Pregnancy and Babycare: Pre-Pregnancy Checks

Pregnancy and Babycare: Pre-Pregnancy Checks

Visiting your doctor before you are trying to conceive can help you prepare for a healthier pregnancy and baby. The pre-pregnancy checks can ascertain a lot of facts about your body and let you remove any potential harm from your life. They also let you actively pursue proper nutrition and good health.

Pre-pregnancy checks include the following:

  • Physical examination and assessment by the doctor.
  • Pre-pregnancy tests.
  • Observing some self-care guidelines.

The physical examination would involve answering a round of health questions that would help your doctor determine if you have any chronic health problems and genetically inherited diseases. In case any such condition is detected, the doctor can guide you with the correct support and advice and regulate the health problem by prescribing a treatment or medicines. The doctor may also prescribe you some vitamin supplements such as folic acid and calcium, and others depending upon the requirement of your body. Some chronic conditions like High blood pressure or Lupus or Diabetes, must be managed very carefully in pregnancy. So your doctor will make sure that you are in a stable condition before you try to conceive. Upon consultation or assessment, if the doctor finds out that you have a family history of any birth defect, you would be prescribed a pre-pregnancy genetic testing. By conducting the genetic tests, your doctor may be able to rule out some genetic risks.

The pre-pregnancy tests include Pap or Cervical Smear test, breast check up, Thyroid Hormone Blood test, Ultrasound, tests for sexually transmitted diseases like HPV, Herpes and Gonorrhea. You are also advised to undergo a blood test for HIV. Detecting and treating such diseases in advance, can help protect your baby from contracting the disease from you during pregnancy. If you have been trying to conceive for a year and your age is above thirty-five, then there are another sort of tests that would be recommended for you. These could include hysteroscopy to check inside your uterus, sperm analysis, hormonal testing and tests to check your fallopian tubes. Since it is also very important that the mother-to-be is well acquainted with the immunization, you must discuss with your doctor if you are not clear about the vaccinations you have had. The doctor can let you know if you need to get re-immunized by testing you for immunity to diseases like mumps, rubella and measles. As immunizations are contraindicated in pregnancy, you will be advised to get the immunization a month prior to conception.

The self-care guidelines include eliminating certain unhealthy habits from your life that may increase the risks during pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy is the best time to quit alcohol or smoking, before it affects your health or your period of conception as alcohol, if taken during pregnancy, can lead to serious birth defects and low birth weight. Moreover, only if you start trying now, you would be able to get rid of such a habit completely by the time you get pregnant. Other important self-care guidelines include; monitoring and maintaining the body weight, paying a close attention to your lifestyle and diet, following an exercise routine, and discussing with your doctor as to which medicines ought not to be taken before and during pregnancy.

Remember, you are considered pregnant even before you actually are pregnant, so try to incorporate as many healthy changes as you can in this pre-pregnancy period. This will result in an enjoyable and healthy baby-making!

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