Pre-conception: What you need to know!
Before even getting pregnant, you should be aware that your health, habits, diet, fitness level and many other factors would directly or indirectly affect your pregnancy and the fetal development.
One example would be pregnant women who have the smoking habit. This does a lot of damage to both the mother and the child within.
If you are going to get pregnant, you should eliminate all your negative habits prior to conception.
Ideally, you should exercise more, eat a clean diet, avoid alcohol and smoking is a definite no-no. If you have any issues with substance abuse, etc. you should eliminate all these before planning to have a baby.
Proper nutrition is crucial in the stages of pre-conception and during pregnancy.
The beautiful baby in your belly is physically incapable of providing for itself. You determine all the food and nutrition it gets. Surely, you want nothing but the best for your baby.
A fetus also does not display any visible signs of malnourishment during your monthly check-ups. That means, even your doctor will not be able to ascertain if the baby is getting all the nutrients it needs.
Therefore, you will have to ensure that you’re eating enough for two and getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Only by being proactive and taking an active interest in your nutrition will you be able to keep both the baby and yourself healthy and happy.
Here are a few tips if you’re in the pre-conception stage.
- No smoking & no alcohol
No negotiation here.
- Consume 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid daily.
You should speak to your doctor about this. He/she will be able to guide you in this matter. Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects related to the spine and brain.
- Get your other health problems under control
If you’re diabetic, obese, have asthma, etc. you should get all these problems under control first before getting pregnant. All these health issues may cause pregnancy complications.
- Get fit and healthy
- Ask your partner to play an active role
If your partner smokes or engages in detrimental activities, they should try and quit for the sake of the baby.
At the very least, if they can’t quit, they shouldn’t smoke around you or tempt you by consuming alcohol around you.