Family Planning – Preconception care

Effective Preconception Care for a Healthy Pregnancy

When you think about giving birth to a new life, you need to provide the utmost care to your life first. That’s why preconception care is essential for every woman to have a fulfilling and healthy pregnancy. Many women put their as well as their babies’ lives at risk by not planning their pregnancy as the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or premature birth increases due to the lack of preconception care. Hence, keep the below-mentioned tips in mind to ensure amazing preconception care for you.

Get Checkups Done

To ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy, opt for various checkups for the problems such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and any other chronic ailment. Also, learn from your doctor about the management of diabetes, thyroid problem, obesity, eating disorders, depression and asthma if you are suffering such issues.

Assess Lifestyle and Behavior

A woman wishing to get pregnant must make healthy food choices. Avoiding to smoke and drinking alcohol 4 months prior to planning a pregnancy is recommended as these habits can be detrimental for reproductive health. You should also avoid stress and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Moreover, go for light exercises under your doctor’s supervision once you are pregnant.

Know Your Medicines and Get Vaccinated

Having certain medicines during pregnancy can cause birth defects. Hence, discuss with your doctor first if you take some prescription or over-the-counter medications. Any herbal or dietary supplement must be taken only after consulting a doctor.

Furthermore, don’t forget to get vaccinated before, during and after pregnancy to ensure better health for you. Few expert-recommended vaccines are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, MMR, meningococcal, polio and TDP.

Ensure Regular Folic Acid Dose

Taking 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid is essential for a pregnant woman every day to lower the risk of various birth defects related to the brain and spine. Consult your doctor before choosing a source of folic acid. They may prescribe some prenatal vitamins that are rich in folic acids.

Avoid Environmental Contaminants & Toxic Substances

Reduce or cut the exposure to hazardous chemicals, environmental contaminants and many other toxic substances like metals, fertilizers, synthetic chemicals, bug spray, rodent or cat faeces at home or office. As per the experts, having exposure to such substances can deter the reproductive health of both men and women.

What Men Can Do?

A man also contributes to helping a woman get pregnant. Thus, he must also take certain precautions while In the family planning mode:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking or illegal drug usage, eating healthy and managing stress can help men in improving their reproductive health. As per medical experts, men who smoke, drink a lot and use illegal drugs can have issues with their sperm quality. Hence, ask your partner to quit these habits to ensure you don’t have any problem with getting pregnant. If a man doesn’t stop smoking, then maintain a distance from him while he smokes to keep secondhand smoke away from you.
  • Men should also undergo screening of sexually transmitted infections to make sure infections are not passed to females.
  • Ask your male partner to discuss with the doctor regarding his health and medicines he uses.
  • Men working in the chemical or other toxins related organizations should not expose their clothes to women. They should handle as well as wash clothes separately.

Make sure to stay healthy during pregnancy by incorporating good habits in your lifestyle after you are done following the above tips. Also, see your doctor regularly to ensure amazing prenatal care.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors