If you’re reading this, that means you’re quite sure about getting pregnant. And huge congratulations on that; it’s a life-altering decision. But motherhood needs dedicated preparation, and that starts with your own body. You can do things to give your body the best chance to conceive a healthy baby.
Pre-pregnancy health arrangements and practices not only improve your chances of becoming a mother but can also reduce many complications during those nine months. It includes regular health check-ups, consulting with your doctor about any condition (if any) that can affect the pregnancy, making positive changes in your lifestyle, and more than a little effort from your spouse.
This preparation stage should ideally be 3 months long at least, and more if there are complications. Now, here are some things you should do to prepare your body in advance to have a smooth pregnancy:
Visit your doctor
Before getting pregnant, you should have a session with your doctor or a specialist. They can give you helpful advice which may be needed even if you feel ready and healthy right now.
They will analyze your health, your medical history, and your family’s health records to understand if there’s any latent risk. There are genetic problems that get passed through generations, and you may get referred to a genetic counselor as well. And if you’re trying IVF methods, then it’s recommended that you get in touch with some all-round care providers like Monash IVF.
You may have to complete some blood tests, and you may need to finish taking vaccines before the pregnancy. In addition, the doctor will suggest and prescribe necessary medicines, supplements, and precautions or any changes in them.
If you have any health issues for a long time, like diabetes or asthma, you should let them know, which will let them start appropriate treatment for those before your pregnancy.
Doctors can help with obesity, too, as you should lose some weight before pregnancy to reduce the possibility of complications.
Stop taking drugs, excessive alcohol, or smoking.
Too much smoking or alcohol and substance abuse can make it hard to get pregnant, and if you already are, it may shoot up the chances of miscarriage.
So, try to mend your ways, and if you need any help turning the corner, you must consult a specialized medical practitioner.
Alcohol harms the fetus, however small amounts you take in. And drinking too much of it can cause unwanted long-term health issues to the baby. They can be as severe as learning or intellectual disabilities, behavioral issues, and even heart or facial defects.
Smoking can be potentially dangerous too. It can cause abnormal or much lower weight in the baby at birth. Smoking also stretches your recovery period after the pregnancy and can make it much tougher.
So if you are trying to quit but are too addicted to it, the best way to start is through rehabilitation and therapy. And if any supplement or medication isn’t necessary, then put those off or consult your doctor.
You can also cut down your caffeine intake a bit if you’re someone who keeps their engine running by drinking tea or coffee. But, again, try to contain it to 2 cups max.
And finally, these wholesale changes in your life can affect you deeply and make you stressed. So try to find fun and pleasure in other ways. Indulge in things you love, grow a hobby if you can, and get plenty of rest.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Before and during pregnancy, weight management is crucial. So is appropriate nutrition. And a healthy and balanced diet can help you on both fronts.
Try to reduce artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and all the empty calories. Instead, add food items and dishes that are high in protein content. For overall nutrition, you should include a healthy dosage of vegetables, fruits, dairy items, and grains.
Folic acids can work magic and moderate amounts of fish (ideally thrice a week, 115 gm in every serving). Avoid large fishes of the ocean like tilefish or sharks. If you love tuna, eat it with a limit. You can have 1 can (around 85 gm) of white tuna every week or 2 cans of light tuna.
There are kinds of seafood that have mercury, though; you can give them a hard pass or control the quantity to the minimum.
And if you’re overweight or underweight, try to reach a healthy BMI before getting pregnant, a s being overweight boosts the possibilities of diabetes, miscarriage, congenital disabilities, stillbirth, high blood pressure, and it can also cause C-section.
Being a mother is a gift and the biggest responsibility. And though you’ll need your life partner along the way, the pregnancy is all about you. And that’s why you should always be better safe than sorry and take good preparation before the pregnancy.