All moms-to-be have their own unique experiences and challenges when it comes to pregnancy. Although the most important thing is to stay healthy, safe, and well-fed during this special time, there are also a number of steps you can take pre-pregnancy that can help better prepare you for the lifestyle, financial, and bodily changes you are about to undergo. Planning for pregnancy can be equally important as the steps you take to promote a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy.
The months before trying to get pregnant are the best for ensuring you are healthy and ready to take on this next step. Pre-pregnancy considerations often focus on both your physical and mental health, financial standings, and other healthy lifestyle habits. Carolinas Fertility Institute has put together a list of five pre-pregnancy considerations to get your motherhood journey started on the right foot.
1. Schedule A Preconception Checkup
One of the first steps to take during pre-pregnancy preparation is to schedule a preconception checkup. Preconception checkups are in place to ensure you are in the best possible health before you get pregnant. Your medical provider will discuss several topics, including, but not limited to, your medical history, vaccinations, dietary habits, lifestyle and behaviors, exam health screenings, and anything else you may need to know regarding your specific medical history or health issues. Other physical exams may be recommended by your healthcare provider, including checking your blood pressure, thyroid, lungs, breasts, and abdomen.
2. Alter Your Lifestyle Habits
Before trying to conceive, it is always recommended to take a look at your current lifestyle habits. There are several habits that your medical provider will advise you to stop before trying to get pregnant. Some of these behaviors include smoking, alcohol/ substance abuse, and being overweight or underweight. All of these habits and lifestyle factors can be linked to pregnancy complications such as preterm labor, low birth weight, fetal alcohol syndrome, and more.
3. Consider Your Finances
It’s no secret that raising a child is expensive. Before trying to conceive, it is essential to sit down with your partner and talk about finances. Generally speaking, a budget should be set to include baby supplies such as diapers, baby food, clothing, personal care items, a stroller, a car seat, entertainment, maternity clothing, a changing table, etc. During this time, if you have a job, you must look into your company’s policy on paternity leave.
4. Start Prenatal Supplements
Taking prenatal supplements pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy, help to lower your baby’s risk of several complications. One of the most important steps you can take toward a healthy pregnancy is to take folic acid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Folic acid is a B vitamin that can help prevent major congenital disabilities. Take a vitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day before and during pregnancy. Other prenatal supplements include folate, biotin, choline, and magnesium.
5. Get Moving
Although physical activity has benefits for people of all genders and ages, pre-pregnancy is a great time to get your body moving. If you’ve always needed a reason to get into a workout routine, this is the perfect motivation. Great pre-pregnancy workouts include running, walking, strength training, pilates, yoga, swimming, or indoor cycling.
Pre-pregnancy planning is critical to a happy and healthy mom and baby. At Carolinas Fertility Institute, we are dedicated to helping you build your family with personalized care and attention. We provide the latest and most technologically advanced treatment options for fertility. If you are struggling to get pregnant, we can work with you to devise a treatment plan. Call us at (336) 448-9100 to make an appointment in the Triad or (844) 686-2233 for our Charlotte office.