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Reproductive health practices that will ensure a healthy pregnancy

Pregnancy By Esther Muchene

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Getting pregnant and carrying a baby to full term is something every woman would like to do but not everyone is able to.

For those that do, and have had the privilege of being mothers, this is one of life’s biggest blessings and joys. Unfortunately it is not always as easy as abc. To ensure all goes well and your bundle of joy makes it to the world, it is wise to do certain things.

Talking to your doctor for instance about reproductive health and conducting tests to ascertain you’re up to par, are some good practices you should consider. Here are more.

1. Know when to conceive

According to doctors, the healthiest pregnancy outcome result from conceiving between the ages of 18 and 35. Women are most likely to develop pregnancy complications when they conceive above 35 or below 18. Some of the risks that could take place include preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. Proper pregnancy timing, therefore, contributes to a healthy pregnancy.

2. Family planning

Spacing of pregnancies is a reproductive factor that increases the survival chances of newborn babies. The risks involved in having babies less than 24 months apart are numerous. Inadequate pregnancy spacing can involve the risk of conceiving low birth weight babies, preterm births and stillbirth cases. These risks are more likely to happen when conception happens six months after the last live birth. Moreover, when a breastfeeding mother gets pregnant, balancing her foetus, nursing infants and her nutritional needs could become challenging emotionally, psychologically and physically. If you don’t know much about family planning, seek the help of a doctor who will advise further.

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3. Kegel exercises

Practicing kegels will help strengthen the floor of the pelvic muscles which in turn supports the bowels, bladder and the uterus. Kegel exercises, when conducted properly can prevent problems with incontinence later after delivery. They also increase the chances of having an easier delivery. Best part is, they can be practiced anywhere. You can do it while seated in the office, in the car or even while standing in line at a supermarket queue.

4. Toxins elimination

Illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol are considered toxins due to their tendency to inflict birth defects, miscarriages and other reproductive health problems. Other items that are advised against include solvents such as nail polish remover and paint thinners. Cigarette smoking has been linked to complications such as preterm babies due to their implication in decreasing oxygen flow to the foetus. If you have a drug dependence issue, mention it to your doctor so that they can advise and recommend treatments in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

5. Check your weight

It is important to track your weight gain during pregnancy. Eating for two is not a go ahead ticket to eat excessively as it may get difficult to lose that weight later. On the other hand, inadequate weight might expose the baby to the risk of underweight birth and other major developmental problems. So watch what you eat and do it only when necessary.

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6. Drink lots of water

Drinking sufficient water helps to support the blood function in supplying oxygen and relieving waste and carbon dioxide from the baby through the placenta. Taking plentiful water also prevents fatigue, headaches, UTI, haemorrhoids and other pregnancy symptom discomforts. Your skin will thank you too for it.

When it comes to pregnancy, there is more to consider about your reproductive health. It is hard enough to raise a defective child or no child at all. Watching your reproductive health during pregnancy should therefore be your first priority.

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