Pre-Pregnancy Health

By: Dr.Scott Pendergraft

A healthy pregnancy is more important than being pregnant. To have a healthy baby without any complication is it important to plan pregnancy ahead of time. Start making changes in your habits, diets and lifestyle even before you are pregnant to be healthy one you are pregnant. Here are some important questions you should ask about pre-pregnancy health.
Is health checkup before pregnancy important?
Including a health care service provider in your plan to get pregnant is always a good idea. A healthcare provider can better guide you about all the necessary tests and important diet and lifestyle changes you should implement to have a healthy pregnancy.
During your pre-pregnancy visit your doctor may ask you about your medical history and it is important if you have any heart disease, history of miscarriage, genetic disorder, STDs or eating disorder.
How should be my diet?
After pregnancy the energy requirement of your body changes drastically. Your daily calorie requirement increases by 100-300 calories. If you are normal weight then it is easy for you to gain appropriate weight for pregnancy otherwise you need to take supplements to get right pregnancy body weight.
You should start on a healthy diet before you get pregnant as it will make you stay on track once you are healthy. Pregnancy symptoms like nausea make it difficult to adapt to a diet once you are pregnant therefore starting before time is a good idea. A balanced diet will appropriate carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber is important. Avoid raw food items like raw veggies, raw meat, raw egg and poultry to avoid any bacterial food infection that can result into food poisoning.
Do I Need Extra Vitamins?
Absolutely, once you are pregnant it is necessary to increase the intake of vitamins in your diet. Folic acid is an important Vitamin B that you should include in your diet. It helps in preventing birth defects. Green vegetables, beans and oranges are natural sources of folic acid.
For pregnant women it is often difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals from food alone. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a multivitamin to help you maintain appropriate vitamins and minerals in your body.
What changes do I need to make in my lifestyle?
You can start with exercising regularly if you are not already. Smoking, drugs and alcohol are not only dangerous but also fatal for the baby you need to quit all these habits. Alcohol and drugs can pass through placenta to the fetus leading to birth defects and SIDS. Smoking is equally dangerous as it can cause hypertension that can result into miscarriage and preterm delivery.
Another important lifestyle to implement is to reduce stress and tension from your life. Yoga is a very useful medium to attain mental peace easily. If you want you can enjoy your sexuality too. It helps in reducing stress a lot.
These are some important questions related to pre-pregnancy health every women should pay attention to. Planning ahead of time is the best way to a healthy pregnancy.

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Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women.

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