A pregnancy planning guide

A significant change is noticeable in female health after delivering a baby. It is always suggested that if you and your partner want baby, then start with pregnancy planning with a health professional.

Dad listening to unborn baby in the womb- hope - pregnancy planing

A Pregnancy plan aims to create a healthy environment where the fetus can develop properly, avoid pregnancy-related complications and birth defects.

The concerned points which usually addresses during planning a pregnancy are nutrition, essential vitamins, weight management, exercise, immunizations, avoidance of smoking, alcohol and certain medications, and genetic counseling.

Although many women are giving birth to their children without such planning, the planning increases the chances of a healthy birth. Worldwide many women do not seek medical supervision before their conceiving, which can increase the risk of pregnancy failure, complications during the gestational period, premature delivery,  stillbirth, etc.

During Pregnancy it is essential to avoid exposure to certain toxic substances at the early phase of pregnancy. At the first day of the missed period starts to develop the embryo.

After 17 days embryo will start organ development. Some women continue light bleeding during the first few months of their pregnancy and they do not realize their pregnancy. Some women are completely unaware of their conception.

They recognize their pregnancy after abdominal enlargement. In such cases, they may have exposed some toxic substances or contraindicated medications which cause unnecessary complications in their pregnancy.

Apart from the above-mentioned issues, certain health conditions also require to address during pregnancy planning:

Women having diseases like diabetes, hypertension, renal problems, thyroid disease, cardiac ailments need to treat and well control before conceiving.

These health issues must be addressed during pregnancy planning to optimize pregnancy outcome.   

During plotting the pregnancy plan clinicians also check the vaccination status of the future mothers against rubella, chickenpox. Women who lack the immunity of rubella antibodies need to immunize before conceiving.

In case of lack of immunity against chickenpox, then the women need to vaccinate against chickenpox and wait for 30 days before conceiving.

During pre-pregnancy, a blood test for hepatitis B is essential. Women who identified as a positive carrier of this virus, need to vaccinate the newborn immediately after birth.

Doctors prescribe some medications in case of HIV infected women during their gestational period to reduce the risk and provide protection to fetus.

Read Also: Pregnancy advancements

Following are certain facts which should be clarified during pre-pregnancy planning:

  • A Pregnancy plan is essential for awareness. Nutrition, vitamins, exercise, weight management, avoid potentially harmful medication, smoking, alcohol, control chronic disease conditions,  immunization, and genetic counseling are some important facts require detail knowledge before conception.
  • Folic acid supplementation before four weeks of conception can reduce risk of neuronal birth defect of neonates by 70%.
  • Alcohol can induce infertility, miscarriage, congenital defects to the neonates. Therefore, avoidance of alcohol consumption before pregnancy and gestational period are important.
  • Acne treatment medication and other OTC and certain prescription medication can also increase the birth defects.
  • Special protection requires from Zika viral infection during pregnancy planning, as this infection has a link with defective eye and incomplete brain development of the neonate (microcephaly), which is characterized by the abnormally small sized head.
  • Genetic counseling may be recommended by experts before trying for pregnancy, especially for older aged women who plan for pregnancy. Aging can cause chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Spreading of awareness related to the timing of sexual intercourse about ovulation does not manipulate the gender of the baby.

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