Before getting pregnant: Things to keep in mind

For a healthy baby, care should be started before pregnancy. You won’t know that you are pregnant until you are 3 weeks.

Conceiving takes place 2 weeks before your missed period. And the first few weeks are really important since most of the organs like heart develop during this period. A healthy baby is developed from a healthy sperm and ova.

A sperm usually takes 3 months to mature; environmental factors can hinder its health. And final phase of ova also takes approximately 3 months. So if you are planning to get pregnant please consider the following

1. Track your ovulation: Pregnancy is only possible during the five days before ovulation to the day of ovulation. So track your ovulation.

2. Folic acid supplements: Consider taking folic acid (vitamin B9) 3 months before getting pregnant. If you take folic acid tablets in early pregnancy it can reduce the risk of having a baby born with a spinal cord problem such as spina bifida

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3. Stop Alcohol, Smoking, illicit drugs if you are planning for a baby both partners should using alcohol,smoking or any drugs

4. Vitamin D supplements. Most of the women lack vitamin D which helps in the growth and bone development. And vitamin D3 is needed for Calcium absorption. It is better to get the blood test estimation done and if deficient take vitamin D supplements.

5. Screening Blood test and Hepatitis B vaccination: if any genetic disease is running in your family please inform it to your doctor. Ask if there any test needed.

If you are at high risk of catching hepatitis B, like if you are a healthcare worker, or partner who had hepatitis etc you should be vaccinated before becoming pregnant.

6. Find a good doctor and hospital facilities: For this you can discuss with your friends who already have a baby

7. Medical conditions and drugs: Women who are taking medicines for diabetes and thyroid disorders or any other condition should talk to the doctor. The doctor will prescribe the safer option. Those who are prone to certain condition or has a family history should also talk to the doctor .Those who are on anti depressants should not suddenly stop the medication your doctor can help you. And make sure you know all the medicines which are safer and contraindicated during this period

8. Body weight and what to eat during pregnancy: Maintain a healthy body weight is essential throughout pregnancy. It is healthy to gain between 10 to 12 kg from the normal BMI. An extra 300 -450 calories is needed in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Some doctors have an opinion of taking proteins and essential fatty acids, more as the extra calorie since proteins and essential amino acids helps in growth. There are certain foods which is better to avoid during pregnancy.

9. Physical and mental strain can affect the baby’s health. It can restrict baby’s growth. Make sure you are happy and relaxed

10. Exercise: Maintaining a regular exercise throughout pregnancy can help you stay healthy and helps in overall blood flow. But Don’t strain yourself if you weren’t exercising before. A simple floor exercise and breathing exercise can help.

11.Visit to a dentist : pregnancy hormones will make your teeth vulnerable to decay so visit your dentist and get all the cavities fixed before is also better to do before pregnancy to avoid all those xrays if needed.

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