My Pregnancy Guide
My Pregnancy Guide My Preconception My Pregnancy My Motherhood Pregnancy Tools & Stuff Pregnancy Shopping
 
.
.
Preparing your body for pregnancy
Financial, Practical and Emotional Considerations
Trying to Conceive
Difficulty Conceiving
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Women's Health Plan Ahead For A Healthy Baby

Women's Health – Plan Ahead For A Healthy Baby


Your preconception health can make a world of difference when it comes to your baby's growth and development. By planning ahead and preparing yourself for pregnancy, you can increase your chances of having a healthy child. While you cannot eliminate all of the risks, good pre-pregnancy health will protect you against many pregnancy complications.

The first step is scheduling an appointment with your physician. Your doctor will ask about your family history, as well as any diseases or illnesses you currently have or have had in the past. He or she will perform a physical exam, including a Pap test, to make sure that your reproductive organs are working properly. If you are over the age of 35, certain risks increase, and your doctor will recommend that you undergo genetic testing.

You should begin taking a folic acid supplement at least a month before you plan on becoming pregnant. Folic acid is essential to the development of your baby, and lowers the odds that your child will be born with spina bifida or anencephaly. These genetic defects occur in the weeks immediately following conception, so ensuring that you are getting at least 400 micrograms a day of folic acid is important.

A lot of prescription medication is not safe to take at the time of conception. If you are taking any prescription drugs, discuss alternate methods of treatment with your doctor. Avoid taking herbal supplements or regular vitamins until you have spoken to your health care provider.

Pay close attention to your diet, and eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, and whole grains. Check your Body Mass Index to see if you are within the normal range of weight. If you are overweight, you will need to lose weight before you become pregnant.

You may need to make some lifestyle changes - if you smoke, stop before you conceive. Women who smoke during pregnancy have an increased risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby. Also, studies have linked some cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) with cigarette smoking during pregnancy.

If you drink alcohol or use any recreational drugs, you need to quit for the sake of your own health and the well being of your baby. Alcohol and drugs can impede conception, and these substances are extremely dangerous to a fetus. No amount of alcohol or drugs is safe during pregnancy, and there are various programs and support groups to help you through withdrawal.

 


 
Find Your Baby's Name
Free Pregnancy and Baby Website