Health issues in Pregnancy
Sign of Pregnancy: Stoppage of menses in a woman in health, morning sickness, feeling of foetal movements by the mother, enlargement of abdomen, prominence of and pigmentation around the breast-nipples, crack-like marks on abdomen and presence of heart-sounds of the foetus are the commonest signs. Just as man’s heart beats, so does that of the foetus inside the uterus. The foetal heart beats at the rate of 120 or 140 per minute.
Determination of Sex: Nobody knows why male or female child is born at different pregnancies. But it is supposed that conditions or good nourishment of mother bring on female and bad nourishment male children respectively. (See Gedde’s “Evolution of Sex”; Thompson Rople Yong’s “Evolution of Sex”; Havelock-Ellis’ “Man and Woman”; Drummond’s “Ascent of Man”.)
Duration of Pregnancy: 280 days—i.e., ten lunar months or 9 calender months and 10 days. This is calculated from the last date of menstruation.
Hygiene of Pregnancy: Diet: —A pregnant woman should take plainest and most nourishing diet and shun all food that is rich or stale or indigestible. She should not gratify all her longings, to the detriment of her child. Diarrhoea and dysentery are very apt to bring on abortion, and should be avoided at all costs.
Dress: A dress that tightly compresses the abdomen is injurious. A pregnant woman’s dress should be loose and hang from the shoulders.
Exercise: Open air exercise is always to be insisted upon. Riding, cycling, jumping, driving over rough roads, hill climbing, driving in bullock-cart, boat-trip should all be avoided, as much as coitus and sudden exertion like straining at stool, lifting heavy things, violently using the grinding stone, running up a flight of stairs, slipping the foot, tripping upon an object. A pregnant woman should take legitimate amount of rest but never lead idle life. Long journeys are best avoided. Getting wet is to be avoided. She should be scrupulously clean in person and dress.
Mental Hygiene: It is believed that the mental condition of the mother during pregnancy is transmitted to her offspring. A pregnant woman therefore, should cultivate a cheerful, genial disposition; and avoid fright, passions and erotic thoughts.
Infectious Diseases: Pregnant women are peculiarly susceptible to infectious diseases which not only cause abortion but tend to kill the mother. Hence a pregnant woman should keep as far away from infections as possible.