Everyone knows the importance of practicing healthy habits during pregnancy but making sure you're in the best health possible beforehand can improve your chances of getting pregnant and reduce the risk of complications.
At The Ob-Gyn Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, the team provides a full range of services using innovative techniques and technologies to help women maintain their best health throughout all phases of their lives, including when getting ready for pregnancy. A warm and welcoming environment paired with personalized service results in a rewarding experience for each obstetric and gynecological visit.
Get a Preconception Checkup
Schedule a preconception appointment with your health care provider before attempting to become pregnant. This is a good opportunity to have your overall health evaluated and make sure any chronic issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma are under control. Your family health history can also be discussed and the risk of genetic issues evaluated.
Take Vitamin Supplementation
Begin taking a multivitamin, prenatal vitamin, or folic acid supplement before you become pregnant in order to help prevent neural tube defects. Up to 70% of these problems with the baby's brain and spine may be prevented by taking at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily prior to and in the early weeks of pregnancy. Getting enough iron and calcium is also important to ensure proper development for the baby and good health for the mom-to-be. Talk to your health care provider about which vitamins are right for you.
Aim for the Proper Weight
Getting pregnant can be harder if you're underweight or overweight, and carrying extra pounds during pregnancy may increase the chance of health problems like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Eat healthy foods, and be active daily. Even if you don't achieve your optimum number on the scale, losing any amount of weight is helpful.
Avoid Bad Habits
Smoking can negatively affect fertility while tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs may cause birth defects. Women often don't know they're pregnant until they miss a period. By that time, the baby has been developing for weeks, so avoid these bad habits when trying to conceive. Even too much caffeine can be an issue, so work to reduce consumption to 200 to 300 milligrams daily.
In addition to washing your hands regularly and staying away from sick people, make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Chicken pox and German measles (rubella) can be dangerous to a developing baby. If you aren’t sure if you've been vaccinated or developed immunity, a blood test can be conducted.
Beware of toxoplasmosis, which can be acquired from eating undercooked meat or exposure to cat feces. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) can be contracted from rodents like mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs. Be sure all meat is cooked thoroughly and have another family member care for pet cats and rodents.
Double Check Medications and Supplements
Touch base with your health care provider to make sure any prescription drugs you take are safe when trying to conceive and during pregnancy. Any over-the-counter vitamins, herbs, or supplements should also be vetted by a medical professional.
Avoid Harmful Chemicals
Certain chemicals such as solvents, pesticides, and fertilizers may make getting pregnant more difficult and could hurt the baby during development. Identify possible issues at home and work, and ask your doctor what should be avoided. Mercury, lead, and radiation can also be harmful. If you are exposed to any of these at work, investigate if you can modify your job or if there are additional ways to protect yourself.
Prolonged periods of high stress during pregnancy can increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely or being of low birth weight. Try to reduce stress with healthy eating and exercise, relaxing with meditation or prenatal yoga, and accept help from your support system. If these don't provide relief, talk to your health care provider.
If you are planning to become pregnant, call or click to book an appointment with the doctors at The Ob-Gyn Center today to make sure everything is in place for the healthiest pregnancy possible.