Mamá sana, bebé sano / Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby


Dr Aliza answers all your questions about pregnanacy and childbirth in the only Spanish/English guide available

Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz, known as "Doctora Aliza" to thousands of patients and viewers of the...

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Dr Aliza answers all your questions about pregnanacy and childbirth in the only Spanish/English guide available

Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz, known as "Doctora Aliza" to thousands of patients and viewers of the Univision TV Network, now makes important prenatal/postnatal health information readily available to Latina mothers-to-be in this unique dual-language guide.

Preparing for Prenancy
Selecting a Doctor
Heqlth Risks during Pregnancy
Weight, Diet, and Exercise
Your Changing Body, Month by Month
Baby's Prenatal Development
Delivery Options
Stages of Labor
Post-Partum Problems and Discomforts
Breast-feeding or Bottle-feeding
And Much More

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380792450
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Language: Spanish
  • Series: Pregnancy Series
  • Edition description: Spanish-English Bilingual Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

First Things First

The birth of a baby is magical. It never ceases to amaze me. At the first delivery I ever witnessed as a medical student, I was so intensely moved that I cried longer and harder than the mother who had just given birth. Each person evolves following the fertilization of an egg, so minute that it can't be seen without the help of a microscope, by an even smaller sperm. When they join together, they become an embryo, which is like a small orb that encapsules all the necessary information with which to create an autonomous human being. It contains all it needs in order to determine the different organs that must be made, the place they must occupy within the body and their function, information about the color of the eyes and hair, as well as the fact that, at nine months, the development within the mother will cease, only to be continued independently after birth. Birth is the glorious moment when this little being becomes a new individual who breathes, feels, eats, cries, smiles, arid begins to relate with the environment.

Ideally, you hope your pregnancy and delivery will be perfect, especially considering all the technology presently available. But there are no guarantees. There are certain things that can be done, though, that may help prevent problems or detect them at an early stage. The mother's health, her gynecological and medical background, as well as her family's, play an important role.

If you are thinking about getting pregnant

Your pregnancy should be a very special experience that, ideally, you will remember with love. If you take care ofyourself and are prepared before becoming pregnant, your chances of having that kind of experience are excellent. Your physical health and your nutrition help determine whether your pregnancy is easy or more difficult. Though you may feel well, have your doctor examine you before you become pregnant. If you have any condition such as diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, asthma, etc., see your doctor and make sure that it's under control and that you are taking the proper medication. This will increase your chances of becoming pregnant and of helping your baby to develop and grow under the best circumstances.

Before getting pregnant, consider the following

Begin an exercise program (if you are not already on one).

Lose weight if you are overweight (expectant mothers should not be dieting).

Take care of having any procedures you may require (such as X-rays recommendead by your doctor for back pain or for dental work); you will not be able to do so once you are pregnant.

Stop smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. This is the best time to do so.

Check with your doctor if you take vitamins, herbs, or other medication, regarding their effect on your baby should you become pregnant. He or she may recommend that you supplement your diet with vitamins.

Make sure you are getting enough folic acid. One milligram a day at least 3 months before becoming pregnant helps to prevent some birth defects.

Talk with your doctor if you have not had German measles and have not had the vaccination;your doctor may want to run a blood test to find out whether you have the antibodies and/or give you a vaccination to prevent problems once you are pregnant.

If you get the German measles vaccine, wait three months after the immunization to get pregnant.

If you think you are pregnant

As soon as you realize, or imagine, or think you may be pregnant, it is important to see your doctor. Even though there are several possible reasons for missing your period — including nervous tension, overwork, weight change, or excessive exercising — it is important to know whether or not you are pregnant. I have patients who say: "Well, I've already had one (or four) children without any problems. I know I have to take my prenatal vitamins and eat well and not gain too much weight.... Why should I see the doctor now? I'll wait." My answer is, don't wait. Each pregnancy is different and requires medical supervision in order to detect whether or not there is any problem that may not have been present earlier. Seeing your doctor early increases the chances that this pregnancy will be an uncomplicated one.

Symptoms that might suggest pregnancy

•Absence of a menstrual period

•A very light menstrual period

•A change in the size of your breasts, increased sensitivity, or slight discomfort. It is possible that you may feel discomfort, such as the kind some women experience a few days prior to menstruation, which then disappears when menstruation begins. If you are pregnant, the discomfort may continue for several weeks, and be accompanied by a tingling sensation in the nipples and visible increase in their size. This is due to the mammary glands, which are preparing to produce the milk that will feed your baby

•Nausea due to increased hormonal production

•An increase in the frequency of urination. The uterus is growing and presses on the bladder. This symptom disappears in the third month and reappears in the last trimester of the pregnancy, when the baby's weight increases dramatically

•Cravings and food preferences. Were you among those who believed cravings were "tall tales" told by pregnant women? You may notice it happening to you. In any case, eating a little more of the foods you crave will not harm you, as long as you maintain a balanced diet


•Slight increase in vaginal secretions. This can be a normal symptom during pregnancy, due to the increase of hormones. A laboratory exam by your doctor will rule out an infection

•Increased saliva production in the initial months

Tests to confirm your pregnancy

All pregnancy tests are based on the presence of the hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The placenta produces this hormone, and it may be detected in female unine or blood.

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