The decision to get pregnant involves some serious thought and planning. At this point, you’ve likely already worked hard to ensure that you are ready financially and emotionally to have a baby. Now, you’ll want to take the next step by ensuring that your body is prepared to handle the physical demands of pregnancy.
Going into your pregnancy already in good health helps you avoid many common problems arising over the next nine months and beyond. As you get ready for this fantastic journey, make sure to take these steps to get physically prepared to bring a new life into this world.
Schedule a Pre-Pregnancy Physical Exam
You’ll typically already be several weeks into your pregnancy when you see your first positive pregnancy test. The first eight weeks of pregnancy are when your baby is undergoing a vital stage of their development. Scheduling a pre-pregnancy exam helps ensure that your body is ready to give your baby what it needs as it rapidly grows its vital organs.
During a pre-pregnancy exam, your doctor will discuss your health history. They’ll also typically order blood work to ensure that you don’t have any nutritional deficiencies or issues that could impact your pregnancy. Afterward, they’ll make recommendations such as losing weight or getting necessary vaccinations so that you can start your pregnancy off right.
Seek Support for Ending Unhealthy Habits
Many people engage in habits that aren’t healthy during pregnancy. Smoking, vaping, and excessive alcohol can impact your baby’s development. In fact, smoking can also affect your fertility, which is why you’ll typically be asked to stop using nicotine products as you begin planning to get pregnant.
If you’ve tried to quit unhealthy habits in the past, then don’t worry. Many support options are available to help you start a healthier lifestyle. Reach out to a support group, counselor, or doctor to learn how to end these habits. You’ll have a healthier pregnancy, and likely find that you want to keep it up after your baby is born.
Start Focusing On Nutrition
Once pregnant, your baby will depend upon you to get the vital nutrients they need to develop normally. It’s common for women to be deficient in essential nutrients such as folic acid and iron.
Adding more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to your diet can help you bolster your body’s stores of essential vitamins and minerals. You may also find it beneficial to start taking a prenatal vitamin now to be sure that your body is getting the nutrition it needs to support your baby’s growth before you find out that you are pregnant.
Begin a Prenatal Exercise Program
Exercise takes on a whole new meaning when you are pregnant. Before, you may have viewed exercise as a way to improve how your body looks in your favorite outfit. Now, you’ll get the chance to see how exercise can improve your physical well-being during pregnancy.
Preparing for pregnancy by beginning a prenatal exercise program offers you benefits such as helping to build your core to prevent common issues such as diastasis recti, which is a separation of your abdominal muscles. Moms who engage in moderate aerobic exercise and yoga also tend to have more comfortable labor and postpartum recovery periods.
Find Your Preferred Ways to Ease Stress
Your mind and body are connected. Experiencing high levels of stress can lead to tension in your body that impacts how you feel physically. Too much stress can impact your menstrual cycle, which could impact your ability to get pregnant. Once pregnant, high rates of anxiety could cause you to struggle with staying on track with a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise relieves stress since it releases endorphins in your body. You can also engage in mindful meditation or take up a fun hobby to ease the mental strain that you feel in your life.
Taking care of your health now will make the transition into pregnancy easier. In some ways, you may even find that making a few positive lifestyle changes can help you get pregnant faster. Try to remember that improving your health takes time. Keep following your new lifestyle program; you’ll see the benefits pay off when you finally welcome your newborn to the world after healthy labor and delivery.