Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Childbearing is common in most women worldwide, and the most significant percentage of women are in their childbearing stage. Hence, preconception care and guidelines are of utmost importance since they promote productive women’s health before conception. There is a number of prepregnancy guidelines, and when followed, they will highly improve pregnancy results for both women and babies. The three highly recommended guidelines include taking multivitamins with 400 micrograms of folic acid, exercising regularly, and managing chronic medical conditions.
Intake of multivitamins containing folic acid is associated with decreased congenital disabilities, obstetrical complications during pregnancy or birth, and neural tube defects. Any woman with low risk for neural tube deficit must take multivitamins containing 0.4mg folic acid for two to three months before conceiving (CDC, 2018). At the same time, those at a higher risk are to take supplements containing 4.0mg folic acid for three months. During the nine months of pregnancy, the fetus tends to take a lot of natural resources from the mother’s body, which primarily causes fatigue, nausea, and cramps in many pregnant women. The baby acquires all the nutrients it requires from the mother, which can easily lead to a deficit of essential nutrients in the woman’s body. Hence the multivitamins come in handy when they are taken before conception. The woman’s body tends to store enough folic acid, which is very important in forming the fetus’ neural tube, which eventually forms the spinal column and the brain. The guideline can be used for future reference, indicating the importance of folic acid for female health.
Regular exercising is essential in all phases of life, but it acquires special significance preconception. Moderate and regular exercising in productive women has been proven to boost fertility. Women who exercise while trying to conceive always get pregnant quickly and quicker than those who never exercise. Exercise can be any physical activity that keeps the body engaged and raises the heart rate, and it could be dancing, gardening, swimming, or even walking. Although exercises are highly recommended for women trying to get pregnant, it is advisable not to exercise vigorously since this could lead to difficulties when trying to conceive. Women who have not been active before are advised to start with moderate and straightforward exercises and gradually grow to regular and more intense exercises (Kakar, 2016). Exercises are proven to elevate and improve a person’s mood and psychological wellbeing, making this guideline essential for pregnancy planning. The positive effects of physical activity can be utilized to facilitate conception and the pregnancy period.
Managing chronic diseases is another guideline recommended for any woman trying to conceive. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma in productive women might lead to pregnancy complications or maternal morbidity. Due to the risks involved, the disease should be managed appropriately before conception to avoid complications during pregnancy or childbirth. As more and more people continue to suffer from diabetes worldwide, productive women should seek early medical attention when they want to conceive (Afshar & Han, 2017). Diabetes is known to cause congenital malfunctions and spontaneous abortion; managing diabetes before conceiving reduces the risks. Another example of a chronic disease that needs to be controlled before conceiving is asthma. Approximately 9.4% of reproductive women have asthma in the united states alone. The disease becomes severe during pregnancy and could lead to infant death or stillbirth, making these guidelines essential for conception preparations. Those with well-controlled before conceiving tend to have a normal and uncomplicated pregnancy, which is important for future reference.
Following the recommended preconception guidelines could significantly lead to a reduction in birth complications. Exercising would lead to a healthy pregnancy, while taking multivitamins supplements would boost the number of nutrients in a woman’s body, hence a healthy baby. Managing chronic diseases, on the other hand, will ensure an easy and non-complicated pregnancy. Therefore, any woman in their productive age and planning to conceive should follow the recommended guidelines to ensure safe delivery and healthy babies.
Afshar, Y., & Han, C. S. (2017). Part 1 of 2: Trimester zero: Pregnancy wellness begins before the positive pregnancy test. Contemporary OB/GYN, 62(3), 28-32.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Folic acid.
Kakar, A. (2016). Understanding pregnancy. Amsterdam: Elsevier.