Several important steps you should take to ensure a smooth pregnancy
If you are planning to get pregnant, there are several important steps you should take to increase your chances of conception and ensure a smooth pregnancy.
Consider the following 10 suggestions before you start trying to conceive:
Begin taking vitamin supplements: Taking nutritional supplements, particularly those containing folic acid, is crucial during the pre-pregnancy period and early weeks of pregnancy. Start taking these supplements immediately when you intend to become pregnant to ensure you receive essential nutrients at the right time.
Stop using birth control: While most birth control methods do not negatively impact fertility, some may require time for reproductive function to return to normal. After discontinuing certain methods, such as Depo-Provera injections, it may take several months or longer for conception to occur.
Quit smoking: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and various complications. Since you cannot predict the exact time of conception, it's best to quit smoking as soon as you decide to have a baby.
Consult an obstetrician: Choosing a healthcare provider who can support you throughout the entire pregnancy journey is essential. Seek advice from an obstetrician before getting pregnant to address any health concerns or fertility-related questions. If needed, consider visiting multiple clinics to find the most suitable doctor for you.
Plan for screening tests and blood tests: Screening tests can help identify potential genetic risks for you and your partner, which could impact the health of your future baby. Consult with a doctor to determine the appropriate tests based on your health condition. Additionally, your doctor may perform a blood test to check for rubella immunity and administer the rubella vaccine if necessary. If you haven't been vaccinated against tetanus in the past five years, it's recommended to receive a combined vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis before pregnancy.
Manage chronic diseases: If you have any chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, asthma, thyroid disease, epilepsy, or mental disorders, it's crucial to control them effectively before pregnancy. Seek guidance from your doctor or specialists to optimize disease management and receive the necessary support during your pre-pregnancy planning.
Carefully consider medication usage: Consult your doctor about the safety of any medications you are currently taking before and during pregnancy. It's best to avoid taking medications without a doctor's prescription during this critical period.
Limit alcohol consumption: While preparing for pregnancy, it's advisable to minimize or abstain from alcohol consumption. Since the exact time of conception is unpredictable, it's better to err on the side of caution and avoid alcoholic beverages.
Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, cesarean section, miscarriage, and birth defects. If you are overweight, it's recommended to delay pregnancy until you achieve a reasonable and suitable weight for optimal pregnancy health.
Ensure financial stability: Taking care of a pregnant woman and giving birth can be financially demanding, even with maternity insurance. Discuss the financial aspects with your partner and family to prepare for the costs associated with prenatal care, delivery, postpartum care, and raising a child.
By following these 10 steps, you can enhance your readiness for pregnancy and increase the likelihood of a healthy and successful journey to parenthood.