Quick checklist before you get pregnant

TOI: Checking your weight, home renovation and visiting the dentist — these are some things to take care of before you get pregnant

You’ve decided to try for a baby. Congratulations! But before you pick the name or a gynaecologist, tick these things off your to-do list to sail through your pregnancy worry-free.

5. Weigh yourself
Being over or underweight can affect your pregnancy and your health afterwards. Being underweight can affect ovulation, and tipping the scales to a few kilos more puts you at risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Being the right weight also means you will be in better shape after the baby comes.

4. Review your medicines
Do you take something for allergies? What’s your go-to pill for a fever? Turn to something often for pain? Some over-the-counter drugs have been found to be harmful to the baby. Tell your doctor all the pills you are in the habit of taking, down to syrups and multi-vitamins; and talk about what you should avoid, replace or take religiously.

3. Drop by the dentists
Have you been putting off a visit to the dentist for a long time? It’s time to haul yourself there soon. Poor dental hygiene puts you at risk of bacterial infections, which can lead to preeclampsia (a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and in the post-partum period). Also, since you can’t get an X-ray after you’re pregnant, grab this chance to catch anything that needs to be fixed right away.

2. Renovate
Did you want to paint your walls or carry out small home repairs? Get them out of the way before you start making a baby. Paint, furniture polish, pesticides and harsh cleaners contain chemicals that are linked to birth defects. So the fumes are poisonous to be around when you have a bun in the oven. Get to it now!

1. Tank up on folic acid
This super important B Vitamin offers an umbrella of protection. It lowers the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida, which form very early on in the foetus – sometimes even before you know you are pregnant. So doctors advise eating a lot of spinach, other leafy greens and cereals to make sure you get enough of it. Check with your doc about whether you need to take supplements.

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