Pre-Pregnancy – what to know
Caring for one’s health before becoming pregnant is good for the mother and the baby.
Pregnancy should be something that is wanted and enjoyed by the couple (both partners) as this will then be a shared experience with positive expectations. An Assessment of the status of health of the wife would help the couple to be realistic about the progress of the pregnancy and the resulting events. It enables the better planning of the pregnancy and the delivery. A pre pregnancy health check is therefore considered as a priority item when planning a pregnancy
One should be stress free, as stress at the home front or work may delay conception and affect the pregnancy outcome adversely.
Discontinuation of any contraceptives and having regular sexual exposures is advisable. After discontinuing hormonal contraceptives, return to fertility occurs after the medication has been eliminated from the body. The “washout period” would be a few days after the discontinuation of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) and implant but last up to 9 months with the three monthly injections (DMPA). The return to fertility is fast with the removal of all intra uterine devices and the nonuse of the condoms.
Folic acid 1 mg daily started from 3 months prior to the pregnancy helps to reduce chances of neural tube defects and help the normal development of the placenta.
Vaccination History –rubella vaccination helps to prevent Rubella infection during the pregnancy. If unimmunized the status of protection should be checked by a blood test (Rubella IgG test) and Rubella vaccination administered. By convention pregnancy is postponed for three months.
Have an ideal body mass index between 19 to 23 kg/m2 which supports ovulation in women and also sperm production in males in addition to maintaining a healthy metabolic status
Awareness of the blood group of both partners is very important in decision making during the pregnancy.
Full Blood Count of both partners is done to screen for anemia and thalassemia carriers. If both have issues with the count, consultation with a physician and to do further test to confirm thalassemia carrier status would be arranged.
Diabetes is common and affects pregnancy negatively if undetected and uncontrolled. Therefore it is advisable to have a blood sugar check performed.
Discussion about your sexual and reproductive health, violence free environment at home (physical/ psychological) will positively affect chances of conception and beyond.
When planning a pregnancy a preconception counseling session will help to gain information and knowledge while increasing the level of preparation to go through a pregnancy. This could be arranged at VRHC with experienced medical counselors.
For a healthy mother and baby the care should extend from pre pregnancy proceeding throughout the pregnancy and then extend to post-delivery period. At Vindana one can expect the holistic care of the pregnancy.
Pre pregnancy counseling is available if there are conditions that can affect the pregnancy such as diabetes, high blood pressure,etc so that the control could be optimized prior to the conception. It also helps to plan and provide guidance with the necessary care during the pregnancy.
Early pregnancy ultrasound scans, detailed scans at 20 weeks and scans with Doppler assessment at different stages of pregnancy are offered to assess fetal wellbeing and growth.
Consultant led antenatal care is provided with health advice and regular checkups for the mother and the baby. Planning of the delivery according to the mother’s and the baby’s heath is also done during these visits.
Parent craft sessions – pregnancy is joyful and at the same time it can be daunting. Parent craft sessions are useful in that they provide guidance as to what to expect during each trimester of the pregnancy, preparation for delivery, address issues of the postpartum period and the care of the baby.
Antenatal and post-natal exercise classes help to maintain good health and keep the body in shape during and after pregnancy
Active controlled relaxation during labour is also a very helpful item that assists with managing child birth.
All these inputs would make pregnancy and child birth a very pleasing experience.