If you plan to conceive, you must have scheduled a preconception visit, stacked folic acid supplements to take during pregnancy and gradually stop smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
If you thought pregnancy is all about waiting for 9 months, giving birth to a baby and going with the flow, you are wrong. There are certain things that you must do before you get pregnant to even come out of pregnancy safe and healthy.
It is of utmost important to start planning for a baby even before pregnancy starts. Here are things that you should do before you get pregnant.
Schedule Preconception Visit
Preconception visit does not imply that you need to flood your phonebook with contact numbers of midwives or obstetricians. Get yourself a preconception visit scheduled so that your practitioner can review your personal and family medical history, personal health and any medications that you may be taking. Certain types of medicines are dangerous during pregnancy and some have to be refrained from way before you even think of conceiving because they tend to stick to the fat and linger there.
Your practitioner must also discuss diet, exercise, weight and any unhealthy habits that you may be having.
Take Folic Acid
Taking folic acid supplements is important before and during pregnancy. By consuming 400 mcg of folic acid per day for a month before conception and during the first trimester, a woman can cut her chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects by 50 to 70 percent. Taking folic acid regularly before and during pregnancy militates against the birth of babies with birth defects.
Give Up Smoking, Drinking and Drugs
If you take drugs or smoke, conception is the time to finally put an end to it. Several studies have shown that taking drugs and smoking lead to premature birth, low-birth weight babies and miscarriage. Keep in mind the fact that some drugs stay in the system even after their noticeable effects have withdrawn.
Use of tobacco during or before pregnancy affects the fertility in a woman and reduces sperm count in a man.
Alcohol can impede conception and therefore, it is important that you cut its consumption even before you think of conceiving. Abstain from consuming alcohol altogether during the last two week of your cycle. Drinking alcohol at the time of pregnancy causes birth defects and other problems for the developing baby. If you find it difficult to quit smoking, drinking and other unhealthy habits, do not hesitate to talk about it with your physician. Your local health department may be able to help you connect with counsellors and group programs.
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