LMC Medical Update: Preparing for Pregnancy and what comes next
So you're thinking of expanding your family, and know that being healthy is important when you're having a baby.
In this week's LMC medical update we tell you how to make sure you're in the best health possible before you get ready to conceive, and what to expect during your first trimester.
Having optimal health is the best way you can ensure once you get pregnant, your baby will be healthy too.
"I usually tell my patients, if you're considering getting, to try to conceive you should visit your family physician."
OB-GYN, Dr. Eduardo Robles, says following a healthy diet, exercising, and taking prenatal vitamins are all things a woman can do months before she actually gets pregnant.
Regular visits to a doctor can help if there are problems in conceiving.
"When that year passes by and the person hasn't been able to get pregnant, then we start doing infertility workups to see why the patient is not pregnant."
Once a woman does become pregnant, Dr. Robles says prenatal care is essential to the health of the baby.
"It has been known that it reduces small babies, it reduces pre-term labors if you start with prenatal care as soon as you find out you're pregnant"
The mother-to-be should also stick with a healthy diet, making sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
"Here in Laredo and back in Puerto Rico, people think that when you're pregnant you're eating for two, and that is not true.”
He says you only need only about 300 extra calories a day, and should aim to gain 25 to 35 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy, adding a woman can keep exercising.
"You should do low impact aerobics, you should do swimming, you can do indoor bicycling, and use the elliptical."
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, Dr. Robles says a woman will have an average of three doctor's visits and undergo tests to check for abnormalities.
"We monitor the growth of the uterus by measuring, we measure the uterus and the baby with several sonograms that we're going to be doing throughout the pregnancy, and those sonograms are going to be telling us how the baby's growing and developing."
And while around this time a woman will usually start to feel the changes in her body, like morning sickness and fatigue, Dr. Robles says it's the beginning of an incredible journey.
"Everybody thinks that pregnancy is going to be a magical time, and no pregnancy is not a disease, but pregnancy brings a lot of things that the body has to get accustomed to. All the things that the body is going to be accustomed to work with it, and think about it, as this is a long journey that is going to end up in a beautiful baby."
Next week we'll take a closer look at what happens during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy and what happens after the baby is born.
For more information on this medical update you call 796-3223.