10 practical things you must do before you plan that pregnancy. Pregnancy is an exciting period in the life of every woman. To protect the health of the mother and the unborn child, it is advisable for mothers to follow some important guidelines.
Table of Contents
10 things you must do before you plan that pregnancy
1. Maintain a healthy weight
It is important to maintain a healthy weight before planning a pregnancy because of the risks associated with pregnancy in women who are overweight or obese. A Body mass index calculator can help you to determine if you are overweight or obese. Losing weight before pregnancy will help to prevent the risks of gestational diabetes, miscarriage, venous thromboembolism, preeclampsia or preterm labour
2. Stop smoking if you are a smoker
Stopping smoking before becoming pregnant will reduce the risks of complications during and after pregnancy . Smoking is associated with risks of having still birth, premature delivery or a baby with low birth weight. Smoking cessation support is available in most health centers
3. Cut out the alcohol
There is no safe level of alcohol in pregnancy so the safest advice is to cut out alcohol altogether during pregnancy. Consumption of alcohol in the first few weeks of pregnancy is associated with miscarriage, it is advisable to seek help prior to getting pregnant if coming off alcohol during pregnancy is going to be an issue.
4.Folic acid supplementation
It is advisable to take folic acid ( 400mcg) before and up to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in order to avoid the risk of having a child with neural tube defect ( NTD) . Women who are high risk for NTD are advised to take a higher dose of folic acid ( 5mg per day ) .
Who are at high risk of Neural tube defects ?
Get tested for rubella before you plan your pregnancy. If no evidence of immunity to rubella, it is advisable to get immunized and avoid pregnancy for the first month after vaccination. Rubella infection in early pregnancy can cause a severe defect in the child
6. Genetic screening
Couples with a family history of genetic disorder should consider screening before planning a pregnancy. The relevant conditions include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, muscular dystrophies, haemophilia and many others
7. Cervical screening
Make sure your cervical screening is up to date before you plan a pregnancy. Screening is not advisable during pregnancy and up to 12 weeks after
8. Review of current medications
Review any medications you are taking with your health professional, including herbal remedies. Some medications are not safe during pregnancy.
9. Review of current physical or mental health conditions
If you have diabetes, asthma, thyroid disease, epilepsy or mental health condition, you should have a discussion with your health professional before you plan a pregnancy. People with diabetes are advised to get good control prior to getting pregnant so as to reduce the risk of miscarriage, still births or having a child with congenital malformation
10. Finally stay in the word !
Before you plan that pregnancy, get into the word! The word of God is full of wonderful promises concerning pregnancy and delivery. Visit our resource page to download a free PDF of God’s promises concerning pregnancy and childbirth
And If you have been trying for a pregnancy and it’s taking longer than you planned, don’t despair; God can do the impossible. He is a faithful God who keeps His promises. You can download this free printable of 12 scriptures to pray for the fruit of the womb here.
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