The pregnancy life cycle begins in the preconception period and it involves not only the mother, but also the father-to-be. The union of a healthy egg and a healthy sperm makes for a healthy zygote. It is the best possible start in life for the baby. Let’s talk about a few things related to preconception health care that are important for both parents-to be.
First and foremost, if age is on your side, don’t stress while planning a baby. lt can take some time, so relax and enjoy the process. Try and keep all other stresses at bay as well. Many couples take time off from the pressures of their daily lives, especially during the ovulation period, as stress can hamper conception.
If either partner smokes or drinks, this is the time to cut back and, if possible, quit. Besides delaying conception, these habits can lead to mental and growth retardation in the baby. The next thing that both partners need to ensure is that they are in the healthy weight range. If either of you are overweight, you may first want to consider losing some weight. But, please, do not go on a crash-diet as this will dramatically reduce your chances of conception.
A preconception diet should be followed for a minimum of 3 months prior to conception. If you feel that your lifestyle has not been suited to a healthy pregnancy, you may want to follow it for a longer period before you try.
Your doctor may want to run some routine tests which will include a blood exam to ensure that all your levels are in the optimum range.
As mentioned earlier, it is suggested that you start taking folic acid for at least 3 months prior to conception as this can help prevent neural-tube defects. These defects can actually occur in the developing phase, which is the 3
at first months, and most women do not even realize that they are pregnant this time.
Women planning a baby, should also start eating more iron-rich foods as this will build up their iron reserves. Dads can take a multivitamin supplement in this period and follow a balanced diet
It is important to achieve a healthy weight. A good way find out where you stand is to calculate your Body Mass Index. Following is a simple formula which will help you
Body Mass Index (BMI) = Current Weight (kg )x 703 / Height (inch) x Height (inch)
If you find that you do not fall in the healthy weight range, calculate what your optimum healthy weight should be, using the following formula:
Target BMI x Height (inch) x Height (inch) / 703 = Target Weight
If you are looking at losing weight, do not aim at a drastic weight loss. Consult a nutritionist for a meal plan and also include some daily exercise. The exercise should be a combination of aerobic and weight training.
If you are underweight and aiming at gaining some kilos you become before pregnant, again, do not aim at drastic weight gain. Eating foods rich in saturated fats does not result in a healthy weight gain. Visit a nutritionist to plan healthy meals and increase your caloric intake in a healthy way.