Health before pregnancy

Steps To Take If You’re Planning To Get Pregnant

Steps To Take If You’re Planning To Get Pregnant

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Steps To Take If You’re Planning To Get Pregnant

 

Welcoming your little one into the world is one of the most important milestones of your life. A mother will do everything in her power to protect her baby from diseases and ensure that he/she lives a healthy life. Most unplanned pregnancies have a higher risk of preterm labour or low-birth weight. However, if you think you’re ready to have a baby, then it’s time to start taking care of your mind and body.

If you’re planning to conceive, here are some things you should start doing right away.

1. Start taking Folic Acid

 Our body needs folic acid to make new cells. During pregnancy, cells grow and divide rapidly. Folic acid helps make the process smoother. Moreover, it also reduces the chances of neural tube defects like Spina bifida and other brain defects in the baby. These defects can occur as early as 3-4 weeks after conception, so it’s best to start taking 400mcg of folic acid 2-3 months before you’re planning to conceive.

2. Stop smoking and drinking

Whether you indulge in drinking and smoking regularly or occasionally, it’s best to quit a few months before conceiving. Alcohol and tobacco consumption can increase the risk of preterm-birth, birth defects, stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and cause other developmental problems in your baby. If your husband smokes or drinks, it would be best for him to stop 3-4 months before conceiving. Alcohol consumption and smoking in men have known to cause many problems in a healthy conception. In case you’re having trouble quitting, speak to your doctor and take necessary measures to stop before you conceive.  

3. Take measures to control existing medical conditions

It’s important to be in the best shape for your baby. If you have any medical conditions, make sure you speak to your doctor and get medication which can be used safely during pregnancy. If you have diabetes, work on bringing your blood sugar levels to normal before conceiving. In case of hypothyroidism, your hormonal levels should be normal for a safe and healthy gestation. If untreated, these problems can cause complications and birth defects in your baby.

4. Take all the necessary vaccines

While some vaccines can be taken during pregnancy, there are some others like Rubella, chicken pox and more which need to be taken before pregnancy. Make sure you speak to your doctor and get clarity on which vaccines you should take before, during and after pregnancy.

5. Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining BMI is also important for a healthy pregnancy. If you’re obese, you might face complications during pregnancy and there is a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth or stillbirth. If you’re underweight, your baby might be born with low birth weight or could even suffer from postpartum haemorrhage. You can speak to your doctor and get a diet chart to make sure your weight comes back to normal before you conceive.

6. Genetic counselling

In case there are certain conditions that run in your or your husband’s family, it’s best to see a genetic counsellor before you start trying. Cancer, birth defects or chromosomal disorders in the family could cause harm to the foetus so it’s best to be prepared. Apart from that, if you’re having trouble conceiving or have experienced miscarriages before or if you and your partner are over 35, seeing a genetic counsellor to discuss potential risks might help.

 

Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself so that your baby is born in a healthy and happy environment.

 

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