Planning for a Pregnancy
Once you have reached the big decision to have a baby you can
begin planning for your pregnancy. Planning for a pregnancy can
greatly benefit the health mother and baby. It is intended to
help reduce the chance of birth defects and create a healthy environment
for both of them.
What Should You Discuss With Your Doctor?
Before getting pregnant you should make an appointment with your
health care provider. This is especially true for women over 30.
During your intial appointment you should discuss:
- Your diet so that you make sure that you are adequately addressing
your and the baby's nutritional needs.
- Your physical activity level.
This will help ascertain if you are getting enough exercise.
- Whether you or your partner are a smoker.
- Whether you or your partner drinks alcohol.
Alcohol intake can inhibit fertility as well as cause birth
- Whether you use illegal substances like marijuana or other
- Your mental health concerns
- The current medications that you are taking (this includes
both prescription and over the counter medications). You should
ask which are safe to continue taking and which may harm the
- Your current health condition and health concerns
It is especially important for women who suffer from diabetes,
high blood pressure, eating disorders, or depression to these
things with their doctor before becoming pregnant.
- Chronic medical conditions
- Family health history
- Your immunization history
This will determine if your shots are up to date or whether
you need to be vaccinated for certain diseases like Chickenpox
and Rubella. Vaccinations of this type should occur at least
3 months prior to pregnancy.
- Sexual history
This will determine whether you need to be screened for sexually
transmitted disease, Hepatitis B, or toxoplasmosis.
- HIV status of the mother
There are certain medications that can be prescribed to the
mother during pregnancy to help decrease certain risks to both
the mother and the baby.
Medical Tests Before Pregnancy
Your doctor will also be able to assist you in determining genetic
testing you may want to seek out before becoming pregnant. These
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Cystic fibrosis
Health Tips Before Becoming Pregnant?
Your health care provider will likely recommend:
- An increase in your daily folic acid intake.
- Avoid Caffeine
- Cut back on alcohol, or better yet completely abstain
- Cease tobacco usage
- Continue or improve your exercising habits
- Improve your diet
- Stop taking oral contraception 3 about months prior to trying
to conceive. Or at least try to wait until you have had at least
one regular menstrual period.
- Increase your water intake
- Get your dental cleaning and dental care up to date before
- Take prenatal vitamins