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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

How do I prepare myself for a healthy pregnancy?

Debe leer

We must see relationships and pregnancy as complex but not difficult to understand. For explanatory purposes, we will divide it into three areas: the biological, the psychological, and the social area. 

We will develop skills to understand the connections between each of these spheres in a healthy pregnancy.

In principle, biologically, the optimal time to achieve pregnancy is between 25 – 32 years, since statistically, it is the time when there are fewer complications of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, etc.), likewise, it is the period where chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and thyroid problems, have a lower incidence.  It is advisable to do an infectious profile (which includes HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis), hormonal profile (which includes TSH, T3, T4, and Vitamin D), general urine examination, urine culture, Papanicolaou, and vaginal culture. Regarding the medication, you should start multivitamins (ideally 3 months before pregnancy). The most important thing is to take folic acid at a dose of 0.4 mg (recommended by WHO), but generally, we recommend 5 mg per day (to make up for deficiencies in food). There are many presentations and brands, the most important thing is to pay attention to the dosage of folic acid. Once pregnant and at approximately 3 months, we change folic acid for iron to reduce the risk of anemia. In particular, we try not to recommend iron from the beginning because if you have nausea and vomiting (common in this stage of pregnancy) iron can make sickness worse.

Being within a normal weight range will avoid complications such as pre-eclampsia, premature birth, gestational diabetes, among others. To know your ideal weight, several formulas are used but the fastest (height in -1 meters), for example:

a. Patient is 1.64 meters tall, expected to weigh 64 kg

b. Patient is 1.66 meters tall, expected to weigh 66 kg

c. Patient is 1.68 meters tall, expected to weigh 68 kg

Being psychologically prepared is the other area we will tackle;  stability, correct management of emotions, reduction of anxiety, and positive stress management skills achieve a balance of mental health that will optimize pregnancy without complications. Some of the risks that are reduced are abortions, childbirth premature babies, and postpartum depression. Pregnancy can be challenging, and the best way to get ahead is with the support of your partner, family, and/or friends.

Finally, the social aspect in which the pregnancy develops plays a crucial role. The family structure and the support a woman receives during pregnancy can affect the psychological implications mentioned above.

It is important to recognize that on some occasions, despite having the greatest possible biological, social and emotional preparation, pregnancy losses occur early (abortion), we invite you to read the next post to address the subject in greater depth.

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