7 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
Would you like to start or to expand your family? Are you already expecting? If so, congratulations! The entire staff of Midwest Center For Women’s Healthcare is here to support you during this exciting time.
Regardless if you are already expecting or considering expanding your family, Midwest Center for Women’s HealthCare would like you to provide you with some information to help you prepare for a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Make a pre-pregnancy appointment with your doctor
Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman’s life, especially when she is prepared. Make an appointment with your doctor now to discuss your pregnancy plans. To help you conceive and avoid pregnancy complications, it is important to discuss your current and past medical history, medications you may be taking, prior pregnancies, birth control history, past menstrual problems that may signal conception issues, dietary and exercise history, occupational exposures, pets and immunization history.
Discuss your current and past medical history with your doctor
Do you have any current or past medical problems? Hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney problems, depression, asthma, seizure disorder, heart disease, cancer, anemia, lupus and migraines are all medical conditions than can potentially affect both conceiving and carrying a pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor to determine if any current medications may or may not be safe to take during your pregnancy, particularly in the first twelve weeks. Also, be sure to share information with your doctor about any past abdominal and/or pelvic surgeries as they may impact your ability to conceive and increase your risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Be honest and open about your medical history so you have the best possible outcome of a healthy pregnancy.
Know and share your family medical history
It’s important that you share specific details about your family medical history with your doctor prior to getting pregnant.
If your physician is aware of potential challenges to conception or a successful pregnancy in advance, you can work together to make a plan.
Do you have a family history of any chromosomal abnormalities or genetic problems? In certain families, there is a history of abnormalities that can be passed from generation to generation. Based on your ethnicity, are you at a higher risk of abnormalities?
It is important to review your family medical history with your doctor prior to conceiving. Specific tests that can be run before pregnancy to determine your risk of those problems occurring during your pregnancy.
Evaluate your dietary history and lifestyle choices and make necessary healthy changes
It is critical to evaluate your diet prior to pregnancy.
- Are you eating healthy?
- Do you get enough calcium and iron in your diet?
- Are you taking multivitamins?
- How often do you have caffeine? Alcohol?
- Do you smoke cigarettes?
Dieting is not recommended when you are trying to conceive. A lack of many dietary vitamins and minerals can affect pregnancy development. Adequate calcium and protein are important for the developing fetus as well as maintaining your own maternal stores.
To ensure a healthy fetus, women should avoid cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs, which can cause birth defects. If you need help to stop, ask your doctor.
Start taking folic acid
Folate or folic acid is vital during preconception and in particular during the first ten weeks of embryonic development to prevent spinal cord and brain development defects know as neural tube defects. Women considering a pregnancy should take folic acid.
According to the March of Dimes, the best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid before pregnancy and eat a healthy diet. While you can get folic acid naturally in your diet, it is hard to get the amount of folate or folic acid you need from food alone. The March of Dimes recommends that once pregnant, increase to a prenatal with 600 micrograms of folic acid.