9 tips: How to prepare yourself for pregnancy?
Being a mother already, I know how it feels to think of pregnancy for the first time. The fear and excitement roll in together and we wish if there could be some guiding light that would just hold our hand and get us through the journey in most enjoyable, peaceful and lovable manner.Well, this is how I felt precisely! And fortunately, my experience of pregnancy was one of the best journeys- just like motherhood!
When you plan to be pregnant or if you have already seen the two pink lines on the testing kit, it is good to turn towards a healthy and enriching lifestyle.
Let us guide you on to how to begin the first baby steps of a long journey ahead which will make you more fun loving, interesting and responsible in life
1. Start with clean eating:
Since now you have decided to bring on pregnancy, it is the time, to begin with, clean eating. Remove every unhealthy item from your store and bring on fresh vegetables, fruits, and cereals on the palate. Avoid junk food to maximum limits and try to eat only freshly cooked food at home.Clean eating comprises of a lot of things- no fried food, no heavy fats but healthy fats in limited quantity, no sugary items instead use natural sugar or honey, no manufactured juices only fresh juice etc.
There will be a whole lot of information available on clean nutrition in various pregnancy guidebooks. You must follow one of them on types of healthy nutrition and let your gut instinct guide you on how much quantity you want to eat.
Also, remove all sorts of toxins from your diet. There have been studies to establish that more than 250 toxic chemicals are found in the newborn babies’ umbilical cord out of which more than 150 can cause cancer while others can cause birth defects, nervous and brain collateral damages. Clean your diet of all toxins and enrich it with healthy, staple, freshly prepared diet.
Being pregnant, now it is your responsibility to prepare your body in its best state and bringing most healthy nutrition in to it. Your child will need each one of that during different stages from being a fetus to a fully grown baby.
2. Take preconception appointment with your doctor:
Mostly what people do is to consult the doctor only after getting pregnant and not before that. Instead, if you haven’t already conceived and plan to do so, it is better to consult the doctor NOW! Book an appointment and seek suggestions from your physician. The doctor will advise you to inculcate mandatory whole body checkups and tests to reveal the state of your health and readiness of both the partners for conception!
The doctor is the most ideal person to review any medications or health supplements that you must be already taking and their possible impact on pregnancy. He/she can suggest you alternate medications or can refer your case to specialists to suit your condition. You can seek the best advice regarding diet, precautions, workouts, and anything under the sun that you need to discuss the upcoming stage of being pregnant.
I remember, when I and my husband visited our gynecologist before pregnancy, she was full of praises and had formed a very comforting bond with us. She was elated to see the right kind of choices that we wanted to make for our child to be! We had discussed the difficult and radiation based work circumstances of my husband and its impact on genetic inheritance. I am sure that we all have some or other queries that we wanted to discuss then why not contact the most suitable person- the doctor itself!
3. Be stress-free:
Stress is known to elevate the levels of cortisol that can restrain ovulation leading to reduced sperm count and sexual drive. It is certainly going to have an altering effect on your pregnancy. If you have already conceived then you must de-stress yourself to reduce any chances of mishap due to anxiety or tension. Try to find out the causes of stress and its solutions thereby. Opt for natural methods of de-stressing yourself through yoga, meditation, diary writing, talking to friends or watching your favorite movie etc. Find out the ways to keep yourself calm during pregnancy on our blog here.
4. Include your partner:
It often occurs with we- the women that we bear the responsibility of our pregnancy and the changes that occur in our body and emotions completely on our own. It leads to several consequences- stress,detachment, negativity, feelings of loneliness etc. Instead, we need to learn to share our experiences with our partner. If we talk out our concerns with the father-to-be, it helps in strengthening the bond of the couple. Also, it makes them more attached and responsible towards the new responsibility that you are both going to cherish throughout your life.Include your partner in your concerns about pregnancy, discuss your expectations together and plan your finances for child-raising together.
Let him also understand how he can make it a more comforting zone for you by his endeavor, love, and concern. Men are believed to have more apprehensions about pregnancy while their concern for the mother and the baby is always at the top. Therefore, a woman should always give a man his fair chance on being a great father and a husband thereof!
5. Include some healthy exercises in your diet:
Exercising should be a ‘never-to-miss’ routine for pregnancy and throughout the journey. You may have to mold the forms of workouts with the progression of trimesters and stages of pregnancy by consulting with your physician. There are a whole lot of myths about workouts in pregnancy that can be beaten only by consulting an expert. For example some people believe that it is not right to do swimming in pregnancy, however,swimming is one of the most relaxing workouts for pregnant women. Since every pregnancy is different from the other, it is always better to have an expert opinion and indulge in workouts that keep you active, fit and prepared for the upcoming changes.
Yoga is the best form of workouts suggested for pregnancy.There are many CDs, videos and books written on the forms of Yoga that are optimal for pregnant women. These postures help in stretching the blocked nerves and inducing fresh oxygen through breathing which is essential for healthy growth of the fetus.
6. Include folic acid and other multivitamin supplements in your diet:
Folic acid and multivitamin tablets can be started even before you conceive. If you visit an experienced gynecologist they will recommend to you what you need to take in prescribed quantity. Folic acid help sin conceiving and improves the chances of becoming pregnant by preparing our body internally for conception. It is recommended that you must start taking folic acid at least 3 months before you wish to be pregnant.
Also, some women may need to include iron tablets in their diet which is mostly needed by those who do not start on a good Hb count (Haemoglobin). This was the case with me. My Hb count was very low at the time of conception while I appeared perfectly fit from outside. My gynecologist kept me on iron and calcium tabs throughout the 9 months and even after -to ascertain that I stay healthy. And lo, I turned out really stronger than anticipated J Thanks doc!
7. Quit Smoking, abandon alcohol, drugs:
If you have been in a habit of smoking, drinking alcohol or drugs then you need to bid adieu to these habits before you conceive. It would be disheartening to know the disastrous effects these habit scan have on your pregnancy, baby as well as your own health. There may be severe problems in conception and in worst cases, there can be increased chances of miscarriage, babies with anomalies,premature deliveries and under-weight birth babies. We must know that some of the tobacco and drugs can stay in your blood or body for really longtime that can have a significant impact on diminishing your fertility. It goes with both the partners equally- not only female fertility but male sperm counts can also hit the bottom on taking such unmanned drugs or narcotics.
Avoid alcohol altogether if you want to conceive in a healthy and efficient manner.
8. Reduce caffeine:
Caffeine has been associated with increasing the chances of miscarriage among pregnant women. However, a little amount of tea or coffee here and now is not a big deal but if you are sipping a large amount of caffeine through any source then you really need to consider curbing it down.
I am a tea lover and it was difficult for me to completely shut it down. However, I could reduce the quantity and frequency of intake by replacing with healthy shakes and juices.
Limit your number of cups in a day and alter it with green tea instead. Also if it is really getting difficult for you to avoid just reduce the quantity of intake to one-third or one-fourth and add half the amount of coffee/tea to your preparation.
9. Plan a visit to the dentist:
Pregnancy is known to cause some hormonal changes that have altering effects on our gums and teeth. Women often complain of swelling, bleeding and tendering of the gums due to increase destrogens and progesterone levels. An orthodontist can help you in dealing with these problems and suggest you apt medications and precautions during the course of pregnancy. Therefore, find and schedule an appointment with a dentist in your locality when you conceive.
10. Plan your finances and delivery in advance:
There is a whole lot of planning that needs to be done once you have decided to allow a new life to enter amongst yours. However,there is much that should be done at the thought itself!
Start with ascertaining the doctor for your regular visits and where you plan to get delivered! It all depends on a lot of factors such as the proximity of hospital, mode of reaching there, facilities, type of delivery and the Budget.
You must discuss with the doctor that you pursue about the type of delivery they undertake and the expenses that can incur in future for the whole course of 9 months.
You may have to reach out to an insurance company as well to find out what sort of prenatal health coverage they can offer. According to that, you may have to decide on the doctor who will see you through the pregnancy and delivery. Then you must ask them about the names of tests that are covered under your health insurance plan and how much spending may incur other than insurance premiums only.
Later on, you may have to figure out the best and nearest pediatrician for your baby once it arrives. The proximity is one factor and consultation and visiting charges being another! You must also consider their expertise from word of mouth and the facilities/care and vaccines they can offer to your baby for any need in the future.
With so much needed to be done and too much of planning on the toes, remember you both as a couple needs to take sufficient amount of rest too.
I still often recall how people told me while I was pregnant- take ample rest now, you won’t get it later on! And well, now I know what they meant! So, you better take my advice.Let the planning happen and let pregnancy happen too thereafter but the crux of it all is to make the journey smooth, healthy and comfortable for the couple as well as the baby who starts forming within you! Happy pregnancy to you