Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023
Preconception Planning - 9 Things You Should Be Aware of
Written and reviewed by
Dr. Neha Lalla
91% (122 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery
10 years experience
Preconception planning and health care focus on things you can do before and between pregnancies to increase your odds of having a healthy child. For a few women, preparing their body for pregnancy takes a couple of months. For others, it may take longer. Here are a few things you should consider in your preconception planning:
- See your doctor: Before getting pregnant, consult a doctor and talk to them about the preconception healthcare needs. The doctor will need to examine your family history and any other medical conditions you may have at present that could influence your future pregnancy.
- Medical conditions: In case you have any medicinal conditions, make sure they are under control and being dealt with properly. Some of these conditions include: STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), diabetes, thyroid, phenylketonuria (PKU), seizures, hypertension, joint inflammation, dietary issues and other chronic diseases.
- Lifestyle and behavior: Consult a doctor or a specialist in case you smoke, drink liquor or use drugs; live in an unpleasant or oppressive environment; or work with or live around harmful substances.
- Medication: Consuming certain medicines during pregnancy can bring about genuine birth defects. These include some remedy and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and dietary or home grown supplements. In case you are planning a pregnancy, you need to examine the requirement for any medicine with your specialist before becoming pregnant and ensure you are taking just those medicines that are vital.
- Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day: Folic acid is a vital nutrient that the body requires, especially during pregnancy. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least one month before and during pregnancy, it can prevent some birth defects of the infant's brain and spine.
- Quit drinking alcohol, smoking, and using drugs: Smoking, drinking liquor and consuming drugs can bring about numerous issues during pregnancy for a woman and her child which may include untimely birth, birth imperfections, and newborn death.
- Dodge toxic substances and environmental contaminants: Dodge lethal substances and other ecological contaminants and destructive materials at work or at home. For example, engineered chemicals, metals, bug sprays, fertilizers and animal faeces.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Women who are overweight have a higher risk for some serious conditions, including complications during pregnancy, coronary disease, type-2 diabetes and certain other diseases (endometrial, bosom, and colon). Women who are underweight are likewise at risk for other medical issues. The way to accomplish and keep up a sound weight is not about short-term dietary changes. One should maintain it throughout in order to stay healthy and fit.
- Family history: Gathering your family's health history can be critical for your child’s well-being. Depending upon your family history, you might be recommended to genetic counselling by your doctor. Women go for genetic counselling owing to different reasons such as having had premature deliveries in the past, an infant’s death, infertility, or even a hereditary condition or birth defect that happened during a past pregnancy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.
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