While preparing for pregnancy there are a lot of things to be taken care of. Preconception planning is common among many women wanting healthy pregnancies. Also, healthy lifestyle changes made during pregnancy may last even after pregnancy and become a part of life.
11 Steps to Take Before Preparing for Pregnancy
See the doctor
The first thing is to contact the doctor and get an appointment. The doctor can analyze the family’s medical history and rule out the possibility of complications. In case there are complications, remedies will be provided. The doctor will also check for immunization against major diseases and get properly vaccinated. Also, screening for sexually transmitted diseases and necessary precautions to follow with treatments to improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy is done. On the other, if having any other medical conditions that require regular medications like epilepsy, high blood pressure, diabetes, or asthma, visit the doctor to make any necessary changes to the course of treatment before trying to conceive.
Stop birth control
Discontinue the use of any form of birth control. If having an IUD, remove it. Some women tend to get pregnant within the next two weeks after stopping birth control while others may take longer.
Fix the diet
Cut out the unhealthy food items from the diet, prepare the body for pregnancy with healthier and organic food choices and drink plenty of water. Switching those carbs and junk with healthy snacks like nuts and fruits can be good and lower the exposure to toxins. Also, avoid eating uncooked meat or raw eggs to rule out the risk of salmonella. It is especially important to get to a healthy diet if BMI over 30 or obese. Being underweight can also be a problem as it can affect the menstrual cycle and can cause to have missed periods. This essentially means that not be ovulating every cycle. It is best to get to a healthy BMI between 19 to 25 for a healthy pregnancy.
Incorporate moderate workout sessions of about 30 minutes for at least 4 to 5 days every week. If starting from scratch, a 20-minute walk should help get moving before trying more vigorous workouts. If exercising regularly, try and squeeze in about 45 minutes of exercise five or six days a week.
Stack up on multivitamins
Most doctors advise women to take multivitamins to make up for the lack of certain vitamins in the body. These prenatal vitamins can help bridge any nutritional deficiency that may be present right before pregnancy. Boost the intake of iron and calcium-rich food items as well.
Add folic acid on top of the vitamin supplements. Folic acid helps in preventing the possibility of neural tube defects during pregnancy. Although it is available over the counter, contact the doctor about these supplements. About 400 to 800 mg of folic acid is recommended on a daily basis during the preconception period. Once pregnant, the doctor may change the dosage accordingly.
Lay off smoking, alcohol, and drugs
All three activities are undoubtedly detrimental to both mother and baby. Smoking can expose a lot of toxins and reduce blood flow. It also affects fertility and may lead to preterm delivery, miscarriage, or even stillbirth. Alcohol can have long-term problems and developmental issues in the baby and can also put the baby at the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. Using drugs is illegal and can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, etc. Drugs such as heroin and cocaine can even lead to drug-dependent babies. It is wise to ask the partner also to quit smoking as it is related to low sperm count. Exposure to smoke is also not good, especially during pregnancy. It is also best if limiting the intake of caffeine every day as pregnant women are recommended only 300 ml of caffeine each day.
Try stress relief measures
Trying to conceive can be quite stressful. But managing the stress is vital as stress can shoot up the cortisol levels, preventing ovulation and lowering the sex drive. Try out various stress-relief measures such as yoga, meditation, music, reading, etc.
Get plenty of sleep a good night’s rest every day can put the body on track to work the way it is supposed to. Lack of sleep can lead to stress, lower the sex drive and make more tired.
Get a dental check-up
Gum diseases are linked to preterm labor and low birth weight in babies. Ensure a visit to the dentist and have the issue resolved before getting pregnant.
Get all the information
Understand how conception works. Talk to the doctor and get all the information needed before to begin conceiving. It is also important to read as much as possible to know what to do for the following months. Also, track the cycle. Knowing when ovulating can increase the chances of pregnancy significantly and ovulation kits can be used.
As you get ready to welcome a new human being, it is important to prepare yourself mentally well. Care and nurture the baby and provide it the best possible atmosphere to grow up in. Making a few fundamental lifestyle changes can contribute very well to preparing for pregnancy. Contact the doctor for any problem.