Before You Get Pregnant

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Lee Health is a nationally recognized, award-winning health system in Southwest Florida. We are caring people, inspiring health.

It’s a big decision when a couple decides to have a baby. Before getting pregnant, doctors have a few suggestions for women to make sure their health is in good shape.

Dr. Kevin Fleischman, an OB/GYN on the medical staff of Lee Health, says keeping your health on track is important, especially before pregnancy. “Obesity is a big problem. There’s an increase of obese people and people with a higher BMI are now getting pregnant and these are high risk pregnancies.”

He advises women to consider their health first before getting pregnant. “We do like women to be as healthy as they can at the beginning of pregnancy, so for instance if someone is overweight we encourage them to exercise and lose weight before they conceive, that way they’ll have a much healthier pregnancy.”

Maintaining a healthy weight before pregnancy will prevent problems during pregnancy like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and hypertension. It will also lower the mother’s risk for a C-section. “Gestational diabetes can cause big babies, and the scariest things we deal with is called shoulder dystocia which means the head comes out but the shoulders get stuck because the stomach and the shoulders are out of proportion larger than the head. And that can cause a lot of problems for the baby so we like very good blood sugar control throughout the pregnancy,” said Dr. Fleischman.

Before getting pregnant, he recommends women develop healthy eating habits and regular physical activity. Also, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. “Sometimes it just takes exercising and losing a few pounds and sometimes it’s three or four percent of their body weight,” said Dr. Fleischman.

Having a healthy body weight before pregnancy can help mothers have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.


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