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Six things to know before getting pregnant

Pregnancy By Esther Muchene
(Photo: Shutterstock)

It is every parents dream to deliver a healthy baby. For those nine months, there are many changes that take place within the body. This means that the physical and emotional state of the mother directly affects the baby.

It is therefore important to have an idea what to expect before you finally decide to take the big leap. This will prepare to make some changes in order to have a smooth pregnancy.

Here are some of the crucial tidbits you should know before making the wonderful step of becoming pregnant.

i. The father is just as important

The first priority during a pregnancy is usually the mother and the child. Because of this, people often forget the role that the father plays as well. It’s important to wisely consider who the father is to avoid complicated situations i.e. unsupportive fathers who will barely participate in their children’s lives. Ensure that the relationship is at a good and stable place before making the decision.

ii. There will be diet changes

If you are getting kids for the first time, it’s important to research on some of the foods that should be moderated or restricted for pregnant women. Certain foods such as fish with high mercury content and drinks with high caffeine quantity directly affect the baby and can cause complications such as miscarriages. Do some research on foods that pregnant women should and should not eat. You can consult your doctor on this as well. This will increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

iii. You’ll need to sort out your work schedule

As part of preparation, you will need to coordinate your work schedule. Find out your employer’s policies on maternity leave. It’s important you are aware of your rights when it comes to this so that you are protected from different forms of work discrimination against pregnant workers. This will definitely help you be more prepared.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

iv. Your mental health should be guarded

Your emotional wellbeing has an effect on the pregnancy. It’s harder to have a healthy pregnancy when you are constantly stressed out. This is because stress releases hormones, which in turn affects how the baby develops. Pregnancy hormones can cause you to be emotional and sometimes stressed. Suffering from depression or anxiety however, won’t be healthy for both the mother and the baby. It’s best to seek some help in dealing with these issues before hand. This will increase the chances of a healthy baby.

v. You’ll need to change your lifestyle

In order to increase the chances of a healthy delivery, you’ll need to make changes to your lifestyle. If you are used to partying, smoking and heavy drinking, you’ll have to make drastic changes. For some, drinking or smoking has already become an addiction. This will mean going for therapy or actively making steps to quit these habits before deciding to get pregnant.

If you work in a place that might put your pregnancy at risk, preparations for risk assessment will need to be organized so that you and the baby are safe. Work environments that involve you doing heavy lifting or even areas that are exposed to radiation can have an effect on the pregnancy. Tough decisions will have to be made to protect you and the baby.

vi. A preconception visit is essential

Before deciding to have a baby, it’s important that you and your partner visit your doctor for assessment. An expert will be able to advice you on the way forward as far as pregnancy is concerned. This visit will help determine if both parents are in good health. Should this be the case, your doctor will give you a go ahead. If there are any health complications found, your doctor should be able to guide you on how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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