delivery of the placenta). The blood is collected either by drawing the blood from the umbilical cord with a needle and a “gravity bag” to drain and collect the blood.
- What questions should parents ask about Collection?
It is necessary to know if the cord blood bank takes care of the collection of cord blood at the time of birth and the cost of shipping the cord blood to the preservation facility is included in the contract/agreement. It is also important to ask about paramedic or collection experts’ availability on weekends and wee hours.
- How does the cord blood bank manage shipping at the time of preservation and retrieval?
Most cord blood banks assure free global shipment at the time of retrieval, but it also important to understand the shipping criteria during transportation of the specimen from birthing centre to the cryopreservation facility. You may also want to ask the cord blood bank to guarantee to transport the specimen to the lab and processed within a certain time window. It is mandatory that the cryo-shipping container has a temperature logger.
- Is CFU really important, should we as parents care about it?
The answer is simple, it’s a big Yes. At present Colony Forming Units or CFU are considered to be the only and the best measure of whether stem cells are “viable”, or quite frankly if the cells are alive. The Total Nucleated Cell count includes both living and dead cells. In the CFU test, a small portion is watched under controlled conditions to see if cord blood stem cells divide and form colonies. It is a standardized technology to image the cells and count colonies in the image. It is advised by experts to take the CFU test before preservation as the test takes a lot of days for colonies to grow rather than wasting time at that time of retrieval or transplant to perform the test.
We hope this helps you to ask the right questions and thereby make your decisions about preserving your baby’s stem cells with the right bank!
For more information you may check: parentsguidecordblood.org/ and http://www.babycell.in/
Babycell has a panel of cord blood banking and stem cell transplants experts. To address your queries on stem cell banking you may call 1800 209 0309
On an average 2 people in India are diagnosed with cancer every minute!
On this World Cancer Day let’s all come together and strive to spread awareness about the disease.
Let’s educate people on how umbilical cord blood cells can help curing 70+ blood disorders causing cancer. Here are some stats on the prevalence of the disease and how Stem Cells give us new hope to fight it!