How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy? – Preparing for pregnancy is an important step on the way to responsible parenthood. Studies say that women having a planned pregnancy tend to go through this period better and with fewer health problems.
The growing awareness of women about the importance of preparing their body for pregnancy is clearly reflected in the statistics, which shows a decline in the number of unintended pregnancies. The prognoses of the scientists say that this tendency will continue, which is good news.
Preparing your body for pregnancy is a complex process, which should be initiated at least three months before you start trying to conceive. We’ve compiled some recommendations from healthcare professionals, which may come in handy for any woman who hopes to conceive in just a few months.
Get a medical Checkup
The first thing you should do to get ready for a pregnancy properly is to visit your GP for the evaluation of your overall health. A medical specialist will check your blood pressure and will recommend you pass some blood and urine tests to determine your blood sugar levels and other possible health issues.
In case any problems with your blood pressure or blood glucose are revealed, it’s essential to pick the treatment that will help you stabilize and control your disease. Don’t forget to inform your GP that you are planning pregnancy. This information may influence the choice of medicines you will need to take.
Once you are done with your GP, it’s time to set an appointment with your gynecologist or midwife to check your female health. Your doctor will test you for any issues that may affect your fertility, like inborn abnormalities of the uterus, or any gynecological diseases that may interfere with natural conception and make it difficult or impossible. You should also talk to your doctor about:
- any hereditary medical conditions running in your family (if any);
- the medicines you take;
- the chronic health issues you have;
- previous pregnancies if they didn’t end in a live birth.
Depending on the information your doctor receives, they may recommend a genetic counselor consultation or some additional tests to ensure you have maximum chances for a healthy pregnancy.
Take Care about Your Physical Shape
To increase your chances of conception, it’s essential to be in good physical shape. If you have some extra pounds, it’s a good idea to start exercising. Physical activity works well for losing weight. Besides, aerobic exercises improve the circulation of blood in the body, help the release of endorphins and help your sound sleep. All these add to your physical health.
Bringing some regular physical activity to your routine will also work positively for your ability to go through the pregnancy with minimum worries. Strong muscles and trained ligaments can reduce the risks of experiencing backache, pain in the hips and legs, and other musculoskeletal symptoms a lot of pregnant women may face.
Give up Unhealthy Habits
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating high-calorie food are the three habits you’d better give up before trying to conceive. Let us explain the reasons why you should change these aspects of your life.
Smoking is a significant risk factor for birth defects in the fetus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim this unhealthy habit may cause:
- cleft palate/lip;
- premature birth;
- low birth weight in the newborn;
- babies born to smoking mothers are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome;
- your baby’s lungs and brain may get damaged during the development stage, thus causing health issues in the future.
Alcohol consumption may result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a severe, irreversible inborn abnormality.
As for your eating habits, they should be reevaluated in the pre-pregnancy period so that your body can get all the vitamins, minerals, acids, essential oils, and other useful constituencies. This will promote easier conception and healthy development of the fetus.
Consider Taking Supplements before Getting Pregnant
While most women know that they should take vitamins during pregnancy, not all of them understand the importance of taking prenatal vitamins. Their intake in the course of preparation reduces the risk of vitamin deficiency in early pregnancy.
Along with the vitamins, you should also start taking folic acid. Its deficiency causes neural tube defects in babies. Such an inborn abnormality may cause stillbirth and death of the newborn in the first hours of life. But if the baby survives, the defect may provoke paralysis, poor bowel and urinary control, and other medical disorders.
Control Your Stress Levels
When under high stress, your body releases excessive amounts of cortisol. This hormone blocks the healthy function of the reproductive system, which may cause difficulties conceiving a baby. You should find ways to reduce stress to a minimum so that it doesn’t interfere with your reproductive plans.
How to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy – Summing up
Getting ready for pregnancy is as important as taking care of your health while expecting a baby. The more time and effort you apply in the preparatory stage, the fewer problems you’ll experience in pregnancy.