Parenthood is indeed a blessing that every couple wishes to be showered upon. Having that junior snuggling in the arms is bliss to experience for them.
However, the major responsibility of ensuring the baby’s healthy life begins from the period when a woman tries to conceive, informs experts. It starts from that magical phase when willing-to-be parents plan for a child.
According to experts, “Before a couple begins to try for a baby, it is vital to prepare both the mind and the body.”
The reason being when a woman conceives, she and her partner pass their genes which create the blueprint for the child’s health in future along with the following next generations. Therefore, ensuring the DNA is healthy should be a couple’s priority in their planning phase.
There are some significant changes in lifestyle and habits that one should consider before trying, the first one being preconception care.
Couples must consult their doctor 4 to 6 months before they try to get pregnant. It’s the time taken by sperms and eggs to mature. Embarking on a preconception lifestyle guided by medical experts ensures healthy sperms and eggs, ready in 4 months.
As medical professionals suggest, caffeine is the next thing that should be lessened. As research has revealed,
“If a woman’s caffeine intake is above 300 mg per day, she will likely have 30% chance of experiencing a miscarriage. 1 ½ cup, i.e., 200 mg should be the maximum consumption for a lady trying to conceive.”
After caffeine comes alcohol and smoking, both of which can result in severe health hazards for the unborn baby. It’s recommended to completely stop smoking, liquor consumption or other recreational drug usage. All of these can cause major developmental as well as birth defects in the child.
Smoking alone increases the chances of heart defects in babies by 3 times. In the US, 13% cases of infertility reported are due to smoking.
According to a center for disease control, the infertility rate of women who are in the childbearing age is 12%; an all-time high rate nationally.
Besides the varied changes in diet happening over the past 5 – 7 decades, drastic increase in chemical and toxin exposure along with uncontrolled anxiety and stress level are some of the contributing factors of infertility.
Another alarming fact revealed by experts is that stress hormones can alter the way in which reproductive and sex hormones of a person balance each other. This imbalance can disturb the natural flow which makes it difficult to conceive or stay pregnant.
Ann Borders, MPH, MD and OB/GYN, Evanston Hospital said, “Women with higher chronic stressors who additionally have poor skills to cope with may deliver a premature baby or with low birth weight.”
Hence, recommendations say, bringing changes accordingly in diet and lifestyle can ensure a safer pregnancy and a healthier child.