Get ready for pregnancy
- By Team TDO
The decision to have a baby can be frightening, but pregnancy and motherhood is also an enjoyable and exciting time. It’s a great responsibility and something you will have to take up throughout your life. Let’s see what factors you need to keep in mind to plan your pre-pregnancy period.
Make a plan and take action
The first step is to put your goals down. This is called a reproductive life plan. So start penning down all that comes to your mind about pregnancy. Don’t do it all in a single day. The list will increase in length day by day. Think about your goals – career and other important things in life. Give a careful thought to how having a baby will affect these goals.
Add as much detail as possible to your plan. Discuss it with your partner. Take the help of your doctors to resolve any queries you have. Also, talk and get ideas from your friends who have kids.
Ask yourself some questions if you want to make sure and plan for pregnancy:
- Is this the right age. At what age do you want to have the first baby?
- The number of kids you want to have.
- What difference of age do you want between two children?
- What method do you plan to use to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to have the first kid?
- What changes do you want to make in your life before having kid?
- What changes do you need to make to your life to be healthy for the pregnancy? Do you know of conditions like blood pressure, diabetes that you need to deal with? Do you need to kick habits like drinking alcohol or smoking?
See a doctor
Fix an appointment to learn about pre-pregnancy health and fitness.
Discuss any existing conditions and learn how to control them or get treated. Health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, and convulsions need to be taken care of before planning for a baby.
Some medicines can lead to serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. These include some prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal supplements. Make sure you discuss this with your doctor.
Get information about investigations and vaccinations needed to be taken before you get pregnant. This is important for both, the mother’s and the baby’s health.
Healthy lifestyle and behaviour:
Stop eating junk food, eat healthy, and stop drinking alcohol if you do. These can cause premature birth, birth defects, and infant death.
Both the partners should exercise regularly if they are not doing it already. This improves chances of conceiving a baby. Regular exercise reduces stress and makes you fit. Start slowly and increase gradually. Exercise is a must to cope up with pregnancy the healthy way.
Overweight or obese moms are more prone to complications during pregnancy.
Diet and nutrition
Folic acid is essential for a baby’s development in the early weeks of pregnancy and to prevent serious abnormalities of the brain and nerves (such as spina bifida). Eat diet rich in folic acid like green leafy vegetables along with breads and cereals with added folic acid. Take supplements with doctor’s advice.
Food like unpasteurised milk, cheese, and raw eggs should be avoided during pregnancy. Undercooked food can be harmful too. Check food labels. Wash fruits properly before eating and vegetables before cooking.
A healthy mind forms the base for a healthy body and healthy pregnancy. Everyone has worries, anxiety, stress and tensions at some point of time. Seek help if these are recurrent and not going away or interfering with your life. Worrying about whether or when you will conceive, what being pregnant will mean to you and your relationship, and all the steps you will want to take to increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, can sometimes create stress and anxiety.
To help you cope with the stresses in your life that you can't avoid, follow these easy steps:
- Exercising: A true reliever of stress. It helps to release tension and lifts mood. Physical activities such as nature walks or yoga can calm and relax you.
- Meditating: It relaxes the body as it normalizes the respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. It also relieves muscle tension, and lowers stress hormones in the blood.
- Journaling: The act of writing out your thoughts and concerns can help avoid dwelling on anxieties.
- Creating a calm atmosphere: Essential oils for aromatherapy, listening to quiet music, and dimming the lights can help you feel very peaceful.
- Getting adequate sleep: Keeps you from becoming tired. Avoid turning to food or caffeine to fight fatigue. You will need your rest more than ever when you are pregnant and after the baby comes. So now is the time to develop a good sleeping pattern.We know you are eagerly waiting to have a tiny tot in your arms. When you are ready to have a baby, this can give you goose bumps. So make sure that you follow these simple tips to plan your pregnancy. Only a healthy mom will bear a healthy baby. So for the baby's sake, keep yourself physically and emotionally healthy.