Useful Pregnancy Care Tips and Precautions for Monsoon
Monsoons can be romantic, or they can be tricky depending on where you live, your state of health, and your age. For the elderly, it can mean slippery streets. For the kids, it can mean sailing paper boats. For expecting mothers, the monsoons can present many possibilities. The drop in temperatures is more than welcome as pregnancy causes a woman to feel hotter than normal. However, in most places, mosquitoes breed so swiftly during the monsoons that the risk of getting a host of diseases like encephalitis, malaria, dengue, and zika rises perilously.
Avoid Being Bitten by Mosquitoes
You are responsible for not just your own health, but that of your unborn child when you are expecting. Therefore, you should make every effort to remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. Unless you live in a centrally air conditioned house, and all mosquitoes have been eradicated by using a liquidator, make a point of hanging up a mosquito net when going to bed. A roll on repellent meant to be used on clothes is safe enough. Using repellent sprays should be done with caution. If you have asthma, then it is a total no-no.
Remember to consult your doctor:
Remember to consult your doctor before using any mosquito repellent cream, since some of the chemicals will permeate the skin and reach the bloodstream. Similarly, burning a fast card is not recommended, as you would be inhaling the smoke and the harmful chemicals too.
Boost Your Immunity with Appropriate Nutrition:
A mother has to eat for two — for herself, and for her baby. However, you should not be eating just about anything and everything. Rather, it should be protein rich without being too dependent on dairy products. Foods that boost your immunity like fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and micro nutrients should be part of daily diet. Soups, chicken broth, whole grains; healthy fats like olive oil; fish like sardines, mackerel; oatmeal; flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, fenugreek, and fennel seeds; bitter gourd, and lean meats should be part of your daily diet. Since some women develop pregnancy diabetes, all food should be evaluated for nutritive value. Go easy on high carbohydrate content food, though potatoes boiled in their jackets are always a good food to have.
Just peel the potato, dice, sprinkle some black salt and pepper powder (ideally freshly crushed), and drench with lemon juice to get a tasty, and nutritive snack when you get hungry between meals. Instead of using lemon juice, you could mix the diced pieces with curds, add a bit of cumin powder to the other spices, and sprinkle some sev on top to get a tasty homemade chaat.
Eat and Drink Foods Rich in Vitamin C and Iron:
You need to ensure that the food you are eating, and the drinkables you imbibe boost your immunity, and avoid allergies. Apples — freshly cut with their skin, lightly stewed with some lime juice, or juiced; grapes, fresh grape juice; orange pieces or juice; avocados, cherries, plums, pears, peaches, blackberries (kala jamun), bananas, and pomegranates should figure in your regular diet. The rule of thumb is to have at least three kinds of fruits daily during pregnancy to ensure that you get your share of nutrients and build your immunity. Since you become more susceptible to viral fevers and various infections during the monsoons, such fruits help you as long as you don’t have fruit which was cut in the market, or left out in the open for a long time since they might have been contaminated. These might easily become a source of infection, and you definitely don’t want to risk indigestion, diarrhea, stomach flu, typhoid, or hepatitis. Spicing up your food with ginger, garlic, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar might help in overcoming allergies.
Giving into every craving might have adverse effects:
Expectant mothers have strange food cravings during pregnancy. Yet, giving into every craving might have adverse effects, such as desire to have wet soil. Since many pregnant women crave for street food, that should be avoided during pregnancy, especially during the monsoons. If you want to have pani puri, make it at home.
What You May Not Have Been Told:
You may not have been told that you must remain hydrated even during the monsoons to prevent headaches, nausea, and fainting. Drink plenty of water, and supplement with fruit juices, coconut water, lassi, and chhaachh, but not sodas or aerated drinks. Papayas are often recommended for their nutritive quality and positive impact on digestion, but they are dangerous for pregnant ladies. Avoid them throughout your pregnancy. Leafy greens are rich in nutrients, and are usually among the top foods advised for everyone. However, they should be avoided during the monsoons as they are often a major source of germs during the rains.
Do not consume:
Everyone loves pakoras and other fritters when it rains. However, you should avoid oily foodstuffs during the monsoons, especially deep fried food. Since the rainy season is the breeding season for fishes, avoid seafood because the eggs inside the fish might cause severe indigestion, or even infection. Vegetables like mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, brinjals, and cauliflower should be avoided during the monsoons as they might have worms, and carry bacterial infection.
Maintain personal hygiene by washing hands regularly, especially before cooking or eating anything; bathe daily to wash off microbes and other infections; keep surroundings clean and sanitized with a strong disinfectant. Also, wear weather appropriate clothes; get bedclothes, curtains, and upholstery washed regularly; don’t walk around barefoot; carry an umbrella when you leave home; wear footwear of the correct size, and avoid heels to prevent slipping and falling when on the street.
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors