Getting Your Body Baby
You might have an idea of what it takes to be healthy things like maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, staying away from tobacco. All of those things are even more important when youre getting your body ready to grow life. In fact, theres even more to be aware of. The stronger your body is before baby, the greater chance for a smooth, healthy pregnancy. Here are some things to keep in mind before you try to get pregnant:1
Have A Cervical Screening Test
If you are aged between 25 and 49 you should have a cervical screening test every three years. Its best to get tested before you get pregnant because pregnancy can make the results of your test harder to interpret.
If youre planning a pregnancy contact your GP surgery to find out if your screening is due now or within the next year.
Day : Limit Toxin Exposure
High amounts of toxic exposure can be dangerous for a developing baby. Try to lower your exposure to common offenders by:
- avoiding synthetic fragrances
Here are a few other things you can start doing today:
- make your own household cleaners using water and vinegar
- eat organic foods
- stock up on fragrance-free laundry detergents
- toss makeup products that contain parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and mercury
- choose fresh foods over canned, which may contain BPA
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Get To A Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight or underweight, it may be harder to get pregnant. Your weight affects whether your ovaries will release an egg, or ovulate, each month. Extra pounds also make you more likely to have certain health problems during pregnancy, like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure.
You could get pregnant more easily if you lose or gain weight before you start trying for a baby. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. If you’re very overweight, don’t worry about trying to slim down to half your size. Shedding even a few pounds will help.
Make Space In Your Life
Often clients come to me with the hopes of wanting to bring something new into their lives. When our lives are too full, there is no room for anything new to enter. Too much space can make a person feel anxious, so we tend to busy ourselves with things that are no longer resonating or that we outgrew so we don’t have to feel the discomfort that empty space brings. It’s only by allowing for this space that something new can be birthed.
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Have A Sexual Health Check
Sexually transmitted infections can affect your fertility, as well as any future pregnancy and baby.
If there is any reason to think you or your reproductive partner may have a STI, its important that you both get tested. The best places to go are a GUM clinic, sexual health clinic, your own doctor or a young peoples clinic.
What Steps Can You Take To Get Your Body Ready For Pregnancy
Based on the results of your preconception checkup, your doctor may recommend different things to get your body ready for pregnancy. You should familiarize yourself with these guidelines because most of them will apply after youre pregnant as well.
Carolinas Fertility Institute has decades of experience helping the people of North Carolina build the family they desire. We offer personalized care to make the fertility journey as stress-free as possible for our patients. If you have questions or concerns about fertility issues, including whether or not your body is ready for pregnancy, our team is here to help. To make an appointment, please call 448.9100 or fill out our appointment request form.
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Your Medications Supplements And Vaccines
At your Preconception Visit, your OBGYN will discuss your current medications, including any over the counter supplements youre taking. Some over-the-counter medications may not be safe to take while pregnant. Read more about the safety of these types of medications in pregnancy.
If you are using any prescription medications, you should talk with your OBGYN to determine if they are safe to continue in pregnancy or if there are safe alternatives. Always talk to your doctor before quitting or reducing any of your prescriptions.
Your OBGYN will also verify if your vaccines are up to date. Some vaccines can be given during pregnancy, like the flu shot and Tdap vaccine, but others cannot.
Youll also talk about supplements. We always recommend that any woman who is not preventing pregnancy begin taking a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid. Folic acid helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Make sure you give your OBGYN a list of any other supplements, vitamins, and herbs you take. Some of these supplements may make getting pregnant more challenging and others may not be safe for pregnancy.
Is Your Body Ready For Pregnancy
If you have decided that you want to try to get pregnant, you should consider whether or not your body is ready for pregnancy. The healthier you are before trying to conceive, the more likely you are to get pregnant and the less likely you are to have complications during pregnancy. So, before you try to conceive, you should consider your preconception health and the steps you may need to take to get your body ready for pregnancy.
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Day 2: Check Your Insurance Coverage
Its important to review whats covered in your health insurance plan before you get pregnant. Approximately 1 million women give birth without adequate prenatal care each year. Their babies are 3 times more likely to be born at low birth weights and 5 times more likely to die than babies born to women who keep up with regular prenatal visits.
When To See Your Doctor
Did you know a babys main organs develop within the first 8 weeks? Its important to have your mental and physical health in shape before then so you can make sure your body is ready to be your babys home for the next 9 months. It may be a good idea to schedule a preconception appointment with your preferred provider when you decide its time to start trying to get pregnant. Youll be able to prepare by talking through topics like diet, lifestyle, family history, medicines youre taking and anything else that might impact your future pregnancy.12
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Get A Thorough Preconception Checkup
This important checkup identifies problems and clears you for conception, so bring a list of things you want to discuss. At this checkup, we:
- Make sure you are current on your vaccinations
- Identify and treat any existing chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, or phenylketonuria
- Review your family health history for any potential genetic issues
- Review any risk of ethnic conditions like sickle cell, Tay-Sachs, and others
We may order blood work or an ultrasound. We also review and treat any complications from past pregnancies.
How Can Hertility Help You Prepare For Pregnancy
This article was written in collaboration with Hertility Health and was reviewed by Dr Tharni Vasavan Bsc , MSc, PhD.
If youre planning your path to parenthood, Hertility is here to guide you. The Hertility Health journey includes a tailored at-home hormone test, fertility & gynaecology triage service, digital personalised results, access to highly-rated experts and clinics, educational content and a community of care. Were here to support you throughout your reproductive journey, from menstruation to menopause.
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Day : Start A Multivitamin
Pregnancy is taxing on the bodys nutritional stores. Give yourself a boost by taking a multivitamin to bridge any gaps. Better yet, prenatal vitamins are specifically formulated to give your body what it needs during pregnancy.
Starting a prenatal now will help you avoid any nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy. Youll also have time to try out a few brands to see what works for your body.
Is It Necessary For Me To Get Any Immunizations Before I Become Pregnant
Many preventable diseases can lead to miscarriage or birth problems, so make sure youre up to date on all of your vaccinations. If youre unsure about vaccinations, a simple blood test can determine whether or not youve been inoculated against diseases such as rubella .
If you need to be vaccinated against a live virus, such as rubella, you must wait a month following the immunization to conceive. This is a preventative measure because the body is thought to require time to eliminate itself of the virus injected.
Its also a good idea to get vaccinated against the little mother . If you have chickenpox for the first time during your pregnancy, it can be harmful to your unborn child. If you had this common sickness as a youngster, though, you are already resistant to it.
You can also get vaccinated against hepatitis B if you are in a high-risk group for the disease.
Also, check with your doctor to see if a tetanus booster vaccine is required. The tetanus toxoid vaccine is administered to protect you and your baby from tetanus while you are pregnant.
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Do I Need Genetic Counseling Before Becoming Pregnant
For some couples planning a pregnancy, underlying genetic abnormalities can cause a genetic condition in the future baby. For these couples, genetic counseling can play a vital role. Genetic counseling is a process to evaluate and understand a family’s risk of an inherited medical condition. A genetic counselor is a healthcare professional with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling.
The field of genetics is one of the most rapidly advancing areas of medicine and the role our genetic counselors play can’t be over-emphasized, Dr. Harry said. Many of his patients fall into this category because they have a genetic condition themselves or they have a previous child born with a genetic abnormality. For these patients, genetic counselors can provide testing, education and in some cases, prevention, to help parents minimize risk and optimize health.
Give Your Diet A Makeover
A nutrient-dense diet is essential for a healthy diet. Eating plenty of whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, and lean proteins can help you maintain a healthy weight gain, reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, and supply your baby with all the nutrients needed for healthy development.
Now is the perfect time to make any modifications to your diet, prioritize hydration, and limit processed food.
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Genetic Counseling And Screening
Before getting pregnant, you may want to know if youre at risk of having children with specific genetic diseases. There are tests that you and your partner can take to determine if your child would be at risk of having cystic fibrosis or spinal muscular atrophy.
If you have a family history of other genetic diseases, ask your OBGYN whether there is a test for determining the risk of your child having it as well. Learn more about genetic counseling and testing for genetic disorders.
What Should I Eat If Im Trying To Get Pregnant
Eating a variety of good foods is super important for a healthy pregnancy and baby. The nutrients you put into your body directly affect your babys birth weight and health even after theyre born.
Many people find they need to change their diet so they can have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Changing the way you eat can be hard it may be easier to start by adding more healthy foods before you take away the unhealthy foods.
Here are some tips for a balanced pre-pregnancy diet:
Fresh fruits and vegetables
You can get fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Its good to eat at least 35 servings of fiber per day.
Salt, sugar, and junk food
Limit sugary foods and drinks .
Limit salty, fatty, processed snacks .
Try to avoid processed food and fast food.
Its almost impossible to follow a perfect diet, and its okay to indulge every once in a while. But try to eat as healthy as you can before and during your pregnancy. And dont forget about variety eating many different kinds of healthy foods helps you have a balanced diet and keeps you from getting bored with your meals.
Once youre pregnant, youll need to eat about 100 300 more calories per day pregnancy is hard work!
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Look Into Your Benefits
If you work, consider what you want to do once you’ve had your baby. Some companies provide paid time-off after you give birth. Others offer unpaid time-off. You may also be able to use sick days or vacation time before you go back.
Check your health plan, too, to see which doctors and hospitals it covers.
What Is A Pre
A pre-pregnancy checkup is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy. It helps your health care provider make sure youre healthy and that your body is ready for pregnancy. The checkup helps your provider treat and sometimes prevent health conditions that may affect your pregnancy. For example, your provider checks to make sure your vaccinations are up to date and gives you any you need before pregnancy.
If you can, get your pre-pregnancy checkup with the health care provider you want to take care of you when you do get pregnant. You can get a pre-pregnancy checkup any time. Get one even if youve already had a baby. Your health may have changed since you were last pregnant.
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Get The Right Nutrients
There are a few key vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in getting your body ready to develop a healthy fetus, like folic acid and iron. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges all women of reproductive age to take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, in addition to consuming food with folate from a varied diet, to help prevent some major birth defects of the babys brain and spine.6 Iron helps your body make more blood to carry oxygen to your growing baby. Its best to get these nutrients from food sources , but supplements is also a great way to guarantee youre getting enough of the good stuff. Omega-3 fatty acids is another one to add to your checklist. It can help regulate ovulation-inducing hormones and increase blood flow to your reproductive organs. Try to get this entirely from food sources, like nuts, seeds and seafood.7,8
These are just a few ways to help get your body physically ready for pregnancy. Theres a lot more information out there. And because every woman is different, your doctor may have special recommendations based on your health, age, family history and more. If youre planning to get pregnant soon, visit your primary care provider or your gynecologist . At your preconception appointment, youll discuss many pre-pregnancy topics with your doctor to make sure youve got the knowledge and resources for getting yourself in shape to create life.
When To Start Preparing For Pregnancy
They say that theres no better time to start something than today. However, if you have decided to try and get pregnant, it might be advisable to pause and think for a minute. You and your partner might be mentally ready to take on the challenges of parenthood. But is your body ready and up to this task? And if not, how much time do you think it will take? The answer depends on person to person. If your physical and mental health is all in shape, you can go ahead and start right away. But if you have certain concerns, like weight, nutritional deficiencies, irregular periods, etc., you might have to take some steps to remedy the situation. This can take as little as 30 to 90 days but in some cases, it could even take 6 months or a year.
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Take Vitamins And Folic Acid
Take a vitamin and mineral supplement that includes at least 0.4 milligrams of folic acid.
- Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects, especially problems with the baby’s spine.
- Start taking a vitamin with folic acid before you want to get pregnant.
- Avoid high doses of any vitamin, especially vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins can cause birth defects if you take more than the normal recommended daily amounts. Regular pregnancy prenatal vitamins do not have excessively high doses of any vitamin.
Tips To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy According To A Pregnancy Coach
If you want to become pregnant, or have been trying for some time, there are a number of ways to set yourself up for success. As a pregnancy coach and doula, here are some tips I generally recommend to clients to help prepare the body, mind, and soul for the journey of bringing life into the world.
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Schedule A Preconception Checkup
Even if youre relatively healthy and feel that youre ready for pregnancy, its still important to have a preconception checkup.
In addition to discussing your personal and family health histories and current health status, well review any medications or supplements youre taking, discuss your lifestyle and habits, and make sure youre caught up on vaccinations.
If you havent had a well-woman exam within the past year, you can also expect to have a pelvic exam and Pap smear, and be tested for STDs if youre at risk.