Things to Prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy

The decision to expand your family is a big one. It is an exciting time full of anticipation. Before you conceive, there are some simple things you can do to prepare your body to grow your baby for the next forty weeks.

Folic acid

Folic acid helps your baby to develop and prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. You should take folic acid when trying to conceive right up to 12 weeks pregnant. Even if you aren’t actively trying to conceive, 1 mg of Folic acid daily is recommended in case of an accidental pregnancy. If you are diabetic, epileptic, obese or have a family history of neural tube defects, you should see your health care provider as it may be recommended you take a higher daily dose.

Exercise

Pregnancy is not a great time to start a new exercise regime as your body is undergoing so many changes it can be challenging to adapt to a new regime. If you are considering a pregnancy, it is a great time to let your body adjust to new habits that can be carried throughout pregnancy. A healthy weight prior to pregnancy also decreases risks of complications secondary to obesity.

Quit smoking and drinking

If you are ready to become pregnant, the best time to quit smoking and drinking alcohol is prior to conceiving. Research shows that nicotine and alcohol has effects on even the youngest fetus, so quitting before is best for your little one.

Stop birth control

Talk to your health care provider about stopping birth control as some methods take longer to get out of a woman’s system than others. This will help you time the best time to start trying.

Start tracking your cycle

Increase your success of conceiving by coming in tune with your body’s cycle. Use a tracker to watch your cycle length, Basal body temperature, cervical mucous and texture to help decide the best time for intercourse.

Check in with your doc

When is the last time you had a physical? Go in and talk about conception with your health care provider. Go over any medications you are taking as some are not safe in pregnancy, as well as get a pap smear and the go ahead that you are healthy and ready for a healthy pregnancy.