Are you planning to try to become pregnant in the near future? Congratulations! That is a major decision in life and a huge milestone. You are going to carry a little baby in your belly for about 40 weeks, and the best thing you can do is to ensure that the baby gets the healthiest and safest start. There are lot of things you can do to help make that happen. As a matter of fact, you as a mom can build a healthy foundation for your baby, which can benefit him or her even later in life.
1. Get to know your body!
Stop any form(s) of birth control if you want to conceive. This is of course obvious, but depending on what birth control you are using, it could take a while before you get pregnant. The best thing you can do is to figure out your menstrual cycle. Normally a cycle is 28 days but start recording your cycle to get the most accurate information. Find out when you ovulate, that can help you increase your chances to conceive. Nowadays, there are so many ovulation test, many digital test are very accurate. Try to not stress too much about this process. Enjoy time with your partner, have a relaxed attitude to sex and try to have as much spontaneous sex as possible. If you are not pregnant within a year, please contact your physician.
2. Visit your doctor for a physical exam
This is a perfect time to do blood work done, get possible vaccinations, and discuss any current medical conditions and medications. All this information can help you boost your chances to become pregnant and create the healthiest environment for your baby. This is also a great time to address any health-related questions you might have. Studies show that the mother’s lifestyle, especially nutrition, weight, and stimulant substances intake, can affect, not only the baby’s time in the belly but also their health during their childhood.
3. Eat Healthy
Load up with high quality lean protein, complex carbs, fruit and veggies! Your body will thank you for this! The complete proteins contain essential amino acids that are important for fertility. Eat plenty of nutritious fruit and veggies that will provide lots of vitamins and antioxidants. Another thing to add to the diet is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important to keep the hormones functioning properly and also for the baby’s brain development. You can find them in fish, chia seeds, and flax seeds, for example. Try to consume 1000-2000mg per day. A healthy, nutritious diet will not only give your body energy and what it needs, it can also increase your fertility.
Start taking prenatal vitamins to give your body an extra boost. Please consult with your physician regarding your vitamin needs. Generally speaking, a prenatal vitamin is specially formulated to give the body the vitamins it needs during pregnancy. A folic acid supplement is especially important in the early stage of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. Many prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, but read the label and make sure it’s between 400-800 microgram, which is the recommended amount.
4. Start or continue a workout routine
If you are not currently working out it’s important to start a routine easily, and slowly increase the intensity. If you are working out regularly you can continue on a moderate level. Now is also a good time to add in strength training which will help you strengthen and build muscle endurance. In our app we have a section, Before Pregnancy, that has exercises that are appropriate for this stage. The exercises are focused on whole body with an emphasis on the postural muscles, core stability, and exercises that will help you to adapt to pregnancy and its changes on the body. This is also the time to connect with the deeper core muscles, breathing techniques, and pelvic floor muscles. This will help you prepare your body for the physical changes that occur during pregnancy.
5. Remove toxins around you
Stop smoking, avoid alcohol, and try to limit caffeine even weeks before you get pregnant to give your body time to cleanse and get rid of unhealthy substances. Avoiding chemicals like BPA, pesticides, flame retardant materials, and lead is always a good idea, not only when you are trying to conceive.
The bottom line is that if you start out healthy and have a healthy lifestyle before you get pregnant, you are more likely to continue as you become pregnant. And this can help set you up for a healthier and stronger pregnancy, better recovery, and you give your baby a healthy start!