Prenatal care should begin the moment you decide to have a child. Even once you stop using the contraceptive method, you should behave as if you were already pregnant: no tobacco, alcohol, stress, violent exercise …
The first few weeks after conception, are very important for the proper development of the fetus. Normally there is no indication that you are pregnant, there has not even been a delay in menstruation or some symptom that may catch your attention, but it is precisely at this time when many of your vital organs form.
Special care must be taken because we can endanger fetal development. If you adopt a healthy lifestyle from before you are pregnant, it will be easier to enjoy this period without complications.
Such simple things as taking care of food, consulting with the specialist before taking a medication, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol will be your first acts of love towards your child.
Physical activity before pregnancy
If you are determined to have a child, it is advisable to rest and sleep more hours, to reduce the fast pace of life and avoid the exercises that require a lot of effort. Practicing a gentle exercise is advisable to reduce stress levels.
A healthy life helps conception. In fact, before you know that you are pregnant, your child’s organs will already be forming and therefore, you must adopt healthy habits from the moment you decide to become pregnant. This is not the time to start practicing some sport that you have never done.
Check with your gynecologist which exercise will be the most recommended. Possibly you will be able to indicate some soft ones such as swimming, walking or some kind of maintenance gymnastics.
If you get pregnant, you do not have to stop practicing them unless recommended by the doctor.
Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and medication
Female smokers are less likely to become pregnant than nonsmokers and, in the case of men, tobacco has been shown to reduce sperm motility, making conception difficult. This problem has become especially acute during the last decade, which has led experts to recommend seriously anti-smoking plans in cases of male infertility.
In addition, the chances of having a child with certain types of congenital malformations increase. Nicotine doubles the chances of a child being born prematurely, with all the risks involved.
Moderate smokers are also at risk. When the mother smokes, her baby makes gestures of disgust, as ultrasounds have confirmed, and she is receiving all the harmful substances of tobacco to the same extent as you. Female smokers are at increased risk for placenta previa and more complications in childbirth. Excessive consumption of alcohol during the three months prior to conception could impair the maturation process of sperm and eggs, and may also damage the newly fertilized egg.
Alcohol is the first non-genetic cause of mental retardation. But there is also evidence that moderate consumption of alcohol causes physiological deficits and behavior disorders in the fetus. These are more subtle problems, such as long-term cognitive imbalances that are not evident until adolescence, but which become more severe with maturity.
If you think that you will not be able to do without alcohol during these months or you think that maybe you have some dependency, it is advisable that you consult with your doctor to try to solve the problem before the gestation. Although it is a socially accepted drug, we can not forget the negative effects they have on our health, especially during pregnancy.
It is becoming more common for gynecologists to control the weight gain during pregnancy, so dietary recommendations usually begin some time before gestation. If you have become pregnant with a few extra pounds, you will be more likely to be overweight. And the consequences are usually detrimental: complications in childbirth, worse general condition, less agility.
Start a healthy and balanced diet, rich in vegetables, fruits and fresh vegetables. You should avoid excessive consumption of foods rich in sugar or refined cereals (such as flour, bread, pasta and non-whole rice), and saturated or refined fats and oils (such as animal fats and margarines).
It is also time to reduce your consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. In case of overweight, consult with your doctor the possibility of following a diet to reach an adequate weight at least four months before the pregnancy. If you do, the weight gain will be progressive and balanced and, possibly, it will be easier for you to recover the line after the birth.
You should stop taking the birth control pill for at least three months before attempting to conceive a child.It is not true that women who have used the pill for many years are more at risk of not having periods, and therefore have difficulty becoming pregnant, but it is appropriate that the cycles are regulated naturally before fertilization occurs , And for this it is necessary to leave the pill a few months before. Meanwhile, condoms can be used.
It is also recommended that two normal cycles occur before conception but in many cases, however, pregnancy occurs only when you stop taking the pill or, exceptionally, while you are still taking it.
The IUD (intrauterine device) should also be removed a few months in advance. Women who have used this system have a slightly increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease, a problem that can lead to a blocked tube. That is why a thorough review is needed after its use.
Diseases to Consider Before Getting Pregnant
Be very careful with rubella and chickenpox. If you have not had them, take extra precautions.Women in pregnancy planning can go to their doctor to find out if they are immunized against rubella. If they are not, they must be vaccinated and try not to become pregnant for at least three months after the vaccination.
If you have a chronic illness, you should notify your doctor before getting pregnant. Currently, most pregnancies with a certain risk can be successful with a series of special care.
If you are diabetic, you suffer from asthma, chronic hypertension, epilepsy or any coronary disease, you should keep in mind that you will have to receive special attention during these nine months.
If you take medication, it may need to be checked during gestation, and you may need to go to prenatal visits more often.
A change of life
For most women, motherhood is the most important thing in their lives. Years ago, women lived to have children. They were preparing for it and did not raise at any moment how it would change their life to increase the family.Now things have changed. Since family planning was extended, couples decide when and how many children they want to have. The profile of the new mother is also different: the percentage of young women working exclusively at home is very low.
The incorporation of women into work has caused a delay in the age of the first pregnancy, which in principle requires more medical attention, but which undoubtedly causes them to be wanted and conceived in full maturity. Experts agree that maternity changes essential aspects of the couple’s personality. These are changes that are worthwhile , but must be taken into account when deciding if you want to increase the family
You will learn to wake up at night every time you complain or cry because you are hungry. During the first months it is almost impossible to sleep at a stretch, although the body also prepares for this situation and causes a hormonal change that makes vigils not so difficult. It is not uncommon that after your first child your sleeping habits change.
A child strengthens the relationship, but you have to keep in mind that your time will be greatly reduced. Children need a lot of attention, and that time is often subtracted from the couple, although the relationship is enriched and expanded with the arrival of the children. For many, it means a decrease in the frequency of sexual relations (especially while it is a baby who wakes up to eat at night) but that does not mean that “quality” also decreases.
Many couples recognize that after having children they value much more time spent together. However, many parents feel displaced with the arrival of the baby. Mothers spend hours feeding and caring for it and it is not uncommon for the father to feel a little sideways. Allowing the father to participate in the care of the baby, would be to give him a Very important space for him. Often, what once seemed very important, with a child is relegated to a second place. Leisure activities, shopping or even work is no longer a priority if our child needs us for some reason.
Many studies have shown that motherhood makes us think about matters we were not even dealing with before. A child seems to be sensitized to injustice and encourages us, in many cases, to do something for others. Being a mother helps to be a better daughter. It is frequent that the years of adolescence and youth separate us from the parents, but the arrival of a child makes us see our own mother with other eyes. The daughter is no longer the “girl” but a woman who, in turn, Is mother. The relationship becomes more horizontal, but with the advantage that the grandmother brings time, knowledge and serenity … very useful tools to raise a baby.
Do not forget that becoming a mother does not mean giving up the good things in life. On the contrary, motherhood will lead you to live life more fully.
Main symptoms of pregnancy
Some symptoms that will make you suspect that you are pregnant:
The delay of the menstruation
It can be the first indicator although it is not totally reliable. Experience shows that it can occur without pregnancy, since the process of the cycle can be affected by certain diseases, after an emotional shock or even a change of lifestyle, such as the beginning of Holidays, consumption of certain medications or stop taking the contraceptive pill, etc. Therefore, we can never be sure that the delay of the period is always due to pregnancy.
Raising the Basal Temperature
If you notice that the temperature, instead of falling, is maintained above 37 ° C at the end of the cycle and that menstruation does not appear, there is a good chance that you are pregnant.
Tension in breasts
From the first days after conception, breasts are prepared for what will be a very important function: feeding the baby. That is why they increase in size and appear tense, so much that the veins can be noticed.
The hormonal changes that occur from the moment of conception cause an exaggerated relaxation that results in a greater need for sleep. This state of fatigue favors that the pregnant woman spend more time sleeping and resting, something very good for the march of the pregnancy.
This is one of the first symptoms since the pregnant woman feels very emotional and mood swings are very common.
The gynecologist is the one who confirms the pregnancy through a blood test and an ultrasound. Currently, transvaginal ultrasound is performed within a few weeks of delaying menstruation and diagnoses in a very reliable way the status and implantation of the embryo.
Between week 4 and week 5 the embryonic vesicle can be seen and, in 6, the embryo can be seen and the heartbeat can be heard. It is advisable to wait until 8 or 9 weeks to confirm the diagnosis.
In addition, a change in the volume, consistency and shape of the uterus will be confirmed at this time, and the cervix is observed to be closed. Normally, the breasts are also explored. The modification that occurs in them is that they grow and the areola overflows, this will also serve to corroborate the diagnosis.
This first appointment should be made once you suspect that you are pregnant. It should not be delayed until the second fault, as the first examination will be essential to confirm the implantation and to ensure if it is one or more embryos.
The pregnancy tests you can do on your own
They are easy to use tests, as long as the instructions are followed, and offer a quick and very reliable response.
It is recommended to do them after 10 days of delay, because if done before false negatives may appear. These tests detect the presence of a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin, whose levels rise if you are pregnant.
To do this correctly you should deposit a small amount of urine (preferably the first one in the morning) at the place indicated.
If you think you are pregnant and the answer has been negative you can do it again. However, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Recently, a type of test that allows the detection of the “pregnancy hormone” has been incorporated into pharmacies shortly after conception, before the delay occurs, although the false negative index is much broader. It is best to wait at least six days, from the day the period should have arrived.
Laboratory tests to confirm pregnancy
Blood and urine tests detect a hormone that is only secreted when you are pregnant: chorionic gonadotropin (HgC) that is essential for the maintenance and development of the fetus.
A small amount of urine is deposited (the urine must be in the first urine of the morning because of a higher concentration) which is reacted with a serum containing antibodies to this hormone characteristic of pregnancy. The reliability of this test is around 98%.
This test checks the level of HgC in the blood. The reliability of this test is 100% and it allows to diagnose the pregnancy from its beginnings, before even the first delay of the menstruation.
Tests will be done to detect possible birth defects and to check the health status of the mother.
Routine Screening All pregnant women should go to the check-ups established by their doctor. In these consultations will be made a series of tests that have as objective to verify the good gait of the gestation. If the gynecologist considers that during the pregnancy it is necessary to carry out another type of special tests, it will indicate the moment to realize them. The following tests are those that will be carried out routinely.
It is recommended to perform one per quarter. The one performed between week 11 and week 14 measures the nuchal fold. If this part of the neck has an enlarged size it is an indicator of Down syndrome. Ultrasound performed between weeks 18-20 is important for detecting physical birth defects.
Measuring Blood Pressure
At each appointment, from the first to the last, the doctor will take the strain. It is very important to control that the tension figures do not trigger because it could cause the so-called preeclampsia with very negative results for the baby.
‘s test is a blood test with which blood glucose can be determined. During pregnancy, the body can not metabolize sugars properly and blood glucose levels rise more than advised. If this elevation were alarming, it would be gestational diabetes. The analysis is performed between weeks 24 and 28, when hormonal changes occur that affect insulin production.
Collects the heartbeat of the fetus and the frequency and intensity of uterine contractions. It is the so-called “monitoring” that is performed in the last month of gestation, once every week. The evolution of the baby’s heartbeat and contractions are reflected in the monitor and these data serve the doctor to find out if there is fetal suffering or there are too many contractions.