5 Things You Must do Before Trying to Get Pregnant
Pregnancy and bringing a life into the world is a beautiful, wonderful, and exciting time. I loved being pregnant and enjoyed every moment (even the end when I was huge and slow moving). With that said, you also need to know that there is sooooooo much that goes into having a healthy baby. It doesn't just happen by accident, there is a lot of hard work that goes into creating a life. You want to give your child the best start possible and that starts before getting pregnant. So here are 5 things that you must do before getting pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
1. Take a prenatal or the very least folic acid. It is smart to be taking prenatal vitamins before you try getting pregnant. You might not know you are pregnant for a while and the baby needs to be getting proper nutrition to develop and grow. If you don't want to take a prenatal just make sure you are taking at least 800 mg of folic acid which is super important for brain and spinal cord development. A birth defect called spina bifida is caused by an insufficient amount of folic acid.
2. Eat a clean diet/eat as though you were pregnant. Eating a nutritious and healthy diet is crucial. You are the sole provider of nutrients for your growing baby. Eating healthy will nourish the baby, reduce your risks of gestational diabetes, and keep your weight gain to a healthy range. Too many women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want, that is not how you want to approach pregnancy. Plus, there are many foods that are on the no-no list once you are pregnant. Cut them out now and maybe you won't miss them as much.
3. Make sure you exercise regularly. Getting exercise will help you and your baby. Exercise will help you from gaining those excess pounds, lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, lessen some of your physical discomforts, and will help prepare your body for delivery. But you want to be in a routine before getting pregnant because it could be harmful to start a workout routine that you have never done before in pregnancy.
4. Track your cycle. You need to know when you get your periods. I know this can be easier said than done for some women, but you need to have a ballpark of the last time you got your period. This will help you figure out when you are ovulating which is when you want to be doing the deed! It will also be important because they will calculate your due date based on the date of your last menstrual cycle.
5. Have a physical exam. You want to see your primary care physician or OB/Gyn to make sure your thyroid, blood sugars, blood pressure, and weight are all where they should be. The last thing you want is to find out there is something "off" when you are pregnant. Risks become higher and treatments can be more dangerous. If you do find out there is something irregular, now you can address it. Addressing any potential issues will also reduce your chances of miscarrying.
Having a healthy baby is a blessing! I hope you get the chance to experience all the joys of pregnancy and motherhood! :)