What is family planning and
How to get prepared for pregnancy and childbirth?
A healthy child can be born only by healthy parents. Each family must be convinced of the need for birth planning. The main result of family planning is free and responsible parenthood, it is children at will, and not by chance!
S. Kandrašova (Head of the gynecological department)
A healthy child can be born only by healthy parents. Each family must be convinced of the need for birth planning. The main result of family planning is free and responsible parenthood, it is children by choice, not by chance. Such children are born physically healthy. It is very important that pregnancy proceeds without complications that negatively affect the intrauterine development of the child, create conditions for the medicational burden on the fetus during its treatment, and cause deviations in the process of subsequent childbirth. In addition, pregnancy creates a significant burden on the body, often revealing hidden diseases.
Planning of the birth of a child begins with taking care of your body, preparing it for pregnancy and creating favorable conditions for its occurrence. During the pregnancy planning period, the expectant mother should preferably visit a doctor with her husband and be examined. It is necessary to make sure that both spouses do not have diseases of the genital area and the pathology of other organs and systems that can have an adverse effect on the fetus. It should be noted that the dominant causes in the development of the threat of termination of pregnancy, premature birth, undeveloped pregnancy are infection, genetic and hormonal disorders.
The expectant mother at the antenatal consultation will be assigned a general examination: a general analysis of blood, urine, a blood type and a rhesus-factor will be determined. It is extremely important to examine for a number of infections: viral hepatitis B, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, herpes, ureaplasmosis and mycoplasmosis, chlamydial and other sexually transmitted infections.
Before pregnancy, as well as during it, a woman needs good nutrition, additional intake of vitamins. Moreover, the diet of the future father should be a reflection of his wife’s diet with the addition of calories, respectively to body weight and activity. The better a man's diet, the healthier his germ cells are. In the period of preparation for pregnancy, spouses should limit the consumption of caffeine, exclude, if possible, taking medications. If they are necessary, you need to make sure they are safe for the future fetus. At least 2–3 months before a possible conception, it is advisable to completely stop drinking alcohol, stop smoking for both spouses, and especially for a woman.
Basically, future parents try to comply with the recommendations of doctors. But, unfortunately, sometimes it happens that the simplest recommendations – to quit smoking, alcohol – are perceived skeptically. Indeed, awareness is not synonymous with responsibility for one's own health and the health of the unborn child. What kind of responsibility can we talk about if a woman is treated in an obstetric hospital for threatening preterm birth and tells the doctor that «she almost does not smoke». Almost – it's half a pack of cigarettes, and before the «almost» was a pack. Numerous studies have proven that nicotine has a detrimental effect on the placenta – blood flow is disturbed in it, the mass of the placenta decreases, nicotine binds hemoglobin when it enters the fetal blood, which leads to oxygen starvation of the child. Women who smoke and drink alcohol are more likely to have sick children, including those with developmental defects.
Thanks to modern high technologies that are now used in medicine, we provide an opportunity to get to know the happiness of motherhood to women who not only could not get pregnant 15–20 years ago, but could not live to reproductive age. These are women with severe heart defects, including after surgical correction, with severe forms of diabetes mellitus and other diseases. It is especially important for such women to undergo pregravid (before pregnancy) preparation.
No one is safe from the birth of a child with a genetically determined pathology. In more than half of cases, a hereditary disease occurs in the family for the first time. How to prevent the birth of a child with malformations and hereditary diseases?
When preparing for the birth of a child, it must be remembered that the risk of hereditary diseases increases sharply in case of the marriage of relatives, the presence in family of children with developmental defects, mental retardation, several miscarriages, stillbirths, and in case of parents’ age over 35–40. Such family couples must necessarily undergo counseling in a medical genetic consultation. The specialist will inform future parents about the risk of the disease, prescribe necessary examinations, which are desirable to conduct before pregnancy, give recommendations.
In recent years, many countries, including ours, have used the so-called preconceptive therapy, that is, treatment before and after conception, which reduces the probability of malformations of the nervous system by several times. This is folic acid intake by both spouses 2–3 months before conception and by a woman in the first three months of pregnancy.
Substantive significance has the age of women giving birth to children for the first time. From a medical point of view, the optimal age for pregnancy and childbirth is the age period from 20–22 to 35 years. If at a young age we note the physiological immaturity of the organs of the reproductive system, then after 35 years the natural aging of the reproductive organs begins. In addition, with age, we acquire a certain baggage of diseases that can negatively affect the course of pregnancy. At the same time, the number of women giving birth to their first child after 30–35 years old is growing every year. In this sense, we are becoming more and more like Western countries – women first get an education, make a career, and then give birth to children.
So, when preparing to become parents, it is necessary: to collect information about chronic diseases, malformations, cases of miscarriage, stillbirths in the family. If somebody in the family suffers from chronic diseases, consult a geneticist for information on the possible risk of an unborn child’s disease. To conduct an examination of the expectant mother by a gynecologist, to determine the titer of antibodies to some infections (rubella, toxoplasmosis). To conduct a course of treatment with folic acid: for the future dad – three months before conception, for the expectant mother – three months before conception and three months after it.
Carry out an ultrasound examination of the fetus at least twice during pregnancy. Pregnant women over 36 are advised to determine the risk of Down syndrome occurrence.
As it can be seen from the above, the key to a successful completion of pregnancy is its planning.
In the conditions of the city of Minsk, it is possible to get professional consultation and medical assistance in full volume to prepare for the birth of a child. To do this, you can contact not only doctors of women consultations, but also the state institution RSPC «Mother and Child», the city Family planning center in the city clinical maternity hospital № 2, and medical centers.
In recent years, significant budgetary funds have been assigned for equipping and re-equipping obstetric institutions with modern high-tech diagnostic and treatment equipment, which allows to detect the slightest pathology in the pregnant woman and the fetus and to prevent the development of complications.
But, most importantly, future parents should realize that they are responsible, first and foremost, for the health of the unborn child. Parents must together overcome the way from preparation for conception to pregnancy and to the birth of a child.