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The Birthplace Blog

Bariatric Surgery: Treat obesity and associated problems safely

The Birthplace


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Weight is no longer a laughing matter. Obesity is a pandemic of the 21st century and is associated with at the very least 20 other diseases along with about 6 different types of cancers.

India has the 3rd largest obese population in the world and because of obesity, associated Type 2 Diabetes patients are increasing too. Obesity and Diabetes together are now termed Diabesity. Diabetes is a silent killer which gradually starts affecting our kidneys, blood vessels, nerves, heart, joints etc. Hence, it is time that the problem of obesity is tackled head on in an aggressive manner.

Dr. Deepti is trained general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries. Graduating from a very prestigious college at KEM, Mumbai, she has also completed a fellowship of International Bariatric Club. She is actively involved in raising awareness regarding women related surgical problems.  To know more or to meet Dr. Deepti, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Deepti is trained general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries. Graduating from a very prestigious college at KEM, Mumbai, she has also completed a fellowship of International Bariatric Club. She is actively involved in raising awareness regarding women related surgical problems.

To know more or to meet Dr. Deepti, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Bariatric procedures offer simple and effective solutions not only to help a person lose weight but also to keep it off. These procedures have shown effective and lasting weight loss along with great improvement in obesity associated problems like Diabetes, Cholesterol, Heart disease, Joint pains, Infertility etc. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has accepted Bariatric Surgery as an effective means for the treatment of Type II Diabetes.

With recent advances in the surgical field, these surgeries can be performed via Laparoscopy i.e. using small keyhole incisions and camera. Hence the patient recovery is fast with short hospital stay & early return to work.

Some of the procedures in Bariatrics include

1.     Restrictive Procedures like Gastric Balloon, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Imbrication. These procedures work by reducing the amount of food a person can eat at one time and increasing body metabolism.

2.     Malabsorptive Procedures like Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Mini Gastric Bypass etc. These procedures work by reducing absorption of calories in the body with a positive effect on hormones controlling blood sugar.

The diabetes and associated problems dramatically reduce as a person loses weight and risks of many associated condition such as heart attacks, stroke, cancer, infertility reduce.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

Criteria for Bariatric Surgery are based on Body Mass Index (BMI)

1.     If BMI > 32 kg/m2 with associated Diabetes/Hypertension/Cholesterol/sleep apnoea/joint disease

2.     If BMI > 37 kg/m2 even without any associated medical problems.

Bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic surgery but is a gastro surgery like appendix or gall bladder surgery and is performed to treat a medical problem.

It is time to be more aware about this simple tool for effective weight loss if you are dealing with obesity. These procedures will help you achieve benefits beyond weight loss. You can get rid of the associated medical problems as well to live a healthier & fulfilling life.

After all, Happiness begins with Good Health!


Counter the Challenges of Ageing Ovaries in Young Women!

The Birthplace


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Inability to get pregnant, somehow always springs nasty surprises. Sample this…What if you were told that though you are young…..you have OLD eggs and that you need to borrow some from another donor so that you may be a mother!! Bizarre as it may sound, this too happens thereby prolonging the agony of any family in the making. The field of infertility poses many challenges every day, but the sweet success achieved somehow makes the journey worth it. In recent times, it is not uncommon to come across young women, trying to conceive and planning their first pregnancy, being diagnosed with decreased ovarian reserve. In other words, even though these women are young but have aged ovaries with very few eggs. 

Dr. C Jyothi is a fertility expert and ADV.ART Specialist (Dubai) with an M.S in Reproductive Medicine (UK), D.GO.MRCOG(London), and DIP-ART(Germany). She is also the Founder and Managing Director of a very reputed fertility clinic in the twin cities. Coming with over 15 years experience as a specialist in the field of fertility, Dr. Jyothi is known for her focus on optimising pregnancy rate and quality care using international standards, while keeping the treatment easy and cost-effective  To know more or to meet Dr. Jyothi, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. C Jyothi is a fertility expert and ADV.ART Specialist (Dubai) with an M.S in Reproductive Medicine (UK), D.GO.MRCOG(London), and DIP-ART(Germany). She is also the Founder and Managing Director of a very reputed fertility clinic in the twin cities. Coming with over 15 years experience as a specialist in the field of fertility, Dr. Jyothi is known for her focus on optimising pregnancy rate and quality care using international standards, while keeping the treatment easy and cost-effective

To know more or to meet Dr. Jyothi, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Causes 

The known causes for diminished ovarian reserve could be inherent genetic factors, previous surgeries, radiation exposure and environmental factors. But in some women, it may not be possible to establish a definitive cause for decreased egg numbers. The condition comes in as a harsh reality for the woman, who has been trying to get pregnant. We encountered such a lady with diminished ovarian reserve at our clinic. She had been advised to go for donor Oocyte for conception elsewhere before she came to us. But the lady was very keen to try with her own eggs. After discussing her condition in detail, she was counselled about the pros and cons of trying IVF with her own Oocyte.

Treatment

A novel treatment protocol called double stimulation was started for her. Herein, the follicles are stimulated and Oocyte is obtained twice within a single menstrual cycle. The idea is to pool maximum number of embryos as early as possible. This lady got three eggs in two back to back stimulations within a single menstrual cycle and 3 embryos were formed. The embryos were then transferred in a frozen cycle. The lady conceived in the first cycle itself. Today she is a happy mother with her own genetic child.

Frequently asked questions for common disorders:

A lady aged 25 years married for 3 years trying for pregnancy since 2 years asked “I have PCOS. How can I conceive.”? 

PCOS is a treatable cause of infertility and is associated with ‘Anovulation’. So you can get your hormonal profile checked and then doctors can induce ovulation with the help of medication/injection and when your egg reaches adequate size, they can proceed for procedures like IUI which will lead to a positive result.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

A patient aged 34yrs, married for 6 years asked “I have got my semen analysis done few months back and my sperm count is zero. How can I have my own genetic baby”?

These days there are procedures such as TESE/TESA available through which your sperms are procured and thereafter IVF-ICSI can be performed by which you can have your own genetic baby.

Do you have more queries as such or have you been advised fertility treatment? Come visit Dr. Jyothi C at the Birthplace today!


On-boarding Happy Hygienic Vagina!

The Birthplace


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Glowing skin, shiny hair, manicured hands and slim body, nail the priority list of every woman. Crazy enough, shuttling amidst all these concerns we miss out on something. Let’s face it. Our vaginas are just amazing ecosystems which need the same pint of love and hugs from us as other parts do.

Vaginas, for long, have been much undercover and a lot has been said about it. Sigh.

No more fiction. No more stories. Let facts do the talking today!

1. The vagina is a self-cleaning system and does not require external cleansers…. or does it?

While it is a fact that vaginas clean themselves, using plain, un-perfumed soaps to wash the area around the vagina gently every day is a good new school mantra.

Washing vagina the correct way is important in maintaining a healthy pH balance while also preventing infections. A normal pH is under the bracket of 3.5-4.5 is perfect for the vaginal environment.

Wash your vagina before washing your anus and use a different clothe to wipe it. Doing this ensures anal germs do not disturb the vaginal area which can be the underlying reason for catching urinary tract infections. Keep calm, you will feel fresh!

Warning!

  • Don't use soap inside your vagina.

  • Do not use a loofah, it may tear off the skin.

2. Is dryness becoming an awful discomfort?

Remember, those dull days when dryness down there made the day too tough?Time to clear the clouds now! Petroleum jelly is a wonderful moisturiser to use on the vulva after bathing and can be used anytime for comfort.

Do not use petroleum jelly with condoms—it can break down the condom so it gets holes in it.

You can also use coconut, mineral, or olive oil which have a neutralised pH and function as great moisturisers. Aloe Vera, grandma’s remedy for skin care, and vulva have been found to be great buddies! Furthermore, it can be used for genital skin aggravation, similar to herpes, and it's insignificant rundown of advantages incorporates a two of every one regular ointment and cream.

Word of Caution!

Remember to use pure forms of these products to avoid any damage!

3. A little too humid?

Talcum Powder Helps You Keep It Dry. Make it an everyday after-bath practice to apply some talc on your vagina. This will help you keep your vagina clean and dry for hours.  Humid vulva and microbes can be painful mates which will make you a walking-gynec appointment. Let it breathe!

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

4. Under the weather?

Unsweetened yogurt might help you provide a cooling sensation when applied to the vulva but it doesn't show any magical powers to fight it out. Anti fungal treatments are recommended as a follow up.

Warning!

Make sure you use unsweetened yogurt as added sugar in the yogurt will help the bacteria to multiply and worsen the condition.

Welcome to the Freaky Clean Squad! Do you have more questions regarding your Vagina? Reach out to us!


Constipation and Related Problems

The Birthplace


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Constipation is a difficult problem, not because we cannot treat it but we hesitate to get treated in the first place. Our diet and food habits are increasingly becoming westernised which is resulting in low intake of fiber and increased consumption of refined carbohydrates, all of which causes constipation. Frequent constipation results in perianal problems such as Piles, Fissures, Fistulae, and Abscesses etc.

Piles, also known as Hemorrhoids, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. In the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s head descends into the pelvis and can result in pressure in that area resulting in piles. As a General Surgeon, I regularly see people suffering from all these perianal conditions but they usually ignore immediate treatment and come to a surgeon as a last resort.

Dr. Deepti is trained general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries. Graduating from a very prestigious college at KEM, Mumbai, she has also completed a fellowship of International Bariatric Club. She is actively involved in raising awareness regarding women related surgical problems.  To know more or to meet Dr. Deepti, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Deepti is trained general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries. Graduating from a very prestigious college at KEM, Mumbai, she has also completed a fellowship of International Bariatric Club. She is actively involved in raising awareness regarding women related surgical problems.

To know more or to meet Dr. Deepti, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

In India, especially, women suffer a lot before consulting a doctor. They are also hesitant to share such problems with their family or even to their husbands and keep postponing treatment while suffering in silence. I agree that perianal diseases like piles, fissure, fistulae etc are not life threatening but they are so painful and inconvenient! Why go through all this pain when they are all amenable to simple treatment?

Another challenge with most of the Indian patients is that they try to avoid surgery at all costs. Even if it means years of suffering, medications, living a hermit lifestyle, it doesn’t matter to them as surgery is considered a curse.

It’s the 21st century! We have the most advanced and simple procedures available today to treat piles, fissure, fistulas etc. With LASER technology, the surgeries have become completely painless.

It is high time we stop postponing right treatments in favour of home remedies and non scientific techniques. We must educate ourselves and seek help when essential.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

So here are some simple signs that tell you the need to see a Surgeon

  • Pain while passing stools

  • Bleeding with or after stool

  • Passage of very hard stool

  • Pus coming from anywhere near your anus

  • Sensation of some mass/tissue coming out of your anus

    Of course, Prevention Is Better than Cure. So we must

  • Drink 8-12 glasses of water per day (that’s 2-2.5lit)

  • Include a portion of fruit and vegetables in our diet

  • Cut down on refined foods, breads, non-veg, spice, fried food

  • Avoid sitting for long hours at a stretch

    So, to conclude, do not hesitate to get yourself treated for constipation in the initial stages itself. Go for a consultation right away!


Struggling with Painful Sex?

The Birthplace


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Do you experience severe pain while having sex? Does it hurt when you try to insert a tampon into your vagina? If yes, then you are most likely dealing with acute involuntary contraction of your vaginal muscles which causes pain when something tries to penetrate through it. This condition is called Vaginismus.

What is Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is a condition that happens when the muscles around the opening to the vagina tighten up. The muscles tend to tighten when something is about to be placed in the vagina, such as a penis, tampon, or a medical device. It causes pain during sex and women might also complain of pain if a doctor or nurse tries to do a pelvic exam.

Vaginismus can happen if a woman has anxiety about sex or pelvic exams or has had a bad experience with either of these in the past. It can also happen if a woman has an infection or other medical condition in the vagina.

Dr. Samatha Kumar, is a senior gynecologist at the Birthplace with more than 11 years of experience, specializing in infertility, multiple births, and high-risk pregnancies.  To know more or to meet Dr. Samatha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Samatha Kumar, is a senior gynecologist at the Birthplace with more than 11 years of experience, specializing in infertility, multiple births, and high-risk pregnancies.

To know more or to meet Dr. Samatha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

What are the symptoms of Vaginismus?

The main symptom of vaginismus is pain when something is tried to be put in the vagina. It could be a penis, finger, tampon, or medical device. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that you might not even allow trying to insert something into your vagina.

Should I see a doctor?

If having sex is painful then you must see your doctor. Your doctor will look for the cause through a pelvic exam. If the pain is severe that you can't start or continue an exam, let your doctor know when you feel it and where the pain is.

Is there a test for vaginismus?

No. There is no specific test to detect vaginismus. Your doctor should be able to tell if you have it by learning about your symptoms and doing a pelvic exam. He or she might be able to feel the muscles around the opening to your vagina tighten during an exam.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

How is vaginismus treated? 

Treatments to cure vaginismus include - 

  • Treatment of any medical condition that is causing pain, such as an infection or skin irritation

  • Exercises to help relax the tight muscles

  • Physical therapy to loosen the muscles around your vagina

  • Using "dilators". These are devices that you place in your vagina that help you to get used to having something in the vagina. This is used along with numbing medicine to reduce the pain while inserting the dilators.

  • Using vaginal oestrogen. This treatment can help if you have been complaining of dryness or have been experiencing thinning of the tissues near the vagina. This usually occurs when a woman goes through her menopause (the time when you stop having monthly periods).

Don’t worry! You do not need to deal with this condition forever. Vaginismus is perfectly curable with the above treatments. Come visit the Birthplace today!


Laparoscopic Surgery: All you need to know

The Birthplace

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Laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed through small incisions (0.5 – 1.5 cm). This surgery is named after the laparoscope, a tool that has a high definition video camera and light at the end which is inserted through the small incision to view the affected organs. Through this laparoscope a video is relayed on the monitor which enables the surgeon to view. In case of a surgery, few more incisions may be made and required instruments are inserted to perform the surgery. These instruments are sleek and slender and hence do not require a larger incision. And smaller incisions mean faster recovery!

Laparoscopic surgery was initially used for gallbladder surgery and gynecological surgeries but now it has expanded to play a major role in surgeries related to abdomen and intestine areas. It also has a key role in infertility treatments.

Where is laparoscopy applicable in Gynecology?

As a diagnostic tool laparoscopy can be used to treat-

  • Infertility

  • Ovarian cyst or tumors

  • Ectopic pregnancy

  • Tubal abscess or adhesions

  • Endometriosis

As a therapeutic tool  it can be used to treat the following organs in the mentioned ways

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.  To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.

To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

  • Ovary

    • Ovarian drilling for PCOD to boost fertility

    • Ovarian cystectomy for removal of cysts in the ovary

    • Cauterisation for endometriosis treatment

  •  Uterus

    • Myomectomy for removal of fibroids without affecting the healthy tissue of the uterus

    • Hysterectomy  for removal of the uterus

  •  Tubes

    • For treating a tubal abscess and ectopic tubal pregnancy

    • Tubal sterilisation (Family planning)

What are the advantages?

Compared to a traditional surgery, laparoscopic surgery goes a long way its advantages and is usually the advised type of surgery.

  • It minimises the number of incisions needed

  • Decreases pain

  • Reduces blood loss when compared to open surgery

  • Early mobilisation and faster recovery

  • Shorter stay at the hospital. This also means reducing hospitalisation bills.

How soon can a patient resume regular activities after laparoscopy?

 For minor procedures under diagnostic laparoscopy and infertility, you can resume to work in 1-2 days. But in case of a major surgery like Hysterectomy,  2-7 days of rest is recommended. It is also advised to avoid intercourse, douching, strenuous exercise or lifting body weights for 4 weeks.

What is the role of laparoscopy in unexplained infertility cases?

 Many times when the cause of infertility cannot be ascertained a diagnostic laparoscopy can evaluate the uterine cavity, tubes and ovaries and correct them if needed. This increases the success rate by 20-30%.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

Can emergency surgeries be performed under laparoscopy?

Gynec emergency surgeries like ruptured ectopic pregnancy, twisted/torsion of ovarian cyst or a ruptured ovarian cyst can be performed laparoscopically but this majorly depends on the surgical experience and expertise of the performing surgeon.

 What is the type of anaesthesia administered?

General anaesthesia is usually administered for most of the gynecological surgeries.

At the Birthplace, we are equipped with the best laparoscopic equipments along with the most experienced Laparoscopic surgeon, Dr. Girija Lakshmi who is trained to perform all kinds of gynec laparoscopic surgeries. She has also helped a lot of women with infertility issues to conceive through diagnostic laparoscopy and treatments.

Come visit the Birthplace today!

 

Eating for Two..?!

The Birthplace

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During your pregnancy eating healthy is more important than ever. Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced diet can be one of the first and best gifts you can give to your developing baby.

Nutrients in pregnancy:

Protein: It is critically essential for the body as it ensures proper growth of the fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps with breast and uterine tissue growth during pregnancy and plays a major role in increasing blood supply, allowing more blood to be sent to the baby.

Servings per day: 3

Sources: Lentils, paneer, green peas, dals, beans, chicken, salmon, nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese.

Calcium: It helps build your baby’s bones and regulates body’s use of fluids.

Servings per day: 3

Sources:  Milk, yogurt, cheese, cabbage, tofu, eggs, pudding.

Folate: Also known as folic acid, this drug plays an important part in reducing the risk of neural tube defects. This is a major birth defect that affects the baby’s brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

Servings per day: 600 to 800 micrograms

Sources: Liver, nuts, dried beans and lentils, egg, nuts and peanut butter, dark green leafy vegetables.

Iron: It works with sodium, potassium, and water to increase blood flow which helps to ensure enough oxygen is supply to both the mother and the baby.

Serving per day: 27 milligrams

Sources: Dark green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, enriched breads or cereals, lean beef and poultry, eggs and dried fruits.

Looking for one-on-one counselling?

Evaluate your diet

Diet is important during pregnancy but it is a lot more important to make sure you’re eating a balanced and nutritious diet, so that, you and your growing baby can be as healthy as possible. Focus on the nutritional value of your diet and limit the intake of high fat, sugar, and sodium foods.

Eat:

  • three servings of protein per day

  • six or more servings of whole grains per day

  • five to six or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day

  • three or more servings of dairy products per day 

  • foods with essential fats

  • prenatal vitamins

Avoid:

Alcohol, excessive caffeine, raw meats and seafood, high-mercury fish, uncooked processed meats and unpasteurised dairy.

Nutrition is the key:

Women have increased nutritional needs during pregnancy. They need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than they did before pregnancy. They  also need more calories.  Although the old adage of "eating for two" isn't  correct, a mom-to-be does require more micronutrients and macronutrients to support herself and her baby. It’s best to start adopting a healthy eating plan before pregnancy.

No matter the number of weeks left on your countdown calendar, it’s never too late to start! Supplying your body with a tasty blend of nutritious food can improve fertility, health during pregnancy, and pave the way for an easier labour.

Your body will gain weight during your pregnancy!

Your weight begins to increase as gestational weeks progress. Take it as proof that the body is nurturing the growing baby. On an average the baby has to grow to weigh 2.75-4 kilograms and to accomplish these productive changes, pregnant women need approximately 350 extra calories per day during their 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy than they did before they were pregnant.

The ideal weight gain is usually 1-2 kgs in total during the first trimester and 1.5-2 kgs per month for the second and third trimester.

Other considerations

Apart from eating well, it’s important to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. You should also consume enough prenatal vitamins.

Here are few myths busted related to eating habits in pregnancy:

Myth: Pregnant women should be eating for two.

Fact: It is true that nutrient needs increase, but energy requirements only increase by about 150 calories / day in the first trimester and 350 calories per day for the second and third trimester of pregnancy.                                       

Myth: Low weight gain during pregnancy will make delivery easier.

Fact: Mothers who do not gain the required weight during pregnancy put their babies at a risk for severe complications. Complication like premature birth can cause lung and heart problems.

Myth: If the right amount of weight is gained during pregnancy, none of it will be fat gain.

Fact: A healthy pregnancy includes fat storage. A lot of energy is required during labor and breastfeeding which is used from these fat reserves.

Myth: A healthy pregnant woman will not experience discomforts.

Fact: Nausea, heartburn, and constipation are not biased! They will afflict women regardless of healthy living. However, women who regularly eat healthy food avoiding excess sugar and fat, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly may significantly reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy.

With over 17 years of experience as a Clinical Nutritionist Dt. Manjusha K. R is a pioneer in the field. She has done her Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics and is a Life Member of Indian Dietetic Association & Nutrition Society of India .  She started her career as a Lecturer in Nutrition and was working with different multi speciality hospitals from 2001. Since 2014 she is associated with the Birthplace. With her experience as a clinical nutritionist and her association with doctors & physiotherapists she is perfectly equipped to deal with prenatal, postnatal and pediatric patients through one-on-one counselling.  To know more or to consult Dt. Manjusha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

With over 17 years of experience as a Clinical Nutritionist Dt. Manjusha K. R is a pioneer in the field. She has done her Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics and is a Life Member of Indian Dietetic Association & Nutrition Society of India .

She started her career as a Lecturer in Nutrition and was working with different multi speciality hospitals from 2001. Since 2014 she is associated with the Birthplace. With her experience as a clinical nutritionist and her association with doctors & physiotherapists she is perfectly equipped to deal with prenatal, postnatal and pediatric patients through one-on-one counselling.

To know more or to consult Dt. Manjusha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Coffee is sometimes debated, as is fish. It is currently considered safe to drink up to one 12-ounce cup of coffee per day during pregnancy.

Fish contains essential fatty acids which are important for your baby’s brain development but some fish are high in mercury which can cause birth defects in your baby. Avoid eating Shark, Swordfish and King mackerel. Shrimp, Salmon, Catfish, and Pollock on the other end are generally considered safe.

Lastly, it goes without saying, avoid all alcohol and tobacco products during pregnancy for your baby’s healthy development.

Fetal Kick Counts - Why is it critical?

The Birthplace

You are probably worried about what’s going on with your baby because there’s no way to tell unless you see your doctor. But by the time you are in your third trimester, there is an easy technique that you can use at home - Fetal Kick Counts.

Feeling your baby’s kicks and jabs and wriggles is one of the most exciting things in your pregnancy! It is almost as if it’s your baby’s way of constantly reminding you to be excited and surprised about what’s going on in your tummy!

Kick counts are important because it gives you an insight into your baby’s pattern and helps you understand if something is off. Keeping your doctor informed of your babies movements may help her address any problems if the baby is in distress. Usually earlier than 28 weeks, your baby doesn’t have a pattern, so any movement is good. Once you hit your third trimester, your baby’s kicks become stronger and more predictable - that’s when you can start on your kick counts.

Here is what you need to look out for:

When - Sometime in the morning when the baby’s kicks are less frequent because you are more active and then sometime in the evening when you are relaxing is when the kicks can be more frequent and noticeable. Its better felt when you are hungry and when you have just eaten.

How - Make a note of the time and count upto 10 kicks and record the time again. This includes any kicks, wriggles, swishes or flutters. 10 kicks in 10 hours - Cardiff count of 10!

Note - 3 kicks in 1 hour, post major meals is very reassuring.

What if you don’t feel 10 movements - Eat a snack or drink a juice and lie down then count for next 1 hour. If you still do not feel at least 3 movements then, contact your doctor. This may not necessarily mean something is wrong but it’s always a good idea to get it checked.

Remember - As you move closer to your due date, regular checking of fetal movements becomes more important. If you notice a sudden decrease in the movements, contact your doctor.

Even if your pregnancy is not a high-risk one, it is important that you count your baby’s movements regularly. In fact, it could save your baby’s life! Counting kicks is an important way to help prevent stillbirth because monitoring can help identify any problem.

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.  To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108.

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.

To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108.

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Bleeding During Pregnancy

The Birthplace

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Bleeding or spotting during pregnancy is a very common sign noticed by most pregnant women. Research indicates that around 12% of women report spotting or bleeding during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This bleeding is usually very light compared to your regular periods and often varies in colour from pink to red to brown. Although this spotting is not something you should worry about, but any kind of bleeding during your pregnancy has to be reported to your obstetrician to ensure the cause is validated to rule out anything serious and to make sure you and your baby are healthy.

This article will help you understand the causes of bleeding or spotting during each trimester.

First Trimester

As indicated earlier most women report spotting or bleeding in the first 3 months of their pregnancy. Possible causes of first trimester bleeding include:

  • Implantation bleeding:  Bleeding that occurs when the fertilised egg implants itself into the uterine lining is called implantation bleeding. This is usually experienced within 6 to 12 days of conception, even before you know you are pregnant, and is often mistaken as a pending period. This bleeding is usually very light and lasts from a few hours to a few days.

  • Miscarriage: Miscarriage is one of the biggest concerns associated with the first trimester bleeding as it also occurs within 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, bleeding during the first trimester does not necessarily mean that you’ve lost the baby or going to miscarry. 90% of women who experience first trimester bleeding will not miscarry if there is a heartbeat noticed in the ultrasound.

    Strong cramps in the lower abdomen and tissue passing through the vagina are the other symptoms of miscarriage.

  • Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised embryo implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. It occurs in about 2% of pregnancies and is potentially dangerous. If untreated immediately, the embryo keeps growing and can cause the fallopian tube to burst and can be life-threatening to the mother.

  • Molar pregnancy: This is a less common condition in which abnormal tissue grows inside the uterus instead of a baby. In some cases, this tissue is cancerous and can affect the other parts of the body.

    Apart from bleeding, nausea and vomiting and rapid enlargement of the uterus are the other symptoms of this condition.

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.  To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.

To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Second and Third Trimesters

Bleeding in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy calls for immediate attention as this may be more serious and can signal a problem with the mother or the baby. You must report to your Obstetrician with no further delay.

Here are few possible causes of bleeding in late pregnancy:

  • Placenta Previa: This is a condition when the placenta is attached to the lower part of the uterus and covers the cervix partially or completely. In this scenario, a vaginal delivery is not possible and a C-section is recommended as the placenta blocks the baby’s path of your body. This is very rare in the late third trimester, and stats show only 1 in 200 pregnancies have placenta previa. A bleeding placenta previa is an emergency which requires immediate medical attention.

  • Placental Abruption: This is a serious condition wherein the placenta detaches itself from the uterus wall before or during labor. The abruption usually causes stomach pain and the other symptoms may include abdominal pain, clots from the vagina, tender uterus and back pain.

  • Uterine Rupture: Uterine rupture occurs when a scar from a previous C-section tears open during pregnancy. This is a life-threatening condition and requires an emergency C-section. Pain and tenderness in the abdomen are the other symptoms of uterine rupture.

  • Vasa Previa: This is a very rare condition in which the developing baby's blood vessels in the umbilical cord cross the opening to the birth canal. Vasa previa can be very dangerous as it can cause the blood vessels to tear open which in turn causes the baby to bleed severely and lose oxygen. Abnormal fetal heart rate and excessive bleeding are signs to look out for.

  • Premature Labor:  This is the most common sort of bleeding seen late in pregnancy wherein a small amount of blood with mucus leaves the body.  This is an indication that your body is preparing for labor. This is also called as ‘Show’. If bleeding and symptoms of labor begin before the 37th week you should contact your obstetrician immediately as this might be a sign of preterm labor.

    Contractions, vaginal discharge, abdominal pressure, and ache in the lower back are the other symptoms of Premature labor.

Other  causes of bleeding in late pregnancy could be injury to the cervix or vagina, polyps or cancer.

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What should you do if you have unusual bleeding during pregnancy?

Vaginal bleeding in any trimester should not be ignored and you should report to your Obstetrician immediately. Use a sanitary napkin to track the flow and record the type of blood. Do not use a tampon and refrain from having sex while you are bleeding. Make sure you bring any tissue that passes through your vagina to your obstetrician for testing.

You will be expected to undergo an ultrasound scan to understand the underlying cause of bleeding and treatment is given accordingly depending on the stage of your pregnancy.

Menopause: Pausing Periods, Not Life!

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‘That time of the month’ is often the phase characterised by mood swings, cramps, pain and discomfort. Women share a love-hate relationship with their periods. Often times, the onset of periods brings about tremendous changes in a woman’s life - right from altering her physical appearance, to changing her routine completely. This is the time when women are worried about staining their clothes and plan important events in a way that they don’t clash with their periods. One thing that crosses many young girls’ minds when they first have their periods is - when will this thing end?

The answer to this question is simple - periods end when menopause happens.

Understanding Menopause

Medically defined as the full-stop to a woman’s fertility, menopause marks the end of menstruation in a woman’s life. While it might seem like a really good deal that life has to hand over to you (imagine, you don’t need a period tracker, you don’t have to worry getting your periods when you are on a vacation and all that), what menopause actually introduces is a different ball game altogether.

 Menopause happens when a woman hasn’t had her periods for 12 consecutive months. Typically, the average age for menopause is 51 years, but many women experience an early onset, too. When the ovaries produce less reproductive hormones and there is a considerable decline in estrogen (needed to regulate your periods) and progesterone (needed for pregnancy), that’s when the symptoms of menopause begin to appear. It also often triggers the rise of another hormone called follicular stimulating hormone or FSH.

When Will You Have Menopause And How Long Will It Last?

There are a lot of factors that determine when you will hit this phase. Even though the average age, like mentioned above, is 45-55 years, yet, your genetic make-up, your body type and health will play a role. The symptoms of menopause, which we will describe in the paragraphs to come, start anywhere between 2-4 years before you have your last period, and might go on till around 5 years after that.

What Does Menopause Do To Your Body?

Just like the beginning of puberty brings about evident physical and psychological changes, the onset of menopause also has the same impacts. While the absence of periods might seems like a great relief, yet, the symptoms of this phase can impact you more than you can think.

  • Period Problems: One of the most common impacts that the onset of menopause, or what is typically known as perimenopause, is problems in your menstruation. This can range from irregular periods, or changes in your flow - while sometimes you’d experience a very light period, on other occasions, you might experience heavy bleeding. During this phase, it’s important that you be mentally prepared as your periods can arrive without much warning, or be absent for long.

  • Lack of Sleep or Insomnia: Menopause is characterised by hot flashes, when your upper body feels warm, and night sweats, when you break into a sweat while you are sleeping. It’s obvious therefore that these lead to disturbed sleep cycles, often times causing insomnia.

  •  Vaginal Dryness: Decline in the production of estrogen can lead to genital tract atrophy, which is known to cause problems in the vulva and vaginal region, because of which you might experience swelling of the genital region, vaginal dryness and consequently, painful sexual intercourse.

  •  Urinary Issues: Such issues become very common with advancing age, yet, the impact that menopause has on the urinary system is quite high. If you are going through menopause, you are more susceptible to urinary tract infections or UTIs and you would also have an urge to visit the washroom often, which in medical terms will be explained to you as urinary incontinence. 

  •  Mood Swings and Cognitive difficulties: Just like your premenstrual symptoms or PMS as it’s popularly known as, mood swings will become a part of your routine when you hit menopause. Because your body is going through several hormonal changes, it is likely to impact your mood, as well as your cognitive abilities like remembering things.

  •  Physical Changes: While puberty results in a growth spurt, both in terms of your breasts and bodily hair, menopause does the exact opposite. If you find that you need to switch to a smaller bra size, then don’t be worried - it’s probably one of the effects of menopause. It might also lead to hair fall and thinning of hair.

Apart from these, palpitations, regular headaches, muscle and bone pain, stiff joints and weight gain can be clear signals that you are going through menopause.

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.  To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Pratibha Narayan is a Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Birthplace. In addition to her passion for obstetrics and preventive women's health, she an expert with many years of experience in VBAC. She excels and specializes in managing and treating routine and high-risk pregnancies, and recurrent pregnancy losses. She is also an expert in Cosmetic and aesthetic gynaecology.

To know more or to meet Dr. Pratibha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Early Menopause: The Causes And Impacts?

Menopause is a natural process, so please don’t consider it as a disease or disorder. As the body ages, its ability to produce certain hormones also decreases. Like mentioned before, when the levels of estrogen and progesterone come down, your body prepares itself for a goodbye to periods. However, apart from natural causes, there are a few other reasons why you might have an early menopause.

  • Hysterectomy: This is the procedure of removing your uterus, ovaries or both. If only your uterus is removed, you will not have menopause immediately, and the transition will be gradual. However, if your uterus and both your ovaries are removed, you will stop producing estrogen and progesterone, will cause immediate menopause.

  • Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy and radiation, as you understand, have several radical impacts on your body, one of them being menopause. Sometimes, however, many women observe the return of their periods after a prolonged absence.

  • Ovarian Issues: Lifestyle and other health issues could cause your ovaries to have issues. Such problems might impact that the production of certain hormones, which in turn trigger the onset of menopause.

Early menopause is often associated with higher risks of cardiovascular diseases, anxiety and depression and psychosexual disorders.

Diagnosis of Menopause

Menopause is clinically confirmed if you are 45 or above and you haven’t had your periods in 12 straight months. Even though this is one way of diagnosing menopause, yet, your gynaecologist is likely to carry out some tests to rule out anything else. During this consultation, your doctor will check for:

  1. Your last period, the kind of flow you experienced and whether it was regular or late.

  2. Medications you are using, if any.

  3. Your symptoms and how long you have been having them for.

 Once that is done, your gynecologist might also ask for the following tests:

  1. Vaginal pH levels (women in the reproductive age have a level of 4.5, while a level of 6 could indicate menopause)

  2. A Thyroid Test

  3. Lipid Profile

  4. Liver Function Test

  5. Kidney Function Test

 Even though there are some kits available to check for yourself, yet, it’s always best to consult a reputed gynaecologist for a proper diagnosis.

Will Menopause Impact Your Sex Life?

Menopause causes several of your hormones to be in a state of imbalance. Because your production of estrogen and testosterone (yes, women also have it) has decreased, it might contribute to a lower sex drive. Apart from that, other symptoms such as mood swings and muscular pain might also prevent you from enjoying sex. 

Lower production of estrogen could also limit blood supply to your vagina, resulting in swelling and dryness. This could impact sex as well, making it slightly more uncomfortable and painful than usual.

However, you needn’t lose hope! Some studies have suggested that many women report having an increased sexual appetite because of the lower chances of pregnancy. While most women hit menopause after their children-related responsibilities are taken care of, the chances of having more relaxed sex also increases!

Managing Menopause: The Guidelines

The phase of menopause can be quite a challenging one, especially because some of the symptoms will leave your drained and in pain. The first step is to be calm and gather more information about it, so that you can manage the symptoms well. There are some things that you can do to help yourself.

  • Eat right: Include plenty of calcium and Vitamin D in your diet

  • Avoid drinking and smoking

  • Massage your breasts with herbal oils

  • Use lubricants to have better sex

  • Do not stop using birth control measures till your doctor asks you to

  • Keep yourself engaged in activities to help your mood swings

  • Exercise well to manage your weight gain

  • Kegel exercises can help with your sex life as well as urinary incontinence

 Why Do You Need To Visit A Gynecologist?

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You are capable of managing many of the symptoms, but the absence of periods might not necessarily mean menopause. So, it’s essential to confirm the cause and only a gynaecologist can help with that. Apart from that, if your symptoms are severe, your doctor will be able to suggest several treatment options including hormone replacement therapy or HRT to help you.

Please understand that you are not alone in this journey. At the Birthplace, we intend to help you sail through the phase of menopause with maximum comfort and information. Our doctors listen to your concerns and recommend treatments and therapies based on your needs. So, don’t do this alone. Let us join forces with you to help you live your life on your own terms!