Preconception: Health tips for every woman aspiring mamaMaría Arellano
[Hey! So you want to get pregnant? Before you pass your wishing wand, there are a few before-the-fact health concerns you should take into account and discuss with your physician on an ongoing basis. This is a fundamental step that constitutes Preconception Health Care.
Remember, preconception health care is as natural as going to the doctor for day-to-day health care.
That said, you will definitely need professional accompaniment in order to achieve your preconception health objectives.
They are biggies!. Your mission, if you decide to accept it (only available to serious women who want to have healthy pregnancies and a full-happy life) is as follows:
- Identify potential risk factors (physical, genetic, psychosocial, environmental, and behavioural factors) that may contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
- Reduce the risks factors prior to conception through counselling, education, and accepting helpful intervention.
Let’s zero in on a few key tips that land straight smack within these categories! Keep in mind that the Office of Women’s Health recommends going to the doctor and taking action on health issues at least 3 months prior to getting pregnant.
1. Looking to the future: exercise and reaching your ideal weight before conception
Exercise is actually really, really important not only when thinking of your future baby’s health during the nine months of pregnancy but also for years to come.
Don’t take it from us, read more on what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say about the benefits of exercise and the likelihood of more visits to the doctor in the future if you don’t take to sweating before getting pregnant, here.
The study titled “Who and how should prescribe and conduct exercise programs for pregnant women? Recommendation based on the European educational standards for pregnancy and postnatal exercise specialists” has this to say:
“In 2015, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published a breakthrough statement that inactivity in pregnancy is risky behavior (…) Close cooperation between the woman, her obstetric care provider and exercise specialists is necessary to promote exercise in pregnancy”.
Plus exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress, which in turn ups your chances of getting pregnant and enjoying the experience.
2. Testing and treatment for diseases before pregnancy
Screening for different diseases should definitely be on your preconception care checklist.
What to look out for? The two most prominent types of diseases you should screen for are sexually transmitted diseases and genetic diseases. Your family physician can also help you with the control of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and seizure disorder.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, make sure to ask your physician for help in order to achieve glycemic control before conception: achieving an A1C level as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of congenital anomalies.
3. Smile: it’s all about your teeth before pregnancy
Preconception care includes your oral health! Visit your odontologist and integrate oral health screening, hygiene counseling, diet advice and dental referrals into your routine care.
Did you know … you can keep checking up on your teeth during pregnancy (routine dental care can be done anytime during pregnancy).
That isn’t the case for elective dental procedures, these should be postponed until after the birth of your baby.
Studies suggest treating gum disease diminishes the likelihood of having your baby born weighing under 2500 g. Also do your best to brush your teeth at least twice a day, use mouthwash and dental floss – these are your best weapons to prevent gum disease.
3. Food and diet before pregnancy
Prevention of disease and other negative risk factors through a healthy diet should also be pretty up there on your priorities! Eat well, keep it natural, take a look at our post on recommended foods to avoid for wishful mama’s to be.
4. Medications and preconception
Keep medications to their mínimum required dosage- use the fewest medications at the lowest doses needed to control disease.
And add folic acid supplements to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Plus, check for use of teratogenic medications as part of preconception care, and change to safer medications if possible
5. Get your vaccines up to date
Talk to your medical professional about your vaccines. Here’s a list of vaccines that you should have up to date (NOTE: vaccines are important for the mama AND the papa). Make sure you have these vaccines in order:
- hepatitis B;
- measles, mumps, rubella;
- and varicella immunizations as needed in parents who wish to become pregnant.
6. Healthy hiMama Mama-to-be
Remember, a healthy pregnancy is easy to achieve. Here’s what you’ll need:
Eat well, keep a healthy dental routine, exercise, screen for diseases, get your vaccines up to date, lower the dosage on the meds and overall maintain an open and communicative relationship with your treating physician.
Let the future daddy in on the fun, too!
Any questions about how the hiMama monitor can help you find your best practice for health on the expectant mother front? Let us know!