07 Jan Have a Healthy Baby in 2021
Your physical and emotional health are intrinsically linked to fertility health. Yet, equally important is the reality that your health is also intrinsically connected to your future baby’s health.
Healthy Mothers Give Birth to Healthy Babies
The statistics overwhelmingly support the reality that healthy mothers are far more likely to give birth to healthy babies. For this reason, we want to remind you that while you may be focusing on preparing your body for pregnancy, you are also preparing your body to support the healthy development of a full-term baby.
Keep up on annual wellness visits
If you’re in the midst of fertility treatments, your focus is understandably dedicated to the appointments required to help you conceive. However, annual wellness visits with your general practitioner and OB/GYN are still essential. Your fertility specialist does not replace the other medical professionals in your life. Annual wellness visits are the best way to remain proactive about your personal health and wellbeing.
Take advantage of preconception genetic screening
Preconception genetic screening is free to very low-cost if you have health insurance. Even if you are uninsured, these tests typically cost $200 or less, depending on the complexity of the tests you want to run. Your physician will discuss your family medical history to determine if more than the standard tests would be beneficial.
Speak to your biological parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to see if the family history may contain a relative with a genetic or chromosomal abnormality you didn’t know about or who died before you were born. All of this information helps doctors determine which conditions to screen for. The results may help to shift your fertility plans to support the birth of a healthy baby.
Manage your weight
Being overweight or obese can make it harder to conceive or to have a healthy pregnancy. If you are obese, your doctor will automatically categorize your pregnancy as “high risk,” because being overweight is associated with a range of health conditions that affect both mother and baby, including:
- Gestational diabetes
- Preterm labor
- Lower birth weights
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
- Pregnancy complications resulting from the heart, high blood pressure, liver, or kidney conditions
- Sleep apnea
- The need for a C-section
Simple lifestyle changes, such as observing an anti-inflammatory diet and exercising each day can help you shed unnecessary pounds.
Know when to see a fertility specialist
If you aren’t pregnant within 12-consecutive months of trying (less if you are 36+), it’s time to see a fertility specialist. Chances are that you or your partner have an infertility factor that is complicating things OR it could be that genetic/chromosomal abnormalities are preventing conception altogether. A complete infertility evaluation is essential to identify what the problem is and to create a personalized fertility plan to help you get pregnant as soon as possible.
This can also benefit you because some of the most common causes of infertility in women such as PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or other underlying health conditions can be treated. This means that in addition to increasing your chances of getting pregnant, we’ll also be helping to treat medical conditions you didn’t know you had (like an autoimmune disorder, type 2 diabetes or an undiagnosed infection).
Take advantage of PGT if you’re doing IVF
Are you using IVF to help you get pregnant? We know that extra expenses add up quickly. However, as with preconception genetic testing, preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) allows us to verify an embryo’s chromosome count and basic genetic material.
By only transferring embryos that look free of chromosomal or genetic abnormalities, we minimize your risks of miscarriage and increase the chances of a healthy baby.
Establish healthy sleep habits
Your sleep habits matter when it comes to physical health. As an article published in Sleep Medicine Reviews states, “Sleep and sleep disturbances are increasingly recognized as determinants of women’s health and well-being, particularly in the context of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.”
In addition to restoring your physical, mental, and emotional bodies, deep sleep cycles are essential for the body’s hormone regulation centers. Without consistently good sleep, your body is unable to regulate and eliminate stress hormones or balance blood glucose levels. Studies also show correlations between insomnia or disrupted sleep and imbalances in reproductive hormone levels.
Maintaining a healthy You is the best way to have a healthy baby in 2021. Worried it’s taking longer than it should to get pregnant? Schedule a consultation with the compassionate fertility specialists at Virginia Fertility & IVF.