Pregnant as a woman, it’s very important to understand that the journey to a healthy pregnancy starts way before conceiving. This means that there are some preparations and changes you need to make before getting pregnant.
The good thing about this is that it helps you stay calm throughout what most women consider an overwhelming life experience. Here is how you can prepare your body for becoming and staying pregnant.
Gather Your Family’s Medical History
Before getting pregnant, it’s very important to note that the baby’s health might be influenced by genetic factors that run in the family tree. Therefore, before conceiving, it is best to talk to your parents or other relatives about some of the genetic conditions rooted in the bloodline. This also applies to your partner’s bloodline.
You can always make an selection with a reputed genetic counselor to address any concerns you might be having or for the sake of further testing. This way, you’ll be able to prepare adequately in case one of these genetic conditions is passed down to your baby.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Before and during your pregnancy, you need to strive for a healthy body weight. Therefore, it’s very important that you eat a balanced diet at all times. There is no need to ‘eat for two’ because your body doesn’t require more calories now than usual.
According to recent studies, being overweight during pregnancy can put you at the risk of developing some complications like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Before and during the pregnancy, you need to stay away from artificial sweeteners and caffeine.
Instead, your diet should be rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, you should also include whole grains, oily fish, and dairy products in your diet.
Exercising regularly is a great way of preparing for pregnancy. This is because it prepares your body to cope well with all the changes it will undergo during the pregnancy period. However, it is significant to note that how much you exercise will mainly depend on your health and also, how active you were before becoming pregnant and what you used to do.
Even if you’re not exercising currently, there are many ways you can build a custom prenatal workout plan to improve your health and wellness. If you’d like a bigger challenge, you can consider jogging, uphill hiking, or even cycling. Remember, the more you exercise, the more health benefits you get such as better endurance, easier delivery, and an easier recovery period aftward.
Stop Your Birth Control
If you’re planning on becoming pregnant, you need to stop any forms of birth control you might be using. If you stop using the birth control pills, the chances are that you’ll get pregnant right away. This is because most women get their first period within two weeks after quitting birth control pills. Consequently, once your period starts, your first cycle of conceiving begins.
However, it is main to note that some women take longer before conceiving. On the other hand, if you rely on barrier birth control methods like condoms or even diaphragm, you can continue using them until the day you want to conceive.
Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins
By now, you might know that pregnancy is going to exhaust your body’s nutritional stores. Therefore it’s only best to give it a boost with prenatal vitamins when preparing for pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are basically meant to supply your body with all the nutrients it needs during your pregnancy journey. This is very important because it helps with the early development of your baby.
Additionally, prenatal vitamins minimize the risk of neural tube defects, which tend to happen in the first 4-6 weeks of the pregnancy. During this time frame, you might not even be aware that you’re pregnant. But, taking prenatal vitamins before conceiving will give your baby the best chance of healthy growth.
Some women tend to feel nauseated whenever they take prenatal vitamins, especially during the day. If you’re among them, consider taking your prenatal vitamins at night before going to bed or taking them after a meal.
There are many things you need to prepare if you’re planning on adding a baby to the family. With the above tips, you’ll be able to navigate your pregnancy journey with confidence and look forward to give birth to a healthy baby.