Check-List for pregnancy for every woman
Are you, or have you been, on the pill ?
It is best to stop taking the pill 3 months before you want to conceive to allow your body to return to normal cycle. There always remains a remote possibility of malformations in your baby as a result of hormonal pills. It is best to wait until you have had three menstrual periods after stoppage of pills before trying to become pregnant. You can use condom during this time to avoid pregnancy.
Do you have a long-standing medical condition ?
If you have a medical disorder such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, anaemia andepilepsyor rheumatic heart disease, you should talk to your doctor before trying to become pregnant. Your doctor may want to change your drug treatment, either because the drugs you are taking may affect the baby or they might make it more difficult for you to conceive.
Does your work bring you in contact with any risk ?
If you or your partner has a job that involves working with chemicals, lead, anaesthetics or X-rays, this may affect your chance of conceiving, or involve a risk to the baby, so talk to your doctor. It may be sensible to move to a safer job before you become pregnant, or at least avoid the risk as much as possible. Once you are pregnant you should take further steps to protect yourself.
Are you immune to Rubella ?
Rubella can cause serious defects to the baby if you have infection in pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, when the baby's internal organs are developing. Ideally before you become pregnant, ask your doctor for a blood test to make sure that you are immune from the disease. If you are not, your doctor can give you a vaccination. Take the vaccine in advance as you should not try to become pregnant for at least threemonths after the vaccination. All girls should be given rubella vaccine usually available as MMR vaccine (vaccine for mumps, measels and rubella) in place of just measles vaccine in childhood or before the marriagable age (before 14 years). Exclusive Rubella Vaccine (R-VAC) is also now available in India.
Do you or your partner have a family history of inherited diseases ?
Some medical conditions, such as Thalassemia and hemophilia are inherited. If either you or your partner has a close relative with an inherited disease, there is a chance that it might be passed on to your baby. See your doctor before trying to become pregnant, and if necessary one can refer you to a genetic counsellor who can assess the level of risk that you will be taking. It is reassuring to know that, in most cases, only if both partners carry the gene that causes the disease, the child runs a real risk of inheriting it.