You’re getting ready – congratulations!
One of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to prepare your body to get pregnant is to make a lifestyle change. Self-care has to be on top of your list, if you desire to get pregnant soon. So what does that look like? I’ll take the time to highlight a step-by-step process to help you in your journey.
Have a regular exercise routine before you get pregnant can help your body manage all the changes that you will experience during the pregnancy and labor. If you can, join a gym. If not, you can watch videos or join a walking group in your community. I tend to find having an exercise partner to be very useful when I don’t feel like it, especially after a long day in the office. Sometimes, getting that motivational push can make all the difference.
As a reminder, talk to your physician about the kind of exercise and how much is appropriate for you.
Commit to a Balanced Diet
If you’re not at a healthy body weight, commit and strive to get there.
If you are a smoker, try to quit before getting pregnant. Avoid alcohol, drugs and limit your caffeine intake.
Here are a few steps to follow to a healthy diet before you get pregnant.
- Eat more organic foods.
- Eat foods that are high in protein.
- Avoid canned foods; choose fresh foods.
- Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are full of antioxidants like vitamins C and E, folate, lutein, and beta-carotene. Infertility doesn’t only impact women but also affect men, so taking antioxidant supplement or having a regular antioxidant rich diet can improve fertility rates, especially among men with infertility issues.
- Replace soda with water (choose BPA-free bottles). If you’re not drinking enough water then this can lead to dehydration and negative effects on your fertility.
- Eat about 12 ounces (oz), or 340g of fish a week; avoid eating more than that.
- Read labels to make sure your favorites are pasteurized.
Take Daily Vitamins
Before you want to get pregnant, either ask your physician for recommendations or look for vitamins with folic acid.
Folic acid is highly important. It reduces the risk of birth defects, specifically problems with the baby’s spine. Some vitamins can cause birth defects if you take above the recommended daily amounts. For example, high doses of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
What about other things that enter our bodies daily that we are not aware of – like toxins. Naturally, some things will not be in your control but there are a few things that are.
Things you can do:
- Use chemical-free home and personal products
- Avoiding certain beauty services
- Be aware of synthetic fragrances – try to avoid
See a Physician
Discuss your current health and your family history with your physician. Some health issues in your family history can be passed on to your children. If it’s not suggested by your physician, ask to see a genetic counselor.
There will be blood tests needed before and during your pregnancy journey. Your current health conditions will need to be stabilized before you get pregnant. For example, obesity, asthma, diabetes, etc.
Look into using an ovulation kit and keep a calendar to monitor when to plan on having sex. Naturally these kits are not 100 percent accurate but they can be very useful tools in your journey.
While you’re visiting your physician, add the dentist to the list. Making sure your teeth are in good condition and developing good brushing habits prior to getting pregnant will protect you from pregnancy gingivitis and cavities.
As a rule, the couple should get checked since it takes two to conceive. About a third of infertility cases relate to the male partner. Do your due diligence and know the facts about both you and your partner/spouse. Both parties should follow the same plan in terms of health habits, and exercise routine.
Ultimately, you want to do as much as you can before you get pregnant, so that you can reduce your risk of complications in pregnancy and labor.
Rest, rest, and plenty of rest. Get plenty of it and relax. While your are planning on getting pregnant, try to relax as much as possible. Ask your physician, what would be the best techniques for you, i.e. yoga, pilates, zumba, Aerobics, etc.
Take mini getaways or staycations. Time out reduces stress and will boost your immune system. Create moments to relax and enjoy stress-free environments. Sometimes, the company we keep makes all the difference in the amount of stress we have in our lives. All that said, be mindful of the friends and family members that you have close by. Make sure their vibes are positive.
Now, You are Prepared to Get Pregnant – Have Fun!
Have fun with the process! Don’t turn sex into a chore, enjoy making memories with each other. Be spontaneous and make it passionate. Have unprotected sex during your cycle. Create intentional lovemaking habits to strengthen your relationship and increase your pregnancy chances.
Once you are pregnant, speak to your physician/midwife about certain activities that are not safe for you and your baby. Limit the amount of lifting you used to do.
Happy baby making! Here’s some baby dust to follow you through this wonderful journey. May this experience be all that you dreamed that it would be.