“Preconception care” is a keyword that is gaining a lot of attention as something that should be done before infertility treatments. “Preconception care” seems to be an important thing to do to prepare your body for fertility. But what exactly should you do?
In this article, we make a list of questions and answers about preconception care.
Why is preconception care so important?
Recently, I’ve heard the word “preconception care” more and more. Please tell me what it is again.
Conception meant to get pregnant. And pre-conception care is a derivative of this word, and refers to knowing the state of your body and mind, and dealing with your daily life and health while thinking about your future pregnancy.
We would like to encourage women in their teens and twenties who are thinking about getting pregnant to start preconception care right now.
Why is preconception care so important?
A. Japan is said to be an infertile country, and the number of people who have difficulty pregnancy is increasing. One of the reasons for this is the increase in childbearing age. It is well known that it is difficult to conceive due to the decline in ovarian function caused by aging.
Today, women are working just as hard as men, and more and more women are leading irregular lifestyles due to this trend. This has led to a decline in the ability to conceive.
In this situation, what should we do if we want to have a baby? The technology for infertility treatment is advancing rapidly, but, if possible, we would like to get pregnant and give birth naturally without relying on such technology.
In such a situation, it is very important to practice preconception care from early on, because it can reduce the risk of infertility in the future and protect the health of your future baby.
What exactly does pre-conception care do?
You are required to manage yourself in your daily life and develop a healthy lifestyle. Specifically, you should ensure that you follow the basic lifestyle habits of proper diet, exercise, and sleep. In addition to that, it is also important to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Of these, dietary management is particularly important. Japanese women today consume fewer calories per day, with the average daily amount being 1,500kcal. According to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the estimated energy requirement for an average woman between the ages of 30 and 49 is 2,000 kcal, so the reality is that we are far below that.
Many of those who fall into this category are in a state of nutritional deficiency. Many of you may not eat breakfast or just have a quick lunch of rice balls or a cup of soup. This is a situation that needs to be reviewed as soon as possible because it is impossible to build a healthy body.
Incidentally, it is not uncommon for some dieters to find that they cannot lose weight even though their calorie intake is low. This is because the body’s metabolism has deteriorated. In addition, poor metabolism leads to low body temperature, which can lead to making your body cold, irregular menstruation, and other problems. The number of women suffering from such problems is increasing.
Q. What should I pay attention to in terms of diet?
A. First of all, you should eat three meals in a well-balanced manner. It is especially important to eat a good amount of protein such as meat, fish, and eggs. Nutrition cannot be stored, so it is important to eat three meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In particular, breakfast should be taken well in order to increase your metabolism.
Because your pre-pregnancy eating habits are very important for your body to be able to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby!
Three are things you need to do before you start your pregnancy in earnest.
Q. What are the effects of poor preconception nutrition?
A. It has been found that skinny women have a harder time getting pregnant and are more likely to have babies born with low birth weight. It has also been reported that babies born underweight are more likely to suffer from lifestyle-related diseases in the future.
Q. I’ve heard that it’s better to take folic acid supplements when I start thinking about getting pregnant.
A. At many hospitals, they often instruct patients who come for infertility consultations or who come to see a doctor after a pregnancy test to take supplements that contain folic acid. Folic acid is an important nutrient for the normal development of the baby inside the belly, but it is very difficult to get the necessary amount of it through diet alone.
The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare also recommends taking 400μg of folic acid per day from dietary supplements in addition to food. Considering the fact that it is passed out of the body without being absorbed, it is important to make it a habit to take somewhat more.
Q. There are various supplements containing folic acid, but what are the key points when choosing one?
A. You may prefer a multi-supplement that contains not only folic acid but also vitamins B6 and B12, which help folic acid work, as well as iron and vitamin D, which are necessary for the baby’s development.
Q. When should I start taking supplements?
A. In terms of preconception care, we would like all women to start taking them now.
In particular, those who are expecting or hoping to get pregnant soon should start taking them as soon as possible. It takes more than a month for nutrients to accumulate in the mother’s body, so it is too late to start taking it after getting pregnant.
If you can maintain a good nutritional status, you will not only have a good pregnancy and delivery, but you will also be able to make yourself and your baby happy in the future, after childbirth and beyond.
If you want to have a baby in the future, start preconception care as soon as possible. If you think that you can start it later when you want to get pregnant, it may be too late. Preconception care is for yourself and your baby.