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Planning for pregnancy. Precautions and tests to be taken?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Hi
Me and wife were planning a baby.I am 34 years of age and my wife is 28 years with both of us having no major illness. We are not thallesimic which reduces that concern also.
My question was do we go through any specific tests/precautions before we start trying to have baby? Also are there any precautions we should take while we plan our baby/trying to conceive one?
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Getting Pregnant
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 1 hour later
Hi,

Thanks for posting your query.

There are specific tests and precautions that you would need before planning a baby. These include:

1.     The following tests would need to be done as they are screening tests for diseases which can make it difficult for your wife to conceive and can harm the baby later.

a.     Veneral Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test for syphilis. This needs to be done for your wife.
b.     Rubella antibodies: IgG and IgM. If your wife is not immune (which would be indicated by a low titer of the antibodies), she would need to receive immunization against varicella. She would then need to wait for at least 4 weeks after receiving the vaccination before she tries to conceive. This needs to be done for your wife.
c.     Vaginal swab specimens to look for gonorrhea and Chlamydia. This needs to be done for your wife.
d.     HIV testing. This needs to be done for you and your wife.
e.     Hepatitis B surface antigen to detect infection with Hepatitis B. This needs to be done for you and your wife.
f.     Pap smear to check for cervical dysplasia for your wife.
g.     Varicella antibodies: IgG and IgM. If your wife is not immune (which would be indicated by a low titer of the antibodies), she would need to receive immunization against varicella. She would then need to wait for at least 4 weeks after receiving the vaccination before she tries to conceive. This needs to be done for your wife.
h.     Complete blood count to check if your wife is anemic (has a low hemoglobin) or not
i.     Blood group (both for you and your wife)

2.     The following precautions also need to be taken:

a.     Your wife should start taking Tablet Folvite 400 mg daily.
b.     If your wife is overweight, she should try and reduce her weight before planning a baby.
c.     If either of you smoke, then it needs to be stopped as both active and passive smoking can harm the baby
d.     If your wife consumes alcohol, this would have to be stopped as there is a risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.
e.     Further, if any prescription drugs are being used, then she would need to consult your gynecologist before taking them as some drugs can cause severe damage to the fetus.
f.     Mild exercise needs to be incorporated into the daily routine. Yoga is a good choice as it allows the person to relax and focus on posture and breathing which would help her relax.
g.     She would also need to eat a healthy, well balanced diet.
h.     She needs to keep a track of her menstrual cycles and maintain a proper record of the dates, preferably in a diary.
i.     She also needs to get at least 8 hours of sleep in a day.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.

Regards.
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