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Nine Months : Common Concerns And Discomforts

Salmonella infection

Contamination with Salmonella bacterium can cause bacterial food poisoning. This doesn't usually harm the baby directly, but any illness involving a high temperature , vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration could cause a miscarriage or preterm labour.


What is it? As pregnancy progresses, the baby's head presses against the pelvic bones and this may affect the sciatic nerves in your lower back and legs (these sciatic nerves are associated with movement, sensation). This causes severe pain in the lower back, buttocks and leg (one or both). It may cause tingling, weakness and numbness down the legs as well. This condition is called sciatica and can be extremely uncomfortable and painful for the one suffering from it. I suffered during my first pregnancy and during the last stages of pregnancy, I could not even lift my left leg to get in and out of the bath tub without bursting into tears and was on paracetamol for about a month!

What to do? Since the pain is caused by the position of the baby, it will vanish only after the baby has been born. In the meantime, some relief can be obtained by lying on a firm mattress, using a hot water bottle, special exercises as suggested by your midwife or doctor.When in severe pain, consult the doctor to rule out the possibility of a slipped disc.

Sickle Cell Anaemia

Who? Sickle cell anaemia is a hereditary condition of the blood that causes severe anaemia. It mainly affects people of African or West Indian origin and also those of Mediterranean origin.

In pregnancy: If you or your partner are just carriers of the trait and don't suffer from it yourselves, your baby may not suffer from the condition at all. However, if both of you are carriers or any one of you actually suffers from the condition, your baby may be affected. The implications of this should be discussed with the midwife or doctor. An invasive test like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) may be able to determine if your baby carries the disease.A blood test is routinely done to check for sickle cell anaemia in the mother.


What are they? A medal of pregnancy, these are red or brown streaks that appear on the abdomen, thighs and breasts during pregnancy. The stretchmarks develop as a result of stretching of the skin (as the name suggests) beyond its normal elasticity. The reason why stretchmarks are more prominent in some and not in others depends on collagen and elastin content of your skin. They may also be associated with sudden weight gain.These marks lose their red colour after pregnancy and become thin, silvery streaks.

What to do? There are no pills or lotions available that can help prevent stretchmarks. However, you can use mosturising lotions or creams to help cool and moisturise the skin. Avoid rapid weight gain.


In pregnancy, because of the increased blood flow to the skin, you may find that you perspire or sweat more than usual. You may get up in the middle of the night, feeling hot and sweaty. The best you can do is keep yourself cool and fresh. Wear loose, cotton clothes and drink plenty of water.


Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is so easily treated nowadays that it is rarely seen. Routine blood tests during ante-natal visits check for syphilis as well. If the mother is found to be infected, she can be treated with antibiotics and the problem is solved. The risk to the baby occurs if no treatment is given to the mother before fourth month, when the infection starts to reach over to the baby. If left untreated in the mother, syphilis could cause bone and tooth deformities, progressive nervous system damage and eventual brain damage in the baby.

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