Taking the plunge into motherhood is a mammoth step. Perhaps, it will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. You may be emotionally prepared to have the baby, but are you physically prepared? Are you ready for the slew of unbelievable changes that your body will undergo?
Getting your pregnancy off on the right foot is of utmost importance. Right from consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s a lot you need to take care of before you head down the road of conception.
Here are a few tips you must follow to give yourself the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
- Your Baby Will Be What You Eat
You must ensure to stock your body with all the important nutrients your baby will need throughout your pregnancy. It is important to understand that varying amounts of nutrients play a paramount role in the growth and development of the fetus. When it comes to the intake of nutrition, you must remember the following:
- Take a complete prenatal vitamin supplement before the pregnancy even occurs.
- Avoid eating foods with empty calories such as white flour, rice, sugar, pasta, processed foods, soda and fries.
- Consume healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and veggies. Additionally, you can increase your intake of organic foods to reduce the potential for taking in toxins and pesticides through the food chain.
- Consume sufficient protein-rich foods.
- Make sure to get enough calcium in your diet for bone strength.
You must stick to a balanced diet as it can enhance your chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby. Remember, the building blocks of hormones are present in the food you consume, so it is best to eat foods rich in nutrition in order to boost fertility. Moreover, eating such foods will help to build important nutrient stores for pregnancy and result in a healthy reproductive system. Not taking proper nutrition may affect your menstrual cycle, making it difficult to predict ovulation. To maximize the chances of successful conception, it is extremely essential to be in tune with your body.
- Avoid Drinking, Smoking and Drugs
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is crucial if you’re trying to get pregnant. Alcohol, drugs and cigarette smoke pose a health risk to you and can come in the way of your conception. Bear the following in mind:
- Certain drugs can stay in your system for a longer period of time, and can wreak havoc on your fertility.
- Tobacco use can affect your fertility and lower your partner’s sperm count.
- Don’t underestimate second-hand smoke as it can reduce your ability to get pregnant.
- Experts recommend that you abstain from alcohol since no one knows exactly what potential harmful effects even the smallest amount of alcohol can have on fertility and chances of conception.
These habits can increase the chances of miscarriage, premature birth and several other pregnancy complications. It is, therefore, mandatory to avoid them at all costs. If quitting these habits seems difficult, it is best to take assistance from your healthcare provider.
- Make Sure All Your Vaccinations Are Up-To-Date
You must remember to have your blood tests done to check for immunity or the requirement of one or more vaccines, at least a month before you try to conceive.
Infections such as chickenpox and German measles can be dangerous for an unborn baby. If your immunizations aren’t complete or you’re not sure if you’re immune to certain infections, then it’s essential to have them taken care of. Talk to your doctor about the vaccines you need to take before conceiving and which ones you’ll need later.
- Check for Health Problems
If you have certain health issues which can affect your chances of getting pregnant or those which can make the pregnancy risky, do get them under control before you conceive. Right from hereditary diseases to gum diseases, you must take care of the slightest of health issues.
If you are obese or have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure, make sure to bring them in check before you conceive. Also, let your healthcare provider know about any medications, herbs or supplements you’re taking. Depending on the medication, he/she may recommend changing doses, switching to something else or stopping the product before you conceive.
Most importantly, avoid environmental toxins, for a healthy fertility and your overall well-being. Environmental toxins are present everywhere – right from the air you breathe and the food you consume to factory emissions. Moreover, it is likely that they might be inhibiting your chances of conception. By being aware of your surroundings, and the potential health risks that they can cause, you will be able to stay safe.
- Maintain Your Fitness
Staying fit plays a tremendous role in your ability to conceive. Your pre-pregnancy weight matters a lot. Being overweight or underweight can cause several problems during pregnancy and even lead to long-term complications.
Being overweight can increase your chances of having problems such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Also, losing weight when pregnant is not recommended, so start working on that extra body fat beforehand. Develop a fitness plan and stick to it. Starting an exercise routine and being active has a huge role to play in your overall health and can help prepare your body for pregnancy to a great extent.
Nurturing the life growing inside you is one of the most beautiful and intense experiences you will ever have. It is extremely essential that you are both emotionally as well as physically prepared to make your pregnancy a joyful experience. Keep in mind, your overall health and well-being plays a paramount role in baby-making. To ensure a better quality of life for your baby in the future, you must follow the above-mentioned tips. [Image via Flickr]