Pregnancy planning begins even before conception for many women. Others choose to start planning when they are aware of a pregnancy. While it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy and baby without a pregnancy plan, developing a pregnancy plan is one way to help ensure that your baby has the greatest chances of having good health and that you have a healthy pregnancy. Planning for pregnancy typically involves:
Discussions with a woman’s partner and her health-care team, and includes discussions about nutrition and vitamins, exercise, genetic counseling, weight gain, and the need to avoid certain medications and alcohol.
Sometimes, planning for pregnancy includes fertility planning and scheduling sexual intercourse for the time of the month when the woman is most fertile. Couples who are having regular sexual intercourse and who still do not conceive typically consult a fertility specialist. Doctors generally recommend that healthy couples in which the woman is under 35 try to get pregnant for a year before consulting a fertility specialist. Women over 35 may want to consult a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying to conceive.
Because some women experience light bleeding known as implantation bleeding around the time of the expected menstrual period, or because of irregular menstrual cycles, some women may not realize they are pregnant until specific symptoms of pregnancy start to develop. By this time, the woman may have unknowingly exposed herself to substances that may be harmful for the pregnancy. Women who choose to begin pregnancy planning before conception can take steps to ensure that potentially harmful exposures are avoided.
There are many myths about getting pregnant.
How much weight gain is recommended in pregnancy?
The mother’s pre – pregnancy weight should be taken into account when estimating how much weight gain is appropriate for a healthy pregnancy. Women with multiple gestation pregnancies will need to gain more weight to maintain a healthy pregnancy than those with singleton pregnancies. The Institute of Medicine has issued guidelines for recommended weight gain in women who have a singleton pregnancy.
They are as follows:
Underweight women (BMI < 18.5) should gain 28-40 pounds.
Normal-weight women (BMI, 18.5-24.9) should gain 25-35 pounds.
Overweight women (BMI, 25-29.9) should gain 15-25 pounds
Obese women (BMI, 30 or higher) should gain 11-20 pounds.
What is a pregnancy calendar or calculator?
A pregnancy calendar or calculator is a tool that helps a woman determine precisely which changes are taking place in her body and in the fetus at a given week of pregnancy. Calculators are also available to predict a woman’s due date. Many versions of pregnancy calendars and calculators can be found online.