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Preconception Health

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,Women's Health at 10:00 am | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

Preconception health refers to the health of women before they become pregnant.

Did you know 40 to 50 percent of pregnancies are unintended? Many women have their first visit for prenatal care at eight weeks of pregnancy or later, yet the period of time before the first prenatal visit carries the most risk to fetal development. This is why it is recommended that you start your preconception health before you even start trying to become pregnant. It is recommended that women and men should prepare for pregnancy at least three months before getting pregnant.

One of the most highly recommended products for women to do for their preconception health is a prenatal vitamin. Make sure that your prenatal supplement contains at least 400 -800mcg of folic acid; this is to help prevent against neural tube defects like spina bifida.  Other vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium are also vital for fetal growth and development. Also remember to be sure your health care provider is aware of the supplements that you are taking.

A study on prenatal Omega-3 fatty acids reveled that adequate intake of omega 3 fatty acids docasehexaenoic (DHA) acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can increase gestation length and improve infant cognitive and visual performance. Adequate levels of Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to reduce the incidence of preterm birth in some populations.

Another beneficial step in your preconception health may be starting a detox or cleanse. A preconception detox is a way to give some rest to your overworked organs; to ease the labor of removing toxins from the foods we eat, the xenoestrogens in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the denatured soil on our farms. You may also want include starting an exercise program into your preconception checklist. It is recommended that you only exercise during pregnancy as long as you had started a program before you became pregnant. Exercise increases your metabolism as well is a great way to aid in detoxification.

Before you become pregnant, it is recommended you also stop drinking alcohol and smoking. If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions that can affect pregnancy or be affected by it include asthma, diabetes, oral health, obesity and epilepsy. Also avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infections at work and at home. Also stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces before and during your pregnancy. You may also want to talk to your doctor about any over the counter medications that you are using. These include dietary and or herbal supplements.

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Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA with Vitamin D – 180 Softgels
ReNew Life – Liver Detox Kit 30-Day Program – 120 Capsules
Solgar – Folate As Metafolin 800 mcg. – 100 Tablets

 

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