Pregnancy is one of the most important milestones in a couple’s life, and some people have the time and opportunity to plan it. Making lifestyle changes that can improve fertility, lessen complications during pregnancy, and aid in postpartum recovery should be done during the preconception period (3 to 6 months prior to conception).
If you, too, have been planning to get pregnant, then this article will be helpful to you. In this article, we will take a look at the most important aspects that you need to consider when planning a pregnancy with your partner.
Steps to Take Before Pregnancy
Most women are aware that they need to make lifestyle changes and visit their doctor while being pregnant. However, pregnancy planning begins even before conception. These are some steps that will help you to prepare for pregnancy in the most effective and safest way possible.
1 – Consult with your doctor
It is highly advised to consult your doctor before getting pregnant, even if you think you are healthy enough for a successful pregnancy. A visit to your doctor is highly effective in planning a successful and safe pregnancy.
During this consultation, you should discuss the following with your doctor.
- Discuss your current health status and your family’s medical history, as some infertility and pregnancy-inhibiting problems, may be genetic. In such cases, the doctor will refer you to a genetic counsellor.
- Advise blood tests and vaccines to get updated before pregnancy.
- Ask about the type of supplements, medicines and herbs you can take. If required, the doctor may recommend making changes in your current medication to boost the chances of pregnancy.
- Talk about current chronic health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, blood pressure problems, etc.
2 – Eat a healthy diet
A healthy, balanced diet is good for everyone, especially for women who wish to get pregnant.
You should review your diet if you and your partner are planning to get pregnant to determine the healthy choices in food. Your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby will increase if you eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
A few simple things to keep in mind to ensure a good diet include reducing empty calories, caffeine, and artificial sweetener consumption. You should instead focus on eating foods that are higher in protein. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products will help you to become healthy for an ideal pregnancy.
3 – Consume enough folic acid
You should begin taking a folate and iodine supplement before you become pregnant if you and your partner are planning to conceive. When your baby is growing, folic acid helps to deliver the best health outcomes. Additionally, daily folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy helps to protect your unborn child from neural tube disorders like spina bifida. And iodine is crucial for the baby’s brain development. When you are buying supplements, make sure it has at least 150 mcg of iodine and 500 micrograms (mcg) of folate.
4 – Regular exercising
Exercising when you plan pregnancy helps your body to deal with the physiological and hormonal changes within. Majority of women who regularly exercise tend to maintain their routine through most of the pregnancy period.
Exercising also helps to beat stress and induces relaxation. It is extremely important to avoid stress and ensure that your body and mind are as relaxed as possible before and during the pregnancy.
Apart from exercising, you can also try a 30-minute meditation session every morning.
If you are planning to get pregnant, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Along with talking about your general health and family history, there might be some exams to consider. This can also involve talking about lifestyle modifications, vaccinations, and getting pre-pregnancy health exams, including STI and cervical screenings.
Consult your doctor regarding genetic carrier screening if you have any unknown genetic disorders that you are concerned about passing on to your unborn child.
The Ideal Period for Conceiving
1. The Monthly Cycle of Women
Each month, an egg is released from one of the ovaries, resulting in ovulation.
One or two additional eggs may occasionally be released, within 24 hours of the initial egg. During this time, the mucus in the cervix thins, and the lining of the womb begins to thicken, making it easier for sperm to pass through.
Slowly, the egg starts to descend into the fallopian tube. Your partner’s sperm might fertilise the egg here if sex had just happened.
Now that the egg has been fertilised, the womb’s lining is thick enough for the egg to be implanted there. During the woman’s monthly cycle, the unfertilised egg and the uterine lining both leave the body if the egg is not fertilised.
However, the egg cannot be seen because of its microscopic size.
2. Getting Pregnant
Having sex within a day or so of ovulation increases your chance of becoming pregnant. 14 days before the start of your next period, ovulation takes place. Although shorter or longer periods are common, the typical cycle lasts 28 days. Women who have a 28-day period will ovulate on day 14, but those who have a 30-day cycle will do so on day 16.
After being released, an egg survives for 12 to 24 hours. Within this period, the egg must be fertilised by sperm for pregnancy to occur.
Unless you are practising natural family planning or are aware of your fertility, it is difficult to predict exactly when ovulation occurs.
Pregnancy planning starts way before conception for most women. Others tend to plan their pregnancy once they become aware of their conception. Although it is possible to give birth to a healthy baby without pregnancy planning, a well-laid pregnancy plan is an excellent way to ensure smooth, uncomplicated, and efficient childbirth.
Contact us today to consult Dr. Kavita Maravar, the obstetrician and gynaecologist, about any of your obstetric and gynaecological concerns.