It’s crucial for pregnant women to stay healthy throughout their pregnancy. Anything that affects the mother will also affect the baby in her womb. Women should be aware of any preexisting conditions they may have and the medications they are taking, because these can affect their baby and their pregnancy. This may increase the risk of birth weight problems (either overweight or underweight), developmental problems, preterm labor, pre-eclampsia (when the mother is not ready to give birth), or deformities. In some cases, it may even be the cause of death for both mother and child.
There are many different medical conditions which, unfortunately, put pregnant women at a higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy. Some of these preexisting conditions include anemia, asthma, arthritis, sexually transmitted diseases, heart conditions, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), thyroid disorders, kidney diseases, liver diseases, infections, diabetes, hypertension, eating disorders, epilepsy and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – just to name a few. While it may seem daunting to face these challenges while pregnant, it is important to remember that most of these conditions can be managed successfully with the help of a medical professional.
For a woman with a preexisting condition, it is highly recommended that she visit her obstetrician more frequently than the average pregnant woman. This way, her healthcare providers can monitor both the condition and the progress of the pregnancy.
For women with preexisting conditions who are pregnant or want to become pregnant, it is important to plan for a safe and healthy pregnancy in advance. This is called preconception planning. When taken together with prenatal care, it can help to reduce the risk of this condition to both the mother and child.
Preconception planning is key for a smooth pregnancy, as it can help map out a plan for every step of the way – from adjusting the mother-to-be’s diet, to counseling for the expecting couple, to changing medications for preexisting conditions. By accounting for every possible roadblock, preconception planning ensures that nothing is left to chance when it comes to the health and wellbeing of both mother and child. In the event that a woman has an eating disorder or is addicted to drugs, the doctor will usually recommend therapy to get rid of these problems before you get pregnant. This is because both diet and medication have been shown to affect the health of the child. This is because the baby is taking in what the mother is eating.
Women with chronic conditions can still have healthy pregnancies and babies. While it’s important to seek medical advice about preexisting conditions, it’s also crucial to have the support of family and friends. There are also groups of women who are going through similar challenges that can offer support and remind her she is not alone. Many women have triumphed over their illnesses and given birth to healthy babies. Practicing preconception planning is just one of the steps in giving birth to healthy babies.