You are reading Experts’ advice on preparing for pregnancy


Experts’ advice on preparing for pregnancy

May 10, 2019

To live well with the belly is possible. However, there are a few precautions that need to be implemented, as they are possible thanks to the correct information on pregnancy and the changes that are taking place in the particular period of a woman’s and a couple’s life. Even in cases of cardiac patients, the sweet expectation is a period that can be faced without the risks that we once talked about. As long as you don’t miss the necessary controls and therapies. We talked about it with Dr. Patrizia Presbitero, a cardiologist at the Humanitas Clinical Institute.


A rapid conception without stress

If the couple’s program is to enlarge the family and have a baby, the best way to achieve this result, encouraging a faster and stress-free conception, is to monitor the fertile period. A young and healthy couple who are looking for a pregnancy is 20% more likely to conceive at each cycle if they have sexual intercourse during the most fertile period. The right period to try is 24-72 hours after ovulation, which on average occurs on the 14th day of the cycle, in other words two weeks after the first day of the last menstruation.

If, however, the period is not regular, then to identify the day of ovulation there are natural methods that take into account the change in the basal temperature or the characteristics of the cervical mucus or even small computers that help in calculating with the support of hormonal sticks and tests of urine do it yourself similar to that of pregnancy. The alternative is to ask the gynaecologist to do an ultrasound monitoring of the ovaries.


Iodium, an indispensable mineral for the thyroid during pregnancy

In the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, the maternal thyroid gland produces a hormone that is indispensable for the development of the nervous system of the unborn child. An adequate amount of iodine, a mineral necessary for the production of thyroid hormone, is therefore essential and must be taken through the diet: iodine is found in the seafood, but also in the meat, milk and eggs and, to a lesser extent, in cereals. It is also good to use iodized table salt.


Overflowing legs and sore feet near the end

Especially in the last few months, walking can become a problem for expectant women. There are several reasons for this: the increase in body weight on the extremities, swelling of the lower limbs due to water retention and compression of the blood vessels in the pelvis, as well as the action of the hormone relaxin, which has the function of making the joints more elastic to facilitate the dilation of the pelvis and the predisposition of the delivery channel, do not help the deambulation of future mothers. All this can cause the flattening of the foot sole. It is therefore necessary to use appropriate, comfortable footwear, with an elastic sole, and if necessary one size bigger than the one used before.


In the case of a woman’s heart disease?

The progress of medicine and the more thorough controls that can be made today, in the last 10 years have significantly increased the number of women with heart disease who have managed to successfully complete a pregnancy. This is demonstrated by the information collected since 2007 by the Registry of Pregnancy and Cardiac Disease of the European Society of Cardiology.

“In Italy, about 1% of expectant mothers suffer or have suffered from heart disease in the past,” said Dr. Presbitero. “In order to face a serene pregnancy in these conditions, it is necessary to evaluate the situation with the specialist of reference before conception, to adapt any pharmacological therapies in progress and to agree on a monitoring program that must be followed scrupulously”.


The pertussis vaccine in Q3

A good rule even if you already have an infection is the pertussis vaccine that must be administered in the third trimester, with the aim of immunizing not only the woman but also to transmit the antibodies to the unborn child, who is protected from the risk of infection in the first months of life, waiting to receive directly the first dose of hexavalent vaccine, which contains the anti-pertussis, at the age of the three months.


After birth

The first child and the changes it entails, fatigue and sleep deprivation can be of great impact on the couple. It can be useful for the expectant parents to prepare themselves from the beginning of their pregnancy to the new reality that is awaiting them, by attending specific meetings of support and preparation. The pre-birth course is not a substitute for the different information sessions that can be useful for the couple. The same applies to the moments that the future mother decides to dedicate to herself, to her changing body and to her well-being.

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