Becoming a mother is a wonderful gift of nature. Most of us, girls, love surprises but it’s best to be prepared for receiving this one. Here’s why.

With increased stress and deteriorating quality of lifestyle (food,air,water), the risk of health issues is now more than ever before. Females are making their way through the professional world, while managing their homes and family. This means increased stress, bad food choices through the day resulting in a poorer health.

Quotes image of In a healthy body a healthy spirit.

It’s important to maintain a good health always but it becomes even more critical when you’re trying to become a mother. A good diet is something that everyone talks about but there are a few additional tips that can help in conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

  • Prenatal supplements: It’s important to take these supplements months before you’re looking to conceive. There are two important supplements:
    • Folic Acid – It’s recommended to take 400mcg of Folic acid every day before and during pregnancy. This superhero supplement helps prevent birth defects in baby’s brain and spinal cord. In some kinds of anemia as well, this supplement is helpful
    • Iron –   Hemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen to different parts of body and hence it is essential to have good hemoglobin else it can affect oxygen supply to baby’s body parts posing risk to growth. Almost all females undergo a mild anemia during pregnancy.  Most common type of anemia is caused by iron deficiency and hence it is recommended to take this supplement daily (exception being the Thalassemia patients) before and during pregnancy   
  • Watch your weight: It’s a common myth that you can eat all what you want before and during pregnancy as you’re eating for two! An excessive weight gain can lead to complications for both you and the baby. Probability of conception is more if you are at an optimum weight. To maintain a healthy weight before and during pregnancy it’s important to
    • Eat smaller meals : This helps in maintain weight and also in some cases helps deal with the issue of heartburn (which is common during pregnancy)
    • Exercise: I can’t stress enough the importance of a 45 minute cardio workout before and during pregnancy. If you have otherwise a healthy pregnancy (no low lying placenta etc.), you should be able to continue exercising till the day of your delivery! And by exercise I don’t mean heavy weightlifting. A brisk walk is good too. Exercise helps in regulating blood sugar and increases your chances of a having a normal delivery too!
  • Alcohol and Smoking: It is believed that any amount of alcohol reduces your chances of conception so avoid it as much as you can. Once you’re sure that you’re pregnant, having any amount of alcohol can pose risk of birth defects in the baby. Similarly, nicotine found in cigarettes can cause extreme complications in pregnancy including preterm labor, low birth weight and brain damage of the unborn baby.
  • Pre-pregnancy check-up It’s important to consult with your gynecologist and let her know that you’re trying to get pregnant so that she can assess for any possible health issues with the baby arising due to any parent’s current health condition or due to their respective genetic history.
    • Heath screening: This will include full range of tests such as pap smear or blood tests to check for illnesses such as:
      •  Thyroid problems (Hypo or Hyper)
      •  Sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, syphilis
      • HIV
  • Genetic Testing:  Genetic testing tells you the possibility of the child inheriting a disease (25% only if both parents are carriers). The findings of tests can later be confirmed by tests such as amniocentesis during 10th to 12th week of pregnancy. Common conditions for which genetic testing is done are
    • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Sickle Cell diseases
    • Thalassemia

 There could be other health risks too so please consult with your gynecologist.

Finally, if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the above medical conditions, it’s still possible to have a healthy pregnancy in most cases with proper medical care. I myself have got a Beta Thalassemia trait which means I had extremely low hb levels (6g/dl). I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism during the first few weeks of pregnancy. But the preparation we’d done (refer tips above) helped us overcome the health issues and we received our healthy gift at the end of 9 months. I hope through this post of mine, I am able to help at least some of you get ready for the most beautiful chapter of your lives.