Preconception Health: Planning for a Pregnancy
It’s always necessary to take care of your health, but if you’re planning on having a baby, there are important steps to take in order to protect the health of both yourself and your future newborn. Preconception health refers to a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. By being proactive with your health planning, you can help prevent issues that might negatively impact your baby or yourself. Here are a few things you can do to sustain strong preconception health.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and try to stay physically active. Male partners should also focus on maintaining good overall health. That includes reviewing any medications with a doctor to make sure none of them will hinder fertility. Many pregnancies are unplanned, so it’s always best for both partners to maintain a healthy routine in case an unplanned pregnancy occurs.
- Have open communication with your partner. If you are planning to get pregnant, make sure your partner is on the same page. Maintaining your health is easier when both partners are working toward the same goal. Plus, planning for a baby will make the journey more enjoyable in an honest, open relationship.
- Monitor your weight. It is helpful to avoid being significantly overweight or underweight leading up to a pregnancy. Either extreme can lead to health problems such as premature birth and birth defects.
- Take your vitamins. A multivitamin is always helpful to ensure your body is getting the vitamins it needs. Folic acid is commonly taken before and during pregnancy to help prevent significant birth defects in a baby’s brain and spine.
- Be conscious of your mental health. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Make efforts to reduce stress. Being active and getting plenty of sleep can help diffuse stress. If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, speak to a therapist or counselor to help manage symptoms.
- Attend parenting classes. Especially if you are going to be a first-time parent, consider taking a parenting class to become familiar with all the baby basics, such as feeding and bathing your baby. This may help you feel more prepared and ease anxiety when a newborn is on the way.
- Schedule a pre-pregnancy checkup. A visit to your doctor will help you know if your body is prepared to be pregnant. Even if it won’t be your first pregnancy, it’s still a good idea to start your planning with a doctor’s visit. Bodies change and your body may need something now that it didn’t before.
If you have any questions regarding preconception health or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to call our office at 307-634-5216.
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