Malaria in Pregnancy

 

Malaria is an infection that is endemic in Nigeria, we practically take malaria as a normal occurrence.  Adults who have survived repeated malaria infections throughout their lifetimes may become partially immune to severe or fatal malaria.  It is, however, dangerous for pregnant women to have malaria during the period of pregnancy, this is due to the changes that occur in the immune system during pregnancy and the presence of the placenta (a new organ) for parasites to bind, hence, pregnant women lose some of their immunity to malaria infection.

www.preggiesnbabies.com

 

Some of the effects of malaria during pregnancy include:

Anaemia in the mother.

Anaemia in the child.

placental parasitemia (presence of parasites in the blood)

Low birth weight (<2500g or <2.5kg) a risk factor for death premature delivery

intrauterine growth retardation and

fetal loss.

 

IPTp( intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy)

IPTp entails administration of a curative dose of an effective antimalarial drug (currently sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine) to all pregnant women whether or not they are infected with the malaria parasite. IPTp should be given at each routine antenatal care visit, starting in the second trimester. So if you go for your antenatal classes regularly you would be given your IPTp. The sooner you get them the better.

 

All of these conditions have great effects on the health of the mother and child so it’s best to be avoided, Some of the ways in which malaria can be prevented during pregnancy include:

  • Use of long lasting insecticide treated nets
  • Keeping the environment clean.
  • Clearing the bushes around your house.
  • Avoid accumulation of stagnant water in your environment.
  • Also, use of IPTp from the second trimester of pregnancy.www.preggiesnbabies.com

 

 

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Cervical Cancer Scare

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The first time I heard of cervical cancer my thoughts were “na wa another cancer again” then I heard there was a vaccine to prevent it, I was very happy ehn! Like “ Baba God, o te da mo ma escape eleyi ” (meaning: baba God, I would escape this one). So I made inquiries on cervical cancer Continue reading “Cervical Cancer Scare”

Daddy Series: How to support your partner with Breastfeeding.

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New dads have a vital role to play in supporting their partners during breastfeeding. You might think well I don’t have the breast and I can’t breastfeed so how am I supposed to help? So I am here to help you with that. Did you know that women are more likely to breastfeed longer when they have their partners support them? Continue reading “Daddy Series: How to support your partner with Breastfeeding.”

HOW TO PREVENT TOXAEMIA IN PREGNANCY

 

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Toxaemia is a condition that arises only during pregnancy,  also popularly known as pre-eclampsia.  I have a previous post on High blood pressure in pregnancy in pregnancy and the various types of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Pre eclampsia is one of the types of high blood pressure in pregnancy, it can lead to eclampsia or kidney damage over time. It is usually screened for during each antenatal visit (this is why antenatal visits are very important) by checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for proteins.

It is common for first-time mums and can happen at any time in the second half of pregnancy, during labor or even up to six weeks after delivery. I used to think that pre-eclampsia only occurred during pregnancy till I heard of stories of women who didn’t have pre-eclampsia throughout pregnancy until after labor and delivery, and some who develop during labor hence it can occur anytime.

It can become very severe quickly and sometimes it progresses slowly, if left untreated it can lead to dangerous health problems for you and your baby.

It can become very severe quickly and sometimes it progresses slowly, if left untreated it can lead to dangerous health problems for you and your baby.

HOW WOULD I KNOW IT IS PRE-ECLAMPSIA?

Some of the common signs of pre-eclampsia include:

  1. Swelling of the legs, sometimes puffiness of the eyes, swollen hands such that wearing your wedding band becomes so tight and uncomfortable
  2. Severe or a persistent headache.
  3. The presence of protein in the urine.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Weight gain
  6. Other signs would include vision changes including double vision, blurriness, light sensitivity, Intense pain tenderness in the upper abdomen. Nausea and vomiting, difficulty in breathing.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT PRE-ECLAMPSIA?

  • Ensure you don’t miss antenatal appointments. It is usually detected by your midwife during the routine antenatal check-up.
  • Avoid excessive salt intake.
  • Avoid  getting stressed as much as possible, stress can cause blood pressure to increase.
  • You can check your blood pressure by yourself at home if you have access to a digital blood pressure machine weekly to ensure you blood pressure is below 130/90mmhg, if you detect an elevated blood pressure rest for 30 minutes and check again if it is consistent call your midwife or doctor immediately to alert them of what you noticed.

Note: not all women with pre-eclampsia have swellings in the legs or rapid weight gain and not all women with rapid weight gain have pre-eclampsia.

ANAEMIA IN PREGNANCY

imageAnemia is a medical condition in which there is not enough healthy oxygen supply to the tissues in the body. When the tissues do not receive an adequate amount of oxygen, many organs and functions are affected. Pregnancy increase the risk of developing anemia due to increased amount of blood being produced in the body. Anemia in pregnancy can be a mild condition and easily treated if caught early on. However it can be dangerous, to both the mother and baby if it goes untreated.

What causes anemia in pregnancy

The main cause of anemia  in pregnancy is due to the increased volume of blood in the body.

What are the types of anemia?

There are over 400 different types of anemia, but some are more prevalent in pregnancy. The most common experienced types of anemia are : 1) iron deficiency anemia 2) folate deficiency anemia

  • Iron –deficiency anemia: it is the most common type of anemia during pregnancy , this type of anemia is due to a lack of iron in the body to produce red blood cells.
  • Folate-defiency anemia : this is due to a lack of folic acid in the body which is why folic acid is a common supplement taken by pregnant women. Folic acid also helps to reduce neural tube defects.

How would I know I have anemia?

Some of the signs and symptoms of anemia include: tiredness, lack of energy, shortness of breathe, noticeable heartbeats, pale complexion, headache, an altered sense of taste, feeling itchy, hair loss.

What the effects of anemia?

Anemia is especially a concern because it is associated with low birth weights, premature births and maternal mortality.

What can I do to prevent anemia in pregnancy?

It can be prevented by taking recommended iron supplements and folic acid supplements, eat foods rich in iron such eggs, meat, fish, nuts and seeds.

Sources

American preganancy association. www.americanpregnancy.org

HOW TO USE CABBAGE LEAVES TO RELIEVE BREAST ENGORGEMENT

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In my previous post HERE  I talked about breast engorgement and the various ways of relieving it such as expressing and use of cold cabbage leaves. This post is a continuation to that post and I decided to talk about how to use cabbage leaves to relieve engorgement. Cabbage basically is a common vegetable and it is easily accessible.  Cabbage leaves can be used  to help relieve swelling and relieve the pain and discomfort that comes with breast engorgement. There is really no known property within the cabbage itself that has shown to help relieve the swelling and pain or if the swelling goes down because the cabbage leaves are acting as a cold

Continue reading “HOW TO USE CABBAGE LEAVES TO RELIEVE BREAST ENGORGEMENT”

CESAREAN BIRTH: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE

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The one thing I love best about Nigeria is how our culture shapes us and the mix of religion to it makes it more wonderful, it literally influences every aspect of our lives from how to relate with people especially the elderly to the kind of food we eat and the cloth we wear. Growing up as a child we are ingrained with different beliefs, one thing that I know is hardly ever discussed in a Nigerian home is pregnancy and birth, in short it’s like a taboo

Continue reading “CESAREAN BIRTH: THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE”