Before a woman considers trying for a baby she should know her own health and the risks from this to her baby. Her diet, her physical fitness and any illnesses she might have must all be considered.
Everyone should consider their health whether or not they are planning pregnancy but for a woman who may have a chance of becoming pregnant this is far more important. About half of all pregnancies are unplanned and this makes premature birth and low birth weight much more likely. Despite advances in medicine 1 in 8 babies are still born too early and all experts agree that improvements in a woman’s health before conception can greatly improve your baby’s health and greatly lower the risks of problems during pregnancy and after birth.
Both women and men should improve their health at least three months before planning to become pregnant. The six most important things to do are:-
Your partner needs to be supportive and get himself checked by his doctor.
STDs or genetic illnesses need to be treated and your partner needs to be in optimum health to maximize his fertility if you are seriously trying for a baby.
Talk to him about the pregnancy and make sure you both understand the commitment and responsibility that making a baby requires as well as the profound effects on life that children can bring.
The genes you were born with can affect your baby in many ways. Talk to your doctor about your family’s health history. This may help your doctor decide if there are any genetic risks that need to be considered.
Some reasons that you may need genetic counselling are:-
All areas of life involve risk and the secret is to make the risks as small as possible. Aiming for good preconception health is not about living a perfectly healthy life or worrying all the time whether you are doing the right thing or not. A baby is a blessing and being pregnant is part of that blessing. Aim for a good standard of life and get yourself checked out. Then enjoy trying to make a baby, safe that in the knowledge that you have tried your best!