Get healthy, get pregnant

If you want a baby, planning can help reduce risks to both you and your baby.  In the same breath as maintaining a healthy body during pregnancy, good health before deciding to become pregnant is as important.

A child’s development in the first few weeks is crucial. Many women however don’t realize that they are pregnant until several weeks after conception. Planning and looking after yourself pre pregnancy is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.

Here are some things to take into consideration before getting pregnant. Follow the links to more detailed Parent24 stories on the subject.

1.    Consult your doctor. Inform your care provider that you want to get pregnant. They may have tips for you, or cautions. If you are healthy and without any medical condition or medication, you still need to contact your doctor. Having a checkup will make the rest of the process easier to deal with, whatever the doctor says.

2.    Change your diet. Preparing for pregnancy is a life-changing event. It is very important you change your diet accordingly.  Getting healthy is not hard. You can start by cutting down on sweets, junk food and fast food. Add whole grains and fruits and vegetables to your diet. Also, try to drink water to quench your thirst rather than sweet drinks or coffee.

3.    Bye-bye bad habits.  Cutting caffeine out of your diet is highly recommended. Eliminating alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and other recreational drugs from your life will only help you and your (future) baby. Maintaining a healthy fertility-friendly lifestyle might be hard in the beginning but will only benefit you in the end.

4.    Vitamins! Taking vitamins before and during pregnancy is extremely important. While you are pregnant, your body has different needs. Add a prenatal vitamin containing iron, calcium and folic acid to your diet before you get pregnant. Folic acid is extremely important in decreasing your chances of conceiving a baby with neural tube defects.

5.    Change your lifestyle. Stress levels are extremely bad for you and the baby. Yoga will also benefit you during labour. Taking up yoga or meditation will help. Anything that brings your stress levels down will benefit you. It is also important you add exercise to your lifestyle and get plenty of rest.

6.    Get vaccinated. Check to make sure that you are or have been vaccinated. It is also extremely important that you check if you have had chicken pox and rubella and that you are vaccinated at least three months before you become pregnant.

Would you change your lifestyle to fall pregnant?

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