Every pregnancy is different. There are some women who experience early symptoms of pregnancy within the first few weeks after conception while others may only notice changes later. Early symptoms of pregnancy can be similar to those of a menstrual period, making it difficult for women to distinguish them.
The symptoms of pregnancy vary among women. Even when they have the same symptoms, it may be different in terms of severity or character. Even the same woman may not experience the same symptoms in different pregnancies. If in doubt if one is pregnant, it is best to seek professional opinion as early prenatal care is crucial for the healthy development of a child.
1. Pregnancy Planning
Pregnancy planning generally involves both the woman, her partner, and her healthcare team. It will involve various aspects of the pregnancy such as proper nutrition, vitamins, genetic counseling, avoidance of certain medications, avoidance of alcohol, quitting tobacco use, vaccinations, management of existing conditions, exercise, and more. The management of existing conditions is important as some medication can cause birth defects. However, some women have conditions that require medication to control them. In these cases, an appropriate substitute will be required. Pregnancy planning is important as it also allows the woman to properly prepare their body for a potential pregnancy. For example, women who are planning to conceive are recommended to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily as this has been proven to decrease the risk of major birth defects in the baby’s spine and brain.