How to get ready for pregnancy
Making the decision to have a baby is a major milestone in anyone’s life. However, to increase your chances of having a successful conception, a healthy pregnancy, and baby, there are things you should do.
These may range from lifestyle changes, dietary changes as well as mental changes. If you need some tips on how to get ready for pregnancy, here are the things you need to do.
1. Consult a Specialist about any Over-the-Counter Medications
If your chest is full with over-the-counter medications, this is the time to think of what you are consuming. For instance, you may be having medication for allergies, constipation, headaches or herbal products. In such cases, you need to ask your doctor whether they are safe to use at such a period.
This is because some of these products contain ingredients that might affect your fertility or the baby’s health. In case they are not safe for use, you should have them safely disposed of.
2. Give Up Your Drinking, Smoking or Drug-Taking Habits
Next point relates to habits that might be harmful for the health. Thus, if you are into drinking, smoking or drug-abuse, this is the time to spot.
According to research, taking drugs and smoking cause premature births, miscarriages or low-birth-weight babies. In particular, some of these drugs usually remain in a person’s system even after the noticeable effects are gone.
Moreover, research has also shown that the use of tobacco is capable of affecting a woman’s fertility and lowering a man’s sperm count. On the other hand, alcohol is capable of affecting the baby’s development.
3. Take Folic Acid and Watch Your Vitamin A Consumption
In fact, taking folic acid supplements is a very crucial step in getting ready for pregnancy. By taking at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day for at least one month before conception, you will reduce the chances of your baby developing neural-tube defects like spina bifida.
Usually, you can purchase folic acid supplements at an established drugstore. Also, you can simply take regular or prenatal multivitamin.
Ensure that the multivitamin you take does not contain more than 770mcg of the recommended daily vitamin A allowance. This is because taking too much of Vitamin A can cause birth defects in the child.
Other things to consider while getting ready for pregnancy:
4. Genetic Carrier Screening
Before you even start trying to conceive, it is important to consider genetic carrier screening.
This will enable you to know whether you or even your partner is the carrier of any inherited illness. For example, these may include illnesses like sickle-cell anemia, cystic fibrosis or any other illness.
Note that in case you together with your partner are both carriers of an illness, the child will have one in four chances of acquiring the disease. Thus, a qualified genetic counselor will inform you more about the condition and give you viable tips on how you can have a healthy baby.
Being healthy before and during pregnancy can help you to have a health and strong baby.
5. Pre-Conception Checkup
Before getting pregnant, plan to see a health care provider.
Like a dance, the reproductive tango usually takes two: a female and their male partner. For this reason, there is need for you together with your partner to schedule a preconception checkup.
During the examination, the healthcare provider will typically go through a range of issues. These will include your health history as well as that of your families.
By understanding your gynecological history and your past pregnancy experiences, the specialist will help you to plan a healthy pregnancy.
In addition, the caregiver will also check whether your immunizations are up to date.
How To Get Ready For Pregnancy With a Healthy Diet
Being ready for pregnancy also involves adopting a healthy diet. For your body to get enough nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy, you need to eat nutritious foods likewise.
For instance, you should consume lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and those foods that have a higher calcium content.
Furthermore, you also need to take protein-rich foods like seeds, beans, poultry, meat, nuts, and soy products among others.
What is preterm labor? Why can it happen? What are the risks of preterm labor?
Preterm labor means that a woman gives birth earlier than usual, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. There are some risk factors why it may happen:
- If a woman had a premature baby in the past.
- If a woman ever had problems with uterus or cervix.
- Underweight or overweight before and during the pregnancy.
- If a woman has a family history of premature birth.
- When a woman became pregnant too soon after having a child.
If you may have any of the above, please talk to a health care provider about the ways to reduce the risk of preterm labor.
How to get ready for pregnancy
Other ideas on how to get ready for pregnancy include maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly. Additionally, avoid situations that could bring about stress, depression or any other mental problem.
You should also reduce environmental risks and avoid any situations that could lead to developing an infection. Stay away from harmful chemicals, including cigarette smoke.
Moreover, you need to save enough money to cater for any emergencies.
If you are planning to have a healthy baby, these tips above can help.