Getting Ready for Pregnancy

Preconception health is just like farming. You can throw seeds on a ground, and they may or may not grow. But if you take steps to improve the soil, likely you will get better crop. Similarly, if you create optimal health in your body, you are creating the best environment to grow a baby.

Every couple should address their overall health and wellness in preparation for pregnancy, whether or not they are not having fertility issues. Preconception care can make a positive difference to your health and the health of your child. It prepares your body for pregnancy, birth and beyond. Research has shown that the way a child was nourished in the mother’s womb can have an important impact on his or her health as an adult. Don’t wait until you get pregnant and then modify your lifestyle, your pregnancy could be easier if healthy changes were made before being conceiving.

A good place to start is by visiting a health care practitioner six months before conceiving. Various tests will be conducted such as blood tests, blood pressure check, physical check, and also a detailed history of your medical condition may be necessary, to determine where you are at now and to offer advice where necessary. Some vaccinations are recommended before you become pregnant, during pregnancy, or right after delivery.

It is best to visit your dentist for a check up as it if way easier to get necessary procedures done before you conceive. During pregnancy, placement of new amalgam fillings or removal old ones are not recommended, because the level of mercury in the blood tends to rise. Amalgams are generally made up of mercury, silver and tin, with small amounts of copper and zinc. Mercury can cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of the foetus. Also, mercury can be passed to the baby through breast milk. If procedure is absolutely necessary during pregnancy, opt for an alternative filling.

Tip No.1: Eat Healthfully

You are what you eat, and so is your baby. This is a good time to increase your intake of wholesome, nutritious foods from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Also, it is best to avoid processed or ‘fake’ food, yes, you know it: foods that have been altered from their natural state in order to extend their shelf life. You might also want to switch to organic foods to reduce the potential for taking in pesticides and toxins through the food chain.

Tip No.2: Supplements

One of the most, universally recommended supplements is folic acid. Folic acid is a B group vitamin that is needed for the healthy growth and development of the baby in the first weeks of life. Other nutritional supplements that may be recommended include a balanced multivitamin/mineral supplement, iron, zinc and calcium.

Tip No.3: Body Weight

Being overweight or underweight can complicate a pregnancy. Overweight women are at greater risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, and they are more likely to deliver their babies by caesarean section. Underweight women tend to have low-birth weight babies. Talk to your doctor about how to best reach your ideal weight before you become pregnant.

Tip No. 4. : Staying Fit

Exercise keeps the body healthy (very important for conception) and it also promotes good circulation to all body parts, including the reproductive system. When stress is reduced, it helps you sleep better, allowing your body the time it needs to repair and rejuvenate. However, do avoid excessive exercise as it can decrease the state of fertility. It may disrupt the normal flow of hormones, which is affect your menstrual cycle and leading to low fertility.

Tip No.5: Reduce Stress

Mothers who showed higher signs of stress such as high blood pressure more frequently had foetuses with increased heart rates than did non-stressed mothers. Indulge in activities that make you feel relaxed, be it listening to music, doing yoga, getting regular massages, writing in a journal, reading, and etc. Do not handle stress by smoking or drinking alcohol as it contributes to infertility and can impair ovulation in women and sperm production in men.

Tip No.6: Be Conscious of your Surroundings.

It is best for you and your partner to avoid chemical products and toxins while trying to conceive a baby. A woman’s total toxic load can affect her ability to conceive and carry a baby to full term, and can even affect the fertility of the child in adulthood. Choose alternative green cleaning products, do not treat the house for pests, and use safety precautions at work if in contact with hazards. Look through your personal care products and opt for organic products to minimise your exposure to toxic chemicals.

Tip No. 7: Preconception care is just as important for men as for women.

Don’t forget that men contribute half the genetic material that makes up the baby. It’s not only the woman’s job to take care of herself. . Guidelines for men are very much similar to those provided for women. Some extra basic precautions are not to wear tight underwear, avoid taking long hot baths as it can affect motility of the sperms.

Hence saying all these, realise that pregnancy is NOT only a 9 months journey, in fact, it is a 6 + 9 months long journey! If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is never too early to start getting ready for pregnancy. Speak to a doctor today to discuss your health history, any medical conditions you currently have that could affect a pregnancy, medicines that you currently are taking, vaccinations that you might need, and steps you can take before pregnancy to increase fertility and prevent certain birth defects and etc.

If you would like to know more about preconception planning, please contact us at +603 62030980.

To better health,
Dr Nor

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