9 Things you need to do BEFORE pregnancy

So, it has happened. You have decided to have baby. Congratulations!

  1. Schedule a checkup. It is always good to visit your gynae for a checkup before trying to conceive. They may want to run some blood tests or discuss certain things with you, like medications you might be taking.
  2. Start taking folic acid supplement. This is suggested for 1 month before you conceive as well as in your first Trimester to cut down your chances of having a baby with a neural-tube defect. Also, check that you are not taking too much vitamin A as this can cause complications too.
  3. Cut the habit. Quit smoking!  The sooner the better. Not only does it cause damage to the woman’s eggs it can also cause the ovaries to age pre-maturely.
  4. BMI check? Are you a healthy weight? Making the right food choices are so important. Choose whole foods, vegetables and fruits in a variety of colours. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin C, zinc and iron, calcium in your diet too. Proteins like chicken, beans and legumes are a great part of a healthy diet too.
  5. Cut down drinking alcohol as much as possible. Try sick to the one a day rule or less if possible. Alcohol alters estrogen levels, which may interfere with egg implantation.
  6. Exercise.  Get busy 30 mins a day, 5 days a week. Try to include fun activities that you enjoy. Stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates can be very beneficial too.
  7. Manage your stress levels. Using mindful techniques like meditation or yoga are fantastic. It would be a great time to book a massage as this adds to the de-stress focus.
  8. Visit a dentist, if you have not for the last 6 months. The hormonal changes can affect your gums.
  9. Remove or stop taking birth control. This one is a given, stop taking the pill, remove the UTD or stop using whatever contraception you were using. Give yourself some time for your body to regulate and your period to return consistently.  Avoid lubricants going forward; rather use something natural like olive oil.
  10. Establish a support system: It is a great idea to hire some help and get them trained up before baby even arrives. You will have so much on your plate that just knowing the washing is handled can be a huge relief. If some paid help does not fit into the budget, then try chatting to family and assessing how and when they are available to help?

Try not to stress too much about it. Most couples are pregnant within a year of trying. Enjoy your last moments of peace. Go see movies and go out to dinner too. Those nights out are going to be few and far between when baby arrives.

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