Health Conditions and Planning a Pregnancy
Jun 19 2019 By Dr. Natalia Snigireva - Specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Preconception health is important because it focuses on your health before getting pregnant. Being healthy increases the chances of conception and prevents common conditions in women. Planning a pregnancy involves going for checkups and getting advice from a physician about health conditions which might prevent conception.
A health practitioner might also recommend a folic acid supplement and lifestyle changes all these help to improve the chances of maintaining and delivering a healthy baby. If you are planning a pregnancy, you need to start making healthy choices and visiting the doctor at least 3 months earlier. In case you suffer from a health condition, you need to take your time and prepare your body to carry a baby.
In Dubai, the major problems behind women reproductive health are obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and stress. Vitamin D deficiency is another factor that affects women’s reproductive health in the UAE despite having abundant sunshine. Expectant women with vitamin D deficiency could have premature babies, and they could develop asthma, schizophrenia, and other disorders. It is believed that Vitamin D deficiency causes infertility and failure in treatments such as In Vitro Fertilization. It is necessary to go for preconception treatment because ignorance and lack of awareness could cost you your health and that of your unborn baby.
What is Pregnancy Planning?
Pregnancy planning focuses on your health before conception. It is preparing your body to ensure that you are healthy to carry a pregnancy to full term with no or minimal complications. Preconception health requires you to go for regular preconception checkups, and the intake of folic acid which helps to reduce the chances of having a baby with congenital disabilities.
This checkup helps the physician to determine whether you are ready and healthy for pregnancy. The doctor treats and helps to prevent diseases that might hinder or complicate your pregnancy.
Health Conditions and Pregnancy Planning
Your overall health affects the chances of conception and the health of your unborn baby. If you have certain health conditions, it is better to seek expert advice before trying to get pregnant. Your doctor will help you to identify conditions that might hinder conception. For instance;
Your family history and that of your partner is crucial when planning a pregnancy; this is because the physician can identify trends and health conditions in your families. Genetic conditions such as sickle cell diseases may not manifest in you and your partner if you are both carriers, but you might pass the condition to your children. However, with preconception checkup, the doctor can test your chances of passing the condition to the baby and prescribe safe medication for you and the baby if you are pregnant.
The physician can also run tests to determine the cause of complications in your previous pregnancy; for instance, she can conduct an ultrasound or blood tests. Treatment helps to prevent the occurrence of the condition in the next pregnancy.
Treat Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions are among the factors that cause infertility and congenital disabilities, but did you know that women with these conditions can conceive and have healthy babies? Chronic diseases such as diabetes, thyroid problems, and lupus can be managed and monitored by a health professional. This treatment helps to prevent congenital disabilities and miscarriages.
Your care provider will test for Hepatitis and HIV so that you can start treatment before pregnancy to ensure that your baby is healthy before, during, and after delivery.
With the improvement in the health sector, you can now get treatment at the convenience of your home. Some health facilities have female GP on call that can arrange tests and check on you at home after their shifts at the hospital. These physicians not only provide services at home, but they are also available 24/7.
You have probably heard that folic acid is crucial for pregnant women, but what is this element? Folic acid is a vitamin that helps in the development of the cells in your body. Health practitioners recommend the intake of folic acid before and during the first trimester to prevent health defects such as neural tube and spine defects.
Folic acid is also present in foods such as breakfast cereal, fortified bread, and pasta. Before buying such products, check the ingredients to ensure that they are safe and to see how much folic acid is present. Folic acid is present in beans, orange juice, and green leafy vegetable.
Being over or underweight can affect your chances of getting pregnant, that is why when you are planning a pregnancy, you need to consider your weight. You might add weight and not be overweight that why it is necessary to visit a health facility to check your weight and get advice on how to lose or add several pounds.
If you are overweight, you might experience complications getting pregnant and might also cause the failure of In Vitro Fertilization treatment. Also, if you are overweight and get pregnant, you could develop conditions such as gestation diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage, or undergo a caesarian section.
It is also important to prepare for pregnancy by losing weight if you are obese because your chances of getting infections such as Urinary Tract Infections are high. The risk of developing blood clots, which might cause a stroke or even a cardiac arrest, is high.
Eating a balanced diet and exercising will help you to maintain a healthy weight. You don’t have to get a gym membership to keep fit; you can go on walks or walk instead of taking the bus. Remember that you should not start a diet without professional guidance because you could be starving your cells in an attempt to lose weight which is dangerous.
Most women are very excited about planning a pregnancy that they spend their time preparing their homes and buying baby clothes, but they forget that their health comes first. Your health condition determines the chances of conception and the baby’s health. Taking specific steps, such as maintaining a healthy weight and visiting a health practitioner who helps to detect and monitor chronic illnesses will help you to prepare adequately for pregnancy.
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