Pre-Conception Planning for Pregnancy

Pre-Conception Planning for Pregnancy

This is a little bit off the topic of infertility but it is vital for anyone planning to conceive, infertile or not.

Of course we all knoiw that it is important to make sure that your body is prepared for pregnancy with the standard advice such as stop smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs. You should try to improve your diet, try to be at a reasonable weight and get a check of of your general and gynecological health from your doctor. But we were no so aware that the health and the habits of the father-to-be mattered that much to the health of the child.

Three papers published in the journal The Lancet detail how the health of both women and men, before they even conceive a child, can have profound impacts on the health of their offspring — such as birth weight and brain development. Based on the biological perspective, the pre-conception period would be defined as the days to weeks before an embryo develops, but from the individual perspective, the pre-conception period would begin as soon as a couple has a conscious intention to conceive, typically weeks to months before pregnancy occurs, according to one of the papers.

The second paper in the new series pointed out that a father’s diet and weight also can impact his offspring, but more research is needed to better understand exactly how that happens. This paper spotlights how those influences can involve a baby’s long-term risks of developing cardiovascular, metabolic, immune and neurological problems. The researchers wrote in the paper that there was sufficient evidence that the pre-conception period “is a key window during which poor maternal and paternal physiology, body composition, metabolism, and diet can induce increased risk of chronic disease in offspring — a lifetime legacy and major driver of health burden in the 21st century.

The third paper in the series pinpoints strategies to improve approaches to pre-conception care in order to improve the pre-conception health of parents-to-be. This paper pinpointed strategies, such as supplementing the diets of undernourished women or providing micronutrient-rich snacks to women before conception and during pregnancy; offering cash incentives to improve pre-conception health; and addressing unhealthy behaviors, such as reducing alcohol consumption and smoking. Also the health of the ootential father needsd to be addressed as well.

For mor details, please check out the whole story as reported on CNN.