Motherhood is considered to be the most beautiful yet most painful experience in a woman’s life. Although painful it is yet considered as the most beautiful and divine experience in a mother’s life. There comes a point in every woman’s life when she dreams of becoming a mother and feels the joy of motherhood. There are many religions that believe that the other form of god is a mother. The fact that only a mother can give birth is considered to be a divine quality. However, pregnancy comes with its own complications.
A woman who is about to get pregnant is most fearful about her health, medication, exercises, diagnostic tests, delivery, and diet. Usually, a mother is concerned about all the responsibilities which come along on bearing a child. This is why the elders of each family guide the couple to be mentally and physically ready before taking care or bringing a child into the world. Any couple who decide to have a baby should increase and improve their knowledge of pregnancy. They should also go for regular medical checkups and if needed speak to their family members and friends before taking the decision of having a baby.
A mother should always plan ahead before taking up the responsibilities of motherhood. Some of the things which need to be kept in mind are as follows:
Pre-Pregnancy Planning Tips
1. Schedule a Prenatal Check-up
A soon to be a mother should definitely set up an appointment with their gynecologist regarding preconception check-ups. The doctor would then do the necessary check-up regarding all the medical history, family history or any sort of medication and supplement which the mother would be on. The doctor may also advise stopping certain medications or supplements which may affect the pregnancy.
The doctors do usually discuss the woman’s pre-pregnancy diet, immunization, weight loss regime and any of the unhealthy habits which include smoking, alcohol or any sort of drug abuse. Usually, the gynecologist would advise their patients to consult a specialist if they were suffering from various medical conditions which would include asthma, diabetes or any form of high blood pressure. The doctor may also schedule a pelvic and a Pap smear examination to check for sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Pre-Conception Genetic Testing
The gynecologist would usually advise their patients to have a genetic carrier screen test. By doing this test the patient can find out whether she or her partner have any major genetic condition which they are suffering from. Genetic conditions include sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and others. The doctors usually check for genetic disorders because if one of the partners has this condition then there is a huge chance that the child would have the defect too.
Genetic testing requires the patient’s saliva or blood samples. Usually most of the health insurances available in this time cover such expenses. (See also: Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep During Pregnancy)
3. Give up Alcohol, Smoking, and Drugs
Smoking and drinking are the main factors which lead to miscarriages, premature births and also low birth weight in babies. This is why smoking, drinking, and drugs should be avoided at all costs. There are drugs which still remain in the bloodstream even after all the effects go away. Usually, men who are smokers have a low sperm count and less semen volume. Being a passive smoker can also reduce the chances of conception. However, moderate drinking is still allowed. Alcohol, smoking, and drugs can cause dental problems and maintaining optimal dental health during pregnancy is the must.
4. Avoid Infections
Some of the basic infections can be avoided if the following habits are followed.
- Firstly the person must always wash their hands while cooking. The refrigerator temperature should usually be set at 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. The freezer temperature should usually be around -18 degrees Celsius.
- The mother should not consume any raw or undercooked poultry. The patient should also not consume any dairy product which includes cheese and other deli meat. These products could carry bacteria which would cause listeriosis. This increases the chances of miscarriages and stillbirths.
- Juices which are not pasteurized also contain bacteria such as E.coil and salmonella. These juices should be avoided at all costs as they may be harmful to the baby and the mother.
- The person should be careful while gardening and wear gloves to avoid certain infections such as toxoplasmosis.
- The soon to be a mother should also get a flu shot so as to avoid getting pneumonia.
6. Keep an eye on your caffeine Intake
Women who are pregnant should definitely keep an eye out for their caffeine intake. It is usually not healthy for the child if the mother is addicted to coffee which has high caffeine content.
There are studies which state that high caffeine intake could lead to reduced fertility.
Thus from the above discussion, it is clear that if some of these points are taken care of and adhered to then pregnancy would be a cakewalk and much more joyful experience.
About The Author:
Pankaj Aggarwal is a post graduate from IIT Kanpur & Co-founder of Bookmerilab.com. A mechanical engineer by the day and an entrepreneur by the night, he aspires to make healthcare services accessible and affordable. He has the vision to provide all healthcare services on a single platform.