Pregnancy is a special period of life, where most of the body physiology and day to day lifestyles will change. If you can have a planned pregnancy it will give the best results for you as well as the baby. It is a good idea to meet a Medical Practitioner before you become pregnant to clarify your doubts and get all necessary health information.
Getting rid of the risks from the environment
If you are in an environment with hazardous substance, infections or radiation, make arrangements to move away from risky environments during your pregnancy.
If you are doing gardening or handle pets make sure that you wash your hands properly to avoid infections like Toxoplasmosis, which can be life-threatening to your baby.
Diet should contain enough fruits, vegetables and dairy products to supply vitamins and micronutrients. You should avoid eating uncooked meat, unpasteurized milk and unwashed fruits and vegetables
Supplementation with folic acid is one of the most significant preventative interventions available in the preconceptual/antenatal period. It has proven that Folic Acid is very helpful in providing protection against defects that can occur in the central nervous system of the baby. Start taking Folic Acid 1 tab daily when you are expecting to become pregnant. Higher doses of Folic Acid are prescribed for mothers with special risk factors.
If you are overweight reduce the weight before getting pregnant. A healthy weight reduces the risk of preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, Caesarean delivery, hypertension and thromboembolic disease and is also more likely to promote conception. Similarly, women who are underweight may find getting pregnant difficult and be at risk of more pregnancy-related complications.
Those who exercise regularly can carry on with their normal workout routine. Those who are not exercising regularly can start gentle exercises before becoming pregnant. Strenuous exercising should be avoided during pregnancy. Saunas and hot tubs need to be avoided.
Alcohol and Smoking
If you are taking alcohol or smoke, both of these habits can cause abnormalities in your baby. If you are addicted to using these substances take medical advice to stop it before getting pregnant
Keep a minimum exposure to all kind of drugs. You should not regularly take any medicine unless it is prescribed by a Medical Practitioner.
If you suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or any other chronic disease you should consult your medical practitioner before deciding to get pregnant. In certain conditions pregnancy is contraindicated and if you get pregnant it will risk your life.
Certain infections like Rubella can cause severe foetal abnormalities if contracted during the first trimester. To avoid the risk get yourself vaccinate at least 3 months before you conceive if you have not got your vaccine already. You also can get yourself vaccinated against chickenpox before getting pregnant. You also can get vaccinated against Hepatitis B virus if you have any risk of contracting it.
Both Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines have been now incorporated to the National Immunization Programme.
Due to the risk of chromosomal abnormalities, infertility, miscarriage, fibroids, diabetes etc. it is advisable to complete your family before age of 35years.
If you had a previous baby with chromosomal abnormalities or having a family history of familial disorders get genetic counselling before getting pregnant. This is especially true if you are having a family history of thalassemia. If you and your partner are from a thalassemia endemic area like Kurunegala, check your thalassemia status ideally before marriage