Steps before Getting Pregnant

November 12, 2012

Steps before Getting Pregnant

If you are trying to conceive, you may be surprised to know that preparing your body ahead of time can improve your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy. Here are some steps you can take before getting pregnant.

Preconception Check-up

Visit your OB/GYN for a thorough and complete analysis of your reproductive health before getting pregnant. Apart from guiding you about your ideal weight, your doctor may also check your immunization record and perform a PAP smear to make sure you are ready for the baby. Your baby’s father should also undergo a general physical examination 90 to 120 days before conceiving.

Dental Check-up

Dental health is important for your overall health and well-being. Periodontal diseases may also cause preterm labor and increase your risk of having a low birth-weight baby.

Ideal body Weight

Ideal body weight of the mother is important for your health as well as for a successful pregnancy. This is important for women who are overweight as well as those who are too thin and undernourished to support the growth and development of their baby. Your doctor may recommend a weight that is ideal for you, and healthy ways to reach it.

Healthy Diet

Healthy diet is not only important for maintaining your weight; it is also required maintaining adequate hemoglobin levels in the body. In fact, your body should have the right supply of all the essential nutrients and vitamins for proper growth and development of your baby.

Avoid Supplements

Women trying to conceive should avoid taking supplements, unless recommended by their doctor. Most doctors recommend prenatal supplements to help prevent miscarriage and preterm labor. Your prenatal vitamins will also contain the required amounts of folic acid, a B vitamin required to prevent birth defects. You can also obtain folic acid from breads, pastas, cereals, dried beans/lentils, asparagus, wheat germ, greens and orange juice.

Iron Deficiency

Many women, especially vegetarians and vegans may have iron deficiency or anemia. Your doctor may recommend iron supplements or foods to improve your iron levels before getting pregnant.

Caffeine Intake

Most experts also recommend limiting the caffeine intake to less than 12-ounces per day. This will include reduced intake of coffee, tea, soft drinks and medications containing the narcotic.

Avoid Alcohol, Cigarettes and Other Illegal Drugs

It is also very important to stop the consumption of alcohol, nicotine and other illegal drugs before getting pregnant as exposure to even small amounts of these drugs may lead to serious birth defects in your baby.

Avoid Exposure to Chemicals

If you are trying to conceive, you should learn about the various hazardous chemicals found in household cleaning supplies and pesticides. Make sure your place of work is safe for you and your baby.

Avoid Infections

Before getting pregnant, you should also inculcate healthy habits including washing hands regularly. You should avoid raw meat, raw fish and unpasteurized milk products.

Exercise

Women who exercise regularly before getting pregnant, remain healthy throughout the pregnancy, and get back to their original weight faster. Develop an exercise regimen that you can continue during pregnancy with some walking, swimming and yoga.

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