When you start to think about having a baby, it’s smart to prepare your body to grow that little one. Pregnancy can be hard on you mentally and physically, and if you prepare you can make sure those nine months go by smoothly. This primarily means you want to become as healthy as possible, but there are a few direct steps you can take.
Go to the Doctor
Let your gynecologist know you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant. She’ll be able to look at your complete medical history and tell you about the things that could cause problems. For example, you cannot take certain medications while pregnant, so she might encourage you to switch, or to wean yourself off of them. Being under- or over-weight can be a concern as well, so she might encourage you to take care of weight issues before conception.
Track Your Cycle
If you have regular monthly cycles, it might be easier for you to get pregnant. Unfortunately, many women have cycles that can range from three weeks to three months or more. When you track your cycle, you can make educated guesses about when you ovulate, and are thus more likely to get pregnant. Tracking your temperature in the morning with a basal body thermometer will give you a fuller picture, as there’s a spike in your temperature just after you ovulate.
Starting an exercise plan can help you stay fit and get stronger before you become pregnant. You’ll need those muscles for carrying the baby later on. It also helps to establish the routine before pregnancy so you can continue it while pregnant. Regular, light exercise while pregnant can help ease some of the normal aches and pains many women experience.
Start Taking Your Vitamins
It’s hard to maintain the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals from diet alone. Start taking prenatal vitamins before you try to conceive. Harrison Medical Center says these have additional folic acid, which is essential for preventing neural tube defects like spinal bifida and anencephaly. Talk to your doctor about what nutrients you’ll need most and how to incorporate more of them in your diet.
Change Bad Habits
If you have any bad habits you want to change, it’s smart to do it before you get pregnant. Smoking, taking drugs, and drinking alcohol are bad habits that are particularly damaging to your unborn child. Quitting can be hard, but when you’re focused on the future and the type of person you want to be for your child, it can be a bit easier.
Preparing to get pregnant doesn’t have to be a complete lifestyle change. Aim to take a few small steps at a time to get closer to the person you want to be before you bring a child into the picture.