Before getting married, one should give some thought to reproductive health. While the India, the custom is usually to match horoscopes, it would be better if the bride and groom’s blood groups are matched.
When two people of incompatible blood groups marry, there can be complications when they try to start a family. For example, a woman with negative blood group should avoid marrying a man with a positive blood group.
Genetic incompatibility can result in conditions like thalassemia – an inherited blood disorder. Two people carrying the thalassemia trait should not marry, for their child will have the disease.
When a couple is ready to start a family, it is important to take certain steps to ensure that the child is born healthy. These include a series of tests, vaccinations and intake of vitamins.
- Get an immunity test and a thyroid test done.
- Get yourself checked for diabetes too. Earlier, women with diabetes could not dream of having a baby. But now it is possible. But it is important to control and monitor the condition carefully.
- One should also be careful if one has hypertension. A doctor should be consulted and tabs should be kept on blood pressure.
- In case of a person who has epilepsy, a go-ahead from the doctor is very important before one can have a child.
- MMR Vaccination: The mom-to-be should be given a vaccine for rubella, a type of measles. If this disease is contracted during pregnancy, it can get transmitted to the child. MMR stands for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
- While contemplating pregnancy, one should also start taking Folic acid, or Vitamin B9. A lot of women do it later, which can have an adverse effect on the baby.
Once you conceive, it is best to consult a doctor immediately.
Proper nutrition is extremely important during pregnancy. Compared to one’s normal intake, one should have an extra 350 kcal a day from second trimester. It is best to eat small frequent meals. Over nine months, it is normal to gain 10 to 11 kg in weight.
In normal pregnancies, a check-up by a doctor is done once a month for the first seven months. On the eighth month, go for a check-up once in two weeks. In the ninth month, go for weekly check-ups. Make sure your doctor checks your blood pressure every time.
If there are complications during pregnancy, the frequency of check-up will vary.
- For gestational diabetes, check-ups should be conducted between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.
- If one has anaemia, the condition can get worse during pregnancy. This needs to be checked right at the beginning and steps should be taken to control it.
There are a few don’ts to observe too when one is carrying a baby: Avoid food from outside, junk food and long travel.
Dr Queen Aditya is consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kolkata’s Medica Superspecialty hospital and Ruby General hospital. (As told to Danish Ahmad)