Planning Your Pregnancy. The Healthy Way.
Many women today plan their pregnancies. Before falling pregnant you should ensure that you are in the best possible shape both mentally and physically. Healthy, happy mothers make healthy, happy babies, and to ensure that, there are things to consider:
First, discuss your pregnancy plan with your doctor. Ensure that you have information on the correct nutrition, vitamins, exercise, family history, weight gain, which medication to avoid, smoking and alcohol.
If you have been on long-term birth-control, it may take time for the hormonal effects to wear off. Track your cycle, the time to fall pregnant is three days before ovulation, this is about 14 days into your menstrual cycle, from the first day of your period as day one. However, not everyone’s cycles are the same.
Try to get your weight under control. Eat well, fruit and vegetables provide nutrients for you and your baby, cut back on sugar and bad carbohydrates. Reduce caffeine and caffeinated drinks which contain large amounts of sugar. Also, alcohol can reduce fertility in both men and women.
Being overweight can make it difficult to fall pregnant, may result in a miscarriage, low birth weight for your baby and increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Keep fit, continue exercising, it will help with extra weight gain during your pregnancy and is recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
If possible, stop smoking before trying to fall pregnant. Smoking lowers the amount of oxygen available to your baby, increasing the baby’s risk of respiratory problems, premature birth and low birth weight.
Folic acid is vital in the development of a healthy foetus. Healthcare professionals recommend taking 400microgrames of folic acid 1 to 3 months before you fall pregnant and throughout your pregnancy. Also, start a pregnancy multivitamin to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins you need to grow a healthy baby.
Make sure you have had the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination or get it at least a month before you fall pregnant, it will provide you with immunity to rubella and German measles, which can cause a miscarriage and multiple birth defects. If you are unsure if you have had the vaccination, there is a blood test you can have to show if you have immunity.
Now is the time to relax, there is research to suggest a link between stress and infertility. Preparing yourself, not only physically but mentally means reducing your stress levels. Try to avoid anything that causes you stress and elevates your blood pressure.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be one of the most exciting times in a women’s life, a truly special experience. By planning and taking care of yourself, you will be giving yourself the gift of physical and mental wellbeing during your pregnancy.
Are pregnant women at higher risk from COVID-19?
Due to changes in their bodies and immune systems pregnant women can be badly affected by respiratory infections. It is therefore vital that they take percussions to protect themselves against being infected with COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization, pregnant women or recently pregnant women that are older, overweight, and have pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes seem to have an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19. Pregnant women who develop server COVID-19 more often require intensive care, than non-pregnant women.