. Preconception Care Tips For Planning Pregnancy | The CK Birla Hospital
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Healthy lifestyle tips for preconception
Healthy lifestyle tips for preconception

Things you need to know

Things you need to know

Pre pregnancy health

Pre pregnancy health

Pre pregnancy health is your health before you become pregnant. It is an essential step in helping you prepare for a healthy conception. Planning for a pregnancy includes incorporating a healthy lifestyle, keeping a check on your symptoms and consulting your healthcare provider for an early checkup. 

 

A planned pregnancy reduces your chances of pregnancy and birthing complications such as miscarriage and neural tube defects. Your obstetrician can help you tailor-make a specialised plan according to your lifestyle and health goals. 

Pre pregnancy health checkup

Pre pregnancy health checkup

If you are trying for a plan, you should plan a preconception visit to your obstetrician. A prepregnancy health check can help you identify your existing health concerns. Your healthcare provider can offer personalised ways to help manage and treat your medical condition if any. 

 

If you are already receiving treatment for a medical problem, your doctor can alter your medication in order to treat your condition as well as boost your conception. A health checkup before planning conception can also help you to identify unhealthy motherhood lifestyle behaviours and patterns. 

 

Your doctor will thoroughly discuss your overall health followed by a physical examination. He/she may also order certain tests and scans to gain a better understanding. Common tests performed during preconception visits include Pap smears, cervical screening, dental checks and screenings for sexually transmitted infections. 

 

During your preconception visit, your doctor may also check if your vaccinations are complete and up-to-date for a healthy pregnancy. 

Folic acid supplementation

Folic acid supplementation

Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin essential for the growth and development of a baby. It majorly helps in the prevention of neural tube defects (health defects of the brain and spine).  

 

If you are planning to conceive, you should start taking 400-800 micrograms (0.4-0.8 mg) of folic acid every day. It is recommended that women start taking folic acid supplementation at least 1 month before pregnancy for healthy outcomes.

Stop smoking and drinking

Stop smoking and drinking

Smoking and alcohol consumption before or during pregnancy can increase your chances of health problems and defects. It is essential that you avoid smoking and drinking while trying to conceive. Alcohol intake and smoking before or during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage and other health problems.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintain a healthy weight

Being underweight or overweight can raise your chances of developing health problems during pregnancy. Obesity can lead to complications including gestational diabetes and heart diseases. It is important to make necessary lifestyle changes and attain as well as maintain a healthy weight before pregnancy.

Genetic counselling

Genetic counselling

Your personal and family history is important for the health of your child. Understanding your comprehensive medical history can help you take necessary precautions. If you are planning to get pregnant, you should seek genetic counselling from your healthcare provider. Genetic counselling includes detailed discussions, health checks and certain tests and screenings. These investigations allow you to become aware of your genetic conditions and understand your child’s risk for developing the same.

Genetic counsellors offer a variety of treatment alternatives personalised to your need to help prevent the development of a certain disorder. 

Reduce stress

Reduce stress

Stress can interfere with the process of conception. You should aim to reduce your stress levels and maintain a healthy peace of mind while trying to conceive. Healthy eating, regular exercises, yoga and meditation are some mechanisms you can use to deal with stress.

Track your cycle

Track your cycle

Every month, your ovary releases a mature egg which travels down to the fallopian tube where it can be fertilised with sperm. This process is known as ovulation.

Your chances of conception are highest 5 days before or on the day of ovulation. This period is known as your ‘fertile window’. It is, thus, beneficial to keep a track of your menstrual and ovulatory cycles. Keeping a note of your ovulation allows you to plan your pregnancy on the days when you are most fertile, increasing your chances of conception.

Your partner’s role

Your partner’s role

Your partner’s health before you try for a baby is equally important. You should involve your partner in the pregnancy and birthing plan. Your partner can support you in multiple ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Your partner should:

 

FAQs
FAQs

You should start taking active measures for preconception at least 3-6 months in advance.

Common genetic conditions that can impact your fetus include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia, Tay-Sachs disease and haemophilia.

You should track your ovulation, have frequent intercourse, eat healthily, exercise regularly and reduce stress to increase your chances of pregnancy.