Thinking About Pregnancy
Thinking About Pregnancy by Famhealth
Having a baby can be an amazing experience and certainly deserves well thought out planning. How can we start planning and what comprises planning are questions that worry women and men who want to start a family. All these questions and many more will be answered in this series called Mother & Baby Care.
Why Should Pregnancy Be Planned?
- It increases the chances of conception and those of having a normal healthy baby.
- It helps the mother get back to normal health and shape at the earliest.
How much time should be assigned for planning?
The ideal time would be 3 months before the baby is conceived since in the initial weeks the baby develops radically and yet one may not be aware that conception has happened.
Requirements during the planning stage?
- Nutritious Diet: Nutritionist Nidhi Agarwal Khemka stresses on a good diet for both parents and suggests that they should make these changes together. A healthy nutritious meal is needed by the mother to be because she will nurture the baby while a healthy diet is needed by the father as the sperm quality can be adversely affected by bad diet, alcohol and smoking. It is a good idea to know if one is nutritionally deficient in any vitamin or mineral before conceiving as deficiency of folic acid may lead to neural tube defects in the baby while low levels of iron may lead to excess fatigue and complications.
- Fitness: Keeping physically fit and active
- Avoiding Stress: It is imperative to avoid work related stress when one plans to conceive.
- Keeping Records: Check old vaccination cards to see if all the vaccines were given as absence of some may be fatal to the baby and could cause birth defects. Also avoid contact with chemicals and xrays that may lead to problems in conceiving. Check with the doctor about conditions like thyroid, diabetes, hypertension or epilepsy before getting pregnant.
- The Right Weight: Keep a check on the weighing scale as both overweight and underweight mothers may need a doctor’s advice to come to the ideal weight. One should never follow fad diets during pregnancy planning.
The couple must talk to each other and the immediate family about planning for the baby as this makes everyone involved and prepared. It also gives that much needed time to work out any issues that may crop up during pregnancy while increasing the support system around.
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