Preparing To Get Pregnant?
Caring for your health before you become pregnant is good for you and your baby.
There are many important steps that a couple needs to take when getting ready to conceive a child. It is very important that both partners are prepared both physically and emotionally for this life-enhancing event.
The goal is to check for any potential risks to you and your baby during pregnancy and to address any medical issues you may have before you get pregnant.
Start by making scheduling a preconception counseling with your Obstetrician/Gynecologist
- Full physical examination – Evaluate your heart, lungs, breasts, thyroid, and abdomen
- Pap smear
- Cervical cultures
- Blood tests -To test you for rubella,hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, and others as indicated.
- Genetic Counselling – It may be advised for older mothers and people with a family history of genetic problems, birth defects.
- Check on your vaccinations – If you are not protected against rubella or chickenpox, your doctor may recommend the appropriate vaccines
- Discuss Menstrual Chart – To help detect ovulation and determine the time when you are most likely to get pregnant.
You and your OB-Gyn will also discuss your:
- Reproductive history: This includes any previous pregnancies, your menstrual history, contraceptive use, previous Pap test results, and any diseases or infections you’ve had in the past.
- Medical history: This includes any health problems you have now, so you can get those under control before you get pregnant.
- Surgical history: Have you had any surgeries, transfusions, and hospitalizations? If so, tell your doctor. It is especially important to inform your doctor of any gynecologic surgeries you may have had.
- Current medications: Tell your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking or have taken
- Family health history: Tell your doctor about any medical conditions that run in your family, such as diabetes, hypertension etc
- Home and workplace environment: You’ll talk about possible hazards — such as exposure to cat feces, X-rays, and lead or solvents – that could affect your ability to become pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy.
- Your weight: It’s a good idea to reach your ideal body weight before you get pregnant. This means losing weight if you are overweight to reduce your risk of complications during pregnancy; or gaining weight if you are underweight to reduce the risk of delivering a low birth-weight baby.
- Lifestyle factors: Your doctor will ask you questions about you and your partner’s habits that could influence your pregnancy, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs. The goal is to help you stop any habits that could stand in the way of a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will keep it confidential, so feel free to be open.
- Exercise: Tell your doctor what type of exercise you do and if you don’t work out, tell them that, too.
- Diet : Your doctor will ask you about what you eat and drink. It’s ideal to go into pregnancy with good dietary habits already in place. That includes eating a variety of foods rich in fiber, and getting enough calcium, folic acid, and other nutrients.
- Prenatal vitamins : Before you’re pregnant, you should be taking a folic acid supplement. Folic acid makes it less likely that your baby will have a neural tube defect, and it’s best to start taking it before you conceive.
If you are a woman and have a twenty-eight day menstrual cycle, you should start having intercourse at least five days before you expect to ovulate. This is usually about nine days after you begin your period. You should continue to have sex at least every other day until day nineteen.
There does not appear to be any advantageous sexual position, but it is best for ejaculation to occur deep within the vagina. There also does not appear to be any benefit to bed rest following intercourse (most sperm swim up the reproductive tract rather quickly).
This is a myth – Many people believe that stress affects a couple’s ability to conceive
It is important, however, to keep the romance alive in your marriage, and try not to let the process of trying to get pregnant create friction or stress. Trying to conceive should be enjoyable for both partners.