So you’ve decided to have a baby? The big plunge!! But wait just a second, to give yourself the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, there are some important things you need to do before you head down the road to conception. Below are just a few tips to get you started.
Go see the doc
Make an appointment with you O/B or family practice doctor now for a preconception checkup. Your practitioner will review your personal and family medical history, your present health, and any medications or supplements you’re taking. Certain medications and supplements are unsafe during pregnancy, and some may need to be switched before you even try to conceive because they’re stored in your body’s fat and can linger there. It is a good idea to be in good health before getting pregnant so you will be less likely to have complication later in the pregnancy.
Take your prenatals
Start taking a prenatal vitamin once a day at least one month before trying to conceive, if you can three months before than that’s even better. Making sure you have enough folic acid is crucial. By taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive and during your first trimester, you can cut your chances of having a baby with neural-tube defects such as spina bifida by 50 to 75 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking folic acid helps prevent some other birth defects as well.
You can get the prenatal vitamins prescribed to you by your doctor at your preconception checkup or you can get them at most drug stores. Some organic and food based prenatals can also be ordered online.
Also, check to make sure that your prenatal vitamin doesn’t contain more than the recommended daily allowance of 770 mcg of vitamin A, unless most of it’s in a form called beta-carotene. Getting too much of a different kind of vitamin A can cause birth defects.
Get your teeth checked out
When you’re preparing for pregnancy, don’t forget about your oral health. Pregnancy does some crazy things to our bodies. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gum disease. Higher progesterone and estrogen levels can cause the gums to react differently to the bacteria in plaque, resulting in swollen, red, tender gums that bleed when you floss or brush.
This is why it is so important to see your dentist before getting pregnant. If you take care of their periodontal health before you get pregnant you cut down on the chances of experiencing gum teeth complications in pregnancy such cavities and infections. See your dentist for a checkup and cleaning now if you haven’t done so in the past six months. Having a toothache is not pleasant when you are not pregnant let alone when you are pregnant and cannot take much by the of pain medicine.
I know it’s hard – but give up the bad stuff
We do not live in the 70s anymore, back when was it cool to be 8 months pregnant and have a cigarette hanging of your mouth. If you smoke or take drugs, now’s the time to stop. Many studies have shown that smoking or taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies. It is very hard to give those things up, if you are having a problem stopping, please talk to your doctor. There many product out now that can help and you will want to do this now before you get pregnant because you may not be able to take those products after you get pregnant.
Fill your kitchen with healthy foods and goodies
You may not be eating for two yet, but you should start making nutritious food choices now so your body will be stocked up with the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.
Try to get at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day, as well as plenty of whole grains and foods that are high in calcium– like milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, and yogurt. Eat a variety of protein sources, such as beans, nuts, seeds, soy products, poultry, and meats. Below is a list a few good foods to eat while trying to conceive.
- Dairy Products – for calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, various B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
- Legumes – for high amounts of folate
- Sweet Potatoes – for fiber and Vitamin A
- Salmon – for Omega-3
- Eggs – for Cloline, high-quality protein and fats
- Broccoli & Dark Leafy Green – for fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium.
- Lean Meat – for high-quality protein, iron, choline and other B vitamin.
Start moving!! A healthy exercise program includes 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise, such as walking or cycling and weight training, on most days of the week. Do what you can, you don’t have to over do it.
To increase flexibility, try stretching or yoga, and you’ll have a well-rounded fitness program. I personally like yoga. Once you’re pregnant, it’s okay – even recommended – to continue exercising. (Unless you have pregnancy complications and have been told not to, of course.)
When do you ovulate?
The most important thing in planning and preparing to get pregnant is to figure out when you ovulate. Some women simply stop taking birth control and play the wait & see game. Some others take a more calculated approach by tracking their basal body temperature and monitoring their cervical mucus.
Ovulation predictor kits can also help you figure out when you’re ovulating by detecting hormones in your urine, or changes in chloride in the saliva or on the skin, that signal ovulation is about to occur. These kits cost $10 to $50 per pack and are available at drugstores and online.
Start Having Fun!!
Well we all know what comes next. The baby dance 🙂 Thank you so much for visiting my site. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy road to conception, pregnancy and beyond!