So you’ve come to that part of your life's journey, where nothing seems quite as important as the pitter-patter of little feet. But before rushing into the topsy-turvy but oh-so rewarding world of soon-to-be-moms, you need to take a quick look at how good your preconception health is.
What is preconception?
Preconception health is, essentially, the state of YOUR health before you become pregnant. That means taking stock of everything that may affect your overall wellbeing, including your lifestyle choices, habits, environment, and even pre-existing health conditions.
It’s very important to be in good preconception health because it can affect your baby’s development, as the first few weeks of pregnancy are when the fetus is most susceptible to damage from certain substances, medicines, and illnesses.
Knowing how health conditions and risk factors could possibly affect your pregnancy can go a long way in helping you manage them.
THE PRECONCEPTION HEALTH CHECKLIST
To make sure you’re healthy before you get pregnant, here are a few things you can do.
ITEM 1: See A Doctor
It’s always best to talk to your OB before getting pregnant. A talk with your doctor can help you identify risk factors and conditions, as well as set a preconception health program for at least three months and maybe even more.
ITEM 2: Do A Lifestyle Check
Smoking, drinking alcohol and using prohibited substances can all affect your preconception health severely. But you should also be aware of other factors, such as environmental conditions, high levels of stress, even a nutritionally unbalanced diet.
ITEM 3: Manage Any Existing Medical Issues
If you have an existing medical condition, it is best to have your condition under control, especially since certain illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid disease, seizure disorders, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other chronic diseases can have quite an adverse effect on your pregnancy.
ITEM 4: Take Folic Acid Every Day
Having enough folic acid during preconception can help prevent major birth defects related to the baby’s brain and spine. That’s why it’s highly recommended that women trying to get pregnant (and even those who aren’t) consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.
IN THE END, IT’S ALL ABOUT HEALTH
Good health should never be taken for granted, whether you are trying to get pregnant or not. But IF you are trying to get pregnant, then it becomes even more important because it’s not just about your health anymore…it’s also about your baby’s.
So start getting healthy now and hope you are soon on the path to pregnancy.