Preconception Care and You
Preparing for pregnancy is something that you can get a head start on even before you’re ready to conceive. There are changes that you can start making as far as your diet and lifestyle so that you can not only improve your chances of getting pregnant more easily but also help to ensure a healthier pregnancy.
What You Eat
Most women understand that eating a balanced diet is the way to go for your health and your weight, but few give thought to the impact that diet and a healthy weight can have on pregnancy. Doing your best to keep your weight in check can help you with complications related to conception and pregnancy. Obesity affects hormone levels which can interfere with your fertility. Excess weight can also increase your chances of or worsen conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and more. By improving your diet habits and becoming more active, you’re improving your health for before, during and after pregnancy. Speaking to your doctor about improving your dietary and activity habits is an important part of preconception care.
Folic Acid and Prenatal Supplements
Along with making better food choices, implementing folic acid into your diet is another step in the right direction if you’re planning to get pregnant. Folic acid is vital in the first month of pregnancy as it helps to develop the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Most women don’t get enough folic acid in the early stages of their pregnancy; often because they haven’t realized that they’re pregnant yet. By getting a head start and incorporating a folic acid supplement into your diet, you’re doing a big part in preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Getting sufficient folic acid before pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
If you have any medical conditions and are thinking of having a baby anytime soon, then you need to consider your pre-existing conditions. For instance, if you are diabetic, now is the time to speak to your doctor about how diabetes can affect your pregnancy and what you can do to help get it under control. Considering your health conditions as a part of your preconception care is important whether you consider the condition serious or not. It’s important to make sure that you understand its relation to pregnancy and what risks, if any, may be involved. This doesn’t only mean things such as heart conditions, diabetes and cancer, but even something like a sexually transmitted disease as they can interfere with fertility and pose health risks to your unborn baby.