Thinking of having a child ? Here are 10 Things you should consider before Planning Pregnancy.

PREGNANCY IS PREPARATION OF 9 MONTHS AND LOVING A NEW LIFE FOR LIFETIME...…..


pregnancy


PREGNANCY


The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Pregnancy lasts for 9 months , measured from the date of woman’s last menstrual period( LMP).


It is conventionally divided in 3 trimesters, each trimester is usually 3 months long. Technically, woman can get pregnant and bear children from puberty when they start getting their menstrual period to menopause. Average woman’s reproductive years are between 12 to 51.


Average age of becoming pregnant is late 20s and early 30s. Getting pregnant before 20s or even in teens may pose some harmful effects on female body as well as mind. However many a times, due to lifestyle or other issues if a couple plans to have a baby after 30 and if they have certain health issues then even other methods like surrogacy, IVF could be possible way to go forward. .

Diagnosis of pregnancy is done by following symptoms

  • Missed periods

  • Morning sickness

  • Frequency of micturition

  • Fatigue

  • Changes in appetite

These are physical changes noted by the female. However, there are few tests which can confirm pregnancy


  • Urine test (UPT) - Pregnancy can be confirmed by using over the counter pregnancy detection kit.

  • Ultrasound - USG done would confirm the presence of live foetus in the womb.

  • Blood test- Blood test may be done for checking hormone levels mainly HCG hormones.

  • Physical examination - per vaginal examination may be done to confirm pregnancy.


Few terms are commonly used to describe abnormal pregnancy.

  • Miscarriage : Loss of pregnancy during first 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

  • Ectopic Pregnancy: Normally, fertilized egg travels and gets implanted in the uterus, but in ectopic pregnancy, it gets implanted in fallopian tube itself.

  • Abortion : Loss of baby or medically termination of pregnancy.


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Broadly pregnancy is divided in 3 phases

  • Prenatal period : It is that period before delivery of the baby ,that is conception till delivery.

  • Perinatal period : It is the period during delivery of the baby.

  • Post natal period : It is that period after baby is born.


Pregnancy is considered to be big decision in every couple's life. It requires many preparations at woman's end specially, as it involves many physiological as well as emotional and psychological changes . Pregnancy and having a child is a lifetime responsibility and hence may require few preparation from couple’s end.


So, before thinking of child here are few thing to be considered. Things to be considered before planning pregnancy.


Here is the list of 10 things that a couple has to consider before planning pregnancy


#1 Mental Preparedness


When to have a baby is purely a decision of the couple. Many a times societal pressure persuades a couple to have baby. Pregnancy and child care requires preparation on mental as well as physical aspect. Age is also one factor that is usually considered for having child, but however, even if a your age is higher there few other ways of having baby like IVF or surrogacy. So the couple has to decide and support each other for preparing themselves for having a child and get pregnant when both of them are ready and not when society says. So you wish to be a mom or dad , decide first within yourself and then plan everything.

One very important aspect is being happy and ready to accept the new change, responsibilities and challenge.



#2 Doctor visit


Once that you have decided to get pregnant, now it's necessary to visit a doctor, mainly gynecologist. It is important to visit the doctor for proper guidance. Gynecologist would assess the couple on various aspects. These are the points considered for assessment of the couple.


  • History : A thorough history of the couple is taken and noted. History includes any past miscarriages or abortions or any other medical conditions. It may also include family history and conditions related to the family.

  • Medications : If you are on any birth control pills or any kind of medications which may affect conception, that is noted too.

  • Physical examination : Overall physical examination may be done to assess the condition of the couple.

  • Blood test: If required, few blood test may also be advised to check for hormonal imbalances or vitamin levels in body.


Based on these assessment criteria , Doctor would determine if any medicine or any other treatment is required or what other precautions could be taken to have an easy and early conception. Some times , few of the health conditions may affect fertility, like PCOS. Thyroid; in such cases it is necessary to visit doctor early as if treatment is required , it can be taken and the conception can be easy and early. Sometimes few tests could be advised for husband as well , based on the results, medicines or treatment may be prescribed for males as well.

#3 Diet


Diet is very important aspect of pregnancy. But, even before planning pregnancy it is important to follow a healthy diet, which would keep woman healthy and avoid any complications in conceiving. Diet should include proteins, carbohydrates and fiber as well. Lot of fruits and vegetables are essential to be a component of daily diet. Eating regularly on time is very important too. Starving too long can cause many other digestives problems. Hence, a balanced diet is important once you wish to plan pregnancy. Both the partners need to have proper diet. A balanced diet is usually followed in the form of food pyramid.


The food pyramid suggests the right method for balanced diet. According to the pyramid, the base is formed by carbohydrates mainly whole grains and cereals, so these should be the main or major component of the food. later on ,vegetables, fruits, meat and last or very least included is oil, fats and sweets. It is necessary to follow the balanced diet by normal individual too, but if you wish to get pregnant then it is of utmost importance to follow it.


#4 Medications


If you are a diagnosed case of having thyroid problems or any other hormonal issues, then medications can be started for these problems. These medicines would help in avoiding complications associated with pregnancy as well as plan the pregnancy. Commonly medicines are prescribed for following conditions during or before planning pregnancy;



Also medicines like vitamin or other vital nutrient supplements may be advised by doctor so as to have a healthy pregnancy. Folic acid , calcium , multivitamin supplements may be given commonly to female as per the requirement . If you are already diagnosed with vitamin deficiencies then, you may start with multivitamin as early as possible. If you are using birth control pill , then its better to stop it as soon as you decide to plan for pregnancy.



#5 No smoking/ No alcohol


Before you actually plan for a baby, have a great time with friends and family. Smoking any way is harmful for the body , if a woman is planning to get pregnant , it is very important to cut off smoking and alcohol completely. Smoking may lead to infertility according to few studies. So you wish to have a baby, stop smoking and alcohol. Also if you are using addicted to drugs then please do stop it or plan a proper de-addiction program first and then decide for pregnancy, as drugs may have lot of adverse effects on the baby.

According to studies, some of the hazardous effects of drug abuse or smoking are:


  • Growth retardation

  • Still birth

  • Invitro death of baby

  • Birth defects or congenital disorders.

Hence, it is very important to stop the use of drugs, smoking or alcohol.



#6 Watch on Weight


Obesity is major disorder globally affecting health and well being of an individual. One can get pregnant even if you are overweight , but because of excess of weight, there could be few complications and may affect fertility. It is important to keep a watch on Weight even before planning pregnancy, so that you may not have any problems in conceiving the baby .Regular exercises and healthy diet may help in maintaining a proper weight . There are many factors that affect the fertility which may include;


  • Obesity

  • Hormonal imbalance mainly PCOS: PCOS is linked to obesity too, hence to control it, its very important to keep the weight in control and reduce weight.


Exercises and proper diet may help along with some medications if required to treat hormonal imbalances would reduce the weight and have healthy life which would help in conceiving sooner.


#7 Stress free life


Stress affects many functions of day to day life. According to many studies stress is a major cause of various gynecological problems, which then affects the fertility and overall health of female. Some of the techniques to overcome stress are as follows:


  • Relaxation techniques.

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Exercises

  • Listening to music

  • Reading good literature

  • Spending quality time with family and friends

  • Nurturing and improving hobby.


Many studies, have shown that stress is linked to many health and lifestyle disorders.

So proper exercises, diet and techniques to reduce stress and improve overall health


# 8 Job related discussion


Pregnancy and delivery may require lot of adjustment on professional front aswell. Maternity leave availability, workplace related issues, all these matters should be discussed with the partner . According to government rules, maternity leave is provided for 6 months in most of the countries.


#9 Financial management


Money is an important aspect for planning aspects related to pregnancy and delivery. So availability of funds and money management has to be considered while planning for baby.



#10 Lifestyle management


Eating properly, sleep and other factors also change after delivery , so it is very important to plan and manage day to day activities. Reduce caffeine levels. Have a healthy diet , sleep and a healthy relationship with family , friends and people around. Meet more people as may be after delivery it might be difficult to go out and meet more and more people.

Conclusion


These are few points that a couple has to consider while planning for pregnancy. However , it all depends on the couple when to have a child. So have a healthy and happy pregnancy.