If you are planning to get pregnant you need to prepare your body for it. Making sure you are physically ready for the pregnancy is going to take a load off of your mind. Pregnancy is a time of great physical change. Your goal should be to make your body ready for all these changes once you have decided to be a mother.
Here we are discussing 11 tips that will help prepare your body for pregnancy. Try these tips to help your body support the changes you are likely to undergo during pregnancy.
Watch your diet
Having a healthy diet is the first step to prepare your body for your upcoming. When you visit your doctor, he or she is also likely to recommend you to restrict junk food before trying to get pregnant. The healthier you make your body prior to the pregnancy, the better your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Eat organic, hormone-free, GMO-free, whole foods that nourish you.
Get Adequate amount of Folic Acid in your diet
Folic acid is crucial for your body. It is naturally present in certain foods, but to make sure you get adequate amounts of folic acid you should try taking supplements. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you can cut down the chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects by 50 to 70 percent with the right amount of folic acid in your diet. They recommend taking minimum of 400 mcg of folic acid daily for at least a month before you conceive.
Regular intake of Folic Acid supplements can also help decrease the chances of other birth defects in your baby. There are many over the counter Folic Acid supplements available. Or you can also try taking a prenatal vitamin which contains the requisite amount of Folic Acid. If you are unsure of which supplement to take, ask your doctor for recommendation.
Give up on bad habits such as binge drinking, smoking or drugs
Studies have repeatedly shown that habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, and taking drugs are responsible for complications during pregnancy. These may include miscarriage, premature birth, babies born with low birth weight. Research has repeatedly shown that tobacco use has effects on fertility of both men and women. In men it is known to lower the sperm count.
Therefore, if you or your partner are smokers, it is better to try and kick the habit well before you try to get pregnant. In fact, it is better that both of you should stop smoking as passive smoking too has its effects on fertility. Avoiding excessive or binge drinking sprees is advisable when you are trying to get pregnant. This helps your body become free of the toxins present in alcohol. It is fine to drink once in a while and in moderation during this time. If you are facing difficulty in quiting these unhealthy habits on your own don’t hestitate to ask for help. There are tols and techniques that your doctor can advise to help you in the process. You can even join groups that offer counselling and guidance to those willing to break the habit.
Check your caffeine intake
While there’s no consensus on exactly how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy, experts agree that pregnant women and those trying to conceive should avoid consuming large amounts. Too much caffeine has been linked to a risk of miscarriage in some (but not all) studies. Find out from your doctor about how much coffee intake is permissible when you are trying to conceive.
Achieve a healthy body weight
Studies have pointed to the fact that women with healthier body weight find it easier to get pregnant. Those having low or high Body Mass Index (BMI) find it harder in most cases. Reaching the ideal and healthy BMI prior to getting pregnancy will also let you start your pregnancy on the right foot. Obese or underweight women face greater complications during their pregnancy including preeclempsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth, and many others. Women with lower than healthy weights at the onset of pregnancy are likely to give birth to babies with low bith weight. Check with your doctor and find out whether you have the ideal BMI for your body structure. If you are not, then work towards achieving it before getting pregnant. This will greatly improve your chances at getting pregnant.
Exercise regularly but moderately
Start and stick to a fitness plan now, and you’ll be rewarded with a healthy body that’s fit for pregnancy. A healthy exercise program includes 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise, such as walking or cycling and weight training, on most days of the week. To increase flexibility, try stretching or yoga, and you’ll have a well-rounded fitness program. If you haven’t been in the habit of exercising regularly, remember to ease into the chosen routine. Start slow and build up the pace and rigor of your routine. If you feel you do not have the time to set apart specifically for exercising try adding more activities into your daily schedule. This can include walking for 15 – 20 minutes per day, taking the stairs at work and home, walking or cycling to the nearby stores when you go shopping.
Eat Warm Foods
Eating warm foods is considered by many doctors to prepare your uterus to be more fertile. Many acupuncturists belive that warm foods such as lentil soup, or stir-fried veggies and brown rice are recommended to be consumed for increased fertility. If you are trying to get pregnant you can try and improve your chances by consuming these foods. In case you have any dietary restrictions or are unsure it is best to consult your doctor.
It is very important for you to be relaxed and calm when you are trying to conceive. It is probably easier said than done as you are in an emotionally charged state. However, remember that stress causes the levels of cortisol in your body. Elevated levels of cortisols in the body can wreak havoc on your fertility. It can suppress ovulation, decrease sperm count in your partner, and reduce sex drive in both. It can also tighten your body which causes stagnation in energy and constriction of blood flow.
Try any or all of the below mentioned methods to try and de-stress:
- Meditation and Breathing exercises
- Relaxing massage
- Proper and uninturrupted sleep
- Moderate exercise
- Keep a journal
- Read books that interest you
- Go for relaxing vacations if you can
If you still find it difficult to relax try talking to your doctor or seek help. There are many support groups and counsellors that can help you and your partner through the journey. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in the process.
Figure out your ovulation cycle
Even though some women leave getting pregnant to their fates, it is better to take a more calculated approach. Start by charting your periods and tracking the symptoms. This way you will be able to pinpoint the days when you are ovulating each month. You can also use the online ovualtion calculators or ovulation calculation apps to estimate when you are most fertile. Remember that the apps and online tests are only as accurate as the answers you provide. There are also ovulation predictor kits available in stores. These can help you figure out when you are ovulating. These kits can be bought from your local drugstores and come in a variety of price ranges.
It’s important to steer clear of infections when you’re trying to get pregnant, especially those that could harm your baby-to-be.
Stay away from certain foods, such as unpasteurized soft cheeses and other dairy products, cold deli meats, and raw and undercooked fish and poultry.
These foods are known to harbor harmful bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a food-borne illness that can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. It is better to avoid unpasteurized juices because they can contain bacteria such as salmonella or E. Coli. Be sure to wash your hands with good disinfectant soaps frequently. Wash hands several times when preparing meals. Make sure to set the settings of your fridge between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (2 and 4 degrees Celsius) and your freezer at or below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) to keep the food stored in the fridge from going bad.
Finally, make sure you get a flu shot, to avoid coming down with the flu when you’re pregnant. Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine for the coming season becomes available. Getting the flu while pregnant can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and preterm labor.
Get a Physical Examination done
Keeping up with yearly physicals will help catch health problems before they become severe. When you’re getting ready for pregnancy, they’re especially important. Your doctor will examine you and possibly take some blood work to check for cholesterol levels and more. At this visit, you can also bring up any other health concerns you might have.
Remember to include your partner in your preparations also. Don’t let getting pregnant turn into a chore that is not enjoyable for both. Be spontaneous and passionate. It’s true that there is indeed a lot of preparation – mental and physical – that goes into getting pregnant. But with a little preparation you will be well on your way to a healthy pregnancy.
At any point of time if you have any doubts or are unsure be sure to consult your doctor. In case you ate under any form of medication, it is best to discuss with your doctor about the potential effects any of the prescribed drugs may have on pregnancy. In case there are any, ask your doctor for alternate medication with lower or no side effects.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Prepare yourself well for the journey of motherhood now, so that you and your baby can both have a healthy future ahead.