So a baby has been on your mind for sometime now and you are all set to join the parent’s club? Well, before you take the proverbial plunge, there are a few important things you must consider to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby!
1. Stay away from toxic substances
We are surrounded by many environmental pollutants that are harmful for pregnant women. These could be synthetic chemicals, metals, fertilizers and pesticides, bug sprays even rodent feces; all of which are harmful for your baby and you. So make sure you avoid exposure to any of these toxins.
If you have previously been exposed to any of these, then it is best to consult your physician before planning a pregnancy.
Exposure to such pollutants is also known to affect your husband’s and your fertility adversely!
2. Combat obesity
It is best to get a full body health check up done in the planning stage itself.
If you have a high BMI (body mass index) already, then turn to your doctor for advice. Follow a diet and exercise routine to balance your weight before conception because you don’t want to invite troubles like gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and preeclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension) in the later stages.
Exercising even if your weight is normal can help you stay fit and active throughout pregnancy.
3. Deal with diabetes
If you have diabetes and are planning the baby, check with your doctor and make sure it is under control before you conceive.
Irrespective of whether you have diabetes or not, your blood sugar will bechecked regularly during pregnancy for gestational diabetes.
4. Aim to eat healthy
A healthy and balanced diet is an essential ingredient for a healthy pregnancy! So include those vegetables, fruits, milk, cereals, eggs and meats in your diet. In addition to the diet, you might also need the following supplements.
|Folic acid||About 400 mcg of folic acid is required every day before planning for a baby until upto 12 weeks of pregnancy. Some pregnant women may need higher doses.|
|Vitamin D||Since it is found in few foods, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 mcg of vitamin D.|
|Iron||If you are anemic (have low hemoglobin level) and frequently get tired, you may be suffering from iron deficiency. Consult your doctor for the appropriate supplements.|
|Calcium||Though there are many foods that are rich in calcium, if your doctor feels you are not getting enough, he may prescribe calcium supplements.|
* Make sure you consult your doctor before taking any of the above supplements.
5. Get your vaccines
Before conceiving, update yourself with an adult vaccine schedule. Discuss your pre-pregnancy vaccination schedule with your healthcare professional.
6. Foods to keep at bay
When you are trying to conceive, avoid Vitamin A rich foods. Fish like tuna, salmon, processed food and caffeine all fall in the category that proves harmful.