Pregnancy is a special stage in a woman’s life, for which you should prepare carefully. The health of the expectant mother affects not only the course of the pregnancy, but also the health and well-being of the unborn child, so it is important to make all the necessary preparations and make sure that this period develops as smoothly and successfully as possible. Anna Kiveniece, a certified pharmacist at the Apotheka pharmacy chain, says what to look out for when planning a pregnancy.
Weight management and bad habits
One of the main factors to consider when planning a pregnancy is a woman’s body weight. Being overweight can delay pregnancy and cause complications during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and premature birth. “It is noted that obese mothers often give birth to a child with an increased birth weight, while there is also an increased risk of developing metabolic disorders and obesity in the future. Therefore, even before pregnancy, it is especially important to gain a normal body weight, balance a healthy diet and proper physical activity “, says Anna Kiveniece, certified pharmacist at Apotheka.
You should also pay attention to correcting bad habits in time – it is not always possible to get rid of bad habits right away, in addition, it will take some time until all bodily functions return to normal. Alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy are harmful to the health of both women and the baby and bad habits are associated with the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight and other fetal abnormalities.
When planning a pregnancy, it is important to consult a gynecologist and go through all the tests and examinations prescribed by your doctor. The specialist will assess the general state of health, check for gynecological infections and, if necessary, perform a gynecological ultrasound examination, which will determine the absence of abnormalities in the development of the uterus, fibroids or polyps. During the visit, it is recommended to discuss other issues that may affect the pregnancy, for example: the contraceptive method used in the past or menstrual disorders.
It is also advisable to consult your GP, who will help you assess your general health, taking into account the patient’s medical history, complaints and current examinations. If necessary, you should contact other specialists, especially if the expectant mother has a chronic illness, such as diabetes, epilepsy or hypertension. It is desirable to keep the disease in a controlled remission phase, in addition, it is important to agree on appropriate treatment after pregnancy – many commonly used drugs are incompatible with pregnancy.
Healthy and balanced diet
“When preparing for pregnancy, special attention should be paid to the daily menu. Eating habits should be carefully reviewed, assessing whether all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients are taken. The diet should contain enough protein, carbohydrates and carbohydrates. Fish and meat are eaten about twice a week to provide the body with iron. The menu should also include plenty of vegetables, especially seasonal products of local origin. Drink plenty of water, eat regularly and choose healthy foods. If you are not sure how to plan your meals so “Everything your body needs, you can seek advice from a nutritionist”, explains the certified pharmacist Apotheka Anna Kiveniece.
The most important vitamins and minerals in the diet of the expectant mother
Iron is one of the most important minerals to be taken in sufficient quantities both during planning and during pregnancy. During the waiting period, the body’s needs for iron increase many times, so it is good to take care of its reserves even before pregnancy. Iron can be obtained from lean meats, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits and berries, as well as beans and lentils.
Folic acid necessary for the development of the baby in the first weeks of pregnancy, reduces the chance of genetic abnormalities of the neural tube, ensures the healthy development of the brain and reduces the risk of premature birth. When planning a pregnancy and during the first three months of pregnancy, it is recommended that you take extra folic acid as a dietary supplement – you need at least 400 mcg (mcg) of folic acid a day. You can get folic acid through your diet by eating green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, beets, cabbage and whole grains.
Vitamin D necessary for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, as well as for the development of the bones and teeth of the child. Although vitamin D is found in fatty fish, egg yolks and dairy products, dietary intake is usually inadequate and should be taken with dietary supplements. To determine the required dose of vitamin D, it is recommended to do regular tests.
Iodine ensures the normal functioning of the thyroid gland in the expectant mother and the future baby – the normal development of the central nervous system. Iodine is found in a variety of seafood, dairy products and iodized salt and can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
Apotheka is one of the leading and fastest growing pharmacy chains in Latvia with more than 500 employees. More than 120 pharmacies operate under the Apotheka brand throughout Latvia, including a 24-hour pharmacy in Riga, Brivibas gatve 230, an online pharmacy www.apotheka.lv and an Apotheka Beauty shop.