Some experts believe three months to be a perfectly adequate length of time to prepare for a pregnancy, others advise waiting six months or a year especially if you are recovering from any serious illness and have been prescribed drugs to treat it. Three months would be ideal normally as it takes at least eight weeks for eggs and sperm to develop to the stage of being ready to be released. Both partners should take care to be healthy to ensure that both the eggs and sperm developed are healthy. Keep fit, eat wisely, avoid things that could be harmful, and visit your doctor during this period. This way you can prepare for a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.
tested for infections and deficiencies:
Infections can harm both the mother and the fetus. Some infections during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects or illnesses in the fetus.
Rubella or German measles is one such infection which can have disastrous effects on the development of the babies vital organs if contracted during the first four months of pregnancy. A blood test can be done to check whether you are immune to the disease. If you are not, a vaccination can be taken for immunisation. But care should be taken not to get pregnant for the following three months after immunisation.
• STD's or
sexually Transmitted Diseases
Infections passed through sexual contact also are harmful during pregnancy. Apart from affecting your ability to become pregnant, these diseases can also infect babies in the uterus and cause harm. It is always better to get tested and treated if you feel there is a chance of contracting some form of STD. In case you suspect an HIV (Aids) infection, testing will help you decide whether to take the risk of getting pregnant at all.
• Genetic disorders like sickle cell anemia, thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or other types of anemia which are inheritable should be tested before planning a pregnancy. Genetic counseling can be done to seek advise about the relative risk of passing the disorder on to the baby.
Toxoplasmosis infection, which is transmitted through cat feces and undercooked or raw meats, may adversely affect a fetus. There are often no symptoms of infection or only a mild flu like symptoms, so women who are at risk and are considering pregnancy can be tested for immunity prior to conception. All pregnant women should avoid or exercise caution in handling cats and consuming raw meats.
Listeria in a pregnant woman causes miscarriage and stillbirth. Babies who are infected with the illness in the uterus rarely survive. Pregnant woman should avoid cook chill foods and readymade dishes found in cold cabinets in food stores such as scoop variety ice cream, soft cheeses, un-pasteurized diary products which are a source of listeria bacteria.
• Chicken pox
If a woman has not already had or been immunized against varicella (chicken pox), vaccination well before conception is highly recommended.
It is better to check if you are anemic - deficient in iron before beginning a pregnancy.
Tobacco and Illegal Drugs
Alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs can harm both you and your fetus. Smoking and drinking alcohol can damage both the developing sperm and man's fertility as well. If a woman uses these substances, there is an increased risk of miscarriage and problems such as mental retardation and birth defects in a baby. No amount of these substances has been proven safe to use during pregnancy.
Medications and Drugs
Consult your doctor about existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease etc you may have and medications you are taking, prior to conception. All chemical substances affect the production and growth of cells in our bodies. Even sleeping pills and pain killers are better avoided at this stage. Improve your health
Both you and your partner should eat a healthy diet by taking more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and reducing high fat or sweet for at least three months prior to pregnancy. All women trying to conceive should get plenty of folic acid (found in green leafy vegetables and whole grains) in their diet as a deficiency of folic acid can lead to some birth defects like neural tube defects in developing infants. Take a multivitamin supplement that has 400 micrograms of folic acid and no more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of other nutrients. Vitamin B6 (whole complex B vitamin) is also beneficial.
Stop using contraceptive pills several months before you try to conceive so you can have at least two normal cycles before succeeding. Remove an IUD before you begin trying. And since the risks of spermicides aren't really clear, you may want to use a condom or diaphragm alone for a month or so before you try to conceive.
Keep your environment safe.
Avoid exposure to X-rays, lead (which can be found mainly in hot tap water), fumes from paint or glue, hazards at work, secondhand smoke and pesticides.
Ovulation normally occurs fourteen days before beginning the next period, regardless of the length of the cycle. So a woman with a 28 day cycle would tend to ovulate on day 14. The woman with a 32 day cycle would tend to ovulate on day 18 (32-14). The life time of the egg is brief -only 24 hours. So to get pregnant the sperm should reach the egg during this fertility period.
Questions & Answers
Note : All statements given are only for information purpose. We are not responsible or liable for any problems related to the utilization of information on this site. We suggest that you consult a qualified doctor before trying any alternative health care remedies.