The decision to start a family is always a scary one. It is very difficult to be confident in yourself. But here is the good news, we are here to guide you through it all. If you have decided that you are ready to raise a child or start a family, with or without a partner, we are going to be your companion. From the decision to conceive and ways to conceive to the colleges you should know about and the tablets you should be taking, we shall be telling you all.
A healthy momma has a healthy baby. That is a universal truth. So, as you are preparing yourself mentally for a child, you should also prepare your body for the overwhelming number of changes. Your bones, your heart and your lungs have to be prepared for nurturing another human being in your body. In this article, we shall be discussing the tablets that you need to take or avoid before your pregnancy.
FOLIC ACID TABLETS
400 micrograms of folic acid should be started as soon as you decide to become pregnant. If you have any ongoing health conditions or diseases, consult your OB/GYN before starting the tablets.
Why is it important? Well, because your baby’s brain and nerves need it. When your baby’s nervous system is forming into a spinal cord (the neuronal material inside the backbone), it feeds on folic acid. Lack of folic acid leads to birth defects relating to the ‘neural tube.’ In simpler words, if you do not have enough folic acid in your system, your baby might end up with spinal or neural tissue protruding from his or her head or back. This can lead to a life long disability and can sometimes be fatal.
The use of iron should be a vital part of any woman’s life. Ladies tend to have less iron than men. The reason being the monthly loss of iron in the form of menses. For a woman not planning to be a mother, increasing the intake of iron through diet is sufficient. But before pregnancy, iron supplements have to be added.
As your body becomes pregnant, your blood supply has to be shared with another human being inside you. Your iron stores are thus used up. If you do not have enough iron in your body, your baby and you will suffer from anemia and its terrible consequences. Load up on iron! Some women end up needing iron through an injection, you can avoid that by pre-pregnancy preparation.
Also remember, when you start taking iron through the mouth, your poop becomes dark red or maroon-ish. That might be shocking for you. Do not be alarmed. It is normal.
CALCIUM and VITAMIN D
Women have a tendency to lose calcium and vitamin D easily from their bodies. (Annoying, right? Why does nature hate us?) If you do not have enough calcium for yourself in your body, you might suffer from bone pains and fractures during your pregnancy. Your baby might end up with bone diseases as well, the scariest one known as Rickets. In this disease, lack of calcium and Vitamin D causes deformed and weak bones in the baby for life!
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and functioning of calcium. You should ideally start drinking milk fortified with vitamin D. But if you do not digest milk well, or simply do not fancy it, start taking calcium and vitamin D tablets before pregnancy.
Omega-3-fatty acids are good fats. Also known as unsaturated fats, they are helpful in increasing your baby’s and your own IQ. They are abundant in white meat, especially fish. You should start adding fish to your diet. Starting omega-3-fatty acids capsules and tablets is an easier option, more tolerable as well. Some multivitamins contain this compound, so always read the label before buying. You can start them separately or as a part of your regular prenatal vitamins.
If you occasionally or often indulge in the use of recreational drugs, we have one word of advice for you: STOP.
Please. Just stop. Recreational drugs are a nuisance for your own health as well, but we are sure you know that already. However, using them before or during pregnancy means you are putting your baby in lifetime risk of disability and life-threatening diseases. Be merciful and do not use any recreational drugs before or during your 9 months of pregnancy.
OVER THE COUNTER TABLETS
We all love to pop up that aspirin when we have a headache or a decongestant for the allergies. But, when you decide to become pregnant, you have to be careful. Loading up on over-the-counter tablets must be avoided before pregnancy. These medications can cause a decrease in your chances of becoming pregnant. Always ask your doctor before using any medication before pregnancy.
YOUR REGULAR TABLETS
If you are suffering from a health condition for instance epilepsy or diabetes or high blood pressure, or you are taking drugs like thyroxine, you must consult your doctor before pregnancy. Some medications can produce havoc for the baby’s growth and development. So, your doctor must change them to less dangerous ones before pregnancy. One example would be discontinuing carbamazepine and starting levetiracetam for epilepsy.
The dosage of medications for diabetes, hypertension, thyroid issues, etc. must be changed as well before pregnancy. You most definitely would need an increased number of tablets to deal with the stressors of pregnancy. Go to your doctor as soon as you decide to be pregnant.
Before pregnancy, people suffering from mental health disorders must also get their tablets adjusted from their psychiatrist. Tweaking the dosages will help your pregnancy and your baby.
We hope you have a clear idea of the tablets you should use (or quit) before pregnancy. A carefully planned pregnancy will make your life easier and will also give the new baby a better shot at life.
Also, we are sure you know that you have to stop taking your birth control pills before trying to be pregnant!