Pregnancy 101: 7 Tips to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy
If you are trying to conceive, preparing your body is essential. Pregnancy will cause some physical changes to your body which include weight gain, mood swings, morning sickness, hormonal imbalance, and more. Therefore, it is essential to follow some lifestyle changes for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
Here are a few tips on getting ready for pregnancy:
1. Visit Your Doctor
Visit your doctor before you get pregnant to:
- Discuss your current health, health history, and family’s health history. Some health issues in your family may affect your unborn. If required, they may refer you to a genetic counselor.
- Take blood tests or check whether you are up-to-date with vaccinations.
- Discuss medicines and other supplements you are taking. If they can impact your unborn’s health, they may recommend alternatives.
- Ensure your chronic health issues such as asthma and diabetes are stable.
- Monitor your weight, as obesity will increase your pregnancy complications.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes protein-rich foods, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, dairy products, and a moderate quantity of fish to help your reproductive system function normally.
Here are some critical nutrients that you need in your diet:
- Calcium – Consume at least 1000 milligrams of calcium daily through yogurt, low-fat milk, tofu, and dark leafy greens.
- Folic Acid – Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily through fortified bread and cereal, legumes, dark leafy greens, and citrus.
- Prenatal Vitamins – Take doctor-prescribed prenatal vitamins to reduce complications of neural tube defects during pregnancy.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Having a normal BMI (body mass index) is essential for your overall health, especially before pregnancy. Being overweight or underweight can cause fertility and ovulation issues and other issues such as high blood pressure, miscarriage, congenital disabilities, diabetes, and C-section delivery.
A normal BMI is between 19 and 24.
- A BMI below 19 is underweight that causes irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation to stop.
- A BMI above 24 is overweight that also causes irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation.
4. Exercise Regularly
While staying fit is essential for a healthy pregnancy, performing moderate physical activity regularly may help you get pregnant and deal with all the changes you will undergo during pregnancy and labor.
A study has revealed that moderate exercises, including bicycling, walking, and golfing, were speeding up conception time. However, intense workouts such as vigorous swimming, running, and biking, have decreased the chance of conception by 42% among normal-weight women struggling to conceive. However, this effect was not seen in overweight women.
Even if you cannot exercise regularly, perform 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and whole-body strength training at least a few days a week.
5. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Avoid consuming more than 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day to prevent miscarriage or fertility issues. Several large, multi-center studies revealed that consuming less than five drinks per week may not have harmful effects, but more than that can negatively impact fertility and a developing baby. Additionally, avoid taking all types of recreational drugs if you are getting ready for pregnancy.
6. Quit Smoking
While smoking can cause heart disease, lung cancer, and strokes, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine has revealed that women who smoke do not conceive as efficiently as non-smokers, so quit smoking.
7. Manage Your Stress and Get Sufficient Rest
Practice yoga and meditation to reduce your stress and get 8 hours of sleep every night to prevent high blood pressure, immunity impairment, and heart problems and speed up conception time.
Following these pregnancy tips will improve your chances of getting pregnant while minimizing your complications. To learn more about preparing your body for pregnancy, schedule an appointment with North Atlanta Women's Care.
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