For years women have been beautifully carrying the tradition and task of giving birth with a smile on their face. Given the healthy lifestyle, fresh air, less stress and good food consumed by women in early days birthing was the most natural phenomenon for them. However, with time and hectic lifestyles led by most of us, it becomes important that something as natural as conceiving a baby needs proper planning. Amidst the stressful life the body suffers the most and in order to have healthy pregnancy women today are making lifestyle changes to prepare their body for pregnancy.
Preparing your body for conceiving can actually have long-term benefits not only for the child but for mothers too. Here we have listed down few tips for you to prepare your body for pregnancy.
1)Medical checkup – It’s is a good idea to get yourself checked before planning a baby. It is all the more important in case you have any long-standing health issues like blood pressure, diabetes or any other breathing problem. The doctor will thoroughly examine you and advice some blood tests to check on basic cholesterol levels and more. You could also discuss any other health concerns if you may have. It is like a pre-conception counseling session wherein you will be asked about your dietary habits, medical history and any other complications that you may have. While you are working towards getting prepared to conceive it’s a good idea to get your husband also checked for any other problems that can be avoided with advance testing’s.
2)Vitamin supplements – Conceiving a healthy baby requires a healthy body hence it’s imperative that you ensure your body gets all the necessary minerals and vitamins before planning a baby. Pregnancy can be very taxing and vitamin supplements if taken before planning can help the body stay strong for the 9 months and even after that. Prenatal vitamins also help in avoiding any sort of nutritional deficiency in the child and the mother too. Along with multivitamins it’s advisable to take folic acid supplements as it helps in the early development of the baby in the womb and to also avoid neural tube defects in the baby.
3)Exercise – While regular exercise routine is advisable for all, it is all the more important when you trying to conceive. Body weight is the most important factor when you are trying to conceive. Overweight women need to cut down on the weight before planning a baby and the ones who are underweight needs to gain weight as per their height. Obese women are at the higher risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, high chances of C-section and heavy babies during birth. Same is the case with women who are underweight as they are at the risk of experiencing fertility problems, having a low-birth-weight baby, going into preterm labor or becoming anemic.
4)Stop birth control pills – Since you are looking to plan a child, it’s advisable to discontinue taking birth control pills. At times there are high chances that you may get pregnant immediately after stopping the pills.
5)Healthy eating habits – Multivitamins are an additional source of nutrition. However, it’s important to eat a variety of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables every day. It’s important to avoid unhealthy fat intake on day to day basis. Also, increase intake of iron and calcium-rich food.
6)Check for vaccinations – While you are at the doctor’s clinic for pre-conception counseling do remember to check on the vaccinations that may have lapsed (Tetanus, rubella, etc). Timely vaccinations can help in keeping you and your baby healthy and protected.
7)Regulating your monthly cycle – One of the essential things to have in place is your monthly cycle. To understand the ovulation cycle better and to increase your chances of conceiving early it’s important that you try and regulate your monthly cycle. Before trying to conceive it’s advisable that you keep a track of your cycle as to when it starts and when it ends. The average menstrual cycle length will help you track your ovulation and get pregnant in a planned manner. There are quite a lot of ovulation predictor kits available in stores. These kits are quite useful as they help to figure out the actual time of ovulation. Your doctor can also advise further on this.
8)Clean up your body – Smoking, drinking alcohol can cause harmful effects on the baby in a number of ways. Smoking leads to baby getting exposed to harmful chemicals, preterm labour and even restricted blood flow to the baby. Drinking is equally harmful and affects the fetal development that can also cause birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth and other major illnesses.
9)De-stress your mind and body – A healthy and relaxed body will be easily able to conceive. Hence it is important that you are relaxed and calm when you are planning a baby. An increased amount of stress can cause fertility issues as well. It can also suppress ovulation, result in decreased sperm count in your partner, and reduced sex drive in both. You could try yoga, breathing exercise, meditation and acupuncture to beat the stress.
10)Keep yourself hydrated – Water is the essential thing that our body needs. When you are planning a baby starts with consuming the maximum amount of water. Considering the fact that pregnancy leads to frequent urination it’s important to start off with being well hydrated.
11)Protect against stretch marks – You could use shea butter/ cocoa butter or lanolin to protect your skin against stretch marks caused due to pregnancy. Aside from this do take healthy diet to keep the skin and body naturally strong and healthy.
It takes a lot of thinking when you are planning to add a baby to the family. However, with little preparation, we are sure you can have a healthy pregnancy. Also, do include your partner in this whole process as it should not become a task that is not enjoyed by both. Rather it should be the time that brings you both closer and make you stronger. Hope you like these tips. Do share your experience while you were trying to get pregnant.
By Rakhi Parsai,
A professional parenting blogger and a mother to an adorable 5 year old munchkin.