Q: Doc please, I’m wondering if you could advice me. I’m 6 months pregnant and I find it difficult adhering to treatment regimen like taking my routine drugs because I believe I get the right requirement from the food I eat. Though sometimes when I remember I take the drugs. The most important thing is that I can’t do without drinking cold water and even eating the ice block (pica so to say), but I’m not anaemic. My mum said I should desist from cold things without explaining the physiology behind that to me. She only said it will make my baby to have cough when I deliver. Is there any physiology behind drinking cold water and eating ice blocks since I’m not anaemic?
A: Interesting question. Lots of things to address…
Let’s start with pica and see if we can tie everything else in. Pica consumption is the craving and consumption of non-food items like clay, ash, soap, matches or even ice as in the case above. Sometimes, this is associated with deficiencies of certain minerals or vitamins in the body, but some other times, you just can’t find anything that you can attribute the craving for. Cravings are, of course, a usual feature of pregnancy but usually the cravings are for food 😀 I, for one, certainly love my ice cubes, pregnant or not, and trust me…I do not have any deficiency (at least any one known to man :D).
Ice craving (known as pagophagia…pronounced pa-go-fa-jia) is thought to be due to folate/iron deficiency, which you may or may not have. However, given that you have not been taking your prescribed meds, I would prefer to err on the side of caution and say, ‘please start taking your ante-natal medications.’ Even if you eat well, still take your pre-natal (ante-natal) meds. It does take a whole lot to grow a healthy baby, you know ;D Folate is especially important for the proper development of your baby’s spine. And then your doctor can also check you out for any form of anaemia…just to be on the safe side. Perhaps, I should also mention that ice consumption has also been linked to stress and obsessive compulsive disorder…don’t go looking at me, y’all just because I confessed to loving ice too 😀
And now to the link between cold water and your baby having a cold when born…I hate to disagree with your mum who I’m sure is an awesome mother, but there is no link. None, absolutely. In fact, I’ve heard some people say the baby will be born with pneumonia! Come on, guys!!! Colds are caused by viruses. Your baby has to be infected by the common cold virus to have a cold. It has nothing to do with drinking cold water.
To round this up, I’ll include some common pregnancy stories and tell you whether they are fact or fiction. This is a pre-view of my pregnancy book coming out in another month or so J
You must always have a safety pin on your person; otherwise evil people may steal the baby from your tummy.
I’m not sure how else to qualify this, except by saying it is beyond weird!
Do not let people cross your leg when you’re sitting down. If they do, your baby will look like them.
Seriously guys! 😀 This has no basis in reality and even in mythology. If you don’t like people crossing over your legs, that’s fine…but don’t get it twisted. It has nothing to do with how the baby looks.
Do not spend too much time or shout at people you don’t like or your baby will look like them.
Anything that gets you to stop screaming is a great idea. But let’s do it for the right reasons. Your baby’s looks are determined by genes and not your likes or dislikes 😀
If you scream during labour for your first child, you will scream throughout all your other labours.
Honestly, if you’d like to give your lungs a work-out during labour, be my guest. Go for it. I really don’t see any problem in it…certainly no documented medical one. In my case, to make up for the two times I tried to keep it all in, as I’d mentioned, I screamed the whole neighbourhood down when I was having my last baby!
But then again, you really don’t need to scream. You can put to bed in a center where you can receive epidural anaesthesia so that the whole process is easy-peasy, lemon squeezy 😀
In Africa, we like to think that if we don’t have our babies the long, painful way, it makes us less of women. But that is not true. The woman who had her baby with anaesthesia and the woman who didn’t both have babies to show for their efforts and I assure you that in both cases, the maternal instincts are not affected.
‘If the doctors tell you that the best option for you is having your baby through Caesarean section, reject it. All the women in our families have had their babies ‘normally’; you can’t be an exception to that rule.’
Every woman’s story is different and so is their medical history. The history of your mum is not necessarily yours and so, judging what will happen to you at labour and delivery by what happened to your family before you, may be putting you in danger. In some instances, there may not even be a problem with the woman’s ability to deliver the baby, but because the labour is prolonged with the baby in distress, the doctor takes a decision to section the lady. Going against this advice (which is an option open to the woman as the doctor will not force his medical opinions on her) may endanger both mother and baby. So, please be guided.
If you eat a lot of snails, your baby will spit a lot when born!
The fact that the snail is slimy has nothing to do with whether baby drools or not. Remember also that if your baby starts drooling when he’s teething, it has nothing to do the snails you ate when pregnant but everything to do with the process he’s going through…bringing forth teeth!
Have a great evening, y’all
Here’s to s healthier you!