Five Steps to Prepare for Pregnancy
Build the foundation for a healthy pregnancy by maximizing wellness before you start trying to have a baby. These five steps can help you prepare for pregnancy and motherhood.
Visit your women's health care provider
Even if you see your OB/GYN annually, a dedicated preconception visit gives him or her an opportunity to address health conditions that may be harmful during pregnancy, such as anemia, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid disease.
Watch your diet
Adapting a healthy prenatal diet before you conceive can prepare you for being pregnant. Your pre-pregnancy weight can directly affect your baby's weight and overall health.
Cut back on caffeine and alcohol, which can impact your fertility and be harmful to baby. Emphasize foods rich in folic acid, iron and calcium.
Chart your ovulation
If you're trying to get pregnant, tracking your monthly cycle can help identify when you're most fertile. During your preconception visit, ask your OB/GYN which fertility tracking method is best.
Exercise, but not too intensely
Research suggests women who get 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week may have an easier time getting pregnant than both those who are sedentary and those who exercise strenuously for more than three to five hours each week.
Pop a prenatal vitamin
It's the easiest way to get the recommended 400 to 800 micrograms of daily folic acid, an important nutrient that helps prevent birth defects during the first trimester.
For more information on how to prepare for pregnancy, reach out to the experts at UnityPoint Clinic.