If you plan on taking the plunge into motherhood, you need to keep a few important things in mind. Having a healthy pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby takes a lot of planning. Work with your San Antonio OB/GYN to plan for a healthy and safe pregnancy.
1.Plan a Preconception Visit
A preconception visit is important if you hope to have a safe pregnancy. Your OBGYN will review your health, medications that you are taking, and family history. Some supplements and medications may not be safe for pregnancy. The medical practitioner will take you through the lifestyle changes you need to make for a healthy pregnancy. Some of the habits they may ask you to avoid include; smoking, drinking, and drug abuse.
2.Start Taking Folic Acid
You should not wait until you are pregnant to start taking folic acid. Folic acid can reduce the risk of your baby getting neural-tube defects by up to 70%. You are advised to take 400mg per day. Folic acid is available in most drug stores.
3.Get Genetic Carrier Screening
Before conceiving, you should consider getting genetic carrier screening. It helps to establish if you or your partner are carriers for serious genetic diseases such as sickle cell and cystic fibrosis. If you and your partner are both carriers, your child has a one in four probability of having the disease. Speak with a genetic counselor and they will tell you what to do.
4.Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Women who are trying to conceive should limit their caffeine intake. Too much caffeine may lead to pregnancy loss. Do not take more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.
5.Quit Binge Drinking and Smoking
Alcohol and drugs are not good for the health of your baby. They may lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or underweight babies. Even if you are not pregnant yet, you need to quit as drugs stay in your system for a long time. If you struggle with addiction, you should seek help as soon as possible.
6.Start Eating Healthy Foods
You want your body to be filled with nutrients by the time you are pregnant. Get rid of unhealthy eating habits and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Your goal should be to consume at least two cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day. You should also consume whole grains and healthy sources of protein.
7.Be Careful With the Fish You Consume
Fish is great for your health. It contains vitamin D, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it is also rich in mercury which could be bad for your health. Limit your consumption of fish and stay away from those with a high mercury concentration. You are advised to avoid eating shark, tilefish, and king mackerel. You may eat up to 12 ounces of fish every week.
8.Aim to Have a Healthy Weight
Being underweight or overweight makes it difficult for you to conceive. Having a healthy weight reduces your chances of having fertility issues. It also makes it possible for you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy. If you have a low BMI, you are likely to have underweight babies. If your BMI is high, you may have delivery complications.
Following these steps may help you improve the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.