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You are here: Home -> Preparing for Pregnancy -> Your Prepregnancy Health Today: Tuesday, October 24
Pregnancy Topics
Preparing for Pregnancy
When to See Your Doctor
Costs of Having a Baby
Changes during Pregnancy
Nutrition before Pregnancy
Exercise before Pregnancy
Your Prepregnancy Health
Chronic Illnesses and Pregnancy
Should I Consider Genetic Counseling?
Pregnancy After 35 Years of Age
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Substance Use During Pregnancy
Working before Pregnancy
Health and Medical Concerns
Pregnancy Tests
Medications and Treatments
Nutrition and Exercise
Fatigue, Work and Pregnancy
More than One Baby!
Changes in Your Baby
Changes in You
Your Pregnancy Partner
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Substance Use and Abuse
Single Mother-to-Be
Problems in Pregnancy
Labor and Delivery
After Your Baby's Birth
Your New Baby
Feeding Your Baby

Your Prepregnancy Health

If you are in good health before and during your pregnancy, you'll do a lot to ensure the good health ofyour baby. But in many cases, you can have a successful pregnancy even if you have a chronic health problem. Many women with health problems have successful pregnancies and healthy babies.
It is very important for you to discuss your particular situation with your doctor before becoming pregnant. Follow his or her instructions carefully. Below are short discussions about some common health problems a pregnant woman may have.

Diabetes

A lot of progress has been made regarding diabetes and the pregnant woman. However, diabetes can have serious effects during pregnancy. Risks to you and your baby can be decreased with good control of blood sugar during pregnancy. Discuss your concerns with your physician before you try to conceive.
The longer your diabetes is under control before you become pregnant, the better—but most doctors recommend having your condition under control at least 2 or 3 months before pregnancy begins. This helps lower the risk of miscarriage or of fetal development being affected.
Most problems for diabetic women occur during the first trimester—the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. However, problems can occur throughout pregnancy, which is why it's important to have your diabetes under good control before you conceive. A woman's insulin requirement often increases in the last 13 weeks of pregnancy.

Heart Problems

Some heart problems may be serious during pregnancy and require special care. Other heart problems may affect your health so adversely that your physician will advise against pregnancy. This serious question must be discussed with your heart specialist and your obstetrician before you get pregnant.

Anemia

If you have been anemic in the past, your doctor can easily check you for anemia now. When you're pregnant, great demands are made on your body's iron supplies for the baby. Many women start taking vitamins or iron before getting pregnant. Because you have had a problem in the past, discuss this with your doctor before pregnancy.

Thyroid Condition

If you take medication for a thyroid condition, don't make any changes without first consulting your physician. Medication for thyroid problems is very important during pregnancy.

X-rays and Other Tests

If you have a condition, such as a back problem, that requires X-rays, CT-scans or MRI tests, complete them while you are still using contraception, before you consider conceiving. A good time to schedule these tests is right after the end of your period, so you know you're not pregnant.

Vaccinations

If you have recently received a vaccination, discuss the matter with your doctor before you try to become pregnant. Some vaccinations are safe during pregnancy. Others, such as the vaccination against rubella, are not. Most physicians believe it's wise to continue contraception for at least 3 months after receiving any type of vaccination.

Medications

If you commonly take medications for various problems, it's best to be cautious with your use of these substances while you are preparing for pregnancy and while you are trying to conceive. Follow the guidelines below for safe use.
Ask your doctor if the medications you are taking are safe to use during pregnancy.
Take all prescription medications as prescribed.
Don't use old medications for current problems.
Be careful with over-the-counter medications. Many contain caffeine, alcohol and other additives.
Never use anyone else's medication for your medical problem.
Notify your doctor immediately if you are using medication and believe you might be pregnant.
Preparing for Pregnancy Articles:
When to See Your Doctor | Costs of Having a Baby | Changes during Pregnancy | Nutrition before Pregnancy | Exercise before Pregnancy | Your Prepregnancy Health | Chronic Illnesses and Pregnancy | Should I Consider Genetic Counseling? | Pregnancy After 35 Years of Age | Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Substance Use During Pregnancy | Working before Pregnancy
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