I am in the ninth month of my first pregnancy. My problem is that both my nipples are retracted. This will cause difficulty in breast feeding my baby. Is there any way by which I can improve the situation before delivery?

You could begin by catching the nipple between your thumb and forefinger and rolling it gently forwards. Repeat this exercise daily. Alternatively there is a small plastic cup available that has to be put between the nipple and the bra with the mouth of the cup on the nipple.

The negative pressure so created helps draw the nipple out in some cases. If this too fails, a nipple shield can be used to breast feet your child. You will be taught how to sterilise and use it after delivery.

I am two months pregnant. Please tell me what are the danger signals I have to look out for.

You will have to visit your obstetrician regularly for antenatal check-ups. Besides this you should come to the hospital if you have:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Falls
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Severe headache and visual disturbances
  • Baby is not moving
  • Watery fluid comes out of the vagina when you are in labour.

Can I have an X-ray done during pregnancy?

Though X-rays are best avoided during pregnancy, a lot depends upon why it is needed and how beneficial it is to you at this point of time. The further the area to be X-rayed is from your baby the less likely is it to cause harm. In any case the abdomen is protected by a lead shield to avoid exposure of the baby to the rays.

I am in the 8th month of my pregnancy. My doctor has asked me to perform Kegel’s exercises. How are they done and what is the use?

Kegel’s exercises make the pelvic floor more elastic and strong so that the child can pass through it comfortably. This is that part of the body that holds the pelvic organs in place and is perforated by the urinary, vaginal and anal orifices. It is made of muscle and fibrous tissue, Lie on the back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze the two buttock muscles together.

While doing this press the thighs firmly together and pull up as though preventing the passage of stool and urine. Count slowly from one to 10. Relax to the same number of counts. Do this 10 time each three times a day.  You can do this exercise daily, even in the standing position – while cooking, washing, standing in queues etc.

I am three months pregnant and the elders in my family insist that I eat for two. As it is, it is becoming difficult to eat for one on account of the dyspepsia and the nausea. Please tell me what I should do.

One needs only 300 calories extra per day during pregnancy (equivalent to two-and-a-half cups of toned milk), so the question of eating for two does not arise, especially if the second ‘person’ is microscopic to begin with and grows to a maximum size of 3-4 kilograms.

I am one and half months pregnant. I am very fond of gardening. It is in fact my passion and has a calming effect on my stressed nerves. Even the nausea of pregnancy decreases when I sit in my garden and breathe in the fresh, clean air. Please tell me if it is advisable to continue gardening during pregnancy.

The first trimester of pregnancy is not a good time to indulge in your passion for gardening. Studies have shown that weed killers may cause developmental problems. If you are really keen to continue wear rubber gloves while gardening in areas where pesticides have been used.

I am two months pregnant but the ultrasound revealed just a fluid filled sac with no baby inside. What does this mean? Am I pregnant or not? What should be done?

You are pregnant alright but all is not well with the pregnancy. In all probability you have a blighted ovum. You should get the ultrasound repeated after two week. If no fetal node has appeared by then the conceptus has to be aborted as it is defective. Your doctor may send the products of conception for karyotyping to detect chromosomal abnormalities if any.

– Dr Amrinder Kaur Bajaj, MD.

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