All women want the best for their baby and one of the best ways that you can do that is by preparing your body for pregnancy. Being in good health before falling pregnancy is crucial for the healthy development of the baby, but also for your own wellbeing. It’s not a secret that pregnancy can be challenging, but by keeping fit, and watching what you put into your body, it can make things a lot easier for you and your baby.
To give your baby the best shot at a healthy development it’s first important to prepare your body for pregnancy. Here are some factors you might want to consider before falling pregnant.
Clean Up Your Diet
It is important to make sure that your body is in its healthiest state possible before you fall pregnant so you can give yourself the best chance of conceiving and nurturing a healthy baby. The best way to get healthy is to eat healthy, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but you are what you eat! Whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals are what’s best for your body. Try to avoid anything processed and if possible source organic foods. Here are some guidelines:
• Reduce or eliminate processed foods, artificial sweeteners and empty calories
• Try to focus on foods high in protein – your baby will thank you for it later
• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as foods high in calcium such as dairy
• Be aware of the amount of fish that you eat – large predatory fish have high levels of mercury, which can cause defects in your baby. Avoid large ocean fish such as swordfish and shark, limit tuna to one steak or two cans per week, and try not to eat more than 340g of any fish per week
It takes a lot of resources to create a baby which can take a toll on your body’s mineral levels. Taking a multivitamin can help to give your body a boost, and some companies create prenatal vitamins with specific formulas for pregnant women. Folic acid is an especially important supplement as it prevents neural tube defects which can occur in the early stages of pregnancy. It’s recommended that if you are pregnant you take at least 400 to 800 micrograms a day, but it doesn’t help to start early.
Seize Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
Smoking, drinking and taking recreational or even prescribed drugs can all be detrimental to your baby’s development. Each of these factors can make it harder to get pregnant and can increase the chance of birth defects and/or miscarriage.
• Drinking while pregnant can cause intellectual and physical problems in a growing fetus. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can cause behavioural and learning disabilities as well as facial and heart defects.
• Women who smoke during pregnancy usually have babies with a lower birth weight and take longer to recover from pregnancy.
• You should also limit the amount of caffeine to no more than two cups of coffee. It can make it harder to get pregnant and also comes with an increased risk of miscarriage.
• It is important to discuss with your doctor all of the over the counter and prescribed medications that you consume before considering conceiving.
Exercise is important for everyone at any stage of their lives, but for women preparing themselves for pregnancy, it can be a great way to get healthy and to increase fitness for the stresses of pregnancy and labor. After you fall pregnant, your exercise schedule may need to be modified to less intensive activities such as yoga, swimming and walking.
Visit An Obstetrician
If you need any extra advice on how to prepare your body for pregnancy, it is important to contact an obstetrician as they will be able to tell you the best measures you can take for your body.
If you have any questions about preparing your body for pregnancy, or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.