It is very important to consider maternal and paternal health when planning to have a baby. Optimizing your health is important before conception in order to reduce the risk of health complications for both the mother and the child.
Right now, I’ll be sharing to you some guidelines that you have to take in my mind in order to maximize both you and your partner’s ability to conceive as well as recognize any potential risks before becoming pregnant.
Manage Pre-existing Chronic Health Conditions
If you are managing a chronic condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension), speak with your doctor before conception or as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Chronic health conditions may further affect your health and may affect the health of your baby if not managed properly. Say for example in the first 4-6 weeks in your pregnancy, high blood sugar levels can put your risk of having a child with a birth defect. However, health complications related to chronic conditions can be avoided with proper monitoring and management.
For the Mommy-to-be, Taking Vitamins Rich in Folic Acid is a must!
Folic acid is an essential vitamin that aids in the development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. A lack of folic acid can result in birth defects of these organs, referred to as neural tube defects (NTD). Most birth defects occur during the first trimester. For this reason, a pregnant woman must take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day starting at least one month before pregnancy and continue to take this vitamin throughout the pregnancy.
Start Eating a Well-Rounded Diet and Exercise Regularly
Obesity during pregnancy has been proven to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes in the mother and even stillbirth. It’s important to quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake, and follow a healthy diet and exercise routine before getting pregnant. Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy will help decrease the risk of complications for both the mother and the fetus.
Importantly, communicate with your doctor and ask questions relating to your health and any medical conditions. It may take the time to get used to any necessary lifestyle changes that is why you need to start and adapt early to give you time to fully incorporate any necessary changes into your daily routine well before pregnancy.