Planning a pregnancy needs a lot of preparation. If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, taking care of your health before you become pregnant - also called preconception care- can help you prepare for a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.
The first step towards this is to visit your doctor. He or she will give you the right advice after evaluating your health.
Based on the evaluation, your doctor will suggest methods of taking good care of yourself before you become pregnant.
Keep track of the following aspects while planning your pregnancy.
Body weight and fertility
Maintaining your weight in the normal range before and during pregnancy helps your health and that of your baby’s. Being overweight has its risk of high blood pressure and Diabetes. It also puts a strain on the heart. This strain becomes even greater during pregnancy, when your heart has to work harder to supply blood to you and your baby.
Obese women are more prone to problems during pregnancy, which is risky for the baby as well as the mother. There is also the added risk of macrosomia, a condition in which the baby grows too large leading to labor and delivery complications.
On the other hand, being underweight can diminish your chances of even getting pregnant. It also may increase your chances of giving birth to a Low-birth Weight baby.
These small babies often have problems during labor and after birth. Therefore, it is important for you to maintain a healthy body weight before pregnancy.
Your doctor will tell you just how much weight you may have macrosomia lose depending on your present body weight.
Moreover do not go on crash diets to reduce weight. It will rob you of vital nutrients and spoil your health
A healthy diet will ensure adequate stores of nutrients for you and your baby’s needs, when you are pregnant. Choose healthy foods and avoid junk or fast foods, making sure you have a well-balanced and varied diet. An average woman needs about 2,000 calories per day. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products each day. Drink fat-free or low-fat milk and consume other dairy products.
Nutrition for the father
Prepregnancy care needs the active involvement of your partner too. It is important for aspiring fathers to follow a nutritious diet. Various studies indicate that low levels of zinc can reduce Sperm count. Excessive alcohol can also diminish zinc levels. Meat, whole-grain cereals, seafood, eggs and pulses are good sources of zinc.
Low levels of the mineral selenium also affect male fertility. Meat, seafood, mushrooms and cereals are good sources of this mineral. Aspiring dads should also watch their wePrepregnancyeing overweight or underweight can also impair fertility in men. Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Include these foods in your daily diet
Fortified breakfast cereals.
Green leafy vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach/palak, methi and green beans
Peas and lentils
Other precautionary measures that you should take to lessen the risks of problems during pregnancy include:
If you are planning a pregnancy ensure that you are vaccinated for certain diseases that can harm the baby. Examples are chicken pox, Rubella etc. These vaccinations must be taken at least 6 months before you get pregnant.
General health care
You should maintain a healthy weight and follow a balanced nutritious diet. Physical exercises with the permission of your doctor will help both mother and the baby during pregnancy. It is important to avoid smoking, alcohol and other drugs. Inform your doctor if you are on any medication since certain medications can affect the development of the growing baby. Avoid extreme weather and other potential environmental hazards. It is important to quit smoking not only for woman herself, but also for her partner as passive smoking is also harmful for fetal growth. Other forms of tobacco consumption must also be avoided.
Existing and past medical conditions
If you are planning to get pregnant, it is important to inform your doctor about past or existing medical condition that you may be suffering from such as diabetes, eating disorders, hepatitis A or B, Hypothyroidism or HIV to prevent future difficulties.Pregnancy should be planned when these diseases have been optimally controlled
Role of the husband
You must involve your male partner in your health planning, whether it is planning a pregnancy or otherwise. Encourage your partner to support you at every stage of preparing for your pregnancy to ensure you get good preconception care and antenatal care during pregnancy.
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High Blood Pressure
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Healthy Breast Feeding
Diet during Breast Feeding
Birth Control choices
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