You are about to start a journey of a lifetime. Congratulations! All women dream of becoming a mother one day and maybe your dream of having a baby too will be fulfilled too. First of all, taking this decision of having a baby in itself is a huge landmark in both your partner’s and your lives.
It’s really glad to know that you have decided on taking such a step but remember with pregnancy comes a lot of planning and responsibility too.
What should you avoid when planning for a baby?
- You need to avoid partying and become more responsible than what you used to be.
- You should cut on alcohol.
- Smoking is a strict no-no.
- Avoid consuming birth control pills as you are planning to conceive now.
- Eat healthy to stay fit.
- Try to stay as active as possible.
Things You Should Do Before Getting Pregnant
Before you and your partner hit the bed, here a quite a few things that you should keep in mind and follow before preparing your body for pregnancy:
Stop taking your Birth Control Pills
You have pulled up a lot of courage to decide on getting pregnant. And to make that dream come true, it is time to stop taking your birth control pills right away! It varies from women to women when they can get pregnant. A woman can conceive during her first period after 2 weeks of quitting the pills, or a woman can also take a few months to conceive.
Birth control pills might not affect pregnancy, but it is always a good idea to consult your doctor. To know more, you should understand in details about birth control pills.
Start taking your Multivitamins
Having a healthy pregnancy requires a lot of nutrition intake. So, it is recommended to start having a prescribed multivitamin from beforehand to kick start your pregnancy on a happy note.
You can even start taking prenatal vitamins now which will fill up any type of nutritional deficiency that your body might face during pregnancy. But, do not take one at your discretion. Always consult your doctor.
Increasing Folic Acid Intake
Taking folic acid is a must to reduce the risk of neural tube defects during early pregnancy. Your body requires at least 400-800 micrograms of folic acid every day. A lot of prenatal vitamins contain the required amount but make sure to check the table always. And, once you are confirmed to be a mother, you may have to take prenatal with a higher amount of folic acid.
Working out at least five days a week nourishes your body for pregnancy. You needn’t work out rigorously but can take up walking for. Begin doing so with 10-15 mins at a stretch and gradually increase the duration.
And, if you want to sweat and do some high adrenaline exercises then try jogging, cycling, or swimming. The more you exercise, the more your body remains fit and it gets easier to adapt to the changes during pregnancy. Exercise for at least 150 minutes a week and then gradually increase the duration with convenience.
Undergoing yearly blood tests and other tests is necessary as they will help detect health problems before they become too serious. Having physicals is important especially when you are deciding to get pregnant.
Your doctor will check you thoroughly and might also prescribe some blood tests to check for hemoglobin, cholesterol levels, and others. Talk about your health problems too, if anything is bothering you.
Keep a track on your Vaccinations
Make sure you don’t have any lapsed vaccinations or else make sure to have them checked during the doctor visit. Vaccinations keep both the baby and the mother protected and healthy.
A Preconception Visit
This is the time to schedule a preconception appointment with your obstetrician. A lot of tests and examinations will match your physicals. If you have any reproductive question or inquiry that has been bugging you lately, bring it up. Just to make sure, you might undergo screening for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), so don’t freak out.
Keep a check on your Period
Keeping a track on your menstrual cycle after you have stopped taking your birth control pills is necessary. Knowing your period cycle will help you determine when it is the right time to try and conceive.
Keep a track when your cycle is starting and how long is lasting and how it changes from month to month. If you notice irregular bleeding and spotting talk with your doctor. The usual menstrual cycle is of 28 days but it can last till 35 days too.
Keeping your body safe from toxins and foreign materials
Exposure to toxic materials can prove to be a danger to your physical capability of bearing a baby. Do not use perfumes or any chemicals at your home like phenyl and glass cleansers. Try avoiding visiting the parlor too and engaging in beauty services that involve artificial skin products. You should have knowledge about all the habits you should quit before pregnancy.
Do not Stress
Stress is not good for health especially during pregnancy. It is natural to freak out and be nervous during conceiving as it is something new for you but you can be well assured that it is not that scary. If the thought of having a baby is stressing you out, go out for a stroll, movie, or listen to some soft relaxing music. The best procedure to release stress is by practicing deep breathing exercises.
Yoga facilitates fertilization. Yoga relaxes your nerves and also maintains a balance of all the emotions that you are facing during conception. Join a yoga class or just watch videos on YouTube.
Unhealthy dental care can bring complications to pregnancy. During your regular doctor check-ups, it’s better to pay a visit to your dentist once in a while. Your pregnancy hormones can harm your gums and teeth. You may have a loose tooth or gum bleeding. Maintain a healthy brushing habit to prevent having gingivitis and cavities.
Say NO to Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
Smoking, drugs, and alcohols are foreign materials that are bound to harm your body. Indulging in all these activities can affect your pregnancy hormones in a lot of ways. Smoking restricts blood flow and also affects the respiratory tract which may lead to preterm labor.
Too much drinking can result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and can become a life and death situation for the baby. Taking drugs is illegal and can in turn cause miscarriage or stillbirth and even cause irreversible complications too.
Healthy Weight Gain
Maintaining a healthy steady weight gain is necessary. If you are overweight and gain weight even before conceiving, consult your dietician or doctor to prescribe you a healthy diet to lose weight. The same goes if you are underweight.
Family Medical History and Genetic disorders
Pregnancy is influenced by both the genes of the father and mother. Certain complications or health issues can be present in the bloodline and have high chances of influencing the baby too. Before conceiving talk with your family to discuss any harmful medical history and if there are so, consult your genetic counselor to talk about your problems.
Keeping a record of your previous prescriptions
Consult your doctor and also let him/her know that you are planning on conceiving. They will go through your previous prescriptions and keep track of the medications that you have undergone or are taking right now so that accordingly they can prepare your body for pregnancy.
Now is the time to get your sleep, lucky woman. The more you rest your body and relax, the easier it becomes for your internal organs to function and facilitate your fertilization. Once, you are pregnant, it is bound for your sleep routine to get messed up with the frequent washroom calls and kicks from your little champ.
No Reckless Caffeine Intake
Does caffeine help you relax your nerves and are you too dependent on coffee and other caffeinated drinks? It is time for you to cut down on your daily coffee intake. It is recommended to have 12 ounces of coffee per day during pregnancy. Caffeine is not good for the baby, so if you are consuming more than the mentioned amount, reduce it.
A Healthy Liquid Diet
Before pregnancy and during pregnancy, even if you feel that your bladder is about to burst, drink a good quantity of water and other liquids to keep yourself hydrated. Keeping yourself hydrated helps in nourishing the entire body.
Indulge in Sex
The only key to conceive is having sex often and enjoying the moment. It needn’t be planned. Just be passionate. If you are not suffering from any fertility issues, don’t worry about when have sex. Just indulge in passionate unprotected sex frequently during the cycle.
Educate yourself about the procedure of pregnancy
Pregnancy requires research and you should have knowledge of when the chances are high to get pregnant. Have sex frequently during your fertile window. This is the period where the chances are high of the sperm and the egg meeting and then leading to fertilization.
The fertilized eggs in turn travel down the fallopian tubes. To ensure pregnancy, the fertilized eggs need to implant in the uterus. It is necessary to have sex frequently because most of the fertilized eggs are eliminated from the body during menstruating.
Make sure your partner gets checked too
Getting pregnant is a team effort, to be precise. As much as you have to keep yourself under medical supervision, even your man has to keep a check on his lifestyle too.
- Schedule a physical for him.
- Healthy eating habits.
- Regular exercises.
- No smoking and drug abuse.
- Restriction of alcohol intake.
A healthy immune system
There are chances of catching a cold, or the flu and other illness during pregnancy. Prepare your body accordingly beforehand by having a healthy diet rich in nutrients and Vitamin C. A healthy immune system keeps the worries of pregnancy complications away!
Do’s and Don’ts
Do not listen to anyone apart from your doctor and dietician. Everyone’s immunity system differs from each other. So, if a particular medicine which suits your relative might not even suit your body. One thing, you should avoid is having contaminated foods and foods with preservatives.
Watch movies or do something fun
Go for movies as much as you can because once you hit the home run, you’ll be under home arrest for months! Also, indulge yourself in the last roller coaster ride or skiing before you get pregnant. But, do not do anything that harms your uterus.
Decide on where to live
Now is the time you should plan your future accordingly, as having a baby is like a milestone in everyone’s lives. If you want your baby to be born in a healthy environment or a place better than where you and your partner are living, now is the time. Talk with your families and learn about their thoughts too and then decide what suits best for your baby’s future.
Sort out your job
Let your boss know from beforehand about the chances of getting pregnant or once you are tested positive. Submit your report and apply for maternity leave accordingly.
As mentioned earlier, conceiving differs from women to women. You might pregnant during the first cycles of having sex or it might take a couple of months.
Before you start having unprotected sex, talk with your partner about it, ask about his views, and make sure that the decision Is mutual. Being open and honest before conceiving is a must to make sure there are no misunderstandings.
Being pregnant and then having a baby is one of the most influential and life turning moments in a couple’s life. Always plan before you get pregnant. Planned pregnancy has been proved to be healthy and a happy one in the future.
Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world and if you are lucky to have got this opportunity, do not let it go. A little consciousness and precaution from beforehand will make conception easy.
Here are some Important FAQs which helps you for Better Pregnancy Planning.
If someone is diabetic, how long should one wait to have the levels under control and then try conceiving?
It is recommended to wait for at least 3 months before you try and conceive. Talk with your doctor and obstetrician to have a detailed idea about it.
Should I try and conceive again after having had two miscarriages?
If you have a history of miscarriages, the root of the miscarriages should be addressed or located before you try and conceive again. Both you and your partner might have to undergo blood tests to see if either or both of you suffer from any genetic disorders or not. Undergo a thorough medical screening before trying again.
Do I need to quit smoking before conceiving?
Absolutely YES! Both you and your partner should stop smoking as it affects fertility and also the baby. You should stop smoking once you start planning to conceive and also during pregnancy. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage.
Can I travel while pregnant?
You can travel up to the end of your second trimester but you should travel safely keeping in mind it doesn’t affect either you or your baby.