Planning a baby in the near future can be exciting yet a little frightening. The first thing you should do is take care of yourself and your unborn child before you can care for your new baby. You can find a lot of advice online. While most of it is common sense but some might be news.
If you want to know how to get ready for being pregnant in the healthiest way possible, here are a few tips. These thirteen tips will help you maintain good health before, during, and after pregnancy.
You Should Stop Smoking as Soon as Possible
Smoking is no exception for either parent. Smoking during pregnancy can not only harm your unborn child, but it can also prevent you from ever becoming pregnant.
It is well known that smoking can result in infertility in both men and women, as well as increase the chances of miscarriage. It has also been shown that smoking during pregnancy can affect both the size and long-term health of a baby. If you or your partner smoke, you should quit before trying to conceive.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption (or Avoid It Altogether)
Two standard drinks are recommended per day as part of the recommended daily allowance. Pregnant women, or those planning to become pregnant, should completely avoid alcohol.
The consumption of large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to physical or mental abnormalities in the baby and growth retardation. In addition to affecting sperm counts in men, alcohol consumption can also affect sperm quality. If you have a history of alcohol, it’s better to seek therapy than relapse midst pregnancy. Enroll yourself in rehab facilities like Delphi Health Group to get a personalized treatment plan.
Get a Sexual Health Checkup
You should schedule a pap smear and sexual health check before trying for a baby – as you will need to treat any infections first.
It’s important to discuss all your options with your doctor at the beginning of your pregnancy, as other gynecological conditions may also affect conception or cause complications while you are pregnant.
Make Sure You are Vaccinated
You will have a weaker immune system during pregnancy. It will also help protect your baby if you are immunized against COVID-19, influenza, Hepatitis, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, or Chickenpox.
Measles and mumps can cause miscarriage and can cause congenital disabilities when you’re pregnant. There are also abnormalities associated with rubella and chickenpox.
If you feel any symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible. If you are to get vaccinated for these, do it at least four weeks before conception.
Don’t Take the Pill Anymore
After you stop taking the pill or using hormonal contraception, your cycle may take some time to become regular again. Hence, if you are planning to become pregnant, you should stop using any hormonal contraceptives immediately.
Some people get pregnant right away, but that doesn’t mean it will be the same for you. Every woman’s body is different. Be sure to take other precautions before you decide to take a positive pregnancy test.
Check Your Dental Health Regularly
There is a possibility that untreated dental problems can lead to complications in pregnancy, so it makes sense to visit your dentist as well.
During the first trimester, women are advised not to take X-rays, so if you are planning to have any dental work done during your pregnancy, make sure you get it done before conceiving.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes (such as beans), fish, and lean meats is important to achieve a healthy weight. Furthermore, you will be able to ensure that your growing baby gets the vital nutrients that they need to thrive.
Underweight women may be at risk of preterm delivery or miscarriage, while overweight and obese women may suffer pregnancy complications, such as fetal abnormalities, hypertension, and preeclampsia.
Keep Track of Your Ovulatory Cycle
Make sure that you are aware of the best time for making babies! The two days before ovulation and the day of ovulation are the two days when you are most likely to become pregnant.
There are ovulation kits you can buy at the pharmacy, or you can use an app to chart your cycle to track your ovulation. You can even find good tools for calculating ovulation online.
Don’t Forget to Look After Yourself
It is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to take care of your body.
There can be a lot of stress associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Work, housing, and financial security are common stressors at this stage of life.
When you feel overwhelmed, try taking some time for yourself and do something you enjoy – such as a bath, a walk, meditating, or just talking with a friend.
You shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, obstetrician, counselor, or psychiatrist if you have any concerns.
Add Supplements to Your Diet
Your doctor may recommend supplements before and during pregnancy. Folic acid, for example, prevents neural tube defects in growing babies.
The recommended dosage of folic acid for women intending to become pregnant is 0.5mg a day for one month before and three months after conception. Before conceiving, talk to your doctor if you have a history of spina bifida or cleft palate. You may also need to tell your doctor if you take anti-epileptics (or another) as higher doses of folic acid may be required.
It’s important to tell your doctor if you already take any medications in case you have to stop taking them during pregnancy.
Maternity Leave Information
Make sure you know what your options are for maternity leave at your workplace. It is important to find out what policy applies to you early on, as policies can vary from state to state.
You should also check your government entitlements, so you will know where you stand financially after the birth of your child.
Plan Your Birth According to Your Preferences
When the time comes to have your baby, you have four main options:
- Private hospital
- Hospitals that serve the public
- A birthing center
- Birth at home
Make sure to discuss these options with your doctor before deciding.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Insurance
Your health insurance must cover pregnancy if you want to give birth as a private patient, and you need to complete your 12-month waiting period by the due date.
We hope some of this information is useful to you on your journey! Take it one day at a time – and always speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.