A good start is work half done! Baby planning is a big step in every couple’s life. The health of mother and baby is crucial during pregnancy as well as at the time of delivery. Proper planning under the supervision of a gynaecologist prevents complications like low birth weight, premature birth as well as birth defects. There is a common misconception that preconception planning is only for females. The physical and mental health of the male partner also plays an important role in baby planning.
History: Women with a history of miscarriage(s) are at higher risk during pregnancy. Chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, thyroid disorders, epilepsy, renal disorders, thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia, rubella, psychological disorders pose risks for babies, so management of such conditions should be taken into consideration.
Chromosomal abnormalities, genetic predisposition of some diseases can be ruled out early.
Mothers with HIV or hepatitis B are likely to pass these diseases to their babies. Preconception planning allows doctors to facilitate protection from these diseases for upcoming babies. Consult Dr Rashmi Rai, a gynaecologist at Rachit Hospital, top 5 hospitals in Gorakhpur.
Medications: Prescribed as well as non-prescribed medication should be discussed in detail. Do not hide anything from your gynaecologist; that will put the baby in potential danger. Major emphasis should be to avoid teratogenic medicines and use pregnancy safe drugs and supplements.
Immunization: Women planning for a baby should be assessed for immunization status of Tdap, measles–mumps–rubella, hepatitis B, varicella as well influenza. Rubella infection in newborns can be devastating. Rubella and varicella vaccine doses are recommended before conceiving. Doctors advise not to get pregnant for 1 month after vaccination.
Tests: Pregnancy is a hormone-led process, so gynaecologists will check hormonal levels and try to regulate them. This will help in successful conception. Some tests are also performed in men to assess fertility.
Supplements: Diet alone can not provide all essential nutrients. Folic acid is required before and in the first trimester of pregnancy. Folic acid deficiency causes neural tube defects in newborn babies.
Diet: Nutrient-rich diet plan before conception and during pregnancy is important for the growth and development of the baby. Vitamin D deficiency causes impaired growth of the baby. Uncooked or raw meat, fish, eggs, or unpasteurised milk could increase the risk of toxoplasmosis, salmonella and listeriosis, so these should be avoided. Consult Dr Rashmi Rai, a gynaecologist at Rachit Hospital, one of the Best Gynaecologist At Rachit Hospital Gorakhpur.
Exercise: Healthy weight should be maintained by keeping a daily exercise routine. At the stage of planning a baby, one should not indulge in more vigorous exercise or sports, weightlifting etc. Walking, yoga is considered safe to do at all times.
Stress Management: During pregnancy planning, proper rest is important. Anxiety, stress, and depression may affect the outcome. Practising meditation and music therapy will help in improving mood and act as a stress buster.
Lifestyle changes: Both partners need to quit smoking and alcohol use as it may affect the growth of the fetus, lead to premature birth, miscarriage, placental problems. Inform your doctor about any other drugs you are using regularly.Your doctor should know about your abusive relationships, stress, professional health hazards from toxic substances, radiation exposure etc. as these can be reasons for complications. Consult Dr Rashmi Rai, top Gynaecologist at Rachit Hospital, Gorakhpur.
Advanced Maternal Age: Women over the age of 35 years, planning for the child, should be informed about age-related consequences of pregnancy. Advanced maternal age leads to difficulty in conceiving, a higher risk of miscarriage, fibroids, twin pregnancy, premature birth, hypertension, gestational diabetes etc. Advanced maternal age can cause chromosome abnormalities like Down syndrome in newborn babies.