Women who are planning a pregnancy are taking a big step in their life. Starting a family works best if one takes the time to tend to one’s own health during pregnancy. Focusing on diet, exercise, and healthy habits is good for you, your baby, and your social network. Before you conceive, be sure to consult your OB/GYN physician to review your health history. You can also use this time to reassess any risky health behaviors, such as drinking or smoking, and take steps to curb those habits.
Your OB/GYN physician is part of your team throughout your pregnancy. Your team also will likely include a nurse practitioner and perhaps a midwife. The combined experience and expertise of the team best promotes good prenatal care and a healthy child birth. If you have any outstanding health issues, such as diabetes, your health team will work with other professionals to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Your Day-to-Day Dangers
While your health team will keep your best interests in full focus, it also is important to be your own advocate. Within your day-to-day work or social environment, you will want to be aware of the substances or activities that may cause you fertility or post-conception problems. For example, you will want to avoid toxic substances such as lead or mercury, secondhand smoke, strenuous lifting of heavy objects, specific viruses, and unsupervised radiation devices. Many of these dangers are easily avoided, but it is important to stay vigilant for your health during your pregnancy.
In your own home, you also must take care during your pregnancy. Be aware of household cleaners, viruses from friends, and, most importantly, food items that can contain bacteria. Of particular concern is listeria: listeria is a bacterium that can cause listeriosis leading to miscarriage. Listeria, albeit uncommon, can be found in underprepared meat and fish as well as certain prepared foods. To avoid listeriosis you should thoroughly cook all animal product, observe all expire dates on prepared foods, avoid soft cheeses, and use hot water and soap to clean all surfaces and utensils after handling uncooked foods.
Persons who have difficulty conceiving a child can seek out fertility services to help them fulfill their family plans. Again, since infertility can be caused by many factors, it is important to discuss your situation with your OB/GYN to determine the next best steps. Typically, infertility is not treated unless a couple has failed to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse. Courses of action after that period will depend upon your overall health, age, and tolerance for specific therapies.
Planning a family is an exciting and naturally nerve-wracking process. There is no “one size fits all” approach, but it is important to take your own health into consideration as you conceive, carry, and birth your child. Working with experienced and trusted professionals throughout the process is the best foundation for a healthy childbirth and baby. Take the time to select the best practitioners for your own situation and you can then spend more of your energy enjoying the entire process of starting a family.
Leslie Perez enjoys writing about beauty and health. She is dedicated to living a life that is full of happiness that comes from living healthfully. Aside from writing about makeup routines and healthful eating- she enjoys writing about exercise, especially for pregnant woman.