Preconception care is planning for pregnancy getting healthcare before pregnancy can help both mother and baby. Good overall health. Proper nutrition and maintaining healthy behavior before becoming pregnant increases the chance of healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
We advise women to have a checkup before pregnancy. This preconception visit helps identify any special issues that might affect your pregnancy. It’s also a good opportunity to review diet, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle measures. Important concerns related to diseases that run in families, hereditary issues and vaccination needs can be addressed.
Care during pregnancy should begin as early as possible and includes regular visits and child birth related education. Women who receive proper prenatal care have healthier babies, less premature labor and fewer complications.
Prenatal visits are usually scheduled once a month during the first several months and then more frequently in the later part of pregnancy. If there are extra risk factors then more visits are required.
The first prenatal visit is the initial OB visit. At this visit a detailed health history is obtained, any important medical issues are discussed, any required medications are reviewed, a physical examination is done and laboratory tests are planned. After the first visit more advice and education are given, blood pressure and weight is taken the baby’s growth is checked and any other testing is recommended and done.
Healthy and Harmful Behaviors
For healthy pregnancy. Women should try to maintain a healthy weight. Certainly, proper diet and regular physical activity is also helpful to both mother and baby during pregnancy.
It’s best to try and target a healthy weight, even before pregnancy. Being overweight contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes and other risks to the pregnancy and developing baby. The proper amount of exercise and physical activity depends on how active you are, before becoming pregnant extremely rigorous exercise and heavy lifting can be dangerous during pregnancy for some women.
Below are a list of potentially harmful behaviors.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Tobacco products and smoking.
- Most prescription drugs and certainly illegal drugs.
- Uncooked meat and certain other raw foods.
- Exposure to cat litter and cat feces.
- Exposure to rodents, including mice and hamsters.
- Prolonged exposure in hot tubs and saunas.
- Hazardous chemicals and toxins.
- Exposure to radiation.
- Eating fish that could be high in mercury.
Special planning is required when pregnant women have certain medical conditions. Examples of medical conditions that require special care in pregnancy include diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, seizure disorders, chronic kidney disease and lupus (SLE).
Prior to becoming pregnant women should be sure that all their important immunizations are current. This is especially true for certain diseases that can harm a developing fetus, such as chickenpox, and rubella. The flu vaccine is also advised for pregnant women.