Family planning does not start with a positive pregnancy test but indeed earlier. Here are some points to be taken into consideration before planning to have a baby:
A healthy lifestyle before getting pregnant, including regular physical activity, can help to conceive and bear a child. This comprises a healthy, balanced nutrition (e.g. vegetables, fruits, protein, sea fish and essential fats, low in sugar, sweets and saturated fats), an adequate sleep regimen, medical check-ups including dental check-ups and completion of immunisations. Chronical diseases such as diabetes and hypertension should be monitored. In case of regular medication use, (prescribed or over the counter) a physician should be consulted to check whether the medication is safe to be taken during pregnancy or if alternatives need to be considered. Screening for infections and appropriate treatment are further important aspects.
A balanced diet is recommended as a body mass index over 30 is linked to fertility issues and an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, birth defects, hypertension, stillbirth, pre-eclampsia, and caesarean delivery. However, being underweight may interfere with conceiving as well. Regular physical activity may be a good way of preparing for pregnancy and delivery. It can also help to reduce stress which is known to be another factor for fertility issues. Another good move is to cast off habits like smoking and regular alcohol consumption before an actual pregnancy. Doing so will prevent any damage from the unborn child in case of an undetected pregnancy. It is furthermore advised to supplement folic acid and potentially other nutrients to prevent child birth defects and other disturbances.
A healthy lifestyle matters to the future dad as well as healthy eating, regular exercise and quit smoking also improves the man’s fertility.
The section on preconception will be continuously expanded.