Why is being prepared for a pregnancy so important?
The conception takes place about 2 weeks before the onset of menstruation. As a result, you may not know that you are pregnant by the 3rd week of pregnancy. Between weeks 2 and 8 after conception, the baby's organs (such as the heart) begin to develop and, as a result, any food or drink, cigarette smoke or other substances to which you are exposed, can affect the fetus.
Any woman can learn what steps she should take before becoming pregnant, so as to protect her own health and give her child the best chance of being healthy.
When should I talk to my doctor about pregnancy?
You can talk to your doctor at any time, whether or not you intend to become pregnant. Some basic recommendations for preconception care include weight and healthy eating, as well as identifying and treating certain medical conditions. All women should quit smoking and avoid exposure to harmful substances. These are important health goals for everyone, not just the pregnant woman. The more you know about what's important to your health, the more you will be able to make wise choices for yourself.
How long before I can get pregnant should I start preparing for pregnancy?
Each man and woman should prepare for pregnancy before becoming sexually active or at least 3 months before. Women should start applying some of the recommendations, such as quitting smoking, gaining a healthy weight and adjusting the medication even earlier.
What are the most important aspects that I should consider before conception for my health and my child?
Plan a preconception consultation
If you intend to become pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor. The preconception consultation can help you become as healthy as possible before conceiving. Your doctor will focus on those conditions and risk factors that may have an impact on your health or pregnancy.
Do I have to change my lifestyle?
The doctor will ask you questions about family life, service and lifestyle to understand if you could be exposed to any risk. It will ask you about what you do during your free time, what food preferences you have and if you practice any physical activity. Your answers will help the doctor understand if you will need to make certain changes to prepare for the pregnancy.
Diet and nutrition
Your doctor will review your diet and advise you on weight, dietary supplements and vitamins, as well as eating habits, such as vegetarian diet or starvation.
Now is the time to talk about starting folic acid administration. Why so early?
Folic acid is a form of vitamin B that helps to significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defect in the fetus by up to 95%. The neural tube, which will become the brain and spinal cord of the baby, begins to form early in pregnancy, until day 28, when the woman, most of the time, did not realize that she was pregnant. Taking multivitamins before conceiving is the best way to prevent neural tube defects.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in many foods, beverages and certain medicines. The main source of caffeine for most adults is coffee. Specialists recommend that pregnant women or those who intend to become pregnant should not consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. This quantity is found, for example, in 3 cups of 100 ml of coffee.
Alcohol, smoking, drugs
Alcohol, smoking and drugs in pregnancy affect the child. Even when you use these substances intermittently or in small quantities, they can have an effect on your child or decrease your chance of conceiving. If you use any of these drugs, now is the best time to give up; If you need help, tell your doctor to facilitate referral for counseling or treatment.
Are there any substances around me that I should protect myself from?
Avoid exposure to radiation, heavy metals (lead and mercury), carbon disulfide and anesthetic gases; radiation exposure to computer screens does not seem to be harmful. Talk to the doctor about exposure to work; if there is a risk you will have to use protective equipment or, in some cases, obtain a transfer during the period before and during pregnancy.
Exposure to cat feces
If you have a cat, it is not good to come in contact with its faeces due to the risk of toxoplasmosis. This condition is not dangerous for children and adults, but can cause birth defects in the fetus, including brain damage and blindness.
What medical conditions should be treated before becoming pregnant?
Women who have asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, heart disease, hypothyroidism or are obese will need special care during pregnancy. Treatment should also be adjusted both for preparation to become pregnant and during pregnancy.
What are the vaccines needed before pregnancy?
During the preconception consultation, your doctor may collect a blood sample to test if you are immune to rubella and chicken pox; these disorders, if they occur during pregnancy, can have significant effects on the fetus and mother. If a woman is not immune, she will need to be vaccinated before becoming pregnant and waiting 1 month for a new trial.
Consultant: Dr. Marius Calomfirescu,
Primary obstetrics-gynecology doctor,
Overspecialization in maternal and fetal medicine
Competence in obstetric and gynecological ultrasound
Text: Dr. Ileana Andreescu, Senior Medical Marketing Manager Regina Maria
Tags Preconception Preconception analysis Pre-conception medical analysis Necessary analysis before pregnancy