Visitors are coming to your home. You prepare for that by perhaps a bit of extra cleaning, getting the guest bedroom ready, having extra food on hand, and making sure your home is in order.
You job interview is coming up. You prepare for that by carefully choosing what clothing you will wear, making sure you take along an extra copy of your resume, and perhaps practice what you will say.
Today is grocery shopping day. You prepare for that by getting your list ready, clipping coupons, and making sure there’s room in your trunk for the groceries.
We prepare for everything in our lives that we know is coming. But when planning on having a baby, most people think the only preparation that’s needed to getting everything for the nursery. What about preparing the place where you’re baby will live for nine months before it’s born?
Far too often a woman’s pre-pregnancy health is overlooked. Sadly, this can cause complications and problems during a pregnancy. You prepare for everything else in life, and you should prepare for your pregnancy as well.
A good place to start is with your doctor. Let him/her know you’re planning on getting pregnant, and ask what should you do to prepare for that to ensure you’re in the best possible health. No doubt he/she will advise you on lifestyle habits, nutrition, exercise, etc.
Women who smoke will want to stop immediately when they decide they’re going to get pregnant. Sounds easy when you read it in a sentence. In fact, it’s the hardest thing you’ll probably ever do. Ask your doctor about smoking cessation techniques or medications that can help. Join a support group, get a buddy to quit smoking with you, or whatever it takes to beat the monster called addiction to nicotine. Not only will your chances of having a healthy baby greatly increase, you’ll most likely find that even after your baby is born, you’ll have no desire to smoke again.
Talk to your doctor about beginning to take Folic Acid before you become pregnant. Folic Acid is a B vitamin that can help prevent birth defects and is good for you, too!
Start eating smarter. Make sure you’re getting the daily recommendation from each food group. This can be a fun time to try foods you’ve never tried before as well. Ever eaten a star fruit? Try one today! It’s also a good time to have some fun with some new, healthy recipes the whole family can enjoy, and you can eat during pregnancy to provide you with a good dose of vitamins and nutrients vital to your baby. Get in the habit of snacking on more healthy foods, such as raw fruits and veggies instead of cream pies and candy bars.
Now is the time to talk to your doctor about any health problems you may have, such as asthma, diabetes, etc. Also tell your doctor what medications you take. Your doctor can advise you on how any medical conditions and medications will affect your baby. It’s important that your doctor know your entire health history, previous surgeries, chronic illnesses, and medications. If he doesn’t know about these things, he can’t care for you during your pregnancy to the best of his ability.
Sharing your family history with your doctor is just as important as letting him know about illnesses and medication. If there’s a strong history of diabetes in your family, tell your doctor even if you’ve never been diagnosed with it.
Discuss with your doctor any lifestyle changes you may need to make. If you’re an aerobics instructor, the doctor will advise you on whether you can continue to do this, or if there’s some point in your pregnancy you may need to stop. Making lifestyle changes is difficult. It’s rethinking habits that are very much a part of your every day life. But it’s certainly not impossible, and your baby is worth any necessary changes.
Some who are planning a pregnancy choose to have genetic testing conducted to see if they carry a gene that could cause a birth defect or other genetic medical problems. This is something you can discuss with your doctor, and depending on your family history and your own health history, together you and your doctor can make the decision as to whether genetic testing is something you’ll have done.
If you’ve been one to never really exercise, start before you’re pregnant. This doesn’t mean three-hour workouts daily! This could be as simple as starting an early morning or evening walk on a daily basis. This is good for you at all times, pregnant or not! But getting into the routine now of doing so will help you develop the habit that will probably last long after your baby is born.
If you’ve never been pregnant before, do your research. The more informed you are, the better off you’ll be. Get your information from trusted resources, not from your neighbor or your mailman’s wife. While they will offer plenty of advice with the best of intentions, some advice is simply outdated or may pertain to their pregnancies, but not yours. Know where you’re getting your information from, and make sure the source is one you can trust.
Not preparing for pregnancy is like walking to the grocery store to buy $100 worth of groceries, and you’re stuck with no way to get them home; or like going to a job interview in your pajamas. It simply doesn’t make sense at all. Pregnancy is one of the most important times of your life and should be prepared for as just that.