Planning For Pregnancy

When planning for pregnancy, it is advisable to contact your doctor to focus on a healthy outcome of your pregnancy. It is good to go for a preconception advice and focus on things to do before your pregnancy to help you have a healthy baby. Also, it may take a woman a few months to get the body ready for pregnancy. Follow this 10-point program to achieve your goals 1- Make a plan when you want to start. 2- See your doctor who will discuss your health and any medical condition that may require treatment. She will also discuss any previous pregnancy problems and any medications that you are taking. Medical conditions like anemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, epilepsy, sexually transmitted conditions and other chronic diseases need to be under control. Hereditary diseases like haemoglobinopathies and phenylketonuria need testing. 3- Take 400 mcg of folic acid daily. It should be started at least a month before a pregnancy is planned. It helps prevent major spine and brain defects. 4- Stop drinking alcohol, smoking and other recreational drugs. They can cause birth defects, premature births and infant deaths. 5-Avoid the use of toxic substances and contaminants.  These substances can hurt the reproductive system of both men and women.  For example synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, bug sprays and cat and rodent feces, lead and mercury. 6- Healthy choices in food – it is advisable to avoid shell fish like crab, prawn and lobster which can be high in mercury.  Also liver should be avoided as it has high level of vitamin A which can cause birth defects.  Junk food and processed food brings high levels of additive and preservatives which should be avoided.  Adding fresh fruits, salads, nuts and whole grains ensures the daily supply of healthy nutrients. 7- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  Overweight or obese women have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy like gestational diabetes, hypertension, preterm labor and more cesaerian deliveries. 8- Know about your family medical history, for example congenital heart defects, sickle cell disease, etc.  It can be important for your child’s health. Also women who have had several miscarriages and birth defects are advisable to go for genetic counseling. 9- Vaccinations. Certain vaccinations are recommended before during or after the delivery. For example having a rubella and chicken pox vaccination can prevent serious defects in the baby. 10- Having a baby is a big responsibility. You and your partner should be well prepared to start a family. You should understand that it will bring changes in your life style. Once you are pregnant, be sure to keep your healthy habits and see your doctor regularly.   dr jaimala

Dr.Jaimala Shukla MS (Obs. & Gyne)
Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist - uniCare Medical Centre, BurJuman

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