When you decide to start trying for a baby you might need to make some lifestyle changes in preparation. You will be hosting a new life for 9 months, make sure your body is ready for the challenge. These are very exciting times but before you start painting the baby’s room here are some tips you can follow to make preparing for pregnancy a bit smoother.
Quit Smoking, Alcohol, and Drugs
It is time to get healthy and as difficult as it sounds you should quit any habits that can be harmful to you or your baby. We understand that these habits might take some time to break so make sure you plan ahead and get professional help if you are struggling.
Stop Birth Control
Most birth control methods will allow you to get pregnant as soon as you stop using them however keep in mind that some hormonal contraceptives will take time to stop completely working. If you are on hormonal birth control, give yourself and your body ample time to regain fertility.
There are many different pregnancy supplements you can buy in drugstores or pharmacies however with a healthy diet you can get most vitamins that you need without spending a fortune on different multivitamins. It’s recommended to add folic acid to your diet to reduce the chances of neural tube defects in the fetus. It’s also important to get some Vitamin D in your system as well especially during the colder months when we don’t spend so much time out on the sun.
You need to start eating well when you are preparing your body for pregnancy. First of all, you will need to limit your caffeine consumption. You can still have your morning coffee however try to keep your daily caffeine intake under 200mg. Avoid energy and sports drinks and stock up on some decaf coffee and tea for the time being.
Try to avoid heavy, fatty meals like deep-fried food and dishes with high sugar content such as cakes. Try to get more unsaturated fats in your body by eating nuts and seeds.
It’s also recommended to opt for high fiber foods. Choose whole-grain instead of processed food items (brown bread instead of white for example) and eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Get your body in good shape and try to reach your healthy BMI. Remember that your body is about to go through a whole lot of changes that will take a huge toll on it. Strengthen your muscles and lose or gain some weight if you need to do so. Make sure your body will be up for the challenge. We recommend yoga as it’s an exercise you can do at home, and can easily continue while you are pregnant. All those core exercises will come handy when laying on the delivery table for sure.
Track your Cycle
You need to start tracking your menstrual cycle a few months in advance. It’s important to get a general idea about the length of your cycle and figure out when you are the most fertile. You can only get pregnant when you are ovulating. This usually lasts for 6 days during your cycle so it’s important to know when it is happening. Start a calendar or there are plenty of apps available for this purpose.
Check your Insurance
Make sure your insurance covers everything you need for your pregnancy. Different policies offer different coverage so make sure you are well aware of what is included in your current policy and make changes before your pregnancy if you need to.
See a Doctor
If you already have a gynecologist you might want to stick with them but if you want to switch that’s perfectly fine. Make sure you ask your doctors for a recommendation or check out your local Planned Parenthood. They will be able to help when in search of a new doctor, nurse, or midwife. They will be able to support you when you are preparing for your pregnancy and during as well.
If you or your partner are affected, or in the risk of genetic disorders we recommend you to get genetic counseling to be able to better understand its potential effects on your pregnancy and if there is any, and find out about your options.
Check your Medications
Before starting your pregnancy journey make sure you check the medications you are currently on. Some might affect your fertility or can be harmful to the fetus later on. If you are on medication make sure you talk to your doctor before you get pregnant so they can help you make the adjustments and give you advice.
It’s very important to talk to your partner and be there for each other when needed. The journey towards getting pregnant and the pregnancy itself is not always smooth sailing and there might be some hardships you will have to go through. Remember that your life isn’t the only one affected by these changes and give them some time to adjust as well. Keep in mind that you are in this together and try to work as a team at all times.
You will be hosting the “party” but your partner will need to make some changes in order to succeed as well. There are many things that can lower sperm count and make getting pregnant a lot harder. They should quit alcohol, smoking, and drugs as well. Steroids and certain prescription drugs can also cause fertility problems. They should also eat a healthy diet and avoid very hot environments (saunas and hot baths).
Keep in mind that getting pregnant is not always a smooth ride. It might take months or in some cases years. If you are struggling to get pregnant it’s recommended to see a doctor after a year of trying, or after 6 months if you are over 35.
Remember that preparing for pregnancy and the pregnancy itself will have an effect not only on your body but on your mental health as well. It’s extremely important to keep a healthy mind during this time so make sure you ask for help if it’s needed.
How did you prepare for your pregnancy? Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments!