13 Things Women Should Do Before Getting Pregnant
1. Get a complete health checkup
Go to your doctor get a complete health checkup. Apart from assessing if your general health is good and if you need nutritional supplements, you also need to find out if you or your partner is a career of any congenital disease which could potentially affect the child.
2. Understand any medical conditions you might have
In case you have diabetes or thyroid, it is essential to discuss these with your gynecologist to understand if that might impact the pregnancy.
3. Assess the medications you are currently taking
Your gynecologist will understand your if the medications you are taking need to be altered or stopped. Usually doctors suggest stopping of most medications and instead suggests fresh set.
4. Get to a healthy BMI
BMI is body mass index. This determines if your weight is appropriate according to your height. A healthy BMI is one that is in the range of 19 and 25. So, in case you have a lower BMI or a higher BMI, you need to watch it and get to the right weight range before getting pregnant. Being underweight or overweight is a definite problem.
5. Include supplements
Speak with your doctor and start taking prenatal supplements. These include iron, folic acid and calcium. The vitamin supplements also improve fertility.
6. Watch your diet
This cannot be stressed upon enough. Usually there is tendency for people to skip meals or not understand a healthy diet. Do NOT follow a low calorie diet or start taking up any fancy weight-loss diets while getting pregnant. Add more proteins, folic acid, iron and calcium in your food. If you are vegetarian, ensure you eat a lot of green leafy vegetables along with dates & raisins, since these will be your only source of iron.
7. Cut down on sweets and fat
You need not stop completely, but cutting down is definitely good. However, remember NEVER to go hungry.
8. Talk to your doctor about your physical work
If you are already on an exercise regimen or your work involves a fair amount of physical labour (or travel), discuss this with your doctor.
<9. Strictly STOP smoking
If you smoke, you NEED to stop. It inhibits the fertility and also affects the the pregnancy. If your partner smokes, encourage him to stop too since passive smoking is quite harmful for the pregnancy and the child.
10. Cut down on the caffeine
You might be used to drinking loads of coffee, but it is time to cut down on them. During the course of your pregnancy you will have a strict limit of just two cups a day, so why not start that now itself?
Do remember that it is not just coffee, but tea and coke also have caffeine in them.
11. Handle stress well
Stress could have a major impact on a woman’s fertility. So, it is important to manage any stress well. Try taking up some activities which could calm you down, or avoid situations that might cause stress.
12. Pick a form of exercise
Exercise is proven to be good for the pregnancy, the process of child birth and for the child itself. So, choose an suitable exercise regime. Consult with your doctor if it might work for you and follow it strictly. Usually walking and swimming are considered great forms of exercise. Prenatal yoga is also very effective.
13. Check your exposure to radiation, chemicals and pesticides
Radiation has a negative effect on fertility. This is true of chemicals and pesticides too. So, keep away from them if you are planning to get pregnant.