Most folks know that when they are pregnant, they have to be completely consumed with every little thing they expose themselves to or put in their body. You try to eat healthier, suddenly become vigilant about taking prenatal vitamins, and certainly avoid anything that may harm your growing fetus. What many women fail to realize is that preparing your body for pregnancy, before you conceive - can give you an even higher chance of having a healthy baby. Not only that, the healthier you are before you become pregnant, the easier the pregnancy will be and it can even help labor and delivery.
The CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age who are sexually active take a prenatal vitamin that has at least 800mg of Folic Acid. This way, if you accidentally become pregnant, you will know that your baby will have a lesser chance of having a serious birth defect that often occurs in the first few days to weeks after conception. Since many people do not even know they are pregnant until they miss a period or feel a little ‘odd’ and take a pregnancy test – bulking up on prenatals as a rule ensures that you wont miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. By the time, most women know they are pregnant, defects like spinal bifida have already occurred.
It is also important to try and maintain the best weight possible before you get pregnant. For one thing, when you are at a healthy weight you are less likely to have health problems such as diabetes that can make pregnancy difficult. Additionally, being at your optimal weight before you conceive will make it easier to lose baby weight after you have the baby. You will also feel better about yourself throughout pregnancy. Since you cannot lose weight while you are pregnant, it is important to try and be as healthy as possible beforehand.
Exercise is as important in preparing your body for pregnancy as eating right. By doing cardio exercises and muscle strengthening exercises your body will be better equipped to handle the strains of growing a baby inside you. You will also be able to continue exercising with only minor modifications while you are pregnant, which keeps your weight gain down and can go miles in making you fit for delivery. Keep in mind that delivering a baby is not for the weak. It takes strength, stamina, endurance and definitely a lot of cardio health. You should also start stretching before you become pregnant. You can take a yoga class or just follow a DVD at home. By lengthening your muscles you will maintain more flexibility as well as help to avoid some of the aches and pains of pregnancy that are caused by muscle strain and stretch.
If you smoke or drink, then chances are you are certain that you will quit the moment you find out you are pregnant. You may be putting it off until you absolutely have to. This isn’t the best idea. For one thing, smoking and alcohol consumption (by both man and woman) can greatly affect your fertility. Additionally, the toxins that you are exposing yourself to by continuing to smoke can cause health problems in your baby. Again, since you may not know right away that you are pregnant, chances are that you will be smoking while pregnant, which is not favorable. Additionally, quitting habits is difficult. Yes, the idea of having a baby can be enough to make anyone want to quit smoking, but you will still be addicted to the nicotine. You also won’t be able to take cessation medications while you are pregnant to help take the edge off quitting. And, if you are like most women, you will sneak a few cigarettes in the early stages when your baby’s development is perhaps most important. Instead of risking all of that, just quit. You will feel better about yourself, enhance your fertility, and be instituting life habits that prepare both your body for pregnancy and your mindset for motherhood.
If you are on any birth control methods that involve hormonal treatments, remember that it is recommended that you are off of them for at least three months before conceiving! During this time, use another form of protection.
There are other things that you can do to prepare your body for pregnancy. Partaking in some fertility exercises that help to heighten blood flow to the sacral, reproductive organs are a good idea. If you look up yoga for fertility or check with your local birthing center, you will be able to find an instructor near you. Getting a massage once a week to release any toxins that have built up over your lifetime in the deep tissues of the body is also important. Just make sure that you drink plenty of water afterwards so you can flush them out of your system. You should also visit a chiropractor to make sure that you don’t have any pinched nerves or blockages in the body that could impede fertility or cause discomfort once you do become pregnant. In fact, seeing a chiropractor throughout pregnancy can be a great way to relieve discomfort. In preparing your body for pregnancy, also don’t forget to see your regular doctor and have some routine blood work done. Often, an under active thyroid or some other seemingly insignificant imbalance can cause you to have trouble conceiving. They should do a full blood count work up, as well as a gynecological exam and physical to make sure that there are no underlying problems that could make your pregnancy difficult.
Preparing your body for pregnancy before you become pregnant is definitely important. Many people aren’t lucky enough to have this option, which can make the first few weeks of pregnancy even more stressful. If you want to conceive and are talking about it, then take a few months to make sure that you are in optimal health. After all, you will not only be responsible for your own health and life – but for that of your unborn child as well.