So, you’re finally ready to get pregnant? Congrats! Just making the decision of having a baby is a huge milestone. But there are a few things that you should know before planning a pregnancy. You need to find out if your body is ready for pregnancy. Here are a few things you should do, day by day.
Day 1: Stop Birth Control
Stop any form of birth control that you might be using once you’re determined to be pregnant.
Day 2: Start a Multivitamin
Pregnancy exerts a lot of pressure on the body’s nutritional reserves. So take a multivitamin daily to boost yourself. Prenatal vitamins that are specifically formulated help avoid nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy.
Day 3: Add Folic Acid
Folic acid or a folate supplement is needed to prevent neural tube defects during early pregnancy. The recommended intake is at least 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day.
Day 4: Eat Well and Healthy
Have a healthy and balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Go for whole foods over processed food. Include organic fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep harmful toxins away.
Day 5: Exercise
Get light exercise four to five times a week to prepare for pregnancy. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity each day for a total of 150 minutes each week.
Day 6: Get a Physical
Ensure that physical appointments with your doctor are met regularly during pregnancy to remove any health problems.
Day 7: Check Vaccinations
Vaccinations keep both you and your baby healthy and protected, especially during these turbulent times.
Day 8: Schedule a Preconception Visit
Schedule a special preconception visit with your obstetrician to address any specific reproductive questions that you may have.
Day 9: Track Your Cycle
Track down your menstrual cycle. Understanding when you’re most fertile will help you get pregnant faster. Do this by recording when your period begins and ends and keep a note about the length of your cycle fluctuations from month to month. Note down anything irregular like bleeding and spotting. Remember that the average menstrual cycle length is around 28 days. However, it can range from 21-35 days and this is considered within the normal, healthy range. Thanks to technology, there are many apps that can help you with your tracking.
Day 10: Limit Toxin Exposure
The reason you should limit toxin exposure is because too much of it could be dangerous for a developing baby. Avoid synthetic fragrances; choose organic personal care products that are chemical-free. Try organic and fresh food instead of canned foods that have BPA.
Day 11: Practice Stress Relief
Engage in stress relief activities like going for a walk, listen to soothing music or just do anything that brings you happiness.
Day 12: Try Yoga
Yoga has many advantages for your fertility. Doing yoga regularly controls stress and anxiety related to the process of conception.
Day 13: Visit the Dentist
Do a dental check-up as your gums and teeth may be affected by the hormones in your body during pregnancy. Good brushing habits help keep away pregnancy gingivitis and cavities.
Day 14: Quit Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
Smoking, drugs, and alcohol can harm an unborn baby in many ways, exposing your baby to harmful chemicals, restricting blood flow, and sometimes causing preterm labour, birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Day 15: Have Sex
Don’t forget to have good sex! Please don’t turn it into a chore or ritual to make a baby. Create sound lovemaking habits that will make your relationship stronger. Make love frequently and throughout your cycle.
Day 16: Reach Your Healthy Weight
Get to know your body mass index (BMI). Consult your doctor if you are overweight for weight loss strategies and also if you are underweight.
Day 17: Gather Family Medical History
Your baby’s health is influenced by genetic factors that have roots in your family tree. Find out if there are any genetic conditions that run in your and your partner’s bloodline.
Get Good Sleep
Getting good sleep is most important to stay healthy.
Cut down on caffeine. Daily intake recommendations for pregnant women are only about 12 ounces of coffee per day.
Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated for optimal health by drinking at least 9 cups of water every day. Increase this amount when you get pregnant.
Learn How Conception Works
Stay informed by reading up. Planned parenting is recommended and this particular website is a great resource. It provides you with everything you need to know about pregnancy and parenting.
Boost Your Immune System
Strengthen your immune system during pregnancy when you’re more susceptible to colds, flu, and other illnesses. Engage in a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, get vitamin C, and proper rest.
Have Him Get Checked Out
Have the husband checked as well as almost 30 percent of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors. Ensure he eats well, exercises, gives up smoking and limits alcohol intake. It takes two to make and raise a baby after all.
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You ask and we answer!
How far in advance should you prepare your body for pregnancy?
Vineeta Kastuar, Navi Mumbai.
It also includes taking folic acid to help prevent birth defects and making changes in your life that may affect the health of your baby when you do get pregnant. If you're thinking about getting pregnant, start focusing on your health at least 3 months before you start trying to get pregnant.
What are the do's and don'ts when planning for pregnancy?
Shabnam Moiz, Dubai.
Avoid using water-based lubricants such as Astroglide, KY Jelly, and Touch. These can reduce sperm's motility by 60-100%. Also, many lubricants contain spermicide, so check labels carefully. Ovulation Predictor Kits can be helpful when trying to conceive.