Your family is ready for the next fantastic stage; having a new baby. Give your infant the best preparation for life by ensuring that you are in the healthiest condition as possible. Here are five steps to get your body well-prepared for pregnancy:
1. Clean Up Your Lifestyle
Drinking and smoking in pregnancy not only can harm your unborn infant but also affects your fertility. Recreational drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol can also increase the potential risk of low birth weight, miscarriage, and birth defects. Give up those habits now for the better future of your baby. This will also help you to stick with the new regime easier and faster once you get the positive pregnancy test results.
2. See Your Doctor
It is a sensible idea to get a health check prior to having a baby, especially if you already suffer from health problems like asthma, diabetes, or high-blood pressure. Getting booster immunizations for preventable infections such as hepatitis B, chickenpox, and German measles that can cause birth defects or miscarriage is also important. If you are unsure whether or not you have received these vaccinations, doctors can perform a blood test to check. Your doctor may also advise the safest time to conceive after obtaining an immunization, which is usually a month.
Some moms-to-be will want to discuss with a medical professional when to stop contraception. Depending on your used method, it may be necessary to wait several months for such hormones to vanish entirely in your body before trying to conceive. Finally, it is also advisable to get checked and treated for any sexually transmitted illnesses (STI) before getting pregnant.
3. Watch the Weight
Being significantly under or overweight may reduce your fertility and increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor and use the body mass index (BMI) for a good check on this. Generally, a healthy BMI should be between 19 and 25.
If you are underweight with a BMI of less than 18, your cycles may not be regular enough to conceive. If you have a BMI of 28 or more, try to lose some weight before getting pregnant.
Embarking on an exercise program may help you stay fit throughout your pregnancy and labor when it is time. And, of course, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains while reducing sugar and high amounts of fats is beneficial for everyone.
4. Take Supplements
It is wise to start a regiment of folic acid even before you start trying to get pregnant. Your baby requires it to have the nervous system and healthy brain in your first weeks of pregnancy. Lacking folic acid may cause the neural-tube defects that can lead the spina bifida and other complications. Continue taking these supplements throughout your entire pregnancy. Speak with your doctor about the exact amounts.
Vitamin D, calcium, and iron are also important to include in your daily diet, which can be found in most multivitamins. But pay attention to choose the specially formulated one for pregnancy and conception and for continued use postpartum, especially if breastfeeding.
5. Relax and Rest
It is natural to become stressed and worried, especially if you have been trying to conceive for some time. Lacking sleep and extreme stress have been linked directly to infertility, along with insomnia, weight loss or gain, and eating poorly, so it is important to relax and rest whenever you the time. Learn how to meditate or listen to relaxation CDs. If the stress is affecting your sleeping or eating habits, discuss your concerns and problems with a trusted friend or medical professional.
Annie is the blogger behind Knowing Mama. She is a mom who dedicates her whole life to research about the healthy lives for both mothers and infants. She loves to instruct new moms, share her experience, and receive constructive feedback.