Keep these things in mind before planning pregnancy
Keep these things in mind before planning pregnancy

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently released comprehensive guidelines focusing on diet and lifestyle to promote health and fitness across various age groups, from children to the elderly. These guidelines provide detailed recommendations on the right diet, nutrition-rich foods, and daily activities. Additionally, the guidelines address crucial aspects for pregnant women, including balanced diets and pre-pregnancy considerations.

Pre-Pregnancy Planning and Health
Ensuring the health and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child throughout pregnancy is essential for proper physical and mental development and safe delivery. ICMR has outlined specific guidelines to be followed even before pregnancy.

Ideal Age for Pregnancy
According to ICMR, the ideal age to plan a pregnancy is at least 21 years. This recommendation is based on ensuring that the mother has reached an optimal level of physical maturity and is better prepared for the demands of pregnancy. Adequate maternal age contributes to the birth of a healthy baby, provided that the mother maintains an appropriate weight and receives sufficient nutrition during pregnancy, known as pre-pregnancy nutrition.

Essential Pre-Pregnancy Tests
Women planning a pregnancy should undergo several basic health tests to avoid complications during pregnancy. These tests include:

Blood Pressure: To check for hypertension.
Thyroid Function: To detect any thyroid imbalances.
Blood Sugar: To screen for diabetes.
Anemia: To assess hemoglobin levels and the condition of red blood cells.
Body Weight: To ensure a healthy weight range.
These tests help identify and manage any potential health issues that could affect the pregnancy.

Importance of Folic Acid
ICMR emphasizes that women should start taking folic acid before conception and continue throughout the pregnancy. Folic acid plays a crucial role in the development of the baby’s brain and helps prevent neural tube defects. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage of folic acid.

ICMR's guidelines provide valuable insights into maintaining health and fitness through proper diet and lifestyle choices for various age groups. For women planning a pregnancy, adhering to these guidelines can significantly contribute to a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby. Key recommendations include ensuring the appropriate age for pregnancy, undergoing essential health tests, and taking folic acid supplements as advised by healthcare professionals.

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