Planning Pregnantcy: What to Do Before Getting Pregnant
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If you are going to become a mother, you will have to start preparations at least three months before the planned conception. You should identify and possibly eliminate all possible risks for you and your future baby. Preparing for pregnancy, you will have to change your lifestyle and eating habits, take more exercise. Besides that, you and your partner should undergo certain pre-pregnancy checkups and analyses.
Preparation for Pregnancy
Start your preparation to conceive with visiting your doctor. It`s a chance to talk over any health issues especially if you suffer from some chronic disease or a medical condition such as epilepsy, asthma, or diabetes. The doctor may change the treatment and medications you get.
The doctor will also ask you about your eating habits, whether you suffer from any mental disorders such as depression, conditions of work, and problems with periods. If you are overweight (the body mass index is over 30), he or she will give recommendations of how to normalize the weight.
One of the most important questions is the medical history of your and your partner`s families, i.e., if you have had any cases of Down`s syndrome, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia or cystic fibrosis in the families. This information is very important for the doctor to give you proper advice and support.
You should inform the doctor about any cases of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and other complications that you have had. Knowing about the past, the specialist will be able to provide you with adequate care.
Necessary Analyses and Tests
1. Blood tests.
These tests provide information of many health problems, either existing or those ones that may arise in during and after the pregnancy. They will show the quality of blood as for anemia, which can be harmful to you and your future baby. In case of iron deficit, the doctor will prescribe the necessary medication.
It`s also necessary to know about the blood group and rhesus factor. Mother`s rhesus negative blood requires medical attention.
2. Tests for infections control.
Some infections occurring before conception and especially during pregnancy can be very harmful to a fetus. They can provoke miscarriage or birth defects Therefore, planning to get pregnant, you should get ensured that you are free from or have antibodies to such diseases as rubella, toxoplasmosis, listeria, chickenpox, and cytomegalovirus. The tests will show if you`ve been vaccinated against these preventable infections. If you need to get vaccinated with a live viral vaccine, you should wait one month before conceiving.
3. Screening tests for STIs.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV. If, according to the results of the tests, you have got any of them, the doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment that will greatly increase your chance of having a healthy baby.
4. Tests for hereditary, or genetic, diseases.
Taking these tests are recommended to all people who are planning to have a baby. They are strictly advisable in the following cases:
- If you or your relatives had or have any genetic diseases caused by hereditary.
- If you are worried that your baby may be affected as a result of your taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, sedatives, and others.
- If a female is over 35 years old and/or a male is over 40.
- If you have had a child with birth defects or genetic abnormalities.
5. Seminal analysis.
This test for men includes semen count and evaluation of semen volume, morphology, motility, and acidity of semen.
6. Tests to check the quantity of some minerals and vitamins.
Of main concern are iron, folic acid, and iodine. If you suffer from the deficit of any of these substances, there may be problems with the development of the fetus, namely with the buildup of the brain and nervous system and supply of oxygen to the fetus. Take supplements, for example, Prenatal Multivitamin by Quality Nature , on the stage of pregnancy planning, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding. This supplement contains scientifically verified quantities of all necessary minerals and vitamins.