Planning a pregnancy? Here is a list of all the things you must keep in mind

Thinking of starting a family? But before you plan that pregnancy, read what a gynaecologist suggests you should keep in mind.
A coipleStarting a family can be a cakewalk, if you follow this checklist. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 10 May 2021, 23:16 pm IST
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Planning all things in advance gives us a lot of room to deal with the upcoming situations. And when it is about welcoming a little one into your life then you have to be ready in more ways than one. From your physical well-being and emotional health to finances–everything needs to be sorted so that you can enjoy the journey of becoming a parent. 

When it’s your first time, things can be way too confusing as everything is so new. And when you don’t plan in advance then you tend to be anxious and stressed which is not a good state to be in especially, when you are expecting. 

That’s why we thought, why don’t we guide you through this process? To ensure that you have a healthy and stress-free pregnancy we have Dr Vaishali Joshi, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kokilaben Hospital and Cloudnine Hospital Mumbai, with us. 

vitamin d deficiency
Go that extra mile to take care of your health during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you want to conceive then you should know your ideal age
Please don’t go by societal pressure as at the end of it, you are the ones who need to nurture the child. Gone are the days when the average age to get married was 20. Now as the average age of marriage is rising and women are getting more career-oriented, the right time would be when the couple is mentally and financially ready.

That said, ideally, a woman’s fertility declines after the age of 35 so the peak age of fertility and having babies nowadays is between the age of 27-32. 

Also, read: Hey there new mothers, it is absolutely okay to feel all over the place. Here’s why

Also, if you wish to delay you must also check with the doctor how practical and feasible it is for your body. 

You can opt for egg freezing as well: This will at least help to have your babies at a later stage even if your fertility declines. 

Visiting a gynae is a must for a heads up
Thanks to our lifestyle we have a whole bunch of problems that we don’t even know of. So, it is always better to visit a gynae when you decide to have a baby. 

High blood pressure during pregnancy is linked with cardiovascular diseases. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Joshi suggests that your health is a priority and it’s always better to conceive naturally. Before a couple starts planning, it’s always better that they visit a doctor to see if there are any hidden health issues as not all health problems manifest symptoms like low haemoglobin, vitamin deficiency, thyroid, or some hormonal imbalance. 

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These are just some of the medical conditions that need to be addressed/tested by the medical professional or gynaecologist. Internal examinations or sonography is also carried out to see if there are any issues with the internal organs, uterus, or ovaries. 

Sometimes women have cysts or fibroids, which can affect the ability to conceive sometimes, though not always. These are the kinds of issues which one may not be aware of and need to be investigated.

Don’t panic if there is any medical condition, because your gynae will help you deal with it
It is normal to come across some or the other medical condition nowadays, so worry not and discuss it with the doc.

Dr Joshi suggests that if the woman has any medical conditions, we need to make sure that it’s safe for the woman to conceive. The conditions need to be under control, because if one conceives before this, the woman may develop serious complications. 

If you’re having depressive symptoms during pregnancy then beware as it can lower your child’s immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If someone is on medication like for instance has fits and is on anti-fits medicine or epileptic medicines then we would provide that medication with the least possible dose, rather than stopping the tablets so that the mother’s health doesn’t get affected; and at the same time she has a healthy baby. 

Such medicines can go across the placenta to the baby leading to developmental defects in the baby, the idea here is to protect the mother and the unborn baby as well and optimise the pregnancy outcome.

Please opt for medical insurance beforehand
We all are well aware of the fact that medical treatment is very expensive and if you have medical insurance then it will be a huge support. While one needs to optimize the health, there are a lot of other factors that a couple/family needs to keep in mind like financial planning for the baby and financial security, health insurance and if it covers maternity or not.

Keep the levels of folic acid in check for the healthy development of your child
For a better brain development folic acid is a must. It is advisable to start using folic acid to make sure that when you conceive the baby has an advantage of folic acid right from the time of conception because folic acid is very important for the baby’s development, particularly neurological development.

Also, read: Zinc, folic acid have failed to improve male fertility, reveals study

Keep your gynae posted about the contraceptives you have been using
Dr Joshi suggests that if a couple has been using any contraception then this needs to be discussed with the doctor as to how soon it needs to stop before you start planning a family.

IUD for contraception
Discuss all the birth control measures you have taken to avoid complications. Image courtesy: Shutterstcok

Before you plan a baby adopt a healthy lifestyle
It’s not only from the treatment point of view but one needs to improve their lifestyle, exercise, eat healthily, and have a holistic approach before they start planning a family because you want to give your baby the best. 

Also, read: Planning for pregnancy? Take these 7 steps to boost your partner’s fertility

This is similar in the case of a pregnancy. If the lifestyle involves smoking, alcohol, pan masala, gutka, indulging in recreational drugs it will have an effect on the man’s sperm count and the sexual desire like libido and hence the sexual act.

Also, listen:

Therefore, it is always advised that you detox yourself before planning to  conceive.  

All in all, these are the things that will help all you first-timers to be ready to welcome your child in this world without any hassle. 

(With inputs from IANS)

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