So you’ve decided to get pregnant? Congratulations! A lot of thought and planning probably went into helping you arrive at your decision.
As you prepare your world for your baby’s arrival, you should also prepare your body. Diana Heard, MD, and Olga Vega, PA of Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology are fully equipped to guide you at our practice in Glendale, Arizona, from pre-conception to post-birth care and beyond.
You can start preparing your body for pregnancy the minute you decide that you are ready to conceive with these nine steps.
Your family’s medical history provides excellent insight into any health issues that may arise during pregnancy. Many medical conditions can be genetically inherited, which means that although you might not have a particular disorder, it can be passed down to you or your child from a parent, grandparent, or another close relative.
Your family history also gives your doctor insight into any fertility concerns that may arise for you. People with a family history of hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and epilepsy may need more specialized care throughout their pregnancy and childbirth.
It might seem like a no-brainer to stop your birth control if you are trying to get pregnant, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to realize this in the first few weeks.
You should also know that it’s possible to get pregnant shortly after stopping your birth control, so stay on it until you’re sure you are ready to get pregnant.
A healthy you makes for a healthy baby, so be sure to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet as you prepare to have a child. Your diet should be rich in high-fiber foods, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. You should avoid raw eggs, seafood with high levels of mercury, excessive salt, and caffeine. Also, reduce your intake of foods with high processed sugar content.
Check in with your doctor to see if you are underweight or overweight. If you’re underweight, you might need to gain some before getting pregnant. On the other hand, being overweight can lead to complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and miscarriage.
It’s always a good idea to stop unhealthy habits, but it becomes crucial when trying to get pregnant. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking certain drugs could harm your child. These habits could also make it harder for you to get pregnant.
Getting active helps your body prepare for pregnancy in many ways. It reduces stress, helps you manage a healthy weight, and benefits your overall health and well-being.
If you don’t have a fitness routine and are unsure where to start, you can begin by taking daily 30-minute brisk walks.
Prenatal vitamins and mineral supplements help pregnant women ensure that their children get all the nutrients their bodies need. However, you don’t have to wait to be pregnant before taking specific vitamins and supplements. Taking supplements high in folic acid before you get pregnant reduces the risk of your baby having a congenital disability.
Stress is always potentially harmful, and this doesn’t change with pregnancy. Eliminating stress will also ease the process of conceiving your baby.
While it’s a good idea to exercise regularly as you anticipate pregnancy, you don’t want to engage in overly strenuous exercises. Especially when you become pregnant, these exercises can put your body under undue stress. Chronic stress can also affect your menstrual cycle, which can, in turn, affect your possibility of getting pregnant.
Make a list of all medications you take and share them with your doctor. Some medicines can make getting pregnant more difficult. Your doctor might either recommend that you stop said medication or prescribe an alternative that will be safer for your baby.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you are up to date on your shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations for conditions such as COVID-19 and influenza.
If you are thinking about getting pregnant, schedule a visit with us at Glendale Obstetrics and Gynecology today. We’ll talk you through everything you need to do to prepare your body and mind for pregnancy, as well as examine your medical and family history to identify any potential health concerns. We offer specialized care for women at all stages of their pregnancy journey and beyond.