Planning and preparation before the
final reality of having a baby is one of the most exciting time in any
couple's life. But before planning a pregnancy, the best thing one can
do is to prepare your body. After all your body is going to be the baby's
home for its first 9 months. So making that home as healthy as possible
should be first on your agenda.
Go For A Preconception
Which is why most doctors recommend
a preconception checkup. This visit enables your doctor to uncover any
potential health problems before you get pregnant. The problems can then
be prevented or treated and of course this will also give your doctor a
head start to manage your pregnancy appropriately. It will also give you
time to change your lifestyle, maximize your health, improve your chances
of conceiving and remove chances of any potential dangers to the baby.
A preconception checkup is quite similar to the normal first prenatal visit.
Discuss the following
with your doctor -
Family history of genetic diseases and
The pattern of your menstrual periods.
This will be helpful in determining any abnormalities that should be treated
before you become pregnant.
Any exposure to x-rays or poisons like
lead etc., either at work or home.
General health - any serious or chronic
diseases that you may have had - diabetes, low or high blood pressure,
heart disease, epilepsy. There might be need to change some medications
Any history of sexually transmitted
diseases as this makes conception difficult, might harm a developing baby
or cause some other complications during pregnancy.
Medications - Even some over the counter drugs can affect the developing baby, so telling your doctor about every
medicine that you are taking is essential. The doctor might want to change
some medications and stop some before trying to conceive.
Vitamin and mineral supplements - high
doses of these can also harm the fetus. So let your doctor determine the
correct dosage of these for you.
Birth control measures - An IUD makes
chances of conception difficult and also increases the risk of miscarriages.
If you have been using birth control pills, it will take few weeks to 3
months for your body to return to its normal hormonal cycles so that you
can become pregnant.
Prior pregnancies - Any problems with
previous pregnancies can affect future pregnancies. Tell your doctor about
any complications that were experienced like miscarriages, induced abortion
or premature or multiple births.
Vaccinations- Complete and accurate
information about your vaccinations to date should be supplied to the doctor.
Tests To Do
A pelvic exam and a pap smear will help
identify any problems with the pelvic region or the birth canal. Further
tests if your doctor recommends.
Check your weight.
Blood and urine tests - Blood tests for
anaemia and determining the Rh factor. Urine would be analyzed for signs
of kidney diseases or diabetes. Tests for hepatitis B, syphilis and gonorrhea
because these diseases can cause serious harm to the developing baby. Gonorrhea
and syphilis can be cured prior to pregnancy. If you have hepatitis B the
doctor will be prepared to give the baby hepatitis B immune globulin and
the hepatitis B vaccine. Because the virus that causes AIDS can be passed
to the baby, if you are at risk for AIDS, an HIV test will also be done
at this visit.
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- The Indiaparenting Team