Getting Ready for Pregnancy: 10 Tips to Protect your pregnancy before you conceive
Share This Article
Learn about donation options.
Subscribe our newsletter
to be notified when we publish
Every couple desires to have a child, start a family and live a happy and peaceful life. It is the dream of every expectant woman to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. As a healthy body delivers a healthy baby, it is an essential and most important thing to enjoy good pre-pregnancy health. A good and healthy body of a woman helps in the better nourishment and development of the embryo, and it also reduces pregnancy complications.
If you are planning to have a baby anytime soon in the future, then it is never too early to start preparing yourself for pregnancy in the time of preconception period. Irrespective of whether it is your first baby or fifth, the following are the crucial steps that must be taken into consideration by every woman in the preconception period to have a healthy baby.
1. Make a Plan and Take Action:
You must have thought about your decision to et, pregnant and probably have also thought about achieving this goal. If you are on to this decision of conceiving a child then it is time to make a plan and then take action according to this. This will help the couples to keep themselves on track and fulfill their desires in the best way possible.
2. Get to a healthy weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight is the paramount thing before conceiving because it will save you from lots of complications. For example, being overweight lowers your fertility and thus reduces the chances of getting pregnant. Moreover, it will also cause other systemic problems in the human body, such as high blood pressure(Hypertension) and Diabetes Mellitus.
Being underweight can also cause health problems in pregnancy. In addition to this, unhealthy body weight also affects the baby, such as increasing the chances of the requirement for cesarean delivery, stillbirth, premature birth, and other congenital disabilities of the brain and eyes, especially.
Thus, maintaining a healthy body weight according to the BMI (Body Mass Index) is necessary to protect against pregnancy problems.
Use our BMI calculator to learn your BMI:
3. Eat Well:
A healthy and balanced diet paves the path that leads towards a healthy and smooth childbearing period. Be mindful of your dietary habits. Eat whole grains, lean proteins, leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and unsaturated fats.
Healthy eating directly affects the development of a baby in the womb of a mother. If you have any systemic health problems, then it is recommended to consult a doctor and nutritionist for better guidance.
4. Quit Smoking:
Smoking is considered the main hurdle in getting pregnant because, in men, it affects the sperm count and its shape as well. In women, it lowers the fertility rate and adversely affects the overall reproductive system.
Moreover, smoking in pregnancy increases the chances of delivering lower-weight babies, and the risks of miscarriages are also very high. Along with this, the high intake of nicotine by using tobacco can also result in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
It is better to start early and practice quitting smoking because this thing takes time to get going. Get help in case of having any difficulty in getting rid of this habit.
5. Stop using drugs and Drinking Alcohol:
Drinking alcohol directly affects the fertility level of women because it alters the production of sex hormones and lowers the estrogen level. Drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and other chemicals are harmful in pregnancy.
The ratio of having fetal problems tends to be higher in couples who have a habit of alcohol consumption. No amount of any drugs and alcohol is safe for the human body and the baby’s health. Talk to your healthcare provider and educate yourself about your support areas and the effects of alcohol and other drugs before becoming parents.
6. Schedule a preconception check-up:
A preconception check-up is essential in so many aspects. It helps to rule out any systemic and health problems. Getting to know about any problem before conceiving is important both for the health of partners and the baby. In case of having any chronic disease, timely treatment is required before getting pregnant.
Schedule a preconception to check up with your doctor and talk about your medical and family history. Discussion of family history is supreme if birth defects and problems are running in your family. The management of certain diseases such as asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, hypertension, and any other must be known in case if you are suffering from any of them.
Certain vaccines are given to the woman before getting pregnant, and some are given during pregnancy. Talk about it with your doctor as well. Other things you need to know and discuss with your doctor are prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines. Few medicines harm the growth of the baby in pregnant ladies. Have a piece of proper knowledge about them.
7. Vitamins Intake:
Vitamins, especially folic acid, which is vitamin B, are important during the period of growth and development. Folic acids are essential in the period of cell division and the formation of new structures. The first three or four weeks of pregnancy are crucial because it is a span of rapid development. And some women are unaware of their pregnancy till 3 or 4 weeks.
In addition to this, folic acid ensures the baby’s protection from some neural tube defects (NTDs) such as Anencephaly. The minimal amount of folic acid that every woman must take before getting pregnant is 400 micrograms. Thus, it is essential to take an adequate amount of folic acid in the preconception period.
Other vitamins that are effective in maintaining the health of the expectant woman and the health of the baby as well are vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, vitamin B and C, and DHA supplements. Talk to your doctor about all the prenatal vitamins and include them in your dietary routine to enjoy a more comfortable and safer pregnancy duration.
8. Be easy on seafood:
Consumption of seafood is the area where a little more caution is required. Certain fish contain a metal called methyl mercury. This metal, when exposed to the sun, can cause problems in the developing fetus.
In addition to this, this metal takes a specific time in reaching a safer level and can build up in the bloodstream and can cause potential harm to the growing fetus of the pregnant lady. Overcooked fish, including salmon, tuna, catfish, and shrimp, are safe as they contain a lower amount of mercury. However, excessive intake of these fish is prohibited.
The Fitness area is the other concern in women who are planning to get pregnant anytime soon in the future. Exercise helps the body stay active and benefits expectant women and their babies longer. Mild to moderate exercises are good enough to maintain an active lifestyle. However, certain exercises are the main concerns in case of having a previous history of miscarriages. Consult with an expert before starting and engaging yourself in any hard and strenuous exercise.
Read our article “Exercise During Pregnancy” to learn more.
10. Protect your mental/emotional well-being :
No one can deny the importance of mental health, especially of the ladies who are ready to or planning to become mothers and their physical health. The increased level of stress during pregnancy affects the health of pregnant women and does hurt the baby’s growth as well.
Learn to know how to manage your stress. Get a night of good sleep, maintain a healthy lifestyle, do yoga and meditation and engage yourself in peaceful and refreshing activities. Talk to your partner, and in case of persistent stress, have a conversation with your healthcare provider about the level of your stress and anxiety and know about the treatment options.
Getting pregnant, indeed, demands both a healthy and active physical body and mind. The preconception period is the time when you build the base of your whole journey of childbearing or pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle helps you to go through a healthy pregnancy. Optimizing your health before getting pregnant provides a huge favor to your own body and the baby’s health.
Moreover, preparing for getting pregnant enables the couples to deal with certain problems that might come up during the pregnancy duration, irrespective of the cause. Do not only rely on google and take prompt medical assistance in case of any calamity. Pregnancy planning and paying attention to the lifestyle, dietary choices, and vitamin intake ensure a safe and secure pregnancy experience.