Many women are not aware that the kind of lifestyle thy live, could negatively impact their child in the future. Apart from the basics like drug use or alcohol consumption, many people do not know the proper preventive measures needed to make sure the pregnancy goes smoothly. Some of those important steps include;
Schedule a Preconception Visit
Set up a preconception checkup with a doctor or nurse. The healthcare professional will review a person’s personal medical and family history, the woman’s present health condition as well as a review of any medications or supplements that they are taking. This is important because certain medications are not safe to be used during pregnancy and could have negative health effects on the child. Some medications are needed to be switched even before conception occurs because they are stored within the fat stores of the body and can linger there.
The health care practitioner will further discuss whether there are any underlying health concerns as a result of a person’s exercise regimen, unhealthy habits, weight or diet. They may also prescribe expecting mothers with prenatal multivitamins. Not only that, women are recommended to keep up to date with any immunizations for childhood diseases like rubella or chicken pox. At this point it is important to let the doctor know of any pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma.
If it has already been a year since the last checkup, doctors will also expect women to go through a pelvic exam as well as a pap smear. This is important to check for sexually transmitted diseases if the person is at risk for them.
Get a Genetic Carrier Test
Most health care professionals offer young couples with the option of undergoing a genetic carrier test before they try to conceive. This is to check whether or not the mother or the father is carrier for any diseases which could affect the child. Some diseases include sickle cell disease; cystic fibrosis etc. in case both the parents are carriers for a disease, there is a 1 in 4 chance that their child will develop that disease.
A genetic counselor will be able to answer any detailed questions that couples may have to help sort of reproductive choices. This is one of the most important things that anyone can do to ensure that they have a healthy baby. The test is mostly noninvasive any only requires saliva or a blood sample from each person. This kind of testing is mostly covered by most health insurance policies.
Take Folic Acid & Vitamin A
Starting folic acid supplementation is in an important step to take at least a month before a couple decides to conceive. It is recommended to continue using it up until the first trimester. This can cut the chances of having a baby with any sorts of neural tube defects for e.g., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the chances for getting spina bifida are decreased by almost 50% to 70%.
It is important to make sure that a person’s multivitamin does not contain more than the recommended daily allowance of about 770mcg of vitamin A, unless that is in the form of beta-carotene. Getting too much of a particular kind of vitamin A has been linked to birth defects.
It is important to create an environment within the body which is suitable for housing a child full term.
Choosing nutritious food ensures that a person’s body is stocked full of the right amount of nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.
At least 2 cups of fruit and 2 & ½ cups of vegetables are recommended every day, alongside whole grains and proteins.
Mind Caffeine Intake
Even though there is no consensus on how much caffeine is safe for consumption during pregnancy. However experts agree that those women looking to conceive in the near future should try to avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine. Higher doses of caffeine have been linked to causing miscarriages in some studies that were conducted.
It is advised for pregnant women to not consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day. This is about one cup of coffee, depending upon how it’s brewed.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Experts agree that women who are at a healthy weight have an easier time conceiving. Having a low BMI has been linked to causing issues getting pregnant. Trying to get to a healthier weight before someone conceives will help them evade possible delivery complications or pregnancy issues. Women at lower weights are more likely to give birth to underweight babies. Opting for a proper diet and exercise plan will help women achieve results faster.