Pre-pregnancy health is the health of a woman before she becomes pregnant. It means to know and understand how health-related situations and factors that can be risky may affect a woman or her unborn child when she will become pregnant. For example, some kinds of foods, habits, and some medicines can be harmful to your baby — even earlier than she or he is conceived. Some health problems, like diabetes, can also affect your pregnancy.
Health care before pregnancy ought to begin before a woman gets pregnant. If you are ready to be a parent and are making plans for pregnancy, see your health care provider for an entire checkup. Routine testing can ensure you are in suitable health and that you have no illnesses or any different conditions that might affect your pregnancy. If you have been having any uncommon symptoms, this is a great time to start filing them.
If you are already taking treatment for any chronic condition — which includes diabetes, asthma, excessive blood pressure, a coronary heart problem, allergies, lupus, depression, or any other condition — communicate to your physician accordingly so that you know whether it can affect your pregnancy.
You can also additionally want to change or stop using a few medicines — especially the first trimester (12 weeks) — to lessen the chance of risk to the fetus. Or you may even want to be extra cautious about coping with your condition. For example, women with diabetes must take greater care to keep their blood sugar stages under control both before trying to conceive and during pregnancy. This is likewise a very good time to speak with your health care provider about any behavior that may bring a change by harming your baby, which includes consuming alcohol or smoking.
Why it is important and what can be done:
Every woman must be considering knowing about her health and staying healthy whether she is making plans to get pregnant. One of the main problems is that approximately half of all pregnancies are not planned. Unplanned pregnancies have a higher risk of pre-term birth and having low birth weight babies. Another problem is that, regardless of critical advances in medication and prenatal care, approximately 1 in eight babies is born too early. Researchers are searching for answers about why and how you reduce or prevent preterm birth. But expert opinion agrees with the fact that women need to be healthier before turning pregnant. By learning and keeping track of health problems and dangers and risks before getting pregnant, you could save yourself a lot of trouble that would influence you or your baby later.
Women and men, both must put equal effort and preparation for getting pregnant, before turning sexually active — or at the least 3 months earlier than getting pregnant. Some actions, including quitting smoking, achieving a healthy weight, or adjusting the medicines you might be using, have to begin even earlier.
- Make sure you take four hundred to eight hundred micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid each day in case you are making plans or can be pregnant in order to decrease your chances of a few birth defects of the brain and spine, inclusive of spina bifida. All women need to consume folic acid every day. Talk to your doctor regarding your folic acid needs. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that include better quantities of folic acid.
- Quit smoking and consuming alcohol.
- If you have any medical condition, make sure it is completely under control. Some situations that may affect being pregnant or be affected by it encompasses asthma, diabetes, oral fitness, obesity, or epilepsy.
- Contact your doctor and talk to him about any over the counter and prescription medicines you might be using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be certain your vaccinations are also up to date.
- Avoid touching any poisonous materials or substances that might cause contamination at your workplace or at your home. Stay far away from chemical compounds and cat or rodent feces.
Where you can find Pre-pregnancy Care
Pregnant women are commonly cared for by:
- Obstetricians: They are doctors who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth.
- Obstetricians/gynecologists (OB/GYNs): Doctors who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to women’s health care.
- Family practitioners: Doctors who offer quite several services for sufferers of all ages (sometimes, this consists of obstetrical care) instead of focusing just on one area.
- licensed nurse-midwife: It is an advanced practice nurse focusing on a woman’s health care needs, consisting of prenatal care, labor, and delivery, and taking care of postpartum care for pregnancies without any issues.
Any of the above care providers are a great preference if you are keeping healthy and there may be no other reasons to expect issues along with your pregnancy or your delivery. However, nurse-midwives also need to have a doctor to be had for the time of delivery in case a C-section needs to be done.
If you have any kind of high risk about your pregnancy, your health care provider might also additionally refer you to a physician. Some of the issues may be having a chronic condition like diabetes or heart issues, having an elevated chance of preterm labor, if you are older than 35, are pregnant with multiple babies, or having any other complicated issue that could be placed in a high-risk category.
Even if you think your pregnancy is not of high risk, this could nonetheless be a great time to try to change your health care provider if you are now no longer comfortable with your present doctor.
Weight gain in pregnancy
A lot of you out there might be thinking about getting pregnant or might already be. Some of you might have questions about weight gain. In general, a normal weight female should gain about 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy period. For women who have gained weight and begin their pregnancy with an overweight, total weight gain should be close to 15-25 pounds. Underweight people should make sure they gain 28-40 pounds.
Controlling the increase in your weight becomes a lot more difficult in late pregnancy. Therefore, try to avoid excessive weight gain during the first few months. However, not gaining enough weight can cause some problems too, like poor fetal growth and premature labor.
Pregnancy is not a good time to start a diet, but it is the best time to enjoy eating healthier foods. Doctors recommend that women should add about 300 calories to their daily intake to help nourish the developing baby. Vitamin supplements you consume should supply most of these calories, but your diet also should include plenty of fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables.
All health care providers usually do prescribe prenatal vitamins to make sure you get enough iron, calcium, and folic acid. This is also a great time to practice regular, low-impact exercise.
Another thing you need to make sure of is your and your baby’s health. For your baby’s sake and yours, it is important to take especially good care of yourself during your pregnancy. Remember to not smoke, drink alcohol, or take any drugs. Get enough rest. Eat a healthy diet. Over-the-counter medicines are usually considered off-limits because of their potential effects on the baby. Most doctors do not recommend taking any OTC medicines as much as possible, but they may offer you a list of those they think are safe. Be sure to discuss any questions or queries you have about medicines (including natural remedies, supplements, and vitamins) with your doctor.
You or your partner may have several illnesses. They may vary. But, if you or the partner has a family history of any genetic ailment and then you need to expect both or any one of you to be a carrier, checking out your genes can be wise. Talk this over with your health care provider, who can refer you to a genetic counselor if necessary. It is additionally a great concept to exercise regularly and reduce smoking and drinking alcohol. Also, ensure your immunizations are updated and to get your annual flu shot. If you discover you are pregnant before you get a chance to do all of this, there is no need to worry. It is still not that late to get all the care that you and your baby may need.
When to contact your Health Care Provider
It is completely okay for your body to go through physical changes. But, when this happens it can feel new to you, it may not always be that easy to speak to your health care provider. You may be questioning whether you may have sex or what to do about hemorrhoids or constipation, or you may also feel concerned about your delivery. You would sense a state of embarrassment to ask such or even other questions you have in mind, however it is vital to do so and remember, your health care provider has already heard all of them a lot more times before. Keep a list of all the questions you want to ask and take it with you on every visit. Also, make sure to call your doctor if you have heavy bleeding, a sudden loss of fluid, a noticeable absence of your baby’s movement, or if you have more than 3 contractions in an hour.
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