The Decision To Become A Parent
This is perhaps the most important decision of a lifetime. So take advice from your physician, talk to friends and family about it and read a lot of books and magazines that will give you good advice on planning for a healthy pregnancy.
A Preconception Visit to Your Physician
As a part of your pregnancy planning check list, a visit to your physician is a must. He will do a thorough medical checkup and check if there is any family history of illnesses. He will check you for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). He may advice you to stop taking any over-the-counter medication. If it's been over a year since you've been trying to get a baby, he may advice you to take a fertility test. There is no cause for worry and there is every chance that you might conceive. He will also give you vaccinations to immunize you against tetanus, hepatitis B and German measles.
Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals- If you or your partner have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, dry cleaning fluids, heavy metals, radiation or chemical fumes at work, this can be dangerous for the baby. You must take the physician's advice on whether you should continue to work in the same place or take up a new job.
Smoking Drugs and Alcohol- Say NO Today
Smoking, drugs and alcohol can harm your baby. Your baby may be born under-weight or be a preemie. He may also develop complications and birth defects. Research says there is a 64% increase in the chances of birth defects in children whose parents are smokers.
A Healthy Diet-Nourishment for You and the Baby
A healthy pregnancy diet with supplements of folic acid is essential for a mother-to-be. Folic Acid prevents birth defects of the spine and brain. Eat your meals regularly. Your meals should contain foods rich in iron, calcium and green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and legumes. Fortified cereals are also good for you.
An Exercise Regimen- Eating Healthy is very good but you should also exercise regularly. Not very strenuous but exercises like walking, swimming or yoga can be of great help in bringing down your stress levels. Also needed are meditation and deep breathing exercises. These will help you stay calm and peaceful. Do what you enjoy doing, like reading or listening to music.
Family and Friends- This is the time to talk to family and friends to get their support. Sometimes a relationship may become too difficult to handle, especially when you get pregnant. You may be subjected to some form of abuse. Do not feel afraid to ask for help in such a situation from your local helpline or from friends.
Financial matters- It is important to be prepared financially for your baby. There will be an onslaught of bills once the baby is born. Go in for health insurance too. And save for the future-both yours and little one's.
Now with this pregnancy planning checklist in hand, you can manage your pre pregnancy planning in a better way for a wonderful start.