If you and your partner have decided that you want a baby, then you need to prepare your body for the new human being. For some women, planning pregnancy and motherhood is a horrifying task, because they are not so ready for their new role. The pregnancy is not just choosing your baby’s name and the furniture for its room. It is much more. You need to be in the best shape possible, both mentally and physically. It is a known fact that happy and healthy mothers give birth to happy and healthy babies.
You need to talk with your doctor or midwife to tell you tips that can help you to be healthy before you get pregnant. The tips which you will from your doctor can help to prepare you and your body for pregnancy and give a better chance for a healthy baby.
Tips for preparing your body for pregnancy:
Below is given some tips which can help your body to have good pregnancy:
See your doctor:
The first thing which you and your partner should do is to make an appointment with the doctor. Your doctor can analyze the medical history of both families and he will tell you if there are any chances of complications. In case there is a chance for complication, your doctor will give you remedies. Also, your doctor will check if you are immunized against major diseases. You will need to be vaccinated against rubella and chickenpox and you should take these shots three months before you conceive.
Also, your doctor can screen you for sexually transmitted diseases and he will suggest you to follow the necessary precautions and treatments, so you will improve your chances of healthy pregnancy. If you suffer from some medical condition which needs to take regular medication, such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes or epilepsy, then you need to visit your doctor to make any necessary changes to your course of treatment before you are trying to conceive.
Fix your diet:
You need to cut out the unhealthy items from your diet. You need to prepare your body for the pregnancy with healthier and organic food choices and you need to drink a lot of water. You need to switch the carbs and junk food with healthy snacks, like fruits and nuts. This will lower your exposure to toxins found in the junk food. Also, you need to avoid eating undercooked meat or raw eggs, so you will have less chances of getting salmonella .
It is very important to eat healthy diet if you have a BMI over 30 and you are obese. Also, being underweight can affect your menstrual cycle and it can cause you to have missed periods. This means that you will not be ovulating every cycle. If you want to have a healthy pregnancy, then the ideal BMI is between 19 – 25.
Stop birth control:
If you have been using birth control pills or any other form of birth control, then you stop to use them. Your gynecologist can remove the IUD if you have one. Some women can get pregnant two weeks after they stop with the birth control, but for others can take longer.
The top vitamin supplement which you need to add in your diet is the folic acid. The folic acid will decrease the chances of neural tube defects during pregnancy. You can easily find the folic acid in foods, but you can talk with your doctor about taking supplement, so you will ensure that the proper amount of it is taken by your body. It is recommended taking 400 – 800 mcg of folic acid during the preconception. When you get pregnant, your doctor can change the dosage accordingly. [2,3]
Many doctors are recommending women to take multivitamins, so they will be sure that the lack of certain vitamins is now okay. The prenatal vitamins can help to bridge any nutritional deficiencies which you might have right before getting pregnant. Also, you need to boost your intake of iron and calcium – rich foods.
You need to make moderate work out sessions in a period of thirty minutes, for at least 4 – 5 days every week. If you are starting from scratch, then a twenty minute walk can help you get moving before you try more vigorous workouts. If you exercise regularly, then you can try and squeeze in about 45 minutes of exercise, 5 or 6 days a week.
Get plenty of sleep:
You need to have a good night’s sleep on daily basis, because this can put your body on track to work the way it is supposed to. The lack of sleep could lead to stress, make your more tired and lower your sex drive. This is a reason why you need to sleep at least eight hours at night. 
Involve your partner:
You should remember that the conceiving and preparing to conceive is a responsibility for both of you, not just for you. You can ask your partner to start taking folic acid, because this can help with the sperm count. Also, your partner needs to stay fit and healthy and give up on smoking, alcohol and drugs. If you want to have a healthy pregnancy, then both of you need to be healthy. It is recommended for your partner to visit a doctor, because 30% of the infertility cases are result of male infertility.
Get all the information:
You need to understand how conception works. You need to talk with your doctor to get all the information you need before you begin conceiving. Also, it is very important to read as much as possible, because you need to know what you have in store for the following months. Also, you need to track your cycle. You need to know when you are ovulating, so this can increase your chances of pregnancy significantly. You can use ovulation kits for this purpose.
Get a dental check-up:
Gum disease is linked to the preterm labor and the low birth weight in babies. You should visit your dentist regularly and if you have any issue, to be resolved before you get pregnant. 
Try stress relief measures:
Many women who want to get pregnant, are stressful about the process. You need to manage your stress, because stress can boost your cortisol levels and this will lower your sex drive and prevent ovulation.  You can read books, listen to music, try meditation or yoga, because all of the mentioned activities can decrease the stress levels in your body.
Quit smoking, alcohol and drugs:
All of the mentioned bad habits can affect on your health, but also on your baby’s health. Smoking can expose you and your body to lot of toxins and it can reduce the blood flow. Also, this can affect fertility and it can cause preterm delivery, miscarriage or even stillbirth. Alcohol can cause you long – term problems, as well as developmental issues in your baby.
It can put your baby at the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. The usage of drugs is illegal and this can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage, etc. Drugs, like cocaine and heroin can lead to drug – dependent babies. If your partner smokes, then you can ask him to stop smoking, because smoking is related to low – sperm count. The exposure to smoke is not ideal, especially during pregnancy. Also, you need to limit your intake of caffeine. It is recommended for pregnant women to take only 300 ml of caffeine each day. 
When you are pregnant, it is important to be fit. You do not need to gain a lot of weight, as many people think. You should not eat for two. You need to add extra 300 – 500 extra calories only. Also, you can make exercises, but you need to ask your doctor which of them will be suitable for you.
Get your weight under control:
If you are overweight, then this is decreasing your chances of getting pregnant. The extra weight will add strain to your body and increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Also, if you are underweight can be difficult for conceiving and this can result in miscarriage or in low birth weight for your baby. If you want to add weight or control your weight, then talk with your doctor to help your weight in healthy way. 
When you will make appointment with your doctor, then he or she will tell you about any vaccinations that you may have lapsed (rubella, tetanus, etc.). Vaccinations can help you and your baby to stay healthy.
Limit toxin exposure:
It is known that high amounts of toxic exposure can be dangerous for developing baby. You need to avoid synthetic fragrances and go BPA free. You should choose chemical – free home and personal care products (toss makeup products that contain mercury, sodium Laureth sulfate, and parabens). Also, you need to skin certain beauty services. You should always choose fresh foods over canned, which may have BPA. 
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Folic Acid Research. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/research.html
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 Veitheer A, Kiserud T, Lie RT, et al. Sleep and physical activity from before conception to the end of pregnancy in healthy women: a longitudinal actigraphy study. Sleep Medicine. 2021;83:89-98.
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 National Institutes of Health. Drinking and smoking during pregnancy linked with stillbirth, NIH-funded study suggests. 2021. Retrieved from www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/drinking-smoking-during-pregnancy-linked-stillbirth-nih-funded-study-suggests
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