Planning a baby can be exciting. Being creators of a human being is not an easy task though. It takes a lot of care on our part to make sure that we provide a safe environment for the baby to be born in. The efforts, however, have to be taken much before conception. With the advent of genetics, we now know that parents can pass down much more than diseases to the baby. Things like habits, immunity, and allergies are programmed into the DNA of the parents and this can be inherited by the offspring. Since cells take at least three months to regenerate, pre-conception care must begin three to four months before conception. Given below are some tips for pre-conception care.
Visit doctor, specialists: Schedule an appointment with a gynaecologist and a nutritionist. The gynaecologist will scan the reproductive system of the to-be mother for any abnormalities like cysts. The uterus needs to be in a good condition and ready to carry a foetus. Hormones also have to be checked for any imbalance as they work double-duty when a baby is conceived. If there is an issue with the reproductive system, the doctor will prescribe medications to avoid any complications that may arise later. Additionally, the couple must visit a nutritionist to check whether there is any vitamin or mineral deficiency. The nutritionist will prescribe the necessary pre-natal vitamins and recommend a diet plan.
Exercise: It is necessary to achieve a healthy body weight before conceiving. Obesity is linked to diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Having any of those conditions might affect the baby’s health adversely. So it is recommended that the parents exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle before they plan a baby.
Avoid smoking and drinking: That smoking is injurious to health is a known fact. Whether or not you plan to conceive, smoking should be avoided in order to maintain good health. Drinking in moderation is said to not cause any major issues to the human body. But if you plan to have a baby, drinking is a strict no-no.
Eat healthy and wholesome food: Eating whole foods, i.e., food that is unprocessed is recommended. Consumption of processed food in excess is linked to a variety of diseases like diabetes and may also cause obesity. So cut out processed food like chips, soft drinks, biscuits and eat home-made wholesome food. But, don’t cut out essential fats that you get from ghee, oil, and nuts. Fats are needed for a healthy metabolism. Have a healthy, balanced diet. Visit a nutritionist if required. Avoid diet fads like Ketogenic diet which asks you to cut down on carbohydrates as your body needs it in order to have a healthy baby.
Decrease stress: Stress has become a regular problem in this day and age. While a little bit of stress is not harmful, increased stress is known to adversely affect our body and mind. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, is released when we are stressed. Too much Cortisol may cause Cushing syndrome among other things like reduced concentration and libido, depression, weight gain, and thin skin. In men, stress can cause low testosterone and reduced sperm count. This may lead to problems while conceiving.
Eat small, frequent meals and avoid overindulgence of spicy, processed food. Get good sleep daily to be fresh and alert during the day. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consuming watery fruits. Last but not the least, pursue a hobby to de-stress yourself. All in all, it is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle before conception.