Rachna Arora (31) had just entered the 6th month of her pregnancy and was eager to know the major developments in her body and her baby at this time.
She prepared a list of questions to ask her doctor at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital in Delhi.
Changes in your body in 6 month pregnancy
After her physical body check-up, Rachna asked her doctor why her feet and ankles were swollen and what she could do about it.
“Your body holds more fluid during pregnancy, which may result in swelling in your ankles, feet and sometimes hands,” said Dr Payal Chaudhary, Consultant Obstetrician at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital.
“In order to avoid it or lessen the swelling, try to keep your feet up whenever you sit down (preferably as much as you can) and avoid standing for too long.”
Rachna made a mental note of the advice. She also asked about a jabbing pain she felt in her lower abdomen a few days ago.
As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, it puts pressure on the ligaments running from your abdomen to the pelvic region causing a dull ache around your lower abdomen. Rachna realized that this is what she was probably experiencing.
Because of the pressure on your back, you may also experience frequent back pain.
“You must maintain a good posture at all times to soothe those backaches and sit with proper back support,” advised Dr. Payal.
“Strengthening your back muscles with proper exercise also goes a long way in ensuring relief.”
Rachna was curious about her baby’s development at this time.
Changes in your baby during 6 month pregnancy
Rapid growth in height and weight: Your baby’s organs are maturing at this point and she is gaining fat to keep warm.
Formation of a waxy film: A waxy film called vernix caseosa, formed by the baby’s oil glands covers the baby’s skin to keep it supple while floating in the amniotic fluid.
Rachna wanted to ensure that her baby was doing just fine and enquired about any tests she should take during this time.
Important tests during 6 month pregnancy
You should get the following done when advised by your doctor:
- Test for gestational diabetes
- Fundal height of your uterus
- Size and position of your baby
- Your weight and blood pressure
Tips for Your Pregnancy
“There aren’t any special precautions you need to take in your 6th month of pregnancy. But it depends on how your pregnancy progresses,” remarked Dr. Payal.
Some general tips you can keep in mind:
Take short naps: As the pregnancy progresses and your baby grows bigger each day, resting for one or two hours in the afternoons may be wise. Doctors may suggest sleeping on your left side to allow effective circulation of blood.
Exercise regularly: It is advised to stay as active as possible throughout your pregnancy. It helps you gain the right amount of weight and deliver safely. Basic stretches and yoga will help you manage the lower back pain often experienced in pregnancy. Pelvic floor and legs strengthening exercises would help in a smooth labour and delivery.
Drink water frequently: Some mothers-to-be might experience constipation throughout their pregnancy. Besides eating fibre-rich food, you can drink warm water regularly to keep constipation at bay.
Eat healthy: “As long as you eat a nutritious balanced diet rich in proteins and fibres, there is no need for a special diet,” reassured Dr. Payal.
“You should abstain from indulging in spicy and fried food especially junk food. It’s also good to have smaller but frequent meals rather than having three square meals a day.”
Take antenatal classes: If you haven’t taken any antenatal classes till now, this would be the right time to start. It is always a good thing to be prepared.
Attend Labour and Delivery Classes to know more about labour and learn techniques to manage labour pain. You can also opt for breastfeeding classes to become familiar with the process.
Rachna had already enrolled in the Antenatal Classes at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital and so was more informed about the process of childbirth. It helped her relax and look forward to the delivery.
This article has been written with inputs from Dr. Payal Chaudhary, who has over 15 years of experience as a Gynecologist with focus on urogynecology conditions like urinary incontinence, stress incontinence, prolapsed uterus and other bladder problems
Dr. Payal Chaudhary, MBBS, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (2000), MD Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (2005), Observership Minimally-Invasive Surgery, Magee Women Hospital, Pittsburgh
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