Good health before pregnancy: Preconception care
What is a preconception care checkup?
If you are planning to become pregnant, it is good idea to have a preconception care checkup. the first 8 weeks of pregnancy are key for the baby growing inside you. Most of the baby’s major organs and body systems have begun to form. Your health and nutrition can affect your baby’s growth and development in these early weeks. The goal of this checkup is to find things that could affect your pregnancy. Identifying these factors before pregnancy allows you to take steps that can increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. During this visit, our health care provider will ask about your diet and lifestyle, your medical and family history, medication you take, and any past pregnancies.
Should I take a vitamin supplement?
Although most of your nutrients should come from the foods you eat, it is a good idea to start taking a prenatal vitamin supplement before pregnancy. Prenatal vitamin supplements contain all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals you will need before and during pregnancy.
Why is it important for me to get enough folic acid and iron?
Folic acid helps prevent NTD’s when taken before pregnancy and for the first 3 months of pregnancy. It is recommended that all women(even if they are not trying to get pregnant) consume 0.4 milligrams of folic acid a day. Iron is also important during pregnancy. It is used to make the extra blood needed to supply oxygen to the baby. Not getting enough iron can be a problem for some women.
If i have an infection, can it affect my pregnancy?
Infections can harm both the mother and the fetus. some infections during pregnancy can cause birth defects or illness in the baby. Infections passed through sexual contact-(STD’s) also are harmful during pregnancy. Many types of STD’s may affect your ability to become pregnant. They also may infect and harm your baby. If you think you or your partner may have an STD, get tested and treated right away.
If I have never exercised, how should i begin during pregnancy?
Begin with as little as 5 minutes of exercise a day and add 5 minutes each week. Your goal is to stay active for 30 minutes each day. Walking is a good choice if you are new to exercise. Brisk walking gives a total body workout and is easy on the joints. Swimming is another good exercise for pregnant women. Always consult with your physician.