The first stage in preparing for pregnancy is a preconception counseling appointment with your doctor. This will help him to point out any area of concern that needs to be immediately addressed. After all you have always wanted to give birth to a healthy child.
History: During the counseling the doctor will ask you about previous pregnancies, menstrual history, Pap test results, any kind of infection in the vagina and the type of contraception that you normally use. On your part you need to inform the doctor about any medical condition that you might be suffering from like diabetes or high blood pressure. Don’t forget to tell him/her about any kind of hospitalizations that you might have undergone.
Weight: The ideal body weight is very important. There is a high chance that the doctor might ask you to reach the ideal weight before conception. If you are overweight then there will be risk high blood pressure complications during pregnancy and if you are underweight then the baby might have a low birth weight.
Lifestyle: The habits of you and your husband will play a vital role in your successful pregnancy. Smoking, drinking alcohol and recreational drugs are best avoided during this period. If you or your partner indulges in any of these activities then you must stop at once to ensure a safe pregnancy.
The diet of the woman is very important during this period. A healthy, well balanced meal with lots of nutrients is essential during this period. Choose foods that are high in starch, fiber, vitamins and minerals. To ensure a healthy pregnancy choose foods that will give you a daily quota of vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid.
Milk and other calcium rich foods are also very essential. However, the most important point to note is that before and during pregnancy you should have a healthy dose of folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of babies being delivered with neural tube defect. Actually 400 mg of Folic Acid daily is required by the body before and in the initial stages of pregnancy. The prenatal vitamins containing Folic Acid are sold in medical shops as OTC drugs.