There are certain things you as a lady need to put in place before you get pregnant to ensure safety in conception,pregnancy and even in delivery.Pregnancy is the state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body from conception till delivery. It is a big step in a woman’s life. It is important you make certain changes in your life so as to give your baby a healthy start. Here are some things you need to do before you get pregnant;

  1. Stop smoking: Smoking affects the health of your baby and is associated with birth defects in the baby. It is also associated with increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature births. This is due to the over 7000 chemicals that can cross the placental barrier and have direct harmful effect on the unborn baby.
  2. Reduce caffeine consumption: Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic which increases blood pressure and heart rate. Caffeine can also cross the placenta affecting the baby’s sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy. It is therefore important you stay clear of caffeine before conception or drink not more than 200mg per day (355mls).
  3. Cut down on alcohol consumption: It is important you reduce/stop alcohol consumption while you are trying to conceive and also when pregnant. Excessive alcohol consumption in pregnancy can lead to alcohol baby syndrome which is characterised by mental retardation, hearing and vision disorders.
  4. Ensure you are in a good state of health: It is very important the mother who is carry the pregnancy should be in a good state of health,. A preconception visit to your doctor for routine check up is very important to discuss your general health history and ensure you are fit for pregnancy.
  5. Consider genetic screening: Your health care provider should screen you and your partner for serious medical conditions such as sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and others.
  6. Take folic acid daily: Folic acid (400 microgram) daily for at least one month before conception is very important before you conceive. This helps to reduce the chances of having a baby with spinal cord defects (such as; spina bifida) and some other birth defects. Folic acid should be taken daily all through pregnancy both for the baby and to boost blood production in the mother during pregnancy.
  7. Avoid infections: Its important you avoid infections because they can be harmful to your unborn child. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, undercooked meat and fish also honey. They can be a source of harmful bacteria and parasites which can be harmful to the baby.
  8. Aim for a healthy weight: It is import you are at a healthy weight before you conceive. Having an ideal body weight makes conception easier. Women with high BMI are more likely to have pregnancy or delivery complications while those with low BMI tend to have underweight babies.
  9. Exercise regularly: It is important you exercise at least 30 minutes daily at least 5 days a week to ensure you have a body fit enough to carry pregnancy.
  10. Sort your money issues out: Before you get pregnant you should have a plan to save up money to take care of yourself and the baby.
  11. Ensure you are emotionally ready: Women who suffer from depression can barely take care of herself much less take care of a baby. It is therefore important you do a mental health check before you get pregnant.
  12. Stop the use of birth control measures: You need to discontinue your contraceptives if you plan to get pregnant soon. This gives your menstrual cycle a chance to normalise.
  13. Have regular unprotected sex: Once you have put all things in place and you are ready to get pregnant you need to have sex 3-4 times a week in order to achieve conception. You should also lie down a while after intercourse, so the sperm don’t have to battle gravity to get to the cervix.


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