10 Things To Do Before You Conceive

10 Things To Do Before You Conceive

There are several things that you and your doctor or nurse can do to make sure that your pregnancy is as healthy as possible. These things should be done before you try to get pregnant:

 

1 – See a doctor. 

It’s very important that you see your doctor or nurse for a “pre-pregnancy check-up.” Your doctor or nurse will ask you about things that could affect your pregnancy.

For instance, he or she might ask about your diet, lifestyle, use of birth control, past pregnancies, medicines, and any diseases that you have or that run in your family.

 

2 – Ask if the medicines you take are safe

If you take any medicines, supplements, or herbal drugs, ask your doctor if it is safe to keep taking them while you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Some medicines take a long time to leave your body completely, so it’s important to plan ahead.

In some cases, your doctor and nurse will want you to switch to different medicines that are safer for the baby. Your doctor and nurse might need to slowly get you off some medicines because it could harm you to stop them all of a sudden. This is especially important for women who take medicines to treat seizures, high blood pressure, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

3 – Check if you need any vaccines

Women who want to get pregnant should be up-to-date on their vaccines. This includes vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, chickenpox (also called varicella), and possibly hepatitis. Many women got these vaccines as children. Still, it is important to check that you have had all the right vaccines.

Otherwise, you could get sick with the diseases the vaccines protect against, and that could cause problems for you or your baby. All women should also get a flu shot every year.

Some vaccines cannot be given during pregnancy or in the month before pregnancy. It’s important to get these vaccines more than a month before you start trying to get pregnant.

 

Read Also: 8 Benefits of Breast Feeding

 

4 – Start taking a multivitamin

If you want to get pregnant, take a “prenatal” multivitamin every day that has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. This helps prevent some birth defects. Start taking the multivitamin at least a month before you start trying to get pregnant.

It’s not enough to start taking vitamins when you find out you are pregnant. At that point, your baby has already formed many body parts that rely on folic acid and other vitamins to develop normally.

It is important not to take too much of any vitamin during pregnancy, especially vitamin A. Show your doctor or nurse the vitamins you plan to take to make sure the doses are safe for you and your baby.

 

5 – Check your diet

Some foods are not safe for a woman who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant. If you are trying to get pregnant, do not eat

  • raw or undercooked meat
  • organ meats
  • raw eggs
  • caffeine
  • unwashed produce
  • unpasteurized (soft) cheese and milk.

 

6 – Avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel because they can have high levels of mercury.

Check with your doctor or nurse about the safety of fish caught in local rivers and lakes. Limit the amount of caffeine you have by not drinking more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee each day.

Tea and cola also contain caffeine, but usually not as much as coffee. Try to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

 

7 –  Stop smoking, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs

If you smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs not prescribed for you by a doctor, now more than ever it is important that you stop. Using even small amounts of these substances from time to time during pregnancy could hurt your baby. It’s not enough to stop as soon as you find out you are pregnant.

By then the baby has already begun to form and could get damaged by smoking, alcohol, or drugs. If you need help quitting, speak with your doctor or nurse.

There are effective treatments that can help. Your partner should also stop smoking and using illegal drugs. He should not drink too much alcohol.

 

 

Read Also: Safe Motherhood Plan For Our Mothers

 

 

8 –  Do I have any medical conditions?

If you have a medical problem, it could cause problems for you or your baby during pregnancy. Women who have certain medical conditions should work with their doctor to get their conditions under control before they get pregnant.

This includes women with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, thyroid conditions, seizure disorders, HIV infection, and other problems. If these conditions are not well controlled, they can cause problems for a mother and her baby during pregnancy.

 

9 –   Do we have any family history of a medical condition

If you or your partner has a history of a condition that could be passed on to your baby, you might need genetic counseling. Genetic counseling can help you find out what the chances are that your baby will have the condition.

It will also help you sort out what your options might be if your baby does have problems. Examples of conditions that might call for genetic counseling include cystic fibrosis, mental retardation, and muscular dystrophy.

 

10 –  Check your home and work for harmful substances

People often have chemicals or substances in their home or work that could hurt an unborn baby. Dealing with these substances can sometimes be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important to plan ahead. For instance, people who live in homes built before 1978 often have lead paint on their walls or woodwork.

Lead in chips or dust from this paint could harm a baby. Ask your doctor or nurse how to deal with this and other harmful substances you might have around you.

 

Read Also: 8 Embarrassing Pregnancy Questions Answered

 

BONUS

Work on your weight 

Women who weigh too little or too much can have problems getting pregnant and problems during pregnancy. You should try to reach a healthy weight before you try to get pregnant.

 

At Outreach Women and Children Hospital Festac, Okota and Satellite town, our doors remain open 24/7 365 a year for mothers and would be mothers. You can find out more about our Maternity/Antenatal and Pediatric services and sign up at any of our branches nearest to you. WhatsApp: +234 8183803645

 

 

By Dr David .O. Jesudemi

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *