Preparing For Pregnancy
When it comes to medical care and pregnancy, you can never start too early. The best start to having a healthy baby is to see your health-care provider for a pre-pregnancy health check before you conceive. It is often recommended to visit your doctor as early as three months before you even try to conceive.
There are lots of things you can do ahead of time, such as making sure you're immune to rubella (German measles), finding out your blood type, stopping smoking, making sure your diet is healthy, and getting any illnesses you might have under control. Many obstetricians recommend you start taking prenatal vitamins even before you conceive. You will also want to start taking folic acid which is a necessary nutrient in your baby's development. Having enough folic acid in your system can help to prevent heart mumurs and spina bifida in your baby. Talk to your doctor about how much folic acid you should be taking prior to becoming pregnant and about what amount you should increase this to after you do finally become pregnant.
Becoming Pregnant: Now What?
Once you're pregnant, your health professional will have you begin with monthly visits that increase to once a week or more at the end of your pregnancy. Your doctor will give you ultrasounds to check the baby's heartbeat, check the condition of the placenta, and to measure the baby's growth and estimated weight. Your doctor will also want to ensure that you have enough fluid in your uterus. Towards the end of your pregnancy your doctor will also start checking your cervix to determine if you will go into labor anytime soon. At each doctor's visit your doctor will also take your blood pressure to check for preeclampsia and have you hop on a scale to check your weight gain. Other tests that will be performed throughout your pregnancy are tests for downs syndrome and tests for gestational diabetes. Downs syndrome test will be performed in the early second trimester and the gestational diabetes test will be done in the late second trimester. Your doctor will also check your urine for evidence of protein or sugar, which could be symptoms of complications.
The care provider will ask the mother if she has any concerns or problems such as blurred vision, leg cramps, abdominal cramps, or unusual headaches. The mother may also undergo ultrasound and genetic tests during the pregnancy. Getting good care is very important since it is known that pregnancy outcomes are better in women with early prenatal care.
If the stress of trying to conceive is causing you to have some vaginal dryness, then consider using a sperm-friendly lubricant, which will help create the ideal environment for conception.
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