Pregnancy is one of the most exciting moments for every mother-to-be. But while it’s one of the happiest family moments, it also comes with hardships. In such cases, you’d want to factor in everything from ovulation timing to age and infertility issues.
Indeed, trying to conceive can be overwhelming, and you might sometimes feel like you have little control over the situation. However, there are many variables that you can handle with ease. For example, getting in a top physical condition is one of the many factors that can aid the pregnancy process. Read on to learn about the five things you must put on your to-do list at least three months before you begin trying.
Top 5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Pregnancy
Typically, many factors can aid a pregnancy. While some depend on your DNA and cannot be controlled, there are things that you can significantly influence in your favor. Here’s how to prepare for pregnancy with minimal help from experts:
Maintain a healthy weight
Body mass index (BMI) is essential, especially during pregnancy. You can measure it by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. It can significantly impact your overall health and is crucial for proper conception. Indeed, anything below or over your optimal weight can increase the risk of fertility issues.
Of course, chances of difficult conceiving may still be low, but you may encounter ovulation issues. For this reason, if you’re under- or overweight, you should visit your doctor to check whether there are any potential roadblocks that may stop you from conceiving.
Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential, but you should also pay closer attention to the vitamin content of your meals and any supplements you may be taking. While they often help lead a healthy lifestyle, they’re also great for your future baby. Typically, your reproductive system will function normally if you eat a balanced diet. Such a menu may include fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and dairy. Of course, you may also consider taking the following vitamins and minerals in the form of supplements:
Folic acid is the absolute mandatory vitamin for women trying or already pregnant. In most cases, 400 mcg of folic acid per day is the norm for fertile women. Dark leafy greens, citrus, legumes, fortified bread, and cereal are all excellent sources of this vitamin, but you can also take it as a supplement.
During pregnancy, the body’s calcium needs surge due to the development of the fetal skeleton. Moreover, the mineral is valuable for maternal bone health and the proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The recommended daily calcium intake for women of childbearing age is 1,000 milligrams. While you can typically find calcium in low-fat milk, yogurt, dark leafy greens, and even tofu, some may choose to take additional supplements.
Before becoming pregnant, you can test various prenatal vitamin brands to see which suits you best. Vegan, vegetarian, and gummy alternatives are a few possibilities. DHA may already be present in some prenatal vitamins, or you may need to take a different supplement. Your doctor can also suggest a prescription prenatal vitamin, depending on your requirements.
Kick bad habits
Kicking bad habits is another vital factor for a baby’s healthy development. In most cases, the list of abused substances includes caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, but it may also include illicit drugs. In this regard, you should consult with your health provider and consider stopping any of the mentioned substances. Here’s the negative impact of the most common ones:
Caffeine is a stimulant found mainly in coffee. While there’s no clear link between caffeine consumption and fertility, some researchers suggest that it may lead to fertility issues or even miscarriage.
Moreover, caffeine can also contribute to sleeping problems and can lead to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and urine production. For this reason, experts often advise future mothers to completely stop or limit their caffeine intake to no more than 200 to 300 mg per day.
Alcohol is another beverage that can harm the baby. While “light drinking” (fewer than five drinks per week) may not have a long-term effect, “heavy drinking” can dramatically impact fertility and the development of the baby. The main reason is that consuming alcohol during pregnancy passes from the mother’s bloodstream to the baby through the placenta.
Typically, the risk is higher during the first three months of pregnancy when the baby’s brain and other organs form. Ultimately, alcohol intake can be very harmful and lead to congenital disabilities, developmental delays, and future behavioral problems.
Smoking is another bad habit that may obstruct conception and your baby’s development. Moreover, regular smoking links to preterm delivery, fetal lung and brain damage, abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and birth, and others. The following risks apply to secondhand smoke, too. For this reason, it’s best to put off the habit yourself and ask your partner to do it so you can ensure a healthy environment for your future baby.
There’s nothing more assuring of a successful pregnancy than a healthy carrier. In other words, a healthy body is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby. That’s why regular exercise will improve your overall health and increase your chance of getting pregnant. Moreover, being fit will make the delivery much more manageable.
Of course, your training regime should be of moderate intensity, as a heavy workload may create unwanted pregnancy issues. If you don’t exercise regularly, you can try moderate aerobic exercises a few days a week. Moreover, walking and general movement can help you maintain good form during pregnancy.
Visit your doctor
Whatever you do, preparing for pregnancy wouldn’t be complete without consulting with a specialist first. In this regard, scheduling a visit with your healthcare provider is a good idea. That way, your doctor can make sure you’re in good health. Moreover, you can take care of any ailments that prevent you from becoming pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy.
In conclusion, preparing your body for pregnancy involves many essential actions for you and your baby. In most cases, the list includes taking care of your overall physical health by maintaining a healthy weight, diet, and lifestyle.
Moreover, you’d want to dedicate yourself to eating a balanced diet rich in folic acid, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, you should cut down on harmful substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
Last but not least, you should consult with an expert to guide you through your journey. Ultimately, following these tips can increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your baby.