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When is the right time to plan for pregnancy? Am I mentally, physically and financially prepared to conceive? Whether to focus on education, career or family as this is the most prestigious phase of life, what’s the priority?
These are the usual questions that come to one’s mind while planning for pregnancy.
Your lifestyle, age, body weight, history of any medical ailment, history of genetic diseases running in the family are the factors generally to consider prior to planning for pregnancy. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, alcoholism and smoking increases the chances of miscarriage, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight babies, premature delivery. They also increase the risk of maternal morbidity like hypertension, diabetes, etc.
Pregnancy planning should be at the right age, should not be too early (before 21 years), or too late (after 35 years) as both ways can have consequences on the health of mother and baby. Age has a great impact as before 21 years of age your body is not ready to deliver a child, whereas after 35 years of age fertility declines steeply. The number of eggs reduces and the quality of eggs deteriorates genetically. Incidence of miscarriages, birth defects, low birth weight increases. Incidence of maternal complications like hypertension, diabetes, operative interference also increases.
Chronic medical illness: In cases, having a history of medical ailment or genetic disease better to consult your doctor for proper guidance and counselling to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Basic blood tests: To check for the type of blood group, haemoglobin, blood sugar, thyroid, viral markers, liver and kidney function tests should be done to know that your body is fit to carry the pregnancy.
Contraception: Most of the couples seek for termination of unplanned pregnancy as their main focus is on higher education, career, not prepared mentally or financially to extend the family. In such cases one should follow strict contraception methods as going for termination of pregnancy is not advisable.
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