Prepare for pregnancy with healthy lifestyle tips from your Chicago OBGYN
If you intend to become pregnant in the near future, you can benefit from a preconception checkup with your gynecologist or family physician. The goal of preconception care is to identify any factors that may affect your ability to become pregnant, the pregnancy, or your baby. Because the baby does a great deal of growing and developing during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, your healthy lifestyle is of the utmost importance. The team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, is here to help you.
A healthy diet is integral to an optimal pregnancy. Just as obesity can present complications, so can being underweight. The goal before pregnancy is to ensure that you are consuming the nutrients your body needs. In this way, you will be better prepared to support the development of your baby.
Weight and pregnancy
Several complications have been associated with obesity. These include gestational diabetes, preterm labor, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure. Women who are overweight may be at an increased risk for cesarean delivery or birth injury. This may be due to the likelihood of a larger-than-normal baby. Obesity may increase the risk of neural tube defects, and present a challenge to fetal monitoring. Creating a healthy diet and exercise routine before becoming pregnant need not be complicated. Your doctor can discuss ways to lose weight and improve health.
When weight is too low, there is an increased risk that labor will occur too early. This presents a challenge for the baby, who is in a critical developmental stage.
Most of the healthy nutrients that you need to support your developing fetus can be obtained in a well-balanced diet. However, prenatal vitamins are also beneficial. These supplements typically contain ingredients such as iron and folic acid. Iron carries oxygen to the baby, while folic acid is beneficial to neural tube function. It is recommended that women take 400 micrograms daily before becoming pregnant, as well as throughout their pregnancy.
We also encourage exercise before trying to get pregnant. It is much easier to continue an exercise level that you have been doing prior to the changes and fatigue that occur in pregnancy.
We encourage you to check the safety of medicines that you are taking before you get pregnant. At the same time you need to have all medical conditions under control before getting pregnant so they don’t get out of control when you are pregnant.
Because we are generally more health-conscious today than previous generations, mothers-to-be can find a number of resources to assist them in promoting optimal health before, during, and after pregnancy. To schedule a preconception consultation with an experienced Chicago OBGYN, call Northwestern Women’s Health Associates.
Healthy lifestyle habits before pregnancy benefit mothers-to-be and their developing babies. Schedule your preconception exam in Chicago at 312-440-9400.