Your preconception health can be improved with healthy habits:
- Exercise – Start exercising now. Set goals for what you want to achieve. Ask yourself if you want to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, or improve lung capacity. Some good exercise options include walking, swimming, bicycling, and aerobics. Yoga is an excellent choice for exercise because it incorporates posture, breathing, and concentration techniques which will be beneficial for you during labor. Talk with your healthcare provider about what is best for you.
- Read – Read books on pregnancy and childbirth. It is important that you are educated and prepared.
- Track your menstrual cycle – This is very important. Your doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycle, so you need to be prepared. Keeping track of your cycle will also help you track your ovulation and increase your chance of pregnancy.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Relaxation can help minimize stress. Try yoga, meditation, or listening to soft relaxing music in a warm bath.
- Get lots of sleep – Eight hours of sleep is recommended if you are trying to become pregnant. Adequate amounts of sleep can also help relieve stress and tension.
- Eat healthily – Nutrition is vital to your health. The healthier you are the easier the pregnancy will be for you. You might start on some fertility supplements to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Just make sure to tell your health care provider about any supplements you are taking.
Preconception Health for Women Nutrition
You are what you eat, and so is your baby. Make sure that you are getting lots of vitamins in your diet, and start taking folic acid now. Studies have shown that folic acid (300-400mcg a day) can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects when taken before conception.
Make a doctor’s appointment
It is important that you see your doctor before you become pregnant. There are medical conditions that you may not be aware of that can affect your pregnancy.
Some of the most common conditions include:
- Diabetes – It is important to control diabetes while pregnant. Pregnancy increases the chances of diabetes, and it can make it hard for a mother who is already suffering from diabetes.
- High blood pressure – If you have high blood pressure before pregnancy, you must closely monitor your high blood pressure during pregnancy.
- Anemia – A complete blood count (CBC) can measure your hemoglobin, red and white blood cell count, and the appearance of your platelets. Anemia can cause weakness and fatigue during pregnancy.
- Thyroid problems – The test to check for thyroid issues consists of a blood test which measures your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Hyperthyroidism (overactive) can lead to premature birth and low birth weight if left untreated. Hypothyroidism (under-active) can lead to infertility or miscarriage when left untreated.
- STDs – It is best to know if you have an STD before getting pregnant since some STDs can cause pregnancy complications. For example, an ectopic pregnancy is a risk for a woman who has chlamydia. If chlamydia is left untreated, it can also lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which can cause infertility.
Other testing and screening that is common during a preconception health checkup are:
- Pap Smear – A pap smear can check for cervical dysplasia.
- Breast exam – If over the age of 35, you may receive a mammogram.
- Blood type – If you are RH negative you will have to be desensitized prior to labor.
At your appointment, you will also be asked for your medical and family history.
A medical history may include:
- Medications you take
- Past pregnancies
- Medical conditions
Family history may include:
Should you be interested in conceiving and would like further consulting please contact to schedule an appointment.
The Staff at West Orange Women’s Center
Serving the Ocoee, Winter Garden, Winderere, FL areas